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BCSHCI Tables of Contents: 858687888991929394959697980001020304050607-1

Proceedings of the HCI'96 Conference on People and Computers XI

Fullname:Proceedings of the Eleventh Conference of the British Computer Society Human Computer Interaction Specialist Group
Note:People and Computers XI
Editors:M. Angela Sasse; R. J. Cunningham; Russel L. Winder
Publisher:Springer Verlag
Standard No:ISBN 3-540-76069-5; hcibib: BCSHCI96
Links:Publisher Page
  1. Fundamental Design Issues
  2. Specific Design Issues
  3. Extending GUIs
  4. User Involvement
  5. Computer-Supported Cooperative Work
  6. Multimedia

Fundamental Design Issues

Towards the Total Quality Interface -- Applying Taguchi TQM Techniques within the LUCID Method BIBAK 3-17
  Andy Smith; Lynne Dunckley
Juran defines quality as being 'fit for purpose or use'. It follows clearly from this that an effective interface is an essential ingredient in a quality software product. Whilst the discipline of Human Computer Interaction is maturing quickly, there still remains only limited support for designing in quality rather than evaluating it afterwards. In this paper the authors present the results of a pilot study within the first stage in the development of the LUCID (Logical User Centred Interface Design) method which attempts to integrate a number of human factor tools within a quality framework. Particularly they focus on the phases which adopt the Taguchi Method for designing quality into products and processes. By adopting such techniques within a practical example, the authors demonstrate how the use of a scientific experimental design strategy, together with conventional statistical tools can assist the selection of the optimum user interface.
Keywords: Taguchi, User centred design, Interface design, Total quality management
Games as a Metaphor for Interactive Systems BIBAK 19-33
  Kostas Stathis; Marek Sergot
We present the use of games as a metaphor for constructing and organizing interactive systems, with particular attention to the provision of Knowledge-Based Front-Ends (KBFEs) to software packages. Interaction is viewed as a rule governed activity which may usefully be regarded as a game. Given a specification of the rules, implementation of an interactive system requires construction of an umpire, a component that enforces compliance of the players with the rules and thereby controls the interaction. Advice giving components added to the system are analogous to games played in the presence of an advisor who recommends moves to the participants. Complex interactive systems are constructed as compound games built up from simpler sub-games; coordination of moves chosen from the sub-games is then a key issue. We exemplify these points by showing how the games metaphor is employed in the design of a complex interactive system providing a KBFE to the statistical package GLIM. We also sketch an alternative design in order to illustrate how the games metaphor can impose discipline on the developers of a complex interactive system.
Keywords: Games, Metaphors, Interactive systems, Knowledge-based front ends
Cultural Bases of Interface Acceptance: Foundation BIBAK 35-47
  Donald L. Day
This paper introduces an ongoing research project which seeks to contrast the cultural expectations of ethnically diverse users with the styles of interface implemented in globally marketed software packages. A modified Technology Acceptance Model is applied, focusing upon culturally specific user expectations and system design features. The paper includes discussion of two supporting research streams, drawn from science and technology studies, psychology, information studies, sociology, HCI and anthropology. It also introduces methods being used to calibrate instruments, validate procedures and identify variables for later direct observation of user behaviour.
Keywords: Cognitive style, Appropriate technology, Knowledge representation, Adaptation, Globalization, Technology transfer
A Unified Concept of Style and its Place in User Interface Design BIBAK 49-62
  Philip Gray; Stephen Draper
The term 'style' is used with great regularity in user interface design literature, yet it appears to refer to widely disparate phenomena. We present a notion of style which unifies these various uses. We then demonstrate how the notion may form the basis of a representation of style that can provide design assistance.
Keywords: User interface styles, UIDEs, User interface design
Developing University Courses to Enable Students to Specify and Solve Human-Computer Interaction Design Problems BIBAK 63-77
  M. Andrew Life; John Long
Aspiring practitioners must be taught to specify and to solve discipline problems. We begin by considering the gap between HCI research and system development, but particularly as it relates to teaching. The gap manifests itself through the dissatisfaction many system developers express with the adequacy of HCI teaching. We next suggest that one reason for the gap lies in the current tendency to teach HCI as a multidisciplinary applied science subject. This tendency results in incomplete and incoherent coverage, not well-suited to the needs of system development. We suggest that a top-down approach to the subject and stronger design orientation should ameliorate some of the weaknesses. We utilize a conception of HCI as a framework for specifying more effective HCI courses. We report the development of a course in the Human Factors of HCI which has exploited the conception, and we informally evaluate the conception as a partial solution to current inadequacies in HCI teaching.
Keywords: Education, Design problems, Syllabi, HCI curricula
3D or not 3D: Is it Nobler in the Mind? BIBAK 79-94
  Alistair Sutcliffe; Uma Patel
A design method for complex visual interfaces in information systems applications is proposed and tested by developing prototype applications using Text, 2D and 3D representations. The 3 prototypes are evaluated in empirical studies to investigate performance differences and patterns of user-system interaction. 3D designs and graphics show some performance advantages but individual differences are important. Systematic design seems to improve the effect of all representational modalities.
Keywords: 3D visualization, Visual interfaces, Design guidelines, Usability

