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ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction 19

Editors:Shumin Zhai
Standard No:ISSN 1073-0516
Links:Table of Contents
  1. TOCHI 2012-03 Volume 19 Issue 1
  2. TOCHI 2012-07 Volume 19 Issue 2
  3. TOCHI 2012-10 Volume 19 Issue 3
  4. TOCHI 2012-12 Volume 19 Issue 4

TOCHI 2012-03 Volume 19 Issue 1

Mechanisms for collaboration: A design and evaluation framework for multi-user interfaces BIBAFull-Text 1
  Nicola Yuill; Yvonne Rogers
Multi-user interfaces are said to provide "natural" interaction in supporting collaboration, compared to individual and noncolocated technologies. We identify three mechanisms accounting for the success of such interfaces: high awareness of others' actions and intentions, high control over the interface, and high availability of background information. We challenge the idea that interaction over such interfaces is necessarily "natural" and argue that everyday interaction involves constraints on awareness, control, and availability. These constraints help people interact more smoothly. We draw from social developmental psychology to characterize the design of multi-user interfaces in terms of how constraints on these mechanisms can be best used to promote collaboration. We use this framework of mechanisms and constraints to explain the successes and failures of existing designs, then apply it to three case studies of design, and finally derive from them a set of questions to consider when designing and analysing multi-user interfaces for collaboration.
Conceptualizing and advancing research networking systems BIBAFull-Text 2
  Titus Schleyer; Brian S. Butler; Mei Song; Heiko Spallek
Science in general, and biomedical research in particular, is becoming more collaborative. As a result, collaboration with the right individuals, teams, and institutions is increasingly crucial for scientific progress. We propose Research Networking Systems (RNS) as a new type of system designed to help scientists identify and choose collaborators, and suggest a corresponding research agenda. The research agenda covers four areas: foundations, presentation, architecture, and evaluation. Foundations includes project-, institution- and discipline-specific motivational factors; the role of social networks; and impression formation based on information beyond expertise and interests. Presentation addresses representing expertise in a comprehensive and up-to-date manner; the role of controlled vocabularies and folksonomies; the tension between seekers' need for comprehensive information and potential collaborators' desire to control how they are seen by others; and the need to support serendipitous discovery of collaborative opportunities. Architecture considers aggregation and synthesis of information from multiple sources, social system interoperability, and integration with the user's primary work context. Lastly, evaluation focuses on assessment of collaboration decisions, measurement of user-specific costs and benefits, and how the large-scale impact of RNS could be evaluated with longitudinal and naturalistic methods. We hope that this article stimulates the human-computer interaction, computer-supported cooperative work, and related communities to pursue a broad and comprehensive agenda for developing research networking systems.
Evaluating and understanding the usability of a pen-based command system for interactive paper BIBAFull-Text 3
  Chunyuan Liao; Françcois Guimbretièere
To combine the affordances of paper and computers, prior research has proposed numerous interactive paper systems that link specific paper document content to digital operations such as multimedia playback and proofreading. Yet, it remains unclear to what degree these systems bridge the inherent gap between paper and computers when compared to existing paper-only and computer-only interfaces. In particular, given the special properties of paper, such as limited dynamic feedback, how well does an average new user learn to master the interactive paper system? What factors affect the user performance? And how does the paper interface work in a typical use scenario?
   To answer these questions, we conducted two empirical experiments on a generic pen-gesture-based command system, called PapierCraft [Liao et al. 2008], for paper-based interfaces. With it, people can select sections of printed document and issue commands such as copy and paste, linking and in-text search. The first experiment focused on the user performance of drawing pen gestures on paper. It proves that users can learn the command system in about 30 minutes and achieve a performance comparable to a table PC-based interface supporting the same gestures. The second experiment examined the application of the command system in active reading tasks. The results show promise for seamless integration of paper and computers in active reading for their combined affordances. In addition, our study identifies some key design issues, such as the pen form factor and feedback of gestures. This article contributes to better understanding on pros and cons of paper and computers, and sheds light on the design of future interfaces for document interaction.
