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Interacting with Computers 16

Editors:Dianne Murray
Dates:2004
Volume:16
Publisher:Elsevier Science
Standard No:ISSN 0953-5438
Papers:60
Links:Table of Contents
  1. IWC 2004 Volume 16 Issue 1
  2. IWC 2004 Volume 16 Issue 2
  3. IWC 2004 Volume 16 Issue 3
  4. IWC 2004 Volume 16 Issue 4
  5. IWC 2004 Volume 16 Issue 5
  6. IWC 2004 Volume 16 Issue 6

IWC 2004 Volume 16 Issue 1

EDITORIAL

Global human-computer systems: cultural determinants of usability BIBFull-Text 1-5
  Andy Smith; Fahri Yetim

ARTICLE

The impact of religious affiliation on trust in the context of electronic commerce BIBAKFull-Text 7-27
  Haytham Siala; Robert M. O'Keefe; Kate S. Hone
There is currently a growing literature on the role that trust plays in encouraging consumers to engage in e-commerce transactions. Various models have been proposed which aim to identify both the antecedents and outcomes of trust displayed towards e-commerce web sites. Increased trust is generally shown to increase positive user attitude, which in turn is linked to increased willingness to buy. Studies have shown the antecedents of trust include variables such as the perceived reputation and size of the vendor organisation. The current paper explores the role of cultural variables as antecedents of trust with the main emphasis being on religious affiliation. Participants recruited from Christian, Muslim and other faiths were asked to interact with online bookstores identified as Christian, Muslim or Neutral. Trust and attitudes towards the web sites were measured and this data was used to test the hypothesis that same-religion sites would be trusted and liked more than other religion or neutral sites. This hypothesis was partially supported, but only for the Muslim participants. It was found that the Muslim group expressed significantly more trust in the Muslim site compared to the Christian site. They also expressed significantly more positive attitudes towards the Muslim online bookstore than the other two sites. The implications of these results for theories of web based trust and attitude are discussed along with the practical implications of the findings.
Keywords: Trust; Electronic commerce; Culture; Religion
Introducing ATMs in India: a contextual inquiry BIBAKFull-Text 29-44
  Antonella De Angeli; Uday Athavankar; Anirudha Joshi; Lynne Coventry; Graham I. Johnson
This paper presents a method and results of an ethnographic study aimed at building an understanding of Automatic Teller Machine (ATM) adoption in Mumbai, India. The study combined field observations and semi-structured interviews (N=43) of early ATM adopters, bank customers who do not use ATMs, and people who used the ATM for the first time as part of our research. Data were analysed to identify specific cultural traits that may affect the adoption of ATMs in urban India. Results demonstrated the unique role of the cultural context in affecting users' expectations and behavioural possibilities, thus determining people's response to the machine. This led to the conclusion that an understanding of cultural biases and metaphors can facilitate technology diffusion and acceptance informing design localisation and supporting the development of strategies to motivate and train users.
Keywords: Automatic teller machines adoption; Design localisation; Hofstede's culture dimensions; Emerging market; Ethnography; Cross-cultural user research
Chinese culture and e-commerce: an exploratory study BIBAKFull-Text 45-62
  Alev M. Efendioglu; Vincent F. Yip
Differing characteristics of local environments, both infrastructural and socio-economic, have created a significant level of variation in the acceptance and growth of e-commerce in different regions of the world. This paper focuses on the impact of these infrastructural and socio-economic factors on e-commerce development in China. The findings provide insights into the role of culture in e-commerce, and the factors that may impact a broader acceptance and development of e-commerce in China. In this paper, we present and discuss our findings, and identify changes that will be required for broader acceptance and diffusion of e-commerce in China. Cultural issues such as "socializing effect of commerce", "transactional and institutional trust", and "attitudes toward debt" were determined to be the major impediments to e-commerce in China. However, our research also shows that, even though their means for payment are different, the most enlightened, able, and sophisticated consumers in China participate in e-commerce in the same frequencies as the mainstream e-commerce consumers in the US.
Keywords: Electronic commerce; China; Culture; Technology diffusion; Trust; Developing countries; Digital economy
A process model for developing usable cross-cultural websites BIBAKFull-Text 63-91
  Andy Smith; Lynne Dunckley; Tim French; Shailey Minocha; Yu Chang
In this paper we present a process model for developing usable cross-cultural websites. Compatible with ISO 13407, the process model documents an abstraction of the design process focusing on cultural issues in development. It provides a framework in which a variety of user-based and expert-based techniques for analysis and design are placed within the life-cycle of website development. In developing the model, we relate practical approaches to design with theories and models of culture and discuss the relevance of such theories to the practical design process. In particular we focus on four key concerns: how an audit of local website attractors can inform the design process; the concept of a cultural fingerprint to contrast websites with the cultural needs of local users; the problems associated with user evaluation; and cross-cultural team development. We then show their relation to our process model. We conclude by summarising our contribution to date within the field.
Keywords: Cross-cultural usability; Websites; Globalisation; Cultural fingerprint; Attractors; User evaluation
Integrated digital communities: combining web-based interaction with text messaging to develop a system for encouraging group communication and competition BIBAKFull-Text 93-113
  E. Sillence; C. Baber
Digital communities are often portrayed as operating entirely within the confines of a single technological domain, e.g. a group of people in a web-based chatroom. In this study an integrated approach to digital communities is explored. It is proposed that members of communities employ a range of digital technologies to support their activities and sense of community. This paper describes a study that develops a community using combined text messaging or Short Messaging Service (SMS) with web-based interaction. An application based on this specification is built in order to develop and support a digital community based around the 2002 World Cup. Participants interacted with the system during the soccer tournament, chatting with other members and taking part in competitions. They successfully integrated SMS with the website. Participants reported feeling like a cohesive group and showed increased interest in soccer and the World Cup.
Keywords: Digital communities; Media integration; Online groups; Message boards; Text messaging
Personalised adult e-training on computer use based on multiple attribute decision making BIBAKFull-Text 115-132
  Katerina Kabassi; Maria Virvou
This paper examines the utility of a multiple attribute decision making method, the Simple Additive Weighting (SAW), for the purposes of an Intelligent Learning Environment (ILE) that provides adults with personalised e-learning. The ILE is called Web Intelligent Trainer and is meant to help novice users learn how to manipulate the file store of their personal computer. The generation of advice makes use of adaptive hypermedia techniques and is adapted to each individual learner's needs, depending on their knowledge level, age, habits and difficulties. SAW has been applied in the ILE and has been evaluated with respect to the performance of the ILE. As a result, SAW seems particularly appropriate for the ILE.
Keywords: Adult e-learning; Human-computer interface; Intelligent tutoring systems; Information technology skills
Coupling structural and functional models for interaction design BIBAKFull-Text 133-161
  Dong-Seok Lee; Wan Chul Yoon
Model-based interaction design is a promising approach to the problem of building sophisticated interactive systems. Although many models and model-based design methods have been proposed, in practice their effectiveness has tended to be limited to solving fragmented design problems. One factor that has diminished the effectiveness of previous approaches has been their inability to integrate the various models used for different aspects of the overall design problem. This paper proposes a novel approach for combining a structural model and a functional model for complicated interaction design. Formal correspondence between the models is defined and a conversion process to transform from one model to the other and vice versa is introduced. The functional model, OCD, is an efficient technique for representing task procedures, while the structural model, statechart, is well suited to representing system behavior. The usability needs and system requirements are introduced into the design process through either representation. Then, the constraints formed by a decision in a model can be seen by the designer in the other model through transformation. The possibility of automatic conversion between the models warrants the consistence between the models through the design process even when the models should continually evolve.
Keywords: Model-based interaction design; Coupling models; Operation and control diagram; Statecharts

