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Interacting with Computers 23

Editors:Dianne Murray
Publisher:Elsevier Science
Standard No:ISSN 0953-5438
Links:Table of Contents
  1. IWC 2011-01 Volume 23 Issue 1
  2. IWC 2011-03 Volume 23 Issue 2
  3. IWC 2011-05 Volume 23 Issue 3
  4. IWC 2011-07 Volume 23 Issue 4
  5. IWC 2011-09 Volume 23 Issue 5
  6. IWC 2011-11 Volume 23 Issue 6

IWC 2011-01 Volume 23 Issue 1

Socio-technical systems: From design methods to systems engineering BIBAKFull-Text 4-17
  Gordon Baxter; Ian Sommerville
It is widely acknowledged that adopting a socio-technical approach to system development leads to systems that are more acceptable to end users and deliver better value to stakeholders. Despite this, such approaches are not widely practised. We analyse the reasons for this, highlighting some of the problems with the better known socio-technical design methods. Based on this analysis we propose a new pragmatic framework for socio-technical systems engineering (STSE) which builds on the (largely independent) research of groups investigating work design, information systems, computer-supported cooperative work, and cognitive systems engineering. STSE bridges the traditional gap between organisational change and system development using two main types of activity: sensitisation and awareness; and constructive engagement. From the framework, we identify an initial set of interdisciplinary research problems that address how to apply socio-technical approaches in a cost-effective way, and how to facilitate the integration of STSE with existing systems and software engineering approaches.
Keywords: Socio-technical systems / Systems engineering / Software engineering
An integrated model of interaction experience for information retrieval in a Web-based encyclopaedia BIBAKFull-Text 18-32
  Paul van Schaik; Jonathan Ling
An experiment, using two versions of a Web site varying in usability, tested three models of user experience: an interaction experience model, a technology acceptance model and an integrated experience-acceptance model. We found that the perceptions of three product attributes (Pragmatic Quality, Hedonic Quality-stimulation and Hedonic Quality-identification) and technology acceptance variables (the beliefs of Perceived Ease of Use, Perceived Enjoyment and Perceived Usefulness, and Intention to Use) are separate underlying psychological dimensions. A positive effect of usability on task performance, interaction experience and acceptance was found. In the interaction experience model, the evaluation of Goodness (overall interaction quality) was less stable and influenced by both Pragmatic Quality and Hedonic Quality, but the evaluation of Beauty was more stable and only influenced by Hedonic Quality. In the technology acceptance model, Perceived Ease of Use was a determinant of Perceived Enjoyment and Perceived Usefulness, and the latter two were independent determinants of Intention to Use. In the integrated model, perceptions of product attributes were independent determinants of beliefs, but evaluations were not independent determinants of Intention to Use. Future modelling work should address a range of interactive systems, information architecture and individual differences.
Keywords: User experience / Modelling / Web site / Usability / Technology acceptance
Enhancing online forms: Use format specifications for fields with format restrictions to help respondents BIBAKFull-Text 33-39
  Javier A. Bargas-Avila; Sébastien Orsini; Hannah Piosczyk; Dominic Urwyler; Klaus Opwis
Field format restrictions are often used in online forms to impose certain formatting and content rules on users, such as minimum password length or date entry format. In this study, the question whether and how format restrictions for fields in online forms should be communicated to Internet users was explored. In an online study with n=166 participants, four ways to communicate format restrictions were investigated: (1) no visual format restriction, (2) format examples, (3) format specifications, and (4) both format restrictions (examples and specifications). Results show that providing details of any format restriction to users in advance leads to significantly fewer errors and trials. The most efficient way to communicate field format restrictions to users is by stating the imposed rule (format specification). Providing an additional example neither helps nor constrains users.
Keywords: Online forms / Format restriction / Error prevention / Data entry restriction / User feedback / Form validation
Towards the ubiquitous visualization: Adaptive user-interfaces based on the Semantic Web BIBAKFull-Text 40-56
  Ramón Hervás; José Bravo
This manuscript presents an infrastructure that contributes to ubiquitous information. Advances in Ambient Intelligence may help to provide us with the right information at the right time, in an appropriate manner and through the most suitable device for each situation. It is therefore crucial for such devices to have contextual information; that is, to know the person or persons in need of information, the environment, and the available devices and services. All of this information, in appropriate models, can provide a simplified view of the real world and let the system act more like a human and, consequently, more intelligently. A suitable context model is not enough; proactive user interface adaptation is necessary to offer personalized information to the user. In this paper, we present mechanisms for the management of contextual information, reasoning techniques and adaptable user interfaces to support visualization services, providing functionality to make decisions about what and how available information can be offered. Additionally, we present the ViMos framework, an infrastructure to generate context-powered information visualization services dynamically.
Keywords: Ambient Intelligence / Information visualization / Information retrieval / Context-awareness / Ontology / Intelligent user interfaces
Usability evaluation of voiceprint authentication in automated telephone banking: Sentences versus digits BIBAKFull-Text 57-69
  Nancie Gunson; Diarmid Marshall; Fergus McInnes; Mervyn Jack
This paper describes an experiment to investigate the usability of voiceprints for customer authentication in automated telephone banking. The usability of voiceprint authentication using digits (random strings and telephone numbers) and sentences (branded and unbranded) are compared in a controlled experiment with 204 telephone banking customers. Results indicate high levels of usability and customer acceptance for voiceprint authentication in telephone banking. Customers find voiceprint authentication based on digits more usable than that based on sentences, and a majority of participants would prefer to use digits.
Keywords: Voiceprint / Authentication / Verification / Usability / Biometrics / Dialogue design
Development and application of a framework for comparing early design methods for young children BIBAKFull-Text 70-84
  R. J. W. Sluis-Thiescheffer; M. M. Bekker; J. H. Eggen; A. P. O. S. Vermeeren; H. de Ridder
When designing with young children, designers usually select user centred design methods based on the children's required level of engagement and the inspiration expected to be created according to the designer. User centred design methods should be selected for their suitability for children and for the quality of the output of the design method. To understand the suitability of design methods, a framework was developed to describe design methods in terms of required design skills as identified by the Theory of Multiple Intelligences. The proposed framework could provide the basis for a tool to compare design methods and to generate hypotheses about what design method would work optimally with children in a specific school grade. The initial examination of the viability of the framework is a comparison of design methods by the number of skills involved; earlier work showed that the involvement of more skills (as with, e.g. low-fi prototyping) could result in more options for a design problem than the involvement of fewer skills (as with e.g. brainstorming). Options and Criteria were counted to understand the quality of the method in terms of the amount of design-information. The results of the current paper indicate that 8-to-10-year-old children generate significantly more options in prototyping sessions than when they are involved in sessions applying a Nominal Group Technique. The paper indicates that (a) with the framework we can generate hypotheses to compare design methods with children and (b) that the outcome of various design methods, which might lead to very different representations, can be compared in terms of Options and Criteria. Further usage of the framework is expected to result in empirical support for selecting a design method to be applied with young children.
Keywords: Design / Children / User centered design / Design space exploration / Framework / Design skills
"Moving to the centre': A gaze-driven remote camera control for teleoperation BIBAKFull-Text 85-95
  Dingyun Zhu; Tom Gedeon; Ken Taylor
In general, conventional control interfaces such as joysticks, switches, and wheels are predominantly used in teleoperation. However, operators normally have to control multiple complex devices simultaneously. For example, controlling a rock breaker and a remote camera at the same time in mining teleoperation. This overloads the operator's control capability of using hands, increases workload and reduces productivity.
   We present a novel gaze-driven remote camera control with an implemented prototype, which follows a simple and natural design principle: "Whatever you look at on the screen, it moves to the centre!'.
   A user study of modeled hands-busy experiment has been conducted, comparing the performance of using gaze-driven control and traditional joystick control through both objective measures and subjective measures. The experimental results clearly show the gaze-driven control significantly outperformed the conventional joystick control.
Keywords: Gaze tracking interfaces / Hands-busy situation / Teleoperation / Remote camera control / Rock breaking / Usability evaluation
Surfing the web -- Recreation or resource? Exploring how young people in the UK use the Internet as an advice portal for problems with a legal dimension BIBAKFull-Text 96-104
  Catrina Denvir; Nigel J. Balmer; Pascoe Pleasence
Internet use and access in the UK has increased rapidly in the last decade, with the concept of 'information superhighway' recognised as an axiom of Internet technology. Despite this, few studies have sought to investigate the incidence of use of the Internet as an advice resource outside of the health information arena. With an increasing impetus in the public sector towards the provision of online delivery mechanisms for civic orientated activities, including advice provision, it is timely to better understand the appropriateness of online advice seeking. Focusing on young people aged between 18 and 24 years, we investigated how much the Internet was used to obtain information about everyday problems with a legal dimension, who used it, how it was used and how successful respondents were in searching for information online. Data were extracted from a large-scale household survey of adults' experience of problems with a legal dimension conducted across England and Wales (10,512 adult respondents). Results revealed significant growth in the use of the Internet to obtain information about such problems, rising from 4% in 2001 to around 18% in 2008. The responses of the 18-24 year olds to the survey illustrated that despite having comparatively high levels of Internet access, this age group utilised it to a lesser degree than similarly 'connected' age cohorts, and were less successful when doing so. This study highlights aspects of the second digital divide, going beyond access to explore use and outcomes of use. Implications for the future of the Internet in providing information and advice for young people, are discussed.
Keywords: Internet / Advice / Information / Legal problems / Legal services / Young people

