Our research aims to explore the relationship between new technologies and people's expectations and behaviours of them and at how this interaction constructs the digital economy and digital society. We have identified significant social, cultural, organisational and technological obstacles that mar peoples' experience of e-commerce or e-government.
Emerging from this analysis of negative experiences, we have, and continue to, develop design frameworks, usability guidelines and customer/citizen relationship management (CRM) strategies to facilitate successful longer-term relationships between customers and businesses and between citizens and government or public services.
In e-commerce, our focus is on customer satisfaction and retention. We examine the customer experience during the entire service encounter, identifying customers' needs and expectations at each stage. We have developed a model of customers' purchase and consumption behaviour and a service quality framework. This has been applied in the design and evaluation of a number of e-commerce environments.
In e-government our focus on enhancing government and public service effectiveness and efficiency. We are particularly interested in how technologies can deliver social and public value by promoting trust and enhancing both social capital and social inclusion. Research on Direct Deliberative Democracy seeks to understand how local communities may use social media to develop citizen engagement and self-governance.
The focus of enquiry has been on fundamental challenges that are commonly proposed in respect of community engagement and organisation: the difficulty of coordinating direct participation, the expertise required of participants, the often underestimated dynamics of power in direct action, and that deliberation is not necessarily the sole, ideal mode of participation.