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EHCI Tables of Contents: 010407

2004 Engineering for Human-Computer Interaction 2004-07-11

Fullname:Engineering Human Computer Interaction and Interactive Systems: Joint Working Conferences EHCI-DSVIS 2004, Revised Selected Papers
Editors:Rémi Bastide; Philippe Palanque; Jörg Roth
Location:Hamburg, Germany
Dates:2004-Jul-11 to 2004-Jul-13
Publisher:Springer Berlin Heidelberg for IFIP
Series:Lecture Notes in Computer Science 3425
Standard No:DOI: 10.1007/b136790 hcibib: EHCI04; ISBN: 978-3-540-26097-4 (print), 978-3-540-31961-0 (online)
Links:Online Proceedings
  1. Usability
  2. Task Modelling
  3. Browsing and Searching
  4. Model-Based Approaches
  5. Ubiquitous Computing
  6. Bridging Viewpoints
  7. Plastic and Adaptive Interfaces
  8. Groupware


Bringing Usability Concerns to the Design of Software Architecture BIBAFull-Text 1-19
  Bonnie E. John; Len Bass; Maria-Isabel Sanchez-Segura; Rob J. Adams
Software architects have techniques to deal with many quality attributes such as performance, reliability, and maintainability. Usability, however, has traditionally been concerned primarily with presentation and not been a concern of software architects beyond separating the user interface from the remainder of the application. In this paper, we introduce usability-supporting architectural patterns. Each pattern describes a usability concern that is not supported by separation alone. For each concern, a usability-supporting architectural pattern provides the forces from the characteristics of the task and environment, the human, and the state of the software to motivate an implementation independent solution cast in terms of the responsibilities that must be fulfilled to satisfy the forces. Furthermore, each pattern includes a sample solution implemented in the context of an overriding separation based pattern such as J2EE Model View Controller.
Empirical Usability Testing in a Component-Based Environment: Improving Test Efficiency with Component-Specific Usability Measures BIBAFull-Text 20-37
  Willem-Paul Brinkman; Reinder Haakma; Don G. Bouwhuis
This paper addresses the issue of usability testing in a component-based software engineering environment, specifically measuring the usability of different versions of a component in a more powerful manner than other, more holistic, usability methods. Three component-specific usability measures are presented: an objective performance measure, a perceived ease-of-use measure, and a satisfaction measure. The objective performance measure is derived from the message exchange between components recorded in a log file, whereas the other measures are obtained through a questionnaire. The power of the measures was studied in an experimental setting. Eight different prototypes of a mobile telephone were subjected to usability tests, in which 80 subjects participated. Analyses of the statistical power of these measures show that the component-specific performance measure can be more powerful than overall usability measures, which means fewer users are needed in a test.
Software Architecture Analysis of Usability BIBAFull-Text 38-58
  Eelke Folmer; Jilles van Gurp; Jan Bosch
Studies of software engineering projects show that a large number of usability related change requests are made after its deployment. Fixing usability problems during the later stages of development often proves to be costly, since many of the necessary changes require changes to the system that cannot be easily accommodated by its software architecture. These high costs prevent developers from meeting all the usability requirements, resulting in systems with less than optimal usability. The successful development of a usable software system therefore must include creating a software architecture that supports the right level of usability. Unfortunately, no documented evidence exists of architecture level assessment techniques focusing on usability. To support software architects in creating a software architecture that supports usability, we present a scenario based assessment technique that has been successfully applied in several cases. Explicit evaluation of usability during architectural design may reduce the risk of building a system that fails to meet its usability requirements and may prevent high costs incurring adaptive maintenance activities once the system has been implemented.

