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IJHCS Tables of Contents: 5960616263646566676869707172

International Journal of Human-Computer Studies 69

Editors:Enrico Motta; Susan Wiedenbeck
Dates:2011
Volume:69
Publisher:Elsevier Science Publishers
Standard No:ISSN 0020-7373; TA 167 A1 I5
Papers:64
Links:Table of Contents
  1. IJHCS 2011 Volume 69 Issue 1/2
  2. IJHCS 2011 Volume 69 Issue 3
  3. IJHCS 2011 Volume 69 Issue 4
  4. IJHCS 2011 Volume 69 Issue 5
  5. IJHCS 2011 Volume 69 Issue 6
  6. IJHCS 2011 Volume 69 Issue 7/8
  7. IJHCS 2011 Volume 69 Issue 9
  8. IJHCS 2011 Volume 69 Issue 10
  9. IJHCS 2011 Volume 69 Issue 11
  10. IJHCS 2011 Volume 69 Issue 12

IJHCS 2011 Volume 69 Issue 1/2

Reality-based interaction evaluation methods and challenges BIBFull-Text 1-2
  Georgios Christou; Effie Lai-Chong Law; William Green; Kasper Hornbaek
Developing speech input for virtual reality applications: A reality based interaction approach BIBAKFull-Text 3-8
  Alex W. Stedmon; Harshada Patel; Sarah C. Sharples; John R. Wilson
An input device should be natural and convenient for a user to transmit information to a computer, and should be designed from an understanding of the task to be performed and the interrelationship between the task and the device from the perspective of the user. In order to investigate the potential of speech input as a reality based interaction device, this paper presents the findings of a study that investigated speech input in a VR application. Two independent user trials were combined within the same experimental design to evaluate the commands that users employed when they used free speech in which they were not restricted to a specific vocabulary. The study also investigated when participants were told they were either talking to a machine (e.g. a speech recognition system) or instructing another person to complete a VR based task. Previous research has illustrated that when users are limited to a specific vocabulary, this can alter the interaction style employed. The findings from this research illustrate that the interaction style users employ are very different when they are told they are talking to a machine or another person. Using this knowledge, recommendations can be drawn for the development of speech input vocabularies for future VR applications.
Keywords: Virtual reality / Speech input / Human factors / Reality based interaction
Reaching the same point: Effects on consistency when pointing at objects in the physical environment without feedback BIBAKFull-Text 9-18
  Reilly Derek
We present results from a study examining the impact of several human and technical factors on selection by pointing a handheld pointer at physical objects in a room without feedback. A basic mobile sensor assembly is used to demonstrate the feasibility of coarse target acquisition using this technique. Results show that the factors of relative target size and orientation, and postural constraints on pointing behaviour all impact consistency across individuals in the target acquisition end-point when pointing without feedback. Consistency increased when participants were allowed to move freely, contrary to the assumption that constraining body movement, position, and orientation across individuals would increase consistency. Overall pointing consistency also did not fall off when participants could not look at the targets during interaction (after having previously pointed to them). We present design considerations based on these findings.
Keywords: Experimentation / Pointing / Mobile sensors / Pervasive computing
Object interaction detection using hand posture cues in an office setting BIBAKFull-Text 19-29
  Brandon Paulson; Danielle Cummings; Tracy Hammond
Activity recognition plays a key role in providing information for context-aware applications. When attempting to model activities, some researchers have looked towards Activity Theory, which theorizes that activities have objectives and are accomplished through interactions with tools and objects. The goal of this paper is to determine if hand posture can be used as a cue to determine the types of interactions a user has with objects in a desk/office environment. Furthermore, we wish to determine if hand posture is user-independent across all users when interacting with the same objects in a natural manner. Our experiments indicate that (a) hand posture can be used to determine object interaction, with accuracy rates around 97%, and (b) hand posture is dependent upon the individual user when users are allowed to interact with objects as they would naturally.
Keywords: Glove-based interaction / Activity recognition / Haptics / Cyberglove / Context-aware / Hand posture / Hand gesture
The role of Depth and Gestalt cues in information-rich virtual environments BIBAKFull-Text 30-51
  Nicholas F. Polys; Doug A. Bowman; Chris North
Managing the layout of multi-dimensional visualizations is a crucial concern for the development of effective visual analytic interfaces. In these environments, heterogeneous and multi-dimensional information must be structured and combined into data representations that demand low cognitive resources but yield accurate mental models and insights. In this paper, we use Information-Rich Virtual Environments (IRVE) to articulate crucial tradeoffs in the use of Depth and Gestalt cues in text label layouts. We present a design space and evaluation methodology to explore the usability effects of these tradeoffs and collect results from a series of user studies. These lessons are posed as a set of design guidelines to aid developers of new, advantageous interfaces and specifications.
Keywords: Information visualization / Virtual environments / Information theory / Psychology of perception / Augmented cognition
Do patterns help novice evaluators? A comparative study BIBAKFull-Text 52-69
  R. Lanzilotti; C. Ardito; M. F. Costabile; A. De Angeli
Evaluating e-learning systems is a complex activity which requires considerations of several criteria addressing quality in use as well as educational quality. Heuristic evaluation is a widespread method for usability evaluation, yet its output is often prone to subjective variability, primarily due to the generality of many heuristics. This paper presents the pattern-based (PB) inspection, which aims at reducing this drawback by exploiting a set of evaluation patterns to systematically drive inspectors in their evaluation activities. The application of PB inspection to the evaluation of e-learning systems is reported in this paper together with a study that compares this method to heuristic evaluation and user testing. The study involved 73 novice evaluators and 25 end users, who evaluated an e-learning application using one of the three techniques. The comparison metric was defined along six major dimensions, covering concepts of classical test theory and pragmatic aspects of usability evaluation. The study showed that evaluation patterns, capitalizing on the reuse of expert evaluators know-how, provide a systematic framework which reduces reliance on individual skills, increases inter-rater reliability and output standardization, permits the discovery of a larger set of different problems and decreases evaluation cost. Results also indicated that evaluation in general is strongly dependent on the methodological apparatus as well as on judgement bias and individual preferences of evaluators, providing support to the conceptualisation of interactive quality as a subjective judgement, recently brought forward by the UX research agenda.
Keywords: Usability evaluation techniques / e-Learning evaluation / Evaluation patterns
A politeness effect in learning with web-based intelligent tutors BIBAKFull-Text 70-79
  Bruce M. McLaren; Krista E. DeLeeuw; Richard E. Mayer
College students learned to solve chemistry stoichiometry problems with a web-based intelligent tutor that provided hints and feedback, using either polite or direct language. There was a pattern in which students with low prior knowledge of chemistry performed better on subsequent problem-solving tests if they learned from the polite tutor rather than the direct tutor (d=.78 on an immediate test, d=.51 on a delayed test), whereas students with high prior knowledge showed the reverse trend (d=-.47 for an immediate test; d=-.13 for a delayed test). These results point to a boundary condition for the politeness principle -- the idea that people learn more deeply when words are in polite style. At least for low-knowledge learners, the results are consistent with social agency theory -- the idea that social cues, such as politeness, can prime learners to accept a web-based tutor as a social partner and therefore try harder to make sense of the tutor's messages.
Keywords: Intelligent tutoring system / Politeness / Learning
Aesthetics and usability of in-vehicle navigation displays BIBAKFull-Text 80-99
  Talia Lavie; Tal Oron-Gilad; Joachim Meyer
This research evaluates the aesthetics and usability of various in-vehicle electronic navigation map configurations. Study 1 adapted the aesthetics scale (Lavie and Tractinsky, 2004) to accommodate evaluations of map displays. Study 2 examined map displays that vary in the amount of data presented, their abstraction level and color schema, using objective and subjective usability measures. Maps with minimal detail produced best performances and highest evaluations. Abstractions were found to be advantageous when combined with reduced amount of detail and specific color schemas. Moderate abstractions were sufficient for obtaining the desired benefits. The color schema mainly affected the objective measures, pointing to the importance of good contrast between the cursor and the map colors. Study 3 further examined map schemas. Color schemas again had no effect on the perceptions of aesthetics and usability. Overall, similar results and high correlations were found for the perceived aesthetics and usability scales, indicating the connection between perceived aesthetics and usability. Lower correlations were found between the actual usability (performance) and the aesthetics scale. Finally, users' usability evaluations were not always in line with their actual performance, pointing to the importance of using objective usability measures.
Keywords: Aesthetics / Usability / Electronic map displays
Multiple spatial sounds in hierarchical menu navigation for visually impaired computer users BIBAKFull-Text 100-112
  Jaka Sodnik; Grega Jakus; Saso Tomazic
This paper describes a user study on the benefits and drawbacks of simultaneous spatial sounds in auditory interfaces for visually impaired and blind computer users. Two different auditory interfaces in spatial and non-spatial condition were proposed to represent the hierarchical menu structure of a simple word processing application. In the horizontal interface, the sound sources or the menu items were located in the horizontal plane on a virtual ring surrounding the user's head, while the sound sources in the vertical interface were aligned one above the other in front of the user. In the vertical interface, the central pitch of the sound sources at different elevations was changed in order to improve the otherwise relatively low localization performance in the vertical dimension. The interaction with the interfaces was based on a standard computer keyboard for input and a pair of studio headphones for output. Twelve blind or visually impaired test subjects were asked to perform ten different word processing tasks within four experiment conditions. Task completion times, navigation performance, overall satisfaction and cognitive workload were evaluated. The initial hypothesis, i.e. that the spatial auditory interfaces with multiple simultaneous sounds should prove to be faster and more efficient than non-spatial ones, was not confirmed. On the contrary -- spatial auditory interfaces proved to be significantly slower due to the high cognitive workload and temporal demand. The majority of users did in fact finish tasks with less navigation and key pressing; however, they required much more time. They reported the spatial auditory interfaces to be hard to use for a longer period of time due to the high temporal and mental demand, especially with regards to the comprehension of multiple simultaneous sounds. The comparison between the horizontal and vertical interface showed no significant differences between the two. It is important to point out that all participants were novice users of the system; therefore it is possible that the overall performance could change with a more extensive use of the interfaces and an increased number of trials or experiments sets. Our interviews with visually impaired and blind computer users showed that they are used to sharing their auditory channel in order to perform multiple simultaneous tasks such as listening to the radio, talking to somebody, using the computer, etc. As the perception of multiple simultaneous sounds requires the entire capacity of the auditory channel and total concentration of the listener, it does therefore not enable such multitasking.
Keywords: Auditory interface / Simultaneous spatial sounds / Visually impaired user / Human -- computer interaction / Cognitive workload

