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OZCHI Tables of Contents: 919293949596980102030405060708091011121314

Proceedings of the 1994 Australian Computer-Human Interaction Conference

Fullname:Proceedings of OZCHI'94, the CHISIG Annual Conference
Note:Harmony Through Working Together
Editors:Steve Howard; Ying K. Leung
Location:Melbourne, Australia
Dates:1994-Nov-28 to 1994-Dec-01
Publisher:Computer-Human Interaction Special Interest Group Ergonomics Society of Australia, Inc. Canberra Business Centre Bradfield Street Downer, ACT 2602 AUSTRALIA
Standard No:ISBN 0-947070-05-7; hcibib: OZCHI94
Links:Conference Series Home Page | Scanned Proceedings PDF 65 Mb
  1. Opening Papers
  2. Social Issues
  3. Tools 1
  4. Research 1
  5. Panel
  6. Tools 2
  7. Affective Issues
  8. Evaluation
  9. Research 2
  10. Hypermedia
  11. Social Issues 2
  12. Visual Languages
  13. Up-Stream Design
  14. Research 3
  15. Visual Interfaces
  16. Panel
  17. Research 4
  18. Social Issues 3
  19. Posters

Opening Papers

"Harmony Through Working Together" Introducing OZCHI94 BIBA 3-8
  Steve Howard; Ying Leung
The theme for OZCHI this year, and the papers presented in this proceedings, reflect the tensions and challenge consequent on working together to achieve harmony. This paper introduces OZCHI94. Firstly, the theme of the conference will be developed. Secondly, the theme will be used to analyse the papers appearing in this proceedings, both in terms of their particular focus and extent of coverage of the theme.
"Persistent Usability": A Multiphasic User Interface Architecture for Supporting the Full Usage Lifecycle BIBAK 9-14
  Larry L. Constantine
The architecture or overall organization of user interfaces needs to reflect the structure of evolving patterns of usage as users progress from initial encounter to expert performance. A triphasic model of user evolution and corresponding interface architecture is described. As users progress from novice, to intermediate, to expert level performance, their changing patterns of usage require different user interface design approaches. The acquisition interface, transition interface, and production interface are seen as distinct but interrelated subsystems of the overall user interface architecture having different organization and supporting mechanisms. It is argued that more advanced users, but especially "improving intermediates," are an under served constituency in the user community for most systems. Examples of interface approaches for these users are described.
Keywords: User interfaces, Usability, Interface architecture, Triphasic model, Design for usability
Interface: Where Art & Science Meet BIBA 15-18
  S. Joy Mountford
Sarah Bloomer and Bridget McGraw compiled a set of questions for Joy Mountford, focusing on the theme of her plenary talk. What follows is an interview which took place over the Internet.

Social Issues

Four Principles for Groupware Design BIBAK 21-26
  Andy Cockburn; Steve Jones
Participatory design amalgamates the expertise of interdisciplinary specialists with the task-specific expertise of end-users. Groupware design is widely recognised as benefiting from participative approaches. Recognition of this ideal, however, does not preclude the failure of groupware design due to poor communication and inadequate understanding.
   This paper provides a grounding in the problems affecting groupware's success, and introduces four design principles. These principles guide all those involved in design around the pitfalls that have been encountered, some repeatedly, by groupware.
Keywords: Groupware, Design, Principles, User-acceptance
Learnability Through Working Together BIBAK 27-32
  R. T. Jim Eales; Jim Welsh
We present the argument that learnability is an important problem in the design of computer systems. To investigate existing end-user skill development practices we undertook contextual research in the administrative sector of a major university. What emerged was a picture of a skill development process that was ongoing, largely informal and with a significant contribution from inter-user collaboration. We discuss some initial implications of our findings for the development of more effective systems of user support. In particular, we believe that technological support may contribute to overcoming some of the inherent difficulties involved in face-to-face collaboration.
Keywords: Learnability, User support, End-user computing, Contextual research, Collaborative skill development
The Social Construction of Computer Use: Stories from the 'Real World' BIBAK 33-38
  Rachel Croft; Martin Lea; Richard Giordano
Human-computer interaction is commonly described in terms of formal cognitive models. However, these models are based on particular assumptions about the relationships between users, computers and their environment and recent observational studies in 'real world' settings suggest that they fail to support an adequate understanding of users' interactions with computers. This paper explores the relevance of the social constructivist perspective adopted in the sociology of science and technology for the study of human-computer interaction. Taking examples from their field studies of classroom computer use and computer system implementation in an organization, the authors demonstrate how social constructivist concepts may facilitate an understanding of the interactions between people and computers in the 'real world'.
Keywords: Observational studies, Sociology of technology, HCI, models of the user, CSCW