IWC 2011-03 Volume 23 Issue 2

Caring through technology: Using e-mail for Christian pastoral care BIBAKFull-Text 106-116
  Mills Stella
Traditionally, Christian pastoral care has always been given face-to-face. However, since the Internet made e-mail a common form of correspondence, people have been e-mailing friends to discuss problems and other matters. More formal pastoral care, involving a pastoral minister, has generally remained a face-to-face occurrence. This article explores the possibility of e-mail being used for Christian pastoral care and evaluates one such system being operated in the United Kingdom. The results show that with an empathic and positive response to the e-mails by the pastoral minister, e-mail pastoral care can increase positive emotion, and hence well-being, in the person seeking care. In addition, the religious aspect of Christian pastoral care seems to be important in initialising the minister-person relationship.
Keywords: E-mail therapy / Christian pastoral care / Empathy / Computer based content analysis
Exploring the wiki user experience: The effects of training spaces on novice user usability and anxiety towards wiki editing BIBAKFull-Text 117-128
  Benjamin R. Cowan; Mervyn A. Jack
With the advent of Web 2.0, the number of IT systems used in university courses is growing. Yet research consistently shows that a significant proportion of students are anxious about computer use. The quality of first experience with computers has been consistently mentioned as a significant contributor to anxiety onset. However the effect of users' first experience on system related anxiety has not to the authors' knowledge been researched using controlled experiments. Indeed little experiment based research has been conducted on the wiki user experience, specifically users' evaluations and emotional reactions towards editing. This research uses usability engineering principles to engineer four different wiki experiences for novice wiki users and measures the effect each has on usability, anxiety during editing and on anxiety about future wiki editing. Each experience varied in the type of training spaces available before completing six live wiki editing tasks. We found that anxiety experienced by users was not related to computer anxiety but was wiki specific. Users in the in-built tutorial conditions also rated the usability of the editing interface higher than users in the non-tutorial conditions. The tutorial conditions also led to a significant reduction in wiki anxiety during interaction but did not significantly affect future editing anxiety. The findings suggest that the use of an in-built tutorial reduces emotional and technological barriers to wiki editing and that controlled experiments can help in discovering how aspects of the system experience can be designed to affect usability and anxiety towards editing wikis.
Keywords: Wiki / User experience / Anxiety / Usability engineering / Controlled experiments
Efficient electronic navigation: A metaphorical question? BIBAKFull-Text 129-136
  Kine Dørum; Kate Garland
Differences in navigation performance have been found for variation in the metaphor used to structure information layout within websites. Our study extends this work by examining three metaphors to clarify further whether differences can be attributed to the metaphor's structure being spatial (versus non-spatial) or because it has greater familiarity. Participants were assigned a website and completed a structurally identical navigation task based on a specific metaphor description. Effects of metaphor were found for total task time, disorientation, and a combined accuracy measure. The house metaphor (spatial/familiar) produced significantly faster task times and more accurately retained metal models than both the town (spatial/unfamiliar) and social (non-spatial/unfamiliar) metaphors. Cognitive style, spatial ability and confidence had mixed and limited influence on the findings. The results suggest that navigation in website environments is facilitated more by the degree of familiarly perceived in the structure of the metaphor, than the spatial or non-spatial nature of the metaphor. This has major implications for the design of hypertext material, especially where the ability to locate information and recall it accurately is important rather than speed per se.
Keywords: Navigation / Metaphors / Mental models
Automatic web accessibility metrics: Where we are and where we can go BIBAKFull-Text 137-155
  Markel Vigo; Giorgio Brajnik
The fact that several web accessibility metrics exist may be evidence of a lack of a comparison framework that highlights how well they work and for what purposes they are appropriate. In this paper we aim at formulating such a framework, demonstrating that it is feasible, and showing the findings we obtained when we applied it to seven existing automatic accessibility metrics. The framework encompasses validity, reliability, sensitivity, adequacy and complexity of metrics in the context of four scenarios where the metrics can be used. The experimental demonstration of the viability of the framework is based on applying seven published metrics to more than 1500 web pages and then operationalizing the notions of validity-as-conformance, adequacy and complexity. Our findings lead us to conclude that the Web Accessibility Quantitative Metric, Page Measure and Web Accessibility Barrier are the metrics that achieve the highest levels of quality (out of the seven that we examined). Finally, since we did not analyse reliability, sensitivity and validity-in-use, this paper provides guidance to address them in what are new research avenues.
Keywords: Web accessibility / Quality framework / Metrics / Automatic assessment / Automatic accessibility evaluation
Visualizing references to off-screen content on mobile devices: A comparison of Arrows, Wedge, and Overview + Detail BIBAKFull-Text 156-166
  Stefano Burigat; Luca Chittaro
When navigating large information spaces on mobile devices, the small size of the display often causes relevant content to shift off-screen, greatly increasing the difficulty of spatial tasks such as planning routes or finding points of interest on a map. Two possible approaches to mitigate the problem are Contextual Cues, i.e. visualizing abstract shapes in the border region of the view area to function as visual references to off-screen objects of interest, and Overview + Detail, i.e., simultaneously displaying a detail view and a small-scale overview of the information space. In this paper, we compare the effectiveness of two different Contextual Cues techniques, Wedge (Gustafson et al., 2008) and Scaled Arrows (Burigat et al., 2006), and a classical Overview + Detail visualization that highlights the location of objects of interest in the overview. The study involved different spatial tasks and investigated the scalability of the considered visualizations, testing them with two different numbers of off-screen objects. Results were multifaceted. With simple spatial tasks, no differences emerged among the visualizations. With more complex spatial tasks, Wedge had advantages when the task required to order off-screen objects with respect to their distance from the display window, while Overview + Detail was the best solution when users needed to find those off-screen objects that were closest to each other. Finally, we found that even a small increase in the number of off-screen objects negatively affected user performance in terms of accuracy, especially in the case of Scaled Arrows, while it had a negligible effect in terms of task completion times.
Keywords: Visualization / Mobile devices / Contextual Cues / Peripheral awareness / Off-screen objects / Overview + Detail
Measuring web usability using item response theory: Principles, features and opportunities BIBAKFull-Text 167-175
  Rafael Tezza; Antonio Cezar Bornia; Dalton Francisco de Andrade
Usability is considered a critical issue on the web that determines either the success or the failure of a company. Thus, the evaluation of usability has gained substantial attention. However, most current tools for usability evaluation have some limitations, such as excessive generality and a lack of reliability and validity. The present work proposes the construction of a tool to measure usability in e-commerce websites using item response theory (IRT). While usability issues have only been considered in theoretical or empirical contexts, in this study, we discuss them from a mathematical point of view using IRT. In particular, we develop a standardised scale to measure usability in e-commerce websites. This study opens a new field of research in the ergonomics of interfaces with respect to the development of scales using IRT.
Keywords: Usability checklist / Item response theory / E-commerce
Selecting users for participation in IT projects: Trading a representative sample for advocates and champions? BIBAKFull-Text 176-187
  Rasmus Rasmussen; Anders S. Christensen; Tobias Fjeldsted; Morten Hertzum
The selection of users for participation in IT projects involves trade-offs between multiple criteria, one of which is selecting a representative cross-section of users. This criterion is basic because trading it for other criteria means basing designs on information biased toward some user groups at the expense of others. Based on interviews in development and customer organizations we find that their criteria for user selection favor persons who can contribute to the progress of the IT project over persons who are representative of the full range of users. A highly valued contribution from participating users is the ability to advocate a vision for the system and champion its organizational implementation. A survey in one customer organization shows that respondents' personal traits explain up to 31% of the variation in their experience of aspects of the usability of a recently introduced system. Thus, unless participating users are representative as to these personal traits, IT projects may, inadvertently, bring about systems that will fail to satisfy many users.
Keywords: User selection / User representatives / User advocates / System champions / User participation

