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Human-Computer Interaction 11

Editors:Thomas P. Moran
Publisher:Lawrence Erlbaum Associates
Standard No:ISSN 0737-0024
Links:Table of Contents
  1. HCI 1996 Volume 11 Issue 1
  2. HCI 1996 Volume 11 Issue 2
  3. HCI 1996 Volume 11 Issue 3
  4. HCI 1996 Volume 11 Issue 4

HCI 1996 Volume 11 Issue 1

One-Handed Touch Typing on a QWERTY Keyboard BIBAWeb Page 1-27
  Edgar Matias; I. Scott MacKenzie; William Buxton
"Half-QWERTY" is a new, one-handed typing technique designed to facilitate the transfer of two-handed touch-typing skill to the one-handed condition. It is performed on a standard keyboard with modified software or on a special half-keyboard with full-size keys. In an experiment using touch typists, hunt-and-peck typing speeds were surpassed after 3 to 4 hr of practice. Subjects reached 50% of their two-handed typing speed after about 8 hr. After 10 hr, all subjects typed between 41% and 73% of their two-handed speed, ranging from 23.8 to 42.8 words per minute (wpm). In extended testing, subjects achieved average one-handed speeds as high as 60 wpm and 83% of their two-handed rate. These results are important for providing access to disabled users and for designing compact computers.
Procedural Network Representations of Sequential Data BIBA 29-68
  Nancy J. Cooke; Kelly J. Neville; Anna L. Rowe
Sequential data collected for usability testing, knowledge engineering, or cognitive task analysis are rich with information -- so much that interpretation can often be overwhelming. This dilemma can be viewed as a data reduction problem. PRONET (PROcedural NETworks), a method for reducing sequential data in terms of procedural networks, is introduced and then applied and evaluated in two case studies -- one involving human-computer interaction (HCI) in a simulated mission control operation at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the other involving avionics troubleshooting behavior for an intelligent tutor application. The method involves five steps -- collecting data, encoding data, generating transition matrices, conducting Pathfinder analysis, and interpreting procedural networks. The method employs the Pathfinder network scaling algorithm, which is particularly suited for asymmetric data. Evidence is presented to support the descriptive and predictive utility of this form of data reduction. In addition, lessons learned in applying PRONET to the two cases are discussed, applications of PRONET to HCI are described, and guidelines are offered for using PRONET in exploratory sequential data analysis.
Transfer of Declarative Knowledge in Complex Information-Processing Domains BIBA 69-96
  Leon Harvey; John Anderson
Declarative transfer from one domain to another can be observed in a systematic decrease in the time spent reading an instructional text and processing help during problem solving. Two experiments, done in the programming domain, tested the hypothesis that subjects introduced to a first programming language develop a representation of basic programming concepts that helps them integrate new declarative knowledge from a second programming language. This article shows that the effect on reading was greater for pages that were conceptually close across texts and for subjects who had fully mastered the basic concepts in the first language. A regression model of reading showed an effect on processes that are responsible for the analysis of novel words and examples, whereas general strategic reading processes remained unaffected. The increased reading speed was not accompanied by a greater understanding of the text. Effects of a common programming interface and transfer of procedural knowledge appeared to be negligible on the kind of problems considered. This study supports the distinction between procedural and declarative transfer.

