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International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction 20

Editors:Julie A. Jacko; Gavriel Salvendy; Steven J. Landry
Publisher:Ablex Publishing Corporation
Standard No:ISSN 1044-7318
Links:Table of Contents
  1. IJHCI 2006 Volume 20 Issue 1
  2. IJHCI 2006 Volume 20 Issue 2
  3. IJHCI 2006 Volume 20 Issue 3

IJHCI 2006 Volume 20 Issue 1

Editorial BIBFull-Text 1
  Gavriel Salvendy
A Study of the Feasibility and Effectiveness of Dual-Modal Information Presentations BIBAFull-Text 3-17
  Xiaowen Fang; Shuang Xu; Jacek Brzezinski; Susy S. Chan
Multimodal interfaces with both visual and auditory output are becoming important, especially for applications using small-screen displays and for user access under mobile conditions. The research presented here investigated the feasibility of simultaneously presenting distinct textual information through both visual and auditory channels by examining two multimodal interfaces with irrelevant or relevant auditory information. These interfaces were intended to study two problems: (a) Can users attend to and process additional information delivered through the auditory channel during a typical Web-browsing process, and (b) what are the effects of information overlap between the visual and auditory channels? Controlled experiments were conducted to evaluate these two questions. The findings suggest that users can attend to auditory information while visually browsing textual information and that information overlap may reduce distraction. These findings have implications for the design of multimodal interfaces for small-screen mobile applications.
Interruption Management and Telephone Call Screening BIBAFull-Text 19-33
  Allen E. Milewski
Notification-oriented computer interfaces are growing in importance, as is our understanding of how users manage interruptions. To gain insights relevant to the design of such interfaces, this study explored telephone call screening as a common example of how people manage technology-driven interruptions in their everyday residential environment. Survey results showed that audio screening is a frequent and regular practice, often used as part of an active, multicue strategy for managing interruptions. Frequent screeners estimated knowing more about the call before engaging in social interaction and were more selective when answering. Screening was viewed as an effective means of managing interruptions because screened, unanswered calls were rated as less disruptive of ongoing activities than calls that were answered. These findings on how people manage telephone call interruptions provide insights for designers of notification systems. First, audio alerts can be highly effective, especially in residential settings. Second, alerts need not be simple to be effective; they can usefully include rich information that clarifies how to respond to the interruption. Finally, informative alerts offer a situated alternative to "presence publishing" interfaces.
Brick-Building Interface Support for Cocreative Communication BIBAFull-Text 35-56
  Shigeru Wesugi; Yoshiyuki Miwa
To support cocreative communication between people who are in separate, remote locations, embodied communication (communication expressed through the physical body) is crucial, and a common place for communication should be established. This article proposes an idea to integrate remote physical places into a shared virtual space to bridge these remote places and to describe interface systems for cocreative communication. To show a typical example of cocreative communication with a high degree of freedom for bodily actions, this study focused on brick-building play, in which people are free to construct structures spatially with physical objects. For remote collaborative communication, including modeling with physical bricks at each physical place, two interface systems were designed: the brick-modeling interface system and the brick-reader glove interface system. The brick-modeling interface system makes it possible for users to act out others' brick plays with physical bricks in the remote places and in shared virtual space in real time. The brick-reader glove interface system enables users to act out the modeling process with virtual bricks and virtual avatars of both remote users in the shared virtual space. The experiment clearly suggests that these interface systems are useful for creating a shared virtual space and for supporting collaborative work in three dimensions with a sense that the remote people were together in the same place.

