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IJHCS Tables of Contents: 585960616263646566676869707172

International Journal of Human-Computer Studies 68

Editors:Enrico Motta; Susan Wiedenbeck
Publisher:Elsevier Science Publishers
Standard No:ISSN 0020-7373; TA 167 A1 I5
Links:Table of Contents
  1. IJHCS 2010 Volume 68 Issue 1/2
  2. IJHCS 2010 Volume 68 Issue 3
  3. IJHCS 2010 Volume 68 Issue 4
  4. IJHCS 2010 Volume 68 Issue 5
  5. IJHCS 2010 Volume 68 Issue 6
  6. IJHCS 2010 Volume 68 Issue 7
  7. IJHCS 2010 Volume 68 Issue 8
  8. IJHCS 2010 Volume 68 Issue 9
  9. IJHCS 2010 Volume 68 Issue 10
  10. IJHCS 2010 Volume 68 Issue 11
  11. IJHCS 2010 Volume 68 Issue 12

IJHCS 2010 Volume 68 Issue 1/2

Colour appeal in website design within and across cultures: A multi-method evaluation BIBAKFull-Text 1-21
  Dianne Cyr; Milena Head; Hector Larios
Colour has the potential to elicit emotions or behaviors, yet there is little research in which colour treatments in website design are systematically tested. Little is known about how colour affects trust or satisfaction on the part of the viewer. Although the Internet is increasingly global, few systematic studies have been undertaken in which the impact of colour on culturally diverse viewers is investigated in website design. In this research three website colour treatments are tested across three culturally distinct viewer groups for their impact on user trust, satisfaction, and e-loyalty. To gather data, a rich multi-method approach is used including eye-tracking, a survey, and interviews. Results reveal that website colour appeal is a significant determinant for website trust and satisfaction with differences noted across cultures. The findings have practical value for web marketers and interface designers concerning effective colour use in website development.
Keywords: Colour appeal / Culture / Website design / Multi-methodology / Eye-tracking
Can inspection methods generate valid new knowledge in HCI? The case of semiotic inspection BIBAKFull-Text 22-40
  Clarisse Sieckenius de Souza; Carla Faria Leitão; Raquel Oliveira Prates; Sílvia Amélia Bim; Elton José da Silva
HCI evaluation methods tend to be proposed and used to verify the interactive qualities of specific systems and design strategies. A discussion about the scientific merits of such methods to advance knowledge in HCI as a field is very rare, although much needed. This paper shows that, under certain conditions, inspection methods can be safely used in scientific research in HCI and extend their advantages beyond the territory of professional practice. Taking the Semiotic Inspection Method (SIM) as an example, we argue that its interpretive results are objective, can be validated, and produce scientific knowledge comparable to that generated by more widely accepted methods.
Keywords: Semiotic engineering / Evaluation method / Semiotic Inspection Method / Scientific application / Technical application / Communicability
Computational models and experimental investigations of effects of balance and symmetry on the aesthetics of text-overlaid images BIBAKFull-Text 41-56
  Chien-Yin Lai; Pai-Hsun Chen; Sheng-Wen Shih; Yili Liu; Jen-Shin Hong
This article describes computational models based on principles of visual weights to compute the symmetry and balance of text-overlaid images. Two experiments were conducted to investigate the effects of symmetry and balance on the aesthetic appeal of text-overlaid images. In the first experiment, five color photos were used to compose a set of test images overlaid with a paragraph of Chinese texts as the stimuli. Contrastly, the second experiment applied monochrome photos to compute the stimuli. The positions of the text overlay were determined by varying the balance and symmetry in order to validate computational aesthetic quantification algorithms with subjective ratings. The stimuli were rated by 20 subjects in each experiment using the ratio-scale magnitude estimation method against a benchmark image for each photo. Results from both experiments show that subjects are adept at judging symmetry and balance in both the horizontal and vertical directions. Subjects are also adept at judging radial symmetry about the center point of an image. The experiments also established a relationship between a higher averaged visual balance and the aesthetic appeal of text-overlaid images. Symmetry in either direction, however, did not result in any proportional relations to the aesthetic appeal.
Keywords: Computational aesthetics / Interface design / Compositional attributes
Computer agents versus avatars: Responses to interactive game characters controlled by a computer or other player BIBAKFull-Text 57-68
  Sohye Lim; Byron Reeves
Computer and videogames often require that users interact with other characters on the screen that represent other real people or characters that are controlled by computer code running within the game. The difference between game play with other avatars (player-controlled characters) or agents (characters controlled by the computer) may influence the engagement a game player experiences. This study investigated the effects of agency (avatar versus agent) and the type of gaming activity (competition versus cooperation) on physiological arousal and subjective evaluation of play. A 2 (avatar, agent)×2 (competition, cooperation) within-subject experiment was conducted (N=32). Players exhibited greater physiological arousal to otherwise identical interactions when other characters were introduced as an avatar rather than an agent. Furthermore, the co-player's source of agency interacted with the type of gaming activity. The results have implications for understanding how different forms of representation in virtual worlds and games will affect psychological responses in the contexts of entertainment, learning and the conduct of serious work.
Keywords: Avatar / Agent / Competitive and cooperative game play
Task-technology fit and user acceptance of online auction BIBAKFull-Text 69-89
  Hsin Hsin Chang
Word Wide Web intelligent agent technology has provided researchers and practitioners, such as those involved in information technology, innovation, knowledge management, and technical collaboration with the ability to examine the design principles and performance characteristics of the various approaches to intelligent agent technology, and to increase the cross fertilization of ideas on the development of autonomous agents and multi-agent systems among different domains. This study investigates the employment of intelligent agents in a web-based auction process, with particular reference to the appropriateness of the agent software for the online auction task, consumers' value perception of the agent, the effect of this consumer perception on their intention to use the tool, and a measure of consumer acceptance. In the initial case study, both consumers and web operators thought the use of software agents enhanced online auction efficiency and timeliness. The second phase of the investigation established that consumer familiarity with the agent functionality was positively associated with seven dimensions: online auction site's task, agent's technology, task-technology fit, perceived ease of use, perceived usefulness, perceived playfulness, intention to use tool, and negatively associated with perceived risk. Intelligent agents have the potential to release skilled operator time for the use of value-adding tasks in the planning and expansion of online auctions.
Keywords: Online auction task / Agent technology / Task-technology fit / User acceptance of technology
Usability principles and best practices for the user interface design of complex 3D architectural design and engineering tools BIBAKFull-Text 90-104
  Ghang Lee; Charles M. Eastman; Tarang Taunk; Chun-Heng Ho
This study proposes usability principles for the user interfaces (UI) design of complex 3D parametric architectural design and engineering tools. Numerous usability principles have been developed for generic desktop or web applications. The authors tried to apply existing usability principles as guidelines for evaluating complex 3D design and engineering applications. However, the principles were too generic and high-level to be useful as design or evaluation guidelines. The authors, all with more than 10 or 30 years of experience with various CAD systems, selected and reviewed 10 state-of-the-art 3D parametric design and engineering applications and captured what they thought were best practices, as screenshots and videos. The collected best practices were reviewed through a series of discussion sessions. During the discussion sessions, UI design principles underlying the collected best practices were characterized in the line of existing UI principles. Based on the best practices and the derived common UI principles, a new set of refined and detailed UI principles were proposed for improving and evaluating 3D parametric engineering design tools in the future.
Keywords: User interface (UI) / Computer-aided design (CAD) / 3D engineering design / Best practices / Usability principles
Telling the story of older people e-mailing: An ethnographical study BIBAKFull-Text 105-120
  Sergio Sayago; Josep Blat
While e-mail is the Internet application most used by older people, very little is known about how they interact with e-mail systems and use them in their daily lives. We undertook a 3-year ethnographical study aimed at revealing and explaining real life e-mailing. We describe and discuss the nature of e-mail use in terms of social circles; frequency, type of content and patterns of communication; relationship with other technologies and activities; motivation and interactive experiences. Within this context of everyday use, we uncover and explain the (relative) importance of several interaction barriers, such as cognitive load, difficulties using input devices and perception of visual information. We claim that cognitive difficulties are much more relevant than difficulties in reading from the screen, for instance, so challenging results of current HCI research with older people. We show and discuss some implications for designing better e-mail systems (and interactive technologies) for older people.
Keywords: Older people / Ethnography / E-mail / Real life use / Accessibility barriers / Interactive experiences