IWC 2011-05 Volume 23 Issue 3

The organization of interaction design pattern languages alongside the design process BIBAKFull-Text 189-201
  Christian Hübscher; Stefan L. Pauwels; Sandra P. Roth; Javier A. Bargas-Avila; Klaus Opwis
This work explores the possibility of taking the structural characteristics of approaches to interaction design as a basis for the organization of interaction design patterns. The Universal Model of the User Interface (Baxley, 2003) is seen as well suited to this; however, in order to cover the full range of interaction design patterns the model had to be extended slightly. Four existing collections of interaction design patterns have been selected for an analysis in which the patterns have been mapped onto the extended model. The conclusion from this analysis is that the use of the model supports the process of building a pattern language, because it is predictive and helps to complete the language. If several pattern writers were to adopt the model, a new level of synergy could be attained among these pattern efforts. A concluding vision would be that patterns could be transferred freely between pattern collections to make them as complete as possible.
Keywords: Design patterns / Pattern languages / Interaction design
Activity recognition using eye-gaze movements and traditional interactions BIBAKFull-Text 202-213
  François Courtemanche; Esma Aïmeur; Aude Dufresne; Mehdi Najjar; Franck Mpondo
The need for intelligent HCI has been reinforced by the increasing numbers of human-centered applications in our daily life. However, in order to respond adequately, intelligent applications must first interpret users' actions. Identifying the context in which users' interactions occur is an important step toward automatic interpretation of behavior. In order to address a part of this context-sensing problem, we propose a generic and application-independent framework for activity recognition of users interacting with a computer interface. Our approach uses Layered Hidden Markov Models (LHMM) and is based on eye-gaze movements along with keyboard and mouse interactions. The main contribution of the proposed framework is the ability to relate users' interactions to a task model in variant applications and for different monitoring purposes. Experimental results from two user studies show that our activity recognition technique is able to achieve good predictive accuracy with a relatively small amount of training data.
Keywords: Activity recognition / Eye-tracking / Human-computer interactions / Layered Hidden Markov Models
Maintaining and modifying pace through tactile and multimodal feedback BIBAKFull-Text 214-225
  Huimin Qian; Ravi Kuber; Andrew Sears; Emma Murphy
Older adults are recommended to remain physically active to reduce the risk of chronic diseases and to maintain psychological well-being. At the same time, research also suggests that levels of fitness can be raised among this group. This paper describes the development and evaluation of a mobile technology, which enables older adults to monitor and modify their walking habits, with the long-term aim of sustaining appropriate levels of physical activity. An empirical study was conducted with twenty older adults to determine the feasibility of the proposed solution, with results indicating that tactile signals could be perceived while in motion and could support participants in walking at a range of paces. However, the effects were difficult to discern due to limitations of the hardware. In response, a novel low-cost prototype was developed to amplify vibrations, and effectiveness of redundant auditory information was investigated with the goal of enhancing the perception of the cues. A second study was conducted to determine the impact of multimodal feedback on walking behavior. Findings revealed that participants were able to maintain a desired level of pace more consistently when redundant auditory information was presented alongside the tactile feedback. When the visual channel is not available, these results suggest that tactile cues presented via a mobile device should be augmented with auditory feedback. Our research also suggests that mobile devices could be made more effective for alternative applications if they are designed to allow for stronger tactile feedback.
Keywords: Tactile / Multimodal / Walking
Supporting business process experts in tailoring business processes BIBAKFull-Text 226-238
  Christian Dörner; Fahri Yetim; Volkmar Pipek; Volker Wulf
Supporting end users to adapt business processes is rather uncommon in the context of large Enterprise Resource Planning systems. We present our new business process modeling environment, called SiSO, that enables business process experts to model and adapt business processes. SiSO enhances the descriptions of services that are provided by Service-Oriented Architectures. These enhanced descriptions focus on organizational-specific information, which makes it easier for business process experts to understand the capabilities of services in their organizational context. The information includes descriptions of services' functions, ratings, and keywords. SiSO's graphical user interface employs the box-and-wire UI design technique to enable business process experts to model business processes in the context of Enterprise Resource Planning systems. SiSO was qualitatively evaluated with six employees of three different companies and found useful in two application fields: (a) the visualization and automation of business processes and (b) the creation of calculations using data from different systems and sources. We think that enabling business process experts to create individual business processes is an important challenge for the design of future Enterprise Resource Planning systems.
Keywords: End-user design environments / End-User Development / Empirical analysis / Composition tools / Business process modeling / Enterprise Resource Planning
Interpretation of a cross-cultural usability evaluation: A case study based on a hypermedia system for rare species management in Namibia BIBAKFull-Text 239-246
  Barbara Paterson; Heike Winschiers-Theophilus; Tim T. Dunne; Britta Schinzel; Les G. Underhill
We present the results of a usability evaluation of a locally developed hypermedia information system aiming at conservation biologists and wildlife managers in Namibia. Developer and end user come from different ethnic backgrounds, as is common to software development in Namibia and many developing countries. To overcome both the cultural and the authoritarian gap between usability evaluator and user, the evaluation was held as a workshop with usability evaluators who shared the target users' ethnic and social backgrounds. Different data collection methods were used and results as well as specific incidences recorded. Results suggest that it is difficult for Namibian computer users to evaluate functionality independently from content. Users displayed evidence of a passive search strategy and an expectation that structure is provided rather than self generated. The comparison of data collection methods suggests that questionnaires are inappropriate in Namibia because they do not elicit a truthful response from participants who tend to provide answers they think are "expected'. The paper concludes that usability goals and methods have to be determined and defined within the target users' cultural context.
Keywords: Cross-cultural usability evaluation / International usability evaluation / Dialogical usability methods / Usability methods / Participation
Automatic detection of accommodation steps as an indicator of knowledge maturing BIBAKFull-Text 247-255
  Johannes Moskaliuk; Andreas Rath; Didier Devaurs; Nicolas Weber; Stefanie Lindstaedt; Joachim Kimmerle; Ulrike Cress
Jointly working on shared digital artifacts -- such as wikis -- is a well-tried method of developing knowledge collectively within a group or organization. Our assumption is that such knowledge maturing is an accommodation process that can be measured by taking the writing process itself into account. This paper describes the development of a tool that detects accommodation automatically with the help of machine learning algorithms. We applied a software framework for task detection to the automatic identification of accommodation processes within a wiki. To set up the learning algorithms and test its performance, we conducted an empirical study, in which participants had to contribute to a wiki and, at the same time, identify their own tasks. Two domain experts evaluated the participants' micro-tasks with regard to accommodation. We then applied an ontology-based task detection approach that identified accommodation with a rate of 79.12%. The potential use of our tool for measuring knowledge maturing online is discussed.
Keywords: Co-evolution / Knowledge development / Knowledge maturing / Task detection / Learning / Context-awareness
Using and managing multiple passwords: A week to a view BIBAKFull-Text 256-267
  Beate Grawemeyer; Hilary Johnson
Security policies are required that protect information from unauthorised access, and also respect challenges users face in creating, and particularly managing, increasing numbers of passwords. This paper investigates real password use in the context of daily life. It presents the results of an empirical study where participants completed a password diary over 7 days, followed by debrief interviews to gain further knowledge and understanding of user behaviour. The results reported relate to how many passwords are in use, the types of passwords participants created, the relationships between different passwords and to sensitive services, how participants retrieved their passwords and finally, the different strategies adopted by users in their management of passwords. The paper concludes by providing a high level set of password guidelines, along with suggestions for mechanisms to support creating, encoding, retrieving and executing multiple passwords.
Keywords: Password management / User authentication / Security
Evaluation of motion-based interaction for mobile devices: A case study on image browsing BIBAKFull-Text 268-278
  Sunghoon Yim; Sungkil Lee; Seungmoon Choi
This article evaluates the usability of motion sensing-based interaction on a mobile platform using image browsing as a representative task. Three types of interfaces, a physical button interface, a motion-sensing interface using a high-precision commercial 3D motion tracker, and a motion-sensing interface using an in-house low-cost 3D motion tracker, are compared in terms of task performance and subjective preference. Participants were provided with prolonged training over 20 days, in order to compensate for the participants' unfamiliarity with the motion-sensing interfaces. Experimental results showed that the participants' task performance and subjective preference for the two motion-sensing interfaces were initially low, but they rapidly improved with training and soon approached the level of the button interface. Furthermore, a recall test, which was conducted 4 weeks later, demonstrated that the usability gains were well retained in spite of the long time gap between uses. Overall, these findings highlight the potential of motion-based interaction as an intuitive interface for mobile devices.
Keywords: Mobile device / Sensing-based interaction / Motion sensing / Image browsing
Identification of the design variables of eLearning tools BIBAKFull-Text 279-288
  M. R. Martínez-Torres; S. L. Toral; F. Barrero
The widespread availability of digital learning resources in a variety of media formats has promoted the proliferation of eLearning systems as an integral part of teaching across all sectors of education. However, these systems are rarely planned in advance taking into account its final usefulness. At most, they are validated through learner experience using the final implemented system. In this paper, a scientific technique called concept mapping is proposed to identify the external variables that should be kept in mind while designing an eLearning tool. As a result, improvements can be programmed to increase its utility in the teaching activities prior to its use. The method has been tested in the development of a eLearning system used for advanced microprocessor teaching. Results are shown through two-dimensional maps, in which variables can be seen as clusters or groups of ideas. These variables can be used as a guide for developing an eLearning tool. The reliability of the results is also analyzed to check the correct application of the proposed technique.
Keywords: eLearning / Concept mapping / Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) / Cluster analysis / Multidimensional scaling

