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CHI Tables of Contents: 94-194-2a94-2b94-2c94-2d94-2e95-195-2a95-2b95-2c96-196-2a96-2b96-2c97-197-2a97-2b97-2c98-198-2a98-2b

Proceedings of ACM CHI 96 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems

Fullname:Proceedings of CHI'96 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
Note:Common Ground
Editors:Michael J. Tauber; Victoria Bellotti; Robin Jeffries; Jock D. Mackinlay; Jakob Nielsen
Location:Vancouver, Canada
Dates:1996-Apr-14 to 1996-Apr-18
Volume:1
Publisher:ACM
Standard No:ISBN 0-89791-777-4; ACM Order Number 608960; ACM DL: Table of Contents hcibib: CHI96-1
Papers:67
Pages:523
Links:Conference Home Page | Online Proceedings
  1. CHI 1996-04-14 Volume 1
    1. PAPERS: Learning From Users
    2. PAPERS: Empirical Studies of Graphics and Visual Design
    3. PAPERS: Collaborative Systems
    4. PAPERS: Alternative Methods of Interaction
    5. PAPERS: Multi-Modal Applications
    6. PAPERS: World Wide Web
    7. PAPERS: Virtual and Computer-Augmented Environments
    8. PAPERS: Design Methodology
    9. PAPERS: News and Mail
    10. PAPERS: Educational Applications
    11. PAPERS: Interactive Information Retrieval
    12. PAPERS: Evaluation
    13. PAPERS: Development Tools
    14. PAPERS: Collaborative Systems
    15. PAPERS: Fingers
    16. PAPERS: Models
    17. PAPERS: Real World Usage Patterns
    18. PAPERS: Agents
    19. PAPERS: Usability in Organizations
    20. PAPERS: Color and Transparency
    21. PAPERS: Information Structure
    22. PAPERS: Usability Issues
    23. DESIGN BRIEFINGS: Small Objects of Desire
    24. DESIGN BRIEFINGS: Design for Communication and Communication for Design
    25. DESIGN BRIEFINGS: User Interfaces for Large Markets
    26. INVITED CONTRIBUTION

CHI 1996-04-14 Volume 1

PAPERS: Learning From Users

Self Disclosure on Computer Forms: Meta-Analysis and Implications BIBAKHTML 3-10
  Suzanne Weisband; Sara Kiesler
Do people disclose more on a computer form than they do in an interview or on a paper form? We report a statistical meta-analysis of the literature from 1969 to 1994. Across 39 studies using 100 measures, computer administration increased self-disclosure. Effect sizes were larger comparing computer administration with face-to-face interviews, when forms solicited sensitive information, and when medical or psychiatric patients were the subjects. Effect sizes were smaller but had not disappeared in recent studies, which we attribute in part to changes in computer interfaces. We discuss research, ethical, policy, and design implications.
Keywords: Computer forms, Computer interviews, Electronic surveys, Measurement, Disclosure, Response bias, Electronic communication
The Design and Long-Term Use of a Personal Electronic Notebook: A Reflective Analysis BIBAK 11-18
  Thomas Erickson
This article describes the design and use of a personal electronic notebook. The findings provide a useful data point for those interested in the issue of how to design highly customizable systems for managing personal information. After a description of the notebook's interface and the usage practices that have co-evolved with the interface, I discuss some of the features that have made the notebook useful over the long term, and trends in the evolution of the design.
Keywords: Electronic notebooks, Personal information management, Customization, Tailoring, Longitudinal study, Reflective analysis, Co-evolution of design and practice
Technomethodology: Paradoxes and Possibilities BIBAKHTML 19-26
  Graham Button; Paul Dourish
The design of CSCW systems has often had its roots in ethnomethodological understandings of work and investigations of working settings. Increasingly, we are also seeing these ideas applied to critique and inform HCI design more generally. However, the attempt to design from the basis of ethnomethodology is fraught with methodological dangers. In particular, ethnomethodology's overriding concern with the detail of practice poses some serious problems when attempts are made to design around such understandings. In this paper, we discuss the range and application of ethnomethodological investigations of technology in working settings, describe how ethnomethodologically-affiliated work has approached system design and discuss ways that ethnomethodology can move from design critique to design practice: the advent of technomethodology.
Keywords: Ethnography, Ethnomethodology, Design practice, Methodology, Accounts, Abstraction

PAPERS: Empirical Studies of Graphics and Visual Design

Does Animation in User Interfaces Improve Decision Making? BIBAK 27-34
  Cleotilde Gonzalez
This paper reports a laboratory experiment that investigated the relative effects of images, transitions, and interactivity styles used in animated interfaces in two decision making domains. Interfaces used either realistic or abstract images, smooth or abrupt transitions, and parallel or sequential interactivity. Results suggest that decision making performance is influenced by the task domain, the user experience, the image, transition, and interactivity styles used in animated interfaces. Subjects performed better with animated interfaces based on realistic rather than abstract images. Subjects were more accurate with smooth rather than abrupt animation. Subjects were more accurate and enjoyed more the animation with parallel rather than sequential interactivity. Implications on the design of animated interfaces for decision making are provided.
Keywords: Animation, Decision making
Assessing the Effect of Non-Photorealistic Rendered Images in CAD BIBAKHTML 35-41
  Jutta Schumann; Thomas Strothotte; Andreas Raab; Stefan Laser
Recent work in computer graphics has resulted in new techniques for rendering so-called non-photorealistic images. While such features are now already appearing in commercially available software, little is known about the effect of non-photorealistic images on users and their usefulness in specific contexts.
   In this paper we report on an empirical study with 54 architects who compared the output of a sketch-renderer for producing pencil-like drawings with standard output of CAD systems for architectural designs. The results show that the different kinds of renditions actually have a very different effect on viewers and that non-photorealistic images actually do deserve their place in the repertoire of CAD systems.
Keywords: Non-photorealistic rendering, Architectural presentation, Preliminary drafts, Sketches, CAD
Gratuitous Graphics? Putting Preferences in Perspective BIBAKHTML 42-49
  Ellen Levy; Jeff Zacks; Barbara Tversky; Diane Schiano
Rapid growth in 3-D rendering technologies has deluged us with glitzy graphical representations. In what contexts do people find 3-D graphs of 2-D data both attractive and useful?
   We examine students' preferences for graphical display formats under several use scenarios. Line graphs were preferred more for conveying trends than details, and more for promoting memorability than for immediate use; bar graphs showed the opposite pattern. 3-D graphs were preferred more for depicting details than trends, more for memorability than immediate use, and more for showing others than oneself. The reverse held for 2-D graphs.
Keywords: Visualization, Spatial representation, 3-D graphics, User interface design

