Kicking a habit is tough, especially if one has been blogging for more than two years and a unique piece of research work is on the table. So this blog is the exception to confirm the rule.
Today I've been reading a bit of research by Dennis Abrazhevich on how to design payment systems in a proper way. It is a Ph D study that is solidly scientific as well as practical. See this summary of the Ph D. The Ph D will be defended next monday in Eindhoven (also the place where Stefan Brands defended his Ph D) and I will make sure to show up.
As far as I can see, the Ph D study is the first bit of scientifically screened research on user interaction in retail payments. Most work in this domain remains limited to in-house knowledge of banks and card-organisations which is not scientifically checked but checked against a gut-feeling: 'fitness for use' in combination with some user testing. And more often than not, legacy systems are the constraints that limit the actual product features.
In the case of this study, the actual validation of design criteria occured with a system called: Payphone. The system was set up and tested by Postbank and Comsys, companies that are both open to new developments, learning and innovation and perhaps therefore not afraid of the results of scientific testing of applications. While it is impossible to summarize the results the research demonstrates that there may be a lot of trust to be wun by informing users better on the security measures and security policies.
As I understand it, the author is (still) on the look-out for assignments or regular jobs in his specialty. Given the fact that Dennis has also reviewed the user interface of e-wallets and websites, I can only assume that his Ph D marks the beginning of a fruitful career.