Specific Design Issues

Can Design Choices for Language-Based Editors be Analysed with Keystroke-Level Models? BIBAK 97-112
  Mark A. Toleman; Jim Welsh
We have been concerned for some time with the lack of rigorous experimental evaluation of design options chosen for tools used by software engineers. In a series of studies using various evaluation techniques we built Keystroke-Level Models (KLM) and conducted an empirical usability study of a design issue (choice of editing paradigm for language-based editors) that has reached a 'subjective stalemate' in the research community. The KLM analysis enabled us to predict usage differences and while this was useful we also noticed several problems, in particular we were concerned about the estimated value and placement of the memory operator. By utilizing the same tasks in the usability study as in the KLM analysis, we were able to compare results from both evaluations and effectively validate the overall KLM estimates and the specific operator values involved.
Keywords: Keystroke-level model, Model validation, Language-based editors
Deriving Information Requirement in the Design of a Mathematics Workstation for Visually Impaired Students BIBAK 113-127
  Carol Linehan; John McCarthy
Mathematics presents particular access problems for students who are visually impaired. Although multi-media, computer technologies provide opportunities for creative solutions, a lack of empirical analyses of people who are visually impaired doing mathematics remains an obstacle for designers. We demonstrate the use of task analysis, and particularly the 'Wizard of Oz' technique, for eliciting user requirements in this context. The analysis highlights requirements relevant to the units of information used, the strategies employed for gaining and manipulating information, initiative in the interaction, and memory constraints when doing mathematics.
Keywords: Requirements analysis, System design, Wizard of Oz, Visual impairment, Mathematics
Second-Language Help for Windows Applications BIBAK 129-138
  George R. S. Weir; Giorgos Lepouras; Ulysses Sakellaridis
This paper describes an approach to the second-language problem for user-support in the context of existing MS-Windows applications. We outline a methodology for deriving foci for support, and present guidelines for the addition of second-language enhancements. Finally, we detail our procedure for implementing such help facilities with examples of enhanced Chinese and Greek second-language support.
Keywords: User support, Help re-engineering, Second-language help