PAPERS: Collaborative Systems

Beating the Limitations of Camera-Monitor Mediated Telepresence with Extra Eyes BIBAKHTML 50-57
  Kimiya Yamaashi; Jeremy R. Cooperstock; Tracy Narine; William Buxton
In physical presence, you are most aware of your immediate surroundings, such as what is at your feet or who is beside you, and less aware of objects further away. In telepresence, almost the opposite is true. Due to the nature of the medium, you are most aware of what is in front, often at a distance, as dictated by the limited view of the camera. Even where remote camera control is possible, the range of exploration is limited and the logistics of control are typically awkward and slow. All of this adds up to a pronounced loss of awareness of the periphery in telepresence.
   The research described here attempts to compensate for these problems through two mechanisms. First, we provide telepresence users with two separate views, one wide-angle and the other, a controllable, detailed view. To simplify navigation, the two views are seamlessly linked together, so that selecting a region of one will have an effect in the other. Second, we utilize sensor information from the remote location to provide the user with notification of relevant events that may require attention. Together, these tools significantly enhance users' awareness of their telepresence surroundings.
Keywords: Telepresence, Teleconferencing, CSCW, Multimedia
Talk and Embodiment in Collaborative Virtual Environments BIBAKHTML 58-65
  John Bowers; James Pycock; Jon O'Brien
This paper presents some qualitative, interpretative analyses of social interaction in an internationally distributed, real-time, multi-party meeting held within a collaborative virtual environment (CVE). The analyses reveal some systematic problems with turn taking and participation in such environments. We also examine how the simple polygonal shapes by means of which users were represented and embodied in the environment are deployed in social interaction. Strikingly, some familiar coordinations of body movement are observed even though such embodiments are very minimal shapes. The paper concludes with some suggestions for technical development, derived from the empirical analyses, which might enhance interactivity in virtual worlds for collaboration and cooperative work.
Keywords: Conversation analysis, Interaction analysis, Body movement, Embodiment, Virtual reality, CSCW

PAPERS: Alternative Methods of Interaction

Emacspeak -- A Speech Interface BIBAKHTML 66-71
  T. V. Raman
Screen-readers -- computer software that enables a visually impaired user to read the contents of a visual display -- have been available for more than a decade. Screen-readers are separate from the user application. Consequently, they have little or no contextual information about the contents of the display. The author has used traditional screen-reading applications for the last five years. The design of the speech-enabling approach described here has been implemented in Emacspeak to overcome many of the shortcomings he has encountered with traditional screen-readers.
   The approach used by Emacspeak is very different from that of traditional screen-readers. Screen-readers allow the user to listen to the contents appearing in different parts of the display; but the user is entirely responsible for building a mental model of the visual display in order to interpret what an application is trying to convey. Emacspeak, on the other hand, does not speak the screen. Instead, applications provide both visual and speech feedback, and the speech feedback is designed to be sufficient by itself.
   This approach reduces cognitive load on the user and is relevant to providing general spoken access to information. Producing spoken output from within the application, rather than speaking the visually displayed information, vastly improves the quality of the spoken feedback. Thus, an application can display its results in a visually pleasing manner; the speech-enabling component renders the same in an aurally pleasing way.
Keywords: Speech interface, Direct access, Spoken feedback, Audio formatting, Speech as a first-class I/O medium
Audio Enhanced 3D Interfaces for Visually Impaired Users BIBAKHTML 72-78
  Stephen W. Mereu; Rick Kazman
Three dimensional computer applications such as CAD packages are often difficult to use because of inadequate depth feedback to the user. It has, however, been shown that audio feedback can help improve a user's sense of depth perception. This paper describes an experiment which evaluates the use of three different audio environments in a 3D task undertaken by visually impaired users. The three audio environments map tonal, musical, and orchestral sounds to an (x, y, z) position in a 3D environment. In each environment the user's task is to locate a target in three dimensions as accurately and quickly as possible. This experiment has three important results: that audio feedback improves performance in 3D applications for all users; that visually impaired users can use 3D applications with the accuracy of sighted users; and that visually impaired users can attain greater target accuracy than sighted users in a sound-only environment.
Keywords: User interface, Auditory interface, Disability access, 3D interface

PAPERS: Multi-Modal Applications

Dual Device User Interface Design: PDAs and Interactive Television BIBAKHTML 79-86
  Scott Robertson; Cathleen Wharton; Catherine Ashworth; Marita Franzke
Computing environments which involve many interacting devices are a challenge for system and user interface designers. A prototype of a multiple-device application consisting of a personal digital assistant (PDA) that operates in conjunction with interactive television (ITV) was developed from user requirements for a real estate information service. The application is used both as a stand-alone service and in conjunction with a television. Users interact exclusively with the PDA. The television responds to PDA output and is used for the presentation of visual images and videos. In this paper the application is described and user interface design issues that arise in the context of multiple device systems are discussed.
Keywords: Personal digital assistants (PDA), Interactive television (ITV), Ubiquitous computing, Mobile computing, Multiple devices
Pen Computing for Air Traffic Control BIBAKHTML 87-94
  Stephane Chatty Patrick Lecoanet
Modernizing workstations for air traffic controllers is a challenge: designers must increase efficiency without affecting safety in any way. Air traffic control is a time-intensive and safety-critical activity, and thus interaction efficiency and low error rates are crucial. Classical interaction techniques have been used in prototype workstations, but the resulting efficiency is not always satisfactory. This leads designers to consider more advanced interaction techniques. This paper reports on the design and a preliminary evaluation of the first prototype of project IMAGINE, which represents the second generation of graphical interfaces for air traffic control. This prototype, GRIGRI, uses a high resolution touch screen and provides mark based input through the screen. The use of gestures, as well as the use of multi-modal techniques, make interaction faster, and closer to the controllers' habits.
Keywords: Air traffic control, Gesture recognition, Mark-based input, Pen computing, Touch-screen, Direct manipulation, Prototyping
Multimodal Interfaces for Dynamic Interactive Maps BIBAKHTML 95-102
  Sharon Oviatt
Dynamic interactive maps with transparent but powerful human interface capabilities are beginning to emerge for a variety of geographical information systems, including ones situated on portables for travelers, students, business and service people, and others working in field settings. In the present research, interfaces supporting spoken, pen-based, and multimodal input were analyze for their potential effectiveness in interacting with this new generation of map systems. Input modality (speech, writing, multimodal) and map display format (highly versus minimally structured) were varied in a within-subject factorial design as people completed realistic tasks with a simulated map system. The results identified a constellation of performance difficulties associated with speech-only map interactions, including elevated performance errors, spontaneous disfluencies, and lengthier task completion time -- problems that declined substantially when people could interact multimodally with the map. These performance advantages also mirrored a strong user preference to interact multimodally. The error-proneness and unacceptability of speech-only input to maps was attributed in large part to people's difficulty generating spoken descriptions of spatial location. Analyses also indicated that map display format can be used to minimize performance errors and disfluencies, and map interfaces that guide users' speech toward brevity can nearly eliminate disfluencies. Implications of this research are discussed for the design of high-performance multimodal interfaces for future map systems.
Keywords: Multimodal interface design, Dynamic interactive maps, Spoken, Pen-based, and multimodal input, Predictive modeling, Robust processing

