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Human-Computer Interaction 6

Editors:Thomas P. Moran
Dates:1991
Volume:6
Publisher:Lawrence Erlbaum Associates
Standard No:ISSN 0737-0024
Papers:13
Links:Table of Contents
  1. HCI 1991 Volume 6 Issue 1
  2. HCI 1991 Volume 6 Issue 2
  3. HCI 1991 Volume 6 Issue 3-4

HCI 1991 Volume 6 Issue 1

Articles

Knowledge Creation and Retrieval in Program Design: A Comparison of Novice and Intermediate Student Programmers BIBA 1-46
  Robert S. Rist
Program design, from initial idea to executable code, was studied in a group of novice (first programming course) and a group of intermediate (second course) student programmers. The approach of the intermediate students could usually be described as forward and top-down design, but the behavior of the novices could not be so easily captured.
   Top-down design depends on both the expertise of the programmer and the difficulty of the problem. When faced with a difficult problem, even the expert has to build up a solution from simple pieces. In the approach adopted here, top-down design is based on the refinement of a known solution or schema that is retrieved and expanded at progressively greater levels of detail. If the expert knows all the required abstract and detailed schemas, then the design shows a pattern of top-down and forward expansion at all levels. When a schema cannot be retrieved and has to be created, top-down design breaks down and is replaced by bottom-up design. At the extreme, a rank novice has to create all the required plans, and design then shows consistent bottom-up and backward solution development.
   Separating plan retrieval from plan creation has three important consequences. First, a model of plan creation shows how knowledge, in the form of plan schemas, is created during the process of program design. Second, plan creation reveals the internal structure of a schema that is hidden in the final program code. Third, the behavior of the designers, described as top-down or bottom-up design, may be explained as a result of specific knowledge that is used to design a program.
Users Request Help from Advisory Systems with Simple and Restricted Language: Effects of Real-Time Constraints and Limited Shared Context BIBA 47-75
  Raymonde Guindon
In this descriptive and exploratory study, 32 users type help requests to what they believe is a computerized advisor. In fact, the advisor is a human mimicking realistic levels of intelligence and knowledge that can be expected from a computerized advisor. Results show that users request help with a very simple and restricted language that is characteristic of language generated under real-time production constraints and of child language. Moreover, users' utterances are frequently ungrammatical. It is hypothesized that these features arise from factors intrinsic to typed advisory situations: Users are performing a primary task under real-time constraints, and typing help requests is a secondary task. On the other hand, users refer to objects and events with very precise descriptions instead of faster-to-type pronouns; they produce very few ellipses and deictic expressions. Future research should elucidate whether shared context between users and computerized advisors needs to be richer than created in this study to sustain the use of expressions whose interpretations depend on context. The tuning of natural language interfaces to the features observed in this study may increase the usefulness of natural language interfaces to advisory systems. The presented methodology is a promising tool for further studies of these factors on users' language.
Errors in Training Computer Skills: On the Positive Function of Errors BIBA 77-93
  Michael Frese; Felix Brodbeck; Torsten Heinbokel; Christina Mooser; Erik Schleiffenbaum; Petra Thiemann
Traditionally, errors are avoided in training. In contrast to this approach, it is argued that errors can also have a positive function and that one has to learn to deal efficiently with errors on a strategic and an emotional level (error management). An experiment tested these assumptions. One group (n = 9) received guidance for error-free performance; another group (n = 15) received error training. In the latter group, errors were produced by assigning problems that were too difficult to deal with. The error-training group showed higher scores in the nonspeed performance tests. Error training seems to be positive for people with high scores on the cognitive failure questionnaire (Broadbent, Cooper, FitzGerald, & Parkes, 1982).

