Since the introduction of the web 2.0, there have been many quickly growing trends in online communities. One of them is the increase in interest in knowledge-sharing platforms, such as HowStuffWorks, YahooAnswers or Wikipedia. There, users collect information from their own experience or reliable sources and post it to answer the questions that have been asked or the topics that need to be explained. Expanding that knowledge-sharing experience, there is also a steady growth of step-by-step guides, most often seen in DIY (Do-It-Yourself) communities. Many people there do not only want to share their knowledge and skills, they also want to help others to reproduce certain products or solutions. Thus, step-by-step guides are created – in form of a video (YouTube) or as a simple text-picture-based process documentation (found on blogs or WikiHow) – and are used by many to build, repair, improve and embellish their belongings.
2. Motivation, problem statement, research questions
Many processes in everyday life are described and documented informally – as a written text or simply as part of a verbal conversation. Using a modelling language (such as BPMN or EPC) to document these processes is often not advisable since the elements of such a modelling language need to be learned before understanding the model. Therefore, people without any previous knowledge about that modelling language might not find the process model easy to read or intuitive.
Step-by-step guides try to improve the documentation of processes by using a numbered layout, simple text passages and pictures, elements that are already familiar to many people.
The proposed paper would like to answer the following research questions:
3. Approach, proposed solution
The proposed solution is an iOS application that provides the possibility to create a process documentation in form of a step-by-step guide. Said process documentation can be emergently extended before, during and after the execution of the process. Process items, such as multimedia sources (text, picture, video, and audio), can simply be dragged and dropped into the process documentation.
Aside from the creation of step-by-step guides, the application will also consist of a platform where users can search for already existing process documentations and rate, comment and favorite them. The simple structure of the process documentation will hopefully increase the ease of reading, consuming and understanding the process steps and lead to a higher user satisfaction and interaction.
An experiment with different groups of participants will be undertaken to investigate the usability and readability of the prototype. Participants will be asked to model the same process, either using the prototypical application or an already existing solution for process documentation. In a survey, the modeling participants will answer questions concerning the ease of use and the intuitive usage of the method they used and other participants will compare the outcomes of the process documentations in terms of readability and accuracy.