IJHCS 2011 Volume 69 Issue 3

Learning in multimodal training: Visual guidance can be both appealing and disadvantageous in spatial tasks BIBAKFull-Text 113-122
  Nirit Yuviler-Gavish; Eldad Yechiam; Arava Kallai
Multimodal training involving both visual and auditory information was shown to improve text comprehension and reduce cognitive load. However, it is argued that in spatial tasks visual guidance can impair training effectiveness because it encourages shallow performance strategies and little exploration. Moreover, visual aids are attractive to both trainers as well as trainees, who tend to use them despite their potential disadvantages. To examine this potential training trap, two experimental studies were conducted. In Study 1, each trainer instructed trainees on how to perform a 3-D puzzle in two conditions: vocal guidance (17 trainees), where only vocal instructions were possible, and vocal guidance with mouse pointing (17 trainees), where the trainer could also use a mouse to point out positions on the trainee's screen. The results showed that while the use of the mouse pointer reduced trainees' mental load during training, it also drastically lowered performance level on a non-supervised test. In Study 2, a real-world version of puzzle was trained. A comparison of a vocal guidance group (16 trainees) to a group trained with an additional mouse pointing and drawing option (16 trainees) showed, as well, reduced performance levels with the additional visual aids. The results suggest that the abundant use of multimodal training in Augmented Reality (AR) applications should be re-evaluated.
Keywords: Training / Skill acquisition / Vision / Cognitive load
Understanding the new digital divide -- A typology of Internet users in Europe BIBAKFull-Text 123-138
  Petter Bae Brandtzæg; Jan Heim; Amela Karahasanovic
The purpose of this study is to better understand the digital divide by identifying the variety of ways in which people in Europe use the Internet. First, by using cluster analysis on survey data (N=12,666/age: 16 -- 74 years) from Eurostat on Internet usage in Norway, Sweden, Austria, the UK, and Spain, we identified five user types: Non-Users (42%), Sporadic Users (18%), Instrumental Users (18%), Entertainment Users (10%), and Advanced Users (12%). These user types differ in their distributions over country, age, access, household members, and gender. An alarming finding is that 60% of the population was found to be either Non-Users or Sporadic Users, which reflects a large digital divide in Europe. Second, we conducted a logistic regression to identify the predictors for different user types. We found on a cross-national level that age and Internet access are the most salient predictors, whereas gender and household seems to be less relevant. However, the amount of variance explained differs between countries. We also suggested a future increase in the digital divide between the identified user types -- a user type divide. The user typology and the identified predictors might help researchers, practitioners, and decision makers to better understand Internet users and the multi-complex variations among individuals and countries. This knowledge will also serve as a means to understand the digital divide by providing a more nuanced perspective on Europeans' unequal usage of the Internet and participation in an increasingly digital society.
Keywords: Digital divide / Users / User types / Internet / Participation
Adoption of Semantic Web from the perspective of technology innovation: A grounded theory approach BIBAKFull-Text 139-154
  Joo Jaehun
This paper examines the factors that affect the adoption and diffusion of the Semantic Web by using a grounded theory approach. Grounded theory, a qualitative research methodology, is appropriate to achieve this, because the Semantic Web is currently at an early introduction stage. Data was gathered through in-depth interviews with fifteen informants from user organizations adopted the Semantic Web and suppliers that supported the implementation of the projects. The interview transcripts were analyzed by using the open coding scheme of grounded theory. Five factors affecting the adoption and infusion of the Semantic Web were identified. The first factor is demand pull including requirements for solving search and integration problems of existing systems and for creating new services. Second, such things as environmental conduciveness, potential business value, government sponsorship programs, active roles of suppliers, etc. affect the adoption of the Semantic Web from the perspective of technology push. Third, organizational competence including communication and absorptive capacity plays an important role in its adoption. Fourth, user's over-expectation has a negative impact on its adoption. Finally, various factors affect the infusion of the Semantic Web, such as additional investment budget for extending systems based on the Semantic Web, sharing ontologies, and demonstrable effects.
Keywords: Semantic Web / Ontology / Grounded theory / Technology innovation / Adoption of innovation / Diffusion of innovation / Technology push / Demand pull / Absorptive capacity / Qualitative research
What does it mean to be good at using a mobile device? An investigation of three levels of experience and skill BIBAKFull-Text 155-169
  Antti Oulasvirta; Mikael Wahlström; K. Anders Ericsson
An increasing number of computer users lack formal training in operating their devices. These daily users cannot be described as novices or experts within the predominant view of expertise. In order to describe and better understand this type of self-taught intermediate level of skill, 10 casual users of a high-end smartphone series were compared to 10 novices and 4 professionals (help desk personnel) in their learning histories, task performance, and cognitive outcomes. Our study suggests that this type of self-taught intermediate level of skill is device-specific. Experienced users (casual users and experts) exhibited superior performance for representative tasks. This is mainly attributable to faster navigation and better knowledge of interface terminology, not to deeper conceptual representation of the problems. Interviews suggest that this skill is the consequence of routine use and three recurring learning events: familiarization, following of media, and ad hoc problem-solving situations. We conclude by discussing why intermediate levels of skill deserve more attention in HCI research.
Keywords: Mobile devices / Deliberate practice / Skill / Casual users
Revisiting path steering for 3D manipulation tasks BIBAKFull-Text 170-181
  Lei Liu; Jean-Bernard Martens; Robert van Liere
The law of path steering, as proposed by Accot and Zhai, describes a quantitative relationship between the human temporal performance and the path spatial characteristics. The steering law is formulated as a continuous goal-crossing task, in which a large number of goals are crossed along the path. The steering law has been verified empirically for locomotion, in which a virtual driving task through straight and circular paths was performed.
   We revisit the path steering law for manipulation tasks in desktop virtual environments. We have conducted controlled experiments in which users operated a pen input device to steer a virtual ball through paths of varying length, width, curvature and orientation. Our results indicate that, although the steering law provides a good description of the overall task time as a function of index of difficulty ID=L/W, where L and W are the path length and width, it does not account for other relevant factors. We specifically show that the influence of curvature can be modeled by a percentage increase in steering time, independent of index of difficulty. The path orientation relative to the viewing direction has a periodic effect on the steering time, which can be optimally described by a function of Fourier series expansions. In addition, there is also an effect of the handedness of the subjects on the steering between the left and right districts in 3D manipulation tasks.
Keywords: Virtual reality / Path steering / User study