IJHCS 2010 Volume 68 Issue 3

Beyond performance: Feature awareness in personalized interfaces BIBAKFull-Text 121-137
  Leah Findlater; Joanna McGrenere
Personalized graphical user interfaces have the potential to reduce visual complexity and improve interaction efficiency by tailoring elements such as menus and toolbars to better suit an individual user's needs. When an interface is personalized to make useful features more accessible for a user's current task, however, there may be a negative impact on the user's awareness of the full set of available features, making future tasks more difficult. To assess this tradeoff we introduce awareness as an evaluation metric to be used in conjunction with performance. We then discuss three studies we have conducted, which show that personalized interfaces tradeoff awareness of unused features for performance gains on core tasks. The first two studies, previously published and presented only in summary, demonstrate this tradeoff by measuring awareness using a recognition test of unused features in the interface. The studies also evaluated two different types of personalized interfaces: a layered interfaces approach and an adaptive split menu approach. The third study, presented in full, focuses on adaptive split menus and extends results from the first two studies to show that different levels of awareness also correspond to an impact on performance when users are asked to complete new tasks. Based on all three studies and a survey of related work, we outline a design space of personalized interfaces and present several factors that could affect the tradeoff between core task performance and awareness. Finally, we provide a set of design implications that should be considered for personalized interfaces.
Keywords: Personalization / Adaptive user interfaces / User studies
What input errors do you experience? Typing and pointing errors of mobile Web users BIBAKFull-Text 138-157
  Tianyi Chen; Yeliz Yesilada; Simon Harper
Small devices such as personal digital assistants (PDAs) are widely used to access the World Wide Web (Web). However, accessing the Web from small devices is affected by poor interface bandwidth, such as small keyboards and limited pointing devices. There is little empirical work investigating the input difficulties caused by such insufficient facilities, however, anecdotal evidence suggests that there is a link between able-bodied users of the mobile Web and motor impaired users of the Web on desktop computers. This being the case we could transfer the solutions which already exists for motor impaired users into the mobile Web and vice versa. This paper presents a user study that investigates the input errors of mobile Web users in both typing and pointing. The study identifies six types of typing errors and three types of pointing errors shared between our two user domains. We find that mobile Web users often confuse the different characters located on the same key, press keys that are adjacent to the target key, and miss certain key presses. When using a stylus, they also click in the wrong places, slide the stylus during multiple clicks, and make errors when dragging. Our results confirm that despite using different input devices, mobile Web users share common problems with motor impaired desktop users; and we therefore surmise that it will be beneficial to transfer available solutions between these user domains in order to address their common problems.
Keywords: Mobile Web / Disabled users / Input
Feasibility study of tactile-based authentication BIBAKFull-Text 158-181
  Ravi Kuber; Wai Yu
Research suggests that human limitations are rarely considered in the design of knowledge-based authentication systems. In an attempt to foster entry to a system, individuals tend to choose passwords which are easy to recall. However, inappropriate selection can compromise data security. A novel approach has been developed to restore the balance between security and memorability through the use of the haptic channel. This paper introduces the Tactile Authentication System (TAS), which enables the user to authenticate entry through the ability to remember a sequence of pre-selected tactile sensations. The design process undertaken to develop distinguishable tactile stimuli for use within TAS is described, and details of the recognition-based tactile authentication mechanism are also presented. Findings from an empirical study reported in this paper, have revealed that 16 participants were able to authenticate access to TAS over the course of a one-month period, with low levels of error. The approach was found to offer benefits over conventional visual-based authentication methods. Tactile stimuli are presented underneath the fingertips, and are therefore occluded from others. As the sense of touch is personal to each user, tactile stimuli are difficult to describe in concrete terms, and cannot easily be written down or disclosed, thereby reducing the chance of unauthorized third party access.
Keywords: Haptics / Tactile / Human factors / Authentication

IJHCS 2010 Volume 68 Issue 4

A methodology for eliciting, modelling, and evaluating expert knowledge for an adaptive work-integrated learning system BIBAKFull-Text 185-208
  Tobias Ley; Barbara Kump; Dietrich Albert
We present a methodology for constructing and evaluating models for adaptive informal technology-enhanced workplace learning. It is designed for knowledge-intensive work domains which are not pre structured according to a fixed curriculum. We extend research on Competence-based Knowledge Space Theory which has been mainly applied in educational settings. Our approach employs systematic knowledge elicitation and practically feasible evaluation techniques performed as part of the modelling process for iterative refinement of the models. A case study was performed in the Requirements Engineering domain to apply and test the developed methodology. We discuss lessons learned and several implications for knowledge engineering for adaptive workplace learning.
Keywords: Competence-based knowledge space theory / Work-integrated learning / Domain modelling / Knowledge elicitation / Model evaluation
Building respectful interface agents BIBAKFull-Text 209-222
  Silvia Schiaffino; Marcelo Armentano; Analia Amandi
To provide personalized assistance to users, interface agents have to learn not only a user's preferences and interests with respect to a software application, but also when and how the user prefers to be assisted. Interface agents have to detect the user's intention to determine when to assist the user, and the user's interaction and interruption preferences to provide the right type of assistance without hindering the user's work. In this work we describe a user profiling approach that considers these issues within a user profile and a decision making approach that enables the agent to choose the best type of assistance for a given user in a given situation. We also describe the results obtained when evaluating our proposal in the tourism domain, and we compare these results with some previous ones in the calendar management domain.
Keywords: User-agent interaction / User profiling / Interface agents / Plan recognition
Better to be frustrated than bored: The incidence, persistence, and impact of learners' cognitive-affective states during interactions with three different computer-based learning environments BIBAKFull-Text 223-241
  Ryan S. J. D. Baker; Sidney K. D'Mello; Ma. Mercedes T. Rodrigo; Arthur C. Graesser
We study the incidence (rate of occurrence), persistence (rate of reoccurrence immediately after occurrence), and impact (effect on behavior) of students' cognitive-affective states during their use of three different computer-based learning environments. Students' cognitive-affective states are studied using different populations (Philippines, USA), different methods (quantitative field observation, self-report), and different types of learning environments (dialogue tutor, problem-solving game, and problem-solving-based Intelligent Tutoring System). By varying the studies along these multiple factors, we can have greater confidence that findings which generalize across studies are robust. The incidence, persistence, and impact of boredom, frustration, confusion, engaged concentration, delight, and surprise were compared. We found that boredom was very persistent across learning environments and was associated with poorer learning and problem behaviors, such as gaming the system. Despite prior hypothesis to the contrary, frustration was less persistent, less associated with poorer learning, and did not appear to be an antecedent to gaming the system. Confusion and engaged concentration were the most common states within all three learning environments. Experiences of delight and surprise were rare. These findings suggest that significant effort should be put into detecting and responding to boredom and confusion, with a particular emphasis on developing pedagogical interventions to disrupt the "vicious cycles" which occur when a student becomes bored and remains bored for long periods of time.
Keywords: Affect / Cognitive-affective states / Affective computing / Affective persistence / Intelligent tutoring systems / Educational games