Extending GUIs

Eye-Based Control of Standard GUI Software BIBAK 141-158
  Howell Istance; Christian Spinner; Peter Alan Howarth
This paper discusses the design and initial evaluation of a visual on-screen keyboard, operated by eye-gaze, intended for use by motor-impaired users. The idea of an on-screen keyboard controlled by eye or by other modalities is not new. However, the keyboard presented here is different in two important respects. First, it enables interaction with unmodified standard Graphical User Interface (GUI) software written for able-bodied users, and provides eye-based control over menus, dialogue boxes, and scrollers; it is not solely designed around the need to enter text. Second, the software architecture enables the keyboard to respond to events generated in the windows environment by the application it is controlling. This allows the keyboard to adapt automatically to the application context by, for example, loading a specific set of keys designed for use with particular menus whenever a menu is displayed in the target application. Results of initial evaluation trials are presented and the implications for improvements in design are discussed.
Keywords: Eye-control, Visual keyboard, Physically-challenged, Disability, Handicapped
Non-Visual Interaction with GUI Objects BIBAK 159-168
  Leonard H. Poll; Berry H. Eggen
Current professional computers are most commonly equipped with Graphical User Interfaces (GUIs) instead of text oriented user interfaces. Today, almost every computer is equipped with a GUI. This poses great problems to blind computer users who were at first given more job opportunities with the advent of character based computers but are now threatened to lose their newly gained employment.
   Non-visual access to GUIs requires extraction of information from a GUI and presentation of this information to the blind user by means of a dedicated interaction device. Object oriented methods to extract the information from a GUI are described in (Mynatt & Edwards, 1992} and (Poll & Waterham, 1995). The non-visual GUI objects which have been extracted, can be presented by either tactile or auditory means. The latter option was chosen in our project because of the higher information transfer rate. In our setup the blind user can use an absolute mouse to scan a rectangular area, that is restricted by standing edges, for objects that are presented with help of speech and non-speech sounds. The combination of the absolute mouse, the restricted area within which the mouse can be positioned and the (non) speech sounds will be referred to as the SoundTablet from now on.
   In this paper a description is given of an experiment in which the feasibility of the SoundTablet is explored. The results show that the SoundTablet is suited for use in a non-visual GUI access system. The results indicate also that the addition of an auditory and/or tactile object localization aid is desirable.
Keywords: Auditory interfaces, Non-visual interaction, GUIs, Visually impaired
Earcons as a Method of Providing Navigational Cues in a Menu Hierarchy BIBAK 169-183
  Stephen Brewster; Veli-Pekka Raty; Atte Kortekangas
We describe an experiment to discover if structured audio messages, earcons, could provide navigational cues in a menu hierarchy. A hierarchy of 27 nodes and four levels was created with sounds for each node. Participants had to identify their location in the hierarchy by listening to an earcon. Results showed that participants could identify their location with over 80% accuracy, indicating that earcons are a powerful method of communicating hierarchy information. Participants were also tested to see if they could identify where previously unheard earcons would fit in the hierarchy. The results showed that they could do this with over 90% accuracy. These results show that earcons are a robust and extensible method of communicating hierarchy information in sound.
Keywords: Earcons, Auditory interfaces, Non-speech audio, Navigation, Menus, Phone-based interaction