IJHCS 2011 Volume 69 Issue 4

Understanding human values in adopting new technology -- A case study and methodological discussion BIBAKFull-Text 183-200
  Minna Isomursu; Mari Ervasti; Marianne Kinnula; Pekka Isomursu
This paper proposes a method for understanding and modelling human values in the evaluation of new technology in social settings, and analyses the validity of the proposed method in a specific use case. The method, which is based on the Schwartz universal model of human values adopted from social psychology research, is used in the context of value analysis of the adoption of a technology-supported attendance control system in a primary school. The results are based on an evaluation of a 14-week trial where two classes of elementary school children used an attendance control system that was implemented using networked technology components, including smart cards, NFC-enabled mobile phones and card readers, a web portal, and SMS messaging. The findings from the trial are analysed from the viewpoint of three end-user groups, namely children, parents, and teachers.
Keywords: Value based design / Evaluation methods / Schwartz's value model / User experience evaluation / School attendance control
Human -- computer interaction for the generation of image processing applications BIBAKFull-Text 201-219
  Régis Clouard; Arnaud Renouf; Marinette Revenu
The development of customized image processing applications is time consuming and requires high level skills. This paper describes the design of an interactive application generation system oriented towards producing image processing software programs. The description is focused on two models which constitute the core of the human -- computer interaction. First, the formulation model identifies and organizes information that is assumed necessary and sufficient for developing image processing applications. This model is represented as a domain ontology which provides primitives for the formulation language. Second, the interaction model defines ways to acquire such information from end-users. The result of the interaction is an application ontology from which a suitable software is generated. This model emphases the gradual emergence of a semantics of the problem through purely symbolic representations. Based on these two models, a prototype system has been implemented to conduct experiments.
Keywords: Human -- computer interaction / Knowledge acquisition / Ontology design / Image processing and computer vision
Distributed ontology building as practical work BIBAKFull-Text 220-233
  Dave Randall; Rob Procter; Yuwei Lin; Meik Poschen; Wes Sharrock; Robert Stevens
Ontologies -- a form of structured and logically related knowledge or classification hierarchy embedded in a computer system -- are regarded by many scientists as having enormous promise for the consistent use and re-use of data. To realise this promise, however, is not straightforward. In this paper, based on ethnographic observation, we argue that the challenges for ontology building are 'social' as much as they are technical. By this we mean the routine work undertaken in the building process and the problems and difficulties entailed can be understood in terms of the practices of knowledge workers and the practical nature of 'sorting things out'. Getting a better sense of how, in practise, this work gets done gives a sense of the main challenges of building successful ontologies and how this impacts on the design of tool support. In considering the practices of one group in particular, we try to show how, for members, the technical problems of determining what classification structure is appropriate, and what its boundaries might be, depend substantially on assumptions about the 'community' and its interests and purposes. This 'turn to the social' has ramifications for the understanding of ontology building and use. Specifically, 'modelling' approaches to ontology building tell us little about the practical organisation of the work and how this relates to the prospect of successful sharing. Ethnographic enquiry may reveal important issues that are otherwise missed.
Keywords: Ontology / Collaboration / Ethnography
Using hierarchical task decomposition as a grammar to map actions in context: Application to forecasting systems in supply chain planning BIBAKFull-Text 234-250
  Stavros Asimakopoulos; Alan Dix; Robert Fildes
In this paper, we consider the value of using Hierarchical Task Analysis (HTA) as a grammar to map actions in context. The grammar approach aims to develop a richer picture of user actions in a task accommodating aspects of the socio-organizational context. This paper reflects on user tasks as emerged from interviews with real users in supply chain industries where Forecasting Support Systems (FSS) are used to predict future product sales. In this paper, we use HTA to describe what the expert literature has identified as the stages in producing sales forecasts. In order to evaluate this against reported scenarios and observations of actual use, we apply an approach that uses a parallel to the grammar of everyday language to represent user activities. In addition to specifying the particular socio-organizational aspects of FSS use, we show how the grammar approach contributes to effective analysis of unstructured, qualitative data. The methodology we adopt also eases our attempt to understand user tasks and validate the constructed HTA model in a given context. The methodological implications and future research directions for task analysis models are discussed.
Keywords: Grammar task analysis / Hierarchical task analysis / Forecasting support systems / User scenarios / Forecasting practice
MiRA -- Mixed Reality Agents BIBAKFull-Text 251-268
  Thomas Holz; Abraham G. Campbell; Gregory M. P. O'Hare; John W. Stafford; Alan Martin; Mauro Dragone
In recent years, an increasing number of Mixed Reality (MR) applications have been developed using agent technology -- both for the underlying software and as an interface metaphor. However, no unifying field or theory currently exists that can act as a common frame of reference for these varied works. As a result, much duplication of research is evidenced in the literature. This paper seeks to fill this important gap by outlining "for the first time" a formal field of research that has hitherto gone unacknowledged, namely the field of Mixed Reality Agents (MiRAs), which are defined as agents embodied in a Mixed Reality environment.
   Based on this definition, a taxonomy is offered that classifies MiRAs along three axes: agency, based on the weak and strong notions outlined by Wooldridge and Jennings (1995); corporeal presence, which describes the degree of virtual or physical representation (body) of a MiRA; and interactive capacity, which characterises its ability to sense and act on the virtual and physical environment.
   Furthermore, this paper offers the first comprehensive survey of the state-of-the-art of MiRA research and places each project within the proposed taxonomy. Finally, common trends and future directions for MiRA research are discussed.
   By defining Mixed Reality Agents as a formal field, establishing a common taxonomy, and retrospectively placing existing MiRA projects within it, future researchers can effectively position their research within this landscape, thereby avoiding duplication and fostering reuse and interoperability.
Keywords: Mixed Reality Agents / Mixed Reality / Interaction metaphors / Survey
Reliability, validity, and sensitivity of a single-item measure of online store usability BIBAKFull-Text 269-280
  Timo Christophersen; Udo Konradt
In an experimental study, we examined the validity and reliability of a single-item measure for customers' assessment of online store usability. Each of the 378 participants visited two out of 35 online stores and performed three shopping related tasks. Usability was rated using a single-item and an eight-item measure. In addition to trust in the online store and aesthetics, we also measured the participant's intention to buy. Results from factor analysis and the correction for attenuation formula revealed an adequate reliability of the single-item measure. Positive correlations with both trust and aesthetics supported the convergent validity of the single-item measure for usability. The positive correlation between the single-item and the intention to buy demonstrated the high predictive validity of this measure. Finally, results support the sensitivity of the single-item measure to differentiate between the usability for each online store.
Keywords: Usability / e-Commerce / Single-item measure / Online store / Scale development

IJHCS 2011 Volume 69 Issue 5

Designing for Reflection on Personal Experience

Designing for reflection on personal experience BIBFull-Text 281-282
 
Lovers' box: Designing for reflection within romantic relationships BIBAKFull-Text 283-297
  Anja Thieme; Jayne Wallace; James Thomas; Ko Le Chen; Nicole Krämer; Patrick Olivier
We present the Lovers' box, a digital artefact designed to engage romantic couples in reflections on their relationship. By adopting perspectives from social psychology and interaction design, the work examines the role of reflection through the use of a non-traditional digital artefact that acts as a site for enduring attachments of personal emotional significance. To this end, we respond to previous research work on reflection through design, in the development of four Lovers' boxes whose purposes and meanings are completed through reflections both by romantic couples and their integration in everyday lives. A field study was conducted involving five couples in new relationships who were asked to exchange video messages (co-created with a digital media artist) using the Lovers' box over a period of five weeks. Our findings demonstrated: (1) that the creation, exchange and display of messages embedded in the digital artefact served as both mirrors and sources for reflection concerning couples' relationships; (2) the rich manner in which the Lovers' box became meaningful to participants, as they perceived it as keepsake or digital storybook of their meaningful experiences, experienced it as an enjoyable shared hobby with their partner and saw it as providing them a snapshot into the beloved person's mind and thoughts; and (3) how the potential for new castings of digital artefacts might support our personal and emotional lives.
Keywords: Reflection on experience / Reflective design / Emotion and affective UI / Intimacy / Interaction design / Materiality
A saunter down memory lane: Digital reflection on personal mementos BIBAKFull-Text 298-310
  Vaiva Kalnikaitc; Steve Whittaker
We all collect personal mementos, treasured objects that remind us about our past. We also remember significant people and places from our past. A key way that we reflect on our identity is through collecting, organizing and talking to others about such personal mementos, places and people. However, most work on mementos has focused on physical objects rather than their digital representations. And when digital archives have been examined these have been found to be underexploited. We, therefore, implemented and evaluated a new class of digital memory application, MemoryLane, that is designed on the basis of prior research into memory and reminiscence. MemoryLane allows people to capture, actively organize and reflect on digital representations of mementos relating to people, places and objects. Users can also annotate captured mementos with spoken or textual narratives. User feedback provides new information about the nature of digital reminiscing and reflection. Our 31 persons evaluation showed that people were active in organizing and reflecting on these personal digital collections. As we expected, most mementos centered around familiar home objects, although mementos relating to people tended to be regarded as most important and to evoke stronger emotions. Participants also recorded many spoken narratives about mementos, but these spoken reflections were unpopular on playback. We discuss the theoretical and design implications of our work.
Keywords: Reflective technology / Personal digital mementos / Everyday memory / Reflection emotional awareness / Psychology of memory / Sociology
"Oh and how things just don't change, the more things stay the same": Reflections on SenseCam images 18 months after capture BIBAKFull-Text 311-323
  Siân E. Lindley; Maxine Glancy; Richard Harper; Dave Randall; Nicola Smyth
This paper presents an exploration of how images captured by a wearable camera, SenseCam, might foster reflection on everyday experiences. SenseCams were provided to multiple members of four households who wore them simultaneously and reviewed the images after one week, and then again after a period of 18 months. The findings reveal how images captured by different family members led to new insights around normally unremarkable routines, and provided new perspectives on how children experienced the world, while the 18 month interval prompted some reinterpretation of the past and made participants aware of incremental changes in their everyday lives. Implications for the design of tools to support reflection on personal experience are suggested and remarks about the concept of memory collection devices made.
Keywords: Routine / Mundane / Lifelog / Wearable / Photography
Remembering today tomorrow: Exploring the human-centred design of digital mementos BIBAKFull-Text 324-337
  Simon Bowen; Daniela Petrelli
This paper describes two-part research exploring the context for and human-centred design of 'digital mementos', as an example of technology for reflection on personal experience (in this case, autobiographical memories). Field studies into families' use of physical and digital objects for remembering provided a rich understanding of associated user needs and human values, and suggested properties for 'digital mementos' such as being 'not like work', discoverable and fun. In a subsequent design study, artefacts were devised to express these features and develop the understanding of needs and values further via discussion with groups of potential 'users'. 'Critical artefacts' (the products of Critical Design) were used to enable participants to envisage broader possibilities for social practices and applications of technology in the context of personal remembering, and thus to engage in the design of novel devices and systems relevant to their lives. Reflection was a common theme in the work, being what the digital mementos were designed to afford and the mechanism by which the design activity progressed. Ideas for digital mementos formed the output of this research and expressed the designer's and researcher's understanding of participants' practices and needs, and the human values that underlie them and, in doing so, suggest devices and systems that go beyond usability to support a broader conception of human activity.
Keywords: Personal memory / Participatory design / Critical design / Innovation / Human-centred design / Design methods
Data Souvenirs: Environmental psychology and reflective design BIBAKFull-Text 338-349
  Ryan Aipperspach; Ben Hooker; Allison Woodruff
The physical form of technology and its relationship to the surrounding environment is an important factor in design; we argue that this is especially true in the design of reflective technology. We suggest environmental psychology theory as a tool for understanding this relationship and use it to propose design guidelines for tangible reflective technologies. As an example, we apply these guidelines to the design of domestic technology, inspiring the creation of Data Souvenirs, a set of hardware sketches we have built that combine technology with the physical form of books. Additionally, we reflect on our own design process, discussing how the combination of environmental psychology theory and hardware design sketches can motivate novel tangible designs.
Keywords: Tangible interfaces / Design / Personal reflection / Environmental psychology

