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OZCHI Tables of Contents: 919293949596980102030405060708091011121314

Proceedings of the 1993 Australian Computer-Human Interaction Conference

Fullname:Proceedings of OZCHI'93, the CHISIG Annual Conference
Note:Interfaces Working for People
Editors:Penny Collings; Chris Harkins; David Sless; Terry Webb
Location:University of Canberra, ACT, Australia
Dates:1993-Nov-23 to 1993-Nov-26
Publisher:Computer-Human Interaction Special Interest Group Ergonomics Society of Australia, Inc. Canberra Business Centre Bradfield Street Downer, ACT 2602 AUSTRALIA
Standard No:ISBN 0-947170-05-7; hcibib: OZCHI93
Links:Conference Series Home Page | Scanned Proceedings PDF 31 Mb
  1. Keynote address
  2. Tutorials
  3. Part One: Computer Assisted Co-Operative Work
  4. Part Two: Organisational Issues
  5. Part Three: Multi Media & Information Retrieval
  6. Part Four: Research
  7. Part Five: Posters

Keynote address

Electronic Documentation -- Past Imperfect and Future Conditional? BIB --
  Brian Shackel


BIB --

Part One: Computer Assisted Co-Operative Work

A Multimedia CSCW System for Film and TV Pre-Production BIBAK 2-22
  Eric Gidney; Annmarie Chandler; Greg McFarlane
This paper describes the development of a prototype CSCW application for the film and television industries. The research was the product of an interdisciplinary approach involving academic researchers from the humanities and software developers in the telecommunications industry. Task analysis was carried out with end-users, and a requirements specification drawn up which was implemented by Telstra (previously OTC) on their experimental multimedia communications platform. The system was then installed on sites at UNSW and UTS linked via ISDN. The prototype was successfully demonstrated to major clients in the film and television industry. It allows real-time sharing and discussion of visual material for casting, locations, special effects, storyboarding, etc.
Keywords: Multimedia, CSCW, ISDN, Film, Television, Visual design
The Use of a Shared Drawing Surface as a Co-Ordination Tool BIBAK 23-34
  Maryliza Mazijoglou; Sean M. Clark; Stephen A. R. Scrivener
Shared view systems allow groups to share single-user computer applications whilst working in distributed collaborative settings. While these systems are useful for sharing applications in situations where all members of a group have similar skills, they are not so suited to situations where group members have differing skills. In some contexts certain group members may not have the knowledge or desire to operate the single-user application, yet they may still wish to comment on the shared view and indicate possible alterations to it. How does one offer support to these users? This paper describes a series of experiments in which a shared drawing surface was integrated with a shared view system in order to explore this issue empirically. It is concluded that there are significant benefits in adding pointing and drawing facilities to a shared view system. Additionally, the study illustrates how group dynamics are influenced by the resources available to each participant.
Keywords: Shared view systems, Co-ordination tools, Telepointing, Drawing, CSCW
Computing Telecommuting and Distance Education at the Technology Management Centre BIBAK 35-41
  A. Finegan; C. Trathen; P. Nicholas
In the 1990's distance education is much more than the traditional correspondence school that typically served the needs of students in remote locations. Today, off-campus programmes are using the readily available computing and telecommunication technologies to provide higher education to people throughout the community. This facilitates study for busy people in both the work-place and the home.
   The Technology Management Centre at Deakin University has developed an innovative off-campus programme that combines technology and management in a technological environment. This new degree is the Bachelor of Applied Science (Technology Management). It focuses on training professionals in the workplace to bring together science and technology with other activities within industry and society.
   The computing and telecommunication technologies are more than just the essential interface between student and the resources of the university. Study of computing and information technology is integrated throughout all levels of the curriculum. The skills learnt at each stage are supported by the technological environment, and form the foundation for subsequent study units.
   This paper reflects upon the implications of the programme as a form of distance education, dependent upon information technology, that has a significant computing content in the curriculum.
Keywords: Distance learning, Electronic mail, Computer managed learning, higher education
Spinning a Yarn: User Interfaces for Synchronous Remote Electronic Meetings BIBA 42-58
  Michael J. Rees; Renato Iannella; Andrew Lee; Glenn P. Smith; Tak K. Woo
Members of the Distributed User Interface Architecture project have evaluated text-based multiple-user communication tools for conducting electronic meetings in real-time from remote locations. The results of some experience with the user interface of an existing meeting server tools are reported in this paper. Discussions using these tools centred on designing a convenient conversation protocol which was given the name Yarn. Subsequent development led to the implementation of a Yarn meeting server with improved facilities, commands and dialogue mechanisms. Analysis of sustained use of the Yarn tool has yielded requirements for a graphical user interface incorporating more convenient features for the meeting participants. Prototypes of the graphical user interface are discussed and solutions proposed.

