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Human-Computer Interaction 26

Editors:Thomas P. Moran
Publisher:Taylor and Francis Group
Standard No:ISSN 0737-0024
Links:Table of Contents
  1. HCI 2011-03-102011-03 Volume 26 Issue 1/2
  2. HCI 2011-08-302011-09 Volume 26 Issue 3
  3. HCI 2011-11-232011-12 Volume 26 Issue 4

HCI 2011-03-102011-03 Volume 26 Issue 1/2

Introduction to this Special Issue on Sensemaking BIBFull-Text 1-8
  Peter Pirolli; Daniel M. Russell
Resolving Safety-Critical Incidents in a Rally Control Center BIBAFull-Text 9-37
  Mikael Wahlström; Antti Salovaara; Leena Salo; Antti Oulasvirta
Control centers in large-scale events entail heterogeneous combinations of off-the-shelf and proprietary systems built into ordinary rooms, and in this respect they place themselves in an interesting contrast to more permanent control rooms with custom-made systems and a large number of operational procedures. In this article we ask how it is possible for a control center that is seemingly so "ad hoc" in nature to achieve a remarkable safety level in the face of many safety-critical incidents. We present analyses of data collected in two FIA World Rally Championships events. The results highlight three aspects of the workers' practices: (a) the practice of making use of redundancy in technologically mediated representations, (b) the practice of updating the intersubjective understanding of the incident status through verbal coordination, and (c) the practice of reacting immediately to emergency messages even without a comprehensive view of the situation, and gradually iterating one's hypothesis to correct the action. This type of collaborative setting imposes special demands to support the practices of absorbing, translating, and manipulating incoming information.
Making Sense of Digital Footprints in Team-Based Legal Investigations: The Acquisition of Focus BIBAFull-Text 38-71
  Simon Attfield; Ann Blandford
Sensemaking occurs when people face the problem of forming an understanding of a situation. One scenario in which technology has a particularly significant impact on sensemaking and its success is in legal investigations. Legal investigations extend over time, are resource intensive, and require the sifting and re-representation of large collections of electronic evidence and close collaboration between multiple investigators. In this article, we present an account of sensemaking in three corporate legal investigations. We summarize information interaction processes in the form of a model which conceptualizes processes as resource transformations triggered and shaped by both bottom-up and top-down resources. The model both extends upon and validates aspects of a previous account of investigative sensemaking (Pirolli dynamically associating documents of a given type; interacting with documents in fluid ways; linking external representation elements to evidence; filtering external representations in flexible ways; and viewing external representations at different levels of scale and fidelity. Finally, we use our data to analyze the conceptual elements within a "line of inquiry." This provides a framework that can form the basis for partitioning information into hierarchically embedded inquiry 'contexts' within collaborative sensemaking systems.
Sensemaking in Collaborative Web Search BIBAFull-Text 72-122
  Sharoda A. Paul; Meredith Ringel Morris
Sensemaking is an important aspect of information-seeking tasks but has mostly been studied at the individual level. We conducted a study of sensemaking in collaborative Web search using SearchTogether and found that collaborators face several challenges in making sense of information during collaborative search tasks. We built and evaluated a new tool, CoSense, which enhanced sensemaking in SearchTogether. The evaluation of CoSense provided insights into how collaborative sensemaking differed from individual sensemaking in terms of the different kinds of information that collaborators needed to make sense of. In this article we discuss findings about how sensemaking occurs in synchronous and asynchronous collaboration and the challenges participants face in handling handoffs. We found that participants had two different strategies of handling handoffs -- search-lead and sensemaking-lead -- and that participants with these two strategies exhibited different procedural knowledge of sensemaking. We also discuss how complex and varied the products of sensemaking are during a collaborative search task. Through our evaluation of CoSense we provide insights into the design of tools that can enhance sensemaking in collaborative search tasks.
Self-Directed Learning and the Sensemaking Paradox BIBAFull-Text 123-159
  Kirsten R. Butcher; Tamara Sumner
Educative sensemaking focuses on the needs of self-directed learners, a nonexpert population of thinkers who must locate relevant information sources, evaluate the applicability and accuracy of digital resources for learning, and determine how and when to use these resources to complete educational tasks. Self-directed learners face a sensemaking paradox: They must employ deep-level thinking skills to process information sources meaningfully, but they often lack the requisite domain knowledge needed to deeply analyze information sources and to successfully integrate incoming information with their own existing knowledge. In this article, we focus on the needs of college-aged students engaged in learning about natural sciences using web-based learning resources. We explored the impact of cognitive personalization technologies on students' sensemaking processes using a controlled study in which students' cognitive and metacognitive processes were analyzed as they completed a common educational task: writing an essay. We coded students' observable on-screen behaviors, self-reported processes, final essays, and responses to domain assessments to assess benefits of personalization technologies on students' educative sensemaking. Results show that personalization supported students' analysis of knowledge representations, helped students work with their representations in meaningful ways, and supported effective encoding of new knowledge. We discuss implications for new technologies to help students overcome the educative sensemaking paradox.