Are we there yet?: The role of gender on the effectiveness and efficiency of user-robot communication in navigational tasks BIBAFull-Text 4
  Theodora Koulouri; Stanislao Lauria; Robert D. Macredie; Sherry Chen
Many studies have identified gender differences in communication related to spatial navigation in real and virtual worlds. Most of this research has focused on single-party communication (monologs), such as the way in which individuals either give or follow route instructions. However, very little work has been reported on spatial navigation dialogs and whether there are gender differences in the way that they are conducted. This article will address the lack of research evidence by exploring the dialogs between partners of the same and of different gender in a simulated Human-Robot Interaction study. In the experiments discussed in this article, pairs of participants communicated remotely; in each pair, one participant (the instructor) was under the impression that s/he was giving route instructions to a robot (the follower), avoiding any perception of gendered communication. To ensure the naturalness of the interaction, the followers were given no guidelines on what to say, however, each had to control a robot based on the user's instructions. While many monologe-based studies suggest male superiority in a multitude of spatial activities and domains, this study of dialogs highlights a more complex pattern of results. As anticipated, gender influences task performance and communication. However, the findings suggest that it is the interaction -- the combination of gender and role (i.e., instructor or follower) -- that has the most significant impact. In particular, pairs of female users/instructors and male "robots"/followers are associated with the fastest and most accurate completion of the navigation tasks. Moreover, dialoge-based analysis illustrates how pairs of male users/instructors and female "robots"/followers achieved successful communication through "alignment" of spatial descriptions. In particular, males seem to adapt the content of their instructions when interacting with female "robots"/followers and employ more landmark references compared to female users/instructors or when addressing males (in male-male pairings). This study describes the differences in how males and females interact with the system, and proposes that any female "disadvantage" in spatial communication can disappear through interactive mechanisms. Such insights are important for the design of navigation systems that are equally effective for users of either gender.
End-user debugging strategies: A sensemaking perspective BIBAFull-Text 5
  Valentina Grigoreanu; Margaret Burnett; Susan Wiedenbeck; Jill Cao; Kyle Rector; Irwin Kwan
Despite decades of research into how professional programmers debug, only recently has work emerged about how end-user programmers attempt to debug programs. Without this knowledge, we cannot build tools to adequately support their needs. This article reports the results of a detailed qualitative empirical study of end-user programmers' sensemaking about a spreadsheet's correctness. Using our study's data, we derived a sensemaking model for end-user debugging and categorized participants' activities and verbalizations according to this model, allowing us to investigate how participants went about debugging. Among the results are identification of the prevalence of information foraging during end-user debugging, two successful strategies for traversing the sensemaking model, potential ties to gender differences in the literature, sensemaking sequences leading to debugging progress, and sequences tied with troublesome points in the debugging process. The results also reveal new implications for the design of spreadsheet tools to support end-user programmers' sensemaking during debugging.
Experiencing coincidence during digital music listening BIBAFull-Text 6
  Tuck W. Leong; Frank Vetere; Steve Howard
People have reported encountering coincidences when using particular technologies to interact with personal digital content. However, to date, there is a paucity of research to understand these experiences. This article applies McCarthy and Wright's [2004; 2005] experiential framework to analyze these kinds of technology-mediated coincidences. By focusing upon encounters of coincidence during people's digital music listening, we identified the elements at play, elucidated the properties of the individual elements, their inter-relationships, and an understanding of how coincidences can arise. We also reveal how, under particular conditions, such elements provide people with opportunities to encounter coincidence. This understanding of coincidence demonstrates how McCarthy and Wright's [2004; 2005] framework can be usefully applied to an empirical investigation of user experience.
Using context to reveal factors that affect physical activity BIBAFull-Text 7
  Ian Li; Anind K. Dey; Jodi Forlizzi
There are many physical activity awareness systems available in today's market. These systems show physical activity information (e.g., step counts, energy expenditure, heart rate) which is sufficient for many self-knowledge needs, but information about the factors that affect physical activity may be needed for deeper self-reflection and increased self-knowledge. We explored the use of contextual information, such as events, places, and people, to support reflection on the factors that affect physical activity. We present three findings from our studies. First, users make associations between physical activity and contextual information that help them become aware of factors that affect their physical activity. Second, reflecting on physical activity and context can increase people's awareness of opportunities for physical activity. Lastly, automated tracking of physical activity and contextual information benefits long-term reflection, but may have detrimental effects on immediate awareness.