HCI 1991 Volume 6 Issue 2

Essay

How Decisions Happen in Organizations BIBA 95-117
  James G. March
This essay is a story about how we might think about decisions and decision making in organizations. The story is divided into three major parts. The first part is based on a vision of decisions as resulting from intendedly rational choice. Such a vision is the dominant portrayal of decisions in social science. This vision of decisions is elaborated by considering developments associated with problems of uncertainty, ambiguity, risk preference, and conflict. The second part of the story is based on a vision of decisions as driven by a logic of appropriateness implemented through a structure of organizational rules and practices, not by a logic of consequence. The discussion of rules and rule following is extended by considering the ways in which rules of behavior evolve through experience, selection, and diffusion. The third part of the story examines ideas about decision making that challenge standard ideas of decision altogether, visions that picture the outcomes of decisions as artifactual rather than as central to understanding decision making. These visions are exemplified by discussions of networks, temporal orders, symbols, and the development of meaning.

Articles

The Equalization Phenomenon: Status Effects in Computer-Mediated and Face-to-Face Decision-Making Groups BIBA 119-146
  Vitaly J. Dubrovsky; Sara Kiesler; Beheruz N. Sethna
New computer-based communications technologies make possible new or expanded forms of group work. Although earlier researchers suggest that scant social information in these technologies might cause status equalization in groups, no experimental test of this phenomenon has been made. In a laboratory experiment, we compared face-to-face communication with electronic mail in decision-making groups whose members differed in social status. We examined status in two ways: by varying the external status of group members, and by varying the decision task to manipulate expertise. When the groups made decisions in face-to-face meetings, the high-status member dominated discussions with the three low-status members. Also, the high-status member more often was a "first advocate" in the face-to-face discussions, and first advocates were more influential than advocates. These status inequalities in face-to-face decision making were pronounced just when the high-status member's expertise was relevant to the decision task. When the same groups made comparable decisions using electronic mail, status and expertise inequalities in participation were reduced. A striking and unexpected result was that "first" advocacy was shared by high- and low-status members in discussions using electronic mail. This behavior resulted in increased equality of influence across status and expertise. We discuss the implications of these results for research and for design of new communication technologies.
Systematic Sources of Suboptimal Interface Design in Large Product Development Organizations BIBA 147-196
  Jonathan Grudin
Many poor interface features are the result of carelessness, ignorance, or neglect in the development process. For these features, methods such as user involvement in iterative design with prototyping, the use of check lists and guidelines, and even formal evaluation can be of great help. However, there are strong forces present in development environments that block the use of such methods and distort interface designs in a systemic way. Because these forces serve legitimate goals, such as making a design simpler, more easily communicated, or more marketable, they are more difficult to counter; because developers are skilled at working toward those goals, the tangential effects on the interface usually pass unnoticed. This descriptive, empirical article describes these forces in the context of large organizations developing commercial off-the-shelf software products. Most points are supported by examples and by a logical argument. Not all of the phenomena may appear in a given development organization, but the overall picture of a complex environment in which interface development requires unwavering attention is quite general.

HCI 1991 Volume 6 Issue 3-4

Editorial

Introduction to this Special Issue on Design Rationale BIB 197-200
  John M. Carroll; Thomas P. Moran