HCI 2011-08-302011-09 Volume 26 Issue 3

Where Am I? How Can I Get There? Impact of Navigability and Narrative Transportation on Spatial Presence BIBAFull-Text 161-204
  Bimal Balakrishnan; S. Shyam Sundar
From video games to virtual worlds on the World Wide Web, modern media are becoming increasingly spatial, with users traversing artificial spaces and experiencing a kind of immersion known as "spatial presence." But how do these media induce spatial presence? Are the affordances for movement provided by these technologies responsible for this illusion? Or do narratives that accompany them persuade us to suspend disbelief and transport ourselves into a virtual space? We explore these theoretical questions by pitting the navigability affordances of a video game against narrative transportation and examining their relative contributions to the formation of spatial presence in a virtual reality context. Results from a large experiment (N = 240) reveal that the narrative actually detracts from spatial presence while traversibility (in the form of greater degrees of steering motion) enhances it even without invoking a mental model of the portrayed environment. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.
A Real-Time Eye Tracking System for Predicting and Preventing Postcompletion Errors BIBAFull-Text 205-245
  Raj M. Ratwani; J. Gregory Trafton
Procedural errors occur despite the user having the correct knowledge of how to perform a particular task. Previous research has mostly focused on preventing these errors by redesigning tasks to eliminate error prone steps. A different method of preventing errors, specifically postcompletion errors (e.g., forgetting to retrieve the original document from a photocopier), has been proposed by Ratwani, McCurry, and Trafton (2008), which uses theoretically motivated eye movement measures to predict when a user will make an error. The predictive value of the eye-movement-based model was examined and validated on two different tasks using a receiver-operating characteristic analysis. A real-time eye-tracking postcompletion error prediction system was then developed and tested; results demonstrate that the real-time system successfully predicts and prevents postcompletion errors before a user commits the error.
The Expertise Effect on Web Accessibility Evaluation Methods BIBAFull-Text 246-283
  Giorgio Brajnik; Yeliz Yesilada; Simon Harper
Web accessibility means that disabled people can effectively perceive, understand, navigate, and interact with the web. Web accessibility evaluation methods are needed to validate the accessibility of web pages. However, the role of subjectivity and of expertise in such methods is unknown and has not previously been studied. This article investigates the effect of expertise in web accessibility evaluation methods by conducting a Barrier Walkthrough (BW) study with 19 expert and 57 nonexpert judges. The BW method is an evaluation method that can be used to manually assess the accessibility of web pages for different user groups such as motor impaired, low vision, blind, and mobile users. Our results show that expertise matters, and even though the effect of expertise varies depending on the metric used to measure quality, the level of expertise is an important factor in the quality of accessibility evaluation of web pages. In brief, when pages are evaluated with nonexperts, we observe a drop in validity and reliability. We also observe a negative monotonic relationship between number of judges and reproducibility: more evaluators mean more diverse outputs. After five experts, reproducibility stabilizes, but this is not the case with nonexperts. The ability to detect all the problems increases with the number of judges: With 3 experts all problems can be found, but for such a level 14 nonexperts are needed. Even though our data show that experts rated pages differently, the difference is quite small. Finally, compared to nonexperts, experts spent much less time and the variability among them is smaller, they were significantly more confident, and they rated themselves as being more productive. The article discusses practical implications regarding how BW results should be interpreted, how to recruit evaluators, and what happens when more than one evaluator is hired. Supplemental materials are available for this article. Go to the publisher's online edition of Human-Computer Interaction for statistical details and additional measures for this article.

HCI 2011-11-232011-12 Volume 26 Issue 4

A Computational Model of "Active Vision' for Visual Search in Human -- Computer Interaction BIBAFull-Text 285-314
  Tim Halverson; Anthony J. Hornof
Human visual search plays an important role in many human-computer interaction (HCI) tasks. Better models of visual search are needed not just to predict overall performance outcomes, such as whether people will be able to find the information needed to complete an HCI task, but to understand the many human processes that interact in visual search, which will in turn inform the detailed design of better user interfaces. This article describes a detailed instantiation, in the form of a computational cognitive model, of a comprehensive theory of human visual processing known as "active vision" (Findlay & Gilchrist, 2003). The computational model is built using the Executive Process-Interactive Control cognitive architecture. Eye-tracking data from three experiments inform the development and validation of the model. The modeling asks -- and at least partially answers -- the four questions of active vision: (a) What can be perceived in a fixation? (b) When do the eyes move? (c) Where do the eyes move? (d) What information is integrated between eye movements? Answers include: (a) Items nearer the point of gaze are more likely to be perceived, and the visual features of objects are sometimes misidentified. (b) The eyes move after the fixated visual stimulus has been processed (i.e., has entered working memory). (c) The eyes tend to go to nearby objects. (d) Only the coarse spatial information of what has been fixated is likely maintained between fixations. The model developed to answer these questions has both scientific and practical value in that the model gives HCI researchers and practitioners a better understanding of how people visually interact with computers, and provides a theoretical foundation for predictive analysis tools that can predict aspects of that interaction.
The Human -- Artifact Model: An Activity Theoretical Approach to Artifact Ecologies BIBAFull-Text 315-371
  Susanne Bødker; Clemens Nylandsted Klokmose
Although devices of all shapes and sizes currently dominate the technological landscape, human-computer interaction (HCI) as a field is not yet theoretically equipped to match this reality. In this article we develop the human-artifact model, which has its roots in activity theoretical HCI. By reinterpreting the activity theoretical foundation, we present a framework that helps addressing the analysis of individual interactive artifacts while embracing that they are part of a larger ecology of artifacts. We show how the human-artifact model helps structuring the understanding of an artifact's action-possibilities in relation to the artifact ecology surrounding it. Essential to the model is that it provides four interconnected levels of analysis and addresses the possibilities and problems at these four levels. Artifacts and their use are constantly developing, and we address development in, and of, use. The framework needs to support such development through concepts and methods. This leads to a methodological approach that focuses on new artifacts to supplement and substitute existing artifacts. Through a design case, we develop the methodological approach and illustrate how the human-artifact model can be applied to analyze present artifacts and to design future ones. The model is used to structure such analysis and to reason about findings while providing leverage from activity theoretical insights on mediation, dialectics, and levels of activity.