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International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction 18

Editors:Kay M. Stanney; Gavriel Salvendy
Publisher:Ablex Publishing Corporation
Standard No:ISSN 1044-7318
Links:Table of Contents
  1. IJHCI 2005 Volume 18 Issue 1
  2. IJHCI 2005 Volume 18 Issue 2
  3. IJHCI 2005 Volume 18 Issue 3

IJHCI 2005 Volume 18 Issue 1

The Added Usefulness of Process Measures Over Performance Measures in Interface Design BIBAFull-Text 1-18
  Kuldeep Kelkar; Mohammad T. Khasawneh; Shannon R. Bowling; Anand K. Gramopadhye; Brian J. Melloy; Larry Grimes
Various studies concerning the application of usability evaluation methods have shown the usefulness of these testing methods. The objective of this study was to evaluate the added advantage of collecting process measures (data used to learn how and why an error occurred) over performance measures (data used to determine what went wrong) in interface design. The most salient finding of this study is that when used in the design/redesign process, performance data improved effectiveness (i.e., reduced the number of errors), whereas process measures data improved efficiency by reducing the time needed to complete tasks. The results from this study, as with any other usability study, should be of particular interest to the software industry, which is constantly trying to reduce development time and resources while improving user-friendly interface design.
Development of a Tongue-Operated Switch Array as an Alternative Input Device BIBAFull-Text 19-38
  Dongshin Kim; Mitchell E. Tyler; David J. Beebe
This article presents a tongue-operated switch array (TOSA) that provides not only an alternate input for a computer or operative system, but also an approach for silent and hands-free communication among humans or between human and machine. A TOSA has been designed and fabricated using printed circuit board technology and a membrane-switching mechanism and is integrated with a dental palate mold made from a silicone impression material. The TOSA has 5 switches (4 switches are laid out in cardinal directions and a fifth switch is located in the center). Human participant experiments have been conducted to evaluate and improve device performance. The characteristics of tactile sensation and mobility of the tongue are used to quantify the performance and optimize the geometric design of the TOSA. The results from controlled studies using repeated measures with 4 participants revealed a maximum average accuracy of 91% with SD = 5 in a switch depression task and a maximum repetition rate of 2.47 depressions/sec (SD = .21). These results indicate that operation on all switches is highly accurate and fast enough for use as an alternate input device.
Computer-Aided GOMS: A Description and Evaluation of a Tool That Integrates Existing Research for Modeling Human-Computer Interaction BIBAFull-Text 39-58
  Kent E. Williams
The purpose of this research effort was to develop a practical computer-assisted aid for creating detailed cognitive simulation models of human-computer interaction (HCI). The cognitive models generated as a result of these analyses can be used to predict human performance while interacting with computing systems. The computerized aid assembles and embodies existing research regarding execution times associated with HCI within the context of the goals, operators, methods, and selection rules (GOMS) analysis method. Numerous heuristics, which model primitive cognitive, perceptual, and motor responses, were developed and integrated into the system. A sample of participants, expert in interacting with a newly developed tactical display for the Army's Bradley Fighting Vehicle, were individually asked to model their knowledge of four specific tasks employing the tool. Measures of the accuracy and the consistency of the models generated by the differing task domain experts were recorded and analyzed. The findings indicated a high degree of consistency and accuracy between the different domain experts in terms of the resultant models generated using the tool.
