Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/34371
Title: A MULTILEVEL ANALYSIS OF COMMERCIAL SOFTWARE ONLINE HELP FORUMS
Authors: KUANG XIAOLE
Keywords: help-giving, help-seeking, online discussion sites, software learning
Issue Date: 21-Mar-2012
Source: KUANG XIAOLE (2012-03-21). A MULTILEVEL ANALYSIS OF COMMERCIAL SOFTWARE ONLINE HELP FORUMS. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Learning and using complex software has shown to be a challenging and often frustrating task. When encounter problems in using a software application, an important channel that can help users to resolve their issues is the online software help forums. By leveraging methodologies of analysis from previous research about various online discussion sites, we conducted a multi-level analysis on three commercial software help forums (e.g. Photoshop, AutoCAD, and Sonar) focusing on an important yet understudied question: ¿how commercial software users leverage the online help forums to communicate software learning/usage experiences?¿ Our results showed that, comparing with general online forums (or discussion sites), the help forums dedicated to commercial software demonstrate their own characteristics in overall statistics related to posting behaviors, the discussed problems opening the threads, and the flow of communications in threads for solving such problems. The most common help-seeking behavior in current commercial software help forums is for dealing with error/stuck situations while using the application to accomplish specific task. To solve such raised software problems, the flow of communication in threads most likely involves more than one rounds of discussion about the possible solutions among the asker and several repliers. In spite of such significant effort that software users have spent in solving problems, current help forums still exist several inefficiencies, such as the textual and delayed fashion of communication increasing the difficulties of explaining and understanding the problem description, and the lack of tracking the history of user operations reducing the probability of sharing experience and rewarding the solutions. Leveraging on our analysis results, we conclude this thesis with discussing the insights and possible contributions for different audiences.
URI: http://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/34371
Appears in Collections:Master's Theses (Open)

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