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Human-Computer Interaction 21

Editors:Thomas P. Moran
Publisher:Lawrence Erlbaum Associates
Standard No:ISSN 0737-0024
Links:Table of Contents
  1. HCI 2006 Volume 21 Issue 1
  2. HCI 2006 Volume 21 Issue 2
  3. HCI 2006 Volume 21 Issue 3
  4. HCI 2006 Volume 21 Issue 4

HCI 2006 Volume 21 Issue 1

Introduction to This Special Issue on Foundations of Design in HCI BIBFull-Text 1-3
  John M. Carroll
Design Perspectives BIBAFull-Text 5-48
  Lars Hult; Magnus Irestig; Jonas Lundberg
In this article we argue that a structured use of perspective descriptions can support a design process. A design perspective is a coherent set of values and aspects emphasized by the designer in a given design situation. We present a generic framework for describing 7 dimensions of perspectives concerning user, artifact, context, activities, communication, central relations, and use qualities that we argue are relevant in a design situation. Subsequently we use this metaperspective to describe four perspectives: tool, architectural, usability, and media perspective distilled from literature sources. By conducting two design workshops, we have evaluated the effects of using perspective descriptions to address the problem of idea generation in the early phases of design. Our analysis shows that the perspectives contain values that can have an important impact on the resulting artifact. By guiding the exploration of the design space, they influence both the artifact's conceptual idea and its use qualities. In our design example, a car game, the conceptual idea of the artifact varied from a goal-oriented tool to a media-based communication experience. Use qualities varied from a task-based flow of action to a format-dependent communication experience. The perspectives served as a synthesis of basic assumptions from the literature and as support to generate conceptually different design ideas. Based on the outcome of our study, we propose an approach for working with design perspectives in design practice, and education. We also present an agenda for research on design perspectives.
Pattern Languages in HCI: A Critical Review BIBAFull-Text 49-102
  Andy Dearden; Janet Finlay
This article presents a critical review of patterns and pattern languages in human-computer interaction (HCI). In recent years, patterns and pattern languages have received considerable attention in HCI for their potential as a means for developing and communicating information and knowledge to support good design. This review examines the background to patterns and pattern languages in HCI, and seeks to locate pattern languages in relation to other approaches to interaction design. The review explores four key issues: What is a pattern? What is a pattern language? How are patterns and pattern languages used? and How are values reflected in the pattern-based approach to design? Following on from the review, a future research agenda is proposed for patterns and pattern languages in HCI.
Designing as Construction of Representations: A Dynamic Viewpoint in Cognitive Design Research BIBAFull-Text 103-152
  Willemien Visser
This article presents a cognitively oriented viewpoint on design. It focuses on cognitive, dynamic aspects of real design, that is, the actual cognitive activity implemented by designers during their work on professional design projects. Rather than conceiving designing as problem solving -- Simon's symbolic information processing (SIP) approach -- or as a reflective practice or some other form of situated activity -- the situativity (SIT) approach -- we consider that, from a cognitive viewpoint, designing is most appropriately characterised as a construction of representations. After a critical discussion of the SIP and SIT approaches to design, we present our viewpoint. This presentation concerns the evolving nature of representations regarding levels of abstraction and degrees of precision, the function of external representations, and specific qualities of representation in collective design. Designing is described at three levels: the organisation of the activity, its strategies, and its design-representation construction activities (different ways to generate, transform, and evaluate representations). Even if we adopt a "generic design" stance, we claim that design can take different forms depending on the nature of the artefact, and we propose some candidates for dimensions that allow a distinction to be made between these forms of design. We discuss the potential specificity of HCI design, and the lack of cognitive design research occupied with the quality of design. We close our discussion of representational structures and activities by an outline of some directions regarding their functional linkages.