A Training Approach to the Acquisition and Retention of Fault-Finding Skills: Making Instructions "Visible" on the Interface BIBAFull-Text 59-84
  Nadia Linou; Tom Kontogiannis
This study explores how information technology can be used as a training medium in the acquisition and retention of fault-finding skills. Instructions on strategies were made visible on the user interface by presenting trainees with a set of telltale signs derived from diagnostic heuristics. The objective was to map a diagnostic strategy into the appearance and dynamic behavior of a graphical display. A group of participants T(new) was trained in using the new interface, and verbal instructions (e.g., plant theory) were provided to guide discovery of diagnostic rules. A second group T(old) received the same plant theory but practiced on a conventional interface, whereas a third group T + H was trained to apply a set of heuristics with the support of plant theory. The new interface helped the T(new) group to achieve higher accuracy scores than all other groups in acquiring fault-finding skills. A retention test, 6 weeks later, showed that the T(new) group retained their skills better than the T(old) group. The T(new) group was also better than the T + H group, but not significantly so, in terms of reconstructing faults encountered in the past and solving faults that had never been encountered before. The implications of this study are that making a diagnostic strategy visible reduces the workload in remembering diagnostic heuristics, encourages discovery of new heuristics, and allows trainees to impose their own organization of knowledge. These learning mechanisms may provide a better basis for training in the acquisition and retention of diagnostic skills.
Building Consensus in Human-Computer Interaction Design: Integrated Activity-Oriented Design Environments BIBAFull-Text 85-103
  Demosthenes Akoumianakis; Constantine Stephanidis
This article proposes and describes activity-oriented design environments (AODEs) as an integrated design platform for building consensus in the context of human-computer interaction (HCI) design activities. Principles and architectural properties of AODEs are illustrated by means of a reference scenario from the domain of accessibility. To this effect, a research prototype of an AODE is presented as a means to validate the proposition made. The research prototype integrates alternative design perspectives (e.g., user modeling, analytical HCI design, argumentation and critiquing) into an extensible design platform of interoperable computational modules to implement a method toward accessibility, which is best suited to specification-oriented user interface development practices. Using the reference scenario, this article describes how the prototype AODE facilitates a seamless bridge between design and development activities through articulating shared representations of design knowledge and compiling recommendations, which can be directly interpreted and applied by a user interface development environment.
Clarification of Cognitive Skill in Mechanical Work and Its Application BIBAFull-Text 105-124
  Mitsunobu Fujita; Minoru Kamata; Keisuke Miyata
This article clarifies a difference in cognitive ability between highly skilled operators and less skilled ones in mechanical work, suggests a method to apply the results to develop effective support, and validates the method. First, a consciousness survey demonstrated that highly skilled operators operate machines taking advantage of visual, auditory, and force information. Second, using a simulation of a hydraulic excavator, it was learned that the amount of acquirable information is one of the elements included in cognitive skill. Finally, comparing these results with the effects of providing some kind of support, this study shows that diverse kinds of support, which are in accordance with the operator's skill level, are necessary for realizing effective support for cognitive ability.
Book Review: Observing the user experience: A practitioner's guide to user research by M. Kuniavsky BIBFull-Text 125-127
  Misha Vaughan