IJHCS 2011 Volume 69 Issue 6

On the roles of policies in computer systems management BIBAKFull-Text 351-361
  Eser Kandogan; Paul P. Maglio; Eben Haber; John Bailey
Policies are a pervasive and critical aspect of computer system management. What makes an effective policy? How do policies work in practice? To what extent can policy specification and implementation be formalized and automated? We studied the work practices of computer system administrators to uncover some of the ways policies are used in practice, and to inform the design of tools that incorporate policies to support more effective system management. We found that polices come in many forms -- documented in service-level agreements and best-practice guidelines, given by management directives, applied by system administrators through formal processes, and built into tools such as configuration management applications. We found that although policies sometimes make explicit statements and establish formal processes, much is left implicit, by design or omission, with appropriate interpretation and execution dependent on human judgment. We argue that people must play an active role in the application of policies to system management because complex situational demands require it, and we discuss some issues in the design of tools that incorporate policies in supporting computer system management.
Keywords: Policy / Systems management / Ethnography
Using a game controller for relaying deictic gestures in computer-mediated communication BIBAKFull-Text 362-374
  Swen Walkowski; Ralf Dörner; Mirja Lievonen; Duska Rosenberg
In computer-mediated communication, participants often experience a loss of information that would have been conveyed by non-verbal means in a face-to-face communication. They need to compensate for this loss by being more verbose which may have a negative impact on the efficiency of communication or give rise to misunderstandings. In this paper, we present a computer system that augments the imagery perceived from the remote site with additional visual information and that can be controlled by using a Nintendo Wiimote game controller. Our prototype illustrates our approach how a system might be able to partially compensate for the information typically lost in conventional video conferencing where deictic gestures cannot be relayed properly to the remote site. Concerning user acceptance, our user tests also show that the visualization technique is crucial which is used for highlighting the objects or persons that are being pointed at. Adequate visualization techniques based on non-photorealistic rendering are proposed.
Keywords: Human computer interaction / Usability studies / Videoconferencing / Communication / Virtual pointing / Communicative function / Deictic reference / Deictic gestures / Shared understanding / Interface design / Wii / Highlighting / Computer-mediated communication
Measuring user-satisfaction with electronic consumer products: The Consumer Products Questionnaire BIBAKFull-Text 375-386
  Niamh McNamara; Jurek Kirakowski
This paper details the development of the Consumer Products Questionnaire (CPQ), a psychometric questionnaire created to measure user-satisfaction with electronic consumer products (ECPs). The five-factor theoretical model of satisfaction proposed by Porteous et al. (1995) was selected as a starting point for further empirical validation. An iterative psychometric process was used where responses to three versions of the CPQ were gathered from three independent user samples. Factor analysis and item analysis were used to produce the final thirty-item instrument. The original five-factor model was reduced to three factors, namely, Efficiency, Helpfulness, and Transparency. Cronbach's alpha for the Global scale and the three subscales are all above 0.90. In addition, preliminary validation studies indicate that the questionnaire can distinguish between products that differ in terms of usability.
Keywords: User-satisfaction / Psychometric questionnaire / Consumer products usability
See-through techniques for referential awareness in collaborative virtual reality BIBAKFull-Text 387-400
  Ferran Argelaguet; Alexander Kulik; André Kunert; Carlos Andujar; Bernd Froehlich
Multi-user virtual reality systems enable natural collaboration in shared virtual worlds. Users can talk to each other, gesture and point into the virtual scenery as if it were real. As in reality, referring to objects by pointing results often in a situation whereon objects are occluded from the other users' viewpoints. While in reality this problem can only be solved by adapting the viewing position, specialized individual views of the shared virtual scene enable various other solutions. As one such solution we propose show-through techniques to make sure that the objects one is pointing to can always be seen by others. We first study the impact of such augmented viewing techniques on the spatial understanding of the scene, the rapidity of mutual information exchange as well as the proxemic behavior of users. To this end we conducted a user study in a co-located stereoscopic multi-user setup. Our study revealed advantages for show-through techniques in terms of comfort, user acceptance and compliance to social protocols while spatial understanding and mutual information exchange is retained. Motivated by these results we further analyze whether show-through techniques may also be beneficial in distributed virtual environments. We investigated a distributed setup for two users, each participant having its own display screen and a minimalist avatar representation for each participant. In such a configuration there is a lack of mutual awareness, which hinders the understanding of each other's pointing gestures and decreases the relevance of social protocols in terms of proxemic behavior. Nevertheless, we found that show-through techniques can improve collaborative interaction tasks even in such situations.
Keywords: Evaluation/methodology / Interaction techniques / 3D pointing / Collaborative virtual reality
Air pointing: Design and evaluation of spatial target acquisition with and without visual feedback BIBAKFull-Text 401-414
  A. Cockburn; P. Quinn; C. Gutwin; G. Ramos; J. Looser
Sensing technologies such as inertia tracking and computer vision enable spatial interactions where users make selections by 'air pointing': moving a limb, finger, or device to a specific spatial region. In addition of expanding the vocabulary of possible interactions available, air pointing brings the potential benefit of enabling 'eyes-free' interactions, where users rely on proprioception and kinaesthesia rather than vision. This paper explores the design space for air pointing interactions, and presents tangible results in the form of a framework that helps designers understand input dimensions and resulting interaction qualities. The framework provides a set of fundamental concepts that aid in thinking about the air pointing domain, in characterizing and comparing existing solutions, and in evaluating novel techniques. We carry out an initial investigation to demonstrate the concepts of the framework by designing and comparing three air pointing techniques: one based on small angular 'raycasting' movements, one on large movements across a 2D plane, and one on movements in a 3D volume. Results show that large movements on the 2D plane are both rapid (selection times under 1 s) and accurate, even without visual feedback. Raycasting is rapid but inaccurate, and the 3D volume is expressive but slow, inaccurate, and effortful. Many other findings emerge, such as selection point 'drift' in the absence of feedback. These results and the organising framework provide a foundation for innovation and understanding of air pointing interaction.
Keywords: Target acquisition / Proprioception / Spatial memory / Eyes-free interaction
The influence of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation on individuals' knowledge sharing behavior BIBAKFull-Text 415-427
  Shin-Yuan Hung; Alexandra Durcikova; Hui-Min Lai; Wan-Mei Lin
A major challenge in knowledge management involves motivating people to share knowledge with others. The objective of this study is to deepen our understanding of how to influence an individual's tendency to engage in knowledge sharing behavior in a team setting. Specifically, we investigate the effects of intrinsic motivation (altruism) and extrinsic motivation (economic reward, reputation feedback and reciprocity) on knowledge sharing (number of ideas generated, idea usefulness, idea creativity and meeting satisfaction) in a group meeting. Results of our experiment show that a knowledge management system with built-in reputation feedback is crucial to support successful knowledge sharing.
Keywords: Knowledge sharing / Intrinsic motivation / Extrinsic motivation / Knowledge management systems / Experimental study
Attention, polychronicity, and expertise in prospective memory performance: Programmers' vulnerability to habit intrusion error in multitasking BIBAKFull-Text 428-439
  Premjit K. Sanjram; Azizuddin Khan
The paper examines prospective memory (ProM) in programmer multitasking and reports administration of a naturalistic atypical action. The study emphasizes on how attention, time orientation, and expertise affect ProM performance in multitasking among a group of computer science and engineering students (N=108). The results suggest that attention play a crucial role in multitasking and ProM performance with respect to whether or not a word display requires more attention to be devoted in monitoring and identifying it for an appropriate action. Polychrons exhibit lesser degree of ProM performance failure than monochrons whereas expertise does not have an effect. Finally, results show that out of overall ProM performance failure, habit intrusion errors comprise of 16.22% occurring 1.75 times in every 10 valid click responses of ProM task. Moreover, experts demonstrate a superior performance over novices in programming.
Keywords: Atypical action / HCI / Habit intrusion / ProM error / Programmer multitasking
A comparative study of the sense of presence and anxiety in an invisible marker versus a marker augmented reality system for the treatment of phobia towards small animals BIBAKFull-Text 440-453
  M. Carmen Juan; Dennis Joele
Phobia towards small animals has been treated using exposure in vivo and virtual reality. Recently, augmented reality (AR) has also been presented as a suitable tool. The first AR system developed for this purpose used visible markers for tracking. In this first system, the presence of visible markers warns the user of the appearance of animals. To avoid this warning, this paper presents a second version in which the markers are invisible. First, the technical characteristics of a prototype are described. Second, a comparative study of the sense of presence and anxiety in a non-phobic population using the visible marker-tracking system and the invisible marker-tracking system is presented. Twenty-four participants used the two systems. The participants were asked to rate their anxiety level (from 0 to 10) at 8 different moments. Immediately after their experience, the participants were given the SUS questionnaire to assess their subjective sense of presence. The results indicate that the invisible marker-tracking system induces a similar or higher sense of presence than the visible marker-tracking system, and it also provokes a similar or higher level of anxiety in important steps for therapy. Moreover, 83.33% of the participants reported that they did not have the same sensations/surprise using the two systems, and they scored the advantage of using the invisible marker-tracking system (IMARS) at 5.19±2.25 (on a scale from 1 to 10). However, if only the group with higher fear levels is considered, 100% of the participants reported that they did not have the same sensations/surprise with the two systems, scoring the advantage of using IMARS at 6.38±1.60 (on a scale from 1 to 10).
Keywords: Augmented reality / Invisible markers / Phobia towards small animals

