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IJHCS Tables of Contents: 454647484950515253545556575859606162636465

International Journal of Human-Computer Studies 55

Editors:B. R. Gaines
Dates:2001
Volume:55
Publisher:Elsevier Science Publishers
Standard No:ISSN 0020-7373; TA 167 A1 I5
Papers:44
Links:Table of Contents
  1. IJHCS 2001 Volume 55 Issue 1
  2. IJHCS 2001 Volume 55 Issue 2
  3. IJHCS 2001 Volume 55 Issue 3
  4. IJHCS 2001 Volume 55 Issue 4
  5. IJHCS 2001 Volume 55 Issue 5
  6. IJHCS 2001 Volume 55 Issue 6

IJHCS 2001 Volume 55 Issue 1

Embodied models as simulated users: introduction to this special issue on using cognitive models to improve interface design BIBA 1-14
  Frank E. Ritter; Richard M. Young
Cognitive models provide a means for applying what is known from psychology to the design of interfaces, thereby improving their quality and usability. Existing uses of models include predicting time and errors for users to perform tasks, acting as embedded assistants to help users perform their tasks, and serving as surrogate users. Treating the design of human-computer interfaces as a form of engineering design requires the development and application of user models. A recent trend is for models to be built within the fixed framework of a cognitive architecture, which has been extended by the addition of simulated eyes and hands, enabling the construction of embodied models. Being embodied allows models to interact directly with interfaces. The resulting models can be used to evaluate the interfaces they use, and serve as explanations of users' behavior. The papers in this Special Issue point to a new route for the future, one in which models built within embodied cognitive architectures provide information for the design of better interfaces.
A perception/action substrate for cognitive modeling in HCI BIBA 15-39
  Robert St. Amant; Mark O. Riedl
This article describes a general-purpose programmable substrate designed to allow cognitive modeling systems to interact with off-the-shelf interactive applications. The substrate, called VisMap, improves on conventional approaches, in which a cognitive model interacts with a hand-constructed abstraction, an artificial simulation or an interface tailored specifically to a modeling system. VisMap can be used to construct static scenarios for input to a cognitive model, without requiring its internal modification; alternatively, the system can be integrated with a cognitive model to support direct control of an application.
ACT-R/PM and menu selection: applying a cognitive architecture to HCI BIBA 41-84
  Michael D. Byrne
Understanding the interaction of a user with a designed device such as a GUI requires clear understanding of three components: the cognitive, perceptual and motor capabilities of the user, the task to be accomplished and the artefact used to accomplish the task. Computational modeling systems which enable serious consideration of all these constraints have only recently begun to emerge. One such system is ACT-R/PM, which is described in detail. ACT-R/PM is a production system architecture that has been augmented with a set of perceptual-motor modules designed to enable the detailed modeling of interactive tasks. Nilsen's (1991) random menu selection task serves two goals: to illustrate the promise of this system and to help further our understanding of the processes underlying menu selection and visual search. Nilsen's original study, two earlier models of the task, and recent eye-tracking data are all considered. Drawing from the best properties of the previous models considered and guided by information from the eye-tracking experiment, a series of new models of random menu selection were constructed using ACT-R/PM. The final model provides a zero-parameter fit to the data that does an excellent, though not perfect, job of capturing the data.
Predicting the effects of in-car interface use on driver performance: an integrated model approach BIBA 85-107
  Dario D. Salvucci
While researchers have made great strides in evaluating and comparing user interfaces using computational models and frameworks, their work has focused almost exclusively on interfaces that serve as the only or primary task for the user. This paper presents an approach of evaluating and comparing interfaces that users interact with as secondary tasks while executing a more critical primary task. The approach centers on the integration of two computational behavioral models, one for the primary task and another for the secondary task. The resulting integrated model can then execute both tasks together and generate a priori predictions about the effects of one task on the other. The paper focuses in particular on the domain of driving and the comparison of four dialing interfaces for in-car cellular phones. Using the ACT-R cognitive architecture (Anderson & Lebiere, 1998) as a computational framework, behavioral models for each possible dialing interface were integrated with an existing model of driver behavior (Salvucci, Boer & Liu, in press). The integrated model predicted that two different manual-dialing interfaces would have significant effects on driver steering performance while two different voice-dialing interfaces would have no significant effect on performance. An empirical study conducted with human drivers in a driving simulator showed that while model and human performance differed with respect to overall magnitudes, the model correctly predicted the overall pattern of effects for human drivers. These results suggest that the integration of computational behavioral models provides a useful, practical method for predicting the effects of secondary-task interface use on primary-task performance.

