Commenced in January 2007
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Aspects to Motivate users of a Design Engineering Wiki to Share their Knowledge

Authors: Regine W. Vroom, Lysanne E. Vossen, Anoek M. Geers


Industrial design engineering is an information and knowledge intensive job. Although Wikipedia offers a lot of this information, design engineers are better served with a wiki tailored to their job, offering information in a compact manner and functioning as a design tool. For that reason WikID has been developed. However for the viability of a wiki, an active user community is essential. The main subject of this paper is a study to the influence of the communication and the contents of WikID on the user-s willingness to contribute. At first the theory about a website-s first impression, general usability guidelines and user motivation in an online community is studied. Using this theory, the aspects of the current site are analyzed on their suitability. These results have been verified with a questionnaire amongst 66 industrial design engineers (or students industrial design engineering). The main conclusion is that design engineers are enchanted with the existence of WikID and its knowledge structure (taxonomy) but this structure has not become clear without any guidance. In other words, the knowledge structure is very helpful for inspiring and guiding design engineers through their tailored knowledge domain in WikID but this taxonomy has to be better communicated on the main page. Thereby the main page needs to be fitted more to the target group preferences.

Keywords: Industrial Design Engineering Knowledge, SemanticWiki, User Willingness to Contribute Knowledge to a Wiki, Influence of Website Content to User Activation.

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