IJHCS 2011 Volume 69 Issue 7/8

Evaluating the Information Behaviour methods: Formative evaluations of two methods for assessing the functionality and usability of electronic information resources BIBAKFull-Text 455-482
  Stephann Makri; Ann Blandford; Anna L. Cox; Simon Attfield; Claire Warwick
The importance of user-centred evaluation is stressed by HCI academics and practitioners alike. However, there have been few recent evaluation studies of User Evaluation Methods (UEMs), especially those with the aim of improving methods rather than assessing their efficacy (i.e. formative rather than summative evaluations). In this article, we present formative evaluations of two new methods for assessing the functionality and usability of a particular type of interactive system -- electronic information resources. These serve as an example of an evaluation approach for assessing the success of new HCI methods. We taught the methods to a group of electronic resource developers and collected a mixture of focus group, method usage and summary questionnaire data -- all focusing on how useful, usable and learnable the developers perceived the methods to be and how likely they were to use them in the future. Findings related to both methods were generally positive, and useful suggestions for improvement were made. Our evaluation sessions also highlighted a number of trade-offs for the development of UEMs and general lessons learned, which we discuss in order to inform the future development and evaluation of HCI methods.
Keywords: Evaluation / Methods / UEM
Turk-2, a multi-modal chess player BIBAKFull-Text 483-495
  Levente Sajó; Zsófia Ruttkay; Attila Fazekas
In this paper we present Turk-2, a hybrid multi-modal chess player with a robot arm and a screen-based talking head. Turk-2 can not only play chess, but can see and hear the opponent, can talk to him and display emotions. We were interested to find out if a simple embodiment with human-like communication capabilities enhances the experience of playing chess against a computer. First, give an overview of the development road to multi-modal communication with computers. Then we motivate our research with a hybrid system, we introduce the architecture of Turk-2, we describe the human experiments and its evaluation. The results justify that multi-modal interaction makes game playing more engaging, enjoyable -- and even more effective. These findings for a specific game situation provide yet another evidence of the power of human-like interaction in turning computer systems more attractive and easier to use.
Keywords: Turk-2 / Multi-modal chess player / Human -- computer interaction / Affective computing
Using behavioral patterns to assess the interaction of users and product BIBAKFull-Text 496-508
  Stefanie Harbich; Marc Hassenzahl
We hypothesized that users show different behavioral patterns at work when using interactive products, namely execute, engage, evolve and expand. These patterns refer to task accomplishment, persistence, task modification and creation of new tasks, each contributing to the overall work goal. By developing a questionnaire measuring these behavioral patterns we were able to demonstrate that these patterns do occur at work. They are not influenced by the users alone, but primarily by the product, indicating that interactive products indeed are able to support users at work in a holistic way. Behavioral patterns thus are accounted for by the interaction of users and product.
Keywords: Evaluation method / Behavior / HCI / Motivation / Interaction
The notion of overview in information visualization BIBAKFull-Text 509-525
  Kasper Hornbæk; Morten Hertzum
Overview is a frequently used notion and design goal in information-visualization research and practice. However, it is difficult to find a consensus on what an overview is and to appreciate its relation to how users understand and navigate an information space. We review papers that use the notion of overview and develop a model. The model highlights the awareness that makes up an overview, the process by which users acquire it, the usefulness of overviews, and the role of user-interface components in developing an overview. We discuss the model in relation to classic readings in information visualization and use it to generate recommendations for future research.
Keywords: Information visualization / Overview / Awareness / Overview+detail
Speed -- accuracy tradeoffs in specialized keyboards BIBAKFull-Text 526-538
  Gregory Francis; Elizabette Johnson
Patients with locked-in syndrome are perceptually and cognitively aware of their environment but are unable to speak and have very limited motor capabilities. These patients frequently use a virtual keyboard with a cursor that moves over different items. The user triggers a selector when the cursor is over the desired item. For text entry such a method is excruciatingly slow, but is critical for patients who otherwise cannot communicate. We show how such keyboards can be optimally designed to maximize text entry speed while simultaneously controlling the entry error rate. The described method quantifies how different factors in keyboard design influence both entry speed and accuracy and demonstrates that different keyboard designs can greatly alter the efficiency of keyboard use. For a given text corpus and allowable average entry error proportion, the method identifies the cursor duration and character layout that minimizes average entry time. The method can easily be adapted to a variety of keyboard designs and selection devices and thereby improve the communication of locked-in syndrome patients.
Keywords: Optimization / Locked-in syndrome / Brain computer interfaces
Understanding how children understand robots: Perceived animism in child -- robot interaction BIBAKFull-Text 539-550
  Tanya N. Beran; Alejandro Ramirez-Serrano; Roman Kuzyk; Meghann Fior; Sarah Nugent
Centuries ago, the existence of life was explained by the presence of a soul (Tylor, 1871). Known as animism, this term was re-defined in the 1970s by Piaget as young children's beliefs that inanimate objects are capable of actions and have life-like qualities. With the development of robots in the 21st century, researchers have begun examining whether animism is apparent in children's impressions of robots. The purpose of this study was to use a model of knowledge structures, or schemata, to examine whether children attribute human qualities of cognition, affect, and behavior to a robot. An experiment was set up at a science center located in a major Western Canadian city, and visitors to the center were invited to participate. A total of 198 children ages 5 -- 16 years (M=8.18 years) with an approximate even number of boys and girls were included. Children completed a semi-structured interview after observing a robot, a small 5 degree of freedom robot arm, perform a block stacking task. Answers to the nine questions about the robot were scored according to whether they referenced humanistic qualities. Results from frequency and content analyses suggest that a significant proportion of children ascribe cognitive, behavioral, and especially affective, characteristics to robots.
Keywords: Robotics / Children / Developmental psychology / Animism / Child development / Human -- robot interaction

