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IJHCS Tables of Contents: 5354555657585960616263646566676869707172

International Journal of Human-Computer Studies 63

Editors:Enrico Motta; Susan Wiedenbeck
Dates:2005
Volume:63
Publisher:Elsevier Science Publishers
Standard No:ISSN 0020-7373; TA 167 A1 I5
Papers:29
Links:Table of Contents
  1. IJHCS 2005 Volume 63 Issue 1/2
  2. IJHCS 2005 Volume 63 Issue 3
  3. IJHCS 2005 Volume 63 Issue 4/5
  4. IJHCS 2005 Volume 63 Issue 6

IJHCS 2005 Volume 63 Issue 1/2

EDITORIAL

Why HCI research in privacy and security is critical now BIBFull-Text 1-4
  Clare-Marie Karat; John Karat; Carolyn Brodie

ARTICLE

In the eye of the beholder: A visualization-based approach to information system security BIBAKFull-Text 5-24
  Rogerio de Paula; Xianghua Ding; Paul Dourish; Kari Nies; Ben Pillet; David F. Redmiles; Jie Ren; Jennifer A. Rode; Roberto Silva Filho
Computer system security is traditionally regarded as a primarily technological concern; the fundamental questions to which security researchers address themselves are those of the mathematical guarantees that can be made for the performance of various communication and computational challenges. However, in our research, we focus on a different question. For us, the fundamental security question is one that end-users routinely encounter and resolve for themselves many times a day -- the question of whether a system is secure enough for their immediate needs. In this paper, we will describe our explorations of this issue. In particular, we will draw on three major elements of our research to date. The first is empirical investigation into everyday security practices, looking at how people manage security as a practical, day-to-day concern, and exploring the context in which security decisions are made. This empirical work provides a foundation for our reconsideration of the problems of security to a large degree as an interactional problem. The second is our systems approach, based on visualization and event-based architectures. This technical approach provides a broad platform for investigating security and interaction, based on a set of general principles. The third is our initial experiences in a prototype deployment of these mechanisms in an application for peer-to-peer file sharing in face-to-face collaborative settings. We have been using this application as the basis of an initial evaluation of our technology in support of everyday security practices in collaborative workgroups.
Keywords: Privacy; Security; Usability; Information practices; Visualization; Event-based system; Swirl project; Impromptu; YANCEES
Improving user-interface dependability through mitigation of human error BIBAKFull-Text 25-50
  Roy A. Maxion; Robert W. Reeder
Security may be compromised when humans make mistakes at the user interface. Cleartext is mistakenly sent to correspondents, sensitive files are left unprotected, and erroneously configured systems are left vulnerable to attackers. Such mistakes may be blamed on human error, but the regularity of human error suggests that mistakes may be preventable through better interface design. Certain user-interface constructs drive users toward error, while others facilitate success. Two security-sensitive user interfaces were evaluated in a laboratory user study: the Windows XP file-permissions interface and an alternative interface, called Salmon, designed in accordance with an error-avoiding principle to counteract the misleading constructs in the XP interface. The alternative interface was found to be more dependable; it increased successful task completion by up to 300%, reduced commission of a class of errors by up to 94%, and provided a nearly 3x speed-up in task completion time. Moreover, users spent less time searching for information with the alternative interface, and a greater proportion of time on essential task steps. An explanatory theory in its early stages of development is presented.
Keywords: Computer security; Dependability; External representation; External subgoal support; File permissions; Goal error; Human error; User interfaces
Security and usability engineering with particular attention to electronic mail BIBAKFull-Text 51-73
  Volker Roth; Tobias Straub; Kai Richter
Support for strong electronic mail security is widely available yet only few communicants appear to make use of these features. Apparently, the operational overhead of security outweighs its perceived benefits. Towards increasing the benefits versus overhead ratio we follow an approach that considers security and usability tradeoffs from the outset. We separate key exchange from binding keys to identities. The best effort key exchange and key maintenance scheme that we devise operates transparently for the user. We also describe complementary visualization and interaction techniques that communicate the security state of sent and received mail to users in a non-intrusive fashion. Structured interviews were conducted with 19 users to assess the usability of the metaphors and the complementary visualizations of the security state. Towards a practical assessment of the overheads of binding keys to identities, we conducted a quantitative analysis of 17 users' anonymized mailbox extracts to determine which security mechanisms would be most appropriate for their communication patterns. We argue that for individual non-commercial users, out-of-band verification of keys could be more economical than building trust in public key certificates issued by third parties.
Keywords: Security engineering; Usability and security; Secure electronic mail; Human-computer interaction; Transparent encryption; Transparent digital signatures