PAPERS: World Wide Web

Using the Web Instead of a Window System BIBAKHTML 103-110
  James Rice; Adam Farquhar; Philippe Piernot; Thomas Gruber
We show how to deliver a sophisticated, yet intuitive, interactive application over the web using off-the-shelf web browsers as the interaction medium. This attracts a large user community, improves the rate of user acceptance, and avoids many of the pitfalls of software distribution.
   Web delivery imposes a novel set of constraints on user interface design. We outline the tradeoffs in this design space, motivate the choices necessary to deliver an application, and detail the lessons learned in the process.
   These issues are crucial because the growing popularity of the web guarantees that software delivery over the web will become ever more wide-spread.
   This application is publicly available at: http://www-ksl-svc.stanford.edu:5915/
Keywords: Internet application, Remote user interface, Active document, CSCW, World Wide Web, Hypertext, HTML, HTTP, Java
The WebBook and the Web Forager: An Information Workspace for the World-Wide Web BIBAKHTML 111-117
  Stuart K. Card; George G. Robertson; William York
The World-Wide Web has achieved global connectivity stimulating the transition of computers from knowledge processors to knowledge sources. But the Web and its client software are seriously deficient for supporting users' interactive use of this information. This paper presents two related designs with which to evolve the Web and its clients. The first is the WebBook, a 3D interactive book of HTML pages. The WebBook allows rapid interaction with objects at a higher level of aggregation than pages. The second is the Web Forager, an application that embeds the WebBook and other objects in a hierarchical 3D workspace. Both designs are intended as exercises to play off against analytical studies of information workspaces.
Keywords: 3D graphics, User interfaces, Information access, World-Wide Web, Information workspace, Workspace
Silk from a Sow's Ear: Extracting Usable Structure from the Web BIBAKHTML 118-125
  Peter Pirolli; James Pitkow; Ramana Rao
In its current implementation, the World-Wide Web lacks much of the explicit structure and strong typing found in many closed hypertext systems. While this property probably relates to the explosive acceptance of the Web, it further complicates the already difficult problem of identifying usable structures and aggregates in large hypertext collections. These reduced structures, or localities, form the basis for simplifying visualizations of and navigation through complex hypertext systems. Much of the previous research into identifying aggregates utilize graph theoretic algorithms based upon structural topology, i.e., the linkages between items. Other research has focused on content analysis to form document collections. This paper presents our exploration into techniques that utilize both the topology and textual similarity between items as well as usage data collected by servers and page meta-information lke title and size. Linear equations and spreading activation models are employed to arrange Web pages based upon functional categories, node types, and relevancy.
Keywords: Information visualization, World Wide Web, Hypertext

PAPERS: Virtual and Computer-Augmented Environments

A Palmtop Display for Dextrous Manipulation with Haptic Sensation BIBAKHTML 126-133
  Haruo Noma; Tsutomu Miyasato; Fumio Kishino
Palmtop displays have been extensively studied, but most of them simply refocus information in the real or virtual world. The palmtop display for dextrous manipulation (PDDM) proposed in this paper allows the users to manipulate a remote object as if they were holding it in their hands. The PDDM system has a small LCD, a 3D mouse and a mechanical linkage (force display). When the user locks onto an object in the center of the palmtop display, s/he can manipulate the object through motion input on the palmtop display with haptic sensation. In this paper, the features of a PDDM with haptic sensation are described, then four operating methods and the haptic representation methods for a trial model are proposed and evaluated.
Keywords: Palmtop display, Haptic sensation, Force display, Virtual reality, Teleconference, User interface
BrightBoard: A Video-Augmented Environment BIBAKHTML 134-141
  Quentin Stafford-Fraser; Peter Robinson
The goal of 'Computer Augmented Environments' is to bring computational power to everyday objects with which users are already familiar, so that the user interface to this computational power becomes almost invisible. Video is a very important tool in creating Augmented Environments and recent camera-manufacturing techniques make it an economically viable proposition in the general marketplace. BrightBoard is an example system which uses a video camera and audio feedback to enhance the facilities of an ordinary whiteboard, allowing a user to control a computer through simple marks made on the board. We describe its operation in some detail, and discuss how it tackles some of the problems common to these 'Video-Augmented Environments'.
Keywords: Augmented reality, Image processing, Machine vision, Pattern recognition, Ubiquitous computing
Wayfinding Strategies and Behaviors in Large Virtual Worlds BIBAKHTML 142-149
  Rudolph P. Darken; John L. Sibert
People have severe problems wayfinding in large virtual worlds. However, current implementations of virtual worlds provide little support for effective wayfinding. We assert that knowledge about human wayfinding in the physical world can be applied to construct aids for wayfinding in virtual worlds. An experiment was conducted to determine whether people use physical world wayfinding strategies in large virtual worlds. The study measures subject performance on a complex searching task in a number of virtual worlds with differing environmental cues. The results show that subjects in the treatment without any additional cues were often disoriented and had extreme difficulty completing the task. In general, subjects' wayfinding strategies and behaviors were strongly influenced by the environmental cues in ways suggested by the underlying design principles.
Keywords: Virtual worlds, Wayfinding, Navigation, Environmental design, Spatial orientation, Cognitive maps

PAPERS: Design Methodology

An Empirical Evaluation of Design Rationale Documents BIBAKHTML 150-156
  Laurent Karsenty
While several studies propose methods and notations for "capturing" design rationale (DR), there is to date little data available on how useful this information is when a designer needs to reuse a previous design. This paper presents the results of an empirical evaluation of DR documents, carried out with six experienced professional designers who were asked to understand and to assess a past design. These designers were provided with documents that described the solution and documents describing the DR. These DR documents were constructed using the QOC method. To determine the usefulness of DR documents, we attempt to answer the three following questions: (1) Do designers confronted with an unknown design need to know the design rationales? (2) How designers use design rationale documents? (3) Do we succeed in capturing the rationales looked for by designers? The results provided by this study lead us to conclude that DR should be useful, at least for some designers who use it as a support to their reasoning, but not sufficient. Indeed, this study exhibits some limitations of the traditional approaches for recording DR. We discuss these limitations and some solutions needed to go beyond them.
Keywords: Design rationale, Design methodology, Reuse
Systematic Design of Spoken Prompts BIBAKHTML 157-164
  Brian Hansen; David G. Novick; Stephen Sutton
Designers of system prompts for interactive spoken-language systems typically seek 1) to constrain users so that they say things that the system can understand accurately and 2) to produce "natural" interaction that maximizes users' satisfaction. Unfortunately, these goals are often at odds.
   We present a set of heuristics for choosing appropriate prompt styles and show that a set of dimensions can be formulated from these heuristics. A point (or region) in the space formed by these dimensions is a "style" for prompts. We develop and apply metrics for empirically testing different prompt styles. Finally, we describe a toolkit that automatically generates prompts in a variety of styles for spoken-language dialogues.
Keywords: Interaction design, Auditory I/O, Dialog analysis, Design techniques, Evaluation, Toolkits

PAPERS: News and Mail

MailCall: Message Presentation and Navigation in a Nonvisual Environment BIBAKHTML 165-172
  Matthew Marx; Chris Schmandt
MailCall is a telephone-based messaging system using speech recognition and synthesis. Its nonvisual interaction approaches the usability of visual systems through a combination of intelligent message categorization, efficient presentation, and random-access navigation. MailCall offers improved feedback, error-correction, and online help by considering the conversational context of the current session. Studies suggest that its nonvisual approach to handling messages is especially effective when the user has a large number of messages.
Keywords: Auditory I/O, Interaction design, Mobile computing, Speech recognition, Speech interface design
NewsComm: A Hand-Held Interface for Interactive Access to Structured Audio BIBAKHTML 173-180
  Deb K. Roy; Chris Schmandt
The NewsComm system delivers personalized news and other program material as audio to mobile users through a hand-held playback device. This paper focuses on the iterative design and user testing of the hand-held interface. The interface was first designed and tested in a software-only environment and then ported to a custom hardware platform. The hand-held device enables navigation through audio recordings based on structural information which is extracted from the audio using digital signal processing techniques. The interface design addresses the problems of designing a hand-held and primarily non-visual interface for accessing large amounts of structured audio recordings.
Keywords: Audio interfaces, Hand-held computers, Structured audio