IWC 2004 Volume 16 Issue 2

ARTICLE

Developing web annotation tools for learners and instructors BIBAKFull-Text 163-181
  Pei-Luen Patrick Rau; Sho-Hsen Chen; Yun-Ting Chin
This research develops Web annotation tools (WATs), allowing users to annotate on hypertexts, to build up knowledge structure, to browse instructions provided electronically by the system administrator or the instructor, to share annotations with the other learner, and to instruct other learners. The WATs is a distributed World Wide Web application based on HTTP access and allows annotations on HTML documents. The major functions of WATs include highlighting texts, inserting and editing annotations, organizing and presenting annotations hierarchically, as well as sharing annotations. There are two modes for WATs, individual and sharing modes. For the individual mode, the five interactive components are Main Tool Bar, Hypertext, Annotation Editor, Hierarchy Viewer, and Instruction Viewer. The sharing mode supports asynchronous and synchronous sharing of annotations and discussion for peer-to-peer and instructor-to-student collaborative learning.
Keywords: Annotation technology; World Wide Web; Learning technology
Evaluation of multimedia applications using inspection methods: the Cognitive Walkthrough case BIBAKFull-Text 183-215
  Julien Huart; Christophe Kolski; Mouldi Sagar
Many evaluation methods are to be found in research literature: they can be formal, automatic, empirical or informal. The informal methods include the so-called inspection methods, which provide a good compromise between the cost and implementation time on the one hand, and the results they make it possible to obtain on the other. Amongst these methods, Cognitive Walkthrough enables the detection of a certain number of usability defects and the estimation of the degree of seriousness of the defect. In this article, we concentrate on Cognitive Walkthrough. We are particularly interested in it because, as far as we know, it is the only method based on theory (the theory of learning through exploration, itself inspired by Norman's Action Theory). However, although its usefulness as regards software ergonomics has been recognised, its efficiency in the case of multimedia applications is still far from being proved and very few research projects have been published on the matter. In fact, multimedia documents have characteristics which differ from those of traditional human-machine systems. This article presents a study on the use of Cognitive Walkthrough for the evaluation of several multimedia applications intended for the general public; it reveals the difficulties met by users and the areas in which the method needs to be adapted.
Keywords: Evaluation; Cognitive Walkthrough; Multimedia application
Task demands and memory in web interaction: a levels of processing approach BIBAKFull-Text 217-241
  Antti Oulasvirta
The Levels of Processing principle holds that the strength of the encoded memory trace depends on the mental operations carried out during goal-pursuit. Therefore, memory should be better for web elements that are more deeply processed. Participants (N=24) accomplished several information finding tasks with printed web pages in two conditions: navigation-orientation and content-orientation. The results support the prediction and show marked differences between the two tasks in how the locations and features of task-relevant and -irrelevant elements are remembered. In explaining the results, the levels of processing principle is bound to a wider model of perception, attention, and memory in web interaction. It is argued that the memory test tapped explicit memories that are not recruited in the rapid on-line control of attention but rather in higher-level operations such as planning and error recovery in interaction. Implications are proposed for the design of memorable user interfaces, adaptive hypertext, and notifications.
Keywords: Memory; Hypertext; Levels of processing; Navigation; Content
Unified user interface design: designing universally accessible interactions BIBAKFull-Text 243-270
  Anthony Savidis; Constantine Stephanidis
Designing universally accessible user interfaces means designing for diversity in end-users and contexts of use, and implies making alternative design decisions, at various levels of the interaction design, inherently leading to diversity in the final design outcomes. Towards this end, a design method leading to the construction of a single interface design instance is inappropriate, as it cannot accommodate for diversity of the resulting dialogue artifacts. Therefore, there is a need for a systematic process in which alternative design decisions for different design parameters may be supported. The outcome of such a design process realizes a design space populated with appropriate designed dialogue patterns, along with their associated design parameters (e.g. user- and usage-context-attribute values). This paper discusses the Unified Interface Design Method, a process-oriented design method enabling the organization of diversity-based design decisions around a single hierarchical structure, and encompassing a variety of techniques such as task analysis, abstract design, design polymorphism and design rationale.
Keywords: Dialogue design; Polymorphic task analysis; Design rationale; Interface adaptation; Unified user interfaces
Tailoring reveals information requirements: the case of anaesthesia alarms BIBAKFull-Text 271-293
  Marcus Watson; Penelope Sanderson; W. John Russell
We discuss the phenomenon of system tailoring in the context of data from an observational study of anaesthesia. We found that anaesthetists tailor their monitoring equipment so that the auditory alarms are more informative. However, the occurrence of tailoring by anaesthetists in the operating theatre was infrequent, even though the flexibility to tailor exists on many of the patient monitoring systems used in the study. We present an influence diagram to explain how alarm tailoring can increase situation awareness in the operating theatre but why factors inhibiting tailoring prevent widespread use. Extending the influence diagram, we discuss ways that more informative displays could achieve the results sought by anaesthetists when they tailor their alarm systems. In particular, we argue that we should improve our designs rather than simply provide more flexible tailoring systems, because users often find tailoring a complex task. We conclude that properly designed auditory displays may benefit anaesthetists in achieving greater patient situation awareness and that designers should consider carefully how factors promoting and inhibiting tailoring will affect the end-users' likelihood of conducting tailoring.
Keywords: Alarms; Tailoring; Interface design; Situation awareness; Auditory display; Sonification
The effects of affective interventions in human-computer interaction BIBAKFull-Text 295-309
  Timo Partala; Veikko Surakka
