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Human-Computer Interaction 17

Editors:Thomas P. Moran
Publisher:Lawrence Erlbaum Associates
Standard No:ISSN 0737-0024
Links:Table of Contents
  1. HCI 2002 Volume 17 Issue 1
  2. HCI 2002 Volume 17 Issue 2/3
  3. HCI 2002 Volume 17 Issue 4

HCI 2002 Volume 17 Issue 1

The Scope and Importance of Human Interruption in HCI Design BIBA 1-61
  Daniel C. McFarlane; Kara A. Latorella
At first glance it seems absurd that busy people doing important jobs should want their computers to interrupt them. Interruptions are disruptive and people need to concentrate to make good decisions. However, successful job performance also frequently depends on people's abilities to (a) constantly monitor their dynamically changing information environments, (b) collaborate and communicate with other people in the system, and (c) supervise background autonomous services. These critical abilities can require people to simultaneously query a large set of information sources, continuously monitor for important events, and respond to and communicate with other human operators. Automated monitoring and alerting systems minimize the need to constantly monitor, but they induce alerts that may interrupt other activities. Such interrupting technologies are already widespread and include concurrent multitasking; mixed-initiative interaction; support for delegation and supervisory control of automation, including intelligent agents; and other distributed, background services and technologies that increase human-human communication.
Comparison of Four Primary Methods for Coordinating the Interruption of People in Human-Computer Interaction BIBA 63-139
  Daniel C. McFarlane
Interruptions can cause people to make mistakes or errors during human-computer interaction (HCI). Interruptions occur as an unavoidable side-effect of some important kinds of human computer-based activities, for example, (a) constantly monitor for unscheduled changes in information environments, (b) supervise background autonomous services, and (c) intermittently collaborate and communicate with other people. Fortunately, people have powerful innate cognitive abilities that they can potentially leverage to manage multiple concurrent activities if they have specific kinds of control and interaction support. There is great opportunity, therefore, for user-interface design to increase people's ability to successfully handle interruptions, and prevent expensive errors. The literature contains very little concrete design wisdom about how to solve the interruption problems in user interfaces (UIs). Coordination support, however, is identified as a most important design topic. This article presents the results of an empirical investigation to compare basic design solutions for coordinating human interruption in computer-based multitasks. A theory-based taxonomy of human interruption is used to identify the four primary methods for coordinating human interruption. An experiment with 36 participants compares these four different design solutions within an abstracted common user multitasking context. The results show important design tradeoffs for coordinating the interruption of people in HCI and support some UI design guidelines. Negotiation support is the best overall solution except where small differences in the timeliness of handling interruptions is critical and then immediate is best.