WindowScape: Lessons learned from a task-centric window manager BIBAFull-Text 8
  Craig Tashman; W. Keith Edwards
People frequently experience difficulty switching between computer-mediated tasks. To help address this, we created WindowScape, a zooming window manager that uses implicit grouping to help users sort windows according to task. WindowScape was intended to provide a more flexible and intuitive grouping model than prior systems. We report on the design process leading up to the system, and alternative designs we explored. We describe a series of formative evaluations that resulted in significant modifications to our initial prototype, as well as a deployment study of the final version, where users lived with WindowScape on a day-to-day basis. Our results from this study reveal how users react to novel aspects of our system, including its particular uses of miniaturization and its approach to grouping. We also discuss the impact of a task-oriented approach to window management on other aspects of user behavior, and the implications of this for future system design.

TOCHI 2012-07 Volume 19 Issue 2

Dimensions of Concern: A Method to Use Cognitive Dimensions to Evaluate Interfaces BIBAFull-Text 9
  Mark A. Cohen; Frank E. Ritter; Steven R. Haynes
Producing useful and usable software often requires continuous and iterative evaluation. This paper introduces a novel usability evaluation method based on the Cognitive Dimensions of Notations framework. The target of our evaluation is Herbal a suite of tools designed to simplify agent development by providing a high-level language and maintenance-oriented development environment. The method introduced here uncovers dimensions of concern, which are used to measure the usability of Herbal and to identify areas for improvement in the design. In this article, we demonstrate how we used dimensions of concern to effectively evaluate and improve usability, and we discuss ways in which our method can be adapted, extended, and applied to improving the usability of other interactive systems.
Study of Polynomial Mapping Functions in Video-Oculography Eye Trackers BIBAFull-Text 10
  Juan J. Cerrolaza; Arantxa Villanueva; Rafael Cabeza
Gaze-tracking data have been used successfully in the design of new input devices and as an observational technique in usability studies. Polynomial-based Video-Oculography (VOG) systems are one of the most attractive gaze estimation methods thanks to their simplicity and ease of implementation. Although the functionality of these systems is generally acceptable, there has been no thorough comparative study to date of how the mapping equations affect the final system response. After developing a taxonomic classification of calibration functions, we examined over 400,000 models and evaluated the validity of several conventional assumptions. Our rigorous experimental procedure enabled us to optimize the calibration process for a real VOG gaze-tracking system and halve the calibration time while avoiding a detrimental effect on the accuracy or tolerance to head movement. Finally, a geometry-based method is implemented and tested. The results and performance is compared with those obtained by the general purpose expressions.
User-Experience from an Inference Perspective BIBAFull-Text 11
  Paul van Schaik; Marc Hassenzahl; Jonathan Ling
In many situations, people make judgments on the basis of incomplete information, inferring unavailable attributes from available ones. These inference processes may also well operate when judgments about a product's user-experience are made. To examine this, an inference model of user-experience, based on Hassenzahl and Monk's [2010], was explored in three studies using Web sites. All studies supported the model's predictions and its stability, with hands-on experience, different products, and different usage modes (action mode versus goal mode). Within a unified framework of judgment as inference [Kruglanski et al. 2007], our approach allows for the integration of the effects of a wide range of information sources on judgments of user-experience.
The Moderating Effects of Utilitarian and Hedonic Values on Information Technology Continuance BIBAFull-Text 12
  Lingling Xu; Julian Lin; Hock Chuan Chan
This study examines how the nature of technology affects users' intention to continue using information technologies. It proposes an extended technology acceptance model, with perceived ease of use, perceived usefulness and pleasure affecting the intention to continue using a technology. We hypothesized that these effects are moderated by the technology's utilitarian and hedonic values. The model was validated for smartphone functions. A user survey showed that perceived ease of use significantly affected the intention to continue using only for high-utilitarian functions, whereas pleasure affected the intention to continue using only for high-hedonic functions. The effect of perceived ease of use on perceived usefulness was stronger for high-utilitarian than for low-utilitarian functions. The effect of pleasure on perceived usefulness was stronger for high-hedonic than for low-hedonic functions. The results suggest that marketing should consider the nature of the functions.