Tools 1

Serving Lean Cuisine+: Towards a Support Environment BIBAK 41-46
  Chris Phillips
Lean Cuisine+ [12] is an executable semi-formal graphical notation for specifying the underlying behaviour of even-based direct manipulation interfaces. It is a multi-layered notation which supports the early design phase of the interface development life cycle. In this paper the notation is introduced through an example, and the requirements of a software environment to support the construction, browsing, and execution of Lean Cuisine+ specifications are established. A prototype of part of this environment is described. A mapping from Lean Cuisine+ into a more formal dialogue specification language in order to support interface prototyping and implementation is briefly considered.
Keywords: Direct manipulation, Interface design, Graphical dialogue notations, Executable specifications, Macintosh interface
PIPS: A User Centred Approach to Rapid Prototyping BIBAK 47-52
  Paul Anderson
Early stages in the development of interfaces involve the fabrication of models that aid analysis prior to construction. These behavioural models take a user-centred perspective. In contrast, subsequent implementation models take a system-centred view of the interface. This change of viewpoint impedes the translation of an analysis model into its implementation equivalent [11]. Dialogue Activation Language (DAL) is a language for describing direct manipulation interfaces from a user action viewpoint. In so doing it aids the translation of behavioural interface models into their constructional equivalent. PIPS is an interface development environment based on DAL.
Keywords: Rapid prototyping, Interface models, UIMS
A Useable Boxer Editor BIBAK 53-58
  James B. Uther
Boxer is a computational environment designed for everyday use by those not professionally trained in computing. It has enormous potential, but has failed to make an impact beyond a small research community. One reason for this is the lack of a truly useable interface to the hypertext editor, and therefore the environment. This paper introduces a new editor, and results are given that show that the new interface can be quickly learned and is then useable.
Keywords: Boxer, Hypertext, User interfaces, Useability

Research 1

Colour in Map Displays: Issues for Task-Specific Display Design BIBAK 61-66
  Walter Smith; John Dunn; Kim Kirsner; Mark Randell
Colour is generally regarded as a desirable property of computer displays chiefly because it supports users' preattentive visual processes, e.g. texture segregation, which rapidly organize and structure screen information. This paper examines the use of colour in computerised map displays of the sort used by Geographic Information Systems. Three experiments are reported which confirm the utility of colour, but which also identify two potential problems: interference of task-irrelevant colour and superficial processing of colour symbol configurations. These findings support a general argument that colour should not be used automatically, but rather its use should be fitted to the task for which the display is designed.
Keywords: Map displays, Colour, Visual search, Perceptual grouping, Task-specific displays
Using Situation Centered Analogy for Interface Design BIBAK 67-72
  Michael Lewis
This paper presents an approach for describing and constructing cognitively efficient analogies for use in human-computer interaction (HCI). Current direct manipulation (DM) interfaces are severely limited in expression by their "select-operate" syntax. Our situation-theoretic framework overcomes this rigidity by capturing both objects and possible behaviors within a common representation. A theory relating problem representation to cognitive difficulty is presented and methods for re-representing difficult problems to make them easier for humans to solve is developed. Results from experiments in which subjects solved isomorphic problems using DM interfaces are presented. A simple display for safety monitoring of a nuclear power plant is developed to illustrate these methods.
Keywords: Situation theory, Analogy
An Evaluation of Editing Paradigms BIBAK 73-78
  Mark A. Toleman; Jim Welsh
The choice between tree-building and text-recognition paradigms has been an issue in language-based editor design over the past decade, with much intuitive comment appearing in the literature. To the best of our knowledge, however, no systematic attempt to demonstrate the advantage of either paradigm, by application of relevant theories or by controlled experimental evaluation, has been attempted. The problem is complicated by the interaction of several factors -- in addition to the user's conceptual model of a structured document, factors such as the error discipline to be applied, the model bias produced by textual display, and the adequacy of implementation of the text-recognition approach, have all to be taken into account. In this theoretical study we analyse and compare various editing tasks undertaken by software engineers. The Keystroke Level Model (KLM) is used to assess the efficiency of the paradigms.
Keywords: GOMS, Keystroke-level model, Language-based editors


Standards in HCI BIB 81-83
  Nigel Bevan; Susan Harker; Gitte Lindgaard; Judy Hammond