IJHCS 2001 Volume 55 Issue 2

Editorial: User centred design and implementation of virtual environments BIB 109-114
  Shamus P. Smith; Michael D. Harrison
Informing the design of a virtual environment to support learning in children BIBA 115-143
  Mike Scaife; Yvonne Rogers
This paper describes how different kinds of research activities (theory building and application, exploratory and experimental studies, prototyping, user testing) are instrumental for informing the design of virtual environments. We show how general user-centred design methods can be used when dealing with specific issues concerned with the properties of virtual environments. To illustrate our approach we describe how we have designed a virtual theatre for young children to support learning through playing. We conclude with a general discussion of the core issues that need to be considered when designing virtual environments.
A toolset supported approach for designing and testing virtual environment interaction techniques BIBA 145-165
  James S. Willans; Michael D. Harrison
Usability problems associated with virtual environments are a serious obstacle to their successful development. One source of these problems is that virtual environment toolkits provide only a small number of predefined interaction techniques that are expected to be used regardless of context, hence developers are not encouraged to consider interaction. In addition, there are no generally accepted development methodologies for virtual environments. Therefore, even when developers do consider interaction, it is likely to be in an ad hoc fashion driven by technology rather than requirements. If virtual environments are to be useful in a wider context, it is important to provide developers with methods (and tools to support the methods) by which interaction techniques can be systematically designed, tested and refined. In this paper we present the Marigold toolset which supports such a development process. The process begins with a visual specification of the technique being designed. This is requirements centred because it abstracts from implementation issues. Using the toolset, this specification is refined to a prototype implementation so that the technique can be explored in the context of the other elements of the environment. In this way, the developer can verify the technique against requirements in both the specification and prototype. Additionally, because the specification is readily understandable, users can be involved at both stages of the process.
Theme-based content analysis: a flexible method for virtual environment evaluation BIBA 167-189
  Helen Neale; Sarah Nichols
Virtual environment and multimedia technology are developing rapidly in many areas. These include visual complexity, the opportunity to provide multi-sensory input and output, affordability and a variety of system designs and applications. Involving the users in the design and development process can result in more appropriate and usable interfaces. In addition, an iterative evaluation throughout the process of technology development can result in a large amount of useful information being gathered from users. However, there can be problems with this -- the data collection and analysis process can be time consuming; it can be difficult to report information back to the developers in a meaningful form, and thus the results of the evaluation may not get incorporated into interface design; and some evaluation techniques can be specific to the application (e.g. assessment of learning from an educational virtual environment application) or user group (e.g. people with learning disabilities). This paper presents an evaluation method that has been successfully used in virtual environment and multimedia evaluation at the Virtual Reality Applications Research Team (VIRART), and has overcome some of these problems. Theme-based content analysis (TBCA) is a qualitative method that provides useful, detailed information about user opinions or behaviour, and can also provide general indications of results in the user population by the grouping of data into meaningful categories. A number of different data collection methods can be used (e.g. short interview, open-ended questionnaire questions, observation) allowing the time and expertise of the virtual environment researcher to be most usefully employed, and the needs and abilities of the user population to be met. The analysis process is less time-consuming, and allows both summarization of the results and retention of the raw data. As described in the paper, this flexible method can be applied in a number of different circumstances, with a variety of different virtual reality technologies (desktop, projection or head mounted display (HMD) systems). In addition, the results from this method can be presented in a simple format to allow an easy feedback of user opinions and behaviours to virtual environment developers, providing contextual examples and an indication of the proportion of users experiencing usability problems. This facilitates a direct input of the evaluation data into the virtual environment development process.

IJHCS 2001 Volume 55 Issue 3

Expertise and the interpretation of computerized physiological data: implications for the design of computerized monitoring in neonatal intensive care BIBA 191-216
  Eugenio Alberdi; Julie-Clare Becher; Ken Gilhooly; Jim Hunter; Robert Logie; Andy Lyon; Neil McIntosh; Jan Reiss
This paper presents the outcomes from a cognitive engineering project addressing the design problems of computerized monitoring in neonatal intensive care. Cognitive engineering is viewed, in this project, as a symbiosis between cognitive science and design practice. A range of methodologies has been used: interviews with neonatal staff, ward observations and experimental techniques. The results of these investigations are reported, focusing specifically on the differences between junior and senior physicians in their interpretation of monitored physiological data. It was found that the senior doctors made better use of the different knowledge sources available than the junior doctors. The senior doctors were able to identify more relevant physiological patterns and generated more and better inferences than did their junior colleagues. Expertise differences are discussed in the context of previous psychological research in medical expertise. Finally, the paper discusses the potential utility of these outcomes to inform the design of computerized decision support in neonatal intensive care.