Teamwork Errors in Trauma Resuscitation BIBAFull-Text 13
  Aleksandra Sarcevic; Ivan Marsic; Randal S. Burd
Human errors in trauma resuscitation can have cascading effects leading to poor patient outcomes. To determine the nature of teamwork errors, we conducted an observational study in a trauma center over a two-year period. While eventually successful in treating the patients, trauma teams had problems tracking and integrating information in a longitudinal trajectory, which resulted in inefficiencies and near-miss errors. As an initial step in system design to support trauma teams, we proposed a model of teamwork and a novel classification of team errors. Four types of team errors emerged from our analysis: communication errors, vigilance errors, interpretation errors, and management errors. Based on these findings, we identified key information structures to support team cognition and decision making. We believe that displaying these information structures will support distributed cognition of trauma teams. Our findings have broader applicability to other collaborative and dynamic work settings that are prone to human error.
"Spindex" (Speech Index) Enhances Menus on Touch Screen Devices with Tapping, Wheeling, and Flicking BIBAFull-Text 14
  Myounghoon Jeon; Bruce N. Walker; Abhishek Srivastava
Users interact with many electronic devices via menus such as auditory or visual menus. Auditory menus can either complement or replace visual menus. We investigated how advanced auditory cues enhance auditory menus on a smartphone, with tapping, wheeling, and flicking input gestures. The study evaluated a spindex (speech index), in which audio cues inform users where they are in a menu; 122 undergraduates navigated through a menu of 150 songs. Study variables included auditory cue type (text-to-speech alone or TTS plus spindex), visual display mode (on or off), and input gesture (tapping, wheeling, or flicking). Target search time and subjective workload were lower with spindex than without for all input gestures regardless of visual display mode. The spindex condition was rated subjectively higher than plain speech. The effects of input method and display mode on navigation behaviors were analyzed with the two-stage navigation strategy model. Results are discussed in relation to attention theories and in terms of practical applications.
Supporting Personal Narrative for Children with Complex Communication Needs BIBAFull-Text 15
  Rolf Black; Annalu Waller; Ross Turner; Ehud Reiter
Children with complex communication needs who use voice output communication aids seldom engage in extended conversation. The "How was School today...?" system has been designed to enable such children to talk about their school day. The system uses data-to-text technology to generate narratives from sensor data. Observations, interviews and prototyping were used to ensure that stakeholders were involved in the design of the system. Evaluations with three children showed that the prototype system, which automatically generates utterances, has the potential to support disabled individuals to participate better in interactive conversation. Analysis of a conversational transcript and observations indicate that the children were able to access relevant conversation and had more control in the conversation in comparison to their usual interactions where control lay mainly with the speaking partner. Further research to develop an improved, more rugged system that supports users with different levels of language ability is now underway.
Backtracking Events as Indicators of Usability Problems in Creation-Oriented Applications BIBAFull-Text 16
  David Akers; Robin Jeffries; Matthew Simpson; Terry Winograd
A diversity of user goals and strategies make creation-oriented applications such as word processors or photo-editors difficult to comprehensively test. Evaluating such applications requires testing a large pool of participants to capture the diversity of experience, but traditional usability testing can be prohibitively expensive. To address this problem, this article contributes a new usability evaluation method called backtracking analysis, designed to automate the process of detecting and characterizing usability problems in creation-oriented applications. The key insight is that interaction breakdowns in creation-oriented applications often manifest themselves in backtracking operations that can be automatically logged (e.g., undo and erase operations). Backtracking analysis synchronizes these events to contextual data such as screen capture video, helping the evaluator to characterize specific usability problems. The results from three experiments demonstrate that backtracking events can be effective indicators of usability problems in creation-oriented applications, and can yield a cost-effective alternative to traditional laboratory usability testing.