IJHCS 2010 Volume 68 Issue 5

Exploring the relationship between presence and enjoyment in a virtual museum BIBAKFull-Text 243-253
  Stella Sylaiou; Katerina Mania; Athanasis Karoulis; Martin White
The Augmented Representation of Cultural Objects (ARCO) system, developed as a part of an EU ICT project, provides museum curators with software and interface tools to develop web-based virtual museum exhibitions by integrating augmented reality (AR) and 3D computer graphics. ARCO technologies could also be deployed in order to implement educational kiosks placed in real-world museums. The main purpose of the system is to offer an entertaining, informative and enjoyable experience to virtual museum visitors. This paper presents a formal usability study that has been undertaken in order to explore participants' perceived 'sense of being there' and enjoyment while exposed to a virtual museum exhibition in relation to real-world visits. The virtual museum implemented was based on an existing gallery in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, UK. It is of interest to determine whether a high level of presence results in enhanced enjoyment. After exposure to the system, participants completed standardized presence questionnaires related to the perceived realism of cultural artifacts referred to as AR objects' presence, as well as to participants' generic perceived presence in the virtual museum referred to as VR presence. The studies conducted indicate that previous experience with ICTs (Information and Communication Technologies) did not correlate with perceived AR objects' presence or VR presence while exposed to a virtual heritage environment. Enjoyment and both AR objects' presence and VR presence were found to be positively correlated. Therefore, a high level of perceived presence could be closely associated with satisfaction and gratification which contribute towards an appealing experience while interacting with a museum simulation system.
Keywords: Presence / Virtual museum / User study / Usability
Product interface design: A participatory approach based on virtual reality BIBAKFull-Text 254-269
  Fabio Bruno; Maurizio Muzzupappa
The usability of the user interface is a key aspect for the success of several industrial products. This assumption has led to the introduction of numerous design methodologies addressed to evaluate the user-friendliness of industrial products. Most of these methodologies follow the participatory design approach to involve the user in the design process. Virtual Reality is a valid tool to support Participatory Design, because it facilitates the collaboration among designers and users. The present study aims to evaluate the feasibility and the efficacy of an innovative Participatory Design approach where Virtual Reality plays a 'double role': a tool to evaluate the usability of the virtual product interface, and a communication channel that allows users to be directly involved in the design process as co-designers. In order to achieve these goals, we conducted three experiments: the purpose of the first experiment is to determine the influence of the virtual interface on the usability evaluation by comparing "user-real product" interaction and "user-virtual product" interaction. Subsequently, we tested the effectiveness of our approach with two experiments involving users (directly or through their participation in a focus group) in the redesign of a product user interface. The experiments were conducted with two typologies of consumer appliances: a microwave oven and a washing machine.
Keywords: Participatory design / Virtual reality / Usability / Product interface design
A user study to investigate semantically relevant contextual information of WWW images BIBAFull-Text 270-287
  Fariza Fauzi; Mohammed Belkhatir
The contextual information of Web images is investigated to address the issue of enriching their index characterizations with semantic descriptors and therefore bridge the semantic gap (i.e. the gap between the low-level content-based description of images and their semantic interpretation). Although we are highly motivated by the availability of rich knowledge on the Web and the relative success achieved by commercial search engines in indexing images using surrounding text-based information in webpages, we are aware that the unpredictable quality of the surrounding text is a major limiting factor. In order to improve its quality, we highlight contextual information which is relevant for the semantic characterization of Web images and study its statistical properties in terms of its location and nature considering a classification into five semantic concept classes: signal, object, scene, abstract and relational. A user study is conducted to validate the results. The results suggest that there are several locations that consistently contain relevant textual information with respect to the image. The importance of each location is influenced by the type of webpage as the results show the different distribution of relevant contextual information across the locations for different webpage types. The frequently found semantic concept classes are object and abstract. Another important outcome of the user study shows that a webpage is not an atomic unit and can be further partitioned into smaller segments. Segments containing images are of interest and termed as image segments. We observe that users typically single out textual information which they consider relevant to the image from the textual information bounded within the image segment. Hence, our second contribution is a DOM Tree-based webpage segmentation algorithm to automatically partition webpages into image segments. We use the resultant human-labeled dataset to validate the effectiveness of our segmentation method and experiments demonstrate that our method achieves better results compared to an existing segmentation algorithm.
Technology-mediated interruption management BIBAKFull-Text 288-306
  Sukeshini Grandhi; Quentin Jones
Previous research into providing interpersonal technology-mediated interruption management support has predominantly been conducted from a paradigmatic standpoint that focused on modeling the context of the person being interrupted (interruptee) such as his/her mental workload, activity and location as a means to identify opportune/inopportune moments for communication. However, the utility of this approach and the associated design implications are questioned by the interruption value evaluation paradigm, which holds that interpersonal interruption management decisions are often made by people assessing factors such as who the interruption is from and what it is about (the relational context). To assess the validity of the competing assumptions underlining these paradigms about everyday interpersonal interruption management, a field study of interruption management practices in everyday cell phone use was conducted. Analysis of 1201 incoming calls from our experience sampling method study of cell phone use shows that "who" is calling is used most of the time (87.4%) by individuals to make deliberate call handling decisions (N=834), in contrast to the interruptee's current local social (34.9%) or cognitive (43%) contexts. Building on these findings, we present a theoretical framework that aids in understanding the design space of interruption management tools that focus on reducing uncertainty of the interruption context to improve interruption management decisions.
Keywords: Interruption / Interruptibility / Availability / Management / Communication / Design / Mobile / Phones
Generation Y, web design, and eye tracking BIBAKFull-Text 307-323
  Soussan Djamasbi; Marisa Siegel; Tom Tullis
Generation Y (age 18-31) is a very large and economically powerful generation, containing eighty-two million people and spending $200 billion annually. It is not surprising that companies are interested in gaining the patronage of this group, particularly via the web. Surprisingly, very little research into making web pages appealing to this important demographic has been done. This paper addresses this need through two separate studies. The first, an online survey, provides evidence that our proposed score for predicting the visual appeal of web pages reflects the self report measure of what pages Generation Y likes. To refine these findings, an eye tracking study is conducted using the pages that were most and least liked in Study I. Participants' eye movement is tracked while browsing these pages, providing evidence of what attracts their attention. The results of these two studies suggest that Generation Y may prefer pages that include a main large image, images of celebrities, little text, and a search feature. This research has important implications.
Keywords: Generation Y / Millenials / HCI / Human computer interaction / Eye tracker / Fixation / Gaze / Usability / Web design

IJHCS 2010 Volume 68 Issue 6

Human-Computer Interaction for Medicine and Health care (HCI4MED): Towards making Information usable