Part Two: Organisational Issues

CHI and Organisational Effectiveness: The CAA National Aeronautical Information Processing System BIBA 60-72
  Andrew Donald
To a Project manager, responsible for the management of a software development project, the very thought of the word change sends shivers down the spine. Long term software development projects will inevitably face the prospect of change. Accordingly the management processes involved in delivering the project must take the prospect of change into account. The very fact that a Project is being delivered in the first place pre supposes that change is about to be introduced. Introduction of change, particularly those changes with their origins in software based systems, is always difficult. The change is often justified on the grounds of improved organisational effectiveness. What aspects of the system will most likely influence the improvements to effectiveness? The most important is usually deemed to be the task inventory of the system, i.e. what tools will the system introduce, what jobs will it do, how fast will it do them, how accurate, how reliable? However the most complete and complex set of functionality will not make an organisation more effective if the target user cannot use the tools. Suppliers and builders of software based systems are now acutely aware of how poor CHI, the useability of a system, can reduce the impact a system has on organisational effectiveness.
   System suppliers are also now developing an awareness of how improvements to organisational effectiveness, brought about by other outside factors, (and the changes that effected those improvements) can render developing systems ineffective even before they are delivered. These changes tend not to affect the inventory of tasks but more the CHI of the system, how the tasks are carried out, the order of tasks, the presentation of tasks, etc. Changes to Project management disciplines and procedures are being introduced that better enable projects to keep abreast of changes being effected inside the customer organisation and to make them better able to react to these changes in a controlled, cost effective and risk averse manner.
Outline of a Groupware System for Workplace Learning BIBAK 73-84
  R. T. Jim Eales; Jim Welsh
This paper considers some of the problems involved in computer skills development by end-users. It attempts to highlight the limitations of existing skill development approaches by interpreting the learning needs of computer users in terms of the emerging paradigm of situated learning. We suggest that while the distributed use of computer systems may isolate users from the assistance and support of colleagues, it can provide the opportunity for the introduction of groupware systems to support distributed user-based skill development. Some of the social and technical issues of such a system are identified and a number of design issues are outlined.
Keywords: User support, Learnability, Skill development, Situated learning, Groupware
Standards for Usability: Towards Usable Interfaces BIBAK 85-93
  J. H. Hammond
Many organisations use standards to provide a framework for good practice in the design process and a consistent approach to systems development. Standards support the integration of usability into systems design and ensure more usable interfaces. Many organisations develop their own in-house standards. National and international standards may also be adopted, when available. Recent developments in drafting international standards involving usability aspects of IT design activities will have major effects for organisations wanting to achieve high levels of usability in their interface design.
   This paper describes some aspects of what is currently under discussion in ISO committees given the task of creating new usability standards. It draws conclusions about the relevance of emerging ISO usability standards for Australian developers, and the possible role of Australian HCI professionals in influencing the drawing process.
Keywords: Standards, User interface, Usability, System design
Real Projects Don't Need User Interface Designers: Overcoming the Barriers to HCI in the Real World BIBAK 94-108
  Sarah Bloomer
User Interface Design as a distinct component of systems design is relatively new to software development, having traditionally been the job of the programmer/analyst. The competitive nature of the commercial software industry has demonstrated that good user interface design is paramount to the success of an application. Yet in-house development rarely includes user interface design expertise. One reason is that current methods do not include the steps required to carry out user interface design and managers do not see the value. The cold reality is that tight budgets and deadlines leave little room for new approaches.
   Bringing human-computer interaction (HCI) expertise to projects that might otherwise forego it requires a careful strategy focussed on real world constraints. Only by demonstrating the value of user interface design will systems methods evolve to include HCI. In the meantime, we need the tools and approach to bring HCI to the industry efficiently and effectively, and in fact, by refining many of the tools and techniques currently at hand, we already have a viable, working solution. This paper presents a market driven approach which applies existing methods and tools to real world constraints.
Keywords: User interface design, Methods, Graphical user interfaces, Project planning, Project management