User Involvement

Problems for User Involvement: A Human and Organizational Perspective BIBAK 187-200
  Carolyn Axtell; Chris Clegg; Patrick Waterson
This paper is concerned with problems that can impede the involvement of users in the development process. Several problem areas are highlighted in a case study of an in-house development project, which arise from the organizational context, process of the method and its relationship with other procedures. We discuss the impacts of these problems and the inter-connections between them; the key underlying issues being a lack of integrated effort and incomplete knowledge or experience of those involved. We end the paper by suggesting possible ways forward involving work organized in an integrated development cell, greater participation of all parties in the design of the method, one overseeing manager, and a more thorough piloting and evaluation phase.
Keywords: User participation, System development, Organizational issues
Multidisciplinary Modelling for User-Centred System Design: An Air-Traffic Control Case Study BIBAK 201-219
  Simon Buckingham Shum; Ann Blandford; David Duke; Jason Good; Jon May; Fabio Paterno'; Richard Young
This paper reports work investigating how user and system modelling techniques can be integrated to support the design of advanced interactive systems, and how such modelling can be effectively communicated to design practitioners in order to evaluate their potential. We describe a large scale modelling exercise concerning a flight sequencing tool for air-traffic controllers. We outline the kinds of system and user analysis possible with the different modelling techniques, and the approach used to integrate and communicate the modelling analyses to the system's designers. We then discuss the value of these techniques against several key criteria. The designers evaluated the modelling positively in many respects, including a commitment to explore further how user modelling can be integrated with their formal methods. We conclude that the scenario of HCI modellers working in collaboration with designers is feasible, and has analytic power.
Keywords: Multidisciplinary design, User modelling, Formal methods, Interaction modelling, Air-traffic control
Costs and Benefits of User Involvement in Design: Practitioners' Views BIBAK 221-240
  Stephanie Wilson; Mathilde Bekker; Hilary Johnson; Peter Johnson
Many design approaches recommend some form of user involvement in the design of interactive systems, although there has been little empirical research directed towards assessing the benefits to be gained, and costs to be incurred, from having users involved during the design process. Moreover, the work that does exist has tended to take a narrow view, considering the gains and losses primarily from an organizational perspective. This paper offers richer definitions of the costs and benefits by which user involvement might be assessed, emphasizing the contrasting views of different 'stakeholders' in the design process. It presents and discusses two empirical studies conducted in the light of these definitions to examine the costs and benefits of user involvement as perceived by design practitioners.
Keywords: User involvement, Cost-benefit analysis, User-centred design
What You Don't Know Can Hurt You: Privacy in Collaborative Computing BIBAK 241-261
  Victoria Bellotti
Privacy is a popular subject in the CSCW literature but has largely been addressed as an issue of security by systems designers. With the growth of networked, multimedia CSCW systems comes an increasing need for better control over how people gain access to one another and to potentially shareable information. This paper poses some challenges for CSCW developers and provides some examples of systems which are beginning to meet such challenges.
Keywords: Privacy, Access control, Collaboration, Communication, Design

Computer-Supported Cooperative Work

Behavioural Patterns of Collaborative Writing with Hypertext -- A State Transition Approach BIBAK 265-279
  Chaomei Chen
This study investigates behavioural patterns of collaborative writing with a hypertext system by using a state-transition approach. State-transition models are empirically developed for capturing the dynamic nature of collaborative writing. Users were frequently engaged in tasks such as exploration, organization, and editing, whereas the use of collaborative support functions was transient in nature. The study shows that state-transition analysis is an important approach to task analysis, requirements engineering, and human-computer interaction studies. This study has produced some valuable experiences and lessons for researchers and practitioners in collaborative writing.
Keywords: Collaborative writing, User models, Markov analysis, Task analysis, Hypertext
Workspace Awareness in Real-Time Distributed Groupware: Framework, Widgets, and Evaluation BIBAK 281-298
  Carl Gutwin; Saul Greenberg; Mark Roseman
The rich person-to-person interaction afforded by shared physical work-spaces allows people to maintain up-to-the minute knowledge about others' interaction with the task environment. This knowledge is workspace awareness, part of the glue that allows groups to collaborate effectively. In real-time groupware systems that provide a shared virtual space for collaboration, the possibilities for interaction are impoverished when compared with their physical counterparts. In this paper, we present the concept of workspace awareness as one key to supporting the richness evident in face-to-face interaction. We construct a conceptual framework that describes the elements and mechanisms of workspace awareness, and apply the framework to the design of widgets that help people maintain awareness in real-time distributed groupware. Our evaluation of these widgets has shown that several designs improve the usability of groupware applications.
Keywords: Workspace awareness, Real-time groupware, Shared workspaces, Widgets, CSCW
Using Distortion-Oriented Displays to Support Workspace Awareness BIBAK 299-314
  Saul Greenberg; Carl Gutwin; Andy Cockburn
Desktop conferencing systems are now moving away from strict view-sharing and towards relaxed 'what you see is what I see' (relaxed-WYSIWIS) interfaces, where distributed participants in a real time session can view different parts of a shared visual workspace. As with strict view-sharing, people using relaxed-WYSIWIS require a sense of workspace awareness -- the up-to-the-minute knowledge about another person's interactions with the shared workspace. The problem is deciding how to provide a user with an appropriate level of awareness of what other participants are doing when they are working in different areas of the workspace. In this paper, we propose distortion-oriented displays as a novel way of providing this awareness. These displays, which employ magnification lenses and fisheye view techniques, show global context and local detail within a single window, providing both peripheral and detailed awareness of other participants' actions. Three prototypes are presented as examples of groupware distortion-oriented displays: the fisheye text viewer, the offset lens, and the head-up lens.
Keywords: Awareness, Magnifying lenses, Fisheye views, Distortion-oriented displays, Desktop conferencing, Groupware
Working by Walking Around -- Requirements of Flexible Interaction Management in Video-Supported Collaborative Work BIBAK 315-329
  Steinar Kristoffersen; Tom Rodden
This paper considers the effects of video-based communication systems on individual, local mobility in the everyday, practical 'space' of work. The notion of video as a vehicle that transcends physical space in an unproblematic fashion is carefully considered. Previous academic research has emphasized how video can extend and enhance the working environment. We found, doing a focused ethnography in the Customer Service Centre of a large high street bank, that video, in a trade-off between 'real' and 'virtual' mobility, restricted the use of personal, workaday, physical space. Issues thus raised for the design of video-based communication systems are: physical mobility in workaday space during interactive sessions; modal and temporal switching between and within different media; articulating and supporting collaborative work with private activities; and, accommodating alternating tasks.
Keywords: Video, Communication, Multimedia, Space, Mobility, CSCW