Human-Computer Interaction for Medicine and Health Care (HCI4MED): Towards making Information usable BIBFull-Text 325-327
  Andreas Holzinger; Harold Thimbleby; Russel Beale
From expert-driven to user-oriented communication of infection control guidelines BIBAKFull-Text 328-343
  Fenne Verhoeven; Michaël F. Steehouder; Ron M. G. Hendrix; Julia E. W. C. Van Gemert-Pijnen
Currently, infection control guidelines in hospitals and other health care institutions are more expert-driven than user-oriented. In order to enhance the usability of the expert-driven guideline format, we developed a website for the communication of existing guidelines that better fit the practical information needs of health care workers (HCWs). We employed a user-centered design process that involved two studies. In the initial study, 28 HCWs were asked to solve tasks using existing, paper-based infection control guidelines. In order to detect their strategies and problems, the participants were asked to think aloud. Usability problems occurred due to poorly structured information, insufficient quality of information, and a mismatch between experts' and HCWs' vocabulary. To overcome these shortcomings, three design principles were applied for communicating infection control guidelines: better navigation (the guidelines should be searchable in several ways); multimodality (the guidelines should not be presented as text only), and action-orientation (the guidelines should be presented as HCWs' behaviors). A website was developed to meet these principles. In the second study, the same 28 HCWs completed tasks identical to those of the first study while thinking aloud, but this time using the website. The percentage of correctly completed tasks increased and the mean time for task completion decreased significantly. Also, respondents were more satisfied with the website than the paper-based guidelines. The number of problems due to poor information quality and a mismatch in vocabulary declined, although the number of structural problems increased. This can probably be explained by the fact that the navigation structure was user-generated (using Card Sort), in contrast to a standardized answer format based on common usability principles. Overall, we found that involving HCWs in the development process is important to create a sense of ownership and to foster the implementation of the guidelines, which might eventually result in compliance and reduce health care-associated infections. This paper outlines concrete steps for how to involve HCWs in the design process.
Keywords: User-centered design / Usability / Infectious diseases
Knowledge elicitation for validation of a neonatal ventilation expert system utilising modified Delphi and focus group techniques BIBAKFull-Text 344-354
  Kenneth Tan; Gordon Baxter; Simon Newell; Steve Smye; Peter Dear; Keith Brownlee; Jonathan Darling
Objective, methods & materials, results It is well known that ventilation strategies for newborn infants may vary significantly between individual doctors. The aim of this study was to elicit knowledge of ventilation management to provide a baseline for evaluating the performance of an expert system for neonatal ventilation (FLORENCE). The modified Delphi method and focus group techniques were used to arrive at consensus management strategies on 40 hypothetical ventilation scenarios. The underlying cognitive processes of the experts were also explored further to assist in the development of the expert system. The strategies arrived at were used to provide a performance level which FLORENCE was tested against. The solutions were judged to be equivalent between FLORENCE and neonatologists in 29 of the 40 cases. In the remaining 11 scenarios; FLORENCE also provided adequate solutions.
   Conclusions: The focus group technique was more effective than modified Delphi method in achieving consensus on ventilation management. This consensus on ventilation was used as the baseline to evaluate the performance of an expert system.
Keywords: Knowledge elicitation / Validation / Expert system / Modified Delphi / Focus group
Evaluation of 2D and 3D glove input applied to medical image analysis BIBAKFull-Text 355-369
  E. V. Zudilova-Seinstra; P. J. H. de Koning; A. Suinesiaputra; B. W. van Schooten; R. J. van der Geest; J. H. C. Reiber; P. M. A. Sloot
We describe a series of experiments that compared 2D/3D input methods for selection and positioning tasks related to medical image analysis. For our study, we chose a switchable P5 Glove Controller, which can be used to provide both 2DOF and 6DOF input control. Our results suggest that for both tasks the overall performance and accuracy can be improved when the input device with more degrees of freedom (DOF) is used for manipulation of the visualized medical data. 3D input turned out to be more beneficial for the positioning task than for the selection task. In order to determine a potential source of the difference in the task completion time between 2D and 3D input, we also investigated whether there was a significant difference between 2DOF and 6DOF input methods with regard to the time spent on task-specific basic manipulations.
Keywords: 2D/3D input devices / Medical segmentation / Interactive steering tasks / User study
Easing semantically enriched information retrieval -- An interactive semi-automatic annotation system for medical documents BIBAKFull-Text 370-385
  Theresia Gschwandtner; Katharina Kaiser; Patrick Martini; Silvia Miksch
Mapping medical concepts from a terminology system to the concepts in the narrative text of a medical document is necessary to provide semantically accurate information for further processing steps. The MetaMap Transfer (MMTx) program is a semantic annotation system that generates a rough mapping of concepts from the Unified Medical Language System (UMLS) Metathesaurus to free medical text, but this mapping still contains erroneous and ambiguous bits of information. Since manually correcting the mapping is an extremely cumbersome and time-consuming task, we have developed the MapFace editor. The editor provides a convenient way of navigating the annotated information gained from the MMTx output, and enables users to correct this information on both a conceptual and a syntactical level, and thus it greatly facilitates the handling of the MMTx program. Additionally, the editor provides enhanced visualization features to support the correct interpretation of medical concepts within the text. We paid special attention to ensure that the MapFace editor is an intuitive and convenient tool to work with. Therefore, we recently conducted a usability study in order to create a well founded background serving as a starting point for further improvement of the editor's usability.
Keywords: Semantic annotation / Graphical editor / UMLS
Persuasive robotic assistant for health self-management of older adults: Design and evaluation of social behaviors BIBAKFull-Text 386-397
  Rosemarijn Looije; Mark A. Neerincx; Fokie Cnossen
Daily health self-management, such as the harmonization of food, exercise and medication, is a major problem for a large group of older adults with obesity or diabetics. Computer-based personal assistance can help to behave healthy by persuading and guiding older adults. For effective persuasion, the assistant should express social behaviors (e.g., turn taking, emotional expressions) to be trustworthy and show empathy. From the motivational interviewing method and synthetic assistants' literature, we derived a set of social behaviors, and implemented a subset in a physical character, a virtual character and a text interface. The first behavior type concerns conversing with high-level dialogue (semantics, intentions), which could be implemented in all 3 assistants. The other behavior types could only be implemented in the characters: showing natural cues (e.g., gaze, posture), expressing emotions (e.g., compassionate face), and accommodating social conversations (e.g., turn taking). In an experiment, 24 older adults (45-65) interacted with the text interface and one of the characters, conform a "one-week diabetics scenario". They experienced the virtual and physical character as more empathic and trustworthy than the text-based assistant, and expressed more conversational behavior with the characters. However, it seems that the preference of interacting with the character or the text interface was influenced by the conscientiousness of the participant; more conscientious people liked the text interface better. Older adults responded more negative to the characters that lacked the social behaviors than to the text interface. Some differences between the virtual and physical character probably occurred due to the specific constraints of the physical character.
Keywords: Persuasive computing / Human-robot interaction / Health-care
Pauses in doctor-patient conversation during computer use: The design significance of their durations and accompanying topic changes BIBAKFull-Text 398-409
  William Newman; Graham Button; Paul Cairns
Talk is often suspended during medical consultations while the clinician interacts with the patient's records and other information. This study of four general practitioners (GPs) focused on these suspensions and the adjacent conversational turns. Conversation analysis revealed how GPs took action to close conversations down prior to attending to the records, resulting in a 'free turn' that could be taken up by either GP or patient. The durations of the intervening pauses were also analysed, exposing a hitherto unobserved 10-second timeframe within which both GP and patient showed a preference for the conversation to be resumed. Resumption was more likely to be achieved within 10 s when the GP's records were paper-based rather than computer-based. Subsequent analysis of topic changes on resumption of talk has revealed a 5-second timeframe, also undocumented; when pauses exceed this timeframe, it is rare for the previous topic to be resumed without a restatement. Data recorded in the home suggest that these timeframes are also present in family conversations. We argue for considering the two timeframes when designing systems for use in medical consultations and other conversational settings, and discuss possible outcomes.
Keywords: Medical interaction / Conversational pauses / User interface design
Who will watch (over) me? Humane monitoring in dementia care BIBAKFull-Text 410-422
  Yvonne Schikhof; Ingrid Mulder; Sunil Choenni
The ageing population as well as the tight labor market put pressure on future health care. In this article, we explore the role of monitoring systems in small-scale housing for older people with dementia. By incorporating principles of value-sensitive design in a human centered design process we developed a system for remote monitoring at night in dementia care. The performance of the working system was evaluated in the real-life context of a nursing home and is currently being implemented in small-scale housing. Next to reporting the iterative design and evaluation of the monitoring system, we reflect upon the approach taken.
Keywords: Value sensitive design / Human centered design / Assistive technology

IJHCS 2010 Volume 68 Issue 7

Designing product listing pages -- Effects on sales and users' cognitive workload BIBAKFull-Text 423-431
  P. Schmutz; S. P. Roth; M. Seckler; K. Opwis
Product listing pages, where information on multiple products are displayed, represent a vital point of an E-commerce website on which consumer decisions are made. Prior research has shown that the design of product listing pages has an impact on users' performance and their recall of brand names. The aim of this study was to examine effects of presentation on cognitive load and consumer decisions. An online study was conducted comparing presentation type (matrix versus list presentation). List presentation was associated with lower cognitive load and more economic product selections. Eye-tracking data from an additional laboratory experiment suggest that list presentation triggers comparison processes which could account for the differences found.
Keywords: E-commerce / Cognitive load / Product listing pages / Category pages / Eye-tracking / Online shopping
User study on AffectIM, an avatar-based Instant Messaging system employing rule-based affect sensing from text BIBAKFull-Text 432-450
  Alena Neviarouskaya; Helmut Prendinger; Mitsuru Ishizuka
Social interaction among people is an essential part of every society, and a strong foundation for the development and self-actualization of a person. Even in virtual environments we tend to interact in a social way. Our research addresses the tasks of recognition, interpretation, and visualization of affect communicated through text messaging. In order to facilitate sensitive and expressive interaction in computer-mediated communication, we previously introduced a novel syntactical rule-based approach to affect recognition from text. The evaluation of the developed Affect Analysis Model showed promising results regarding its capability to accurately recognize affective information in text from an existing corpus of informal online conversations. To enrich the user's experience in online communication, to make it enjoyable, exciting, and fun, we implemented a web-based Instant Messaging (IM) application, AffectIM, and endowed it with emotional intelligence by integrating the developed Affect Analysis Model. This paper describes the findings of a twenty-person study conducted with our AffectIM system. The results of the study indicate that our IM system with automatic emotion recognition function can achieve a level of affective intelligence (system is successful at conveying the user's feelings, avatar expression is appropriate) that is comparable to "gold standard", where users select the label of the conveyed emotion manually.
Keywords: Affect sensing from text / Affective user interface / Avatar-based Instant Messaging / User study
The effects of mutual location-awareness on group coordination BIBAKFull-Text 451-467
  Nicolas Nova; Fabien Girardin; Pierre Dillenbourg
The importance of space and place in collaborative practices has been strengthened with the ubiquitous computing paradigm, which aims at the integration of computation in physical objects and places. New location-based applications allow users to know where other individuals are in the physical world. New collaborative applications engage users in geographically dispersed and mobile activities. However, there is still a lack of information concerning how mutual location-awareness (i.e. knowing partners' whereabouts) might influence socio-cognitive processes involved in coordination. To address this issue, we conducted field experiments with a mobile and collaborative game, running on Tablet PCs, and compared two interfaces. On the first interface, groups received automatic updates from teammates' whereabouts, while this automatic MLA tool was not provided by the second interface. In addition, all users could use their Tablet PCs to communicate by annotating the map. We found no differences between the two conditions with regard to the task performance. However, contrary to our expectations, players without automatic MLA had a better representation of their partners' paths, wrote more messages and provided more elaborate explanations of their strategies. Additionally, automatic location-awareness undermined the coordination process, leading participants to be less articulate about their strategy. The paper discusses these results and the implications of such results.
Keywords: Pervasive gaming / Collaborative game / Location-awareness / Location-based services / Field experiment