Tools 2

POL: A Direct Manipulated Visual Language BIBAK 87-92
  Da-Qian Zhang; Kang Zhang
This paper presents POL, an object-oriented visual language, which supports programmers of different levels. Experienced programmers can use the lower level POL to construct high lever and domain oriented POLs, which are suitable for solving domain-oriented problems. A picture supported in POLs may have many direct manipulatable areas for depicting classes, objects, and links between objects or classes. Programs are constructed as linked pictures using a visual editor. A picture node may be recursively defined by lower level pictures, or may embody a text editor that describes the low level and detailed picture function. Such hierarchical object-oriented design environment can greatly increase the domain programmer's productivity.
Keywords: Direct manipulation, Object-oriented, Visual language, Picture class, Picture object
Active Templates: Manipulating Pointers with Pictures BIBAK 93-98
  P. J. Lyons; M. D. Apperley; A. G. Bishop; G. S. Moretii
Active templates are a semi-automatic visual mechanism for generating algorithms for manipulating pointer-based data structures. The programmer creates a picture showing the affected part of a data structure before and after a general-case manipulation. Code for the operation is compiled directly from the picture, which also provides the development environment with enough information to generate, automatically, a series of templates for other similar pictures, each describing a different configuration which the data structure may possess. The programmer completes the algorithm by creating matching after-pictures for each of these cases.
   At every stage, most of the picture-generation is automatic. Much of the tedious detail of conventional pointer-based data-structure manipulation, such as maintenance of current pointers, is unnecessary in a system based on active templates.
Keywords: Active templates, Visual programming language, HyperPascal, Data structures
Turbo-Turtle: Educating Children in an Alternative Reality Universe BIBAK 99-105
  Andy Cockburn
This paper describes an educational programming language called turbo-turtle. Turbo-turtle is an extended dialect of Logo that allows Logo turtles to be assigned physical properties such as mass, velocity, friction, and acceleration. The users, primarily children, experiment with Newtonian Laws of motion in an abstracted, dynamic, and engaging environment. In turbo-turtle's "alternative reality universe" children play with physics.
   The human factors and interface issues that govern the success of turbo-turtle are examined both a the interface and through it.
Keywords: Education, Interface engagement, Logo, Dynamics, Alternative reality

Affective Issues

Correlates and Norms for the Computer Attitude Scale: Replication and Cut-Off Problem Definition in Health Care and Banking Employees BIBAK 109-115
  Ron Henderson; Frank Deane; Kate Barrelle; Doug Mahar
Computerised systems have become an integral part of both modern business practice, and life in general. It has become increasingly difficult to avoid interaction with computerised technology -- be it in the form of washing machines, videos or information systems. This present paper reports normative data and correlates of computer anxiety in three separate samples (N = 255) using the Computer Anxiety Scale [1]. In an effort to estimate the impact of computer anxiety in the workforce, three non-student samples from the health and banking sectors were used. Relationships between age, sex, computer experience and computer anxiety previously found in student/teacher samples were replicated in the present study. The scope and practical implications of computer anxiety is discussed.
Keywords: Computer anxiety, Norms, Computer attitude scale
Modelling the Personality of the Decision Maker for Effective Decision Support BIBAK 116-117
  Priyanka Paranagama; Frada Burstein; David Arnott
Research has shown that there is an important link between the unique individual personality of a decision maker and the decision process. The decision support systems discipline has not made a conscious attempt at incorporating the personality of decision makers as part of decision models. This research project proposes a framework as a research model to investigate the effectiveness of incorporating decision maker personality in building decision support systems for 'higher strata' decision makers.
Keywords: Decision support systems, Personality theory, User modelling
Employee Acceptance of Biometric Security Systems BIBAK 118-122
  Kate Barrelle; Frank Deane; Ron Henderson; Doug Maher
The present paper examined the perceived acceptability of biometric security systems, and the relationship between acceptability and sensitivity of information. Results from 46 respondents indicated that all biometric systems were perceived as less acceptable than the traditional password approach. Contrary to expectations, it was found that behaviourally based biometric systems were perceived as less acceptable than physiologically based systems. Interestingly, the password method displayed a negative relationship between acceptability and sensitivity. Results are discussed in relation to the potential for some behaviourally based biometric system to be used as a component of Electronic Performance Monitoring (EPM) systems.
Keywords: Computer security, Biometric security systems, User acceptability, Electronic performance monitoring