HCI 2006 Volume 21 Issue 2

Modeling the Visual Search of Displays: A Revised ACT-R Model of Icon Search Based on Eye-Tracking Data BIBAFull-Text 153-197
  Michael D. Fleetwood; Michael D. Byrne
Because of the visual nature of computer use, researchers and designers of computer systems would like to gain some insight into the visual search strategies of computer users. Icons, a common component of graphical user interfaces, serve as the focus for a set of studies aimed at (1) developing a detailed understanding of how people search for an icon in a typically crowded screen of other icons that vary in similarity to the target, and (2) building a cognitively plausible model that simulates the processes inferred in the human search process. An eye-tracking study of the task showed that participants rarely refixated icons that they had previously examined, and that participants used an efficient search strategy of examining distractor icons nearest to their current point of gaze. These findings were integrated into an ACT-R model of the task using EMMA and a "nearest" strategy. The model fit the response time data of participants as well as a previous model of the task, but was a much better fit to the eye movement data.
Virtual Video Prototyping BIBAFull-Text 199-233
  Kim Halskov; Rune Nielsen
Computing power is an integrated part of our physical environment, and since our physical environment is three-dimensional, the virtual studio technology, with its unique potential for visualizing digital 3D objects and environments along with physical objects, offers an obvious path to pursue in order to envision future usage scenarios in the domain of pervasive computing.
   We label the work method virtual video prototyping, which grew out of a number of information systems design techniques along with approaches to visualization in the field of architecture and set design.
   We present a collection of virtual video prototyping cases and use them as the platform for a discussion, which pinpoint advantages and disadvantages of working with virtual video prototyping as a tool for communication, experimentation and reflection in the design process. Based on more than ten cases we have made the observations that virtual video prototypes 1) are a powerful medium of communication in development teams and for communication with industry partners and potential investors, 2) support both testing and generating ideas 3) are particular suited for addressing spatial issues and new ways of interacting. In addition practical use of virtual video prototypes has indicated the need to take into account some critical issues including a) production resources, b) hand-on experience, and c) the seductive power of virtual video prototypes.
The Watcher and the Watched: Social Judgments About Privacy in a Public Place BIBAFull-Text 235-272
  Batya Friedman; Peter H., Jr. Kahn; Jennifer Hagman; Rachel L. Severson; Brian Gill
Digitally capturing and displaying real-time images of people in public places raises concerns for individual privacy. Applying principles of Value Sensitive Design, we conducted two studies of people's social judgments about this topic. In Study I, 750 people were surveyed as they walked through a public plaza that was being captured by a HDTV camera and displayed in real-time in the office of a building overlooking the plaza. In Study II, 120 individuals were interviewed about the same topic. Moreover, Study II controlled for whether the participant was a direct stakeholder of the technology (inside the office watching people on the HDTV large-plasma display window) or an indirect stakeholder (being watched in the public venue). Taking both studies together, results showed the following: (a) the majority of participants upheld some modicum of privacy in public; (b) people's privacy judgments were not a one-dimensional construct, but often involved considerations based on physical harm, psychological wellbeing, and informed consent; and (c) more women than men expressed concerns about the installation, and, unlike the men, equally brought forward their concerns whether they were The Watcher or The Watched.