TOCHI 2012-10 Volume 19 Issue 3

Window brokers: Collaborative display space control BIBAFull-Text 17
  Richard Arthur; Dan R., Jr. Olsen
As users travel from place to place, they can encounter display servers, that is, machines which supply a collaborative content-sharing environment. Users need a way to control how content is arranged on these display spaces. The software for controlling these display spaces should be consistent from display server to display server. However, display servers could be controlled by institutions which may not allow for the control software to be installed. This article introduces the window broker protocol which allows users to carry familiar control techniques on portable personal devices and use the control technique on any display server without installing the control software on the display server. This article also discusses how the window broker protocol mitigates some security risks that arise from potentially malicious display servers.
Designing a multi-slate reading environment to support active reading activities BIBAFull-Text 18
  Nicholas Chen; Francois Guimbretiere; Abigail Sellen
Despite predictions of the paperless office, most knowledge workers and students still rely heavily on paper in most of their document practices. Research has shown that paper's dominance can be attributed to the fact that it supports a broad range of these users' diverse reading requirements. Our analysis of the literature suggests that a new class of reading device consisting of an interconnected environment of thin and lightweight electronic slates could potentially unify the distinct advantages of e-books, PCs, and tabletop computers to offer an electronic reading solution providing functionality comparable to, or even exceeding, that of paper. This article presents the design and construction of such a system. In it, we explain how data can be mapped to slates, detail interactions for linking the slates, and describe tools that leverage the connectivity between slates. A preliminary study of the system indicates that such a system has the potential of being an electronic alternative to paper.
"Without the clutter of unimportant words": Descriptive keyphrases for text visualization BIBAFull-Text 19
  Jason Chuang; Christopher D. Manning; Jeffrey Heer
Keyphrases aid the exploration of text collections by communicating salient aspects of documents and are often used to create effective visualizations of text. While prior work in HCI and visualization has proposed a variety of ways of presenting keyphrases, less attention has been paid to selecting the best descriptive terms. In this article, we investigate the statistical and linguistic properties of keyphrases chosen by human judges and determine which features are most predictive of high-quality descriptive phrases. Based on 5,611 responses from 69 graduate students describing a corpus of dissertation abstracts, we analyze characteristics of human-generated keyphrases, including phrase length, commonness, position, and part of speech. Next, we systematically assess the contribution of each feature within statistical models of keyphrase quality. We then introduce a method for grouping similar terms and varying the specificity of displayed phrases so that applications can select phrases dynamically based on the available screen space and current context of interaction. Precision-recall measures find that our technique generates keyphrases that match those selected by human judges. Crowdsourced ratings of tag cloud visualizations rank our approach above other automatic techniques. Finally, we discuss the role of HCI methods in developing new algorithmic techniques suitable for user-facing applications.
A predictive speller controlled by a brain-computer interface based on motor imagery BIBAFull-Text 20
  Tiziano D'Albis; Rossella Blatt; Roberto Tedesco; Licia Sbattella; Matteo Matteucci
Persons suffering from motor disorders have limited possibilities for communicating and normally require assistive technologies to fulfill this primary need. Promising means of providing basic communication abilities to subjects affected by severe motor impairments include brain-computer interfaces (BCIs), that is, systems that directly translate brain signals into device commands, bypassing any muscle or nerve mediation. To date, the use of BCIs for effective verbal communication is yet an open issue, primarily due to the low rates of information transfer that can be achieved with this technology. Still, performance of BCI spelling applications could be considerably improved by a smart user interface design and by the adoption of natural language processing (NLP) techniques for text prediction. The objective of this work is to suggest an approach and a user interface for BCI spelling applications combining state-of-the-art BCI and NLP techniques to maximize the overall communication rate of the system. The BCI paradigm adopted is motor imagery, that is, when the subject imagines moving a certain part of the body, he/she produces modifications to specific brain rhythms that are detected in real-time through an electroencephalogram and translated into commands for a spelling application. By maximizing the overall communication rate, our approach is twofold: on one hand, we maximize the information transfer rate from the control signal, on the other hand, we optimize the way this information is employed for the purpose of verbal communication. The achieved results are satisfactory and comparable with the latest works reported in literature on motor-imagery BCI spellers. For the three subjects tested, we obtained a spelling rate of respectively 3 char/min, 2.7 char/min, and 2 char/min.
