Harnessing Handheld Computing - Framework, Toolkit and Design Propositions

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis (compilation)


The rapid development of handheld technologies such as smartphones and personal digital assistants in recent years has created opportunities for the mobile workforce to take advantage of computerised information systems. To apprehend and harness the opportunities of computerised information systems implemented on handheld devices it is crucial to fully understand the user group and the handheld technology.

However, there is a lack of comprehensive frameworks and toolkits supporting designers of computerised handheld information systems for the mobile workforce. The aim of this dissertation is to address this issue by developing both a framework and a toolkit for use early in the design process.

To develop and evaluate the framework and the toolkit, various qualitative methods such as interviews, artefact studies, and experiments were applied for assessing both users’ and designers’ views on handheld computing. The analysis is made from a designers’ perspective and based on the entities, user, application, context and technologies.

The proposed accentuated factors framework is a comprehensive framework of fifteen factors, evaluated and approved by experienced practitioners.

The HISD Toolkit presented is based on the accentuated factors framework and supported by the design propositions Least Common Denominator, Flexible Forms, Tune-In and Defensive Design, which are also presented in this dissertation.

The main implication for research is the use of the accentuated factors framework in analysis of handheld computing. The main implications in practice are the use of the HISD Toolkit in the design of handheld information systems, in the teaching of handheld computing, and in the evaluation of existing systems as in the procurement of computerised handheld information systems.

The study has been supported by the Swedish Research School of Management and Information Technology (MIT)


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Information Systems, Social aspects


  • Mobile Computing, Design Science, Digital Ranger, Handheld Computing, Informatics, Informatik, System Development, Handheld Information Systems, Accentuated Factor Framework
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
Supervisors/Assistant supervisor
  • Sven Carlsson, Supervisor
  • Keller, Christina, Supervisor, External person
  • Stefan Henningsson, Supervisor
Award date2012 May 22
  • Tryckeriet i E-huset, Lunds universitet
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Publication categoryResearch

Bibliographic note

Defence details Date: 2012-05-22 Time: 13:15 Place: Holger Crafoord Centre, EC2:101, Ole Römers väg 6 External reviewer(s) Name: Nilsson, Anders G. Title: [unknown] Affiliation: Inst. för Data- och systemvetenskap, SU/Avdelningen för informatik och projektledning, Karlstads Universitet ---

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