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CUU Tables of Contents: 20002003

Proceedings of the 2003 ACM Conference on Universal Usability

Fullname:CUU 2003 ACM Conference on Universal Usability
Editors:Mary Zajicek; Alistair Edwards
Location:Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Dates:2003-Nov-10 to 2003-Nov-11
Standard No:ISBN 1-58113-701-X; ACM Order Number 608039; ACM DL: Table of Contents hcibib: CUU2003
Links:Conference Home
  1. Keynote
  2. Communities
  3. The ageing user
  4. Design
  5. User involvement
  6. Applications
  7. Panel
  8. Posters


Promoting universal usability with multi-layer interface design BIBAFull-Text 1-8
  Ben Shneiderman
Increased interest in universal usability is causing some researchers to study advanced strategies for satisfying first-time as well as intermittent and expert users. This paper promotes the idea of multi-layer interface designs that enable first-time and novice users to begin with a limited set of features at layer 1. They can remain at layer 1, then move up to higher layers when needed or when they have time to learn further features. The arguments for and against multi-layer interfaces are presented with two example systems: a word processor with 8 layers and an interactive map with 3 layers. New research methods and directions are proposed.


Community portals through communitization BIBAFull-Text 9-14
  Vanessa Donnelly; Roland Merrick
Governments wishing to achieve high citizen adoption from electronic services need to provide solutions that are not only technically accessible, but usable and engaging to large numbers of people. Citizen diversity makes this a real challenge. Designing the best user experience for diverse users will require alternative designs on potentially different devices. The cost of doing this may prove prohibitive. One answer is to leverage "the third sector" i.e. voluntary organizations, special interest groups, communities and business related support organizations. Third sector organizations traditionally provide support to disadvantaged and potentially excluded groups and provide a way for government to increase social inclusion and reach a wider audience.
   To support the delivery of government information and services through multiple providers including but not restricted to the originating government version, this paper proposes to introduce the concept of "Communitization". The principle behind "Communitization" is to enable an interface to be adapted to suit the wants and needs of a community. For government this would provide a way to reach a broader set of citizens with a more tailored set of solutions without incurring any incremental cost. The benefit to citizens would be a custom design, tailored to their needs and integrated into sites they already use.
Design studies for a financial management system for micro-credit groups in rural India BIBAFull-Text 15-22
  Tapan Parikh; Kaushik Ghosh; Apala Chavan
In this paper we describe the design process, results and observations obtained in designing a user interface for managing community-based financial institutions in rural India. The primary users are semi-literate village women from local communities. We present detailed observations from our field visits and the resulting evolution in our design vision. We describe a successful design artifact that is the result of this process, and list several important features that contributed to its success. We conclude with the current state of our work and our plans for the future.
SPAM on the menu: the practical use of remote messaging in community care BIBAFull-Text 23-29
  Keith Cheverst; Karen Clarke; Dan Fitton; Mark Rouncefield; Andy Crabtree; Terry Hemmings
This paper presents some early design work of the 'Digital Care' project, developing technologies to assist care in the community for user groups with different support needs. Our focus is on developing a SMS Public Asynchronous Messenger (SPAM) system for SMS messaging to a situated display in hostels for ex-psychiatric patients run by a charitable Trust. Such settings pose both methodological and design challenges. We face the methodological challenge to uncover requirements in such a sensitive domain by using ethnography, cultural probes and user workshops. The design challenge in this care setting is to provide support rather than new forms of dependence, and we report on early experiences of the deployed system.