IWC 2011-07 Volume 23 Issue 4

Cognitive Ergonomics for Situated Human-Automation Collaboration

Cognitive Ergonomics for Situated Human-Automation Collaboration BIBFull-Text iii-iv
  Willem-Paul Brinkman; Mark A. Neerincx; Herre van Oostendorp
Hidden roles of the train driver: A challenge for metro automation BIBAKFull-Text 289-298
  Hannu Karvonen; Iina Aaltonen; Mikael Wahlström; Leena Salo; Paula Savioja; Leena Norros
In the year 2014, the Helsinki Metro is planned to be fully automated. This automation means that the metro trains will be computer-driven and monitored remotely from a stationary control room. To investigate the challenges related to this scenario, we decided to study the ways in which the current train drivers contribute to the metro system. We conducted three separate but interrelated studies, which were based on the Core-Task Analysis method. Our results suggest that there is much more to driving the metro train than meets the eye. The drivers do not only operate the train on track and its doors at stations, but they also contribute to a variety of other important, albeit more hidden, functions in the metro system. For example, the drivers anticipate, observe, interpret, and react to events in the surrounding environment. Furthermore, they are a significant interaction link between different actors of the metro system. Our conclusion is that if the identified critical roles of the drivers are not accounted for, a migration to a fully automated metro system can affect the quality of service and raise safety issues. In addition to automated metros, the results of this research can be applicable to automation implementations also in other domains.
Keywords: Core-Task Analysis / Metro train driver work / Automated metro / Human-centered automation / Complex systems / Safety
Evaluating the potential of new technological tools for safety critical work BIBAKFull-Text 299-307
  Leena Norros; Marja Liinasuo; Rob Hutton
Defining user requirements of complex human-system interaction technologies and testing the fulfilment of these requirements in the end-product are issues of design practice that are currently not solved in an optimal way. In the current paper several dilemmas of "task-artefact-cycle', "abstraction level of requirements' and the "tendency for conservative decisions' in requirement definition and testing are tackled. A new simulation method is proposed to tackle these design dilemmas in a case study on emergency response (ER) activity. Modelling and simulation are used as means to anticipate future activity, and the concept of "zone of proximal development' serves to illustrate the change in work demands of the ER activity. One of the key issues in ER is to create a realistic and timely understanding of the situation and to identify adequately the needs for action, the Common Operational Picture (COP). In the project, prototypes of new technological tools were designed to facilitate creation of an appropriate COP. First, normal emergency response activity was modelled. Then, the modelled situation and corresponding activity were enacted by competent actors as undisturbed as possible. Parallel to this, a second activity took place. This involved two professional fire fighters acting in the roles of incident commander and supporting officer. They observed the actual demands of the situation and the activities of the first responder actors. They also observed the available information provided by the new technologies. In the present paper the focus is on the presentation of the design and evaluation methodology. The demonstration of the methodology in a complex design task indicates the feasibility of the approach.
Keywords: Usage-centred design / Activity analysis / Simulation / Emergency response / Common Operational Picture
Distributed collaborative situation-map making for disaster response BIBAKFull-Text 308-316
  Lucy T. Gunawan; Hani Alers; Willem-Paul Brinkman; Mark A. Neerincx
A situation map that shows the overview of a disaster situation serves as a valuable tool for disaster response teams. It helps them to orientate their location and to make disaster response decisions. It is, however, a complicated task to rapidly generate a complete and comprehensive situation map of a disaster area, particularly due to the centralized organization of disaster management and the limited emergency services. In this study, we propose to let the affected population be utilized as an additional resource that can actively help to make such a situation map.
   The aim of this study was to investigate the possibility of constructing a shared situation map using a collaborative distributed mechanism. By examining earlier research, a detailed list of potential problems is identified in the collaborative map-making process. These problems were then addressed in an experiment which evaluated a number of proposed solutions. The results showed that more collaboration channels led to a situation map of better quality, and that including confidence information for objects and events in the map helped the discussion process during the map-making.
Keywords: Collaboration / Sensemaking / Situation mapping / Disaster response / Map sharing / Situation awareness
Influences of haptic communication on a shared manual task BIBAKFull-Text 317-328
  Amine Chellali; Cédric Dumas; Isabelle Milleville-Pennel
With the advent of new haptic feedback devices, researchers are giving serious consideration to the incorporation of haptic communication in collaborative virtual environments. For instance, haptic interactions based tools can be used for medical and related education whereby students can train in minimal invasive surgery using virtual reality before approaching human subjects. To design virtual environments that support haptic communication, a deeper understanding of humans' haptic interactions is required. In this paper, human's haptic collaboration is investigated. A collaborative virtual environment was designed to support performing a shared manual task. To evaluate this system, 60 medical students participated to an experimental study. Participants were asked to perform in dyads a needle insertion task after a training period. Results show that compared to conventional training methods, a visual-haptic training improves user's collaborative performance. In addition, we found that haptic interaction influences the partners' verbal communication when sharing haptic information. This indicates that the haptic communication training changes the nature of the users' mental representations. Finally, we found that haptic interactions increased the sense of copresence in the virtual environment: haptic communication facilitates users' collaboration in a shared manual task within a shared virtual environment. Design implications for including haptic communication in virtual environments are outlined.
Keywords: Haptic communication / Common ground / Collaborative virtual environments / User-centred design / HCI
The role of Game Discourse Analysis and curiosity in creating engaging and effective serious games by implementing a back story and foreshadowing BIBAKFull-Text 329-336
  Pieter Wouters; Herre van Oostendorp; Rudy Boonekamp; Erik van der Spek
A challenge for serious games designers is to integrate learning with entertainment. For this purpose, the generation of curiosity using the foreshadowing/back story technique is promising. To implement this technique we propose the Game Discourse Analysis (GDA) which discerns between information flow (i.e. the sequence of information elements in a chronological order) and game discourse (i.e. the manipulation of the information flow to make the game more engaging and effective). We elaborate on the GDA and describe how two of the authors applied it in order to implement foreshadowing/back story in the game ReMission. The GDA was found to have potential as a communication tool for multidisciplinary design teams. Also, two problems were signaled: (1) creating an information flow is laborious and designers may benefit from automating parts of the GDA; (2) substantial deviations from the optimal information flow by players' actions may interfere with the intention of the game discourse. Additionally, in an experiment we tested the impact of this GDA supported manipulation on engagement (curiosity) and learning. We found that the GDA-supported foreshadowing/back story yielded more curiosity, but that it did not yield learning.
Keywords: Computer games / Game design / Discourse analysis / Engagement / Curiosity / Entertainment
Designing and assessing everyday objects: Impact of externalisation tools and judges' backgrounds BIBAKFull-Text 337-345
  Alicja Wojtczuk; Nathalie Bonnardel
Professional designers increasingly rely on IT-based systems in the course of their work. It is therefore crucial to know how such systems, especially computer-aided design (CAD) systems, influence both the design process and the final design, compared with the use of manual design methods. The objective of this paper is twofold: to address this issue and to suggest ways of improving IT-based systems specifically developed to support designers' activities. In the first phase of a two-phase study, we investigated how the use of different tools can affect the design process. In the second phase, we conducted two complementary analyses to determine how the use of different tools affects the assessment of final designs, as well as the effect of the judges' backgrounds on their assessments. We began by comparing the activities of two groups of designers: one group working with a CAD system, the other carrying out manual modelling. The results of this first phase revealed significant differences in the designers' activities (changing the viewpoint, switching tools, correcting errors) according to the design method they used. We then asked judges from four different backgrounds (professional designers, design teachers, retailers and users), to assess the final designs according to specific assessment criteria (aesthetics, originality, functionality, marketability). The results of this second phase revealed a significant preference for objects designed with a CAD system. Furthermore, the judges attributed different levels of importance to each of the assessment criteria, depending on their background. This last result underscored differences in the mental models constructed by different groups of audiences involved in product development and marketing. In addition, it allowed us to identify their specific expectations about final designs. Based on the results of our analyses, we suggest ways of improving IT-based systems with a view to integrating design assessment more fully into CAD environments.
Keywords: Externalising tool / Computer-aided design / Manual modelling / Assessing design / Judge's background / Critiquing systems
Task and user effects on reading patterns in information search BIBAKFull-Text 346-362
  Michael J. Cole; Jacek Gwizdka; Chang Liu; Ralf Bierig; Nicholas J. Belkin; Xiangmin Zhang
We report on an investigation into people's behaviors on information search tasks, specifically the relation between eye movement patterns and task characteristics. We conducted two independent user studies (n=32 and n=40), one with journalism tasks and the other with genomics tasks. The tasks were constructed to represent information needs of these two different users groups and to vary in several dimensions according to a task classification scheme. For each participant we classified eye gaze data to construct models of their reading patterns. The reading models were analyzed with respect to the effect of task types and Web page types on reading eye movement patterns. We report on relationships between tasks and individual reading behaviors at the task and page level. Specifically we show that transitions between scanning and reading behavior in eye movement patterns and the amount of text processed may be an implicit indicator of the current task type facets. This may be useful in building user and task models that can be useful in personalization of information systems and so address design demands driven by increasingly complex user actions with information systems. One of the contributions of this research is a new methodology to model information search behavior and investigate information acquisition and cognitive processing in interactive information tasks.
Keywords: Cognitive task / Interactive information retrieval / Information search / User models / Eye movements / Reading models
Too good to be bad: Favorable product expectations boost subjective usability ratings BIBAKFull-Text 363-371
  Eeva Raita; Antti Oulasvirta
In an experiment conducted to study the effects of product expectations on subjective usability ratings, participants (N=36) read a positive or a negative product review for a novel mobile device before a usability test, while the control group read nothing. In the test, half of the users performed easy tasks, and the other half hard ones, with the device. A standard usability test procedure was utilized in which objective task performance measurements as well as subjective post-task and post-experiment usability questionnaires were deployed. The study revealed a surprisingly strong effect of positive expectations on subjective post-experiment ratings: the participants who had read the positive review gave the device significantly better post-experiment ratings than did the negative-prime and no-prime groups. This boosting effect of the positive prime held even in the hard task condition where the users failed in most of the tasks. This finding highlights the importance of understanding: (1) what kinds of product expectations participants bring with them to the test, (2) how well these expectations represent those of the intended user population, and (3) how the test situation itself influences and may bias these expectations.
Keywords: Usability testing / Product expectations / Subjective usability ratings / Usability evaluation
Affective responses to system messages in human-computer-interaction: Effects of modality and message type BIBAKFull-Text 372-383
  Hans-Rüdiger Pfister; Sabine Wollstädter; Christian Peter
Affective responses of users to system messages in human-computer interaction are a key to study user satisfaction. However, little is known about the particular affective patterns elicited by various types of system messages. In this experimental study we examined if and how different system messages, presented in different modalities, influence users' affective responses. Three types of messages, input requests, status notifications, and error messages, were presented either as text or speech, and either alone or in combination with icons or sounds, while users worked on several typical computer tasks. Affective responses following system messages were assessed employing a multi-modal approach, using subjective rating scales as well as physiological measures. Results show that affective responses vary systematically depending on the type of message, and that spoken messages generally elicit more positive affect than written messages. Implications on how to enhance user satisfaction by appropriate message design are discussed.
Keywords: System messages / Affect / Physiological responses / Affective computing / Usability / Interface design