The present study investigated the psychophysiological effects of positive and negative affective interventions in human-computer interaction during and after the interventions. Eighteen subjects were exposed to pre-programmed mouse delays in an interactive problem-solving task. Following the mouse delays three types of conditions were used: positive or negative interventions given via speech synthesizer, and no intervention. Facial electromyographic responses were recorded from the zygomaticus major and corrugator supercilii muscle sites. These muscles control smiling and frowning, respectively. Smiling activity was significantly higher during the positive than the other conditions. It was also significantly higher after the positive interventions than the no intervention condition. The frowning activity attenuated significantly more after the positive interventions than the no intervention condition. Following the positive interventions the users' problem solving performance was significantly better than after no intervention. In all, the results suggest that both types of affective intervention had beneficial effects over ignoring the user. The results suggest further that positive intervention may be especially useful.
Keywords: Human emotions; Human-computer interaction; Psychophysiology; Affective intervention; Speech synthesis; Facial expression
Preferences of young children regarding interface layouts in child community web sites BIBAKFull-Text 311-330
  Chien-Hsu Chen; Fong-Gong Wu; Pei-Luen Patrick Rau; Yu-Hsiu Hung
This study investigates the child preferences regarding interface layouts in child community web sites. The objective of studying this area is to identify ways of making web sites more usable for children. Two experiments are conducted: interface layout experiment and layout evaluation. In the interface layout experiment, researchers recruited eight fifth-grade students with approximately one-year of Internet experience to arrange interface components and make research interfaces. During the layout evaluation, 16 students with some computer background are divided into two groups and asked to manipulate research interfaces and experimental interfaces, a sample of child community websites on Yahoo. Every movement of the tested students is recorded and the experiment is followed by retrospective interviews with the students. Four criteria of manipulative performance, degree of manipulation, recognition, remembrance and satisfaction, are then shown and discussed. The findings of the layout evaluation indicate that the research interfaces are superior to the experimental interfaces. In addition, this study proposes some interface layout guidelines for child community websites.
Keywords: Children; Interface layout; Web design; Preference; Child community web site; Usability
Interaction patterns for future interactive systems components BIBAKFull-Text 331-350
  MariaIsabel Sanchez-Segura; Angelica de Antonio; Antonio de Amescua
The development of future interactive systems (FIS) is in its infancy, so detailed guides describing the process to design them hardly exist. This may be due to the fact that their development is quite recent and what their components are and how they must be combined to develop a FIS are not yet clear or widely accepted.
   Our approach towards a thorough understanding of FIS was to analyse the different types of FIS and to extract general characteristics, which can be considered generic, in order to describe what a FIS consists of and how it works.
   In this paper, we present a classification of the components of a generic FIS and propose interactive behaviour patterns, which can be used to design the FIS components more easily. These patterns are part of the SENDA framework, which was defined to facilitate the rigorous development of a specific kind of FIS, which is Virtual Environments (VEs). The results obtained from the application of the proposed patterns to VEs development are also presented.
Keywords: Author Keywords: Virtual environments; Interaction methods; Virtual environment components; Virtual environment mechanisms
Critical factors for the aesthetic fidelity of web pages: empirical studies with professional web designers and users BIBAKFull-Text 351-376
  Su-e Park; Dongsung Choi; Jinwoo Kim
Recent advances of the broadband Internet and multimedia contents let web users demand from web pages not only cognitive usability but also appropriate feelings. At the same time, web designers also want to use web pages not just for conveying information but also for affecting users' impressions. However, despite users' needs and designers' desires, users do not always experience the same kinds of impressions that designers intended to convey through their web pages.
   The main goal of this paper is to identify critical factors that are closely related to the aesthetic fidelity of web pages, which is defined as the degree to which users feel the target impressions intended by designers. In order to achieve our goal, we have conducted three consecutive studies: an exploratory study with web users, a longitudinal experiment with professional web designers, and finally an online survey with web users. The results from the three studies indicated that the variability of user perception and appropriateness of visual elements were closely related to the aesthetic fidelity of web pages, whereas reliability of aesthetic dimensions was not. This paper ends with the limitations and implications of the study results.
Keywords: Aesthetic fidelity; Secondary emotion; Visual design; Aesthetic dimensions
What active users and designers contribute in the design process BIBAKFull-Text 377-401
  E. Olsson
With the hope of creating usable systems, we declare repeatedly that users should be involved in the design and development of computer systems, without questioning the reasons and motives behind this declaration. What, in fact, can users contribute to design and how can we best include their contributions in the development process in order to produce usable computer systems?
   This paper presents a study of the hands-on work of one group of designers and one group of user representatives (in this case marine captains) on a given design task. The groups met on separate occasions. The aim of the study was to present a qualitative analysis of the potential contributions to design by user representatives compared with interaction designers.
   The results are discussed in terms of methods and techniques that sanction the use of a particular domain-specific vocabulary, giving advantages to those who have a good command of that vocabulary. In addition, the study discusses how users' narratives may reveal qualitative domain knowledge that could function as the glue that keeps users and designers together in the design process.
Keywords: User involvement; User participation; User-centered design; Participatory design; Design decisions; Domain knowledge