Creativity in the organization: the role of individual creative problem solving and computer support BIBA 217-237
  Marilyn G. Kletke; Jane M. Mackay; Steve H. Barr; Beata Jones
Organizational support of employees' creative problem-solving (CPS) outputs is critical for maintaining a competitive advantage and for institutionalizing creativity. We believe that computerized creative support systems (CCSS) can be used effectively in this regard. We identify characteristics of CCSS and individual characteristics and suggest directions for empirical research to evaluate how these characteristics may affect an individual's CPS process and resulting creative outcomes. We also demonstrate the importance of individual creativity to organizational creativity and suggest directions for research to contribute to institutionalized creativity in the organization. We illustrate our arguments with sets of empirical research propositions based upon both process and outcomes.
Explanation and exploration Visualizing the topology of web information systems BIBA 239-258
  Arno Scharl
Innovation substantially reduces the practical value of traditional communication models. This paper examines the role of conceptual, user-centric modelling of web information systems as a primary means of standardized visual communication between and within organizations. It presents the development and potential of the extended World Wide Web Design Technique as a visual, consistent, and semantically rich language to share knowledge about content and structure of both planned and deployed systems ("Explanation"). As web information systems represent semantic networks in themselves, it is only natural to leverage their semantics to provide analytical tools and intuitive user interfaces. Visual frameworks based on the extended World Wide Web Design Technique enable interactive visualization of the users' access patterns. Limited, statistically oriented representations of commercially available web-tracking software are enhanced by a map-like view based on the system's unique topology. When integrated into the user interface via multiple, tightly coupled views, such automatically generated site maps help users to explore the available navigation space ("Exploration").
Recognizing Thai handwritten characters and words for human-computer interaction BIBA 259-279
  Chomtip Pornpanomchai; Dentcho N. Batanov; Nicholas Dimmitt
Normally, people use a keyboard to interact with a computer. This type of interaction has two main problems; typing speed and typing error. This paper proposes a non-keyboard computer interaction by using a write-pen or mouse to write Thai handwritten characters and words, using a feature-based, fuzzy logic and object-oriented approach (FBFLOOA) to recognize on-line handwritten Thai characters and words. The feature-based concept is used to extract handwritten character features, the fuzzy logic set is used to identify uncertain handwritten character shapes and the object-oriented approach is used to analyse, design and implement a handwritten character and word recognition program. Two phases of Thai handwritten character and word recognition are proposed. The first phase uses only the FBFLOOA to recognize a handwritten character and the second phase uses FBFLOOA combined with a Thai dictionary file to seek a correct answer for a rejected recognition character. The first phase experimental results show a recognition accuracy of 89.24%, 9.20% misrecognition and 1.56% rejection. The second phase precision results are 97.82%, 0.62% misrecognition and 1.56% rejection. Both phases have an average recognition speed of 6.72s per character. The FBFLOOA-executed program size is 189 KB and the Thai dictionary file is 853 KB, which makes FBFLOOA available for notebooks, mobile phones, calculators and pocket computers.
Interactive machine learning: letting users build classifiers BIBA 281-292
  Malcolm Ware; Eibe Frank; Geoffrey Holmes; Mark Hall; Ian H. Witten
According to standard procedure, building a classifier using machine learning is a fully automated process that follows the preparation of training data by a domain expert. In contrast, interactive machine learning engages users in actually generating the classifier themselves. This offers a natural way of integrating background knowledge into the modelling stage -- as long as interactive tools can be designed that support efficient and effective communication. This paper shows that appropriate techniques can empower users to create models that compete with classifiers built by state-of-the-art learning algorithms. It demonstrates that users -- even users who are not domain experts -- can often construct good classifiers, without any help from a learning algorithm, using a simple two-dimensional visual interface. Experiments on real data demonstrate that, not surprisingly, success hinges on the domain: if a few attributes can support good predictions, users generate accurate classifiers, whereas domains with many high-order attribute interactions favour standard machine learning techniques. We also present an artificial example where domain knowledge allows an "expert user" to create a much more accurate model than automatic learning algorithms. These results indicate that our system has the potential to produce highly accurate classifiers in the hands of a domain expert who has a strong interest in the domain and therefore some insights into how to partition the data. Moreover, small expert-defined models offer the additional advantage that they will generally be more intelligible than those generated by automatic techniques.
Relational attribute systems BIBA 293-309
  Ivo Duntsch; Gunther Gediga; Ewa Orlowska
We introduce a relational operationalization of data which generalizes, among others, the deterministic information systems of Pawlak (1982), the indeterministic systems of Lipski (1976) and Orowska and Pawlak (1987), and the context relations of Wille (1982); it can also be used for fuzzy data modelling. Using an example from the area of psychometrics, we show how our operationalization can lead to an improved understanding of agreements and disagreements by experts in classification tasks.