Part Three: Multi Media & Information Retrieval

Extending the Perspective Wall BIBAK 110-120
  Ying K. Leung; Mark D. Apperley
A visualisation tool for data with a linear hierarchical structure, known as the Perspective Wall, was proposed by a group of researchers at Xerox PARC at the CHI '91 conference. This paper explains the concept of the Perspective Wall and contrasts it with an earlier approach, the Bifocal Display. It then highlights the problems associated with the implementation of the Perspective Wall and suggests two directions for improvement. One proposal, which can be adequately implemented using currently available technology, is to extend the Bifocal Display; for systems with more computational resources, Trifocal and Quadfocal Displays are also practical. Another proposal, the Perspective Space, which is proposed as an extension of the Perspective Wall, would provide the user with a realistic 3D feel in visualising very large data spaces.
Keywords: Graphical interfaces, Data visualisation, Distortion-oriented presentation techniques, Perspective Wall, Bifocal display
A Browsing Conceptual Model for Information Retrieval BIBA 121-132
  K. R. Cox; D. W. Walker; D. I. Clark
Most information retrieval systems are based on a query conceptual model. In this model a user creates a query, the query is matched with the objects in the information space and matching objects are returned to the user. The user may then scan the retrieved objects and modify the search criteria to get a new set of matching objects. This paper describes a different information retrieval system based on a browsing conceptual model. There is no explicit query formulation. The user is presented with a set of objects and moves to a new object. When at that object a set of near objects is then displayed. The system uses a (display objects -- user recognise -- user move) cycle. Different ways of implementing the model are outlined. For illustration purposes the user interface of an artificial retrieval system is given and it shows how a user may browse through an information space. The application of the model to a text information retrieval problem is outlined.
Presenting Query Results in a Hyperbase BIBAK 133-149
  Michael Fuller; Ron Sacks-Davis; Ross Wilkinson
There is a simple method for integrating information retrieval and hypertext. This consists of treating nodes as isolated documents and retrieving them in order of similarity. If the nodes are structured, in particular, if sets of nodes collectively constitute documents, we can do better. This paper shows how the formation of the hypertext, the retrieval of nodes in response to content based queries, and the presentation of the nodes can be achieved in a way that exploits the knowledge encoded as the structure of the documents. Two alternatives for using this structure in presenting knowledge to the user are described: using statistically based techniques to determine viewing order, or presenting the user with the information needed to make their own choice. The ideas are then exemplified in an SGML based hypertext information retrieval system.
Keywords: Hypertext, Information retrieval, SGML, Structured documents
The HIV Hypermedia Project: Learning through Computer-Human Interaction BIBAK 150-160
  Margaret Bearman; Michael Kidd; Branko Cesnik
Computer Assisted Learning (CAL) is slowly integrating into Australian society as a meaningful mode of education. The HIV Hypermedia Project is an example of how the principles of CHI can improve CAL packages by creating a meaningful dialogue between the student and the computer. Appropriate design decisions, coupled with the hypermedia format, help integrate the contents, structure and interface of the package. This makes the context of the content apparent to users, thus assisting the learning process.
Keywords: CAL, Hypermedia, Hypermedia structure, Interface design