IWC 2004 Volume 16 Issue 3

EDITORIAL

Universal usability revisited BIBFull-Text 403-410
  Mary Zajicek; Alistair Edwards

ARTICLE

Successful and available: interface design exemplars for older users BIBAKFull-Text 411-430
  Mary Zajicek
An increasing number of older people will need to use computers and computer related systems in the future to avoid social exclusion and enable them to live more independently. For example, we can envisage the web becoming the first source of information on bus timetables or council collections, and even doctor or hospital appointments being handled by a Web applications. There will therefore be many interface designers searching for pointers to good design for older people, a user group which is significantly different from the mainstream user groups as a result of age associated changes. There is currently no detailed body of knowledge from which interface designers can learn how to design for this user group. This paper suggests a framework for encapsulating good interface design for older people that is based on rigorous experimental work and sets out the findings in the form of patterns, a representation previously used in the domain of software engineering and architecture.
Keywords: Speech output; Older people; Interface design patterns; Interface design methodology; Research output
Capturing tacit knowledge from young girls BIBAKFull-Text 431-449
  Minna Isomursu; Pekka Isomursu; Kaisa Still
Young girls are a user group often neglected in the design of technical devices. In this paper, we describe a method for involving pre-teen and teen girls in a concept design process. With this target group we have experienced serious challenges in applying traditional participatory design methods, such as observations or interviews. As a solution, we have adopted a web-based storytelling environment where our target group is encouraged to create usage scenarios of a mobile terminal that would support their activities in a virtual community. Our results show that this approach is a very natural and fruitful method of involving this target group in the design process.
Keywords: Product concept design; Usage scenarios; Virtual communities; Design for children; Participatory design
A system for automatic structure discovery and reasoning-based navigation of the web BIBAKFull-Text 451-475
  E. Pontelli; T. C. Son; K. Kottapally; C. Ngo; R. Reddy; D. Gillan
In this paper, we highlight the main research directions currently pursued by the investigators for the development of new tools to improve Web accessibility for users with visual disabilities. The overall principle is to create intelligent software agents used to assist visually impaired individuals in accessing complex on-line data organizations (e.g. tables, frame structures) in a meaningful way. Accessibility agents make use of knowledge representation structures (automatically or manually derived) to assist users in developing navigation plans; these are employed to locate given pieces of information or to answer user's desired goals.
Keywords: Web accessibility; Agents; Table navigation
Abstract representations as a basis for usable user interfaces BIBAKFull-Text 477-506
  Shari Trewin; Gottfried Zimmermann; Gregg Vanderheiden
This article examines four existing or proposed standards for abstract description of user interfaces: UIML, XIML, XForms and URC. These are assessed with respect to a "universal remote console" scenario, in which abstract user interface descriptions enable any user to access and control any compliant device or service in the local environment, using any personal device. Achieving usable interfaces in this scenario requires an abstract language that (a) separates data from presentation; (b) explicitly declares interface elements, their state, dependencies, and semantics; (c) incorporates alternative resources in a flexible way; and (d) supports remote control and different interaction styles. Of the technologies examined, XForms and URC provide the best match to the requirements. While XForms requires an appropriate context of use to provide full access, the URC standard will include specification of the context in which the language is to be used. Two specific research challenges are identified: semantic tagging and the development of effective authoring processes.
Keywords: Abstract user interface; Device-independence; Modality-independence; Universal remote console; XForms; UIML; XIML
Applying heuristics to accessibility inspections BIBAKFull-Text 507-521
  Claire Paddison; Paul Englefield
Accessibility heuristics have been developed to complement accessibility guidelines. The use of Web accessibility heuristics in heuristic evaluations considers a greater range of special needs, such as visual impairments to cognitive disabilities. Key advantages of heuristics are conciseness, memorability, meaningfulness and insight. The heuristics allow evaluators to understand effectively which areas of a site have accessibility issues and provide useful insight into how to create a solution. However, the heuristics will not tell evaluators whether a Web site conforms to legislation. Studies have confirmed the view that while heuristics do not substitute for expertise, they do act to cue the deeper body of knowledge defined by the guidelines. It is essential that evaluators receive accessibility education before completing a heuristic evaluation using the accessibility heuristics.
Keywords: Accessibility; Heuristic evaluation; Accessibility heuristics; IBM heuristic evaluation database
Justification of the need for an ontology for accessibility requirements (Theoretic framework) BIBAKFull-Text 523-555
  K. R. Masuwa-Morgan; P. Burrell
The aim of this paper is to make a case generally for an ontology for accessibility requirements specification. Requirements specification is generally intended to provide clear, testable descriptions of what a system should do. What an ontology would do is to act like a requirements bank that provides methodology independent accessibility requirements that could then be used to extrapolate, on demand, conceptual models for a variety of implementations driven by a variety of methodologies. The effect of this would be to minimise requirements specification, ensure declarativity, standardisation, interoperability and reusability, whilst at the same time lending greater migratability from specification to design.
   There has been much worldwide action in developing guidelines, tools and methods in an attempt to ensure that technologies and information systems are accessible. There is, however, a growing need to partner these initiatives more closely with software engineering traditions. An ontology for accessibility requirements would provide formal semantic specifications beyond the syntactic provisions rendered by commonly used formal specification languages.
Keywords: Accessibility; Requirements specification; Ontology; Methodology