IJHCS 2011 Volume 69 Issue 9

Design and evaluation of freehand menu selection interfaces using tilt and pinch gestures BIBAKFull-Text 551-562
  Tao Ni; Doug A. Bowman; Chris North; Ryan P. McMahan
Freehand gestural interaction, in which the user's hands move in mid-air to provide input, has been of interest to researchers, but freehand menu selection interfaces have been under-investigated so far. Freehand menu selection is inherently difficult, especially with increasing menu breadth (i.e., the number of items), largely because moving hands in free space cannot achieve precision as high as physical input devices such as mouse and stylus. We have designed a novel menu selection interface called the rapMenu (Ni et al., 2008), which is controlled by wrist tilt and multiple pinch gestures, and takes advantage of the multiple discrete gesture inputs to reduce the required precision of the user hand movements.
   In this article, we first review the visual design and behavior of the rapMenu technique, as well as related design issues and its potential advantages. In the second part, we present two studies of the rapMenu in order to further investigate the strengths and limitations of the design principle. In the first study, we compared the rapMenu to the extensively studied tilt menu technique (Rahman et al., 2009). Our results revealed that the rapMenu outperforms the tilt menu as menu breadth increases. In the second study, we investigated how the rapMenu affords the opportunity of eyes-free selection and users' transition from novice to expert. We found that within 10 min of practice, eyes-free selection with rapMenu has competitive speed and accuracy with the visual rapMenu and the tilt menu. Finally, we discuss design variations that use other axes of wrist movement and adopt alternative auditory feedback.
Keywords: Menu / Freehand gesture input / Wrist tilt / Pinch / Eyes-free menu selection
Investigating paper vs. screen in real-life hospital workflows: Performance contradicts perceived superiority of paper in the user experience BIBAKFull-Text 563-570
  Andreas Holzinger; Markus Baernthaler; Walter Pammer; Herman Katz; Vesna Bjelic-Radisic; Martina Ziefle
Introduction All hospitals in the province of Styria (Austria) are well equipped with sophisticated Information Technology, which provides all-encompassing on-screen patient information. Previous research made on the theoretical properties, advantages and disadvantages, of reading from paper vs. reading from a screen has resulted in the assumption that reading from a screen is slower, less accurate and more tiring. However, recent flat screen technology, especially on the basis of LCD, is of such high quality that obviously this assumption should now be challenged. As the electronic storage and presentation of information has many advantages in addition to a faster transfer and processing of the information, the usage of electronic screens in clinics should outperform the traditional hardcopy in both execution and preference ratings.
   This study took part in a County hospital Styria, Austria, with 111 medical professionals, working in a real-life setting. They were each asked to read original and authentic diagnosis reports, a gynecological report and an internal medical document, on both screen and paper in a randomly assigned order. Reading comprehension was measured by the Chunked Reading Test, and speed and accuracy of reading performance was quantified. In order to get a full understanding of the clinicians' preferences, subjective ratings were also collected.
   Results
   Wilcoxon Signed Rank Tests showed no significant differences on reading performance between paper vs. screen. However, medical professionals showed a significant (90%) preference for reading from paper. Despite the high quality and the benefits of electronic media, paper still has some qualities which cannot provided electronically do date.
Keywords: Paper vs. screen / Textual information / Medical reports / Health record / Reading performance / Chunked Reading Test / User experience
Modeling of operators' emotion and task performance in a virtual driving environment BIBAKFull-Text 571-586
  Hua Cai; Yingzi Lin
Emotional human -- computer interactions are attracting increasing interest with the improvement in the available technology. Through presenting affective stimuli and empathic communication, computer agents are able to adjust to users' emotional states. As a result, users may produce better task performance. Existing studies have mainly focused on the effect of only a few basic emotions, such as happiness and frustration, on human performance. Furthermore, most research explored this issue from the psychological perspective. This paper presents an emotion and performance relation model in the context of vehicle driving. This general emotion -- performance model is constructed on an arousal -- valence plane and is not limited to basic emotions. Fifteen paid participants took part in two driving simulation experiments that induced 115 pairs of emotion -- performance sample. These samples revealed the following: (1) driving performance has a downward U-shaped relationship with both intensities of arousal and valence. It deteriorates at extreme arousal and valence. (2) Optimal driving performance, corresponding to the appropriate emotional state, matches the "sweet spot" phenomenon of the engagement psychology. (3) Arousal and valence are not perfectly independent across the entire 2-D emotion plane. Extreme valence is likely to stimulate a high level of arousal, which, in turn, deteriorates task performance. The emotion -- performance relation model proposed in the paper is useful in designing emotion-aware intelligent systems to predict and prevent task performance degradation at an early stage and throughout the human -- computer interactions.
Keywords: Human performance modeling / Emotion model / Emotion -- performance relation / Emotion elicitation / Emotion assessment / Driving simulation
Sequence-based trust in collaborative filtering for document recommendation BIBAKFull-Text 587-601
  Duen-Ren Liu; Chin-Hui Lai; Hsuan Chiu
Collaborative filtering (CF) recommender systems have emerged in various applications to support item recommendation, which solve the information-overload problem by suggesting items of interest to users. Recently, trust-based recommender systems have incorporated the trustworthiness of users into CF techniques to improve the quality of recommendation. They propose trust computation models to derive the trust values based on users' past ratings on items. A user is more trustworthy if s/he has contributed more accurate predictions than other users. Nevertheless, conventional trust-based CF methods do not address the issue of deriving the trust values based on users' various information needs on items over time. In knowledge-intensive environments, users usually have various information needs in accessing required documents over time, which forms a sequence of documents ordered according to their access time. We propose a sequence-based trust model to derive the trust values based on users' sequences of ratings on documents. The model considers two factors -- time factor and document similarity -- in computing the trustworthiness of users. The proposed model enhanced with the similarity of user profiles is incorporated into a standard collaborative filtering method to discover trustworthy neighbors for making predictions. The experiment result shows that the proposed model can improve the prediction accuracy of CF method in comparison with other trust-based recommender systems.
Keywords: Collaborative filtering / Recommender system / Sequence-based trust / Document recommendation
A virtual reality system for the treatment of stress-related disorders: A preliminary analysis of efficacy compared to a standard cognitive behavioral program BIBAKFull-Text 602-613
  R. M. Baños; V. Guillen; S. Quero; A. García-Palacios; M. Alcaniz; C. Botella
This paper presents preliminary efficacy data in a controlled study of the use of a virtual reality (VR) system for treating stress-related disorders (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD; Pathological Grief, or PG; and Adjustment Disorders, or AD). "EMMA's World" is a VR application in which patients can explore negative experiences to the degree required for their specific therapeutic needs. To accomplish therapeutic goals, a series of virtual elements is customized to be meaningful to the user; the elements contain the fundamental emotional components that the person must confront. Thirty-nine participants diagnosed with PTSD (N=10), PG (N=16), and AD (N=13) were randomly assigned to a standard cognitive-behavioral program (CBT) (N=20) or a CBT program driven by EMMA's World (N=19). Participants were assessed before and after treatment. Measurements related to anxiety, depression and other emotions, maladjustment and interference were applied. Results indicate that CBT with EMMA's World was as effective as the standard CBT program for the treatment of these disorders, and the statistically significant differences (depression, relaxation intensity and social area interference) were in favor of EMMA's World. We expect VR to provide a positive alternative that will draw in clients who do not seek traditional forms of treatment.
Keywords: Virtual reality / Psychological treatments / Stress-related disorders / Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder / Pathological Grief / Adjustment Disorder

IJHCS 2011 Volume 69 Issue 10

Locative media and communities

Special issue of international journal of human -- computer studies locative media and communities BIBFull-Text 615-617
  Katharine S. Willis; Keith Cheverst
Pushing personhood into place: Situating media in rural knowledge in Africa BIBAKFull-Text 618-631
  Nicola J. Bidwell; Heike Winschiers-Theophilus; Gereon Koch Kapuire; Mathias Rehm
Designing interactions with technologies that are compatible with rural wisdom and skills can help to digitally enfranchise rural people and, thus, contribute to community cohesion in the face of Africa's urbanization. Oral information has been integral to rural identity and livelihood in Africa for generations. However, the use of technology can inadvertently displace the knowledge of communities with practices that differ from the knowledge traditions in which technology is designed. We propose that devices that are sensitive to users' locations, combined with platforms for social networking and user-generated content, offer intriguing opportunities for rural communities to extend their knowledge practices digitally. In this paper we present insights on the way rural people of the Herero tribe manage information spatially and temporally during some of our design activities in Namibia. We generated these insights from ethnography and detailed analysis of interactions with media in our ongoing Ethnographic Action Research. Rural participants had not depicted their wisdom graphically by photography or video before, rarely use writing materials and some cannot read. Thus, we gathered 30 h of observer-and participant-recorded video and participants' interpretations and interactions with thumbnail photos from video, photography and paper. We describe insights into verbal and bodily interactions and relationships between bodies, movements, settings, knowledge and identity. These findings have made us more sensitive to local experiences of locations and more aware of assumptions about space and time embedded in locative media. As a result, we have started to adopt an approach that emphasizes connectors rather than points and social -- relational and topokinetic rather than topographic spaces. In the final section of the paper we discuss applying this approach in design by responding to the ways that participants use social relationships to orient information and use voice, gesture and movement to incorporate locations into this "dialogic". In conclusion we outline why we hope our reflections will inspire others to examine the spatial, temporal and social affordances of technologies within the bonds of rural, and other, communities.
Keywords: Traditional Knowledge / Rural / Africa / Spatial / Temporal / Locative Media / Topokinetic / Topographic
Idioculture in crowd computing: A focus on group interaction in an event-driven social media system BIBAKFull-Text 632-646
  Seongtaek Lim; Sang Yun Cha; Chala Park; Inseong Lee; Jinwoo Kim
This study aims to establish a conceptual framework on the characteristics of idioculture in crowd computing, as well as the antecedents and consequences of idioculture. Idioculture is defined as distinct cultural elements that characterize a certain group. It is important in group interaction because it can be used as a tool to seek a group's optimal distinctiveness, which is a natural human desire to maintain a balance between being too inclusive or too personalized in crowd settings. In order to provide empirical data for the conceptual framework, this study developed a crowd computing system prototype, named event-driven social media (EDSM), which supports idioculture emergence and sharing in a crowd setting. The prototype was implemented in a massive-scale event involving approximately 20,000 people. The study results were derived from content analysis on 5988 text messages from 1510 users exchanged through EDSM during the event and interviews with 15 users after the event. The findings revealed that group cultures were triggered by EDSM to become idioculture, and the idioculture shared through EDSM affected user experience. First, sources of idioculture included collective, playful, and routine-breaking group cultures. Second, the characteristics of idioculture included catchwords, humorous references, and nicknames. Third, by sharing idioculture, users of EDSM were able to experience social connectedness, group cohesion, and social enjoyment. This study ends with implications on the design of EDSM from the perspective of HCI.
Keywords: Event-driven social media / Crowd computing / Optimal distinctiveness theory / Idioculture / Small group culture
Making the link -- providing mobile media for novice communities in the developing world BIBAKFull-Text 647-657
  Andrew Maunder; Gary Marsden; Richard Harper
In this paper we investigate the media needs of low-income mobile users in a South African township. We develop and deploy a system that allows users to download media at no costs to themselves, in order to probe future media requirements for similar user groups. We discover that not only are the community interested in developmental information, but are also just as interested in sharing local music or videos. Furthermore, the community consume the media in ways that we did not expect, which had direct impacts on their lives. Finally, we conclude with some reflections on the value of media and the most appropriate ways to deliver it in developing world communities.
Keywords: ICT4D / M4D / Situated media
Situating digital storytelling within African communities BIBAKFull-Text 658-668
  Thomas Reitmaier; Nicola J. Bidwell; Gary Marsden
We reflect on the methods, activities and perspectives we used to situate digital storytelling in two rural African communities in South Africa and Kenya. We demonstrate how in-depth ethnography in a village in the Eastern Cape of South Africa and a design workshop involving participants from that village allowed us to design a prototype mobile digital storytelling system suited to the needs of rural, oral users. By leveraging our prototype as a probe and observing villagers using it in two villages in South Africa and Kenya, we uncovered implications for situating digital storytelling within those communities. Finally, we distil observations relevant to localizing storytelling and their implications for transferring design into a different community.
Keywords: Digital storytelling / Mobile devices / Oral knowledge / Rural / ICT4D / Cross-cultural
Locating computer clubs in multicultural neighborhoods: How collaborative project work fosters integration processes BIBAKFull-Text 669-678
  Kai Schubert; Anne Weibert; Volker Wulf
Located in socially and culturally diverse neighborhoods, we have built a network of intercultural computer clubs, called come_IN. These clubs offer a place to share practices among children and adults of diverse ethnical backgrounds. We show how this initiative ties into the striving for the integration of migrant communities and host society in Germany. In this paper, we analyze how collaborative project work and the use of mobile media and technologies contribute to integration processes in multicultural neighborhoods. Qualitative data gathered from interviews with club participants, participative observation in the computer clubs, as well as the analysis of artifacts created during project work provides the background needed to match local needs and peculiarities with (mobile) technologies. Based on these findings we present two approaches to add to the technological infrastructure: (1) a mesh-network extending the clubs into the neighborhood and (2) a project management tool, which supports projects and stimulates the sharing of ideas among projects.
Keywords: Collaborative work / Communities / Computer clubs / Integration / Mobile media