Task Modelling

Support for Task Modeling -- A "Constructive" Exploration BIBAFull-Text 59-76
  Anke Dittmar; Peter Forbrig; Simone Heftberger; Chris Stary
Although model-based approaches focusing on task modeling for user-interface design are well accepted among researchers, they are rarely used by industrial developers. Besides a lack of theoretical frameworks for task modeling insufficient tool support might be the reason for the low diffusion of this approach to interactive software-development processes. Thus, we explored the leading-edge tools TaOSpec, ProcessLens, and CTTE with respect to the formal representation of work tasks, and the creation of task scenarios. The results reveal that current model-based design approaches should be more conceivable by their users with respect to work tasks and their organization. This objective can be met by embedding scenario-based design elements into current tools, thus, increasing integrative tool and organizational development support.
DynaMo-AID: A Design Process and a Runtime Architecture for Dynamic Model-Based User Interface Development BIBAKFull-Text 77-95
  Tim Clerckx; Kris Luyten; Karin Coninx
The last few years a lot of research efforts have been spent on user interfaces for pervasive computing. This paper shows a design process and a runtime architecture, DynaMo-AID, that provide design support and a runtime architecture for context-aware user interfaces. In the process attention is focused on the specification of the tasks the user and the application will have to perform, together with other entities related to tasks, like dialog and presentation. In this paper we will show how we can model tasks, dialogs, and presentation when the designer wants to develop context-sensitive user interfaces. Besides the design process, a runtime architecture will be presented supporting context-sensitive user interfaces. Pervasive user interfaces can change during the runtime of the interactive application due to a change of context or when a service becomes available to the application. We will show that traditional models like task, environment and dialog model have to be extended to tackle these new problems. This is why we provide modeling and runtime support solutions for design and development of context-sensitive user interfaces.
Keywords: model-based user interface design; pervasive user interface; context; design process; runtime architecture; task model; service
Using Task Modelling Concepts for Achieving Adaptive Workflows BIBAFull-Text 96-111
  Carsten Eichholz; Anke Dittmar; Peter Forbrig
Business processes are usually described by abstract workflow specifications. However, existing workflow descriptions are often too restricted to reflect the true nature of work. For instance tasks might be added or deleted during execution. The presently available workflow management systems insufficiently support the desired flexibility for workflows. In this article we present an approach, how certain kinds of adaptability can be achieved on the base of task modelling combined with the principle of "Order & Supply". Task models offer means to describe the way humans perform tasks in cooperation focussing on the individual level. We show that the principles of task modelling can also be used for cooperative workflow models providing means on group level.

Browsing and Searching

Mixing Research Methods in HCI: Ethnography Meets Experimentation in Image Browser Design BIBAKFull-Text 112-128
  T. C. Ormerod; J. Mariani; N. J. Morley; T. Rodden; A. Crabtree; J. Mathrick; G. Hitch; K. Lewis
We report the specification and evaluation of a browser designed to support sharing of digital photographs. The project integrated outcomes from experiments, ethnographic observations, and single-case immersive observations to specify and evaluate browser technologies. As well as providing and evaluating new browser concepts, a key outcome of our research is a case study showing the successful integration of ethnography and experimentation, research and design methods that are often viewed as orthogonal, sometimes even mutually exclusive, in HCI.
Keywords: Ethnography; controlled experimentation; digital photographs; browser design and evaluation
"Tell Me a Story" Issues on the Design of Document Retrieval Systems BIBAFull-Text 129-145
  Daniel Gonçalves; Joaquim Jorge
Despite the growing numbers and diversity of electronic documents, the ways in which they are cataloged and retrieved remain largely unchanged. Storing a document requires classifying it, usually into a hierarchic file system. Such classification schemes aren't easy to use, causing undue cognitive loads. The shortcomings of current approaches are mostly felt when retrieving documents. Indeed, how a document was classified often provides the main clue to its whereabouts. However, place is seldom what is most readily remembered by users. We argue that the use of narratives, whereby users 'tell the story' of a document, not only in terms of previous interactions with the computer but also relating to a wider "real world" context, will allow for a more natural and efficient retrieval of documents. In support of this, we describe a study where 60 stories about documents were collected and analyzed. The most common narrative elements were identified (time, storage and purpose), and we gained insights on the elements themselves, discovering several probable transitions. From those results, we extract important guidelines for the design of narrative-based document retrieval interfaces. Those guidelines were then validated with the help of two low-fidelity prototypes designed from experimental data. This paper presents these guidelines whilst discussing their relevance to design issues.