Increasing the visualization realism by frame synchronization between the VRML browser and the panoramic image viewer BIBA 311-336
  Jiung-Yao Huang
This paper presents a frame synchronization technique so that the display on the VRML browser can harmonize with the picture of the panoramic image viewer. The VRML browser and the panoramic image viewer are two well-known systems to support virtual reality on the Internet. These two types of browsers have their own merits and faults, and these differences are revealed in the discrepancy of their respective user interfaces. This paper first presents a detailed comparison between these two browsers, and then draws out the issues that are essential to synchronize the frame displays on these two browsers. The equations and mechanisms to enable such synchronization then follow. Finally, the frame synchronization mechanism that was implemented with experiments to demonstrate its effectiveness is also given at the end of the paper. The frame synchronization mechanism provides a simple yet effective method to increase visualization realism inside the virtual world without sacrificing the freedom-of-navigation.
A methodological approach to supporting organizational learning BIBA 337-367
  Paul Mulholland; Zdenek Zdrahal; John Domingue; Marek Hatala; Ansgar Bernardi
Many organizations need to respond quickly to change and their workers need to regularly develop new knowledge and skills. The prevailing approach to meeting these demands is on-the-job training, but this is known to be highly ineffective, cause stress and devalue workplace autonomy. Conversely, organizational learning is a process through which workers learn gradually in the work context through experience, reflection on work practice and collaboration with colleagues. Our approach aims to support and enhance organizational learning around enriched work representations. Work representations are tools and documents used to support collaborative working and learning. These are enriched through associations with formal knowledge models and informal discourse. The work representations, informal discourse and associated knowledge models together form on organizational memory from which knowledge can be retrieved later. Our methodological approach to supporting organizational learning is drawn from three industrial case studies concerned with machine maintenance, team planning and hotline support. The methodology encompasses development and design activities, a description of the roles and duties required to sustain the long-term use of the tools, and applicability criteria outlining the kind of organizations that can benefit from this approach.
Erratum: Interacting with the telephone BIB 369
  Hazel Lacohee; Ben Anderson

IJHCS 2001 Volume 55 Issue 4

Editorial: Human Factors Symposium BIB 371-376
  L. Damodaran; B. Shackel
Human factors in the digital world enhancing life style -- the challenge for emerging technologies BIBA 377-403
  Leela Damodaran
Life at the beginning of the 21st century is characterized by the ever-increasing pace of technological development and the associated changes in patterns of communication, work and leisure. This paper comments on some of the benefits and limitations of current technology, the potential of emerging technologies to deliver enhanced quality of life for all on a global basis, and the role of human factors in enabling such a vision to become a reality. The author presents an integrative framework for the human factors (HF) domain. In this framework the key HF inputs to be made at each stage of the innovation design life cycle are identified, as well as the crucial enabling processes associated with change management necessary for HF to have a significant impact. Combined together, these elements constitute a human factors strategy. The author suggests that such strategies have a powerful capability to harness information and communications technologies and to ensure the delivery of wide-ranging benefits.
Requirements trawling: techniques for discovering requirements*1 BIBA 405-421
  Suzanne Robertson
If you approach someone in the street and ask for directions then, provided that person knows the way and speaks the same language as you do, it should be easy for him to help you. But often, when you try to follow the directions, you become more confused and lost. Perhaps the person giving the directions has assumed that you know about a local landmark or has forgotten to mention that there is another small street on the left before the one you are seeking. Or maybe the director has not understood your request and has sent you to a place with a similar name...there are so many reasons why the transfer of information from one person to another is fraught with difficulties. When you try to discover the requirements for any kind of product the difficulties are even more complex because the source of the requirements is not just one person, it is all of the people who are stakeholders in the project. Moreover, all of these people have their own view of what is important, along with their own experience, prejudices and views of the world. Considering the variations between your sources of requirements (stakeholders) it makes sense to have a variety of techniques for discovering the requirements. We call these as trawling techniques because, like fishing, we run a net through the organization and trap as many requirements as we can. Then, using the appropriate technique, we identify the relevant requirements (the juicy codfish) and separate them from the irrelevant (the minnows). We also look for rare and amazing fish that nobody has ever seen before. We are not just concerned with finding existing requirements, we are also concerned with generating new requirements by using techniques that encourage creativity. This paper summarizes a number of techniques that we have found useful when trawling for requirements.