The Advantages of Portable Usability Testing BIBAK 125-126
  Fiona Dorward
This paper describes work in progress on a new concept in usability evaluation: a portable usability testing laboratory (PUTL). Traditionally, usability testing is conducted in fixed usability laboratories with a range of sophisticated video, audio and editing equipment. While these laboratories have their merits, it is becoming clear that alternative, less costly methods are often preferred in industry. With relatively simple technology and a scaleable method, PUTL is being developed to address these concerns. Three client case studies are used to illustrate its successful implementation to date. Ideas for ongoing refinement and independent evaluation are also discussed.
Keywords: Usability testing laboratories, Portable usability testing, Field testing, Remote usability testing, Evaluation
Heuristic User Interface Evaluation: Three Case Studies of Dialog Design BIBAK 127-132
  Renato Iannella
This paper discusses the use of heuristic guidelines in the design and evaluation of user interfaces. Closely following such recommendations can improve the user's performance and reduce training costs. Three leading software applications are used as case studies in which the use of a simple set of heuristic guidelines has detected potential usability problems. Such problems can then be removed before more comprehensive usability evaluations are performed.
Keywords: User interface design and evaluation, Heuristic evaluation, User interface guidelines, Dialog design, Usability engineering, Human-computer interaction
Screen Complexity and User Design Preference in Windows Applications BIBAK 133-137
  T. Comber; J. R. Maltby
This paper evaluates the validity of a formal method for assessing the quality of screen layouts in graphical user interfaces. A technique developed by Bonsieppe for quantifying the layout complexity of a printed page has been applied to the opening screens in thirteen Microsoft Windows applications. Thirty subjects were asked to rank the same thirteen screens on the basis of "good" design. A significant negative correlation was found between the subjects' rankings and the complexity ratings, indicating that users' do not like "simple" screens. The reasons for this negative correlation are explored.
Keywords: GUI, Windows, Screen, Design, Layout, Complexity

Research 2

Query Context: Would a Graphical Interface Help? BIBAK 141-146
  Sylvia Willie
The paradox of electronic storage of information is that it can make information unavailable to the general public. The known problems with Boolean query constructs in conjunction with the complexities of computer access and even an inappropriate mental model of the information space overwhelm the general user. While the graphical user interface has been shown to decrease memory load, it does not provide support for direct manipulation in information search. This paper looks at our current research into a graphical query interface which we believe has the potential to ameliorate the current situation and lead to easier access to electronic information spaces for novice and infrequent users.
Keywords: Graphical user interface, Venn diagrams, Information retrieval, Query languages, Novices
Process Support: Inflexible Imposition or Chaotic Composition? BIBAK 147-152
  Geraldine Fitzpatrick; Jim Welsh
Current process support systems seek to impose a process structure which controls the work of participants in cooperative work activities. This structure is based on the false premise that the global order emergent from the chaotic dynamics of work processes can be used to prescribe local activity which is in fact situated and unpredictable. We propose instead that a space of work be defined, incorporating service, information, role and artefact objects, to capture the bounds and characteristics of the global order. The situated reality of work processes is supported by enabling participants to dynamically compose objects into their own process path through the space.
Keywords: Groupware, Process support, Chaotic dynamics
A Meta-Argumentation Workbench BIBAK 153-157
  Graeme Shanks; Richard Sargeant; Sonali Abeyatunge
A number of models have been proposed to support argumentation in design, for example the IBIS and QOC models. These models aim to structure the deliberations which occur during the design process and provide an explanation of the designed artefact. Tools to support these models have typically been designed to support one type of model only. This paper describes an argumentation meta-model which forms the basis of a meta-argumentation workbench. The meta-argumentation workbench supports the generation of specific argumentation support tools and allows for the rapid prototyping and subsequent evolution of argumentation models. A prototype implementation of the meta-argumentation workbench is discussed and suggestions for further work are offered.
Keywords: Design methodologies and techniques, Groupwork / CSCW, Networking and computer-mediated human communication


A Graphical Methodology for the Design and Implementation of Hypertext Based Information Systems BIBAK 161-166
  Stephen Duncan; Mark Apperley
The hypertext author is concerned with the conceptualisation, visualisation, and validation of the structure encapsulated within a hypertext based information resource. There is a need for software tools to aid in the development of hypertext information systems because of a continuing trend for authors of corporate and educational information resources to be unfamiliar with traditional software engineering practices. This paper introduces a graphical notation and methodology that aids in the creation of modern information resources, with benefits for both the hyperdocument creator and reader in terms of structural clarity, ease of navigation, and management of the design and implementation task.
Keywords: Hypertext, Design methodology, Visual language
Problems of the Development of a Hypertext Authoring Tool BIBAK 167-172
  Margit Pohl; Peter Purgathofer
There is a tendency for computer novices to become involved with hypertext systems, especially in educational environments. Systems must be tailored to the specific needs of these users. To be able to do that, a careful analysis of the transition process from linear text to hypertext is necessary. Untrained users of hypertext authoring systems usually have great difficulties with the hypertext concept. The aim of our research is to get a better understanding of the problems which arise when authoring hypertext systems in university education, and, more specifically, to develop an authoring tool that allows students to write their own hypertext documents. Our experience shows that the hypertext concept is difficult to understand and to apply but it can be made easier by the introduction of an adequate authoring tool.
Keywords: Hypertext, Authoring systems, Learning models, Evaluation methods and tools, User models
Generating Interactive Exercises in Hypertext BIBAK 173-177
  Eve Wilson
Hypertext can best serve as a medium for Computer Assisted Learning (CAL) packages if the packages are truly interactive with exercises and feedback so that students can monitor their progress. This paper considers several exercise templates and describes how a DTD in SGML can be used to map these automatically into Guide Hypertext.
Keywords: Computer assisted learning, Hypertext, SGML, Automatic generation of hypertext