Model-Based Approaches

CanonSketch: A User-Centered Tool for Canonical Abstract Prototyping BIBAFull-Text 146-163
  Pedro F. Campos; Nuno J. Nunes
In this paper, we argue that current user interface modeling tools are developed using a formalism-centric approach that does not support the needs of modern software development. In order to solve this problem we need both usable and expressive notations and tools that enable the creation of user-interface specifications that leverage the design and thought process. In this paper we present the CanonSketch tool. CanonSketch supports a new UI specification language -- Canonical Abstract Prototypes (CAP) -- that bridges the gap between envisioned user behavior and the concrete user interface. The tool also supports two additional and synchronized views of the UI: the Wisdom UML presentation extension and concrete HTML user interfaces. In this way the tool seamlessly supports designers while switching from high level abstract views of the UI and low-level concrete realizations.
Finding Iteration Patterns in Dynamic Web Page Authoring BIBAFull-Text 164-178
  José A. Macías; Pablo Castells
Most of the current WWW is made up of dynamic pages. The development of dynamic pages is a difficult and costly endeavour, out-of-reach for most users, experts, and content producers. We have developed a set of techniques to support the edition of dynamic web pages in a WYSIWYG environment. In this paper we focus on specific techniques for inferring changes to page generation procedures from users actions on examples of the pages generated by these procedures. More specifically, we propose techniques for detecting iteration patterns in users' behavior in web page editing tasks involving page structures like lists, tables and other iterative HTML constructs. Such patterns are used in our authoring tool, DESK, where a specialized assistant, DESK-A, detects iteration patterns and generates, using Programming by Example, a programmatic representation of the user's actions. Iteration patterns help obtain a more detailed characterization of users' intent, based on user monitoring techniques, that is put in relation to application knowledge automatically extracted by our system from HTML pages. DESK-A relieves end-users from having to learn programming and specification languages for editing dynamic-generated web pages.
Very-High-Fidelity Prototyping for Both Presentation and Dialogue Parts of Multimodal Interactive Systems BIBAKFull-Text 179-199
  David Navarre; Pierre Dragicevic; Philippe Palanque; Rémi Bastide; Amélie Schyn
This paper presents a tool suite (made up of two previously unrelated approaches) for the engineering of multimodal Post-WIMP Interactive Systems. The first element of this integration is ICOM (a data-flow model dedicated to low-level input modelling) and its environment ICON which allows for editing and simulating ICOM models. The other element is ICOs (a formal description technique mainly dedicated to dialogue modelling) and its environment PetShop which allows for editing, simulating and verifying ICOs models. This paper shows how these two approaches have been integrated and how they support multimodal interactive systems engineering. We show on a classical rubber banding case study how these tools can be used for prototyping interactive systems. We also present in details how the changes in the interaction techniques impact the models at various levels of the software architecture.
Keywords: Interactive Systems Engineering; Multimodal interaction; Prototyping; CASE tools; Formal methods; formal description techniques; Post-WIMP
USIXML: A Language Supporting Multi-path Development of User Interfaces BIBAKFull-Text 200-220
  Quentin Limbourg; Jean Vanderdonckt; Benjamin Michotte; Laurent Bouillon; Víctor López-Jaquero
USer Interface eXtensible Markup Language (USIXML) consists in a User Interface Description Language (UIDL) allowing designers to apply a multi-path development of user interfaces. In this development paradigm, a user interface can be specified and produced at and from different, and possibly multiple, levels of abstraction while maintaining the mappings between these levels if required. Thus, the development process can be initiated from any level of abstraction and proceed towards obtaining one or many final user interfaces for various contexts of use at other levels of abstraction. In this way, the model-to-model transformation, which is the cornerstone of Model-Driven Architecture (MDA), can be supported in multiple configurations, based on composition of three basic transformation types: abstraction, reification, and translation.
Keywords: context-sensitive user interface; development processes; modality independence; model-driven architecture; model-to-model transformation; multi-path development; rendering independence; user interface description language
A Novel Dialog Model for the Design of Multimodal User Interfaces BIBAFull-Text 221-223
  Robbie Schaefer; Steffen Bleul; Wolfgang Mueller
Variation in different mobile devices with different capabilities and interaction modalities as well as changing user context in nomadic applications, poses huge challenges to the design of user interfaces. To avoid multiple designs for each device or modality, it is almost a must to employ a model-based approach. In this short paper, we present a new dialog model for multimodal interaction together with an advanced control model, which can either be used for direct modeling by an interface designer or in conjunction with higher level models.
Navigation Patterns -- Pattern Systems Based on Structural Mappings BIBAFull-Text 224-227
  Jürgen Ziegler; Markus Specker
The use of design patterns as a methodical approach to codifying and communicating design knowledge and best practice solutions has become popular in software engineering and, more recently, also in the field of human computer interaction (e.g. [Tidwell, 1999], [Borchers, 2001], [Lyardet et al., 1999] and [van Duyne et al., 2002]). Existing HCI pattern collections, however, often appear rather unsystematic and arbitrarily composed, lacking the quality of a coherent pattern language that some authors have demanded. To address this problem, we propose a stronger conceptual integration of the notions design pattern and design space. Design spaces allow to explore potential design solutions along the values of one or more defined dimensions. We aim at systematizing design patterns by allocating (or deriving) them in (or from) design spaces. This approach allows to not only categorize existing patterns, but also to derive new patterns (which may subsequently be analyzed for their usability).