An approach to requirements analysis for decision support systems BIBA 423-433
  Caroline Parker
The effectiveness of any system can only be measured in relation to its ability to support the user in the tasks they wish to carry out in those situations in which it has been designed to operate. Task analysis tools which break tasks down into component and measurable parts are used as a means of clarifying the support that a system should provide. This paper uses the practical example of work carried out in the agricultural sector to describe the potential of a specific approach to task analysis for the support of crop management decisions. The approach is based on the work of Arinze (1992), who proposes that the basic cognitive element of the decision task is a question, a user enquiry of the environment or system. This paper describes how his approach to the collation and organization of information was successfully used within the DESSAC project as a means of ensuring that the decision support system (DSS) adequately supported the decision task and more recently within the requirements phase of three smaller projects. The incorporation of the approach into a practical and flexible method for use within time and cost constrained DSS development projects is outlined.
New product development by eliciting user experience and aspirations BIBA 435-452
  Anne Bruseberg; Deana Mcdonagh-Philp
Industrial design training is embracing the need for designers to elicit user needs in order to support the development of successful new products. This paper highlights the collaboration of an ergonomist and two industrial designers in the development of a range of mainstream domestic consumer products. It documents the experiences gained in applying and adapting focus group techniques to inform the designing process directly, and illustrates how a variety of techniques (e.g. product handling and product personality profiling) can be incorporated to elicit user needs, aspirations and emotions.
Context of Use within usability activities BIBA 453-483
  Martin Maguire
Designing for usability involves establishing user requirements for a new system or product, developing design solutions, prototyping the system and the user interface, and testing it with representative users. However, before any usability design or evaluation activity can begin, it is necessary to understand the Context of Use for the product, i.e. the goals of the user community, and the main user, task and environmental characteristics of the situation in which it will be operated. This paper describes the background to, and importance of, understanding Context of Use, and presents a process for performing a context analysis. The method described is particularly aimed at non-experts in the area of user-centred design and evaluation.
Prototyping for usability of new technology BIBA 485-501
  Roger R. Hall
This paper argues that it is possible to gain good design information from low-cost user trials of low-fidelity prototypes early in the design process, and that simple prototyping is a valuable tool in the user-centred design of new technology especially "smart" consumer products. The value of that design information depends on the stage of the design process at which user testing is carried out and the associated level of realism or fidelity of the prototype. The first stages involve testing simple prototypes which examine the cognitive, or information processing, needs of the user, followed by higher-fidelity prototypes which examine the physical (visual, auditory and tactile) needs of the user. The results of four studies are discussed to illustrate: the extent and nature of the design information gathered, the relative merits of varying the fidelity of the prototypes, and the benefits and costs associated with using different levels of fidelity of prototypes in a user-centred approach to design. Finally, and based on that discussion, an appropriate and practical design strategy is suggested.
Talking and writing -- how natural in human-machine interaction? BIBA 503-519
  Jan Noyes
Talking and writing are activities that most humans learn at a relatively early age and carry out fairly effortlessly for the rest of their lives. It is therefore of little surprise that these activities have been considered within the context of human-machine interaction, i.e. the development of a means by which we can elicit machine actions to complete tasks through talking and writing. Given the ease and readiness with which we talk and write to each other, and the rapidly increasing use of computer technology in the developed world, it could be argued that the development of speech and pen technologies comprises a logical and worthwhile progression in HCI (human-computer interaction). It could also be argued, as many individuals have, that the naturalness of these activities in human-to-human communication makes them an obvious choice for machine interactions. The question being considered here is the extent to which speech and pen input provide a natural means of communicating with machines. No one would dispute their naturalness in human-to-human communication, but does this extend to human-machine interaction? Moreover, does the fact that we are so skilled at these activities actually work against us when we come to try these emerging technologies? And finally, how can future research lead towards achieving greater naturalness?
Ubiquitous computing within cars: designing controls for non-visual use BIBA 521-531
  Gary E. Burnett; J. Mark Porter
Increasingly, computing and communications-based technologies are being implemented within cars. There is a need for fundamental research and development to ensure that the control interfaces for future cars require minimal visual demands. The needs, abilities and preferences of drivers (in particular older drivers) are clearly a prime focus, as part of a user-centred design approach. In addition, it is argued that much can be learnt from the experience and strategies adopted by people who are blind or have low vision (a non-user group). The paper sets out a number of research questions regarding the inclusion of such people in the design process of future automobiles.
International standards for HCI and usability BIBA 533-552
  Nigel Bevan
Over the last 15 years, a comprehensive range of international standards has been developed to define the general principles of user-centred design and good practice in user interface design. Most of the standards specify general principles rather than the precise details of the interface. The paper briefly describes how standards are created and reviews the definitions of usability. HCI and usability standards are described in the categories: usability definitions, use in context, software interface and interaction, hardware interface, documentation, the development process and capability of the organization. The applicability of the standards is discussed.
