Digital service analysis and design: the role of process modelling

Steven Buchanan, David McMenemy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)
259 Downloads (Pure)


Digital libraries are evolving from content-centric systems to person-centric systems. Emergent services are interactive and multidimensional, associated systems multi-tiered and distributed. A holistic perspective is essential to their effective analysis and design, for beyond technical considerations, there are complex social, economic, organisational, and ergonomic requirements and relationships to consider. Such a perspective cannot be gained without direct user involvement, yet evidence suggests that development teams may be failing to effectively engage with users, relying on requirements derived from anecdotal evidence or prior experience. In such instances, there is a risk that services might be well designed, but functionally useless. This paper highlights the role of process modelling in gaining such perspective. Process modelling challenges, approaches, and success factors are considered, discussed with reference to a recent evaluation of usability and usefulness of a UK National Health Service (NHS) digital library. Reflecting on lessons learnt, recommendations are made regarding appropriate process modelling approach and application.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)251-256
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Information Management
Issue number3
Early online date9 Dec 2011
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2012


  • digital services
  • process modelling
  • system usefulness
  • digital service analysis
  • digital library
  • content-centric systems
  • person-centric systems


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