Ubiquitous Computing

Spatial Control of Interactive Surfaces in an Augmented Environment BIBAFull-Text 228-244
  Stanislaw Borkowski; Julien Letessier; James L. Crowley
New display technologies will enable designers to use every surface as a support for interaction with information technology. In this article, we describe techniques and tools for enabling efficient man-machine interaction in computer augmented multi-surface environments. We focus on explicit interaction, in which the user decides when and where to interact with the system. We present three interaction techniques using simple actuators: fingers, a laser pointer, and a rectangular piece of cardboard. We describe a graphical control interface constructed from an automatically generated and maintained environment model. We implement both the automatic model acquisition and the interaction techniques using a Steerable Camera-Projector (SCP) system.
Manipulating Vibro-Tactile Sequences on Mobile PC BIBAFull-Text 245-252
  Grigori Evreinov; Tatiana Evreinova; Roope Raisamo
Tactile memory is the crucial factor in coding and transfer of the semantic information through a single vibrator. While some simulators can produce strong vibro-tactile sensations, discrimination of several tactile patterns can remain quite poor. Currently used actuators, such as shaking motor, have also technological and methodological restrictions. We designed a vibro-tactile pen and software to create tactons and semantic sequences of vibro-tactile patterns on mobile devices (iPAQ pocket PC). We proposed special games and techniques to simplify learning and manipulating vibro-tactile patterns. The technique for manipulating vibro-tactile sequences is based on gesture recognition and spatial-temporal mapping for imaging vibro-tactile signals. After training, the tactons could be used as awareness cues or the system of non-verbal communication signals.

Bridging Viewpoints

Formalising an Understanding of User-System Misfits BIBAFull-Text 253-270
  Ann Blandford; Thomas R. G. Green; Iain Connell
Many of the difficulties users experience when working with interactive systems arise from misfits between the user's conceptualisation of the domain and device with which they are working and the conceptualisation implemented within those systems. We report an analytical technique called CASSM (Concept-based Analysis for Surface and Structural Misfits) in which such misfits can be formally represented to assist in understanding, describing and reasoning about them. CASSM draws on the framework of Cognitive Dimensions (CDs) in which many types of misfit were classified and presented descriptively, with illustrative examples. CASSM allows precise definitions of many of the CDs, expressed in terms of entities, attributes, actions and relationships. These definitions have been implemented in Cassata, a tool for automated analysis of misfits, which we introduce and describe in some detail.
Supporting a Shared Understanding of Communication-Oriented Concerns in Human-Computer Interaction: A Lexicon-Based Approach BIBAKFull-Text 271-288
  Simone Diniz Junqueira Barbosa; Milene Selbach Silveira; Maíra Greco de Paula; Karin Koogan Breitman
This paper discusses the role of an enhanced extended lexicon as a shared communicative artifact during software design. We describe how it may act as an interlingua that captures the shared understanding of both stakeholders and designers. We argue for the need to address communicative concerns among design team members, as well as from designers to users through the user interface. We thus extend an existing lexicon language (LEL) to address communication-oriented concerns that user interface designers need to take into account when representing their solution to end users. We propose that the enhanced LEL may be used as a valuable resource in model-based design, in modeling the help system, and in engineering the user interface elements and widgets.
Keywords: communication-centered design; model-based design of human-computer interaction; semiotic engineering; language extended lexicon
A Seamless Development Process of Adaptive User Interfaces Explicitly Based on Usability Properties BIBAFull-Text 289-291
  Víctor López-Jaquero; Francisco Montero; José P. Molina; P. González; A. Fernández-Caballero
This work is aimed at the specification of usable adaptive user interfaces. A model-based method is used, which have been proved useful to address this task. The specification created is described in terms of abstract interaction objects, which are translated into concrete interaction objects for each particular platform. An adaptive engine is also proposed to improve the usability at runtime by means of a multi-agent system.