PAPERS: Educational Applications

The Thin Glass Line: Designing Interfaces to Algorithms BIBAKHTML 181-188
  Michael Eisenberg
Modern application software often includes operations that are performed by complex mathematical algorithms. These algorithms -- far from being the "black boxes" typically portrayed in computer science courses -- may instead be viewed as interactive processes, each presenting its own particular "interface" to the user. This paper, then, offers a number of interface guidelines for mathematical algorithms -- principles whose purpose is to suggest ways in which users may employ algorithms with greater control and expressiveness. As a source of examples, we illustrate the guidelines through a particular complex mathematical problem -- that of generating a "folding net" for a three-dimensional solid.
Keywords: Algorithms, Human-computer interaction, Polyhedra, Folding nets
Learning Theory in Practice: Case Studies of Learner-Centered Design BIBAKHTML 189-196
  Elliot Soloway; Shari L. Jackson; Jonathan Klein; Chris Quintana; James Reed; Jeff Spitulnik; Steven J. Stratford; Scott Studer; Jim Eng; Nancy Scala
The design of software for learners must be guided by educational theory. We present a framework for learner-centered design (LCD) that is theoretically motivated by sociocultural and constructivist theories of learning. LCD guides the design of software in order to support the unique needs of learners: growth, diversity, and motivation. To address these needs, we incorporate scaffolding into the context, tasks, tools, and interface of software learning environments. We demonstrate the application of our methodology by presenting two case studies of LCD in practice.
Keywords: Learner-centered design, Educational applications, Science applications, Socioculturalism, Constructivism, Case study, Scaffolding
Assessing Dynamics in Computer-Based Instruction BIBAKHTML 197-204
  John F. Pane; Albert T. Corbett; Bonnie E. John
We present an evaluation of a multimedia educational software system that includes text, graphics, animations, and simulations. When compared with an informationally equivalent control environment that used text and carefully selected still images, we found little evidence that the dynamic presentations enhanced student understanding of the declarative information in this lesson. Furthermore, students cannot be relied on to take full advantage of exploratory opportunities in computer-based instruction. These results prescribe further investigation of whether and how computer-based multimedia can be used effectively in education and training.
Keywords: Animation, Simulation, Multimedia, Computer-based learning

PAPERS: Interactive Information Retrieval

A Case for Interaction: A Study of Interactive Information Retrieval Behavior and Effectiveness BIBAKHTML 205-212
  Jurgen Koenemann; Nicholas J. Belkin
This study investigates the use and effectiveness of an advanced information retrieval (IR) system (INQUERY). 64 novice IR system users were studied in their use of a baseline version of INQUERY compared with one of three experimental versions, each offering a different level of interaction with a relevance feedback facility for automatic query reformulation. Results, in an information filtering task, indicate that: these subjects, after minimal training, were able to use the baseline system reasonably effectively; availability and use of relevance feedback increased retrieval effectiveness; and increased opportunity for user interaction with and control of relevance feedback made the interactions more efficient and usable while maintaining or increasing effectiveness.
Keywords: Information retrieval, User interfaces, Evaluation, Empirical studies, Relevance feedback
Scatter/Gather Browsing Communicates the Topic Structure of a Very Large Text Collection BIBAKHTML 213-220
  Peter Pirolli; Patricia Schank; Marti Hearst; Christine Diehl
Scatter/Gather is a cluster-based browsing technique for large text collections. Users are presented with automatically computed summaries of the contents of clusters of similar documents and provided with a method for navigating through these summaries at different levels of granularity. The aim of the technique is to communicate information about the topic structure of very large collections. We tested the effectiveness of Scatter/Gather as a simple pure document retrieval tool, and studied its effects on the incidental learning of topic structure. When compared to interactions involving simple keyword-based search, the results suggest that Scatter/Gather induces a more coherent conceptual image of a text collection, a richer vocabulary for constructing search queries, and communicates the distribution of relevant documents over clusters of documents in the collection.
Keywords: Information retrieval, Scatter/gather, Clustering, Browsing
LifeLines: Visualizing Personal Histories BIBAKHTML 221-227
  Catherine Plaisant; Brett Milash; Anne Rose; Seth Widoff; Ben Shneiderman
LifeLines provide a general visualization environment for personal histories that can be applied to medical and court records, professional histories and other types of biographical data. A one screen overview shows multiple facets of the records. Aspects, for example medical conditions or legal cases, are displayed as individual time lines, while icons indicate discrete events, such as physician consultations or legal reviews. Line color and thickness illustrate relationships or significance, rescaling tools and filters allow users to focus on part of the information. LifeLines reduce the chances of missing information, facilitate spotting anomalies and trends, streamline access to details, while remaining tailorable and easily transferable between applications. The paper describes the use of LifeLines for youth records of the Maryland Department of Juvenile Justice and also for medical records. User's feedback was collected using a Visual Basic prototype for the youth record.
Keywords: Visualization, History, Timeline, Personal record, Justice, Medical record, Screen design, Overview, Screen management

PAPERS: Evaluation

Remote Evaluation: The Network as an Extension of the Usability Laboratory BIBAKHTML 228-235
  H. Rex Hartson; Jose C. Castillo; John Kelso; Wayne C. Neale
Traditional user interface evaluation usually is conducted in a laboratory where users are observed directly by evaluators. However, the remote and distributed location of users on the network precludes the opportunity for direct observation in usability testing. Further, the network itself and the remote work setting have become intrinsic parts of usage patterns, difficult to reproduce in a laboratory setting, and developers often have limited access to representative users for usability testing in the laboratory. In all of these cases, the cost of transporting users or developers to remote locations can be prohibitive.
   These barriers have led us to consider methods for remote usability evaluation wherein the evaluator, performing observation and analysis, is separated in space and/or time from the user. The network itself serves as a bridge to take interface evaluation to a broad range of networked users, in their natural work settings.
   Several types of remote evaluation are defined and described in terms of their advantages and disadvantages to usability testing. The initial results of two case studies show potential for remote evaluation. Remote evaluation using video teleconferencing uses the network as a mechanism to transport video data in real time, so that the observer can evaluate user interfaces in remote locations as they are being used. Semi-instrumented remote evaluation is based on critical incident gathering by the user within the normal work context. Additionally, both methods can take advantage of automating data collection through questionnaires and instrumented applications.
Keywords: Remote evaluation, Formative evaluation, Usability testing, Usability method, Usability engineering, Semi-instrumented, Empirical, Critical incident, Video conferencing
Usability Problem Identification Using Both Low- and High-Fidelity Prototype BIBAKHTML 236-243
  Robert A. Virzi; Jeffrey L. Sokolov; Demetrios Karis
In two experiments, each using a different product (either a CD-ROM based electronic book or an interactive voice response system), we compared the usability problems uncovered using low- and high-fidelity prototypes. One group of subjects performed a series of tasks using a paper-based low-fidelity prototype, while another performed the same tasks using either a high-fidelity prototype or the actual product. In both experiments, substantially the same sets of usability problems were found in the low- and high-fidelity conditions. Moreover, there was a significant correlation between the proportion of subjects detecting particular problems in the low- and high-fidelity groups. In other words, individual problems were detected by a similar proportion of subjects in both the low- and high-fidelity conditions. We conclude that the use of low-fidelity prototypes can be effective throughout the product development cycle, not just during the initial stages of design.
Keywords: Method, Usability testing, Low-fidelity prototyping
Toward Automatic Generation of Novice User Test Scripts BIBAKHTML 244-251
  David J. Kasik; Harry G. George
Graphical user interfaces (GUI's) make applications easier to learn and use. At the same time, they make application design, construction, and especially test more difficult because user-directed dialogs increase the number of potential execution paths. This paper considers a subset of GUI-based application testing: how to exercise an application like a novice user. We discuss different solutions and a specific implementation that uses genetic algorithms to automatically generate user events in an unpredictable yet controlled manner to produce novice-like test scripts.
Keywords: Automated test generation, Dialog model specification, Genetic algorithms, Software engineering test process