Part Four: Research

A Tool to Determine the Efficiency of Icon Selection in a Windows Environment BIBAK 162-178
  John R. Maltby
This paper describes a software tool called IDC (for icon data collection) which enables icon search and selection data to be automatically collected in a Microsoft Windows environment for a variety of different icons styles, designs and types. The tool incorporates a theoretical method by which the efficiency of icon selection in a graphical user interface can be defined and measured. The method utilises a form of analysis known as Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA), initially devised to evaluate efficiency in non-profit making organisations. It is shown that a simplified form of DEA can be used to index icons relative to a reference icon, thus enabling icons to be ranked in order of selection efficiency. The nature of the IDC program is such that data can be readily and reliably collected in a field situation for a wide variety of different icon parameters, including type, size, display density, spatial orientation (fixed or random), colour and the presence or otherwise of text. The versatility and ease of use of the software opens up the possibility of obtaining a significant quantity of data from a large number of subject groups.
Keywords: Data envelopment analysis, Efficiency, Icons, Search time, Tool
Towards Usable Requirements BIBAK 179-192
  Benjamin Baker; Janis McKauge
Insufficient attention to usability requirements is identified by the authors as a major emblem in software development projects undertaken on a commercial basis. They argue that emphasis is usually given to functional requirements at the expense of usability requirements leading to contractual difficulties. Even in HCI circles usability is generally not dealt with in depth until the prototyping stage. The authors believe that this delay hampers the commercial success of a project. Presented in the paper is a model that provides a framework which explains the imbalance of requirements emphasis. It shows a user's business task depicted with balanced emphasis on the user actions and the system processes.
   The usefulness of this model is illustrated by its application to a case study of a system with a graphical user interface. The case study describes a project that ran into contractual difficulty over a prescribed user requirements specification. It relates steps taken to deal with this problem and illustrates successful application of a more general approach to user requirements.
   The authors conclude that traditional user requirements documents do not provide an appropriate base for a contract to develop software where usability is important. This problem has arisen from the maturing of the software development industry. Instead of traditional user requirements specifications, they suggest that alternative approaches are more useful. The solutions offered go part of the way in dealing with the problem and point the way for further progress in this area.
Keywords: User requirements, Human factors, Usability, Scope, Software development
User Interface Construction under Motif: A Comparison of UIL and WCL BIBAK 193-210
  T. Graham Freeman; Patrick Sefton
The specification of a simple, intuitive Graphical User Interface is essential to modern application design, and is one of the more time-consuming tasks of the software engineer. Several utilities designed to simplify GUI design under the X Window System are available. This report examines and compares the functionality and usefulness of two such tools: the Motif User Interface Language, and David Smyth's Widget Creation Library. The relative merits of the two packages are discussed, and an example is given of a simple application built in three ways, using each of these two packages, and without any such supports.
Keywords: Motif, User-interface, Widget Creation Language, User Interface Language, UIL, WCL
Knowledge Elicitation for the Design of Complex Human-Computer Systems BIBAK 211-223
  Elizabeth M. Grey; David J. Creed
A knowledge elicitation technique known as the Repertory Grid was used to investigate aircrew opinion regarding the impact of cabin layout on information flow and teamwork in the RAAF P-3C Orion Long Range Maritime Patrol Aircraft (LRMPA). A series of Repertory Grid based interviews with operational aircrew formed the basis of a set of rating scales designed to assess aircrew opinion of cabin layout in LRMPA. The Repertory Grid technique proved useful in eliciting aircrew knowledge, providing insight into the teamwork and information transfer requirements of operators in a complex system in which such elements are crucial to system performance.
Keywords: Knowledge elicitation, Repertory Grid, Systems design, Teamwork, Communication
Supporting Social Awareness in Distributed Work BIBAK 224-241
  Andrew Cockburn
The social factors in collaborative work are fundamental to its success. In recognition of this, several groupware applications support social awareness through functionality that is dedicated to the provision of a sense of community: techniques include innovative metaphors such as "media spaces," "virtual hallways," and "social browsing."
   This paper reviews groupware that provides these facilities. Their potential and limitations are discussed, and their similar support mechanisms are shown to restrict the range of colleagues accessible. These observations are used as an introduction to TELEFREEK, a customisable and extendible platform for communication resources and facilities. Using widely available communication network technology, TELEFREEK provides many of the social awareness facilities for which related groupware systems have required restrictively high-bandwidth video channels. TELEFREEK's avoidance of technology-oriented restrictions on the user community reduces the barriers to its attainment of a critical mass of users: a fundamental requirement for success in communication oriented systems.
   Although TELEFREEK's social awareness facilities are currently limited to local-area networks, on-going work will extend its social awareness to the global Internet. The mechanisms enabling this extension are described.
Keywords: Groupware, Social awareness, Integrated environments, Current technology, Critical mass
What Do Interface Designers Say They Need to Know about HCI? BIBAK 242-254
  S. Howard
Published resources in HCI were synthesised into a single resource detailing the scope of HCI. The single resource was used to generate a checklist of 'things a user interface designer might need to know'. The checklist was then used as the basis of a series of structured interviews with selected industrial practitioners in user interface design.
   The paper presents the validated resource, along with the rationale for including each major element, and some heuristics for guiding the construction of future HCI resources. The new resource differs from previously published resources in teens of its content, form of utilisation and philosophical basis.
Keywords: HCI education, Definition, Design practice, Views of practitioners