Understanding visual influence in graph design through temporal and spatial eye movement characteristics BIBAKFull-Text 557-578
  J. A. Renshaw; J. E. Finlay; D. Tyfa; R. D. Ward
We describe an experiment in which the eye movements of participants, carrying out tasks using two contrasting graph designs, were recorded by means of a remote eye tracking device. A variety of eye movement properties were measured and analysed both temporally and spatially. Both graph designs were based on specific psychological theories and established graph design guidelines. One incorporated attributes thought likely to enhance usability, the other included attributes likely to have the opposite effect. The results demonstrate that the design and location of a graph's legend and its spatial relationship to the data area are extremely important in determining a graph's usability. The incorporation of these and other design features may promote or detract from perceptual proximity and therefore influence a display's usability. The paper demonstrates that this influence is reflected in eye movement patterns, which can be readily monitored by means of a remote eye tracking system, and that a relatively simple temporal analysis of the results can give important insights as to how the usability of visual displays has been influenced.
Keywords: Eye tracking; Graphs; Usability; Perception
A framework for analyzing and understanding online communities BIBAKFull-Text 579-610
  Clarisse Sieckenius de Souza; Jenny Preece
Social interactions in online communities are varied and often complex, as are the communities themselves. The characteristics of the people, the range of purposes they pursue, the type of governance policies they develop, and the design of the software supporting a community, vary from community to community. These characteristics determine a community's sociability. Thus, the availability of powerful analytic tools to help designers understand existing technology-supported social activity online can broaden the spectrum of design knowledge and promote new insights for designing computer applications of this sort. In this paper, we present one such analytic tool -- a theoretically-based online community framework (OCF). In order to demonstrate the efficacy of the framework we elaborate on its communication constituent using semiotic theory to help us. This constituent is particularly important in the OCF because it addresses computer-mediated communication between community members, and also communication from interactive software designers to users via the software they design. This latter kind of communication can shape the community's experience to a considerable extent, as our analysis shows. The paper ends with an agenda for future research.
Keywords: Framework; Online community; Semiotic engineering; Sociability; Usability

IWC 2004 Volume 16 Issue 4

EDITORIAL

Human-computer interaction in Latin America BIBFull-Text 611-614
  C. de Souza; S. Barbosa

ARTICLE

A dialogue-based approach for evaluating educational software BIBAKFull-Text 615-633
  Luciano Meira; Flavia Peres
This article offers a perspective on evaluating educational software based on users' dialogue as they engage in interaction with a particular program, rather than on features of the software per se. Building on analytical constructs and techniques of Conversation Analysis, we suggest an evaluative approach that identifies gaps or breakdowns in users' dialogues and maps the mismatches between users' actions and software behavior. The article presents two case studies to illustrate this dialogue-based approach, and discusses ways of integrating this perspective with more traditional guidelines for software evaluation based on features such as interface design and feedback types.
Keywords: Educational software; Software evaluation; Interface design; Conversation Analysis
Compulsory institutionalization: investigating the paradox of computer-supported informal social processes BIBAKFull-Text 635-656
  Clarisse Sieckenius de Souza; Ana Maria Nicolaci-da-Costa; Elton Jose da Silva; Raquel Oliveira Prates
The nature and depth of technological interference on social activities online are not fully understood. We discuss one such type of interference -- compulsory institutionalization, the process by which non-institutionalized face-to-face informal groups, who typically adopt implicit norms tacitly accepted by members, must create a set of explicit group structuring rules with very specific computer-encoded meanings and abide by them when they migrate to online group environments. In societies where rules can be bypassed in view of more highly valued social norms, like the Brazilian society, compulsory institutionalization may undermine experiences that are highly valued to face-to-face groups. In this article, we contrast the findings of our study with a Brazilian group of potential groupware users and those of our semiotic inspection of YahooGroups, SmartGroups and MSN Groups. We show how the systems may frustrate the group's expectations and limit their interaction online. Reflecting on the causes and consequences of compulsory institutionalization, we conclude that the social-technical gap in group technologies may not be possible to bridge completely, and that the fulcrum of scientific research in this area may include some new aspects.
Keywords: Groupware; Online communities; The social-technical gap; Semiotic engineering; Culture; Latin American societies
Study and analysis of workspace awareness in CDebate: a groupware application for collaborative debates BIBAKFull-Text 657-681
  Manuel Romero-Salcedo; Cesar A. Osuna-Gomez; Leonid Sheremetov; Luis Villa; Carlos Morales; Luis Rocha; Manuel Chi
In this paper, we study the workspace awareness in a groupware application allowing the development of an information task through collaborative debates. The application, called CDebate, is based on the APRI (Action-Perception-Reflection-Intention) model, which establishes a cognitive and motor states organization that occurs when humans are interacting with one another in a constructivist and collaborative learning situation. In CDebate, the interactions among students occur through a graphical language that reflects the mental operations appropriate for a debate. As an evaluation method, a conceptual framework, which provides a set of elements that give information about the up-to-the-moment knowledge about participants' location and actions, is used. The results of this study allow us to confirm that group awareness information, supported through a graphical language and a window showing the participants' presence (informal awareness), were sufficient for success in the collaborative learning situation. This experience could be useful for interface designers of groupware applications, in particular for collaborative debate interfaces.
Keywords: CSCL; Group awareness; Workspace awareness; Groupware interface; Collaborative debate; APRI