Mechanisms for increasing the usability of grid security BIBAKFull-Text 74-101
  Bruce Beckles; Von Welch; Jim Basney
Grid security is based on public key infrastructure (PKI), an architecture that offers strong security for inter-institutional projects, making it ideal for computational grids. However, current PKI implementations suffer from serious usability issues in terms of end-user acquisition and management of credentials, something which grid security inherits from its PKI foundation. In this paper, we describe two parallel efforts to apply the concept of "Plug-and-Play PKI", designed to improve PKI usability, to improve the usability of grid security.
Keywords: Usability; Security; PKI; Grid computing
PassPoints: Design and longitudinal evaluation of a graphical password system BIBAKFull-Text 102-127
  Susan Wiedenbeck; Jim Waters; Jean-Camille Birget; Alex Brodskiy; Nasir Memon
Computer security depends largely on passwords to authenticate human users. However, users have difficulty remembering passwords over time if they choose a secure password, i.e. a password that is long and random. Therefore, they tend to choose short and insecure passwords. Graphical passwords, which consist of clicking on images rather than typing alphanumeric strings, may help to overcome the problem of creating secure and memorable passwords. In this paper we describe PassPoints, a new and more secure graphical password system. We report an empirical study comparing the use of PassPoints to alphanumeric passwords. Participants created and practiced either an alphanumeric or graphical password. The participants subsequently carried out three longitudinal trials to input their password over the course of 6 weeks. The results show that the graphical password users created a valid password with fewer difficulties than the alphanumeric users. However, the graphical users took longer and made more invalid password inputs than the alphanumeric users while practicing their passwords. In the longitudinal trials the two groups performed similarly on memory of their password, but the graphical group took more time to input a password.
Keywords: Graphical password; Alphanumeric password; PassPoints; Authentication; Password security; Usable security
Is a picture really worth a thousand words? Exploring the feasibility of graphical authentication systems BIBAKFull-Text 128-152
  Antonella De Angeli; Lynne Coventry; Graham Johnson; Karen Renaud
The weakness of knowledge-based authentication systems, such as passwords and Personal Identification Numbers (PINs), is well known, and reflects an uneasy compromise between security and human memory constraints. Research has been undertaken for some years now into the feasibility of graphical authentication mechanisms in the hope that these will provide a more secure and memorable alternative. The graphical approach substitutes the exact recall of alphanumeric codes with the recognition of previously learnt pictures, a skill at which humans are remarkably proficient. So far, little attention has been devoted to usability, and initial research has failed to conclusively establish significant memory improvement. This paper reports two user studies comparing several implementations of the graphical approach with PINs. Results demonstrate that pictures can be a solution to some problems relating to traditional knowledge-based authentication but that they are not a simple panacea, since a poor design can eliminate the picture superiority effect in memory. The paper concludes by discussing the potential of the graphical approach and providing guidelines for developers contemplating using these mechanisms.
Keywords: User authentication; Visual memory; Usability; Security
Privacy in information technology: Designing to enable privacy policy management in organizations BIBAKFull-Text 153-174
  John Karat; Clare-Marie Karat; Carolyn Brodie; Jinjuan Feng
As information technology continues to spread, we believe that there will be an increasing awareness of a fundamental need to address privacy concerns, and that doing so will require an understanding of policies that govern information use accompanied by development of technologies that can implement such policies. The research reported here describes our efforts to design a system which facilitates privacy policy authoring, implementation, and compliance monitoring. We employed a variety of user-centered design methods with 109 target users across the four steps of the research reported here. This case study highlights the work of identifying organizational privacy requirements, iteratively designing and validating a prototype with target users, and conducting laboratory tests to guide specific design decisions to meet the needs of providing flexible privacy enabling technologies. Each of the four steps in our work is identified and described, and directions for future work in privacy are suggested.
Keywords: Privacy; Privacy policies; Security; Social and legal issues; Design process; Natural language interfaces
Bridging the gap between organizational and user perspectives of security in the clinical domain BIBAKFull-Text 175-202
  Anne Adams; Ann Blandford