IWC 2011-09 Volume 23 Issue 5

Feminism and HCI: New Perspectives

IwC Special Issue "Feminism and HCI: New Perspectives' Special Issue Editors' Introduction BIBAKFull-Text iii-xi
  Shaowen Bardzell; Elizabeth F. Churchill
As a word and as a set of theories and practices, feminism is a poorly understood concept. However, feminist perspectives have a lot in common with user- and value-centered design processes such as those espoused within the field of Human Computer Interaction. Examples include consideration of alternative viewpoints, considerations of agency (who get to say/do what and under what circumstances) and the development of reflective and reflexive methods for understanding how, when, where and why people do what they do. In the "Feminism and HCI: New Perspectives' special issue, we have invited researchers and practitioners to reflect on the ways in which feminist thinking, theory, and practice can and does have an impact on the field of Human Computer Interaction. This introductory editorial offers more background to our view that there is great value to understanding the actual and potential impact of feminist thinking on HCI, followed by a précis of each paper. We close with some observations regarding common themes, points of contention and possibilities for future work.
Keywords: Human computer interaction / HCI / Feminism / Feminist / Critical theory / Technology
Making epistemological trouble: Third-paradigm HCI as successor science BIBAKFull-Text 385-392
  Steve Harrison; Phoebe Sengers; Deborah Tatar
Epistemological issues have long been debated by feminist philosophers aiming to answer the question, "what difference does it make to take gendered points of view seriously in the construction of knowledge?' Coming out of this history, a strand of work in feminist science studies has argued for the necessity of "successor science:" new forms of science based in standpoint epistemology, i.e. a recognition of the necessarily situated points of view of scientific knowledge-makers. In this paper, we argue that such a successor science has already come into being within the field of HCI, though it is perhaps not recognized as such by its practitioners.
   In particular, we identify a cluster of research we term the 'third paradigm.' This cluster of research cuts across HCI research areas as typically organized by topic area. Instead, this research shares an underlying epistemological orientation closely aligned with standpoint epistemology, focused around an acknowledgment of the social, cultural, and physical situatedness of both users and analysts. Feminist philosophers of science argue that a logical outcome of standpoint epistemology is the need for science to reflexively grapple with the limitations of its own ways of knowing; we conclude such an outcome may also be in store for the third paradigm.
Keywords: Successor science / Situated knowledges / Critical technical practice / Feminist philosophy of science / Standpoint epistemology / Third paradigm
A theoretical agenda for feminist HCI BIBAKFull-Text 393-400
  A Rode Jennifer A.
HCI has a complex and often ambivalent attitude towards the issue of gender and interactive systems. Here I discuss three dominant paradigms for treating gender in HCI, and discuss their limitations. Next, I will present the theoretical perspectives on gender which are on the fringes of HCI -- Technology as Masculine Culture, Gender Positionality, and Lived Body Experience -- and discuss their possible contributions. I will show how this supports a reassessment of the use of gender theory in technological settings and its relevance for framing questions of gender in HCI. My goal in doing so is to argue for the importance of a more direct treatment of gender in HCI and move towards a feminist theory for HCI.
Keywords: Gender / Critical theory / Ethnography / Anthropology / HCI
(Un)dressing the interface: Exposing the foundational HCI metaphor "computer is woman" BIBAKFull-Text 401-412
  Sheryl Brahnam; Marianthe Karanikas; Margaret Weaver
Two fundamental (and oftentimes opposing) metaphors have directed much of HCI design: HCI is communication and HCI is direct manipulation. Beneath these HCI metaphors, however, is the unspoken metaphor of computer is woman. In this paper we expose this foundational metaphor. We begin by identifying the origin of computer is woman in the early history of computing. Drawing upon postmodern feminist theory, we then explore how this metaphor has resulted in the feminization of HCI is communication and second person interfaces. We show how images of femininity proliferate, becoming the projected images of male fantasies and ideals of womanhood. In becoming these idealized images, the interface is revealed as man in female drag. Finally, not only do we undress the interface to uncover how HCI is communication wraps the computer's difference from human being within the more basic metaphor of computer is woman, but we also disclose dangers that can arise when this metaphor goes unacknowledged and unexamined.
Keywords: TechnoFeminism / Feminization / Turing Test / HCI metaphors / Agent abuse / Feminist HCI
Domestic violence and information communication technologies BIBAKFull-Text 413-421
  Jill P. Dimond; Casey Fiesler; Amy S. Bruckman
Physical violence against women is pervasive through out the world and domestic violence has been a longstanding issue in feminist activism and research. Yet, these experiences are often not represented in technological research or design. In the move to consider HCI at the margins, in this paper, we ask: how have ICTs affected the experiences of domestic violence survivors? We interviewed female survivors living in a domestic violence shelter about their experiences with technology. Participants reported that they were harassed with mobile phones, experienced additional harassment (but also support) via social networking sites, and tried to resist using their knowledge of security and privacy.
Keywords: Feminist HCI / Privacy / Social computing / Mobile phones / Domestic violence
Feminist HCI meets facebook: Performativity and social networking sites BIBAKFull-Text 422-429
  A Van House Nancy A.
In this paper, I reflect on a specific product of interaction design, social networking sites. The goals of this paper are twofold. One is to bring a feminist reflexivity, to HCI, drawing on the work of Judith Butler and her concepts of peformativity, citationality, and interpellation. Her approach is, I argue, highly relevant to issues of identity and self-representation on social networking sites; and to the co-constitution of the subject and technology. A critical, feminist HCI must ask how social media and other HCI institutions, practices, and discourses are part of the processes by which sociotechnical configurations are constructed. My second goal is to examine the implications of such an approach by applying it to social networking sites (SNSs) drawing the empirical research literature on SNSs, to show how SNS structures and policies help shape the subject and hide the contingency of subject categories.
Keywords: Critical HCI / Feminist HCI / Feminist theory / Facebook / Performance / Social networking sites
HCI as heterodoxy: Technologies of identity and the queering of interaction with computers BIBAKFull-Text 430-438
  Light Ann
As digital technologies are woven more closely into identity formation, society needs ways to keep tools flexible to many versions of self-presentation and avoid perpetuating the political status quo through conservative and apolitical designing. This paper explores one route, drawing on Queer Theory to look at resistance to computer formalisation of identity through queering. Several case studies explore how we might apply the oblique route to design of a range of technologies that help users define themselves. In particular, forgetting, obscuring, cheating and eluding are activities held up to counter computer strengths and offer a more flexible vision of interaction design for the future.
Keywords: Identity / Queer theory / Interaction / Resistance / Social change / Postmodern feminism
Playing stupid, caring for users, and putting on a good show: Feminist acts in usability study work BIBAKFull-Text 439-446
  A Kotamraju Nalini P.
As a feminist HCI agenda develops, feminist analyses of behaviour must venture beyond the dominant liberal feminist approach to include other feminist approaches. Using the personal narrative or auto-ethnographic method, this article explores the role of gender in usability work, a common research practice in HCI. In this article, the author interprets three gendered behaviours that occur in usability work -- playing stupid, caring for and about users, and putting on a good show -- demonstrating that while these behaviours appear anti-feminist in a liberal feminist framework, they appear feminist in alternative feminist frameworks, such as relational/care-giving, sex-positive, multicultural, post-colonial and Third Wave. The article demonstrates how a feminist HCI agenda that embraces the multiplicity of feminisms necessarily forces a re-examination of usability work's relationship to both feminism and HCI research methods.