PAPERS: Development Tools

Pavlov: Programming by Stimulus-Response Demonstration BIBAKHTML 252-259
  David Wolber
Pavlov is a Programming By Demonstration (PBD) system that allows animated interfaces to be created without programming. Using a drawing editor and a clock, designers specify the behavior of a target interface by demonstrating stimuli (end-user actions or time) and the (time-stamped) graphical transformations that should be executed in response. This stimulus-response model allows interaction and animation to be defined in a uniform manner, and it allows for the demonstration of interactive animation, i.e., game-like behaviors in which the end-user (player) controls the speed and direction of object movement.
Keywords: End user programming, UIMS, Programming by demonstration, Programming by example, Prototyping
Reusable Hierarchical Command Objects BIBAKHTML 260-267
  Brad A. Myers; David S. Kosbie
The Amulet user interface development environment uses hierarchical command objects to support the creation of highly-interactive graphical user interfaces. When input arrives or a widget is operated by the user, instead of invoking a call-back procedure as in most other toolkits, Amulet allocates a command object and calls its DO method. Unlike previous uses of command objects, Amulet organizes the commands into a hierarchy, so that low-level operations like dragging or selection invoke low-level commands, which in turn might invoke widget-level commands, which invoke high-level, application-specific commands, and so on. The top-level commands correspond to semantic actions of the program. The result is better modularization because different levels of the user interface are independent, and better code reuse because the lower-level commands, and even many high-level commands such as cut, copy, paste, text edit, and change-color, can be reused from the library. Furthermore, the commands in Amulet support a new form of Undo, where the user can select any previous operation and selectively undo it, repeat it on the same objects, or repeat it on new objects. In addition, operations like scrolling and selections can be undone or repeated, which can be very useful. Thus, the command objects in Amulet make it easier for developers by providing more reusable components, while at the same time providing new capabilities for users.
Keywords: Amulet, User interface development environment, Toolkits, Command objects, Undo, Redo

PAPERS: Collaborative Systems

The Zephyr Help Instance: Promoting Ongoing Activity in a CSCW System BIBAKHTML 268-275
  Mark S. Ackerman; Leysia Palen
If Computer-Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW) systems are to be successful over time, it will be necessary to promote ongoing and continuing activity, not just initial adoption. In this paper, we consider what technical and social affordances are required to encourage the continued use of a CSCW system.
   To explore these issues, we examine a chat-like system, the Zephyr Help Instance, which is used extensively at MIT. The Help Instance facilitates users asking questions of one another, and is an example of a distributed help and problem-solving system. We provide an overview of the system's use as well as those mechanisms, both technical and social, that facilitate continuing its use over time.
Keywords: Computer-supported cooperative work, CSCW, Help, Computer-mediated communications, CMC, Norms, Organizational interfaces, Social maintenance, Electronic social spaces
Email Overload: Exploring Personal Information Management of Email BIBAKHTML 276-283
  Steve Whittaker; Candace Sidner
Email is one of the most successful computer applications yet devised. Our empirical data show however, that although email was originally designed as a communications application, it is now being used for additional functions, that it was not designed for, such as task management and personal archiving. We call this email overload. We demonstrate that email overload creates problems for personal information management: users often have cluttered inboxes containing hundreds of messages, including outstanding tasks, partially read documents and conversational threads. Furthermore, user attempts to rationalise their inboxes by filing are often unsuccessful, with the consequence that important messages get overlooked, or "lost" in archives. We explain how email overloading arises and propose technical solutions to the problem.
Keywords: Email, Information overload, Personal information management, Asynchronous communication, Filing, Task management, Interpersonal communication, Ethnography, Empirical studies
HomeNet: A Field Trial of Residential Internet Services BIBAKHTML 284-291
  Robert Kraut; William Scherlis; Tridas Mukhopadhyay; Jane Manning; Sara Kiesler
HomeNet is a field trial of residential Internet use with lowered barriers to use. We use multiple longitudinal data collection techniques, including server-side instrumentation. This paper is an initial description of how diverse families used the Internet in the first five months of the trial, and of variables that predicted this usage. The results have implications for design (e.g., provide more help for adults to get started), for marketing (e.g., lower income people have as much desire for on-line services as do upper income people), and for research (e.g., understand why teenagers' lead family computing).
Keywords: Human factors, Communication applications, Empirical studies, Internet, Electronic mail, World Wide Web, Social impact

PAPERS: Fingers

Physical Versus Virtual Pointing BIBAKHTML 292-299
  Evan D. Graham; Christine L. MacKenzie
An experiment was conducted to investigate differences in performance between virtual pointing, where a 2-D computer image representing the hand and targets was superimposed on the workspace, and physical pointing with vision of the hand and targets painted on the work surface. A detailed examination of movement kinematics revealed no differences in the initial phase of the movement, but that the final phase of homing in on smaller targets was more difficult in the virtual condition. These differences are summarised by a two-part model of movement time which also captures the effects of scaling distances to, and sizes of targets. The implications of this model for design, analysis, and classification of pointing devices and positioning tasks are discussed.
Keywords: Analysis methods, Fitts' law, Human performance modelling, Input devices, Pointing, Virtual environments
Differences in Movement Microstructure of the Mouse and the Finger-Controlled Isometric Joystick BIBAKHTML 300-307
  Anant Kartik Mithal; Sarah A. Douglas
This paper describes a study comparing the movement characteristics of the mouse and the velocity-control isometric joystick. These characteristics are called the microstructure of movement. The comparison found random variations in the velocity of the isometric joystick that make it hard to control. The study shows that the microstructure of movement can explain differences in performance among devices.
Keywords: Fitts' law, Pointing devices, Mouse, Isometric joystick, Psychomotor models, Movement microstructure, Characteristics of movement, Performance differences
The Influence of Muscle Groups on Performance of Multiple Degree-of-Freedom Input BIBAKHTML 308-315
  Shumin Zhai; Paul Milgram; William Buxton
The literature has long suggested that the design of computer input devices should make use of the fine, smaller muscle groups and joints in the fingers, since they are richly represented in the human motor and sensory cortex and they have higher information processing bandwidth than other body parts. This hypothesis, however, has not been conclusively verified with empirical research. The present work studied such a hypothesis in the context of designing 6 degree-of-freedom (DOF) input devices. The work attempts to address both a practical need -- designing efficient 6 DOF input devices -- and the theoretical issue of muscle group differences in input control. Two alternative 6 DOF input devices, one including and the other excluding the fingers from the 6 DOF manipulation, were designed and tested in a 3D object docking experiment. Users' task completion times were significantly shorter with the device that utilised the fingers. The results of this study strongly suggest that the shape and size of future input device designs should constitute affordances that invite finger participation in input control.
Keywords: Input devices, 3-D interface, 6 DOF input, Motor control, Muscle group differences, Hand, Fingers, Arm, Homunculus model