HCI 2006 Volume 21 Issue 3

Communication via Videoconference: Emotional and Cognitive Consequences of Affective Personality Dispositions, Seeing One's Own Picture, and Disturbing Events BIBAFull-Text 273-318
  Jurgen Wegge
Experiment 1 examined the behavior of 88 students participating in a simulated oral examination via videoconference. Dispositional test anxiety was assessed and the size of the picture of candidates was manipulated. As expected, high-anxious students reported higher emotional arousal and achieved lower performance than low-anxious students. However, performance differences were only found when the large picture of candidates was presented. Experiment 2 investigated reactions of 60 students during the simulation of a less threatening consultation episode. The nature of video information and the occurrence of disturbing events were manipulated. In addition, the dispositions positive and negative affectivity were assessed. As expected, these dispositions had a significant impact on the experience of emotions. Controlling for these dispositional effects, results revealed an intensification of expressing anger in conditions in which participants saw their own picture. Moreover, the occurrence of problems during communication yielded strong dislike, longing and shame, low counseling quality, and low task performance in particular if participants could see their own picture simultaneously. Thus, seeing one's own picture can easily arouse negative affective reactions. As both studies reveal that seeing one's own picture might also hinder performance, the role of one's own picture in a videoconference deserves much more attention in practice and theory.
Collective Information Practice: Exploring Privacy and Security as Social and Cultural Phenomena BIBAFull-Text 319-342
  Paul Dourish; Ken Anderson
As everyday life is increasingly conducted online, and as the electronic world continues to move out into the physical, the privacy of information and action and the security of information systems are increasingly a focus of concern both for the research community and the public at large. Accordingly, privacy and security are active topics of investigation from a wide range of perspectives-institutional, legislative, technical, interactional, and more. In this article, we wish to contribute toward a broad understanding of privacy and security not simply as technical phenomena but as embedded in social and cultural contexts. Privacy and security are difficult concepts to manage from a technical perspective precisely because they are caught up in larger collective rhetorics and practices of risk, danger, secrecy, trust, morality, identity, and more. Reductive attempts to deal with these issues separately produce incoherent or brittle results. We argue for a move away from narrow views of privacy and security and toward a holistic view of situated and collective information practice.

HCI 2006 Volume 21 Issue 4

Experimental Evaluations of the Twiddler One-Handed Chording Mobile Keyboard BIBAFull-Text 343-392
  Kent Lyons; Thad Starner; Brian Gane
The HandyKey Twiddler is a one-handed chording mobile keyboard that employs a 3 x 4 button design, similar to that of a standard mobile telephone. We present a longitudinal study of novice users' learning rates on the Twiddler. Ten participants typed for 20 sessions using 2 different text entry methods. Each session was composed of 20 min of typing with multitap and 20 min of one-handed chording on the Twiddler. We found that users initially had a faster average typing rate with multitap; however, after 4 sessions the difference became negligible, and by the 8th session participants typed faster with chording on the Twiddler. Five participants continued our study and achieved an average rate of 47 words per minute (wpm) after approximately 25 hr of practice in varying conditions. One participant achieved an average rate of 67 wpm, equivalent to the typing rate of the 2nd author, who has been a Twiddler user for 10 years. We analyze the effects of learning on various aspects of chording, provide evidence that lack of visual feedback does not hinder expert typing speed, and examine the potential use of multicharacter chords (MCCs) to increase text entry speed. Finally, we explore improving novice user's experience with the Twiddler through the use of a chording tutorial.
How to Overcome Disorientation in Mobile Phone Menus: A Comparison of Two Different Types of Navigation Aids BIBAFull-Text 393-433
  Martina Ziefle; Susanne Bay
The current study was concerned with the basic question of how to overcome users' disorientation when navigating through hierarchical menus in small-screen technical devices, as for example mobile phones. In these devices, menu functions are typically organized in a tree structure. Two different navigation aids were implemented into a computer simulation of a real mobile phone (Siemens S45). The interface of the first navigation aid (the "category" aid) showed the name of the current category as well as a list of its contents. The interface of the other navigation aid (the "tree" aid) was identical to the first except that it also showed the parents and parentparents of the current of the category and it indented the subcategories to emphasize the hierarchical structure. For the study, 16 younger (23-28 years) and 16 older adults (46-60 years) had to solve 9 common phone tasks twice consecutively to measure learnability. To gain further insight into user characteristics modulating navigation performance and possibly interacting with the utility of the navigation aids, we assessed users' verbal memory and spatial abilities. Dependent variables were task effectiveness (number of tasks solved) and efficiency (time on task, number of returns in menu hierarchy, and returns to the top). The results reveal a consistent and significant advantage of the tree aid for both age groups, an advantage that was larger for users with lower spatial abilities and older adults. In general, older adults had lower verbal memory and spatial abilities, which were found to account for their lower navigation performance. We assume that the strong advantage of the tree aid is due to the spatial information on the menu structure, which thus conveys survey knowledge. This allows users to form an adequate mental representation of the menu. It is recommended to add a navigation aid providing survey knowledge into the displays of small-screen devices to achieve better overall performance.