IJHCS 2010 Volume 68 Issue 8

Measuring the Impact of Personalization and Recommendation on User Behaviour

Measuring the impact of personalization and recommendation on user behaviour BIBFull-Text 469-471
  Markus Zanker; Francesco Ricci; Dietmar Jannach; Loren Terveen
Predictors of user perceptions of web recommender systems: How the basis for generating experience and search product recommendations affects user responses BIBAKFull-Text 472-482
  Paloma Ochi; Shailendra Rao; Leila Takayama; Clifford Nass
One critical question suggested by Web 2.0 is as follows: When is it better to leverage the knowledge of other users vs. rely on the product characteristic-based metrics for online product recommenders? Three recent and notable changes of recommender systems have been as follows: (1) a shift from characteristic-based recommendation algorithms to social-based recommendation algorithms; (2) an increase in the number of dimensions on which algorithms are based; and (3) availability of products that cannot be examined for quality before purchase. The combination of these elements is affecting users' perceptions and attitudes regarding recommender systems and the products recommended by them, but the psychological effects of these trends remain unexplored. The current study empirically examines the effects of these elements, using a 2 (recommendation approach: content-based vs. collaborative-based, within)×2 (dimensions used to generate recommendations: 6 vs. 30, between)×2 (product type: experience products (fragrances) vs. search products (rugs), between) Web-based study (N=80). Participants were told that they would use two recommender systems distinguished by recommendation approach (in fact, the recommendations were identical). There were no substantive main effects, but all three variables exhibited two-way interactions, indicating that design strategies must be grounded in a multi-dimensional understanding of these variables. The implications of this research for the psychology and design of recommender systems are presented.
Keywords: Recommender systems / Content-based vs. collaborative-based recommendations / Number of dimensions for the basis of recommendation
User attitudes towards news content personalization BIBAKFull-Text 483-495
  Talia Lavie; Michal Sela; Ilit Oppenheim; Ohad Inbar; Joachim Meyer
Personalizing news content requires to choose the appropriate depth of personalization and to assess the extent to which readers' explicit expressions of interest in general and specific news topics can be used as the basis for personalization. A preliminary survey examined 117 respondents' attitudes towards news content personalization and their interest in various news topics and subtopics. The second survey examined 23 participants' declared and actual interests. Participants preferred personalization based on general news topics. Declared interest in general news topics adequately predicted the actual interests in some topics, while in others users' interests differed between general news topics and subtopics. The variance in interest in items also differed among topics. Thus, different personalization methods should be used for different topics. For some, such as 'Sports', users show either high interest or no interest at all. In the latter case most articles related to the topic should be removed, with the exception of items that refer to unique events that may raise general interest according to the expressed interest. In other topics, such as 'Science & Technology', most users are interested in important articles, even if they are not interested in the general news topic. Here, the filtering technique should identify the important articles and present them to all readers. The results can be used to develop effective and simple personalization mechanisms which can be applied to the personalization of news, as well as to other domains.
Keywords: News content personalization / Depth of personalization / Electronic news topics
Personalized blog content recommender system for mobile phone users BIBAKFull-Text 496-507
  Po-Huan Chiu; Gloria Yi-Ming Kao; Chi-Chun Lo
Compared to newspaper columnists and broadcast media commentators, bloggers do not have organizations actively promoting their content to users; instead, they rely on word-of-mouth or casual visits by web surfers. We believe the WAP Push service feature of mobile phones can help bridge the gap between internet and mobile services, and expand the number of potential blog readers. Since mobile phone screen size is very limited, content providers must be familiar with individual user preferences in order to recommend content that matches narrowly defined personal interests. To help identify popular blog topics, we have created (a) an information retrieval process that clusters blogs into groups based on keyword analyses, and (b) a mobile content recommender system (M-CRS) for calculating user preferences for new blog documents. Here we describe results from a case study involving 20,000 mobile phone users in which we examined the effects of personalized content recommendations. Browsing habits and user histories were recorded and analyzed to determine individual preferences for making content recommendations via the WAP Push feature. The evaluation results of our recommender system indicate significant increases in both blog-related push service click rates and user time spent reading personalized web pages. The process used in this study supports accurate recommendations of personalized mobile content according to user interests. This approach can be applied to other embedded systems with device limitations, since document subject lines are elaborated and more attractive to intended users.
Keywords: Recommender system / Mobile services / Blog / Content push / Recommendation
Benefits and costs of adaptive user interfaces BIBAKFull-Text 508-524
  Talia Lavie; Joachim Meyer
The paper examines the positive and the possible adverse effects of adaptive user interfaces (AUIs) in the context of an in-vehicle telematic system as a function of four factors: (1) four different levels of adaptivity (ranging from manual to fully adaptive with intermediate levels); (2) different tasks; (3) routine (familiar) and non-routine (unfamiliar) situations; and (4) different user age groups. Both experiments included three sessions during which participants drove a simple driving simulator and performed tasks with the telematic system at one of the adaptivity levels. We measured task performance times and lane position variance. Adaptivity was not always equally beneficial, and its benefits depended on a number of factors, including the frequency in which the tasks were performed, the user's age, the difficulty of the task and the user's involvement in the task. In familiar, routine situations, a fully adaptive system was beneficial for all participants, particularly older ones. In unfamiliar situations, to which the AUI was not adjusted, cognitive workload increased substantially, adversely affecting performance. Intermediate levels of adaptivity keep users involved in the task and help them become more proficient when performing both routine and non-routine tasks. However, intermediate levels of adaptivity should also be implemented with care, because they may also have adverse effects when users encounter non-routine situations.
Keywords: Adaptive user interface / Levels of adaptivity / Task frequency
In situ evaluation of recommender systems: Framework and instrumentation BIBAKFull-Text 525-547
  M. Funk; A. Rozinat; E. Karapanos; A. K. Alves de Medeiros; A. Koca
This paper deals with the evaluation of the recommendation functionality inside a connected consumer electronics product in prototype stage. This evaluation is supported by a framework to access and analyze data about product usage and user experience. The strengths of this framework lie in the collection of both objective data (i.e., "What is the user doing with the product?") and subjective data (i.e., "How is the user experiencing the product?"), which are linked together and analyzed in a combined way. The analysis of objective data provides insights into how the system is actually used in the field. Combined with the subjective data, personal opinions and evaluative judgments on the product quality can be then related to actual user behavior. In order to collect these data in a most natural context, remote data collection allows for extensive user testing within habitual environments. We have applied our framework to the case of an interactive TV recommender system application to illustrate that the user experience of recommender systems can be evaluated in real-life usage scenarios.
Keywords: Use experience / Recommender systems / Experience sampling / Observation / Process mining

IJHCS 2010 Volume 68 Issue 9

Determining relevance of imprecise temporal intervals for cultural heritage information retrieval BIBAKFull-Text 549-560
  Tomi Kauppinen; Glauco Mantegari; Panu Paakkarinen; Heini Kuittinen; Eero Hyvönen; Stefania Bandini
Time is an essential concept in cultural heritage applications. Instances of temporal concepts such as time intervals are used for the annotation of cultural objects and also for querying datasets containing information about these objects. Hence it is important to match query and annotation intervals by examining their similarity or closeness. One of the problems is that in many cases time intervals are imprecise. For example, the boundaries of the "Pre-Roman age" and the "Roman age" are inherently imprecise and it may be difficult to distinguish them with clear-cut intervals. In this paper we apply the fuzzy set theory to model imprecise time intervals in order to determine relevance of the relationship between two time intervals. We present a method for matching query and annotation intervals based on their weighted mutual overlapping and closeness. We present (1) methods for calculating these weights to produce a combined measure and (2) results of comparing the combined measure with human evaluators as a case study. The case study takes into consideration archaeological temporal information, which is in most cases inherently fuzzy, and therefore offers a particularly complex and challenging scenario. The results show that our new combined measure that utilizes different weighted measures together in rankings, performs the best in terms of precision and recall. It should be used when ranking annotation intervals according to a given query interval in cultural heritage information retrieval. Our approach intends to be generalizable: overlapping and closeness may be calculated between any two fuzzy temporal intervals. The presented procedure of using user evaluation results as a basis for assigning weights for overlapping and closeness could potentially be used to reveal weights in other domains and purposes as well.
Keywords: Fuzzy sets / Time / Information retrieval / Cultural heritage
Examining working memory load and congruency effects on affordances and conventions BIBAKFull-Text 561-571
  Jeremiah D. Still; Veronica J. Dark
Although there is a debate about whether designers should draw a distinction between perceptual affordances and cultural conventions, there are few behavioral studies. We examined the impact of working memory load and expected button-to-action mapping congruency on affordances and conventions. The findings suggest both sides of the debate are correct. Learned conventions were found to structure responses towards expected actions, just like affordances, but affordance-based interactions were not affected by memory load while convention-based actions were. Therefore, designers ought to employ perceptual affordances when possible and when not feasible they ought to reuse established conventions. Additionally, evidence is presented that violating expected affordance-based and convention-based button-to-action mappings caused a similar performance cost. We believe that after the initial learning period, conventions play a critical role in the perception of a design's available actions just as perceptual affordances do.
Keywords: Affordance / Convention / Interaction design
'To play or not to play': A cross-temporal investigation using hedonic and instrumental perspectives to explain user intentions to explore a technology BIBAKFull-Text 572-588
  Massimo Magni; M. Susan Taylor; Viswanath Venkatesh
The present research extends prior work on the relationship between users and technology by examining users' intention to explore a technology. Drawing on exploration and individual motivation theories, we developed and tested a model examining the effects of hedonic (i.e., personal innovativeness and cognitive absorption) and instrumental (i.e., performance expectancy and image enhancement) factors on individuals' intentions to explore a technology over time. Based on a study of 94 users exposed to a new technology, with measurements taken at two points in time, we found that both instrumental and hedonic factors affect individuals' intentions to explore, but their effects change over time such that as time goes by, the effect of personal innovativeness decreases and performance expectancy increases. In addition to our contributions and implications for research on technology acceptance, we present practical implications both for developers and managers, with a view toward helping the development and deployment of technologies that satisfy the evolution of users' needs over time.
Keywords: Intention to explore / Time / User behavior / Hedonic and instrumental perspectives
Birds of a feather: How personality influences blog writing and reading BIBAKFull-Text 589-602
  Jamy Li; Mark Chignell
The rapid development of blogs as a social networking tool has greatly increased the number of people who are expressing themselves in text published online. As yet little is known about the social psychology of online interaction using recently developed Web 2.0 functionalities. To what extent do principles of social psychology carry over into the online domain and how can appropriate use of those principles assist in activities such as community building, e-commerce, marketing, and personalization of services? There would seem to be a large number of novel research questions that can be posed with respect to online interaction. One pertinent question concerns the extent to which compatibility of personality influences online interaction. We investigated this question in terms of hypotheses derived from the personality research literature, using a two-part experiment. In the first study, eight participants wrote blogs in two distinct genres (personal diaries and commentaries) and rated their own personalities. In the second study 12 different participants judged the personality of authors as implied in the blog texts created in the first study. Those participants also completed a personality questionnaire and rated their attraction to the blog text author. Readers of the blog corpus were able to consistently judge the personality of the writers based solely on the text that they wrote. Moreover, they followed a well-established social rule regarding interpersonal attraction in real-life interaction. Blog readers were significantly more attracted to blog writers with more similar personalities -- offering support that in a blog environment, "birds of a feather flock together." Emotion word use in the blog corpus correlated with writer's personality, suggesting that online personality may be signalled by linguistic cues. The two most popular genres of blog writing, personal journal and commentary, differed in how accurately readers judged author personality traits. Based on the results obtained it is suggested that personality is an important determinant and that further research on how people communicate with blogs will be relevant to social network analysis and to marketing.
Keywords: Blogs / Personality theory / Interpersonal attraction / Computer-mediated communication / Blog genre