PAPERS: Models

A Collaborative Model of Feedback in Human-Computer Interaction BIBAKHTML 316-323
  Manuel A. Perez Quinones; John L. Sibert
Feedback plays an important role in human-computer interaction. It provides the user with evidence of closure, thus satisfying the communication expectations that users have when engaging in a dialogue. In this paper we present a model identifying five feedback states that must be communicated to the user to fulfill the communication expectations of a dialogue. The model is based on a linguistics theory of conversation, but is applied to a graphical user interface. An experiment is described in which we test users' expectations and their behavior when those expectations are not met. The model subsumes some of the temporal requirements for feedback previously reported in the human-computer interaction literature.
Keywords: Human-computer dialogues, Feedback, Conversational dialogues, States of understanding, Collaborative view of conversations
A Comprehension-Based Model of Exploration BIBAKHTML 324-331
  Muneo Kitajima; Peter G. Polson
This paper describes a comprehension-based model of how experienced Macintosh users learn a new application by doing a task presented as a series of exercises. A comprehension mechanism transforms written instructions into goals that control an action planning process proposed by Kitajima and Polson [11]. The transformation process is based on a theory of solving word problems developed by Kintsch [8,9]. The comprehension and action planning processes define constraints on the wording of effective instructions. The combined model is evaluated using data from Franzke [3]. We discuss implications of these results for Minimalist Instructions [1] and Cognitive Walkthroughs [17].
Keywords: Cognitive theory, Display-based systems, Exploration

PAPERS: Real World Usage Patterns

Exploring the Unrealized Potential of Computer-Aided Drafting BIBAKHTML 332-339
  Suresh K. Bhavnani; Bonnie E. John
Despite huge investments by vendors and users, CAD productivity remains disappointing. Our analysis of real-world CAD usage shows that even after many years of experience, users tend to use suboptimal strategies to perform complex CAD tasks. Additionally, some of these strategies have a marked resemblance to manual drafting techniques. Although this phenomenon has been previously reported, this paper explores explanations for its causes and persistence. We argue that the strategic knowledge to use CAD effectively is neither defined nor explicitly taught. In the absence of a well-formed strategy, users often develop a synthetic mental model of CAD containing a mixture of manual and CAD methods. As these suboptimal strategies do not necessarily prevent users from producing clean, accurate drawings, the inefficiencies tend to remain unrecognized and users have little motivation to develop better strategies. To reverse this situation we recommend that the strategic knowledge to use CAD effectively should be made explicit and provided early in training. We use our analysis to begin the process of making this strategic knowledge explicit. We conclude by discussing the ramifications of this research in training as well as in the development of future computer aids for drawing and design.
Keywords: CAD, Task decomposition, Learning
User Customization of a Word Processor BIBAKHTML 340-346
  Stanley R. Page; Todd J. Johnsgard; Uhl Albert; C. Dennis Allen
The purpose of the study was to identify the customization changes users typically make to their word processor. Ninety-two percent of the participants customized their software in some way. Participants who used the software most heavily also did the most customization (p < .05). Most of the customization was done to facilitate the participants' work practices. The most common changes involved providing easier access to custom or often-used functionality. Button Bars seemed to provide an easy and effective means for participants to customize access to the functionality they wanted. Few participants customized the visual appearance of the interface.
Keywords: Adaptability, Adaptable, Customization, Customize, Tailor

PAPERS: Agents

Multiagent Model of Dynamic Design: Visualization as an Emergent Behavior of Active Design Agents BIBAKHTML 347-354
  Suguru Ishizaki
This research has been motivated by the lack of models and languages in the visual design field that are able to address design solutions, which continuously adapt in response to the dynamic changes both in the information itself and in the goals or intentions of the information recipient. This paper postulates a multiagent model of dynamic design -- a theoretical framework of design that provides a model with which the visual designer can think during the course of designing. The model employs a decentralized model of design as a premise, and borrows its conceptual model from the improvisational performance, such as dance and music, and bases its theoretical and technical framework on the field of multiagent systems. A design solution is considered an emergent behavior of a collection of active design agents, or performers, each of which is responsible for presenting a particular segment of information. The graphical behaviors of design agents are described by their dynamic activities -- rather than by the traditional method of fixed attributes. The model is illustrated with two design projects, Dynamic News Display System and E-Mail Reader, both of which were implemented using a multiagent design simulation system, perForm, along with an agent description language, persona.
Keywords: Visual design, Visualization, Dynamic information, Automatic design, Multiagent systems
Helping Users Program Their Personal Agents BIBAKHTML 355-361
  Loren G. Terveen; La Tondra Murray
Software agents are computer programs that act on behalf of users to perform routine, tedious, and time-consuming tasks. To be useful to an individual user, an agent must be personalized to his or her goals, habits, and preferences. We have created an end-user programming system that makes it easy for users to state rules for their agents to follow. The main advance over previous approaches is that the system automatically determines conflicts between rules and guides users in resolving the conflicts. Thus, user and system collaborate in developing and managing a set of rules that embody the user's preferences for handling a wide variety of situations.
Keywords: Agents, End-user programming, Intelligent systems

PAPERS: Usability in Organizations

A Collaborative Approach to Developing Style Guides BIBAKHTML 362-367
  Stephen Gale
A vital element in exploiting the benefits of Graphical User Interfaces (GUIs) is the use of an appropriate Style Guide. This paper outlines a collaborative approach to the development of Style Guides and highlights the associated benefits and pitfalls.
Keywords: Style guides, Graphical user interfaces, User interface design, Standards
Integrating Human Factors in Customer Support Systems Development Using a Multi-Level Organisational Approach BIBAKHTML 368-375
  Anne Miller
Integrating usability into software development projects involves working across multiple organisational levels. Aligning the Customer Support Platform Usability (CSPU) Teams objectives with those of the organisation allowed more effective integration of usability activities within project teams. Primarily, corporate alignment provided a legitimate mandate for the CSPU Team to develop standards and guidelines, and to require that usability activities be undertaken by project teams. However, at the project team level, integration was achieved by definition of roles, activities and processes according to the objectives, constraints and processes of project teams. Achieving common ground in project teams involved a willingness to work with, and to actively adapt to both organisational and project based needs.
Keywords: Human factors, Usability, Corporate mandate, Graphical user interface, Systems development life cycle, Standards and guidelines, Resourcing
Making a Difference -- The Impact of Inspections BIBAKHTML 376-382
  Paul Sawyer; Alicia Flanders; Dennis Wixon
In this methodology paper we define a metric we call impact ratio. We use this ratio to measure the effectiveness of inspections and other evaluative techniques in getting usability improvements into products. We inspected ten commercial software products and achieved an average impact ratio of 78%. We discuss factors affecting this ratio and its value in helping us to appraise usability engineering's impact on products.
Keywords: Formal inspections, Heuristic evaluations, Usability metrics, User testing, Walkthroughs, Impact ratio usability problems