HCI 1996 Volume 11 Issue 2

When the Interface is a Face BIBA 97-124
  Lee Sproull; Mani Subramani; Sara Kiesler; Janet H. Walker; Keith Waters
People behave differently in the presence of other people than they do when they are alone. People also may behave differently when designers introduce more human-like qualities into computer interfaces. In an experimental study we demonstrate that people's responses to a talking-face interface differ from their responses to a text-display interface. They attribute some personality traits to it; they are more aroused by it; they present themselves in a more positive light. We use theories of person perception, social facilitation, and self-presentation to predict and interpret these results. We suggest that as computer interfaces become more "human-like," people who use those interfaces may change their own personas in response to them.
Interacting with Hypertext: A Meta-Analysis of Experimental Studies BIBA 125-156
  Chaomei Chen; Roy Rada
The meta-analysis compared and synthesized the results of 23 experimental studies on hypertext. The analysis was based on 56 pairs of effect sizes and significance levels of the impact of users, tasks, and tools on interactions with hypertext. This analysis focused on three factors that prevailingly influence the use of hypertext: the cognitive styles and spatial ability of users; the complexity of tasks; and the structure of information organization and the visualization of the structure.
   The meta-analysis found that this group of experimental studies reported significantly discrepant findings, indicating that substantial differences exist among individual experiments. Individual differences in cognition did not yield enough evidence to conclude that the effect sizes are significantly apart from zero. The meta-analysis showed that the overall performance of hypertext users tended to be more effective than that of nonhypertext users, but the differences in efficiency measures were consistently in favor of nonhypertext users. Users benefited more from hypertext tools for open tasks. Overall, the complexity of tasks has the largest combined effect sizes. Graphical maps that visualize the organization of hypertext have significant impact on the usefulness of a hypertext system.
   This meta-analysis raised two issues concerned with the present hypertext literature: (a) the absence of a taxonomy of tasks for analyzing and comparing hypertext usability across studies, and (b) the weaknesses of the connections between abstract hypertext reference models and specific hypertext systems. These weaknesses may considerably undermine the significance of individual findings on hypertext usability. Results of the meta-analysis suggest that the discrepancies among empirical findings are related to these weaknesses. Future work on hypertext usability should emphasize task taxonomies along with longitudinal and ethnographic studies for a deep understanding of the interactions between users and hypertext. Recommended research issues for the future are highlighted in Section 5.
Quick and Dirty GOMS: A Case Study of Computed Tomography Interpretation BIBA 157-180
  David V. Beard; Dana K. Smith; Kevin M. Denelsbeck
GOMS (goals, operators, methods, and selection rules) has the potential for a high degree of theoretical accuracy. However, this accuracy is time-consuming to realize under field conditions, and, consequently, GOMS generally is not used by software engineers. Nevertheless, in our experience, GOMS models can be practical if the effort required to produce and use the model is commensurate with its limited practical accuracy. To speed and simplify the development of GOMS models, we developed "quick and dirty" GOMS -- or QGOMS. In this work, we detail an 8-year case study in which QGOMS models were used by a software engineering team to develop and evolve an interface for the electronic display of computed tomography (CT) medical images. Experimentally generated timing results were compared to model estimates to provide an indication of expected accuracy for QGOMS models under field conditions. We have also implemented a direct-manipulation graphical tree editor that allows rapid development and analysis of QGOMS models. In addition to rapid model construction, QGOMS provides "probability selection rules" allowing a more refined GOMS analysis.

HCI 1996 Volume 11 Issue 3

Current Perspectives on Participatory Design

Introduction to this Special Issue on Current Perspectives on Participatory Design BIB 181-185
  Randall H. Trigg; Susan Irwin Anderson
Mapping Actors and Agendas: Political Frameworks of Systems Design and Participation BIBA 187-214
  Johannes Gartner; Ina Wagner
The article provides a framework and analytical tool for discussing the political and organizational context of design and participation and for identifying some of its central characteristics. Three arenas for participation are distinguished: designing work and systems; designing organizational frameworks for action; and designing the industrial relations context.
   Drawing upon material from 2 case studies in Germany and Austria, we focus on the evolving network of actors and intermediaries who in various ways contribute to work and systems design, the influence of the political culture and the legal framework on how legitimate agenda are created, and the relations between systems design and other agendas (e.g., organizational development and collective bargaining).
   We propose to use actor-network theory not just as a sociological exercise but as a tool. It helps to position actors within a larger context and reflect on their specific 'mediating' roles and to formulate appropriate practices of intermediation. Furthermore, the case studies point at the limitations to participation in fragmented political cultures and call attention to the importance of understanding agenda setting. Each arena of action has its own set of legitimate agendas -- from questions of user interface design to quality of working life and privacy issues. Participation in design needs powerful agendas that can be established in all arenas and that can be translated notably into work and design questions with obvious relevance to users for everyday work with a computer system.
Creating Conditions for Participation: Conflicts and Resources in Systems Development BIBA 215-236
  Susanne Bødker
User participation has been recognized as a way of gaining more knowledge about work and improving the quality of the computer application to be designed. Often the problems of user participation have been discussed from the point of view of researchers getting access to the users. Yet user participation should also be seen from the point of view of the conditions of the participation process -- that is, how the conditions are set for the users to participate with designers (and managers). Experiences from participatory design projects show problems that participatory design research needs to deal with. This article suggests that the Scandinavian collective resource projects can help research in this process. However, these projects were carried out under circumstances quite different from those of corporations in the 1990s, and this fact must certainly be considered when investigating the creation of conditions for participation.
   The article presents a recent project, AT project, to discuss the concerns and conditions of participatory design projects today. In the AT project, the actors differed from the collective resource projects in that the actors included several different groups of workers as well as management. This caused the project to focus on resource acquisition for the whole organization as well as groups within it. Part of the idea was to utilize standard technology; at the same time, the project was to develop and implement overall visions about the use of computer technology in the organization.
   Inspired by philosophical approaches to human development, this article reconsiders the resources acquired in such settings and juxtaposes the work of setting up a technical platform for everyday use with the expansive codevelopment of accompanying visions. The article goes on to suggest that new alliances between groups in organizations -- with due concern for their diversity of resources, and with constructive use of the conflicts inherent in the organization -- can be a way forward in empowering organizations, making room for groups and individuals within them to act.
Reflections on a Work-Oriented Design Project BIBA 237-265
  Jeanette Blomberg; Lucy Suchman; Randall H. Trigg
This article reports our experiences in developing a work-oriented design practice. We sketch our general approach to relating work practice studies and design, including our use of case-based prototypes. We go on to describe our entry into the law firm that was the setting for this project and our decision to focus our design efforts on two forms of work at the firm. We discuss our experiences in developing a case-based prototype to support the work of document search and retrieval. We then describe our encounters with organizational politics at the firm in the context of a joint exploration of image analysis technologies in relation to the work of litigation support. We conclude with findings on the practices of working with document collections, the value of case-based prototypes, and recommendations for combining work practice studies and design interventions.
User Participation and Participatory Design: Topics in Computing Education BIBA 267-284
  Karlheinz Kautz
User participation and participatory design (PD) have not yet been topics of central interest in the context of formal education for computing professionals. This article addresses this subject. It takes its starting point in the ongoing curriculum debate and discusses how mathematical- and engineering-based approaches and traditional system-development training contribute to education in computer science and informatics. All these approaches have shortcomings as they each relate mainly to a technical-oriented paradigm, which pays little attention to other vital aspects of computing, namely organizational, social, and political ones. Therefore, the curriculum debate is widened and it is argued why user participation and PD (as approaches that deal with these issues) should be part of a comprehensive computing education. An example of an actual course program and the description of one particular course demonstrate how these subjects can be integrated in computer science and system development education.
Encountering Others: Reciprocal Openings in Participatory Design and User-Centered Design BIB 285-290
  John M. Carroll

