Designing a gift giving support application
1University of Oulu, Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering, Department of Information Processing Science, Information Processing Science
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Gift giving has far deeper societal, sociological, and psychological implications than people are generally aware of. It can work in both positive and negative ways — building and strengthening or weakening and breaking social ties, imposing identity images on both the givers and the recipients. Gifts are also important from a consumer and marketing perspective and tend to cause their seekers anxiety in many ways. To counter the difficulties in the gift giving process it is important to record information about important dates, recipients, given and received gifts, as well as new plans and ideas. Many tools are already being used to help keep track of gift giving, and these range from simple pen-and-paper solutions to productivity applications like note-taking tools and spreadsheets. Unfortunately, there are only a few tools that specialise in gift management, and even these have shortcomings in one way or another. The purpose of this thesis was to design a new and better solution to meet gift giving management needs. Gift giving behaviour was explored through literature and interviews, and the Technology Acceptance Model and Design Science Research approach were utilised to triangulate a complete list of requirements for a gift giving support application, which was then designed. A prototype was constructed according to the design. The prototype was evaluated with heuristic evaluation and small-scale user testing using a paper prototype. The findings were used to correct flaws in the initial design, resulting in an improved design of the proposed application. While nowhere near ready for production, the prototype could stand up to evaluation against requirements on an acceptable level, thus validating the design approach. These results can be utilised in future research and/or development to continue the design and production of an actual gift giving support application that will meet the needs of both gift givers and recipients.
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