PAPERS: Color and Transparency

Using Small Screen Space More Efficiently BIBAKHTML 383-390
  Tomonari Kamba; Shawn Elson; Terry Harpold; Tim Stamper; Piyawadee "Noi" Sukaviriya
This paper describes techniques for maximizing the efficient use of small screen space by combining delayed response with semi-transparency of control objects ("widgets") and on-screen text. Most research on the limitations of small display screens has focused on methods for optimizing concurrent display of text and widgets at the same level of transparency (that is, both are equally opaque). Prior research which proposes that widgets may be made semi-transparent is promising, but it does not, we feel, adequately address problems associated with user interaction with text that is partially obscured by the widgets. In this paper, we will propose that a variable delay in the response of overlapping widgets and text improves the effectiveness of the semi-transparent widget/text model. Our conclusions are based on usability studies of a prototype of an online newspaper that combined transparency and delayed-response techniques.
Keywords: PDAs, Icons, Transparency, Usability study
An Experimental Evaluation of Transparent Menu Usage BIBAKHTML 391-398
  Beverly L. Harrison; Kim J. Vicente
This paper reports a systematic evaluation of transparent user interfaces. It reflects our progression from theoretically-based experiments in focused attention to more representative application-based experiments on selection response times and error rates. We outline how our previous research relates to both the design and the results reported here. For this study, we used a variably-transparent, text menu superimposed over different backgrounds: text pages, wire-frame images, and solid images. We compared "standard" text (Motif style, Helvetica, 14 point) and a proposed font enhancement technique ("Anti-Interference" outlining). More generally, this experimental evaluation provides information about the interaction between transparency and text legibility.
Keywords: Display design, Evaluation, Transparency, User interface design, Interaction technology, Toolglass
Do Color Models Really Make a Difference? BIBAKHTML 399-405
  Sarah Douglas; Ted Kirkpatrick
User interfaces for color selection are based upon an underlying color model. There is widespread belief, and some evidence, that color models produce significant differences in human performance. We performed a color-matching experiment using an interface with high levels of feedback. With this interface, we observed no differences in speed or accuracy between the RGB and HSV color models, but found that increasing feedback improved accuracy of matching. We suggest that feedback may be an important factor in usability of a color selection interface.
Keywords: Color models, Color selection, RGB, HSV, User interfaces

PAPERS: Information Structure

Externalising Abstract Mathematical Models BIBAKHTML 406-412
  Lisa Tweedie; Robert Spence; Huw Dawkes; Hua Su
Abstract mathematical models play an important part in engineering design, economic decision making and other activities. Such models can be externalised in the form of Interactive Visualisation Artifacts (IVAs). These IVAs display the data generated by mathematical models in simple graphs which are interactively linked. Visual examination of these graphs enables users to acquire insight into the complex relations embodied in the model. In the engineering context this insight can be exploited to aid design. The paper describes two IVAs for engineering design: The Influence Explorer and The Prosection Matrix. Formative evaluation studies are briefly discussed.
Keywords: Interactive graphics, Visualization
Structuring Information with Mental Models: A Tour of Boston BIBAKHTML 413-419
  Ishantha Lokuge; Stephen A. Gilbert; Whitman Richards
We present a new systematic method of structuring information using mental models. This method can be used both to evaluate the efficiency of an information structure and to build user-centered information structures. In this paper we present the method using Boston tourist attractions as an example domain. We describe several interfaces that take advantage of our mental models with an activation spreading network. Multidimensional Scaling and Trajectory Mapping are used to build our mental models. Because of the robustness of the technique, it is easy to compare individual difference in mental models and to customize interfaces for individual models.
Keywords: Cognitive models, Multidimensional scaling, Visualization, Interaction design, Evaluation

PAPERS: Usability Issues

Embed User Values in System Architecture: The Declaration of System Usability BIBAKHTML 420-427
  Elizabeth M. Comstock; William M. Duane
The underlying architecture of complex software products profoundly influences their direction and usability. This paper shares an effort to embed usability within the architecture of complex network products. We began by attempting to build a conceptual model, but we ended by representing customers' and users' values in a Declaration of System Usability to guide product direction and system architecture decisions.
Keywords: System usability, Complexity, System architecture, Software architecture, Design techniques, Networks

DESIGN BRIEFINGS: Small Objects of Desire

Sensuality in Product Design: A Structured Approach BIBAKHTML 428-435
  G. H. Hofmeester; J. A. M. Kemp; A. C. M. Blankendaal
This paper describes a user-centred process for designing a product which induces a sensual feeling. It is assumed that in the design of consumer products feelings are an essential part of human-product interaction. The objective of the graduation project discussed here was to pro-actively design a pager which the target user group (women aged 18-30 years) perceived as sensual.
   Users were involved at an early stage of the design process. Based on information gathered in a series of interviews two pagers were designed. In an evaluation both models were perceived as significantly more sensual than a reference model.
Keywords: Sensuality, Eroticism, Product design, Pager, Communication, Pleasure, Emotion, Market research, Early user involvement
Designing the muse: A Digital Music Stand for the Symphony Musician BIBAKHTML 436-441
  Christopher Graefe; Derek Wahila; Justin Maguire; Orya Dasna
As part of the 1995 Apple Design Project, we designed and prototyped the muse, a digital music stand for the symphony musician. Our group consisted of four students from Carnegie Mellon University. We worked closely with members of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra during the development of our product. By observing their practice, rehearsal, and performance habits, we studied the symphony culture and generated the concept of a product that would replace a number of conventional tools and processes with a single digital device. The integration of the interface and industrial design resulted in a cohesive look and feel to the muse. The muse contains a metronome with audio and visual feedback, a pitch-generating tuner, stylus-based on-screen annotation, inter-symphony communication capabilities, a music library, and manual or automatic page turning with indexing. The muse is fashioned from mahogany, aluminum, and steel to reflect the timeless beauty of the instruments with which it shares the stage.
Keywords: Iterative design process, Music stand, Industrial design, Interaction design, Coordination support, Annotation, Tuning
Rapid Scout: Bridging the Gulf Between Physical and Virtual Environments BIBAKHTML 442-449
  David S. Ranson; Emily S. Patterson; Daniel L. Kidwell; Gavin A. Renner; Mike L. Matthews; Jim M. Corban; Emil Seculov; Constantine S. Souhleris
We explored how to bridge the gulf between physical and virtual environments for the sport of whitewater paddling. Field observations, critical incident analysis, exploratory prototyping, and field and lab evaluations were used to make discoveries. Lessons learned in this ethnographic process led to the design of a guiding, communication, and navigation aid for kayakers and canoeists. In designing "Rapid Scout", we gained insights on making virtual representations context-sensitive, coupling multiple perspectives, dealing with uncertainty, and extending human views. Ways to facilitate collaboration through shared graphic frames of reference were also explored.
Keywords: Visualization, Representation aiding, Groupware, Decision support, Portable computing, Ethnography