An understanding of 'communities of practice' can help to make sense of existing security and privacy issues within organizations; the same understanding can be used proactively to help bridge the gap between organizational and end-user perspectives on these matters. Findings from two studies within the health domain reveal contrasting perspectives on the 'enemy within' approach to organizational security. Ethnographic evaluations involving in-depth interviews, focus groups and observations with 93 participants (clinical staff, managers, library staff and IT department members) were conducted in two hospitals. All of the data was analysed using the social science methodology 'grounded theory'. In one hospital, a community and user-centred approach to the development of an organizational privacy and security application produced a new communication medium that improved corporate awareness across the organization. User involvement in the development of this application increased the perceived importance, for the designers, of application usability, quality and aesthetics. However, other initiatives within this organization produced clashes with informal working practices and communities of practice. Within the second hospital, poor communication from IT about security mechanisms resulted in their misuse by some employees, who viewed them as a socially controlling force. Authentication mechanisms were used to socially exclude users who were formally authorized to access systems but whose access was unacceptable within some local communities of practice. The importance of users' security awareness and control are reviewed within the context of communities of practice.
Keywords: Security; Privacy; Communities of practice
Privacy practices of Internet users: Self-reports versus observed behavior BIBAKFull-Text 203-227
  Carlos Jensen; Colin Potts; Christian Jensen
Several recent surveys conclude that people are concerned about privacy and consider it to be an important factor in their online decision making. This paper reports on a study in which (1) user concerns were analysed more deeply and (2) what users said was contrasted with what they did in an experimental e-commerce scenario. Eleven independent variables were shown to affect the online behavior of at least some groups of users. Most significant were trust marks present on web pages and the existence of a privacy policy, though users seldom consulted the policy when one existed. We also find that many users have inaccurate perceptions of their own knowledge about privacy technology and vulnerabilities, and that important user groups, like those similar to the Westin "privacy fundamentalists", do not appear to form a cohesive group for privacy-related decision making. In this study we adopt an experimental economic research paradigm, a method for examining user behavior which challenges the current emphasis on survey data. We discuss these issues and the implications of our results on user interpretation of trust marks and interaction design. Although broad policy implications are beyond the scope of this paper, we conclude by questioning the application of the ethical/legal doctrine of informed consent to online transactions in the light of the evidence that users frequently do not consult privacy policies.
Keywords: Privacy; Design; Survey; Economic models; E-commerce; Decision-making; Policy
Keeping ubiquitous computing to yourself: A practical model for user control of privacy BIBAKFull-Text 228-253
  Blaine A. Price; Karim Adam; Bashar Nuseibeh
As with all the major advances in information and communication technology, ubiquitous computing (ubicomp) introduces new risks to individual privacy. Our analysis of privacy protection in ubicomp has identified four layers through which users must navigate: the regulatory regime they are currently in, the type of ubicomp service required, the type of data being disclosed, and their personal privacy policy. We illustrate and compare the protection afforded by regulation and by some major models for user control of privacy. We identify the shortcomings of each and propose a model which allows user control of privacy levels in a ubicomp environment. Our model balances the user's privacy preferences against the applicable privacy regulations and incorporates five types of user controlled "noise" to protect location privacy by introducing ambiguities. We also incorporate an economics-based approach to assist users in balancing the trade-offs between giving up privacy and receiving ubicomp services. We conclude with a scenario and heuristic evaluation which suggests that regulation can have both positive and negative influences on privacy interfaces in ubicomp and that social translucence is an important heuristic for ubicomp privacy interface functionality.
Keywords: Ubiquitous computing; Privacy; Legal; Regulation; Location-dependent and sensitive; Pervasive computing
Public space systems: Designing for privacy? BIBAKFull-Text 254-268
  Linda Little; Pam Briggs; Lynne Coventry
Technological systems for use in public places need to be designed so people can use them efficiently, effectively, safely and with satisfaction. A component factor in satisfaction is perceived privacy. Current guidelines aimed at improving accessibility may impact users perceptions of privacy. The aim of this study was to explore whether different screen sizes affect users' perceptions of privacy. Also, if partitioning around screens influences privacy perceptions. An opportunity sample of 60 participants took part in the study. The results that revealed 12" screens were perceived as more private by users than 15 and 17" screens. Adding privacy partitions improved user's perceptions of privacy on the 12 and 15" screens but not on the 17". These findings provide evidence that slight changes in the physical design of systems can increase users' perceived levels of privacy and therefore satisfaction.
Keywords: Privacy; Technology use; Screen size; Public systems; Personal space; Accessibility