The ageing user

Web usability and age: how design changes can improve performance BIBAFull-Text 30-37
  Ann Chadwick-Dias; Michelle McNulty; Tom Tullis
We conducted two usability studies that included a total of 49 participants ranging in age from 20 to 82. The goal of Study 1 was to learn whether there were differences in how older adults interact with the Web and whether changes in text size would affect performance. Users completed tasks on a prototype employee/retiree benefits site using various text sizes. We learned that older users (55 years or older) had significantly more difficulty using the Web site than younger users. Text size did not significantly affect performance in any age group. In Study 2 new participants performed the same tasks on a version of the site that was redesigned to address the usability problems encountered by older users in Study 1. The goal was to learn whether we could redesign the prototype to improve the performance of older adults. Performance improved significantly for both older and younger users.
How universal is good design for older users? BIBAFull-Text 38-45
  Dan Hawthorn
This paper attempts to illustrate the way in which multiple considerations influence interface design decisions when designing for older users. The arguments are supported by examination of issues that arose during the design of a successful email system for older users. The point is also made that while the interface design decisions made in the example do assist older users, they limit the power of an application to serve younger, more able and more demanding users. The argument is made that while it is possible to increase accessibility, the most obvious ways of doing this limit the universality of the resulting application.
Toward achieving universal usability for older adults through multimodal feedback BIBAFull-Text 46-53
  V. Kathlene Emery; Paula J. Edwards; Julie A. Jacko; Kevin P. Moloney; Leon Barnard; Thitima Kongnakorn; Francois Sainfort; Ingrid U. Scott
This experiment examines the effect of combinations of feedback (auditory, haptic, and/or visual) on the performance of older adults completing a drag-and-drop computer task. Participants completed a series of drag-and-drop tasks under each of seven feedback conditions (3 unimodal, 3 bimodal, 1 trimodal). Performance was assessed using measures of efficiency and accuracy. For analyses of results, participants were grouped based on their level of computer experience. All users performed well under auditory-haptic bimodal feedback and experienced users responded well to all multimodal feedback. Based on performance benefits for older adults seen in this experiment, future research should extend investigations to effectively integrate multimodal feedback into GUI interfaces in order to improve usability for this growing and diverse user group.
Patterns for encapsulating speech interface design solutions for older adults BIBAFull-Text 54-60
  Mary Zajicek
An increasing number of older adults will need to use computers and computer related systems in the future to avoid social exclusion and enable them to live more independently in the future. There are therefore currently many interface designers searching for pointers to good design for older adults, a user group which is significantly different from the mainstream younger user groups mainly as a result of age associated impairments. There is currently no detailed body of knowledge from which interface designers can learn how to cater for this user group. This paper suggests a framework for encapsulating good interface design for older adults which is based on rigorous experimental work and sets out the findings in the form of patterns, a representation which has already been used successfully in the domain of software engineering and architecture.
   A robust framework for interface design is particularly important as those designing systems for older adults tend to be younger people who have no concept of what it is like interact with computerized systems as an older person with the age associated impairments.


Challenging interfaces/redesigning users BIBAFull-Text 61-68
  Anna Dickinson; Roos Eisma; Peter Gregor
As the identity of the computer user becomes more diverse, software developers can no longer assume familiarity with legacy systems or perfect vision, motor control and memory. The development of Piloot (for users with learning difficulties) and SeeWord (for dyslexic readers) shows that systems can be usable and accessible for 'non-typical' user groups. It is no longer appropriate to design 'general purpose' software that excludes users because of their age or minor impairments. Piloot and SeeWord, although developed for very different user groups, uncover some common barriers to computer use. Although some of these barriers were overcome in similar ways, other solutions were specific to the target user group and this may suggest strategies that will be effective in developing inclusive systems in the future.
Countering design exclusion through inclusive design BIBAFull-Text 69-76
  Simeon Keates; P. John Clarkson
The world population is aging and the number of people who are experiencing a loss of functional capability is also on the increase. There is a need to design 'inclusive' products to accommodate this wider range of capabilities and to develop metrics to assess the success of such products. Successful inclusive design requires a balance between the demands a product makes of its users and the users' capabilities, along with a number of design metrics and data to enable their evaluation. If the balance is not correct, then there is the potential for design exclusion.
Abstract user interface representations: how well do they support universal access? BIBAFull-Text 77-84
  Shari Trewin; Gottfried Zimmermann; Gregg Vanderheiden
This paper examines four XML languages for abstract user interface representation: UIML, XIML, XForms and AIAP. It discusses whether the high level architectures of these languages support the requirements of universal usability by allowing use of personal interfaces. Specific technical requirements include separation of data from presentation, explicit declarative representation of interface elements, their state, dependencies, and semantics, flexibility in inclusion of alternative resources and support for remote control and different interaction styles. Of the languages examined, XForms and AIAP provide the best match to the requirements. While XForms requires an appropriate delivery context to provide full access, the AIAP standard will include specification of the context in which the language is to be used.
Theoretical and architectural support for input device adaptation BIBAFull-Text 85-92
  Jingtao Wang; Jennifer Mankoff
The graphical user interface (GUI) is today's de facto standard for desktop computing. GUIs are designed and optimized for use with a mouse and keyboard. However, modern trends make this reliance on a mouse and keyboard problematic for two reasons. First, people with disabilities may have trouble operating those devices. Second, with the popularization of wireless communication and mobile devices such as personal data assistants, the mouse and keyboard are often replaced by other input devices. Our solution is a tool that can be used to translate a user's input to a form recognizable by any Windows-based application. We argue that a formal model of input is necessary to support arbitrary translations of this sort. We present a model, based on Markov information sources, that extends past work in its ability to handle software-based input such as speech recognition, and to measure relative device bandwidth. We also present our translation tool, which is based on our model, along with four applications built using that tool.