Articles

Questions, Options, and Criteria: Elements of Design Space Analysis BIBA 201-250
  Allan MacLean; Richard M. Young; Victoria M. E. Bellotti; Thomas P. Moran
Design Space Analysis is an approach to representing design rationale. It uses a semiformal notation, called QOC (Questions, Options, and Criteria), to represent the design space around an artifact. The main constituents of QOC are Questions identifying key design issues, Options providing possible answers to the Questions, and Criteria for assessing and comparing the Options. Design Space Analysis also takes account of justifications for the design (and possible alternative designs) that reflect considerations such as consistency, models and analogies, and relevant data and theory. A Design Space Analysis does not produce a record of the design process but is instead a coproduct of design and has to be constructed alongside the artifact itself. Our work is motivated by the notion that a Design Space Analysis will repay the investment in its creation by supporting both the original process of design and subsequent work on redesign and reuse by (a) providing an explicit representation to aid reasoning about the design and about the consequences of changes to it and (b) serving as a vehicle for communication, for example, among members of the design team or among the original designers and later maintainers of a system. Our work to date emphasizes the nature of the QOC representation over processes for creating it, so these claims serve as goals rather than objectives we have achieved. This article describes the elements of Design Space Analysis and illustrates them by reference to analyses of existing designs and to studies of the concepts and arguments used by designers during design discussions.
What's in Design Rationale? BIBA 251-280
  Jintae Lee; Kum-Yew Lai
A Few representations have been used for capturing design rationale. To understand their scope and adequacy, we need to know how to evaluate them. In this article, we propose a framework for evaluating the expressive adequacy of design rationale representations. This framework is built by progressively differentiating the elements of design rationale that, when made explicit, support an increasing number of the design tasks. Using this framework, we present and assess DRL (Decision Representation Language), a language for representing rationales that we believe is the most expressive of the existing representations. We also use the framework to assess the expressiveness of other design rationale representations and compare them to DRL. We conclude by pointing out the need for articulating other dimensions along which to evaluate design rationale representations.
Deliberated Evolution: Stalking the View Matcher in Design Space BIBA 281-318
  John M. Carroll; Mary Beth Rosson
Technology development in human-computer interaction (HCI) can be interpreted as a coevolution of tasks and artifacts. The tasks people actually engage in (successfully of problematically) and those they wish to engage in (or perhaps merely to imagine) define requirements for future technology and, specifically, for new HCI artifacts. These artifacts, in turn, open up new possibilities for human tasks, new ways to do familiar things, and entirely new kinds of things to do. In this article, we describe psychological design rationale as an approach to augmenting HCI technology development and to clarifying the sense in which HCI artifacts embody psychological theory. A psychological design rationale is an enumeration of the psychological claims embodied by an artifact for the situations in which it is used. As an example, we present our design work with the View Matcher, a Smalltalk programming environment for coordinating multiple views of an example application. In particular, we show how psychological design rationale was used to develop a view matcher for code reuse from prior design rationales for related programming tasks and environments.
Problem-Centered Design for Expressiveness and Facility in a Graphical Programming System BIBA 319-355
  Clayton Lewis; John Reiman; Brigham Bell
This article presents a case study in the use of problems in design. Problems -- concrete examples of user goals whose accomplishment a system is intended to support -- were used to describe the intended functions of a graphical programming system and to manage the growth of the space of design alternatives for the system. Problems were also used to evaluate alternative designs: They served as bench marks for comparing both the solutions offered by differing designs and the work required of users to reach these solutions. The problem-centered design process includes a representation of design rationale in which the strengths and weaknesses of design alternatives in dealing with specific problems, rather than abstract connections among design issues, are central.
A Process-Oriented Approach to Design Rationale BIBA 357-391
  E. Jeffrey Conklin; K. C. Burgess Yakemovic
We propose an approach to design rationale (DR) that emphasizes supporting the design process in such a way that a trace of the rationale is captured with little disruption of the normal process. We describe a rhetorical method for design dialogue called IBIS (meaning "issue-based information systems") and two implementations of this rhetorical method: a graphical hypertext tools for conducting IBIS discussions called gIBIS and a simple indented text notation. We describe a field trial in an industrial setting in which the "low-tech" indented text IBIS was used to capture more than 2,300 requirements and design decisions. We also explore the implications of this experience for the design of computer tools that, like gIBIS, seek to capture DR nonintrusively.
Making Argumentation Serve Design BIBA 393-419
  Gerhard Fischer; Andreas C. Lemke; Raymond McCall; Anders I. Morch
Documenting argumentation (i.e., design rationale) has great potential for serving design. Despite this potential benefit, our analysis of Horst Rittel's and Donald Schon's design theories and of our own experience has shown that there are the following fundamental obstacles to the effective documentation and use of a design rationale: (a) A rationale representation scheme must be found that organizes information according to its relevance to the task at hand; (b) computer support is needed to reduce the burden of recording and using rationale; (c) argumentative and constructive design activities must be linked explicitly by integrated design environments; (d) design rationale must be reusable. In this article, we present the evolution of our conceptual frameworks and systems toward integrated design environments; describe a prototype of an integrated design environment, including its underlying architecture; and discuss some current and future work on extending it.