IJHCS 2010 Volume 68 Issue 10

A human motor behavior model for distal pointing tasks BIBAKFull-Text 603-615
  Regis Kopper; Doug A. Bowman; Mara G. Silva; Ryan P. McMahan
Models of human motor behavior are well known as an aid in the design of user interfaces (UIs). Most current models apply primarily to desktop interaction, but with the development of non-desktop UIs, new types of motor behaviors need to be modeled. Distal pointing -- pointing directly at a target that is remotely situated with respect to the input device -- is such a motor behavior. A model of distal pointing would be particularly useful in the comparison of different interaction techniques, because the performance of such techniques is highly dependent on user strategy, making controlled studies difficult to perform. Inspired by Fitts' law, we studied four possible models and concluded that movement time for a distal pointing task is best described as a function of the angular amplitude of movement and the angular size of the target. Contrary to Fitts' law, our model shows that the angular size has a much larger effect on movement time than the angular amplitude and that the growth in the difficulty of the tasks is quadratic, rather than linear. We estimated the model's parameters experimentally with a correlation coefficient of 96%.
Keywords: HCI models of human motor behavior / Fitts' law / Distal pointing
Supporting intelligent and trustworthy maritime path planning decisions BIBAKFull-Text 616-626
  M. L. Cummings; Mariela Buchin; Geoffrey Carrigan; Birsen Donmez
The risk of maritime collisions and groundings has dramatically increased in the past five years despite technological advancements such as GPS-based navigation tools and electronic charts, which may add to, instead of reduce, workload. We propose that an automated path planning tool for littoral navigation can reduce workload and improve the overall system efficiency, particularly under time pressure. To this end, a maritime automated path planner (MAPP) was developed, incorporating information requirements developed from a cognitive task analysis, with special emphasis on designing for trust. Human-in-the-loop experimental results showed that MAPP was successful in reducing the time required to generate an optimized path, as well as reducing path lengths. The results also showed that while users gave the tool high acceptance ratings, they rated the MAPP as average for trust, which we propose is the appropriate level of trust for such a system.
Keywords: Path planning / Decision support / Trust / Maritime / Navigation
Beyond being there? Evaluating augmented digital records BIBAKFull-Text 627-640
  Vaiva Kalnikaite; Steve Whittaker
Technological advances have made possible a new generation of digital prosthetic memory devices (or memory aids). Yet we currently know little about when, how and why these devices might be useful. We evaluated two novel prosthetic memory devices in naturalistic and controlled learning settings. Both devices provide controlled access to annotated digital records of lectures, potentially freeing students from taking detailed notes, allowing them to re-access lecture recordings whenever they choose. Digital records had benefits over traditional learning aids (e.g. handouts/personal notes): Students were more accurate in answering class quizzes using digital records, and spontaneous digital records usage outside lectures showed strategic access during important aspects of the course. Native speakers who used digital records performed better on coursework, and non-native language speakers used digital records extensively. Despite being a verbatim record, digital records did not substitute for attendance: students who had attended lectures performed better on quizzes and final coursework and few students listened to lectures from beginning to end. Digital records are thus a highly promising teaching tool, but prosthetic memory devices are best understood as working in synergy with current tools to aid human memory, rather than replacing it. We conclude by discussing potential theory and design implications.
Keywords: Memory / Prosthetic memory / Digital record / Speech browsing / Speech retrieval / Digital notes / Digital pictures / Empirical evaluation / Quantitative methods
A framework and computer system for knowledge-level acquisition, representation, and reasoning with process knowledge BIBAKFull-Text 641-668
  José Manuel Gómez-Pérez; Michael Erdmann; Mark Greaves; Oscar Corcho; Richard Benjamins
The development of knowledge-based systems is usually approached through the combined skills of software and knowledge engineers (SEs and KEs, respectively) and of subject matter experts (SMEs). One of the most critical steps in this task aims at transferring knowledge from SMEs' expertise to formal, machine-readable representations, which allow systems to reason with such knowledge. However, this process is costly and error prone. Alleviating such knowledge acquisition bottleneck requires enabling SMEs with the means to produce the target knowledge representations, minimizing the intervention of KEs. This is especially difficult in the case of complex knowledge types like processes. The analysis of scientific domains like Biology, Chemistry, and Physics uncovers: (i) that process knowledge is the single most frequent type of knowledge occurring in such domains and (ii) specific solutions need to be devised in order to allow SMEs to represent it in a computational form. We present a framework and computer system for the acquisition and representation of process knowledge in scientific domains by SMEs. We propose methods and techniques to enable SMEs to acquire process knowledge from the domains, to formally represent it, and to reason about it. We have developed an abstract process metamodel and a library of problem solving methods (PSMs), which support these tasks, respectively providing the terminology for SME-tailored process diagrams and an abstract formalization of the strategies needed for reasoning about processes. We have implemented this approach as part of the DarkMatter system and formally evaluated it in the context of the intermediate evaluation of Project Halo, an initiative aiming at the creation of question answering systems by SMEs.
Keywords: Subject matter experts / Process knowledge / Knowledge acquisition / Knowledge representation / Reasoning / Problem solving methods / Usability / Evaluation
A study of demographic embodiments of product recommendation agents in electronic commerce BIBAKFull-Text 669-688
  Lingyun Qiu; Izak Benbasat
Product Recommendation Agents (PRAs) and other web-based decision aids are deployed extensively to provide online shoppers with virtual advising services. While the design of PRA's functional features has received a high degree of attention in academic studies, the social aspects of human-PRA interactions are comparatively less explored. This paper investigates the potential of enhancing users' social experiences of interacting with an anthropomorphic PRA (i.e., an agent with human-like characteristics, such as facial expressions, body gestures, or speech output) by manipulating its demographic embodiments. The two demographic variables assessed are ethnicity and gender. As suggested by similarity-attraction theory and social identity theory, the results of our laboratory experiment reveal that PRAs that match the ethnicity, though not the gender, of their users are perceived as more sociable, more enjoyable, and more useful to interact with than the mismatched ones. More interestingly, the "matching-up" effects of ethnicity are more significant among female users than males. Implications for practitioners on how to use an anthropomorphic agent's demographic characteristics to enhance users' interaction experience are also discussed.
Keywords: Electronic commerce / Product recommendation agent / Anthropomorphic interface / Avatar / Ethnicity / Gender / Social presence / Perceived enjoyment / Perceived usefulness
Facets of visual aesthetics BIBAKFull-Text 689-709
  Morten Moshagen; Meinald T. Thielsch
Visual aesthetics has been shown to critically affect a variety of constructs such as perceived usability, satisfaction, and pleasure. Given the importance of visual aesthetics in human-computer interaction, it is vital that it is adequately assessed. The present research aimed at providing a precise operational definition and to develop a new measure of perceived visual aesthetics of websites. Construction of the Visual Aesthetics of Website Inventory (VisAWI) was based on a comprehensive and broad definition of visual aesthetics so that the resulting instrument would completely describe the domain of interest. Four interrelated facets of perceived visual aesthetics of websites were identified and validated in a series of seven studies. Simplicity and Diversity have repeatedly been treated as formal parameters of aesthetic objects throughout the history of empirical aesthetics, Colors are a critical property of aesthetic objects, and Craftsmanship addresses the skillful and coherent integration of the relevant design dimensions. These four facets jointly represent perceived visual aesthetics, but are still distinguishable from each other and carry unique meaning. The subscales contained in the VisAWI demonstrate good internal consistencies. Evidence for the convergent, divergent, discriminative, and concurrent validity of the VisAWI is provided. Overall, the present research suggests that the VisAWI appears to be a sound measure of visual aesthetics of websites comprising facets of both practical and theoretical interest.