User involvement

Understanding patients: participatory approaches for the user evaluation of vital data presentation BIBAFull-Text 93-97
  Karl A. Stroetmann; Michael Pieper; Veli N. Stroetmann
The objective of our research was to undertake first steps to analyse patient access to their electronic health records (EHR) as a crucial universal access issue: Why is patient involvement becoming a key issue, what approaches are available to learn more about patient attitudes and needs, which concrete outcomes can be obtained from such research? The paper outlines a reference scenario for tele home monitoring of chronically ill patients including measurement devices and system environment, provides an assessment of selected participatory approaches like questionnaires, interviews and group discussions, and reports about universal access design issues from a patient perspective. Concrete conclusions concerning access devices and presentation of EHR contents are developed. To allow all citizens equality in access, to benefit from advances in eHealth and to avoid a "Medical Divide", creativity, innovations and support are needed to progress towards a true Information Society for all also in the health arena.
Involving young girls in product concept design BIBAFull-Text 98-105
  Minna Isomursu; Pekka Isomursu; Kaisa Still
Young girls are a user group often neglected in the design of technical devices. In this paper, we describe a method for involving pre-teen and teen girls in a concept design process. With this target group we have experienced serious challenges in applying traditional participatory design methods, such as observations or interviews. As a solution, we have adopted a web-based storytelling environment where our target group is encouraged to create usage scenarios of a mobile terminal that would support their activities in a virtual community. Our results show that this approach is a very natural and fruitful method for involving this target group.
Context-aware communication for severely disabled users BIBAFull-Text 106-111
  Adriane B. Davis; Melody M. Moore; Veda C. Storey
Even with assistive communication technology, interactive conversation is extremely difficult for users with severely limited mobility and loss of speech. Input to such devices is painfully slow and subject to high error rates with the resulting output not reliably reflecting the true intentions of the user. Conversational prediction has been incorporated into assistive systems to help speed up communication but could be further improved by considering the contextual interaction between the user and conversant. Contextual information applied to user profiles can greatly enhance conversational prediction and increase a severely disabled user's control over his or her complex world. We present a framework that integrates a rich profile of the user, a model of the user's environment, and actors on that environment. To test the validity of the framework, we develop a set of profiles and apply them in two different scenarios. Initial results show that the context-aware user profiles can increase both the accuracy and speed of the communication.
Insights from the aphasia project: designing technology for and with people who have aphasia BIBAFull-Text 112-118
  Joanna McGrenere; Rhian Davies; Leah Findlater; Peter Graf; Maria Klawe; Karyn Moffatt; Barbara Purves; Sarah Yang
This paper explores a number of HCI research issues in the context of the Aphasia Project, a recently established project on the design of assistive technology for aphasic individuals. Key issues include the problems of achieving effective design and evaluation for a user population with an extremely high degree of variance, and user-centered design for a user population with significant communication impairments. We describe the Aphasia Project and our initial approaches to dealing with these issues. Similar issues arise in many areas of assistive technology, so we expect our paper to be of general interest to the research community.