Crafting technology: Reimagining the processes, materials, and cultures of electronics BIBAFull-Text 21
  Leah Buechley; Hannah Perner-Wilson
This article examines the practice of electronics building in the context of other crafts. We compare the experience of making electronics with the experiences of carving, sewing, and painting. Our investigation is grounded in a survey of 40 practicing craftspeople who are working in each of these disciplines. We then use this survey as a foundation for a discussion of hybrid craft -- integrations of electronics with carving, sewing, and painting. We present examples of hybrid craft and discuss the ways in which blended practices can enrich and diversify technology.
The impact of interface affordances on human ideation, problem solving, and inferential reasoning BIBAFull-Text 22
  Sharon Oviatt; Adrienne Cohen; Andrea Miller; Kumi Hodge; Ariana Mann
This article presents two studies investigating how computer interface affordances influence basic cognition, including ideational fluency, problem solving, and inferential reasoning. In one study comparing interfaces with different input capabilities, students expressed 56% more nonlinguistic representations (diagrams, symbols, numbers) when using pen interfaces. A linear regression confirmed that nonlinguistic communication directly mediated a substantial increase (38.5%) in students' ability to produce appropriate science ideas. In contrast, students expressed 41% more linguistic content when using a keyboard-based interface, which mediated a drop in science ideation. A follow-up study pursued the question of how interfaces that prime nonlinguistic communication so effectively facilitate cognition. This study examined the relation between students' expression of nonlinguistic representations and their inference accuracy when using analogous digital and non-digital pen tools. Perhaps surprisingly, the digital pen interface stimulated construction of more diagrams, more correct Venn diagrams, and more accurate domain inferences. Students' construction of multiple diagrams to represent a problem also directly suppressed overgeneralization errors, which were the most common inference failure. These research results reveal that computer interfaces have communications affordances which elicit communication patterns that can substantially stimulate or impede basic cognition. Implications are discussed for designing new digital tools for thinking, with an emphasis on nonlinguistic and especially spatial representations that are most poorly supported by current keyboard-based interfaces.
Strong concepts: Intermediate-level knowledge in interaction design research BIBAFull-Text 23
  Kristina Höök; Jonas Löwgren
Design-oriented research practices create opportunities for constructing knowledge that is more abstracted than particular instances, without aspiring to be at the scope of generalized theories. We propose an intermediate design knowledge form that we name strong concepts that has the following properties: is generative and carries a core design idea, cutting across particular use situations and even application domains; concerned with interactive behavior, not static appearance; is a design element and a part of an artifact and, at the same time, speaks of a use practice and behavior over time; and finally, resides on an abstraction level above particular instances. We present two strong concepts -- social navigation and seamfulness -- and discuss how they fulfil criteria we might have on knowledge, such as being contestable, defensible, and substantive. Our aim is to foster an academic culture of discursive knowledge construction of intermediate-level knowledge and of how it can be produced and assessed in design-oriented HCI research.
Co-narrating a conflict: An interactive tabletop to facilitate attitudinal shifts BIBAFull-Text 24
  Massimo Zancanaro; Oliviero Stock; Zvi Eisikovits; Chaya Koren; Patrice L. Weiss
A multi-user tabletop interface was designed to support reconciliation of a conflict aimed at shifting hostile attitudes and achieving a greater understanding of another viewpoint. The interface provided a setting for face-to-face shared narration and support for the management of disagreements. The interface allows for escalation and de-escalation of the conflict emerging in the shared narration and requires that participants perform joint actions when a contribution to the story is to be removed from the overall narration. A between-subjects experiment compared the tabletop interface and a desktop multimedia interface with mixed pairs (male Israeli-Jewish and Palestinian-Arab youth). The results demonstrated that the experience with the tabletop interface appears to be motivating and, most importantly, produces at least a short-term shift of attitude toward the other.