Keywords: Aesthetics / Assessment / Beauty / Design / Measurement / Website
The impact of anonymity on weblog credibility BIBAKFull-Text 710-718
  Thomas Chesney; Daniel K. S. Su
A blog, or weblog, is an online diary whose writer is known as a blogger. Many bloggers choose to publish anonymously. This paper examines whether a blog by an anonymous blogger will be perceived as being any more or less credible than one by an identifiable blogger. Two studies were conducted in the UK to examine this, with one of the two studies being replicated in Malaysia. The first study presented respondents with a blog entry in one of three conditions: where the blogger was fully identifiable with a photograph, where only the age and sex of the blogger were revealed, and where only an alias was given for the blogger. Multi item constructs were used to measure the credibility of the blog and the blogger. No differences were found. Study 2 examined whether this was due to the presentation of the blog entry. This time respondents were shown one of two blog posts which conveyed exactly the same information and revealed exactly the same information about the blogger. One post introduced a number of spelling/grammar/punctuation errors. Results show that the well presented blog's writer was perceived as being more credible than the writer of the badly presented blog, but there was no difference in the credibility of the blog itself. The implications of the results are discussed with reference to the use of blogs as a knowledge sharing tool.
Keywords: Perceived credibility / Computer mediated communication
Cultural differences, experience with social networks and the nature of "true commitment" in Facebook BIBAKFull-Text 719-728
  Asimina Vasalou; Adam N. Joinson; Delphine Courvoisier
Formed on an analysis of design practices, the behaviour chain model stipulates that social network designer's ultimate aim is to encourage users to adopt the social network site by entering a phase of true commitment. During this phase, social network users are driven to connect to known or unknown others by engaging in instrumental uses that create value and content and involve others, while staying active and loyal by investing time in the site. This paper investigates how designer's intentions, as captured by the behaviour chain model, materialise through users' reported practices in the social network site Facebook. A total of 423 Facebook users from 5 countries answered a questionnaire that allowed us to examine how 2 user characteristics, experience with the site, and culture, shape the nature of true commitment. Our findings show that experience with the site and even more so, culture, have an effect on users' motivations for using Facebook, as well as their instrumental uses and the time they invest on the site. This analysis reifies the behaviour chain model by allowing designers to understand how the features they design are embodied in users' practices.
Keywords: Social network sites / Facebook / Behaviour chain model / Experience / Culture / Motivations / Uses
An adaptive e-questionnaire for measuring user perceived portal quality BIBAKFull-Text 729-745
  Babis Magoutas; Kay-Uwe Schmidt; Gregoris Mentzas; Ljiljana Stojanovic
In this paper we describe an adaptive e-questionnaire system that can be used for measuring user feedback concerning the quality of portals and e-services. The proposed system applies three axes of adaptation: based on real-time feedback from users through questionnaires, based on problems encountered by the user and based on metadata of the pages visited by the user. The system is based on a model for adaptive quality measurement (MAQM), which comprises different ontologies including concepts regarding the quality of portal and e-services, the questions and questionnaires, the portal characteristics (e.g. page types), the user behavior and the user-encountered problems. The results of evaluating the system's usefulness in an e-government portal are indicative of the value added of our approach. The user experience associated with the quality assessment process is improved and the portal provider gets better feedback in terms of quantity and quality.
Keywords: Adaptive / E-questionnaire / Personalization / Quality measurement / Ontology / e-Government
Spatial learning in a virtual multilevel building: Evaluating three exocentric view aids BIBAKFull-Text 746-759
  Zhiqiang Luo; Wenshu Luo; Christopher D. Wickens; I-Ming Chen
The present study explores how the design of the exocentric view aid affects the acquisition of survey knowledge in virtual environments. The exocentric view was provided by either a 3D floor map, a 3D building map or the elevation of viewpoint in air. Participants navigated a virtual multilevel building and their survey knowledge was measured by the judgment of spatial relative direction. The results showed that (1) the accuracy of spatial judgment along the horizontal direction and response time were improved for participants with the exocentric view aid; (2) the accuracy of spatial judgment along the vertical direction was worst in the condition with a 3D floor map; (3) in general participants with a 3D building map performed best. The data suggested that the large scale of an exocentric view aid and the increased number of exocentric perspective through which the spatial layout is observed can facilitate the acquisition of survey knowledge in a virtual building. Potential applications of the findings include the design of a 3D map for navigation in both real and virtual buildings.
Keywords: Virtual environment / Navigation aid / Spatial learning / Exocentric view
Fieldwork for requirements: Frameworks for mobile healthcare applications BIBAKFull-Text 760-776
  G. Doherty; J. McKnight; S. Luz
Ethnographic approaches to study of work in the field have been widely adopted by HCI researchers as resources for investigation of work settings and for requirements elicitation. Although the value of fieldwork for design is widely recognised, difficulties surround the exploitation of fieldwork data within the design process. Since not every development project can support or justify large-scale field investigation, the issue of how to build on previous work within a domain is particularly important. In this paper we consider this issue in the context of development of mobile healthcare applications. Many such systems will be built in the coming years, and already a number of influential studies have derived concepts from fieldwork data and used them to support analysis of healthcare work. Using a patient review process as an example, we examine how the concepts from such exemplar studies can be leveraged to analyse fieldwork data, and to facilitate requirements elicitation. The concepts, previous interpretation within the domain, prototypical requirements and associated critique together provide a framework for analysis. The concepts are used to highlight issues that must be addressed and to derive requirements. We make the case that these concepts are not "value free" and that the course of our analysis is significantly altered through the palette of concepts used. The methodological implications of this proposition are also considered.
Keywords: Healthcare / Mobile applications / Requirements / Conceptual frameworks / Fieldwork
The effects of gender differences on operational performance and satisfaction with car navigation systems BIBAKFull-Text 777-787
  Pei-Chun Lin; Li-Wen Chien
This study investigates whether gender differences have an impact on the definition of good interface design and whether manufacturers should develop interfaces that fit small-display portable car navigation systems (CNSs) based on gender. This work adopted an experimental design for collecting data from three tasks -- locating points, planning routes, and searching polygons -- each emphasizing a different aspect of way-finding. Study results show that gender, the CNS interface the participant used, and a combination of the two predict a person's operational performance and satisfaction with a CNS. This study's results provide a better understanding of whether manufacturers should develop interfaces that fit a CNS's small display based on gender.
Keywords: Small display / Car navigation system / User interface / Gender difference
Influence of personality and individual abilities on the sense of presence experienced in anxiety triggering virtual environments BIBAKFull-Text 788-801
  Ivan Alsina-Jurnet; José Gutiérrez-Maldonado
In the literature, there are few studies of the human factors involved in the engagement of presence. The present study aims to investigate the influence of five user characteristics -- test anxiety, spatial intelligence, verbal intelligence, personality and computer experience -- on the sense of presence. This is the first study to investigate the influence of spatial intelligence on the sense of presence, and the first to use an immersive virtual reality system to investigate the relationship between users' personality characteristics and presence. The results show a greater sense of presence in test anxiety environments than in a neutral environment. Moreover, high test anxiety students feel more presence than their non-test anxiety counterparts. Spatial intelligence and introversion also influence the sense of presence experienced by high test anxiety students exposed to anxiety triggering virtual environments. These results may help to identify new groups of patients likely to benefit from virtual reality exposure therapy.
Keywords: Individual differences / Anxiety / Personality / Intelligence / Sense of presence / Virtual reality