HCI 1996 Volume 11 Issue 4

Literate Specification: Using Design Rationale to Support Formal Methods in the Development of Human-Machine Interfaces BIBA 291-320
  Christopher W. Johnson
The design of safety-critical user interfaces is typically very different from that of many other applications. Reactor control systems and aircraft cockpits are complex and dynamic, open to input from many different users and devices. A number of formal notations, including Z and temporal logic, have been developed to address these problems. They provide precise and concise means of representing a potential design before designers incur the expense of implementation. Consequently, government bodies and commercial organizations have recommended that these techniques be used when tendering for their contracts. However, there are a number of limitations that restrict the use of mathematical specifications for interface development in large scale projects. In particular, formal notations cannot easily be used to coordinate the activities of human factors and systems engineering teams. This creates particular difficulties if some group members have only a limited understanding of discrete mathematics. A further problem is that the development of a safety-critical application may take many months, or even years, to complete. This creates difficulties because abstract mathematical specifications cannot be used easily by new members of a development team to understand past design decisions. To avoid these limitations I have developed a literate approach to interface specification. This technique uses a formal development language and a semiformal design rationale to support the design of safety-critical user interfaces.
TYPIST: A Theory of Performance in Skilled Typing BIBA 321-355
  Bonnie E. John
TYPIST is a TheorY of Performance In Skilled Typing built within the framework of the Model Human Processor (MHP; Card, Moran, & Newell, 1983). As such, it can be used to make quantitative predictions of performance on typing tasks and can be integrated with other MHP-based models of performance. In this article, I present the theory and explain the source of each theoretical assumption (MHP, typing task analysis, or empirical typing data). I then demonstrate different ways to use TYPIST by applying it to six transcription typing tasks. Finally, I summarize its application to many more typing tasks that display robust behavioral phenomena identified by Salthouse (1986).
Interpersonal Access Control in Computer-Mediated Communications: A Systematic Analysis of the Design Space BIBA 357-432
  Victoria Bellotti; Ann Blandford; David Duke; Allan MacLean; Jon May; Laurence Nigay
Certain design projects raise difficult user-interface problems that are not easily amenable to designers' intuition or rapid prototyping due to their novelty, conceptual complexity, and the difficulty of conducting appropriate user studies. Interpersonal access control in computer-mediated communication (CMC) systems is just such a problem. We describe a collection of systematic theory-based analyses of a system prototype that inherited its control mechanism from two preexisting systems. We demonstrate that the collective use of system and user modeling techniques provides insight into this complex design problem and enables us to examine the implications of design decisions for users and implementation. The analyses identify a number of weaknesses in the prototype and are used to propose ways of making substantive refinements to improve its simplicity and appropriateness for two tasks: altering one's accessibility and distinguishing between who can make what kinds of connections. We conclude with a discussion of some critical issues that are relevant for CMC systems, and reflect on the process of applying formal human-computer interaction (HCI) techniques in informal, exploratory design contexts.