IJHCS 2005 Volume 63 Issue 3

ARTICLE

An evaluation of integrated zooming and scrolling on small screens BIBAKFull-Text 271-303
  Steve Jones; Matt Jones; Gary Marsden; Dynal Patel; Andy Cockburn
Speed-dependent automatic zooming (SDAZ) has been proposed for standard desktop displays as a means of overcoming problems associated with the navigation of large information spaces. SDAZ combines zooming and panning facilities into a single operation, with the magnitude of both factors dependent on simple user interaction. Previous research indicated dramatic user performance improvements when using the technique for document and map navigation tasks. In this paper, we propose algorithmic extensions to the technique for application on small-screen devices and present a comparative experimental evaluation of user performance with the system and a normative scroll-zoom-pan interface. Users responded positively to the system, particularly in relation to reduced physical navigational workload. However, the reduced screen space reduced the impact of SDAZ in comparison to that reported in previous studies. In fact, for one-dimensional navigation (vertical document navigation) the normative interface out-performed SDAZ. For navigation in two dimensions (map browsing) SDAZ supports more accurate target location, and also produces longer task completion times. Some SDAZ users became lost within the information space and were unable to recover navigational context. We discuss the reasons for these observations and suggest ways in which limitations of SDAZ in the small-screen context may be overcome.
Keywords: Small-screen devices; Navigation; Interaction techniques; Usability evaluation; Mobile interaction
Evaluating a realistic agent in an advice-giving task BIBAKFull-Text 304-327
  Dianne C. Berry; Laurie T. Butler; Fiorella de Rosis
The aim of this study was to empirically evaluate an embodied conversational agent called GRETA in an effort to answer two main questions: (1) What are the benefits (and costs) of presenting information via an animated agent, with certain characteristics, in a 'persuasion' task, compared to other forms of display? (2) How important is it that emotional expressions are added in a way that is consistent with the content of the message, in animated agents? To address these questions, a positively framed healthy eating message was created which was variously presented via GRETA, a matched human actor, GRETA's voice only (no face) or as text only. Furthermore, versions of GRETA were created which displayed additional emotional facial expressions in a way that was either consistent or inconsistent with the content of the message. Overall, it was found that although GRETA received significantly higher ratings for helpfulness and likability, presenting the message via GRETA led to the poorest memory performance among users. Importantly, however, when GRETA's additional emotional expressions were consistent with the content of the verbal message, the negative effect on memory performance disappeared. Overall, the findings point to the importance of achieving consistency in animated agents.
Keywords: Embodied animated agents; Evaluation methods; Believability; Behaviour consistency
Performance-based usability evaluation of a safety information and alarm system BIBAKFull-Text 328-361
  Leena Norros; Maaria Nuutinen
Evaluation of the appropriateness of information technical systems for complex professional usage in safety-critical contexts poses significant methodical and practical challenges. In this study, the usability of a Safety Information and Alarm Panel (SIAP) in a nuclear power plant control room was tested. An integrated validation concept was used that included a new approach to measuring system and operator performance in complex work environments. The tested system was designed to aid the operators in severe disturbance and emergency situations. It had already been implemented at a nuclear power plant. The study was conducted in a full-scope training simulator. The results verified that an acceptable level of performance could be achieved when using the SIAP. When the operators' practices were analysed by a habit-centred analysis, it was discovered that the effects of the SIAP differed between crews and between test scenarios. Thus, the SIAP tended to promote coherence of practices but reduce situatively attentive action. In diffuse task contexts the tool failed to support the shift supervisor's control of the overall process situation, his awareness of the crew's work load and his ability to update the crew's awareness of the process. The operators reported that the system supported their process control activity and reduced stress in the situation, but the shift supervisors and operators also noticed some possible negative effects of the tool. These subjective evaluations corresponded to the effects observed in practice. The results revealed the complexity of the implementation of new tools into professional practice. It was proposed that a validation project should focus on the trajectory of development of the entire distributed cognitive system instead of comprehending validation studies as tests of the effects of information systems on a pre-defined process output. Formative evaluation criteria are needed in projecting distributed cognitive systems.
Keywords: Validation method; Information presentation; Control room; Operators; Practice; Nuclear power plant