IJHCS 2011 Volume 69 Issue 11

An agent system for advertisement inclusion using human-based computation BIBAKFull-Text 679-692
  F. Aznar; M. Pujol; R. Rizo
In this paper, we will present a system based on intelligent agents, which uses human-based computation (HBC) for advertisement adjustment in images. This system will learn from human interaction to obtain a salience map of the most important parts of an image and will use this information to fit a fixed-sized advertisement in the least important part of the image. Although this approximation has been developed to be used in many different applications, its advantages are more evident when used to add advertisements to real time channels, such as websites or video streaming. In this way, media rich applications (principally online) are the most appropriate for this process. Several studies have demonstrated that badly placed advertisements are frequently ignored by users (and may even provoke irritation) and thus do not serve their purpose. In this way, correct advertisement placement is fundamental to maximize an advertisement's effectiveness. As we will see, our agent system is more robust than previous approximations because it is less influenced by specific image features and takes into account the most important parts of an image from the human point of view. In addition, we will compare our approximation with a classical biological model for visual saliency.
Keywords: Saliency map / Human-based computation / Advertisement fitting
I'm home: Defining and evaluating a gesture set for smart-home control BIBAKFull-Text 693-704
  Christine Kühnel; Tilo Westermann; Fabian Hemmert; Sven Kratz; Alexander Müller; Sebastian Möller
Mobile phones seem to present the perfect user interface for interacting with smart environments, e.g. smart-home systems, as they are nowadays ubiquitous and equipped with an increasing amount of sensors and interface components, such as multi-touch screens. After giving an overview on related work this paper presents the adapted design methodology proposed by Wobbrock et al. (2009) for the development of a gesture-based user interface to a smart-home system. The findings for the new domain, device and gesture space are presented and compared to findings by Wobbrock et al. (2009). Three additional steps are described: A small pre-test survey, a mapping and a memory test and a performance test of the implemented system.
   This paper shows the adaptability of the approach described by Wobbrock et al. (2009) for three-dimensional gestures in the smart-home domain. Elicited gestures are described and a first implementation of a user interface based on these gestures is presented.
Keywords: Gesture-based interaction / Smart-home / User-centered design / Mobile device
Towards developing perceivable tactile feedback for mobile devices BIBAKFull-Text 705-719
  Huimin Qian; Ravi Kuber; Andrew Sears
As mobile technologies such as cellular telephones reduce in both size and cost, and improve in fidelity, they become a more attractive option for performing tasks such as surfing the Web and accessing applications while on-the-go. The small size of the visual display limits the amount of information that can be presented, which may lead to cluttered interfaces. Tactile feedback (e.g. vibrations) provides one solution to reducing the burden on the visual channel. This paper describes a series of studies conducted with the goal of developing perceivable tactile icons (tactons) to aid in non-visual interactions with mobile applications. In contrast to previous work, our research addresses the development of pairs of tactons, rather than individual tactons, with the goal of conveying two-state signals such as 'on/off', 'slower/faster', or 'left/right'. Such communication can help reduce visual demands associated with using mobile applications, allowing the device to convey important information while the users' hands and eyes are otherwise occupied. Realistic conditions were simulated in a laboratory-based environment to determine how auditory distracters could affect the perception of tactons. Findings show that recognition rates differed depending on the design of the vibration pair parameters, and type of auditory distracter. This research culminated in a set of guidelines, which tactile interface designers can integrate as they design mobile applications to improve access, as well as insights which can guide future research on tactile feedback for mobile devices.
Keywords: Mobile interfaces / Tactile icons / Tactile perception
Semantic models and corpora choice when using Semantic Fields to predict eye movement on web pages BIBAKFull-Text 720-740
  Benjamin Stone; Simon Dennis
Ten models are compared in their ability to predict eye-tracking data that was collected from 49 participants' goal-oriented search tasks on a total of 1809 Web pages. Forming the basis of six of these models, three semantic models and two corpus types are compared as components for the Semantic Fields model (Stone and Dennis, 2007) that estimates the semantic salience of different areas displayed on Web pages. Latent Semantic Analysis, Sparse Nonnegative Matrix Factorization, and Vectorspace were used to generate similarity comparisons of goal and Web page text in the semantic component of the Semantic Fields model. Overall, Vectorspace was the best performing semantic model in this study. Two types of corpora or knowledge-bases were used to inform the semantic models, the well known TASA corpus and other corpora that were constructed from the Wikipedia encyclopedia. In all cases the Wikipedia corpora outperformed the TASA corpora. A non-corpus-based Semantic Fields model that incorporated word overlap performed more poorly at these tasks. Three baseline models were also included as a point of comparison to evaluate the effectiveness of the Semantic Fields models. In all cases the corpus-based Semantic Fields models outperformed the baseline models when predicting the participants' eye-tracking data. Both final destination pages and pupil data (dilation) indicated that participants' were actively performing goal-oriented search tasks.
Keywords: Semantic Fields model / Semantic salience / Web navigation / Semantic models / LSA / SpNMF / Vectorspace / Eye tracking / Pupil dilation
Design and evaluation of prosody-based non-speech audio feedback for physical training application BIBAKFull-Text 741-757
  Kai Tuuri; Tuomas Eerola; Antti Pirhonen
Methodological support for the design of non-speech user interface sounds for human -- computer interaction is still fairly scarce. To meet this challenge, this paper presents a sound design case which, as a practical design solution for a wrist-computer physical training application, outlines a prosody-based method for designing non-speech user interface sounds. The principles used in the design are based on nonverbal communicative functions of prosody in speech acts, exemplifying an interpersonal approach to sonic interaction design. The stages of the design process are justified with a theoretical analysis and three empirical sub-studies, which comprise production and recognition tasks involving four communicative functions. The final evaluation study indicates that the resulting sounds of the design process successfully served these functions. In all, this study suggests that prosody-based sound design provides widely applicable means to attribute meaningful, interaction-derived qualities to non-speech sounds for interactive applications.
Keywords: Sound design / Interaction design / Non-speech sounds / Design process / Prosody / Embodied cognition / Intentionality
The effect of media richness factors on representativeness for video skim BIBAKFull-Text 758-768
  Huey-Min Sun; Chih-Wei Huang
The study examines the effect of four important aspects of film skimming, including segmentation process, proportion of total skimmed length (TSL), multiple cues available, and genre/domain of the film. We design three experiments to explore their effects on representativeness for video skim. The results of Experiment 1 show that the skimmed video combined with 10% of total skimmed length and 5 or 10 s of skimmed segment (SS) is more efficient for representativeness. The results of Experiment 2 show that the skimmed video with mostly ending part and multiple cues can significantly improve representativeness. The results of Experiment 3 reveal that the representativeness of skimmed video with different types of movie is significantly different.
   In our experiments, the proportion of TSL is set to three levels, 5%, 10%, and 15%, while the size of SS is also set to three levels, 2.5, 5, and 10 s for the segmentation process. We observe that the skimmed video with the longer TSL and SS has the better representativeness of movie content, but the four combinations for 10% and 15% with 5 s and 10 s are insignificantly different. The finding is helpful for reducing the time cost of skimming video. Furthermore, we applied two important factors -- personality focus of the medium and multiple cues, from media richness theory to our skimming method in order to raise the representativeness of video skim for different films. In the personality focus of the medium, we define a movie as having three parts -- beginning, middle, and ending. In the multiple cues, the skimmed video with synchronized subtitle, audio, and video can assist our comprehension and reduce the uncertainty. We find that the skimmed video with mostly ending part and synchronized subtitle, audio, and video can raise the representativeness of movie content.
Keywords: Media richness theory / Video skim / Subjective quality assessment
Improving cascading menu selections with adaptive activation areas BIBAKFull-Text 769-785
  Erum Tanvir; Andrea Bunt; Andy Cockburn; Pourang Irani
Cascading menus are the most commonly used hierarchical menus in graphical user interfaces (GUIs). These menus, however, tend to have elongated paths with corner steering, which can result in navigation difficulties. To resolve the corner steering problem, most current cascading menus implement an explicit time delay between the cursor entering or leaving a parent menu item and posting/unposting the associated menu. In this paper, we present adaptive activation-area menus (AAMUs), a technique to improve cascading menu performance by providing a localized triangular activation area between the menu and the child submenu. This triangular activation area aims to overcome the corner steering problem by permitting quick diagonal navigation without imposing a time delay.
   We describe four experiments designed to refine and validate the AAMU technique. Our first experiment shows that AAMUs improve item selection performance in comparison to traditional menus and a number of competing techniques, including gesture-based menus and enlarged activation-area menus (EMUs). Our second and third experiments reveal, however, that in a searching task, where the user has to look through multiple submenus to find the target, the basic AAMU design suffers from a "cursor trapping" problem, where the user has to move the cursor out of the activation area prior to exploring another submenu. An evaluation of an improved AAMU design shows that it is as fast as or faster than traditional menus and EMUs for both selection and searching tasks.
Keywords: Cascading pull-down menus / Menu navigation / Steering / Selection / Evaluation