IJHCS 2010 Volume 68 Issue 11

Information technologies and transitions in the lives of 55-65-year-olds: The case of colliding life interests BIBAKFull-Text 803-821
  Antti Salovaara; Asko Lehmuskallio; Leif Hedman; Paula Valkonen; Jaana Näsänen
More and more people entering the stage of retirement at around age 55-65 are healthy, active, and also very computer-literate. This trend is rapidly changing the common image of late-midlife technology users, which rests on the assumption that they find it difficult to embrace new technologies and also that their main interests are health related. Although technology use and lifestyles are changing, however, many other aspects of life remain the same. One of these aspects is that of the transitions, or life changes, that generally take place in these years. Besides retirement, these transitions include changes in health, housing, social interaction, work life, and personal finance. People develop different ways of coping with these transitions, which brings up interesting issues related to the late midlife stage. This paper presents a diary-aided interview study of late middle-age adults (N=24) in Finland and Sweden with a focus on the interplay between technologies and transitions. Transitions were found to play a part in how the life interests of late middle-aged persons are often conflictive, forcing them to choose from among various 'possible selves'. At its best, technology can help alleviate these tensions. This finding is exemplified in the paper's discussion of two design implications associated with particular clashes of interests, related to how daily activities are organized and how contact is maintained with one's friends and family.
Keywords: Late middle age / Later midlife / Colliding life interests / Transitions / Life changes / Coping strategies
Effects of pre-game stories on feelings of presence and evaluation of computer games BIBAKFull-Text 822-833
  Namkee Park; Kwan Min Lee; Seung-A Annie Jin; Sukhee Kang
Two experiments examined the effects of exposure to a pre-game story prior to playing a computer game. In Experiment 1, participants played a computer game after watching a 5 min pre-game story video about the main character of the game. Prior exposure to the pre-game story positively influenced participants' feelings of presence and their game evaluation. The effect of pre-game story exposure on game evaluation was mediated by participants' feelings of presence. When a comparison between participants who watched the pre-game story and those who watched a non-story video was conducted, no mediating role of feelings of presence was found. In Experiment 2, participants read a movie script before playing the game. Its results partially replicated those of Experiment 1 with no significant mediating role of feelings of presence. The implications of the current study were discussed with respect to (1) studies on stories in computer games, (2) presence research, and (3) the design of computer games.
Keywords: Computer games / Pre-game stories / Game evaluation / Physical presence / Self-presence / Computer game design
Fostering trust in virtual project teams: Towards a design framework grounded in a TrustWorthiness ANtecedents (TWAN) schema BIBAKFull-Text 834-850
  Ellen Rusman; Jan van Bruggen; Peter Sloep; Rob Koper
Several collaboration problems in virtual project teams that work in knowledge-intensive contexts can be attributed to a hampered process of interpersonal trust formation. Solutions to trust formation problems need to be based on an understanding of how interpersonal trust forms in face-to-face project teams as well as on insight into how this process differs in virtual teams. Synthesizing literature from various disciplines, we propose a model for the formation of interpersonal trust between project team members. Taking this model as a starting point, we analyse how virtual settings may alter or even obstruct the process of trust formation. One method to improve the formation of interpersonal trust in virtual settings is to facilitate the assessment of trustworthiness. This can be done by making information available about individual virtual project team members. Previous research in virtual project teams focussed principally on the medium by which information is spread, for example, by phone, mail, or videoconferencing. Most researchers failed to take the specific content of the information into account, although there is general agreement that personal, non-task-related information is important to foster trust. For this, we propose to use the antecedents of trustworthiness, which until now have mainly been used as a framework to measure trust, as a design framework instead. This framework of antecedents can also be used to determine which type of information is relevant to assess each other's trustworthiness. We review existing literature on the antecedents of trustworthiness and extend the well-accepted antecedents of 'ability', 'benevolence' and 'integrity' with several other antecedents, such as 'communality' and 'accountability'. Together, these form the TrustWorthiness ANtecedents (TWAN) schema. We describe how these antecedents can be used to determine which information is relevant for team members assessing others' trustworthiness. In future research we will first verify this extended cognitive schema of trustworthiness (TWAN) empirically and then apply it to the design of artefacts or guidelines, such as a personal identity profile to support the assessment of trustworthiness in virtual project teams.
Keywords: Trust / Trustworthiness / Artefact design / Virtual team / Collaboration / Impression formation / Identity / Profile
Affect expression in ECAs: Application to politeness displays BIBAKFull-Text 851-871
  RadosLaw Niewiadomski; Catherine Pelachaud
In this paper we present our embodied conversational agent (ECA) capable of displaying a vast set of facial expressions to communicate its emotional states as well as its social relations. Our agent is able to superpose and mask its emotional states as well as fake or inhibit them. We defined complex facial expressions as expressions arising from these displays. In the following, we describe a model based on fuzzy methods that enables to generate complex facial expressions of emotions. It uses fuzzy similarity to compute the degree of resemblance between facial expressions of the ECA. We also present an algorithm that adapts the facial behaviour of the agent depending on its social relationship with the interactants. This last algorithm is based on the theory of politeness by Brown and Levinson (1987). It outputs complex facial expressions that are socially adequate.
Keywords: Embodied conversational agent / Facial expressions / Non-verbal politeness / Fuzzy similarity / Social context

IJHCS 2010 Volume 68 Issue 12

Human-centred design methods: Developing scenarios for robot assisted play informed by user panels and field trials BIBAKFull-Text 873-898
  Ben Robins; Ester Ferrari; Kerstin Dautenhahn; Gernot Kronreif; Barbara Prazak-Aram; Gert-jan Gelderblom; Bernd Tanja; Francesca Caprino; Elena Laudanna; Patrizia Marti
This article describes the user-centred development of play scenarios for robot assisted play, as part of the multidisciplinary IROMEC1 project that develops a novel robotic toy for children with special needs. The project investigates how robotic toys can become social mediators, encouraging children with special needs to discover a range of play styles, from solitary to collaborative play (with peers, carers/teachers, parents, etc.). This article explains the developmental process of constructing relevant play scenarios for children with different special needs. Results are presented from consultation with panel of experts (therapists, teachers, parents) who advised on the play needs for the various target user groups and who helped investigate how robotic toys could be used as a play tool to assist in the children's development. Examples from experimental investigations are provided which have informed the development of scenarios throughout the design process. We conclude by pointing out the potential benefit of this work to a variety of research projects and applications involving human-robot interactions.
Keywords: Robot assisted play / Human-centred design / Assistive technology / Human-robot interaction
Effects of specialization in computers, web sites, and web agents on e-commerce trust BIBAKFull-Text 899-912
  Yoon Jeon Koh; S. Shyam Sundar
Suppose you went shopping online for wines and visited several sites, each recommending particular reds and whites. Which kind of site are you likely to trust more -- costco.com or wine.com? The specialization implied by the latter suggests more expertise in the domain of wines. Does it mean that you are more likely to purchase wines recommended by sites such as wine.com and vintagecellars.com.au than those recommended by generalist sites such as costco.com and samsclub.com? Our study attempts to answer this question by experimentally investigating how specialization in media technology (specifically, web agent, web site, and computer) influences individuals' perception and attitudes towards sources in online communication, particularly consumer trust and purchase behaviors in e-commerce. All subjects (N=124) went to a specially constructed online site with a virtual shopping cart for a wine-purchasing task, as part of a 2 (specialist vs. generalist web agent)×2 (specialist vs. generalist web site)×2 (specialist computer vs. generalist computer) between-subjects experiment. Results indicate significant main effects and interactions of the agent, site, and computer specialization on trust and purchase decision time. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.
Keywords: Specialization / Media equation / Source layers in HCI / Web agent / Web site / Category-based perception / Generalist technologies / Domain expertise
Consumer trust and distrust: An issue of website design BIBAKFull-Text 913-934
  Carol Xiaojuan Ou; Choon Ling Sia
Researchers have long speculated about the distinction between trust and distrust, yet the majority of studies on trust have treated them as essentially the same construct on opposite ends of a continuum. In order to resolve this ambiguity, we propose a theoretical framework to investigate the antecedents and influences of trust and distrust in the online shopping context, relying on the literature of website design and consumer trust, ambivalence theories, as well as emerging studies on distrust in the work place. Our findings indicate that trust and distrust are two separate concepts by reason of their distinct cognitions, different antecedents and different influences on consequent outcomes. In particular, the results show that specific website design attributes have distinct effects on shaping consumers' trust and distrust. These findings suggest new ways in which website attributes can be fine-tuned by website designers and managers.
Keywords: Consumer trust / Distrust / Website design / Functional perception (FP) / Motivating perception (MP)