Keywords: Usability / Design / HCI / Software engineering / Feminism / Gender
Feminism asks the "Who' questions in HCI BIBAKFull-Text 447-449
  Muller Michael
In this brief personal essay, I describe some of the ways that feminism has influenced my life as a researcher and practitioner in HCI and CSCW -- in the creation of work to be read by others, in the critical reading of works that were created by others, and in the planning and framing of practical work in enterprise workplaces. I discuss three variations of "Who' questions that feminism helps us to ask in HCI: The "who' of the identity of the user; the "who' of the identity of organizational actors; and the "who' of the practitioner or researcher.
Keywords: Feminism / HCI / Participatory design / Organization / Epistemology / Standpoint
Gender pluralism in problem-solving software BIBAKFull-Text 450-460
  Margaret M. Burnett; Laura Beckwith; Susan Wiedenbeck; Scott D. Fleming; Jill Cao; Thomas H. Park; Valentina Grigoreanu; Kyle Rector
Although there has been significant research into gender regarding educational and workplace practices, there has been little awareness of gender differences as they pertain to software tools, such as spreadsheet applications, that try to support end users in problem-solving tasks. Although such software tools are intended to be gender agnostic, we believe that closer examination of this premise is warranted. Therefore, in this paper, we report an end-to-end investigation into gender differences with spreadsheet software. Our results showed gender differences in feature usage, feature-related confidence, and tinkering (playful exploration) with features. Then, drawing implications from these results, we designed and implemented features for our spreadsheet prototype that took the gender differences into account. The results of an evaluation on this prototype showed improvements for both males and females, and also decreased gender differences in some outcome measures, such as confidence. These results are encouraging, but also open new questions for investigation. We also discuss how our results compare to generalization studies performed with a variety of other software platforms and populations.
Keywords: Gender / Problem-solving software / Spreadsheet debugging
The dilemma of the hedonic -- Appreciated, but hard to justify BIBAKFull-Text 461-472
  Sarah Diefenbach; Marc Hassenzahl
With the experiential turn in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), academics and practitioners broaden their focus from mere task-fulfillment (i.e., the pragmatic) to a holistic view, encompassing universal human needs such as relatedness or popularity (i.e., the hedonic). Accordingly, many theoretical models of User Experience (UX) acknowledge the hedonic as an important aspect of a product's appeal. In choice situations, however, people (i.e., users, consumers) overemphasize the pragmatic, but fail to acknowledge the hedonic. The present research explores the reasons for this phenomenon. We suggest that people attend to the justifiability of hedonic and pragmatic attributes rather than to their impact on experience. In other words, they choose what is easy to justify and not what they enjoy the most. Since providing justifications is easier for pragmatic than hedonic attributes, people arrive at a primarily pragmatic choice, even if they would feel better with the hedonic. We explored this assumption, called the Hedonic Dilemma, in four empirical studies. Study 1 (N=118) revealed a positive correlation between the need for justification and pragmatic choice. Study 2 (N=125) explored affective consequences and justifications provided for hedonic and pragmatic choices. We further explored two different ways to reduce the Hedonic Dilemma. Study 3 (N=178) enhanced the justifiability of hedonic choice through product information which suggested hedonic attributes as legitimate. In consequence, hedonic choice increased. Study 4 (N=133) manipulated the need for justification through framing the choice context. A significant positive effect of a "low need for justification' frame on purchase rates occurred for a hedonic but not for a pragmatic product. Our research has a number of implications, reaching from how to elicit requirements to general strategic considerations when designing (for) experiences.
Keywords: User Experience / Hedonic / Pragmatic / Product choice / Justification
UX Curve: A method for evaluating long-term user experience BIBAKFull-Text 473-483
  Sari Kujala; Virpi Roto; Kaisa Väänänen-Vainio-Mattila; Evangelos Karapanos; Arto Sinnelä
The goal of user experience design in industry is to improve customer satisfaction and loyalty through the utility, ease of use, and pleasure provided in the interaction with a product. So far, user experience studies have mostly focused on short-term evaluations and consequently on aspects relating to the initial adoption of new product designs. Nevertheless, the relationship between the user and the product evolves over long periods of time and the relevance of prolonged use for market success has been recently highlighted. In this paper, we argue for the cost-effective elicitation of longitudinal user experience data. We propose a method called the "UX Curve' which aims at assisting users in retrospectively reporting how and why their experience with a product has changed over time. The usefulness of the UX Curve method was assessed in a qualitative study with 20 mobile phone users. In particular, we investigated how users' specific memories of their experiences with their mobile phones guide their behavior and their willingness to recommend the product to others. The results suggest that the UX Curve method enables users and researchers to determine the quality of long-term user experience and the influences that improve user experience over time or cause it to deteriorate. The method provided rich qualitative data and we found that an improving trend of perceived attractiveness of mobile phones was related to user satisfaction and willingness to recommend their phone to friends. This highlights that sustaining perceived attractiveness can be a differentiating factor in the user acceptance of personal interactive products such as mobile phones. The study suggests that the proposed method can be used as a straightforward tool for understanding the reasons why user experience improves or worsens in long-term product use and how these reasons relate to customer loyalty.
Keywords: User experience evaluation / Long-term user experience / Mobile phone / User satisfaction / Recommendation
DOGeye: Controlling your home with eye interaction BIBAKFull-Text 484-498
  Dario Bonino; Emiliano Castellina; Fulvio Corno; Luigi De Russis
Nowadays home automation, with its increased availability, reliability and with its ever reducing costs is gaining momentum and is starting to become a viable solution for enabling people with disabilities to autonomously interact with their homes and to better communicate with other people. However, especially for people with severe mobility impairments, there is still a lack of tools and interfaces for effective control and interaction with home automation systems, and general-purpose solutions are seldom applicable due to the complexity, asynchronicity, time dependent behavior, and safety concerns typical of the home environment. This paper focuses on user-environment interfaces based on the eye tracking technology, which often is the only viable interaction modality for users as such. We propose an eye-based interface tackling the specific requirements of smart environments, already outlined in a public Recommendation issued by the COGAIN European Network of Excellence. The proposed interface has been implemented as a software prototype based on the ETU universal driver, thus being potentially able to run on a variety of eye trackers, and it is compatible with a wide set of smart home technologies, handled by the Domotic OSGi Gateway. A first interface evaluation, with user testing sessions, has been carried and results show that the interface is quite effective and usable without discomfort by people with almost regular eye movement control.
Keywords: Human-home interaction / Smart homes / Domotics / Usability / User interface / User study
Where the attention is: Discovery learning in novel tangible environments BIBAKFull-Text 499-512
  Sara Price; Taciana Pontual Falcão