DESIGN BRIEFINGS: Design for Communication and Communication for Design

Interaction Design and Human Factors Support in the Development of a Personal Communicator for Children BIBAKHTML 450-457
  Ron Oosterholt; Mieko Kusano; Govert de Vries
Today's computer games for children are primarily focused on boys. Two years ago Philips started the development of a new 'personal communication' product that addresses the needs of young children and especially the needs of young girls. This article is focused on the interaction design and human factors support provided throughout the development of this product. It illustrates the involvement of the interaction design discipline, ranging from the initial generation and visualization of interface ideas to the final transfer to the software engineering team of detailed user interface specifications. The article also describes how human factors support ensured that potential users were involved on continuously in the design process, as well as how this involvement influenced the development of the final product. The article concludes with a discussion of the lessons learned in designing products for children.
Keywords: Children, Communicator, User interface, Interaction, Design, Development process, Qualitative research, Methods and techniques
Demo or Die: User Interface as Marketing Theatre BIBAKHTML 458-465
  Annette Wagner; Maria Capucciati
This design briefing describes the design and development of a demonstration which simultaneously utilizes and illustrates the use of SunSoft's distributed object technology, NEO. The design is notable in that the demo is primarily a marketing tool, not a product. We discuss the factors that made the NEO demo different from a typical project, and how we created a successful user experience through the visual design and story of the NEO demo.
Keywords: Human interface design, Objects, NEO, NeXT, Demonstration, Presentation, Visual language, Storyboards, Graphic design, Theatre
A User Interface for Accessing 3D Content on the World Wide Web BIBAKHTML 466-472
  Mike Mohageg; Rob Myers; Chris Marrin; Jim Kent; David Mott; Paul Isaacs
A strategy for accessing and viewing three dimensional data on the World Wide Web is introduced. Factors driving the user interface design of a 3D web browser are presented. The interface for the initial implementation of Silicon Graphics' WebSpaceNavigator, the first commercially available 3D Web browser, is given. Close attention is paid to design issues. Usability lessons learned from this interface are described and it is shown how they affected the second generation browser interface design.
Keywords: User interface design, Three dimensional (3D) navigation, World Wide Web (WWW), Virtual Reality Modeling Language (VRML)

DESIGN BRIEFINGS: User Interfaces for Large Markets

The Windows 95 User Interface: A Case Study in Usability Engineering BIBAKHTML 473-480
  Kent Sullivan
The development of the user interface for a large commercial software product like Microsoft Windows 95 involves many people, broad design goals, and an aggressive work schedule. This design briefing describes how the usability engineering principles of iterative design and problem tracking were successfully applied to make the development of the UI more manageable. Specific design problems and their solutions are also discussed.
Keywords: Iterative design, Microsoft Windows, Problem tracking, Rapid prototyping, Usability engineering, Usability testing
Usability Improvements in Lotus cc:Mail for Windows BIBAKHTML 481-488
  Stacey Ashlund; Karen J. Horwitz
This is a case study about a commercial software design and development process. The highly successful product contained some usability problems that were apparent from a usability perspective, but were to be delayed in the upcoming release. A Lotus Notes database was used to record usability issues, UI design recommendations, and decision rationale. This database was the key strategy that helped convince the team to make changes. The processes and UI design solutions described are not new; rather this design briefing focuses on how they were deployed to effect change that wouldn't have happened otherwise. "Before" and "After" screen shots illustrate this success story.
Keywords: User interface design, User-centered design, Design process, Usability engineering, Usability testing, E-mail
Real World Design in the Corporate Environment: Designing an Interface for the Technically Challenged BIBAKHTML 489-495
  Susan Hopper; Harold Hambrose; Paul Kanevsky
The development of a graphical user interface for Merrill Lynch's Trusted Global Advisor (TGA) system is a major endeavor to bring enhanced information access and updated technology to the desktops of more than 15,000 financial consultants and industry professionals firmwide.
   The TGA development team's goals and challenges are two-fold. The business goal is to create a comprehensive, integrated computing environment that is unique and would identify Merrill Lynch as the technology pioneer in the financial services industry.
   The technological challenge included the design of a graphical user interface that could be easily learned and understood by all users in the Firm-the majority of which are PC illiterate. In order to have acceptance from the users, this new system has to appeal to both the first-time GUI user and mouse aficionados alike.
Keywords: User interface, Corporate environment, Hierarchy, Tab metaphor, Iterative design, Book, Shell

INVITED CONTRIBUTION

New Technological Windows into Mind: There is More in Eyes and Brains for Human-Computer Interaction BIBAK 496-503
  Boris M. Velichkovsky; John Paulin Hansen
This is an overview of the recent progress leading towards a full subject-centered paradigm in human-computer interaction. At this new phase in the evolution of computer technologies it will be possible to take into account no just characteristics of average human beings, but create systems sensitive to the actual states of attention and intentions of interacting persons. We discuss some of these methods concentrating on the use of eye-tracking and brain imaging. The development is based on the use of eye movement data for a control of output devices, for gaze-contingent image processing and for disambiguating verbal as well as nonverbal information.
Keywords: Attention, Eye movements, Human-computer interaction (HCI), Neuroinformatics, Levels-of-processing, Noncommand interfaces, Computer supported cooperative work (CSCW)
The Virtual Library: A New Common Ground BIBA 504-505
  Andrew Magpantay
The American Library Association (ALA), a nonprofit educational and service organization based in Chicago, Illinois is the world's oldest and largest professional library association. Founded in 1876, it currently has over 56,000 members -- primarily librarians, but also trustees, publishers, and library supporters. Its mission is to provide leadership and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all.
   In 1995, APA embarked on a five year strategic initiative -- ALA Goal 2000 -- to advocate for the public's right to a free and open information society. As part of this initiative ALA has expanded its Washington Office, now celebrating its 50th anniversary, to increase its ability to influence national issues, policy and legislation. Additionally, ALA established an Office of Information Technology Policy, also in Washington, D.C., to address complex technology policy issues and promote the development and utilization of electronic access to information as a means to ensure the public's right to a free and open information society.
CHIKids: A Common Ground for Kids and Adults BIBAK 506-507
  Allison Druin
CHIkids challenges the traditional notion of childcare and rolls summer camp, technology, and CHI into a new hands-on experience for children. This is an opportunity for the next generation to explore computers, technology, and user interface design at the CHI 96 conference. Children (3-12 years of age) will have the opportunity to create multimedia stories, try the latest educational multimedia titles, test emerging software technologies with CHI researchers, and to be conference reporters using desktop publishing tools and the World Wide Web. These activities will be reported on and presented by CHIkids leaders at the close of the CHI 96 conference.
Keywords: CHIkids, Children, Educational applications, Desktop publishing, Multimedia, World Wide Web, CD-ROMs, Social impact, Childcare