Social Issues 2

We Can't Go On Meeting Like This! Artifacts Making it Easier to Work Together in Manufacturing BIBAK 181-186
  Carsten Sorensen; Peter Carstensen; Henrik Borstrom
When organizations embark on manufacturing complex products, a multitude of actors representing different areas of competence cooperate. Because of the complexity of the work due to, for example, the nature of the product and the large number of interdependent participants, part of their work concerns articulation, e.g., coordination, management, allocation, negotiation. This paper is based on a field study at Foss Electric, a Danish manufacturing company. The field study surveyed a large-scale project involving mechanical, electronic, software, and chemical design of a complex instrument for testing the quality of raw milk. We argue that in this particular project a matrix organization, scheduled project meetings, informal meetings, and paper-based artifacts are the primary means of managing the complexity of articulation work. The aim of this paper is to investigate the origination and use of artifacts supporting cooperation between the participants in manufacturing work. The analysis supports the hypothesis that when confronted with an abundance of detailed decisions that need to be articulated, organizations invent and adopt artifacts which can be interpreted as stipulating and mediating articulation work in order to reduce the need for project meetings and informal meetings.
Keywords: Cooperative work, Field study, Manufacturing
A World-Wide Web User Interface for an Electronic Meeting Tool BIBAK 187-192
  Michael J. Rees; Tak K. Woo
As the popularity of the World-Wide Web (WWW) and its associated browser applications continue to grow, they offer the prospect of a universal user interface which runs on many types of user workstation. This potential was exploited for an existing electronic meeting system, Yarn, which has been ported to work with one of the most popular WWW browsers -- NCSA Mosaic for X Windows. This paper describes the design process of such a port and presents the end product and some initial experience of its early use. The limitations of the WWW server protocol for real-time user interaction purposes are also discussed.
Keywords: Electronic meeting systems, World-Wide Web, Mosaic browser, Universal user interface
The Impact of Human-to-Human Communication Modes in CSCW Environments BIBAK 193-199
  Masood Masoodian; Mark Apperley; Lesley Frederikson
A study has been carried out to identify the effects of different human-to-human communication modes on dyadic computer supported group work. A pilot study evaluated an available shared work-space software system, supplemented by face-to-face, telephone-based, and text-based communication modes between the two users. The findings from this study have then been used to design an extensive experiment to explore the relative impact of face-to-face, full motion video, slow motion video, and audio only communication modes when used in conjunction with this type of CSCW system. This paper describes the experiments, and examines the findings of this empirical study with the aim of establishing the importance of co-presence in CSCW, and the effectiveness of these various communication modes in achieving it.
Keywords: Computer supported cooperative work (CSCW), Group communication, Group work, Communication mode, Video conferencing

Visual Languages

An Animated Widget Kit for InterViews BIBAK 203-208
  Bruce Thomas; Paul Calder
We have applied animation techniques to enhance the look and feel of the components created by the InterViews widget kit. We modified the kit in two ways: we added animation effects to standard widgets, and we introduced new kinds of widgets that show how animation can enrich the repertoire of available components.
   This paper shows how the new and modified widgets work. In particular, we describe smoothly growing and rotating menus, buttons that use geometric transformations to suggest movement, and effects based on flip-book animations. We finish with brief comments on some of the implementation issues that arose in this work.
Keywords: Animation, Interfaces, InterViews, Widgets, Toolkits, Graphics
A Functional, Visual Programming Interface to Geographical Information Systems BIBAK 209-214
  Craig Standing; Geoffrey G. Roy
Geographical Information Systems (GIS) have been widely adopted for the manipulation of spatial data. This paper identifies clear limitations in the design of GIS for the user; notably the limited knowledge represented within the systems, the time and difficulty involved in becoming a competent user and the low-level nature of the commands.
   One of the principal requirements of a more knowledgable GIS involves the representation of knowledge related to a number of features: the data in the system; the operations that can be performed; the processing of requests; and the presentation of results. Many of the ideas presented can be generally applied to other query language driven systems.
   The approach taken to the design and implementation of a prototype high-level interface to GIS is based on the functional style of programming. Functional languages appear to offer some important properties, for example: the strong and polymorphic typing and the ease with which new types can be defined; the ability to order the knowledge base within functions; and the facility to create functional hierarchies composed of compound or higher-order functions which allow high-level operations to be manipulated as units. The paper describes how a functional solution to the problems can be represented by a command based approach and how this can be improved upon through the use of a graphical user interface with direct manipulation of objects/icons.
Keywords: Functional, Visual programming, Interface
Visual and Solid Programming Environments for Designing Dynamic Volumetric Form BIBAK 215-219
  John Maeda; Akira Harada
As developments in technology continue to outpace progress in the arts and design, most design practitioners are being swept away by the many complex details and possibilities posed by new information technologies. Furthermore, the trend towards virtual forms of information which require little more than a display screen and input device raises a question about the relevancy of a decidedly physical form-centered field such as industrial design. To address this dilemma, industrial design education institutions in Japan are scurrying to incorporate the modern school of graphic user interface (GUI) methodologies. However, the formidable task of mastering the large and continually increasing body of system-specific information related to interactive media has left little time for the designer to evaluate and experiment with possibilities outside of conventional GUI approaches. In this paper, we describe an art history-minded philosophy in which interactive media is considered in the framework of a quest for ideal "dynamic forms" initiated by kinetic artists in the late 1800's, and we present the design of a set of interfaces for designing volumetric, as opposed to screen-based, dynamic forms.
Keywords: Industrial design, Solid programming, Fuzzy logic