EDITORIAL

Doing to Be: Multiple Routes to Affective Interaction BIBFull-Text 683-691
  Gilbert Cockton

ARTICLE

The bug in the salad: the uses of emotions in computer interfaces BIBAKFull-Text 693-696
  Keith Oatley
The investigation of emotional aspects of users' interactions with systems is an important matter for human-computer interaction. The finding that users are prepared to work longer on systems that offer some acknowledgement of the frustration that occurs in using systems is an interesting pointer. The next step beyond acknowledgement will be for systems to join with users in working to repair the bugs in interaction that have been so frustrating.
Keywords: Emotion; Frustration; Social support; Debugging; Interaction; Repair
From doing to being: getting closer to the user experience BIBAKFull-Text 697-705
  Gillian M. Wilson; M. Angela Sasse
The research by Scheirer et al. (2002) is pivotal in promoting the use of psychophysiological measures in HCI. We argue that rather than inferring users' emotional states from the data, which is difficult to do reliably, the signals can be used as an indicator of user cost by monitoring changes in users' physiological responses. We applied this approach by monitoring Skin Conductance, Heart Rate and Blood Volume Pulse (as well as task performance and user satisfaction) to investigate the impact of media quality degradations on users. Five studies were conducted utilising this approach. Results show that psychophysiological data show responses to audio and video degradations: users respond to specific degradations with increased levels of arousal. In addition, psychophysiological responses do not always correlate with each other and subjective and physiological measures do not always concur, which means that psychophysiological data may detect responses that users are either not aware of or cannot recall at post-session subjective assessment. We thus conclude that psychophysiological measures have a valuable role to play in media quality evaluation.
Keywords: Computing; Psychophysiology; Facial expression
Affective computing: problems, reactions and intentions BIBAKFull-Text 707-713
  R. D. Ward; P. H. Marsden
Although we share the optimistic vision of affective computing presented in Interacting with Computers 14(2), we question the extent to which affective sensing can support the kinds of applications proposed in the literature. These applications depend upon the detection of affective reactions to HCI situations and events, but it has yet to be shown that such reactions can reliably be detected in subtle and natural situations. We also point out that, in human-human interaction, intentional commmunicative affect is both easier to recognise and more important than reactive affect. We suggest exploration of this idea may lead to more fruitful applications of affective computing.
Keywords: Computing; Psychophysiology; Facial expression
Affective computing in the era of contemporary neurophysiology and health informatics BIBAKFull-Text 715-721
  Panagiotis D. Bamidis; Christos Papadelis; Chrysoula Kourtidou-Papadeli; Costas Pappas; Ana B. Vivas
This commentary is a response to Interacting with Computers (Vol 14) [Interacting Comput. 14 (2002) 119], [Interacting with Comput. 14 (2002) 141], [Interacting Comput. 14 (2002) 93]. Its aim is to discuss the role that neurophysiological measurements, such as EEG and MEG, may play in affective computing. The discussion is drawn upon the light of current experience and practice, as well as, advances envisaged in the fields of health informatics, telecommunications and biomedical engineering. It is explained why HCI research into interface evaluation and affective computing may be greatly enhanced by exploiting the underlying information of neurophysiological recordings.
Keywords: Neurophysiology; Magnetoencephalography (MEG); Electroencephalography (EEG); Neuroimaging; Brain; Physiological measures; Microdevices; E-health
Adventurers versus nit-pickers on affective computing BIBAKFull-Text 723-728
  Gitte Lindgaard
In reviewing the three articles presented by the MIT group on some aspects of affective computing I voice some of my concerns with the view that we can and should design computers to respond to our changing moods and whims, and my strong skepticism towards claims that such responsiveness should make us happier human beings in the long run. I first explain and justify my position, then briefly address the notion of affect, and finally, present some thoughts on trust.
Keywords: Affect; Emotion; Sentiment; Anthropomorphism; Trust
Designing to persuade: the use of emotion in networked media BIBAKFull-Text 729-738
  Ann Light
This commentary looks first at the paradigm shift taking place in analysis of people's interactions with digital products and services -- from evaluating performance to researching experience -- in line with trends towards the connectivity, mobility and domestication of devices. It then asks what impact this shift has on our understanding of emotion and technology use; exploring the rise of "generative" situations, in particular when the producer of a networked service has different intentions from the user's and the stimulation of affect may be considered desirable. The author's work analysing the emotional impact of the design of networked media is outlined. The paper concludes with some thoughts on the ethics of manipulation.
Keywords: Networked media; Intention; Experience; Persuasion; Emotion; Website; Ethics
Pressing the right buttons: taking the viewer there BIBAKFull-Text 739-749
  Cath Dillon; Jonathan Freeman; Edmund Keogh
Theory and research presented in a special issue of Interacting with Computers (Vol. 14) on affective-computing is concerned with the way in which computer interfaces could be better designed to meet emotional needs. This commentary on the special issue suggests that traditional media, such as film and television, may also meet some emotional needs and further proposes that the concept of presence (the subjective sense of "being there" in a mediated environment) has some explanatory power when considering emotional responses to media. In particular, it is argued that advanced broadcast systems (e.g. interactive and immersive television) may provide increased opportunities for affective-computing and experiences of presence in the home. Applications of research in both fields could be used to improve and extend the use of advanced broadcast systems and other media in that techniques used to enhance presence and improve human-computer interactions may be used to address emotional needs in novel ways using familiar media.
Keywords: Presence; Emotion; Affective-computing; Immersive television; Interactive television; Media schemata
Tools over solutions? comments on Interacting with Computers special issue on affective computing BIBAKFull-Text 751-757
  Noam Tractinsky
The emotional system is highly sensitive to individual, cultural and contextual differences. This creates difficulties in studying and designing affect in HCI. It is hard to see how grand visions of affective HCI survive the harsh complexity and intricacy of human emotions. Perhaps a more realistic approach to accommodating users' affective needs is to design interactive technologies that would help users help themselves. Users can stay in full control, being allowed to personalize and tailor applications in a way that satisfies, mitigates, or enhances various emotional states or needs.
Keywords: Affective computing; Aesthetics; Personalization; Skins
Multiple paradigms in affective computing BIBAKFull-Text 759-768
  Michael Muller
This brief essay considers the three papers of the special issue of Interacting with Computers by Picard and colleagues, from several perspectives. First, I question two aspects of the work: the Computers Are Social Actors (CASA) approach, and the use of psychophysiological measurements of emotion without a stated theory of emotion. Despite these criticisms, the contributions of Picard and colleagues are valuable and powerfully challenging. I suggest three convergent ways to pursue this important research program.
Keywords: Affective computing; Frustration; Empathic interface; Theories of emotion; Psychophysiology of emotion; Computers are social actors (CASA); Spiritual life; Ethnography; Design explorations
Individual differences and task-based user interface evaluation: a case study of pending tasks in email BIBAKFull-Text 769-797
  Jacek Gwizdka; Mark Chignell
This paper addresses issues raised by the ever-expanding role of email as a multi-faceted application that combines communication, collaboration, and task management. Individual differences analysis was used to contrast two email user interfaces in terms of their demands on users. The results of this analysis were then interpreted in terms of their implications for designing more inclusive interfaces that meet the needs of users with widely ranging abilities.
   The specific target of this research is the development of a new type of email message representation that makes pending tasks more visible. We describe a study that compared a new way of representing tasks in an email inbox, with a more standard representation (the Microsoft Outlook inbox). The study consisted of an experiment that examined how people with different levels of three specific cognitive capabilities (flexibility of closure, visual memory, and working memory) perform when using these representations. We then identified combinations of representation and task that are disadvantageous for people with low levels of the measured capabilities.
Keywords: Email interfaces; Task management; Individual differences; External representations; User interface design
Four approaches to user modelling -- a qualitative research interview study of HCI professionals' practice BIBAKFull-Text 799-829
  T. Clemmensen
In this paper, four types of experienced HCI Professionals are interviewed about their different ways of describing users. By use of the qualitative research interview technique of thematizing the dialogue as explicit, implicit and constructive conversations about users, these differences are explored. The research shows that the traditional usability engineering approach to user description produce person descriptions that are filled with idiosyncratic information about the individual in the particular test situation. Less traditional approaches to user modelling give other kinds of schematic user typification in terms of the users' roles, users' social events or users' self-concepts. Despite the obvious fallacies in these approaches, typification of users appears unproblematic for the experienced HCI professional, because in practice user types are rich conceptual structures that support professional user modelling. Accordingly, we suggest that it might not be that important to discuss why user types exist, but rather to study their application and change and under which conditions they become user stereotypes, and how we may counteract the negative effects of user stereotypes on design.
Keywords: User modelling; Qualitative research interview; HCI professional; Stereotype
Heuristic evaluation of virtual reality applications BIBAKFull-Text 831-849
  Alistair Sutcliffe; Brian Gault
This paper presents a heuristic method for evaluating virtual environment (VE) user interfaces. The method is based on Nielsen's [Usability Inspection Methods, 1994] usability heuristics, extended by VE-specific principles proposed by Sutcliffe and Kaur [Behaviour and Information Technology 19 (2000) 415-426]. Twelve heuristics are presented which address usability and presence issues. An inspection-based evaluation method is described and illustrated with three usability case study assessments, the last of which rates the applicability and validity of the heuristics by several evaluators. Use of the method uncovered several usability problems and trapped the most serious errors. Finally, VE applications integrating measures of usability and presence are discussed.
Keywords: CAVE; Virtual environment; Heuristic evaluation; Usability