IJHCI 2006 Volume 20 Issue 2

Creativity Support Tools: Report From a U.S. National Science Foundation Sponsored Workshop BIBAFull-Text 61-77
  Ben Shneiderman; Gerhard Fischer; Mary Czerwinski; Mitch Resnick; Brad Myers; Linda Candy; Ernest Edmonds; Mike Eisenberg; Elisa Giaccardi; Tom Hewett; Pamela Jennings; Bill Kules; Kumiyo Nakakoji; Jay Nunamaker; Randy Pausch; Ted Selker; Elisabeth Sylvan; Michael Terry
Creativity support tools is a research topic with high risk but potentially very high payoff. The goal is to develop improved software and user interfaces that empower users to be not only more productive but also more innovative. Potential users include software and other engineers, diverse scientists, product and graphic designers, architects, educators, students, and many others. Enhanced interfaces could enable more effective searching of intellectual resources, improved collaboration among teams, and more rapid discovery processes. These advanced interfaces should also provide potent support in hypothesis formation, speedier evaluation of alternatives, improved understanding through visualization, and better dissemination of results. For creative endeavors that require composition of novel artifacts (e.g., computer programs, scientific papers, engineering diagrams, symphonies, artwork), enhanced interfaces could facilitate exploration of alternatives, prevent unproductive choices, and enable easy backtracking. This U.S. National Science Foundation sponsored workshop brought together 25 research leaders and graduate students to share experiences, identify opportunities, and formulate research challenges. Two key outcomes emerged: (a) encouragement to evaluate creativity support tools through multidimensional in-depth longitudinal case studies and (b) formulation of 12 principles for design of creativity support tools.
A Process-Oriented Interactive Design Environment for Automatic User-Interface Adaptation BIBAFull-Text 79-116
  Margherita Antona; Anthony Savidis; Constantine Stephanidis
In the design of user interfaces that adapt automatically to end-users and usage contexts, designers should be prepared to cope with large design spaces; these spaces will be necessary to accommodate design constraints posed by the diversity in the target user population and the various contexts of use. Adaptation-oriented design is considered a powerful design recipe addressing the compelling requirements of customization, accessibility, and high quality of interaction. Under this perspective, it must be carefully planned, designed, accommodated, and conducted within the life cycle of interactive systems, from the early exploratory phases of design and prototyping to evaluation, implementation, and deployment. Despite recent progress, the practice of designing automatic user-interface adaptations remains difficult, due to intrinsic complexity of the task and the current limited expertise of designers and practitioners. Toward overcoming such a difficulty, this article presents MENTOR, a tool providing (a) practical integrated support for all phases of adaptation design, through appropriate editing facilities; (b) practical support for a "smooth transition" from design to development through the availability of automated verification mechanisms for the designed adaptation logic, as well as the automated generation of "ready-to-implement" interface specifications; and (c) support for the progressive accumulation of design cases and of the related design experience and knowledge, in particular regarding adaptation.
Enhancing the Minority Discipline in the IT Industry: A Survey of Usability and User-Centered Design Practice BIBAFull-Text 117-134
  Yong Gu Ji; Myung Hwan Yun
This article reports the results of a survey conducted in 2003 of 184 information technology (IT) development practitioners and 90 user interface (UI)/usability practitioners. The survey covered a broad range of issues including the respondents' profiles, current development environment, usability and user-centered design (UCD) adoption issues in Korean IT development environments, overall assessment of UCD/usability, and the most widely used methods and techniques. The results reveal various UCD/usability practices and problems in the IT industry. For both development practitioners and UI/usability practitioners, the most serious problems encountered in a project are the differences between output and customer requirements, as well as further requirements from customer, delays in a project schedule, and overages on project budgets. The degree of recognition of usability/UCD is higher than expected, but UCD/usability is not yet fully employed in the project, because 42% of respondents used usability/UCD. Profiles from UI/usability practitioners and projects show a relatively weak position and short HCI tradition in the Korean IT industry. This study is expected to provide both an empirical basis for usability and UCD planning, training, adoption, and execution in the IT industry of Korea and an important information source for many HCI practitioners outside Europe and the United States who struggle to introduce usability into their IT industries.
Query-By-Object Interface for Information Requirement Elicitation in M-Commerce BIBAFull-Text 135-160
  Shapiee Abd Rahman; Subhash Bhalla; Tetsuya Hashimoto
Information Requirement Elicitation (IRE) is essential in wireless Web service to elicit information requirements through interactive choice prompts. This article presents a design of a high-level user interface for IRE, in the context of banking database queries by a mobile Web user. The prototype is based on the notion of a Query-By-Object approach of building a query using multiple user-level steps. The test prototype system uses the Mobile Information Devices Profile of the Java 2 Platform, Micro Edition, for a wireless front end, and a Java 2 Platform, Enterprise Edition, application server and an Object-Relational Database Management System at the back end. An empirical study conducted on the prototype has demonstrated that the proposed user interface is intuitive and simple to use. The proposed interface aims to eliminate ambiguities in users' communication by virtue of a step-by-step procedure. The main contributions of this interface are its simplicity to express a query and its expressive power.
Book Review: Handbook of Human Factors in Web Design, 2005 BIBFull-Text 161-162
  Guangfeng Song
Book Review: Usability and Internationalization of Information Technology (Human Factors/Ergonomics Series) BIBFull-Text 163-164
  Makoto Nakayama