IJHCI 2005 Volume 18 Issue 2

Hidden Costs of Graphical User Interfaces: Failure to Make the Transition from Menus and Icon Toolbars to Keyboard Shortcuts BIBAFull-Text 133-144
  David M. Lane; H. Albert Napier; S. Camille Peres; Aniko Sandor
Graphical interfaces allow users to issue commands using pull-down menus, icon toolbars, and keyboard shortcuts. Menus and icon toolbars are easier to learn, whereas keyboard shortcuts are more efficient. It would seem natural for users to migrate from the use of easy-to-learn menu and icon methods to the more efficient method of keyboard shortcuts as they gain experience. To investigate the extent to which this transition takes place, 251 experienced users of Microsoft Word were given a questionnaire assessing their choice of methods for the most frequently occurring commands. Contrary to our expectations, most experienced users rarely used the efficient keyboard shortcuts, favoring the use of icon toolbars instead. A second study was done to verify that keyboard shortcuts are, indeed, the most efficient method. Six participants performed common commands using menu selection, icon toolbars, and keyboard shortcuts. The keyboard shortcuts were, as expected, the most efficient. These studies show that even experienced users are inefficient in their use of graphical interfaces. One possible way to improve user efficiency is for training programs to provide a roadmap for users to make the transition from using pull-down menus and clicking icon toolbars to issuing keyboard shortcuts.
Distributed Collaborative Design Teams: Media Effects on Design Processes BIBAFull-Text 145-165
  Janeen M. Hammond; Craig M. Harvey; Richard J. Koubek; W. Dale Compton; Ashok Darisipudi
Collaborative manufacturing, a growing competitive structure for manufacturing companies and government agencies, is based on flexible design and production processes, with multiple companies pooling strengths on a product-by-product basis to create distributed collaborative corporations. This experimental research uses a sociotechnical theory as a framework to explore differences in engineering design team decision making as a function of various media of communication. Results indicate that design teams communicating via an electronic medium perceive an increase in mental workload and interact less frequently, but for a greater total amount of time. No evidence was found to suggest that face-to-face teams spend a greater proportion of their time discussing design issues or alternatives than do their dispersed counterparts. Realizing that critical decisions throughout design have a tremendous effect on cost, time to production, and overall quality, the study's results lead to broad implications and suggestions for the management of distributed design teams.
Usability of Graphical Icons in the Design of Human-Computer Interfaces BIBAFull-Text 167-182
  Jerzy Grobelny; Waldemar Karwowski; Colin Drury
This study investigated usability of graphical icons in the design of human-computer interfaces. A simple additive model of icon acquisition time, including terms for Index of Difficulty, mode of icon array, and log2 (number of icons) explained 95% of the variance in mean times covering all 36 conditions over 4 laboratory experiments conducted in the study. The acquisition of icons in graphical menus was subject to Fitts' Law. Where the dialog box only appeared on the screen when an action was initiated, acquisition time included a choice time that was additive with movement time. When a choice was required during the task in addition to a movement, both the number of icons and their configuration affected the choice time. Design implications are that the number of icons should be minimized in pop-up menus and that the icons should be arranged in a manner reflective of the shape of the useful field of view. Frequently used menus or icon arrays should be permanently visible to minimize performance time (e.g., by using task bars to hold common icons). Dialogue windows, especially with a larger number of icons, should be built in compact, perhaps square, configurations. If it is not possible to use a square icon configuration, it is desirable to use a horizontal configuration, which can be utilized more efficiently than the vertical configuration.
Multimodal Feedback as a Solution to Ocular Disease-Based User Performance Decrements in the Absence of Functional Visual Loss BIBAFull-Text 183-218
  Julie A. Jacko; Kevin P. Moloney; Thitima Kongnakorn; Leon Barnard; Paula J. Edwards; V. Kathlene Leonard; Francois Sainfort; Ingrid U. Scott
This study examines effects of the most common cause of blindness in persons over the age of 55 in the United States, age-related macular degeneration (AMD), on the performance of older adults when completing a simple computer-based task. Older users with normal vision (n = 6) and with AMD (n = 6) performed a series of drag-and-drop tasks that incorporated a variety of different feedback modalities. The user groups were equivalent with respect to traditional visual function parameters (i.e., visual acuity, contrast sensitivity, and color vision) and measured subject cofactors, aside from the presence or absence of AMD (i.e., drusen and retinal pigment epithelial mottling). Task performance was assessed with measures of time (trial time and feedback exposure time) and accuracy (error frequency). Results indicate that users with AMD exhibited decreased performance with respect to required feedback exposure time, total trial time, and errors committed. Some nonvisual and multimodal feedback forms show potential as solutions for enhanced performance, for those with AMD as well as for visually healthy older adults.
The Role of Size of an Augmented Force Field in Computer-Aided Target Acquisition Tasks BIBAFull-Text 219-232
  Hilde Keuning; Gerard P. van Galen; Adrian J. M. Houtsma
This study describes three experiments in which the influence of different force-field radii on efficiency and satisfaction is tested within a target acquisition task. The first two experiments tested four radii, starting after 0%, 30%, 60%, or 80% of the total distance of a cursor movement was covered. In the first experiment, the force field with the largest radius was found to be the least satisfying, whereas the force field starting after 60% was the most satisfying. In the second experiment, however, the force field with the largest radius was found to be the most efficient. The third experiment presented two or more targets simultaneously and included a prediction algorithm, predicting a user's intended target. The force field starting after 30% of the path was found to be the least efficient and the least satisfying. The no-force condition was most efficient but was not rated higher than the two smallest fields.
Book Review: The Handbook of Data Mining by N. Ye BIBFull-Text 233-234
  Jacek Brzezinski
Book Review: The Handbook of Task Analysis for Human-Computer Interaction by D. Diaper and N. Stanton BIBFull-Text 235-237
  Yong Gu Ji