IWC 2004 Volume 16 Issue 5

EDITORIAL

The emergence of physiological computing BIBFull-Text 851-855
  Winslow Burleson

ARTICLE

A research agenda for physiological computing BIBAKFull-Text 857-878
  Jennifer Allanson; Stephen H. Fairclough
Physiological computing involves the direct interfacing of human physiology and computer technology, i.e. brain-computer interaction (BCI). The goal of physiological computing is to transform bioelectrical signals from the human nervous system into real-time computer input in order to enhance and enrich the interactive experience. Physiological computing has tremendous potential for interactive innovation but research activities are often disparate and uneven, and fail to reflect the multidisciplinary nature of the topic. This paper will provide a primer on detectable human physiology as an input source, a summary of relevant research and a research agenda to aid the future development of interactive systems that utilise physiological information.
Keywords: Physiological computing; Biofeedback; Brain-computer interaction (BCI); Affective computing
An analysis of facial movement tracking in ordinary human-computer interaction BIBAKFull-Text 879-896
  Robert Ward
Automatic tracking of facial movement is potentially important as a non-invasive source of physiological data in Affective Computing applications. Facial movement tracking software is becoming commercially available and affordable. This paper explores the association between facial and physiological responses to computer-based events, and the viability of facial movement tracking in detecting and distinguishing qualitative differences in users' facial movements under normal conditions of computer use.
   Fifteen participants took a web-based quiz. The quiz contained two relatively ordinary HCI events as stimuli: an alert intended to evoke surprise, and questions with high affective content intended to evoke amusement. From previous findings, the alert was expected to be the stronger of the two stimuli. Participants' physiological arousal was recorded and their faces videoed. The videos for the periods around each event were analysed by commercially available facial movement tracking software.
   Human judges considered participants' faces to have responded to both stimuli, but more to the stronger of the two stimuli. Facial response did not always concur with physiological arousal. The tracker detected reactions to the stronger stimulus but had mixed success with the weaker stimulus. The tracker also generated different data profiles for two different facial expressions. These findings support the supposition that users' facial expressions can and do respond to ordinary computer-based events, and indicate that facial movement tracking is becoming a viable technique, and is available to non-computer vision specialists.
Keywords: Facial expression; Affective computing; Usability; Facial modelling; Anthropomorphic interfaces
On physiological computing with an application in interactive art BIBAKFull-Text 897-915
  Ernest Edmonds; Dave Everitt; Michael Macaulay; Greg Turner
The paper presents a discussion on the logic of the necessity for investigation into the area of physiological computing and reviews empirical work by some of the authors. In particular, the paper discusses the reliability of information that can be inferred from certain biological sensor data and ways in which positive benefits can be ensured or measured relating to the use of the feedback that can result from its use. One important and emerging application area for physiological feedback in interactive computing is in interactive art systems. In some respects, this application has been making strong progress for the particular reason that the interactive experience itself, rather than more abstract and problematic information handling, is at the core. Another interesting aspect of the applications in art is that they provide informal experimental investigations into these new forms of human-computer interaction, and artists are already devising new applications and interfaces for physiological information. The paper describes an art work employing physiological feedback, including a discussion of how it was built and of the participating audience reactions when exhibited.
Keywords: Interactive art; Physiological computing; Human-computer interaction
A platform for wearable physiological computing BIBAKFull-Text 917-937
  Astro Teller
As computers emerge, from the desktop and palm top, into everyday life, and on to our bodies there are opportunities to aggregate and present data and to realize and envision applications that have never before been possible. Tracking the physiological state of individuals, at resolutions measured in thousandths of a second instead of in visits per year, now makes it possible to ascertain caloric intake and expenditure, patterns of sleep, contextual activities such as working-out and driving, even parameters of mental state and health. An award wining multi-channel wearable physiological sensor has enabled the collection of data in natural settings from thousands of subjects engaged in diverse activities. The resulting corpus of physiological data from 4 years of aggregation has yielded over 30 million minutes of physiological data. Data modeling efforts are resulting in applications that enable real-time presentation of meaningful and actionable information to users and their designated collaborators (physicians, family members, counselors, coaches, etc.) The SenseWear system, its design and a summery of the experimental results and ongoing research initiatives will be presented. This discussion will show how the design and research efforts of ubiquitous, pervasive, and collaborative computing are converging to manifest the future of computing as: wearable, personal, and sympathetic.
Keywords: Wearable; Platform; SenseWear system
Desktop virtual environments: a study of navigation and age BIBAKFull-Text 939-956
  H. Sayers
Navigation in virtual environments on desktop systems is known to be problematic. Research into the usability of the tools presented on two-dimensional interfaces indicates that, for even relatively simple tasks, users experience some degree of frustration. As the user community broadens with an increasing range of applications and services making use of three-dimensional presentation, the usability of these interfaces becomes ever more important. In this paper, we describe the results of an experiment performed to evaluate the usability of a number of visual navigation tools and the effect for two age groups (18-45 and 46+). Results indicate that, for both age groups, the visual presentation of navigational aids improves navigation performance in terms of both time taken to complete tasks, and user satisfaction with the system. In all experimental conditions younger participants achieved better performance times, although the gap between the groups decreased when a choice of navigation aids was presented.
Keywords: Desktop virtual environments; Navigation; Age; Usability
Investigating actability dimensions: a language/action perspective on criteria for information systems evaluation BIBAKFull-Text 957-988
  Par J. Agerfalk
From a language/action perspective (LAP), information systems are conceived as tools for social action and communication. To date, LAP-based approaches have tended towards the abstract, focusing primarily on business modelling and different business interaction patterns. In this paper, nine dimensions of information systems from a LAP point of view are developed. The dimensions are founded on the notion that information systems used within a business context have the ability to act and to support human action -- they possess actability. The dimensions bring concrete design suggestions to systems development and evaluation by emphasizing aspects such as anonymization of information origin, appropriate visual presentation based on required action support, and the design of systems in relation to communication patterns and business responsibilities. Examples from a case study are discussed to show the applicability of the actability dimensions. The relationship between the suggested actability dimensions and commonly referred principles for assessing usability is elaborated.
Keywords: Actability; Usability; Social action; Design; Evaluation; Heuristics; Case study
An experimental study on the role of software synthesized 3D sound in augmented reality environments BIBAKFull-Text 989-1016
  Zhiying Zhou; Adrian David Cheok; Xubo Yang; Yan Qiu
Investigation of augmented reality (AR) environments has become a popular research topic for engineers, computer and cognitive scientists. Although application oriented studies focused on audio AR environments have been published, little work has been done to vigorously study and evaluate the important research questions of the effectiveness of 3D sound in the AR context, and to what extent the addition of 3D sound would contribute to the AR experience.
   Thus, we have developed two AR environments and performed vigorous experiments with human subjects to study the effects of 3D sound in the AR context. The study concerns two scenarios. In the first scenario, one participant must use vision only and vision with 3D sound to judge the relative depth of augmented virtual objects. In the second scenario, two participants must co-operate to perform a joint task in a game-based AR environment.
   Hence, the goals of this study are (1) to access the impact of 3D sound on depth perception in a single-camera AR environment, (2) to study the impact of 3D sound on task performance and the feeling of "human presence and collaboration", (3) to better understand the role of 3D sound in human-computer and human-human interactions, (4) to investigate if gender can affect the impact of 3D sound in AR environments. The outcomes of this research can have a useful impact on the development of audio AR systems which provide more immersive, realistic and entertaining experiences by introducing 3D sound. Our results suggest that 3D sound in AR environment significantly improves the accuracy of depth judgment and improves task performance. Our results also suggest that 3D sound contributes significantly to the feeling of "human presence and collaboration" and helps the subjects to "identify spatial objects".
Keywords: 3D sound; Augmented reality; Depth perception; Localization of sound; Task performance; Collaboration; User studies