The improvement of human-centred processes -- facing the challenge and reaping the benefit of ISO 13407 BIBA 553-585
  Jonathan Earthy; Brian Sherwood Jones; Nigel Bevan
Human-centred design processes for interactive systems are defined in ISO 13407 and the associated ISO TR 18529. The publication of these standards represents a maturing of the discipline of user-centred design. The systems development community see that (at last) Human Factors has processes which can be managed and integrated with existing project processes. This internationally agreed set of human-centred design processes provides a definition of the capability that an organization must possess in order to implement user-centred design effectively. It can also be used to assess the extent to which a particular development project employs user-centred design. As such, it presents a challenge to the Human Factors community, and indeed a definition of good practice may even be regarded by some as an unwelcome constraint. This paper presents the background to the process-level definition of user-centred design and describes how it relates to current practice. The challenges, benefits and use of a defined human-centred design process are presented. The implications for Human Factors and other disciplines are discussed. In Appendices A-D, the process terminology and the contents of ISO 13407 and ISO TR 18529 are described in more detail, and three examples are given (in Appendix D) of using this process improvement approach to improve the actual design methods in three organizations.
Methods to support human-centred design BIBA 587-634
  Martin Maguire
This paper notes the importance of usable systems and promotes the process of human-centred design as a way to achieve them. Adopting the framework of ISO 13407, each of the main processes in the human-centred design cycle is considered in turn along with a set of usability methods to support it. These methods are briefly described with references to further information. Each set of methods is also presented in a table format to enable the reader to compare and select them for different design situations.
Third age usability and safety -- an ergonomics contribution to design BIBA 635-643
  David R. Hitchcock; Suzanne Lockyer; Sharon Cook; Claire Quigley
Commercial pressures are placing demands on the designer to provide solutions which are fit for purpose for all user groups. The needs of these groups can vary significantly yet inclusive design of mainstream products and work equipment remains a top priority. This paper is not an academic review of current theories of inclusive design methodologies. Rather, it explores the ergonomics contribution to the design process, the pitfalls to be avoided and suggests ways of avoiding them. Specifically, the needs of the Third Age are considered with their increasingly important requirements within the workplace and beyond. The authors contest that a user-centred approach is at the heart of achieving inclusive design; expecting the designer to apply ergonomics data without understanding user needs is unlikely to yield fit-for-purpose products.
Empowered participation of users with disabilities in R&D projects BIBA 645-659
  Christian Buhler
This paper provides an introduction to empowered participation of users with disabilities in research and development (R&D). It is based on the experiences of the European project FORTUNE (Buhler, 2000). Introductory experiences about the state of the art of disabled user involvement in European R & D are reported. The value of participation of users with disabilities is discussed. An overview of the FORTUNE curriculum and training is provided. The FORTUNE concept of user participation in projects is introduced as a reference model for participation of users with disabilities, followed by a scheme of criteria for the assessment of user participation as a practical tool. A brief overview of methodologies for user participation and potential organizational frameworks is presented.
Evaluating the human-machine interface to vehicle navigation systems as an example of ubiquitous computing BIBA 661-674
  Tracy Ross; Gary Burnett
In-vehicle navigation systems are an example of ubiquitous computing, where the computing facility is embedded in an everyday object (car) for an everyday task (driving). The maturing navigation systems market of the last 10 years has prompted academic and commercial research into the human-machine interface (HMI) for these systems. A significant body of research now exists in this specialized area and a contribution has been made towards guidelines for interface design. This paper presents an overview of evaluation methods used to date (in terms of context of use, techniques, measures and evaluators) and the pros and cons of the different approaches. It ends with a discussion of how the resulting knowledge can assist in the evaluation of other ubiquitous technologies.
Re-viewing reality: human factors of synthetic training environments BIBA 675-698
  Alex W. Stedmon; Robert J. Stone
Computer-based training (CBT) has become an important training tool and is used effectively in providing part-task activities. In the military domain virtual environments (VEs) have long been exploited, mainly through virtual reality (VR), to create realistic working environments. More recently, augmented reality (AR) and advanced embedded training (AET) concepts have also emerged and the development of "AR-AET" and "VR-CBT" concepts promise to become essential tools within military training. Whilst the advantages of both AR and VR are attractive, the challenges for delivering such applications are, generally, technology led. Equally as important, however, is the incorporation of human factors design and implementation techniques and this has been recognized by the development and publication of International Standard ISO 13407, Human-Centred Design Processes for Interactive Systems. Examples described in this paper serve to review Human Factors issues associated with the use of both AR and VR training systems. Whilst there are common issues between AR and VR applications in considering the potential of synthetic training environments, it is also necessary to address particular human-centred design issues within each application domain.