IJHCI 2005 Volume 18 Issue 3

Experiments Toward a Mutual Adaptive Speech Interface That Adopts the Cognitive Features Humans Use for Communication and Induces and Exploits Users' Adaptations BIBAFull-Text 243-268
  Takanori Komatsu; Atsushi Ustunomiya; Kentaro Suzuki; Kazuhiro Ueda; Kazuo Hiraki; Natsuki Oka
Interactive agents such as pet robots or adaptive speech interface systems that require forming a mutual adaptation process with users should have two competences. One of these is recognizing reward information from users' expressed paralanguage information, and the other is informing the learning system about the users by means of that reward information. The purpose of this study was to clarify the specific contents of reward information and the actual mechanism of a learning system by observing how 2 persons could create a smooth speech communication, such as that between owners and their pets.
   A communication experiment was conducted to observe how human participants create smooth communication through acquiring meaning from utterances in languages they did not understand. Then, based on experimental results, a meaning-acquisition model that considers the following 2 assumptions was constructed: (a) To achieve a mutual adaptive relationship with users, the model needs to induce users' adaptation and to exploit this induced adaptation to recognize the meanings of a user's speech sounds; and (b) to recognize users' utterances through trial-and-error interaction regardless of the language used, the model should focus on prosodic information in speech sounds, rather than on the phoneme information on which most past interface studies have focused.
   The results confirmed that the proposed model could recognize the meanings of users' verbal commands by using participants' adaptations to the model for its meaning-acquisition process. However, this phenomenon was observed only when an experimenter gave the participants appropriate instructions equivalent to catchphrases that helped users learn how to use and interact intuitively with the model. Thus, this suggested the need for a subsequent study to discover how to induce the participants' adaptations or natural behaviors without giving these kinds of instructions.
Use Contexts for the Mobile Internet: A Longitudinal Study Monitoring Actual Use of Mobile Internet Services BIBAFull-Text 269-292
  Inseong Lee; Jaesoo Kim; Jinwoo Kim
The mobile Internet, which gives access to the World Wide Web through a mobile device, has been gaining in popularity. The mobile Internet differs from the traditional stationary Internet in that it can be used in a wider variety of contexts. However, no studies have identified the contexts in which mobile Internet services are used most frequently, or determined which contexts exert significant influence on a user's choice of mobile service. This article proposes a framework of use contexts that reflects the characteristics of the mobile Internet. To explore these contexts, a research method was devised and a longitudinal monitoring study was conducted. The results indicate that mobile Internet use is heavily clustered around a few key contexts, rather than dispersed widely over diverse contexts. Further, participants in the monitoring study were found to concentrate their use on a few mobile services, rather than on exploring diverse services. Perhaps most interestingly, some contextual factors were found to correlate closely with the selection of specific mobile Internet services. On the basis of these results, the article concludes with implications for developers of mobile Internet services.
Challenges, Methodologies, and Issues in the Usability Testing of Mobile Applications BIBAFull-Text 293-308
  Dongsong Zhang; Boonlit Adipat
Usability testing of software applications developed for mobile devices is an emerging research area that faces a variety of challenges due to unique features of mobile devices, limited bandwidth, unreliability of wireless networks, as well as changing context (environmental factors). Traditional guidelines and methods used in usability testing of desktop applications may not be directly applicable to a mobile environment. Therefore, it is essential to develop and adopt appropriate research methodologies that can evaluate the usability of mobile applications. The contribution of this article is to propose a generic framework for conducting usability tests for mobile applications through discussing research questions, methodologies, and usability attributes. The article provides an overview of existing mobile application usability studies and discusses major research questions that have been investigated. Then, it proposes a generic framework and provides detailed guidelines on how to conduct such usability studies.
Five Psychometric Scales for Online Measurement of the Quality of Human-Computer Interaction in Web Sites BIBAFull-Text 309-322
  Paul van Schaik; Jonathan Ling
The use of a comprehensive set of psychometric instruments for measuring the quality of interaction in Web sites is proposed. Five existing scales for Web site evaluation, each measuring a key construct in human-computer interaction, were used together. The set of 5 scales demonstrated good distinguishability of factor structure, and all scales possessed adequate reliability. Evidence for validity of the scales was obtained, but additional work is necessary to establish the conditions under which these properties are best demonstrated. Aesthetic quality emerged as a separate scale that moderately correlated with other scales and level of task performance, highlighting the importance of aesthetics in interaction with Web pages. The results suggest the 5 scales can be used to measure the quality of interaction in Web sites for both monitoring and continual improvement of these sites.
User-Centered Awareness in Computer-Supported Cooperative Work-Systems: Structured Embedding of Findings from Social Sciences BIBAFull-Text 323-360
  Tom Gross; Chris Stary; Alex Totter
An increasing number of computer-supported cooperative work (CSCW) software systems try to provide users with awareness information-information about the presence, activities, and availability of members of a community. However, most of these software systems are designed from a feature-oriented, rather than a human-oriented, point of view. In this article, a structured embedding of findings in social sciences is proposed. It reveals the variety of approaches in technology-driven CSCW developments featuring awareness, as well as the variety of empirical evidence in small-group research with respect to awareness. The authors have been looking at different aspects of awareness: the terminology used in both disciplines, the concepts that have been developed, and the different constructs that have evolved from empirical research. Finally, operational instances of awareness have been revisited. From these findings it can be concluded that awareness addresses different constellations of group settings, different types of individual behavior, and different contexts of use. These findings can be used by CSCW software system developers for postevaluation-that is, to identify empirical evidence for awareness features already implemented and to identify those already implemented features still lacking empirical evidence. The findings should also encourage social scientists to empirically investigate the usage of existing and envisioned software features in CSCW settings. Overall, the results should help to achieve a shift from technology-driven development toward human-centered design of collaborative communities, due to the envisioned integration of understandings and concepts.