IJHCS 2005 Volume 63 Issue 4/5

EDITORIAL

Computer support for creativity BIBFull-Text 363-364
  Ernest A. Edmonds; Linda Candy

ARTICLE

How can computers be partners in the creative process: Classification and commentary on the Special Issue BIBAKFull-Text 365-369
  Todd Lubart
The different ways that computers can be involved in creative work are examined. A classification based on four categories of human-computer interaction to promote creativity is proposed: computers may facilitate (a) the management of creative work, (b) communication between individuals collaborating on creative projects, (c) the use of creativity enhancement techniques, (d) the creative act through integrated human-computer cooperation during idea production. The papers in the Special Issue are discussed according to this classification. Issues to be considered in future work on human-computer interactions for promoting creativity are discussed.
Keywords: Creativity; Human-computer interaction
Creativity or creativities? BIBAKFull-Text 370-382
  Robert J. Sternberg
Creativity is typically thought of in the singular -- as an attribute. But it may instead be multiple. This article investigates three respects in which there might be multiple creativities -- processes, domains, and styles. It considers different potential models for multiple creativities. It concludes by suggesting that the different respects in which creativity might be multiple are complementary rather than mutually exclusive.
Keywords: Creativity; Confluence; Investment theory; Creative thinking
Informing the design of computer-based environments to support creativity BIBAKFull-Text 383-409
  Thomas T. Hewett
This paper addresses the problem of creating a human-centered computer-based support environment to facilitate innovation and creative work. It focuses on key factors to be considered in the design and development of any such user support environment regardless of the specific domain for which it may be implemented. The paper reviews psychological literature on how creativity, insight and innovation occur and how they can be fostered in working environments. Based on this discussion the paper then describes a generic set of user or functional requirements intended to apply to any domain-specific computer-based working environment for support of creative activities. The paper proposes the conceptual model of a Virtual Workbench as a way of capturing some of these requirements and as a way of organizing thinking about the design of creative problem solving environments (CPSEs) in general. Finally, the paper proposes one possible translation of the Virtual Workbench and some of the functional requirements into a view of a generic model for CPSEs by describing three component sets of functions that would be a subset of those needed in almost any domain-specific CPSE.
Keywords: Creative work; User requirements; Virtual Workbench; Insight; Expertise
Fostering motivation and creativity for computer users BIBAKFull-Text 410-421
  Ted Selker
Creativity might be viewed as any process which results in a novel and useful product. People use computers for creative tasks; they flesh out ideas for text, graphics, engineering solutions, etc. Computer programming is an especially creative activity, but few tools for programming aid creativity. Computers can be designed to foster creativity as well. As a start, all computer programs should help users enumerate ideas, remember alternatives and support various ways to compare them. More sophisticated thinking aids could implement other successful techniques as well. Most computers are used in solitude; however, people depend on social supports for creativity. User scenarios can provide the important social support and gracious cues normally offered by collaborators that keep people motivated and help them consider alternatives. People also use computers to build community and to communicate. Computers should also support and filter these potentially creativity-enhancing communication acts. User-interface designers are so busy exposing features and fighting bugs that they might ignore their users' needs for motivation and creativity support. This paper develops the notion that creativity and motivation enhancement can easily be aligned with the design of high-quality human-computer interaction. User interface toolkits and evaluations should include support for motivation and creativity-enhancing approaches.
Keywords: Communicate; Communication; Community; Computers; Creative; Creativity; Creativity-enhancing; Design; Engineering; Filter; Graphics; Human-computer; Idea; Interaction; Motivation; Product; Programming; Social; Support; Text; User interface