Up-Stream Design

Theory, Practice and Technology for Developing Usable Personal Systems BIBAK 223-228
  Peter J. Thomas; John F. Meech
This paper reviews theory, practice and technology for 'personal information management'. The paper defines and identifies the nature of personal information management and reviews the ways in which current technology supports only a limited conception of personal information management. The paper reviews concepts and technologies for the development of usable personal systems.
Keywords: Information appliances, Personal systems, User interface design, Integrated technologies
Requirements Analysis of Innovative Information Retrieval Software BIBAK 229-234
  Margaret Bearman; Branko Cemik
There are many innovative techniques in the area of information retrieval. One recent development enables the integration of free text searching software with a relational database. This technology is being used to implement a management system for an undergraduate medical curriculum. There are difficulties in designing an interface for such a system due to the fundamental problems found in introducing ground-breaking software. How can the users' needs be predicted when the implications of the technology itself are poorly understood? This paper focuses on the specific problems of creating a novel system that is both usable and functional.
Keywords: Information retrieval, Interface design, User requirements, Needs analysis, Databases
Beyond Information Retrieval: An Interface to a C3 System for Emergency Mangement BIBA 235-238
  Leone J. Dunn
Issues and problems on the use of multimedia and multimodality in user interface design is an ongoing and active research and development area [cf Blattner and Dannenberg92]. The development of intelligent multimedia and multimodal user computer interfaces [UCIs] to distributed heterogeneous information systems focussed on the use of hypermedia and related tools as a means of integrating the heterogeneous knowledge sources for the purposes of information retrieval and presentation, mainly in the area of distributed document management. It is generally accepted by researchers and developers that the process of information retrieval is inherently interactive and therefore an ongoing design problem is how to give intelligent interfaces more interaction functionality. This is particularly the case in the design of command, control, and communication [C3] systems for Defence. A C3 system is a distributed, interactive group decision support system that aims to augment the decision making power of human information processors. A typical C3 system user requires not only access to information provided by an MIS or EIS service, but also to plan strategies, create scenarios, and perform diagnostics with a high level of interaction. This places additional demands on the design of the user interface. This short paper introduces work in progress on the design of a C3 system for Emergency Management, including Search and Rescue Services [EMISARS], a new collaborative research and development project with Defence Emergency Management Australia [EMA]. The paper focusses on a discussion of the requirements for the system and how this influenced the approach adopted in designing the user interface. A preliminary prototype will also be presented to enhance the discussion of design issues.

Research 3

Human Performance in Fault Diagnosis: Can Expert Systems Help? BIBAK 241-246
  Gitte Lindgaard
This paper argues that expert systems should be designed to supplement human cognitive limitations if they are to offer valuable assistance to expert problem solvers. Two areas of human expertise, namely fault diagnostics, are explored to illustrate that even apparently similar domains require quite different kinds of information to support expert problem solving activities adequately. Some of the most frequently occurring judgmental biases are highlighted to illustrate the difficulties associated with extracting expertise from experts.
Keywords: Human problem solving, Expert systems, Diagnostic accuracy, Human performance
Navigational Preferences of Users in a Museum Hypermedia Exhibit BIBAK 247-252
  Darren Ngiau; Margaret Christensen
Navigation of museum visitors within a large hypermedia exhibit on the floor of a major urban science museum was studied. Both automated data collection and protocol analysis provided information consistent with an explanation of users' navigational behavior based on their understanding of the content of the system. Little support was found for alternative explanations.
Keywords: Hypermedia, Data collection, System log, Protocol analysis, Navigation, Museum
Typist Identity Verification: A Comparison of the Utility of the Overall Reference Profile and the Digraph-Specific Estimates of Digraph Latency Variability BIBAK 253-257
  Renee Napier; Doug Mahar; Ron Henderson; William Laverty; Mike Hiron; Jon Gough; Mike Wagner
Data security is important for both social and organisational reasons. Umphress and Williams [1] have shown that individual differences in typing behaviour may provide a means of accurately verifying the identity of the user. The present research attempted to enhance their technique by using a digraph-specific measure of inter-key latency variability. Sixty seven subjects undertook a transcriptional typing task, typing both computer relevant words, and sentences. False acceptance and false rejection rates were calculated using the traditional overall estimate of inter-key latency variability and a new digraph-specific measures of inter-key latency variability. Results revealed that the digraph specific measure of inter-key latency variability, not only produced a better optimum false acceptance plus false rejection rate, than the overall method, but did so over a wide range of parameter settings.
Keywords: Computer security, User verification, Digraphs