IWC 2004 Volume 16 Issue 6

ARTICLE

My password is here! An investigation into visuo-spatial authentication mechanisms BIBAKFull-Text 1017-1041
  Karen Renaud; Antonella De Angeli
Passwords are the almost universal authentication mechanism, even though they are basically flawed and cause problems for users due to poor memorability. Graphical methods of authentication have recently excited some interest but little is known about their actual efficacy. There are basically two types of graphical authentication mechanisms: recognition-based and location-based -- also called visuo-spatial mechanisms. Whereas some kinds of recognition-based graphical authentication mechanisms have been evaluated by various researchers, there is still a need to investigate location-based graphical authentication mechanisms in a more rigorous fashion to determine whether they could be a viable alternative to traditional passwords for web usage. This paper discusses graphical authentication mechanisms in general and reports on the evaluation of one particular visuo-spatial mechanism, aimed at augmenting the password paradigm by providing a way to record passwords securely. Results and findings are presented, and conclusions drawn, some of which can also be applied to other types of visuo-spatial mechanisms. We also propose a set of metrics which can be used to measure the quality of web authentication mechanisms and apply these to a range of existing authentication mechanisms.
Keywords: User authentication; Graphical mechanisms; Visuo-spatial memory; Evaluation; Web authentication; Metrics
An experimental study on the role of 3D sound in augmented reality environment BIBAKFull-Text 1043-1068
  Zhiying Zhou; Adrian David Cheok; Xubo Yang; Yan Qiu
Investigation of augmented reality (AR) environments has become a popular research topic for engineers, computer and cognitive scientists. Although application oriented studies focused on audio AR environments have been published, little work has been done to vigorously study and evaluate the important research questions of the effectiveness of three-dimensional (3D) sound in the AR context, and to what extent the addition of 3D sound would contribute to the AR experience.
   Thus, we have developed two AR environments and performed vigorous experiments with human subjects to study the effects of 3D sound in the AR context. The study concerns two scenarios. In the first scenario, one participant must use vision only and vision with 3D sound to judge the relative depth of augmented virtual objects. In the second scenario, two participants must cooperate to perform a joint task in a game-based AR environment.
   Hence, the goals of this study are (1) to access the impact of 3D sound on depth perception in a single-camera AR environment, (2) to study the impact of 3D sound on task performance and the feeling of "human presence and collaboration", (3) to better understand the role of 3D sound in human-computer and human-human interactions, (4) to investigate if gender can affect the impact of 3D sound in AR environments. The outcomes of this research can have a useful impact on the development of audio AR systems, which provide more immersive, realistic and entertaining experiences by introducing 3D sound. Our results suggest that 3D sound in AR environment significantly improves the accuracy of depth judgment and improves task performance. Our results also suggest that 3D sound contributes significantly to the feeling of human presence and collaboration and helps the subjects to "identify spatial objects".
Keywords: 3D sound; Augmented reality; User study
Audio channel constraints in video-mediated communication BIBAKFull-Text 1069-1094
  Alison Sanford; Anne H. Anderson; Jim Mullin
This study investigated the effects of two types of audio channels upon the effectiveness of task-based interactions in a video-mediated context (VMC). Forty undergraduates completed a collaborative task (The Map Task) using either a full or half-duplex audio channel. Their performance was compared to face-to-face interactions, taken from the Human Communication Research Centre corpus of Map Task Dialogues. Effects of varying the audio channel were explored by comparing task performance, patterns of speech, and establishment of mutual understanding. Users of the full-duplex VMC made insufficient allowance for the VMC context; they completed the task less accurately than face-to-face participants, and interrupted each other more frequently than other participants. Participants in the half-duplex VMC however performed as well as face-to-face participants. They made sensible adaptations to the constraints imposed by the half-duplex VMC context, producing longer dialogues, with more explicit turn-taking management, and taking greater care in establishing mutual knowledge.
Keywords: Video-mediated communication; Audio channel configuration; Task performance; Patterns of speech; Discourse analysis; Adaptations
Evaluating the user-centredness of development organisations: conclusions and implications from empirical usability capability maturity assessments BIBAKFull-Text 1095-1132
  Timo Jokela
Improving the position and effectiveness of user-centred design, UCD, in software and product development is a challenge in many companies. One step towards improvements is to carry out a usability capability maturity, UCM, assessment to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of a development organisation in user-centred design. This article reports the lessons learnt from 11 empirical UCM assessments of R&D groups of Nokia, a software house, an SME, and a research institute in Finland. The first assessments were carried out using a standard process assessment model (a pre-version of ISO 18529); the last assessments were carried out using a new KESSU model that evolved during the research. It was found that the assessment model, its interpretation, and the viewpoints of the assessment team have a critical role in the success of assessments. In addition, it was found that the customers have different purposes for assessments and those purposes have an effect on how one should conduct the assessment -- or whether to conduct it at all.
Keywords: User-centred design; Human-centred design; Process assessment; Usability maturity; Usability capability
Collaborating around vertical and horizontal large interactive displays: which way is best? BIBAKFull-Text 1133-1152
  Yvonne Rogers; Sian Lindley
Large interactive displays are increasingly being placed in work and public settings. An assumption is that the shared surface they provide can facilitate collaboration among co-located groups. An exploratory study was carried out to investigate this claim, and, in particular, to examine the effects of the physical orientation of a display on group working. Two conditions were compared: vertical versus horizontal. A number of differences were found. In the horizontal condition group members switched more between roles, explored more ideas and had a greater awareness of what each other was doing. In the vertical condition groups found it more difficult to collaborate around the display. A follow-up study explored how participants, who had previous experience of using both displays, determined how to work together when provided with both kinds of display. The groups exhibited a more efficient and coordinated way of working but less collaboration in terms of the sharing and discussion of ideas.
Keywords: Display technology; Collaborative co-located working; Large interactive surfaces
Employing think-aloud protocols and constructive interaction to test the usability of online library catalogues: a methodological comparison BIBAKFull-Text 1153-1170
  M.J. Van den Haak; M.D.T de Jong; P.J. Schellens
This paper describes a comparative study of three usability test approaches: concurrent think-aloud protocols, retrospective think-aloud protocols, and constructive interaction. These three methods were compared by means of an evaluation of an online library catalogue, which involved four points of comparison: number and type of usability problems detected; relevance of the problems detected; overall task performance; and participant experiences. The results of the study showed that there were only few significant differences between the usability test approaches, mainly with respect to manner of problem detecting, task performance and participant experience. For the most part, the usability methods proved very much comparable, revealing similar numbers and types of problems that were equally relevant. Taking some practical aspects into account, a case can be made for preferring the concurrent think-aloud protocols over the other two methods.
Keywords: Usability testing; Concurrent think-aloud protocols; Retrospective think-aloud protocols; Constructive interaction; Co-discovery; Validity
Immediate usability: a case study of public access design for a community photo library BIBAKFull-Text 1171-1193
  Bill Kules; Hyunmo Kang; Catherine Plaisant; Anne Rose; Ben Shneiderman
This paper describes a novel instantiation of a digital photo library in a public access system. It demonstrates how designers can utilize characteristics of a target user community (social constraints, trust, and a lack of anonymity) to provide capabilities, such as unrestricted annotation and uploading of photos, which would be impractical in other types of public access systems. It also presents a compact set of design principles and guidelines for ensuring the immediate usability of public access information systems. These principles and guidelines were derived from our experience developing PhotoFinder Kiosk, a community photo library. Attendees of a major HCI conference (CHI 2001 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems) successfully used the tool to browse and annotate collections of photographs spanning 20 years of HCI-related conferences, producing a richly annotated photo history of the field of human-computer interaction. Observations and usage log data were used to evaluate the tool and develop the guidelines. They provide specific guidance for practitioners, as well as a useful framework for additional research in public access interfaces.
Keywords: Community photo library; Photo collection; Group annotation; Public access system; Immediate usability; Direct annotation; Direct manipulation; Drag-and-drop; Zero-trial learning; Walk-up-and-use; Casual use
Effective attention allocation behavior and its measurement: a preliminary study BIBAKFull-Text 1195-1210
  Y. Lin; W.J. Zhang; R.J. Koubek
In general, evaluation of human-machine interface design remains a challenging task. Specifically, there remains a lack of method for tracking effective human operator's attention. This paper presents a study aimed at devising such a method. This method is based on a combination of operators' eye movement and hand movement behaviors. The eye movement reflects the operators' cognitive process and attention allocation, while the hand movement reflects the operators' physical action, which is the result of a cognitive process. Effectiveness of that piece of cognition (eye movement) can therefore be evaluated based on the result of an action (hand movement). The said measure, which may be called the hand-eye measure, is examined for its sensitivity to a good or poor operation behavior and patterns that are further correlated to the operator's behavior and performance. At present, the patterns across the whole operation period are explored. A reference system is employed to validate the hand-eye measure.
Keywords: Human-machine interface evaluation; Human-computer interaction; Attention allocation; Measurement; Eye movement; Hand movement