Virtual reality for interactive training: an industrial practitioner's viewpoint BIBA 699-711
  Robert Stone
The closing years of the 20th Century were associated with the advent of affordable Windows-based technologies for popular computer configurations, from powerful PCs in the home to workstations for small business communities. Such machines are readily capable of exploiting the power of real-time interactive 3D computer graphics, popularly referred to asvirtual reality (VR). VR has rapidly evolved into a technology that today offers a cost-effective means of supporting the development of human skills in all manner of applications, from automotive engineering to defence, surgery to education, retail, petrochemical exploration, and heritage to micro-robotics. This paper reviews some of the important human performance results to emerge from the academic and commercial application of VR technologies, and notes some ergonomic issues to be resolved in developing techniques for training and performance assessment that can be used cheaply and efficiently in industrial settings.
Human factors -- the challenges facing Europe BIBA 713-725
  Ronald Mackay
The paper describes the issues in Information Society Technologies (IST) covered by the EU's research programme, in particular in the key action "New Ways of Working and Electronic Commerce". The programme of work addresses not only new technologies but also a wide range of socio-economic issues which are tightly connected to the human factors dimension. The way in which research policy has evolved, resulting in the current programme, is also outlined. The paper shows the close relation between IST developments and other European Union (EU) policy areas, and describes some of the recent planning exercises which are likely to influence the future direction of technology development and policies more towards social and organizational issues.
Luddism for the twenty-first century BIBA 727-737
  Lisl Klein
This is the text of a keynote speech at the Symposium. It first recalls the early 19th-century origins and history of Luddism and then gives a brief sketch of the recent unease and protest about new technologies, indicated by a revival of the term. Some problems of Information Technology are discussed: first, research on IT implementation suggests that policy initiatives and "visions" of what may be achieved do not take the operational realities involved seriously or pay enough attention to them. Second, the evolution of IT is such that the tool itself is a constant preoccupation; keeping up with its frequent changes distracts from the task which it is intended to serve. Third, its potential is best realized if different parties agree on the systems to be used, so that inherent in the technology are issues of centralized control. Research on control systems has shown that people respond to being controlled by reasserting controls of their own, and there are examples of this in IT implementations. The paper ends with a plea for raising the status of operational reality, and finding structural ways to link vision and operation.

IJHCS 2001 Volume 55 Issue 5

Effects of training and representational characteristics in icon design BIBA 741-760
  Ravindra S. Goonetilleke; Heloisa Martins Shih; Hung Kai On; Julien Fritsch
Icons are a very important component of graphical user interfaces. However, icon design is still predominantly artistic in nature and as a result icon selection is generally based on usability evaluations after a set of alternative icons are developed. This process tends to be time-consuming and costly. In this research, we address the issues of what should be depicted in an icon, given the function it should represent, and how training affects the performance of novice users when using an iconic interface. A set of 36 concrete icons (12 functions) were selected and tested with a total of 30 participants. The experimental results indicate that complete representations are generally superior for both untrained and trained participants. Results also show that trained participants had shorter response times when compared to untrained participants. Further analysis suggests that ambiguity, uniqueness and dominance are three important aspects to consider when designing and developing icons. Applications of this research include the design of appropriate icons for graphical user interfaces prior to usability testing and the importance of a short training period to illustrate the composition of an icon in an effort to improve the mental model associated with each design.
Graphic and numerical methods to assess navigation in hypertext BIBA 761-786
  John E. McEneaney
User navigation has been a central theme in both theoretical and empirical work since the earliest days of hypertext research and development. Studies exploring user navigation have, however, tended to rely on indirect navigational measures and have rarely tried to relate navigation to performance-solving problems or locating information. This paper proposes methods that lead to a more direct representation and analysis of user movement in hypertext and empirically explores the relationship of these measures to performance in a hypertext search task. Results of the study indicate that the proposed graphical and numerical methods have empirical significance and may be useful in assessing and modeling user navigation.
The effects of contextualized access to knowledge on judgement BIBA 787-814
  Ji-Ye Mao; Izak Benbasat
This research conceptualizes contextualized access to knowledge, i.e. the ability to access task domain knowledge within the context of problem-solving and investigates its effects on knowledge dissemination. Two informationally equivalent versions of a financial analysis knowledge-based system (KBS) were compared in a laboratory experiment, one with contextualized access to the underlying task domain knowledge (deep explanations) via hypertext-style links and the other without such access. Results indicate that contextualized access had significant advantages. It afforded a major portion of the requests for deep explanations to occur in the context of problem-solving, as opposed to in the abstract, and led to a significant increase in the number of requests. The increased utilization of deep explanations and contextualized use were associated with a greater degree of congruence between users' judgement and KBS. The conclusion is that availability of knowledge alone is not sufficient; contextualized accessibility is the key for knowledge dissemination and for influencing performance.