Visual Interfaces

Graphical Features for Aiding Decision-Making in Production Scheduling BIBAK 261-266
  Peter G. Higgins
This paper discusses the form of graphical objects for a "hybrid" human-computer scheduling system. The visual features of these objects represent the job attributes that a human scheduler may use in deciding how to allocate jobs to machines and to arrange the order of processing.
Keywords: Graphical user interface (GUI), Decision support system (DSS), Production scheduling
New Display Designs for Dispatchers Controlling Maglev Train Traffic BIBAK 267-270
  Jens-Olaf Muller; Eckehard Schnieder
Novel computer based display designs for visualisation of high speed trains operation based on a fictive maglev-network are proposed. In order to find optimal solutions, only human factors such as mental capacity, visual system and information processing capability are considered. The proposed designs allow a dispatcher to quickly assess a real situation and to find a good disposition.
Keywords: Human-computer-interface, Maglev-train, Process control
Screen Design for Task Efficiency and System Understanding BIBAK 271-276
  Soren Lauesen; Morten Borup Harning; Carsten Gronning
Two important goals of dialogue design are that the system should support tasks efficiently and be easy to learn. In order that the system be easy to learn, the user must form a proper mental model of how it works. A key point is that the user should learn what data the system stores. Without a proper understanding of the data, the user cannot perform more complex functions with the system. The paper shows that learning about data is in conflict with efficient task support: We cannot fully achieve both. The paper also shows a systematic design method that can balance the two goals.
Keywords: Screen design, Dialogue design, Task support, Task performance, Mental models, Datamodels, Dialogue levels


To Art and Science BIB 279-280
  Bridget McGraw; Christopher Coe; Michael Gigante; Jon McCormack; Troy Innocent; Josephine Starrs

Research 4

The Roles of Hypothesis in Human Computer Interaction BIBAK 283-284
  B. Garner; F. Chen
In this paper, we investigate what roles an hypothesis may play in human computer interaction (HCI) and suggest an approach to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of knowledge-based systems.
Keywords: Intelligent interface, Hypothesis generation
The Windsor Test: An Alternative to the Authenticity Test for Virtual Reality Systems BIBAK 285-286
  Terry Webb
Virtual Reality systems promise much in the field of training. Two complimentary concepts, fidelity and engagement are discussed in relation to the Authenticity test. Authenticity and fidelity are similar concepts but the Authenticity test is suggested to be deficient in that it does not incorporate the idea of engagement. An alternative, the Windsor test, is suggested and several questions raised by this test are posed.
Keywords: Virtual reality, Virtual environments, Authenticity test, Turing test, Windsor test
The Role of Metaphor at the Human Computer Interface BIBAK 287-291
  Michael Smyth; Roger Knott
Interface metaphors are introduced as a technique to facilitate the learning of systems. To better understand this process, metaphors are discussed in terms of their role in the formation of mental models. This suggests that the principle advantage of metaphor lies in it's ability to facilitate the transformation of existing knowledge in order to comprehend novel situations. It is hypothesised that this characteristic will have implications for the selection of interface metaphors. Summary results are provided of an investigation in which a comparison was made between three metaphors. The results support the selection of interface metaphors which encourage exploratory learning.
Keywords: Mental models, Metaphors and interface design