Engagement is a frequently reported measure in evaluation studies of technology mediated learning environments. In the context of novel digital technologies, where the 'novelty' factor is inherent in interaction with emergent technologies, the concept of engagement is often reported at a general level of description of fun and enjoyment. Although this importantly indicates positive appraisal of the environment it does not provide any detail about how the participants are 'engaged'. For example, what are they doing and thinking about, where is their attention focused -- is it on a learning task, a tangential entertaining activity or even the technology itself? This paper offers a more detailed analysis of students' foci of interaction, to provide insight into the different ways that children are both cognitively and physically engaged during a discovery-based learning experience. Three key foci of interaction within the learning space (learning concept, tangential activity, technology) were derived from video data analysis. A coding scheme for identifying these interaction foci was developed and applied to empirical data with a tangible learning environment. In depth analysis showed close relationships between the different foci of interaction and the learning process: engaging with a tangential activity in a exploratory interaction engendered cognitive engagement with domain related concepts; while engaging with technology to understand the basics of the system's functioning could facilitate higher levels of conceptual abstraction. This article highlights the different interaction foci that students take in innovative, technology-enhanced learning environments, and provides an analytical approach, which informs and extends current evaluation approaches towards student engagement in novel digital environments.
Keywords: Interactive learning environments / Tangible technologies / Engagement / Discovery learning / Interaction
Examining proactiveness and choice in a location-aware mobile museum guide BIBAKFull-Text 513-524
  Joel Lanir; Tsvi Kuflik; Alan J. Wecker; Oliviero Stock; Massimo Zancanaro
Cultural heritage is an area that has recently drawn research attention, especially for exploring ways to harness novel mobile technologies for supporting visitors. The main benefit of these novel technologies is their ability to provide personalized, context-aware information services to their users. However, the use of context-awareness is connected to a fundamental issue of proactiveness -- should the system keep the user in control all the time and only respond to user requests, or should the system take initiative and propose its services when needed? Proactiveness of mobile visitors' guides brings with it a possibility for better service to the user at the cost of taking control out of the user's hand. The amount of choice given to visitors is another key issue. With the vast amount of information available for each exhibit, adaptation of the amount of information by limiting the number of content items, could be warranted to filter the information according to the visitors needs. However, it is not clear how reducing choice in terms of the number of content items that are presented to the visitor affects visitor behavior and satisfaction. We examined these issues in a controlled user study conducted with actual museum visitors; comparing usage, behavior patterns, and attitudes of visitors using three versions of a location-aware mobile museum guide.
Keywords: Amount of information / Choice / Context-aware computing / Cultural heritage / Mobile guide / Proactiveness
Barriers common to mobile and disabled web users BIBAKFull-Text 525-542
  Yeliz Yesilada; Giorgio Brajnik; Simon Harper
World Wide Web accessibility and best practice audits and evaluations are becoming increasingly complicated, time consuming, and costly because of the increasing number of conformance criteria which need to be tested. In the case of web access by disabled users and mobile users, a number of commonalities have been identified in usage, which have been termed situationally-induced impairments; in effect the barriers experienced by mobile web users have been likened to those of visually disabled and motor impaired users. In this case, we became interested in understanding if it was possible to evaluate the problems of mobile web users in terms of the aggregation of barriers-to-access experienced by disabled users; and in this way attempt to reduce the need for the evaluation of the additional conformance criteria associated with mobile web best practice guidelines. We used the Barrier Walkthrough (BW) method as our analytical framework. Capable of being used to evaluate accessibility in both the disabled and mobile contexts, the BW method would also enable testing and aggregation of barriers across our target user groups.
   We tested 61 barriers across four user groups each over four pages with 19 experts and 57 non-experts focusing on the validity and reliability of our results. We found that 58% of the barrier types that were correctly found were identified as common between mobile and disabled users. Further, if our aggregated barriers alone were used to test for mobile conformance only four barrier types would be missed. Our results also showed that mobile users and low vision users have the most common barrier types, while low vision and motor impaired users experiencing similar rates of severity in the barriers they experienced. We conclude that the aggregated evaluation results for blind, low vision and motor impaired users can be used to approximate the evaluation results for mobile web users.
Keywords: Web accessibility evaluation / Mobile web evaluation / Barrier Walkthrough aggregation
Everyday use of computer-mediated communication tools and its evolution over time: An ethnographical study with older people BIBAKFull-Text 543-554
  Sergio Sayago; David Sloan; Josep Blat
Based on a 3-year ethnographical study, this paper discusses the prolonged use of computer-mediated communication (CMC) tools by approximately 400 older people in an adult education centre in Barcelona (Spain). Contrary to oversimplified views of older people as ICT users, this paper shows that they make a very rich use of CMC tools. Relevant elements of this use are their permanent desire to feel and be included, social, independent and competent ICT users. Despite the numerous interaction issues they face when using ICT, some are constant across different tools. Difficulties due to cognition limit their interactions more severely than those problems due to perceiving visual information or using the mouse. By examining the longitudinal aspect of the study, this paper addresses the evolution of technology use and whether the interaction issues that most of the current older people exhibit will be relevant when today's more ICT literate young adults grow older. Interaction issues due to cognition are time-persistent, and independent of both experience and practice with ICT. Difficulties reading from the screen or using input devices are overcome with ICT experience. The strategies adopted by older people for coping with all these interaction issues are always targeted at feeling and being included, social, independent and competent ICT users. The results deepen current understanding of tools use in connecting older people with their social circles and the interaction issues most of them encounter when using ICT. The results also suggest that cognitive-related problems will be the most important ones in our work with the next generation of older people.
Keywords: Ethnography / Evolution / Computer-mediated communication / Technology use / Interaction / Older people
40 years of searching for the best computer system response time BIBAKFull-Text 555-564
  Jim Dabrowski; Ethan V. Munson
For over 40 years, system response time has been a topic of interest and controversy in computer science. Since the late 1960s, the field has seen numerous studies conducted and articles written addressing the issue. Many factors were measured in these studies including: users' accuracy and error rates with different levels of system response time, user performance speed and the efficiency of the commands used, how user interactions with the computer changed as a result of changes in system response time, how their bodies reacted physiologically to those same changes and even how happy, satisfied, anxious or annoyed they were as system response times changed.
   In this paper, we summarize the major issues in system response time research and look at what can be concluded from them. Generally, researchers have suggested specific response-time guidelines based on the complexity of the task or the type of interaction with the computer. We suggest that rather than system response time being task- or expectation-focused, instead interactions with a computer fall into two categories: control tasks and conversational tasks. For control tasks, immediate response times are necessary for optimal user performance whereas for conversational tasks, some delays may be necessary to maintain the optimal pacing of the on-going conversation. The location and duration of these delays will depend on both task complexity and user expectations. Future system response time research is needed to further quantify limits of delay detection, and the location and duration of inter-task delays to optimize user performance and satisfaction with computers.
Keywords: Human computer interaction / System response time / Software response latency