Implications of buyer decision theory for design of e-commerce websites BIBA 815-844
  Barry G. Silverman; Mintu Bachann; Khaled Al-Akharas
In the rush to open their website, e-commerce sites too often fail to support buyer decision-making and search, resulting in a loss of sale and the customer's repeat business. This paper reviews why this occurs and the failure of many B2C and B2B website executives to understand that appropriate decision support and search technology cannot be fully bought off-the-shelf. Our contention is that significant investment and effort is required at any given website in order to create the decision support and search agents needed to properly support buyer decision-making. We provide a framework to guide such effort (derived from buyer behavior choice theory); review the open problems that e-catalog sites pose to the framework and to existing search engine technology; discuss underlying design principles and guidelines; validate the framework and guidelines with a case study; and discuss lessons learned and steps needed to better support buyer decision behavior in the future. Future needs are also pinpointed.
Task structure and the apparent duration of hierarchical search BIBA 845-860
  Noam Tractinsky; Joachim Meyer
Research in the area of human-computer interaction (HCI) suggests that long or variable system delays lower user satisfaction with the interaction and the system in general. Designers cannot always control the delays in a system's responses (e.g. when accessing remote servers), but it is possible to design human-computer interactions so that the apparent duration of intervals will seem minimal. One way of achieving this goal is to structure tasks so that their apparent duration is reduced, partly by altering the number of choices and actions required for performing the task. Two laboratory experiments assessed the effects of the number of choices and the number of ballistic (simple) steps in a menu search on the apparent duration of the search. Results showed that the apparent duration increased with an increasing number of ballistic steps, while the number of choices had no effect on estimates. However, apparent durations were the shortest when the ratio of choices to ballistic steps was maximized. The implications of these findings for interface design are discussed.

IJHCS 2001 Volume 55 Issue 6

Generating graphical applications from state-transition visual specifications BIBA 861-880
  Giuseppe Della Penna; Benedetto Intrigila; Sergio Orefice
In graphical applications, visual representations are mostly used in an ad hoc fashion with little or no underlying formal support. Due to this, no common methodology for handling visual and diagrammatic representations has emerged and formal techniques for their support are underdeveloped. Usually, a programmer develops a graphical application by applying a general-purpose visual programming environment and ad hoc implementing the application requirements. Then, big efforts are often required when the application has to be successively modified or extended. In this paper, we present a finite-automaton-based formalism for the specification of rapid application development (RAD) visual applications, which provides a formal basis in the visual application generation. A prototype tool, based on this approach, has been developed and it is currently being experimented on a variety of case studies.
Declarative representation of strategic control knowledge BIBA 881-917
  Michel Benaroch
Strategic (control) knowledge typically specifies how a target task is solved. Representing such knowledge declaratively remains a difficult and practical knowledge engineering challenge. The key to addressing this challenge rests on two observations. One, strategic knowledge comprises two finer types of knowledge: subgoaling knowledge used to construct the goal structure for each problem situation pertaining to a target task, and goal-sequencing knowledge used to choose which subgoal in this goal structure is to be pursued at any given moment. Second, when subgoaling knowledge is explicit and expressed in declarative ontological terms, it is possible to fully express goal-sequencing knowledge in the same declarative terms. Building on these observations, we achieve three things. First, we analyse several conventional knowledge-based applications whose subgoaling and goal-sequencing knowledge is implicit, showing that making their subgoaling knowledge explicit permits (re)representing their goal-sequencing knowledge declaratively. Among the applications analysed are MORE and NEOMYCIN. Second, upon studying the roles of goal-sequencing knowledge vis-a-vis subgoaling knowledge, we develop a declarative formalism for representing goal-sequencing knowledge. Finally, we discuss and illustrate key benefits from using our declarative formalism, including an enhanced ability to validate and reuse goal-sequencing knowledge.
Internet dependency and psychosocial maturity among college students BIBA 919-938
  Wei Wang
One salient impact of information technology on students' lives is the ever-increasing use of the Internet. Although there exist many reports in the media regarding the unhealthy Internet use among students, research is still limited and has mainly relied upon on-line self-selected reports on Internet dependency or "Internet addiction". This paper attempts to look into the alleged Internet dependency within the Eriksonian psychosocial development framework. The results of a survey of the Internet use among 217 students in an Australian regional university are reported. The measures of patterns of the Internet use were correlated with that of psychosocial maturity and self-efficacy. The results showed that the Internet dependency seemed to be independent of the psychosocial maturity and the general perceived self-efficacy. A factor analysis extracted six factors from a set of 28 Internet experience-related questions and indicated that the Internet dependency could be of a multifaceted nature. The findings and their implications were discussed and a contextual perspective was proposed.