Matching Media to Goals: An Approach Based on Expressiveness BIBAK 333-347
  David Williams; Iain Duncumb; James L. Alty
This paper addresses the problem of output media selection in the design of human-computer interfaces. Particular emphasis is placed on the effect that the chosen medium has on the nature and effectiveness of the interactions that can take place. A novel approach is suggested in an attempt to gain an insight into why particular media allow certain goals to be achieved more effectively. This approach borrows ideas from linguistics and logic, and views media as formal representational systems. Out of this approach is developed the notion of expressiveness; the amount of abstraction a representation system affords a referent domain. The approach suggests that it is the congruence between the representation required by the goal and the expressiveness afforded by the media that largely determines the effectiveness of the interface. To give an example of this approach, three VCR user interfaces are discussed in terms of expressiveness.
Keywords: Multimedia, User-centred design, Expressiveness, Goal decomposition, VCR programming
DAVID: A Multimedia Tool for Accident Investigation BIBAK 349-368
  Mauro Pedrali; Remi Bastide
Investigations on several real life accidents have revealed the increasing causal role played by humans, and the importance of the context of human actions. Accident analyses should therefore concentrate not only on system failures but also on what we call human factors investigations. We propose an approach based on a method for retrospective analysis of accidents. The aim is the identification of erroneous actions and their related causes. A prototype software-tool implementing the method is to be integrated with an existing video editor and a database in a multimedia environment.
Keywords: Accident investigation, Root cause analysis, Errors taxonomy, Video analysis
A Web StoryBase BIBAK 369-382
  Mary Beth Rosson; John M. Carroll; David Messner
We describe the Web StoryBase, a system using HTML forms technology to collect and share stories and story annotations from users of the World Wide Web. We analyse usage data collected over a period of 26 weeks, from the perspective of how the system was advertised, contributed to, and browsed. We also discuss several themes extracted from the reported Web experiences: usability, learnability, diversity, communication, just-in-time information, capture and fun.
Keywords: Internet, Networks, World Wide Web, HTML forms, Stories, User experience
Session Length and Subjective Satisfaction in Information Kiosk Research BIBAK 383-394
  Jorma Sajaniemi; Ismo Tossavainen
Information kiosks introduce a possibility to test usability of computer based services with a large number and a wide variety of users. In this paper, we are interested in evaluating user's subjective satisfaction, hopefully using automatic log analysis techniques. Based on usability data collected in an information kiosk study conducted in a housing fair, we show that subjective satisfaction cannot be predicted based on session lengths. However, subjective satisfaction can be combined with session length to find user groups having important qualitative differences that can be exploited in usability analysis.
Keywords: Usability research, Usability analysis, Usability kiosk, Subjective satisfaction, Methodology