IJHCI 2006 Volume 20 Issue 3

Editorial: HCI Innovations in Korea BIBFull-Text 169-170
  Yong Gu Ji
Culturability in Mobile Data Services: A Qualitative Study of the Relationship Between Cultural Characteristics and User-Experience Attributes BIBAFull-Text 171-203
  Boreum Choi; Inseong Lee; Jinwoo Kim
As the use of mobile data services has spread across the globe, the effect of cultural differences on user requirements has become an important issue. To date, however, little research has been conducted on the role cultural factors play in the design of mobile data services. This article proposes a set of critical design attributes for mobile data services that takes cross-cultural differences into account. To determine these attributes, a qualitative method was devised and in-depth interviews in Korea, Japan, and Finland were conducted. Twenty-one critical user-experience attributes that showed a clear correlation with characteristics of the user's culture were found. The article ends with a discussion of limitations and of implications for developers of mobile data services.
A Usability Checklist for the Usability Evaluation of Mobile Phone User Interface BIBAFull-Text 207-231
  Yong Gu Ji; Jun Ho Park; Cheol Lee; Myung Hwan Yun
In the last decade, the research of the usability of mobile phones has been a newly evolving area with few established methodologies and realistic practices that ensure capturing usability in evaluation. Thus, there exists growing demand to explore appropriate evaluation methodologies that evaluate the usability of mobile phones quickly as well as comprehensively. This study aims to develop a task-based usability checklist based on heuristic evaluations in views of mobile phone user interface (UI) practitioners. A hierarchical structure of UI design elements and usability principles related to mobile phones were developed and then utilized to develop the checklist. To demonstrate the practical effectiveness of the proposed checklist, comparative experiments were conducted on the usability checklist and usability testing. The majority of usability problems found by usability testing and additional problems were discovered by the proposed checklist. It is expected that the usability checklist proposed in this study could be used quickly and efficiently by usability practitioners to evaluate the mobile phone UI in the middle of the mobile phone development process.
Presenting a Submenu Window for Menu Search on a Cellular Phone BIBAFull-Text 233-245
  Jongmin Beck; Sung H. Han; Jungchul Park
This study proposes a submenu window as a navigation aid for mobile Internet access on a cellular phone. The submenu window presents child-level menu items along with their upper-level menu. The effectiveness of the submenu window was investigated in an experiment. The factors manipulated in the experiment include the types of submenu window, age of participants, and timing of presenting the submenu. Task completion time, number of button clicks, and subjective preference were measured while the participants were performing target search tasks. The results showed that they preferred the separate submenu window. The best performance was obtained when the submenu immediately followed the selection of its parent menu. In addition, the participants in their 20s found a target menu item with fewer button clicks than did the teenagers. The separate submenu window with no delay was recommended in terms of both performance and subjective preference. The design guidelines for submenu windows on a small-screen device are also provided. The results of this study are expected to be applicable to menu-driven interfaces of many small-screen devices such as digital cameras and personal digital assistants.
A Novel Interactive Mouse System for Holistic Haptic Display in a Human-Computer Interface BIBAFull-Text 247-270
  Ki-Uk Kyung; Dong-Soo Kwon; Gi-Hun Yang
The sense of touch provides humans with the ability to determine the shape and surface properties of objects. Although touch is an important part of daily life for object manipulation and exploration tasks, users are, unfortunately, rarely provided with the opportunity to use their sense of touch while interacting with computers. To rectify this, this article presents a novel haptic mouse system that can be used as a human-computer interface with the capability for holistic haptic feedback, including contact force, surface properties, and thermal feedback. The system is composed of 3 main parts. First, the 5-bar mechanism, which comprises the lowermost part of the mouse's body, has been adapted to realize 2-DOF translational force feedback. This mechanism helps the user to feel the contact force, stiffness, and size of a virtual object while exploring a graphical environment. Second, a small tactile display was developed. It has a planar-distributed pin array, and it can represent microscale shapes with various surfaces, such as gratings, grooves, patterns, shapes of icons, and Braille, thereby providing the user with cutaneous stimuli. Third, because the ability to sense temperature is an important factor in the discrimination of the surface property of an object, thermal feedback is provided to the user. The performance of each part and their combinations has been evaluated, and the system shows a remarkable ability to provide users with tactual information while they simply use the mouse without any additional interfaces.
A 3D Vision-Based Ambient User Interface BIBAFull-Text 271-284
  Dongpyo Hong; Woontack Woo
This article proposes a 3-dimensional (3D) vision-based ambient user interface as an interaction metaphor that exploits a user's personal space and its dynamic gestures. In human-computer interaction, to provide natural interactions with a system, a user interface should not be a bulky or complicated device. In this regard, the proposed ambient user interface utilizes an invisible personal space to remove cumbersome devices where the invisible personal space is virtually augmented through exploiting 3D vision techniques. For natural interactions with the user's dynamic gestures, the user of interest is extracted from the image sequences by the proposed user segmentation method. This method can retrieve 3D information from the segmented user image through 3D vision techniques and a multiview camera. With the retrieved 3D information of the user, a set of 3D boxes (SpaceSensor) can be constructed and augmented around the user; then the user can interact with the system by touching the augmented SpaceSensor. In the user's dynamic gesture tracking, the computational complexity of SpaceSensor is relatively lower than that of conventional 2-dimensional vision-based gesture tracking techniques, because the touched positions of SpaceSensor are tracked. According to the experimental results, the proposed ambient user interface can be applied to various systems that require real-time user's dynamic gestures for their interactions both in real and virtual environments.
Development of a Virtual Reality Training System for Live-Line Workers BIBAFull-Text 285-303
  Chang-Hyun Park; Gilsoo Jang; Young-Ho Chai
This article presents a training system for live-line workers. The developed training system is based on immersive virtual reality and automatic speech recognition technology. The training is focused on live-line Cut-Out-Switch (COS) replacement work in a distribution system. Most work in power systems must be free of interruption, so it is carried out by live-line techniques. However, these techniques have increased the number of accidents by electric shock. Because most electric accidents are due to live-line work, it is important to train live-line workers. The proposed training system provides repeated and cost-effective training for a small space. It also guarantees safety during training operations. In this article, the background of live-line techniques and the work procedure of COS replacement are presented. The architecture of the developed system, the creation of the virtual work environment, and the collision detection among virtual objects are also described.