Towards supporting evocation processes in creative design: A cognitive approach BIBAKFull-Text 422-435
  Nathalie Bonnardel; Evelyne Marmeche
In order to contribute to a better understanding of creativity in non-routine design activities, we conducted an experimental study that focused on a cognitive mechanism involved in creative design, that of the re-use of aspects derived from previous sources of inspiration. Our objective was to determine to what extent designers consider potential sources as useful for solving a specific design problem. Since the relevance of sources of inspiration may be appreciated differently according to the level of expertise in design, the experiment was performed with two groups of participants: experienced designers and inexperienced designers. The results show differences in the number and nature of the aspects selected by each group of designers as well as in the judgments of usefulness they expressed about the different types of suggested sources of inspiration. On this basis, we discuss how these findings may influence the design of a computational system supporting creative design tasks and we consider how to facilitate the progression from novices to experienced designers.
Keywords: Creativity; Design; Problem solving; Expertise; Analogy; Evocation process; Support systems
Developing creativity, motivation, and self-actualization with learning systems BIBAKFull-Text 436-451
  Winslow Burleson
Developing learning experiences that facilitate self-actualization and creativity is among the most important goals of our society in preparation for the future. To facilitate deep understanding of a new concept, to facilitate learning, learners must have the opportunity to develop multiple and flexible perspectives. The process of becoming an expert involves failure, as well as the ability to understand failure and the motivation to move onward. Meta-cognitive awareness and personal strategies can play a role in developing an individual's ability to persevere through failure, and combat other diluting influences. Awareness and reflective technologies can be instrumental in developing a meta-cognitive ability to make conscious and unconscious decisions about engagement that will ultimately enhance learning, expertise, creativity, and self-actualization. This paper will review diverse perspectives from psychology, engineering, education, and computer science to present opportunities to enhance creativity, motivation, and self-actualization in learning systems.
Keywords: Creativity; Learning systems; Psychology; Failure; Motivation
The studio as laboratory: Combining creative practice and digital technology research BIBAKFull-Text 452-481
  Ernest A. Edmonds; Alastair Weakley; Linda Candy; Mark Fell; Roger Knott; Sandra Pauletto
Creativity research is a large and varied field in which the subject is characterized on many different levels. The arrival of digital media and computational tools has opened up new possibilities for creative practice. The cutting edge in the digital arts is a highly fertile ground for the investigation of creativity and the role of new technologies. The demands of such work often reveal the limitations of existing technologies and open the door to developing new approaches and techniques. This provides the creativity researcher with opportunities to understand the multi-dimensional characteristics of the creative process. At the same time, it places new demands upon the creators of the technological solutions and pushes forward our understanding of the future requirements of creative technologies. This paper is concerned with the nature of creativity and the design of creativity enhancing computer systems. The research has multi-disciplinary foundations in human-computer interaction and creative practice in Art, Design, Science and Engineering. As a result of a series of studies of creative people and the associated developments in technology, a strategy for practice-based research has evolved in which research and practice are interdependent activities that have mutual benefits as well as distinctive outcomes. This paper charts the development of that co-evolutionary process from the foundation studies to recent outcomes of a major project in art and technology collaboration. The notion of the Studio as a laboratory in the field is introduced and a new methodology for systematic practice-based research is presented. From the results of the investigations that took place, opportunities for the development of technology environments for creative collaboration are proposed.