Part Five: Posters

The Teaching Efficiency of an On-Line Tutorial as Compared with That of a User Manual BIB 256-257
  Karyn Burger
Using Khoros/Cantata as a Visual Programming Language for Process Simulation BIBAK 258-261
  Harvey A. Cohen; Dougal Beilby
The paper describes experience in using the Visual Programming Language Cantata in the implementation of a specific process control simulator -- a Digital Logic Simulator. Cantata is the VPL component of Khoros, a comprehensive image processing system developed for the X-Windows environment, has extensive image processing capabilities for graphic and imagery rich simulations. Although Khoros/Cantata, which is based on a very highly specified data-flow model for image processing has no actual state-transition handling scheme, we found that propagating a 'common clock' to all processing elements enabled a proper sequencing of sequential processing.
Keywords: Visual programming language, Khoros, Cantata, Simulation
A Role-Playing Game for Redesigning Information Systems BIBA 262-263
  Penny Collings; David Walker
A very effective method of learning about working in a group to achieve common objectives, is through the use of role-playing or behavioural simulation games. In these games, groups of students over a number of weeks or days work through a simulation of an organisational situation such as the development of a new policy for the organisation. In the process they learn though action and experience about problems in group behaviour and group design.
   We have designed a prototype simulation of the development of information systems in an Australian organization. The purpose of the prototype simulation is to provide a learning environment in which students can develop interpersonal, design and management skills required for professional practice in the information technology field. They design systems and evaluate them and develop an initial version of the systems to see if they will be effective in the organisational environment. The students play organisational roles, for example user, designer, project manager and information technology (IT) professional, and decide which information systems are required to support the work they do. Through this they have the opportunity to understand the process of information systems design and the role of prototyping user interfaces as part of this process.
Usability through Iconic Interfaces BIBK 264-266
  Maria De Marsico; Roberta Mancini
Keywords: Usability, Human-computer interaction, Mental model, Cognitive process, Iconic interface
Evaluations of the Human-Computer Interface by Questionnaire BIBA 267
  Shirley Gregor; Ron Balsys
This paper reports initial findings from an investigation into the use of questionnaires to evaluate human-computer interfaces. The investigation has begun with the evaluation of the Questionnaire for User Interface Satisfaction (QUIS), developed at the University of Maryland (Chin, Diehl and Norman, 1988). The questionnaire has been used by undergraduate students to evaluate dBase IV, Lotus 1-2-3 for Windows and DECforms (Digital Equipment Corporation). Results are compared with those reported by Chin et al. The relative merits and disadvantages of questionnaire methods for evaluating interfaces are discussed. The overall aim of the project is to develop or identify a questionnaire which is both reliable and valid.
A Pawn in the Game of Power -- Doing Research on Computer Use in Companies BIB 268
  Lena M. Holmberg
Human Factors Engineering Techniques at Air Operations Division DSTO: S-70B-2 Helicopter BIBAK 269-270
  Helen M. Kiehoom; Robert B. King
Air Operations Division was asked to assess the human factors aspects of the S-70B-2 helicopter. Initially a computer based simulation technique, Micro SAINT was used to model aircrew workload, before the first aircraft had been delivered. The S-70B-2 was then subjected to an Operational Test and Evaluation programme (OT & E).
Keywords: Human factors, Military aviation, Aircrew performance, Workload, Task analysis
Remote Collaborative Drawing for Visual Designers BIBAK 271-272
  Toni Rohertson; Eric Gidney
User-centred trials of visual design tasks were performed to assess the potential of simple Macintosh-based Computer-Supported Collaborative Work (CSCW) systems to support real-time collaboration over distance. Experiments were carried out in the areas of theatre and fashion design, both locally and internationally. The airs was to examine how effectively commercially-available computer systems and groupware support remote visual design collaboration.
Keywords: CSCW, Visual design, User-centred, Remote collaboration
The Politics of Information System Projects BIBA 273
  Leoni Warne
The Services Manpower and Pay Project (SMPP) was initiated in June 1990, and was to run for several years. The purpose of the project was to build an information system to handle manpower and pay functions within the Australian Defence Forces (ADF) and the Department of Defence, and therefore to increase organisational effectiveness. The project was therefore involved with a large matrix of geographically-distant stakeholders from the top management of each of the Armed Services and the Department, to the end-users in Personnel and Pay sections throughout the ADF and the Department of Defence. The project was terminated in November 1992.
   The purpose of the case study is to investigate and identify the conflicts between the business and operational stakeholders and the conflicts between the users and the developers that may have contributed to the premature ending of this project. Furthermore, the study will investigate how the users' unmet requirements will now be addressed. The issue of conflict between clients and computer professionals is addressed by Rob Thomsett who identifies four stages in the evolution of computer and business professional relations. He describes the third stage as the 'Get Even' stage where there is an antagonistic attitude between computing and business professionals (Thomsett, 1992). Preliminary research indicates that SMPP may characterise this stage of Thomsett's client/professional relationships.
Note: Research in Progress: A Case Study of the Australian Department of Defence Services Manpower and Pay Project