IJHCS 2011 Volume 69 Issue 12

Psychological needs and virtual worlds: Case Second Life BIBAKFull-Text 787-800
  Partala Timo
The most advanced contemporary virtual worlds provide their users with a possibility for living versatile virtual lives together with other users. A growing number of users worldwide are utilizing this possibility. The aim of this research was to study active virtual world users' satisfaction of psychological needs both inworld and outworld. A global online survey for the users of Second Life was constructed based on a model of ten psychological needs. The results based on 258 responses indicated that self-esteem, autonomy and physical thriving were the most highly satisfied needs inworld. Furthermore, the results indicated that autonomy, physical thriving, and money-luxury were needs, which were satisfied to a significantly larger extent in the virtual world than in the users' real lives (when not using a computer). On the other hand, the needs for competence, relatedness, security, and popularity-influence were more extensively satisfied in the users' daily lives than when in Second Life. The qualitative findings highlighted relatedness needs as motivations for Second Life usage and revealed five central themes in the motivations for Second Life usage: Second Life as self-therapy, as a source of instant pleasures, as liberation from social norms, as a tool for self-expression, and as exploration and novelty. In all, the findings suggest that the use of advanced virtual worlds is driven by a variety of different psychological needs. Virtual world usage is also related to need satisfaction in the users' lives outside the virtual world.
Keywords: Virtual worlds / Second Life / Psychological needs
Affect prediction from physiological measures via visual stimuli BIBAKFull-Text 801-819
  Feng Zhou; Xingda Qu; Martin G. Helander; Jianxin (Roger) Jiao
This study aims to predict different affective states via physiological measures with three types of computational models. An experiment was designed to elicit affective states with standardized affective pictures when multiple physiological signals were measured. Three data mining methods (i.e., decision rules, k-nearest neighbours, and decomposition tree) based on the rough set technique were then applied to construct prediction models from the extracted physiological features. We created three types of prediction models, i.e., gender-specific (male vs. female), culture-specific (Chinese vs. Indian vs. Western), and general models (participants with different genders and cultures as samples), and direct comparisons were made among these models. The best average prediction accuracies in terms of the F1 measures (the harmonic mean of precision and recall) were 60.2%, 64.9%, 63.5% for the general models with 14, 21, and 42 samples, 78.0% for the female models, 75.1% for the male models, 72.0% for the Chinese models, 73.0% for the Indian models, and 76.5% for the Western models, respectively. These results suggested that the specific models performed better than did the general models.
Keywords: Affective computing / Human -- computer interaction / Physiological measure / Affect elicitation / Affect prediction / Data mining
An empirical investigation into the design of auditory cues to enhance computer program comprehension BIBAKFull-Text 820-838
  Andreas Stefik; Christopher Hundhausen; Robert Patterson
Decades of research have led to notable improvements in the representations used to aid human comprehension of computer programs. Much of this research has focused on visual representations, which leaves open the question of how best to design auditory representations of computer programs. While this question has particular relevance for visually impaired programmers, sighted programmers might also benefit from enhanced auditory representations of their programs. In order to investigate this question empirically, first, we introduce artifact encoding, a novel approach to rigorously measuring the comprehensibility of auditory representations of computer programs. Using this approach as a foundation, we present an experimental study that compared the comprehensibility of two alternative auditory program representations: one with lexical scoping cues that convey the nesting level of program statements, and another without such scoping cues. The results of our first experiment validate both artifact encoding and the scoping cues we used. To see whether auditory cues validated through our paradigm can aid program comprehension in a realistic task scenario, we experimentally compared programmers' ability to debug programs using three alternative environments: (1) an auditory execution environment with our empirically derived auditory cues; (2) an auditory execution environment with the current state-of-the-art auditory cues generated by a screen reader running on top of Microsoft Visual Studio; and (3) a visual version of the execution environment. The results of our second experiment showed that our comprehensible auditory cues are significantly better than the state-of-the-art, affording human performance approaching the effectiveness of visual representations within the statistical margin of error. This research contributes a novel methodology and foundational empirical data that can guide the design of effective auditory representations of computer programs.
Keywords: Auditory programming / Programming / Debugging / Program comprehension
Investigating the affective quality of interactivity by motion feedback in mobile touchscreen user interfaces BIBAKFull-Text 839-853
  Doyun Park; Ji-Hyun Lee; Sangtae Kim
Emotion is a key aspect of user experience. To design a user interface for positive emotional experience, the affective quality of the user interface needs to be carefully considered. A major factor of affective quality in today's user interface for digital media is interactivity, in which motion feedback plays a significant role as an element. This role of motion feedback is particularly evident in touchscreen user interfaces that have been adopted rapidly in mobile devices. This paper presents two empirical studies performed to increase our understanding of motion feedback in terms of affective quality in mobile touchscreen user interfaces. In the first study, the relationships between three general motion properties and a selected set of affective qualities are examined. The results of this study provide a guideline for the design of motion feedback in existing mobile touchscreen user interfaces. The second study explores a new dimension of interactivity that is the Weight factor of Laban's Effort system. To experiment the Weight factor in a mobile touchscreen user interface, a pressure sensitive prototype was developed to recognize the amount of force applied by the user's finger action. With this prototype, the effects of implementing pressure requirements on four different types of user interfaces were examined. Results show that implementing the Weight factor can significantly influence the affective quality and complement the physical feel of a user interface. The issues to consider for effective implementation are also discussed.
Keywords: User experience / Affective quality / Interactivity / Motion feedback / Mobile touchscreen user interface
Design of human-centric adaptive multimodal interfaces BIBAKFull-Text 854-869
  J. Kong; W. Y. Zhang; N. Yu; X. J. Xia
Multimodal interfaces have attracted more and more attention. Most researches focus on each interaction mode independently and then fuse information at the application level. Recently, several frameworks and models have been proposed to support the design and development of multimodal interfaces. However, it is challenging to provide automatic modality adaptation in multimodal interfaces. Existing approaches are using rule-based specifications to define the adaptation of input/output modalities. Rule-based specifications have the problems of completeness and coherence. Distinct from previous work, this paper presents a novel approach that quantifies the user preference of each modality and considers the adaptation as an optimization issue that searches for a set of input/output modalities matching user's preference. Our approach applies a cross-layer design, which considers the adaptation from the perspectives of the interaction context, available system resources, and QoS requirements. Furthermore, our approach supports human-centric adaptation. A user can report the preference of a modality so that selected modalities fit user's personal needs. An optimal solution and a heuristic algorithm have been developed to automatically select an appropriate set of modality combinations under a specific situation. We have designed a framework based on the heuristic algorithm and existing ontology, and applied the framework to conduct a utility evaluation, in which we have employed a within-subject experiment. Fifty participants were invited to go through three scenarios and compare automatically selected modalities with randomly selected modalities. The results from the experiment show that users perceived the automatically selected modalities as appropriate and satisfactory.
Keywords: Adaptive multimodal interfaces / Human -- computer interaction / Optimization / Adaptive user interface design / Linear programming / User study / Utility evaluation / Mobile users
Factors affecting perception of information security and their impacts on IT adoption and security practices BIBAKFull-Text 870-883
  Ding-Long Huang; Pei-Luen Patrick Rau; Gavriel Salvendy; Fei Gao; Jia Zhou
The gap between the perceived security of an information system and its real security level can influence people' decisions and behavior. The objective of this study is to find effective ways to adjust people's perception of information security, in order to enhance their intention to adopt IT appliances and compliance to security practices. Two separate experiments were conducted. In experiment I, 64 participants were asked to transfer money through an e-banking system. Their intention to adopt e-banking was measured by a questionnaire. In experiment II, 64 participants were asked to register on an online forum. Their subjective intention to create a strong password was measured by a questionnaire, and the objective strength of the passwords they created was calculated. Results of the ANOVA and the path models derived from the path analysis indicated that people's adoption intention, such as their intention to adopt e-banking, can be enhanced by changing their perceived Knowledge, Controllability and Awareness, while changing the perceived Controllability is most effective. The results also indicated that people's compliance to security practices, such as setting strong passwords for IT systems, can be enhanced by changing their perceived Knowledge, Severity and Possibility, while changing their perceived Knowledge and Severity is most effective. Implications for further research and practice were also discussed.
Keywords: Perception / Information security / IT adoption / Security practices / e-Banking / Password