TOCHI 2012-12 Volume 19 Issue 4

ExoBuilding: Physiologically Driven Adaptive Architecture BIBAFull-Text 25
  Holger Schnädelbach; Ainojie Irune; David Kirk; Kevin Glover; Patrick Brundell
Our surroundings are becoming infused with sensors measuring a variety of data streams about the environment, people and objects. Such data can be used to make the spaces that we inhabit responsive and interactive. Personal data in its different forms are one important data stream that such spaces are designed to respond to. In turn, one stream of personal data currently attracting high levels of interest in the HCI community is physiological data (e.g., heart rate, electrodermal activity), but this has seen little consideration in building architecture or the design of responsive environments. In this context, we developed a prototype mapping a single occupant's respiration to its size and form, while it also sonifies their heartbeat. The result is a breathing building prototype, formative trials of which suggested that it triggers behavioral and physiological adaptations in inhabitants without giving them instructions and it is perceived as a relaxing experience. In this paper, we present and discuss the results of a controlled study of this prototype, comparing three conditions: the static prototype, regular movement and sonification and a biofeedback condition, where the occupant's physiological data directly drives the prototype and presents this data back to them. The study confirmed that the biofeedback condition does indeed trigger behavioral changes and changes in participants' physiology, resulting in lower respiration rates as well as higher respiration amplitudes, respiration to heart rate coherence and lower frequency heart rate variability. Self-reported state of relaxation is more dependent on inhabitant preferences, their knowledge of physiological data and whether they found space to 'let go'. We conclude with a discussion of ExoBuilding as an immersive but also sharable biofeedback training interface and the wider potential of this approach to making buildings adapt to their inhabitants.
An Empirical Study of the "Prototype Walkthrough": A Studio-Based Activity for HCI Education BIBAFull-Text 26
  C. D. Hundhausen; D. Fairbrother; M. Petre
For over a century, studio-based instruction has served as an effective pedagogical model in architecture and fine arts education. Because of its design orientation, human-computer interaction (HCI) education is an excellent venue for studio-based instruction. In an HCI course, we have been exploring a studio-based learning activity called the prototype walkthrough, in which a student project team simulates its evolving user interface prototype while a student audience member acts as a test user. The audience is encouraged to ask questions and provide feedback. We have observed that prototype walkthroughs create excellent conditions for learning about user interface design. In order to better understand the educational value of the activity, we performed a content analysis of a video corpus of 16 prototype walkthroughs held in two HCI courses. We found that the prototype walkthrough discussions were dominated by relevant design issues. Moreover, mirroring the justification behavior of the expert instructor, students justified over 80 percent of their design statements and critiques, with nearly one-quarter of those justifications having a theoretical or empirical basis. Our findings suggest that PWs provide valuable opportunities for students to actively learn HCI design by participating in authentic practice, and provide insight into how such opportunities can be best promoted.
Beyond Recommendations: Local Review Web Sites and Their Impact BIBAFull-Text 27
  Barry Brown
Online review Web sites have enabled new interactions between companies and their customers. In this article we draw on interviews with users, reviewers, and establishments to explore how local review Web sites can change interactions around local places. Review Web sites such as Yelp and Tripadvisor allow customers to "previsit" establishments and areas of a city before an actual visit. The collection of a large numbers of user-generated reviews has also created a new genre of writing, with reviewers gaining considerable pleasure from passing on word of mouth and influencing others' choices. Reviews also offer a new channel of communication between establishments, customers, and competitors. We discuss how review Web sites can be designed to cater for a broader range of interactions around reviews beyond a focus on recommendations.
Two-Part Models Capture the Impact of Gain on Pointing Performance BIBAFull-Text 28
  Garth Shoemaker; Takayuki Tsukitani; Yoshifumi Kitamura; Kellogg S. Booth
We establish that two-part models of pointing performance (Welford's model) describe pointing on a computer display significantly better than traditional one-part models (Fitts's Law). We explore the space of pointing models and describe how independent contributions of movement amplitude and target width to pointing time can be captured in a parameter k. Through a reanalysis of data from related work we demonstrate that one-part formulations are fragile in describing pointing performance, and that this fragility is present for various devices and techniques. We show that this same data can be significantly better described using two-part models. Finally, we demonstrate through further analysis of previous work and new experimental data that k increases linearly with gain. Our primary contribution is the demonstration that Fitts's Law is more limited in applicability than previously appreciated, and that more robust models, such as Welford's formulation, should be adopted in many cases of practical interest.