Keywords: Creativity; Collaboration; Practice-based research; Software environments; Creative technologies
Beyond binary choices: Integrating individual and social creativity BIBAKFull-Text 482-512
  Gerhard Fischer; Elisa Giaccardi; Hal Eden; Masanori Sugimoto; Yunwen Ye
The power of the unaided individual mind is highly overrated. Although society often thinks of creative individuals as working in isolation, intelligence and creativity result in large part from interaction and collaboration with other individuals. Much human creativity is social, arising from activities that take place in a context in which interaction with other people and the artifacts that embody collective knowledge are essential contributors. This paper examines: (1) how individual and social creativity can be integrated by means of proper collaboration models and tools supporting distributed cognition; (2) how the creation of shareable externalizations ("boundary objects") and the adoption of evolutionary process models in the construction of meta-design environments can enhance creativity and support spontaneous design activities ("unselfconscious cultures of design"); and (3) how a new design competence is emerging -- one that requires passage from individual creative actions to synergetic activities, from the reflective practitioner to reflective communities and from given tasks to personally meaningful activities. The paper offers examples in the context of collaborative design and art practice, including urban planning, interactive art and open source. In the effort to draw a viable path "beyond binary choices", the paper points out some major challenges for the next generation of socio-technical environments to further increase the integration of individual and social creativity.
Keywords: Collaborative design; Individual creativity; Social creativity; Collaboration models; Distributed cognition; Boundary objects; Seeding, Evolutionary growth, Reseeding (SER) process model; Meta-design; Envisionment and Discovery Collaboratory (EDC); Caretta; Renga; Codebroker; Interactive art; Open source; Software reuse; Reflective communities; Socio-technical environments; Unselfconscious cultures of design
Interaction design of tools for fostering creativity in the early stages of information design BIBAKFull-Text 513-535
  Yasuhiro Yamamoto; Kumiyo Nakakoji
This paper describes our approach for the design and development of application systems for early stages of information design tasks. We view a computational tool as something that provides materials with which a designer interacts to create a situation that talks back to the designer. The interaction design of a tool, that is, the representations a user can generate and how the user can manipulate them with the tool, influences a user's cognitive processes. The tool's interaction design thus either fosters or hinders creativity in the early stages of information design. Our approach toward the interaction design of a tool for fostering creativity is first to understand the nature of early stages of information design tasks. We discuss four issues in support of the early stages of design based on theories in design and in human-computer interaction: (1) that available means of externalizations influence designers in deciding which courses of actions to take; (2) that designers generate and interact with not only a partial representation of the final artefact but also various external representations; (3) that designers produce externalizations to express a solution as well as to interpret the situations; and (4) that a design task proceeds as a hermeneutic circle -- that is, designers proceed with projected meanings of representations and gradually revise and confirm those meanings. The above theoretical account of early stages of information design tasks has led us to identify three interaction design principles for tools for the early stages of information design: interpretation-rich representations, representations with constant grounding and interaction methods for hands-on generation and manipulation of the representations. To illustrate our point, we take ART#001, a tool for the early stages of writing, to apply the interaction design principles and examine how the interaction design of the tool fosters creativity in the early stages of information design. The paper concludes with a discussion of how we generalize the approach and build a framework to design and develop application systems for fostering creativity in the early stages of information design.
Keywords: Information design; Creativity; Interaction design; Cognitive tools; Representations