IWC 2011-11 Volume 23 Issue 6

Identifying the effectiveness of using three different haptic devices for providing non-visual access to the web BIBAKFull-Text 565-581
  Shaojian Zhu; Ravi Kuber; Matthew Tretter; M. Sile O'Modhrain
Haptic technologies are often used to improve access to the structural content of graphical user interfaces, thereby augmenting the interaction process for blind users. While haptic design guidelines offer valuable assistance when developing non-visual interfaces, the recommendations presented are often tailored to the feedback produced via one particular haptic input/output device. A blind user is therefore restricted to interacting with a device which may be unfamiliar to him/her, rather than selecting from the range of commercially available products. This paper reviews devices available on the first and second-hand markets, and describes an exploratory study undertaken with 12 blindfolded sighted participants to determine the effectiveness of three devices for non-visual web interaction. The force-feedback devices chosen for the study, ranged in the number of translations and rotations that the user was able to perform when interacting with them. Results have indicated that the Novint Falcon could be used to target items faster in the first task presented, compared with the other devices. However, participants agreed that the force-feedback mouse was most comfortable to use when interacting with the interface. Findings have highlighted the benefits which low cost haptic input/output devices can offer to the non-visual browsing process, and any changes which may need to be made to accommodate their deficiencies. The study has also highlighted the need for web designers to integrate appropriate haptic feedback on their web sites to cater for the strengths and weaknesses of various devices, in order to provide universally accessible sites and online applications.
Keywords: Haptic / Multimodal / Input devices
On designing usable and secure recognition-based graphical authentication mechanisms BIBAKFull-Text 582-593
  Martin Mihajlov; Borka Jerman-Blazic
In this article we present the development of a new, web-based, graphical authentication mechanism called ImagePass. The authentication mechanism introduces a novel feature based on one-time passwords that increases the security of the system without compromising its usability. Regarding usability, we explore the users' perception of recognition-based, graphical authentication mechanisms in a web environment. Specifically, we investigate whether the memorability of recognition-based authentication keys is influenced by image content. We also examine how the frequency of use affects the usability of the system and whether user training via mnemonic instructions improves the graphical password recognition rate. The design and development process of the proposed system began with a study that assessed how the users remember abstract, face or single-object images, and showed that single-object images have a higher memorability rate. We then proceeded with the design and development of a recognition-based graphical authentication mechanism, ImagePass, which uses single-objects as the image content and follows usable security guidelines. To conclude the research, in a follow-up study we evaluated the performance of 151 participants under different conditions. We discovered that the frequency of use had a great impact on users' performance, while the users' gender had a limited task-specific effect. In contrast, user training through mnemonic instructions showed no differences in the users' authentication metrics. However, a post-study, focus-group analysis revealed that these instructions greatly influenced the users' perception for memorability and the usability of the graphical authentication. In general, the results of these studies suggest that single-object graphical authentication can be a complementary replacement for traditional passwords, especially in ubiquitous environments and mobile devices.
Keywords: Graphical authentication / Graphical passwords / User evaluation / System design
Experiences with professional theatre for awareness raising BIBAKFull-Text 594-603
  Alan F. Newell; Margaret E. Morgan; Lorna Gibson; Paula Forbes
For universal design to be successful, it is essential to understand the needs, wants and characteristics of all user groups, particularly those people who find currently available information technology systems frightening, confusing, and difficult to use. A wide range of standards and guidelines are available, but these do not always have sufficient impact on the design process. It is argued that, in order to design for such "digitally disadvantaged' people, it is important that designers develop an empathy with such groups.
   The paper refers to previous published work and describes more recent examples of how HCI researchers worked with theatre professionals -- script writers, actors and directors -- to produce a range of dramatic performances, using both film and interactive live theatre. These techniques have been used to raise awareness amongst student and professional designers of the characteristics, needs and wants of digitally disadvantaged people, and to encourage designers to develop an empathy for them. Both questionnaire and anecdotal evidence have shown the power of professional theatre in facilitating the communication of these issues to designers, and suggests how these techniques can be utilized by others in the field.
   The work reported has been primarily concerned with digitally disadvantaged older users -- a group who, because of demographic trends are an increasingly important user group for Information and Computing Technology. It is suggested, however, that theatre can be a valuable tool for raising awareness of the challenges of other user groups, particularly those who are not experienced and confident users of Information Technology.
Keywords: Theatre / Drama techniques / Requirements gathering / Awareness raising / Older users / Disabled users
Interaction criticism: An introduction to the practice BIBAKFull-Text 604-621
  Bardzell Jeffrey
Though interaction designers critique interfaces as a regular part of their research and practice, the field of HCI lacks a proper discipline of interaction criticism. By interaction criticism I mean rigorous interpretive interrogations of the complex relationships between (a) the interface, including its material and perceptual qualities as well as its broader situatedness in visual languages and culture and (b) the user experience, including the meanings, behaviors, perceptions, affects, insights, and social sensibilities that arise in the context of interaction and its outcomes. Interaction criticism is a knowledge practice that enables design practitioners to engage with the aesthetics of interaction, helping practitioners cultivate more sensitive and insightful critical reactions to designs and exemplars. Benefits of such an engagement can include informing a particular design process, critiquing and innovating on design processes and methods more generally, developing original theory beneficial to interaction design, and exposing more robustly the long-term and even unintended consequences of designs. In this article I offer a synthesis of practices of criticism derived from analytic philosophy of aesthetics and critical theory, including the introduction of five core claims from this literature; I outline four perspectives that constitute a big-picture view of interaction criticism; and I offer a case study, demonstrating interaction criticism through each of these four perspectives.
Keywords: Aesthetics / Critical theory / HCI / Interaction criticism / Philosophy / Design