Enriching Archaeological Parks with Contextual Sounds and Mobile Technology BIBAFull-Text 29
  Carmelo Ardito; Maria F. Costabile; Antonella De Angeli; Rosa Lanzilotti
The importance of cultural heritage in forging a sense of identity is becoming increasingly evident. Information and communication technologies have a great potential to promote a greater awareness and appreciation of cultural heritage. This article presents some findings on how mobile technology can be used to foster a better understanding of an archaeological site by reconstructing the ancient environment and life. Children aged 11-13 years old are the target of our research. To motivate and engage them, a pervasive educational game has been developed and implemented in Explore!, a system aimed at supporting children exploring sites of cultural interest. Special attention has been devoted to the design of a soundscape that may improve players' navigation in degraded physical environments and enrich their overall experience. A field study indicated that children judged their experience both useful and entertaining: not only did they enjoy playing the game, but they also learned historical notions and facts related to ancient Roman life. Contextual sounds were found to have a facilitating effect on space navigation, reducing the need for map reading and improving spatial orientation. This work provides insights into the design of educational games for use with cultural heritage and a model to enrich historical sites through the creation of soundscapes which can help visitors to navigate a site and feel its historical atmosphere.
All You Need is Love: Current Strategies of Mediating Intimate Relationships through Technology BIBAFull-Text 30
  Marc Hassenzahl; Stephanie Heidecker; Kai Eckoldt; Sarah Diefenbach; Uwe Hillmann
A wealth of evidence suggests that love, closeness, and intimacy -- in short relatedness -- are important for people's psychological well-being. Nowadays, however, couples are often forced to live apart. Accordingly, there has been a growing and flourishing interest in designing technologies that mediate (and create) a feeling of relatedness when being separated, beyond the explicit verbal communication and simple emoticons available technologies offer. This article provides a review of 143 published artifacts (i.e., design concepts, technologies). Based on this, we present six strategies used by designers/researchers to create a relatedness experience: Awareness, expressivity, physicalness, gift giving, joint action, and memories. We understand those strategies as starting points for the experience-oriented design of technology.
What Does Touch Tell Us about Emotions in Touchscreen-Based Gameplay? BIBAFull-Text 31
  Yuan Gao; Nadia Bianchi-Berthouze; Hongying Meng
The increasing number of people playing games on touch-screen mobile phones raises the question of whether touch behaviors reflect players' emotional states. This prospect would not only be a valuable evaluation indicator for game designers, but also for real-time personalization of the game experience. Psychology studies on acted touch behavior show the existence of discriminative affective profiles. In this article, finger-stroke features during gameplay on an iPod were extracted and their discriminative power analyzed. Machine learning algorithms were used to build systems for automatically discriminating between four emotional states (Excited, Relaxed, Frustrated, Bored), two levels of arousal and two levels of valence. Accuracy reached between 69% and 77% for the four emotional states, and higher results (~89%) were obtained for discriminating between two levels of arousal and two levels of valence. We conclude by discussing the factors relevant to the generalization of the results to applications other than games.
Physical Activity Motivating Games: Be Active and Get Your Own Reward BIBAFull-Text 32
  Shlomo Berkovsky; Jill Freyne; Mac Coombe
People's daily lives have become increasingly sedentary, with extended periods of time being spent in front of a host of electronic screens for learning, work, and entertainment. We present research into the use of an adaptive persuasive technology, which introduces bursts of physical activity into a traditionally sedentary activity: computer game playing. Our game design approach leverages the playfulness and addictive nature of computer games to motivate players to engage in mild physical activity. The design allows players to gain virtual in-game rewards in return for performing real physical activity captured by sensory devices. This article presents a two-stage analysis of the activity-motivating game design approach applied to a prototype game. Initially, we detail the overall acceptance of active games discovered when trialing the technology with 135 young players. Results showed that players performed more activity without negatively affecting their perceived enjoyment of the playing experience. The analysis did discover, however, a lack of balance between the amounts of physical activity carried out by players with various gaming skills, which prompted a subsequent investigation into adaptive techniques for balancing the amount of physical activity performed by players. An evaluation of additional 90 players showed that adaptive techniques successfully overcame the gaming skills dependence and achieved more balanced activity levels. Overall, this work positions activity-motivating games as an approach that can potentially change the way players interact with computer games and lead to healthier lifestyles.