IJHCS 2005 Volume 63 Issue 6

ARTICLE

Age differences and the acquisition of spatial knowledge in a three-dimensional environment: Evaluating the use of an overview map as a navigation aid BIBAKFull-Text 537-564
  Marie Sjolinder; Kristina Höök; Lars-Goran Nilsson; Gerd Andersson
This study examined age differences in the use of an electronic three-dimensional (3D) environment, and how the age differences were affected by the use of an overview map as a navigation aid. Task performance and the subjects' acquisition of configural knowledge of the 3D-environment were assessed. Impact of spatial ability and prior experience on these measurements were also investigated. One group of older subjects (n=24) and one group of younger subjects (n=24) participated. An overall hypothesis for the work presented here was that differences in learning to and performing navigational tasks in the physical world are similar in learning and performing navigational tasks in the virtual world. The results showed that the older participants needed more time to solve the tasks; and similar to navigation in the physical world, the older participants were less likely to create configural knowledge. It could not be established that older participants benefited more from an overview map as cognitive support than younger subjects, except in the subjective sense: the older users felt more secure when the map was there. The map seemed to have supported the older users in creating a feeling of where objects were located within the environment, but it did not make them more efficient. The results have implications for design; in particular, it brings up the difficult issue of balancing design goals such as efficiency in terms of time and functionality, against maintaining a sense of direction and location in navigational situations.
Keywords: Older users; 3D-environment; Navigation aid; Spatial knowledge
Ecological interface design and computer network management: The effects of network size and fault frequency BIBAKFull-Text 565-586
  Pierre Duez; Kim J. Vicente
This article describes an experiment investigating the impact of ecological interface design (EID) on human performance in computer network management. This work domain is more dynamic than those previously studied under EID because there is a constant potential for the addition and removal of devices, as well as changing configurations, making it important to study the generalizability of the framework. Two interfaces were created for the University of Toronto campus network consisting of 220 nodes: a P interface based on existing design practices which presented primarily physical information and a P+F interface based on EID which presented both physical and functional information identified by an abstraction hierarchy analysis. Participants used one of the two interfaces to detect and diagnose faults or disturbances in the simulated network in real-time. Network size and fault frequency were both manipulated as within-participants variables. The P+F interface led to faster detection times overall, as well as improved fault detection rate and more accurate fault diagnosis under higher fault loads. These results suggest that the EID framework may lead to more robust monitoring performance in computer network management compared to existing interfaces.
Keywords: Ecological interface design; Network management; Abstraction hierarchy; Fault diagnosis
Reducing cognitive workload of a computer-based procedure system BIBAKFull-Text 587-606
  Ying-Lien Lee; Sheue-Ling Hwang; Eric Min-Yang Wang
The use of procedure systems is an important safety management strategy in coping with emergency or abnormal situations in a process control system. With the digitalization trend in these complex and large-scale systems, most aspects of a process control system are also computerized. In addition to the primary tasks, operators now have to do extra secondary tasks when using the computerized systems. In this research, three design features aimed to reduce the cognitive workload are evaluated on our research platform, SimCBP and SimPlant. These two systems work in tandem to simulate a Computer-Based Procedure (CBP) system and a simplified nuclear power plant. From the results of the experiments, the design of embedded controls/parameters is found to be efficient but its counterpart has implications for the design of training materials. Navigation aid, although not statistically significant, is important because of the subjective responses and the need of cross-referencing. The simplified flowchart display format, like other researches on the use of this format, revealed mixed results. Implications and directions for future studies are also proposed.
Keywords: Computer-based procedure; Nuclear power plant; Navigation aid; Embedded controls/parameters; Flowchart
Evaluation of integrated software development environments: Challenges and results from three empirical studies BIBAKFull-Text 607-627
  Rex Bryan Kline; Ahmed Seffah
Evidence shows that integrated development environments (IDEs) are too often functionality-oriented and difficult to use, learn, and master. This article describes challenges in the design of usable IDEs and in the evaluation of the usability of such tools. It also presents the results of three different empirical studies of IDE usability. Different methods are sequentially applied across the empirical studies in order to identify increasingly specific kinds of usability problems that developers face in their use of IDEs. The results of these studies suggest several problems in IDE user interfaces with the representation of functionalities and artifacts, such as reusable program components. We conclude by making recommendations for the design of IDE user interfaces with better affordances, which may ameliorate some of most serious usability problems and help to create more human-centric software development environments.
Keywords: Software development environment; Integrated development environment (IDE); CASE tools; Usability; User interfaces; User-centered design