Making chalk and talk accessible BIBAFull-Text 119-125
  S. Bennett; J. Hewitt; D. Kraithman; C. Britton
This paper investigates the development of an authoring package designed to mimic traditional "chalk and talk" delivery of content in education. It emphasizes the twin goals of making the output more accessible both for those with disabilities and for distance learners and also making the package usable by academic staff without requiring extensive training. It deals with issues arising from the capture of the material, the compromises and conflicts which are made in the satisfaction of accessibility guidelines and the implementation problems which arise. An authoring tool designed specifically for the production of accessible multimedia material is described as is preliminary work being undertaken to provide live subtitles of lectures.
Applying heuristics to perform a rigorous accessibility inspection in a commercial context BIBAFull-Text 126-133
  Claire Paddison; Paul Englefield
Accessibility heuristics have been developed to compliment the accessibility guidelines. The use of Web accessibility heuristics in heuristic evaluations can ensure that a greater range of special needs will be considered, from visual to cognitive impairments. Key advantages of heuristics are conciseness, memorablity, meaningfulness and insight. The heuristics can be used effectively to understand which areas of a site have accessibility issues and can provide useful insight into how to create a solution. However, the heuristics will not tell evaluators whether a Web site conforms to legislation. Studies have confirmed the common belief that heuristics should not replace knowledge but act to cue the deeper body of knowledge defined by the guidelines; it is essential that evaluators be given accessibility education before completing a heuristic evaluation using the accessibility heuristics.
Towards the creation of accessibility agents for non-visual navigation of the web BIBAFull-Text 134-141
  K. Kottapally; C. Ngo; R. Reddy; E. Pontelli; T. C. Son; D. Gillan
In this paper, we highlight the main research directions currently pursued by the investigators for the development of new tools to improve Web accessibility for users with visual disabilities. The overall principle is to create intelligent software agents used to assist visually impaired individuals in accessing complex on-line data organizations (e.g., tables, frame structures) in a meaningful way. Accessibility agents make use of knowledge representation structures (automatically or manually derived) to assist users in developing navigation plans; these are employed to locate given pieces of information or to answer user's desired goals.
Designing a universal keyboard using chording gloves BIBAFull-Text 142-147
  Seongil Lee; Sang Hyuk Hong; Jae Wook Jeon
A universal input device for both text and Braille input was developed in a Glove-typed interface using all the joints of the four fingers and thumbs of both hands. The glove-typed device works as of now for input of Korean characters, numbers, and Braille characters using mode conversion. Considering the finger force and the fatigue from repeated finger motions, the input switch was made of conductible silicon ink, which is easy to apply to any type of surface, light, and enduring. The usability testing with (1) blind subjects showed the performance matching with a commercial Braille keypad, and (2) non-blind subjects for Korean characters showed comparable performance with cellular phone input keypads, but inferior to conventional keyboard. Subjects' performance showed that the chording gloves can input approximately 122 Braille characters per minute and 108 words per minute in Korean character. The chording gloves developed in our study is expected to be used with common computing devices such as PCs and PDAs, and can contribute to replacing the Braille-based note-takers with less expensive computing devices for blind users.


Designing cognitive technologies for people with disabilities -- perspectives for theory and practice BIBAFull-Text 148-149
  Jim Sullivan; Joanna McGrenere
This panel will identify and discuss practical and theoretical issues in the design, implementation, and evaluation of technologies to assist persons with developmental and acquired cognitive deficits.


Helping to avoid e-discrimination in UK tertiary education BIBAFull-Text 150-151
  David Sloan; Lawrie Phipps
The UK e-learning and disability agenda is discussed, and how it is affected by social inclusion and government initiatives and legislation. The important role of the TechDis service in this initiative is also described, and how it is helping the tertiary education community in the UK to use technology to improve inclusion for staff and students with disabilities. An outline of the approach TechDis has taken to achieve its goals is provided, along with current issues being addressed by the service.
Designing accessible auditory drag and drop BIBAFull-Text 152-153
  Fredrik Winberg; Sten Olof Hellstrom
This paper presents an audio-only version of drag and drop. By continuously presenting the information, using auditory zooming at two different levels and absolute positioning of the cursor, a blind user is able to get an overview, locate and interact with a specific object. Two user studies on two different versions have been made in order to get input to the design process and to evaluate the ideas. The results points at the importance of being able to customize the interface and to provide an overview of all interface objects.
A study in reading comprehension improvement BIBAFull-Text 154-155
  Rodica Waivio
As everyday computing plays an increasingly prominent role in our daily lives, user reading comprehension is of vital importance for human progress. This paper proposes to investigate the improvement of the user reading comprehension by different factors. Two main experiments tested how an explicit display of a small collection of keywords and a summary explanation aid reading comprehension. Twelve subjects were used for the first experiment and eight subjects for the second experiment. All were UIC undergraduate and graduate students, with computer experience. In the post experimentation stage, the subjects recommended different techniques for reading improvement. Comprehension was estimated by two procedures, a quantitative evaluation by a comprehension questionnaire and a qualitative evaluation by the subjective report. Important results were pointed out by the subjective evaluation. The advantages and disadvantages were summarized by a small focus group of users. A Dynamic Reading Device was designed for experimentation usage.
Designing an interface usable by people with dementia BIBAFull-Text 156-157
  Norman Alm; Richard Dye; Gary Gowans; Jim Campbell; Arlene Astell; Maggie Ellis
Caring for people with dementia will be one of the major challenges of the 21st century. Advancing technology may offer ways to augment and supplement human care, if it is sensitively designed with the needs of potential users always taken into account. Developing an interface that a person with dementia can make sense of and use is a difficult goal. Beginning to meet this challenge is one aspect of a programme we have embarked on to develop a multi-media system that can be used to help people with dementia communicate better with others. Reminiscence work with people with dementia is a valuable tool for enabling them to participate meaningfully in conversations. We are developing a system which uses multimedia technology as an effective vehicle for delivering reminiscence stimulus and thus conversation support for people with dementia.