Social Issues 3

'We Can Do It Better': Communication and Control of Work Practices BIBAK 295-300
  Toni Robertson
This paper describes how a small Australian producer of computer based training and education software uses computer systems and communication technology to support flexible work practices within a distributed work environment. The company uses a range of techniques involving both technology and interpersonal communication skills to maintain and review communication links and to repair communication breakdown. The experience, insights and new work skills gained by the members of the company provide a valuable resource for researchers concerned with developing CSCW systems to support collaboration over distance.
Keywords: CSCW, Remote collaboration, Distributed organisation, Flexible work practices, Communication
Integration of Concerns in User Interface Development for Mobile Multi-User Applications BIBAK 301-307
  Hans-W. Gellersen
We discuss three key concerns in development of mobile multi-user applications: synergy, ubiquity and modality. The synergy concern is related to cooperation support, the ubiquity concern to application access anywhere and anytime, and the modality concern to effective human-computer interaction. It is pointed out, that for effective development of mobile multi-user applications these concerns should be treated in an integrated way. Items, a graphical design model, is introduced as first step in this direction. We present an overview of Items and discuss an embedded user interface development approach in more detail.
Keywords: User interface design issues, User interface development tools, Graphical design methods, CSCW, Multimedia, Mobile computing


Parsing Visual Languages BIB 311-312
  Sitt Sen Chok
Groupware Support for Student Project Teams BIBAK 313-314
  Penny Collings; Ragani Mudaliar; David Walker
The possible use of groupware products to support student group projects involving a mix of on- and off-campus activities is being investigated through survey of students, staff and professional users of groupware, and through a number of pilot studies involving the use of groupware by students. The poster describes some of these activities.
Keywords: Computer-supported cooperative work, Student group projects, Groupware, Lotus Notes
An Ethnoscience Approach for Interface Design? BIBAK 315-316
  Shirley Gregor
An argument is made for the use of an ethnoscience approach in human-computer interaction design, particularly in cases where an interface incorporates knowledge which was previously informal or implicitly held. The ethnoscience approach aims to use a minimum of external assumptions in uncovering the knowledge structures of a domain.
Keywords: Interface design, Ethnoscience, Knowledge acquisition
Survey of Cross-Cultural Differences in Participatory Design BIB 317-318
  Jean D. Hallewell Haslwanter; Judy Hammond
Participatory Design Methods: A Classification BIBA 319-320
  Jean D. Hallewell Haslwanter; Michael J. Muller; Tom Dayton
Participatory design is a type of system development that involves the users in such a way that they have some direct influence on the outcome. Participatory design methods differ greatly from traditional methods, as they involve not only the developers learning about the users, their tasks, and their environments but also the users learning about the developers and their work. Methods used in participatory design must be appropriate to the needs of the specific circumstances. As more and more methods get used, it is often difficult for developers to choose an appropriate method. This poster helps to give an overview of participatory design practices, which may help developers choosing a method appropriate to their needs.
A Higher Level Tool than Widget Toolkits for Specific Applications BIB 321-322
  Wei Lai; Maurice Danaher
A Magnifying Glass, a Copy, or a Move BIBAK 323-324
  Soren Lauesen; Morten Borup Harning
Editing data in a system is often done through a window. The window can reflect three different metaphors: (1) The window is a magnifying-glass showing the master data. (2) The window holds a copy of the master data. (3) The master data is removed from the system and shown on the screen. Real systems do not suggest the metaphor they use or they do not follow the metaphor consistently. This causes serious usability problems. This paper presents the three metaphors for modification of data, shows how usability problems arise and how a consistent design can be made.
Keywords: Metaphors, Mental models, Consistency, Data update
Agents in Review: Examples, Dimensions and Issues BIBAK 325-326
  Terre L. Layton; Katherine Isbister
Research on and discussion of computer agents has mushroomed in the past few years. Improvements in artificial intelligence techniques, users wanting more productivity from their computers, and the growing need for better interface metaphors have led to converging and often conflated areas of research on agents. This paper: 1) reviews the current literature on agents, 2) defines agent types along a continuum (this should provide common ground for researchers to reference), and lastly 3) provides some issues and advice for developers/designers of user interfaces that want to employ agency in their applications/environments to consider.
Keywords: Agents, Personal assistant, Autonomous agents, Intelligent agents, User interface design, Computer agents, HCI, Human-computer interaction, Office automation, Software robot
Personal Information Management: Developing Usable Personal Systems BIBAK 327-328
  Peter J. Thomas; John F. Meech
This poster summarises and describes research underway into the nature of 'Personal Information Management' and the application of HCI findings techniques and approaches to the development of technology in this domain.
Keywords: Information appliances, Personal systems, User interface design, Integrated technologies
D-Radio -- The All Digital Radio Studio BIBAK 329-330
  Robert de Waal
In July 1993, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) embarked on the development of an all digital on-air console for radio studios. The design process for the user interface has been characterised by extensive consultation with target users. The resulting product is notable not only for the degree of integration of broadcasting technologies, but also for the hybrid user interface -- an ergonomically designed "virtual console" which blends control by colour graphic touch screens with physical buttons, knobs and faders. This paper describes both the design process and the final product. The first installation of D-RADIO is for the new ABC Southbank Radio building in Melbourne, Australia.
Keywords: Radio studio, Radio console, Touch screen