Plastic and Adaptive Interfaces

More Principled Design of Pervasive Computing Systems BIBAFull-Text 292-305
  Simon Dobson; Paddy Nixon
Pervasive computing systems are interactive systems in the large, whose behaviour must adapt to the user's changing tasks and environment using different interface modalities and devices. Since the system adapts to its changing environment, it is vital that there are close links between the structure of the environment and the corresponding structured behavioural changes. We conjecture that predictability in pervasive computing arises from having a close, structured and easily-grasped relationship between the context and the behavioural change that context engenders. In current systems this relationship is not explicitly articulated but instead exists implicitly in the system's reaction to events. Our aim is to capture the relationship in a way that can be used to both analyse pervasive computing systems and aid their design. Moreover, some applications will have a wide range of behaviours; others will vary less, or more subtly. The point is not so much what a system does as how what it does varies with context. In this paper we address the principles and semantics that underpin truly pervasive systems.
Towards a New Generation of Widgets for Supporting Software Plasticity: The "Comet" BIBAFull-Text 306-324
  Gaëlle Calvary; Joëlle Coutaz; Olfa Dâassi; Lionel Balme; Alexandre Demeure
This paper addresses software adaptation to context of use. It goes one step further than our early work on plasticity [5]. Here, we propose a revision of the notion of software plasticity that we apply at the widget level in terms of comets. Plasticity is defined as the ability of an interactive system to withstand variations of context of use while preserving quality in use where quality in use refers to the ISO definition. Plasticity is not limited to the UI components of an interactive system, nor to a single platform: adaptation to context of use may also impact the functional core, it may have an effect on the nature of the connectors, and it may draw upon the existence of multiple platforms in the vicinity to migrate all or portions of the interactive system. A new reference framework that structures the development process of plastic interactive systems is presented to cover these issues. The framework is then applied at the granularity of widgets to provide the notion of a comet. A comet is an introspective widget that is able to self-adapt to some context of use, or that can be adapted by a tier-component to the context of use, or that can be dynamically discarded (versus recruited) when it is unable (versus able) to cover the current context of use. To do so, a comet publishes the quality in use it guarantees, the user tasks and the domain concepts that it is able to support, as well as the extent to which it supports adaptation.
Using Interaction Style to Match the Ubiquitous User Interface to the Device-to-Hand BIBAFull-Text 325-345
  Stephen W. Gilroy; Michael D. Harrison
Ubiquitous computing requires a multitude of devices to have access to the same services. Abstract specifications of user interfaces are designed to separate the definition of a user interface from that of the underlying service. This paper proposes the incorporation of interaction style into this type of specification. By selecting an appropriate interaction style, an interface can be better matched to the device being used. Specifications that are based upon three different styles have been developed, together with a prototype Style-Based Interaction System (SIS) that utilises these specifications to provide concrete user interfaces for a device. An example weather query service is described, including specifications of user interfaces for this service that use the three different styles as well as example concrete user interfaces that SIS can produce.
Supporting Flexible Development of Multi-device Interfaces BIBAFull-Text 346-362
  Francesco Correani; Giulio Mori; Fabio Paternò
Tools based on the use of multiple abstraction levels have shown to be a useful solution for developing multi-device interfaces. To obtain general solutions in this area it is important to provide flexible environments with multiple entry points and support for redesigning existing interfaces for different platforms. In general, a one-shot approach can be too limiting. This paper shows how it is possible to support a flexible development cycle with entry points at various abstraction levels and the ability to change the underlying design at intermediate stages. It also shows how redesign from desktop to mobile platforms can be obtained. Such features have recently been implemented in a new version of the TERESA tool.


The Software Design Board: A Tool Supporting Workstyle Transitions in Collaborative Software Design BIBAFull-Text 363-382
  James Wu; T. C. N. Graham
Software design is a team activity, and designing effective tools to support collaborative software design is a challenging task. Designers work together in a variety of different styles, and move frequently between these styles throughout the course of their work. As a result, software design tools need to support a variety of collaborative styles, and support fluid movement between these styles. This paper presents the Software Design Board, a prototype collaborative design tool supporting a variety of styles of collaboration, and facilitating transitions between them. The design of Software Design Board was motivated by empirical research demonstrating the importance of such support in collaborative software design, as well as activity analysis identifying the lack of support in existing tools for different styles of collaboration and transitions between them.
Supporting Group Awareness in Distributed Software Development BIBAFull-Text 383-397
  Carl Gutwin; Kevin Schneider; David Paquette; Reagan Penner
Collaborative software development presents a variety of coordination and communication problems, particularly when teams are geographically distributed. One reason for these problems is the difficulty of staying aware of others -- keeping track of information about who is working on the project, who is active, and what tasks people have been working on. Current software development environments do not show much information about people, and developers often must use text-based tools to determine what is happening in the group. We have built a system that assists distributed developers in maintaining awareness of others. ProjectWatcher observes fine-grained user edits and presents that information visually on a representation of a project's artifacts. The system displays general awareness information and also provides a resource for more detailed questions about others' activities.