HCI 2002 Volume 17 Issue 2/3

Introduction to This Special Issue on Text Entry for Mobile Computing BIBPDF 141-145
  I. Scott MacKenzie
Text Entry for Mobile Computing: Models and Methods, Theory and Practice BIBA 147-198
  I. Scott MacKenzie; R. William Soukoreff
Text input for mobile or handheld devices is a flourishing research area. This article begins with a brief history of the emergence and impact of mobile computers and mobile communications devices. Key factors in conducting sound evaluations of new technologies for mobile text entry are presented, including methodology and experiment design. Important factors to consider are identified and elaborated, such as focus of attention, text creation versus text copy tasks, novice versus expert performance, quantitative versus qualitative measures, and the speed-accuracy trade-off. An exciting area within mobile text entry is the combined use of Fitts' law and a language corpus to model, and subsequently optimize, a text entry technique. The model is described, along with examples for a variety of soft keyboards as well as the telephone keypad. A survey of mobile text entry techniques, both in research papers and in commercial products, is presented.
Dasher: A Gesture-Driven Data Entry Interface for Mobile Computing BIBA 199-228
  David J. Ward; Alan F. Blackwell; David J. C. MacKay
Existing devices for communicating information to computers are bulky, slow, or unreliable. Dasher is an interface incorporating language modeling and driven by continuous two-dimensional gestures (e.g., a mouse, a stylus, or eye-tracker). Tests have shown that, after 1 hr of practice, novice users reach a writing speed of about 20 words per minute (wpm) while taking dictation. Experienced users achieve writing speeds of about 34 wpm, compared with typical 10-finger keyboard typing of 40 to 60 wpm. Although the interface is slower than a conventional keyboard, it is simple to use and could be used on personal data assistants and by motion-impaired computer users. Dasher can readily be used to enter text from any alphabet.
Performance Optimization of Virtual Keyboards BIBA 229-269
  Shumin Zhai; Michael Hunter; Barton A. Smith
Text entry has been a bottleneck of nontraditional computing devices. One of the promising methods is the virtual keyboard for touch screens. Correcting previous estimates on virtual keyboard efficiency in the literature, we estimated the potential performance of the existing Qwerty, FITALY, and OPTI designs of virtual keyboards to be in the neighborhood of 28, 36, and 38 words per minute (wpm), respectively. This article presents 2 quantitative design techniques to search for virtual keyboard layouts. The first technique simulated the dynamics of a keyboard with digraph springs between keys, which produced a Hooke keyboard with 41.6 wpm movement efficiency. The second technique used a Metropolis random walk algorithm guided by a "Fitts-digraph energy" objective function that quantifies the movement efficiency of a virtual keyboard. This method produced various Metropolis keyboards with different shapes and structures with approximately 42.5 wpm movement efficiency, which was 50% higher than Qwerty and 10% higher than OPTI. With a small reduction (41.16 wpm) of movement efficiency, we introduced 2 more design objectives that produced the ATOMIK layout. One was alphabetical tuning that placed the keys with a tendency from A to Z so a novice user could more easily locate the keys. The other was word connectivity enhancement so the most frequent words were easier to find, remember, and type.
Empirical Bi-Action Tables: A Tool for the Evaluation and Optimization of Text Input Systems. Application I: Stylus Keyboards BIBA 271-309
  Dominic Hughes; James Warren; Orkut Buyukkokten
We introduce a technique that, given any text input system A and novice user u, will predict the peak expert input speed of u on A, avoiding the costly process of actually training u to expert level. Here, peak refers to periods of ideal performance, free from hesitation or concentration lapse, and expert refers to asymptotic competence (e.g., touch typing, in the case of a two-handed keyboard). The technique is intended as a feedback mechanism in the interface development cycle between abstract mathematical modeling at the start (Fitts' law, Hick's law, etc.) and full empirical testing at the end. The utility of the technique in iterative design is contingent on what we call the monotonicity principle: For each user u, if our prediction of peak expert input speed for u is higher on system A than on system B, continuous text input by u after training to expert level will be faster on A than on B. Here, continuous refers to actual real-world use, subject to errors, physical fatigue, lapses of concentration, and so forth. We discuss the circumstances under which monotonicity is valid. The technique is parametric in the character map-that is, in the map from actions (keystrokes, gestures, chords, etc.) to characters. Therefore, standard heuristic algorithms can be employed to search for optimal character maps (e.g., keyboard layouts). We illustrate the use of our technique for evaluation and optimization in the context of stylus keyboards, first benchmarking a number of stylus keyboards relative to a simple alphabetic layout and then implementing an ant algorithm to obtain a machine-optimized layout.

HCI 2002 Volume 17 Issue 4

Playability in Action Videogames: A Qualitative Design Model BIBA 311-368
  Carlo Fabricatore; Miguel Nussbaum; Ricardo Rosas
In the 1990s, the videogame industry has managed to become the fastest growing segment of the entertainment industry in America. However, only a very low number of videogame products manage to cover the costs of production and generate earnings. According to traditional marketing wisdom, players' preferences are a core issue in creating successful products, and the game design process is crucial for guaranteeing players' satisfaction. Then, an important question arises: What do players want in videogames? The purpose of this work is to propose a game design reference that directly mirrors players' preference, shaped as a qualitative model based on empirical data gathered during playing sessions. The model describes the main elements that, according to players' opinions, determine the playability of action videogames; the model proposes design guidelines that are the conceptualization of players' preferences. Therefore, the model helps game designers to understand the elements that must be dealt with to make better games. Besides the operational relevance of the model, the research methodology described in this work is an example of how a qualitative approach such as the grounded theory paradigm can be applied to solve a software specification problem directly focusing on end-users.
Reasoning About Users' Actions in a Graphical User Interface BIBA 369-398
  Maria Virvou; Katerina Kabassi
This article is about a graphical user interface (GUI) that provides intelligent help to users. The GUI is called IFM (Intelligent File Manipulator). IFM monitors users while they work; if a user has made a mistake with respect to his or her hypothesized intentions, then IFM intervenes automatically and offers advice. IFM has two underlying reasoning mechanisms: One is based on an adaptation of a cognitive theory called human plausible reasoning and the other one performs goal recognition based on the effects of users' commands. The requirement analysis of the system has been based on an empirical study that was conducted involving real users of a standard file manipulation program like the Windows Explorer; this analysis revealed a need for intelligent help. Finally, IFM has been evaluated in comparison with a standard file manipulation GUI and in comparison with human experts acting as consultants. The results of the evaluation showed that IFM can produce successfully advice that is helpful to users.