Up to now, we may summarise, a KMS can be evaluated (in a broad sense) according to the degree to which it satisfies the following conditions:
These conditions have to be based on specific requirements according to:
Our investigations in the domain of documentation, however, have shown that user interviews can only help to a limited extent for improving knowledge management systems and information retrieval procedures. This is because users can only evaluate and require what they know and what they can imagine; new application technologies have to be initiated (introduced) first. This is very well demonstrated within the field of virtual reality (VR), which, currently, has not received very much attention, although it provides one essential basis of future software and hardware systems in any application area in industry and commerce, education, training, health care, entertainment and the arts (not to mention military applications, cf. the role of VR in the Gulf war).
In this section, we have outlined how the design and specification stages of a workbench for documentation can trigger the evolution of an evaluation methodology. Now, the next step will be to formalise this process, i.e. to define the actual evaluation procedures. This will be the subject of the following phases of EAGLES work.