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Interacting with Computers 17

Editors:Dianne Murray
Dates:2005
Volume:17
Publisher:Elsevier Science
Standard No:ISSN 0953-5438
Papers:38
Links:Table of Contents
  1. IWC 2005 Volume 17 Issue 1
  2. IWC 2005 Volume 17 Issue 2
  3. IWC 2005 Volume 17 Issue 3
  4. IWC 2005 Volume 17 Issue 4
  5. IWC 2005 Volume 17 Issue 5
  6. IWC 2005 Volume 17 Issue 6

IWC 2005 Volume 17 Issue 1

EDITORIAL

Designing for civil society BIBFull-Text 1-8
  Steve Walker; Andy Dearden

ARTICLE

Participating in civil society: the case of networked communities BIBAKFull-Text 9-33
  Andrea Kavanaugh; John M. Carroll; Mary Beth Rosson; Debbie D. Reese; Than T. Zin
A community computer network facilitates civic participation by providing pervasive local resources online and by connecting people to local communication and discussion channels, public and non-profit organization leaders and members, and many other civic resources. We present findings from longitudinal data (two rounds between 2001 and 2002) of a stratified random survey of 100 households in a mature community network, the Blacksburg Electronic Village (BEV). We offer exploratory and confirmatory analyses, including a 'civic effects' model, that show demographic characteristics (education, age) and psychological factors (extroversion) explain staying informed, collective efficacy, group membership, activism, and using the Internet for civic and political purposes. The model further explains differences in respondents' involvement in local issues once they go online. Informed activists with multiple group memberships become more involved in local issues once going online, whereas informed non-activists become less involved once online. Our study suggests that in order to play a constructive role in creating a more civil society, community networks should explicitly pursue strategies that encourage community activism. One way to do this, given the strong role of association membership in activism, is for ISPs to offer bundled standard Internet applications at low cost to non-profit community groups (e.g. email for leadership, online discussion for members, web space). Community networks should also promote and support the use by local groups of innovative tools for non-experts, such as easy collaborative web-based tools for information production and collaboration.
Keywords: Community network; Human-computer interaction; Civic effect
Net neighbours: adapting HCI methods to cross the digital divide BIBAFull-Text 35-56
  Mark Blythe; Andrew Monk
This paper describes the development of Net Neighbours, an online shopping scheme that widens internet access to older people via volunteer telephone intermediaries. It outlines the processes of: problem identification, designing the telephone interaction, the financial model and the interface for the volunteer. It describes the application and adaptation of human computer interaction (HCI) techniques to address the needs of the local charity that co-developed the scheme. The paper begins by reporting the ethnographic work that led to the scheme; it then describes the pilot study conducted with Age Concern, York. It maps the various possible configurations for the scheme in a series of financial models expressed in tree diagrams and goes on to describe the use of pastiche scenarios in developing designs. Pastiche scenarios draw on fiction as a resource to explore, in an engaging manner, the social issues raised by technological innovations; the paper presents extracts from three such scenarios that were used to reason about dependability issues with Age Concern staff. The scheme is ongoing and plans are currently being made to extend it by recruiting university staff and other office workers as volunteer intermediaries. It is hoped that the scheme will become widely available across the city and in other locations around the UK. It is argued that volunteer telephone intermediaries can bridge digital divides and make Internet services accessible to those excluded either by age, disability or lack of resources. The development of the scheme is a case study in the ways that HCI techniques can be adopted and adapted in order to design for civil society.
Fairtrade.com versus Fairtrade.org -- how Fairtrade organisations use the Internet BIBAKFull-Text 57-83
  Dorothea Kleine
This paper summarises the findings of a study, the first of its kind in Germany, which explored the potential that the Internet can offer for German Fairtrade organisations. Data was gathered from three organisations, comparing their e-commerce strategies. Then interviews were conducted with the organisations' representatives and with the e-commerce customers of Gesellschaft zur Partnerschaft mit der Dritten Welt (Gepa), the largest Fairtrade company in Europe. The Fairtrade organisations differed in political outlook and in regards to their approach to the Internet, thus reducing the potential for cooperation and networking. However, some of the Gepa customers interviewed used e-commerce to circumnavigate the distribution difficulties characteristic of Fairtrade, thus suggesting that there is potential for increased turnover. On the other hand, many of the customers were not interested in accessing the informational part of the Gepa-website, so the potential for disseminating political information with the product is low. Based on in-depth interviews with online buyers, it is argued that customers will only access campaign information online if Fairtrade organisations become more visible in offline and online debates on global justice. Like other Civil Society actors, Fairtrade organisations need to develop strategies how they can best use the Internet for their aims. This, the paper argues, will have to include careful vetting of the brand and connected website as well as appropriate and ongoing investment of personal and financial resources. The overall marketing strategy will have to integrate the offline and online presence and should aim to customise the organisations' services to more or less committed supporters. The paper calls for further research on Civil Society's use of the Internet and advocates website analysis as a particularly useful method to decipher the non-governmental organisations' strategies as they negotiate their message with the mainstream of public opinion.
Keywords: Fairtrade organisation; Non-governmental organisation; Information and communication technologies
Online design for bilingual civil society: a Welsh perspective BIBAFull-Text 85-104
  Daniel Cunliffe; Dilwyn Roberts-Young
In a bilingual civil society, such as that in Wales, language and the use of language can be a highly political issue. Within this context, web sites may act as a beneficial influence on the maintenance and revitalisation of the minority language, or may serve to exclude and marginalise that language. Through a study of existing web sites, this paper examines the extent to which the Welsh language is being presented as a usable tool through which individuals may be informed about and participate in civil society in Wales. While this work specifically considers Wales, the issues faced are similar to those of many other bilingual communities.
Programming for cognitive justice: Towards an ethical framework for democratic code BIBAKFull-Text 105-120
  Maja van der Velden
This paper contrasts two approaches to knowledge sharing for socio-economic development to examine how assumptions about knowledge are reflected in computer-based information systems. The paper argues that socio-technical systems for global knowledge sharing posses a bias resulting from choices about technology and from assumptions about knowledge, and that this bias may adversely affect the diversity of knowledge. To overcome this bias, the concept of cognitive justice is proposed and, on this basis, a framework suggested to guide the design of information systems based on a principle of the equal validity of all knowledges.
Keywords: Cognitive justice; Diversity; Knowledge sharing; Ethical framework, Portal, Peer-to-peer

IWC 2005 Volume 17 Issue 2

ARTICLE

Chinese character entry for mobile phones: a longitudinal investigation BIBAKFull-Text 121-146
  Min Lin; Andrew Sears
The increasing popularity of Short Message Services (SMS) in China highlights the need for effective and efficient methods for entering Chinese text on mobile phones. While stroke-based methods have potential advantages over pronunciation-based solutions, usability issues have limited the effectiveness of existing stroke-based methods. One significant usability challenge has been the ambiguous stroke-to-key mapping rules that are typically employed. We proposed a new solution that employs a combination of abstract symbols and example strokes to help users map strokes to keys more effectively. A longitudinal experiment was used to evaluate character entry performance using both objective and subjective measures for our new design as well as the existing solution. The results confirmed that a new design allows for improved performance as well as higher satisfaction levels as compared to the original design. Further, after approximately 1 h of experience with the stroke-based method, novices were able to enter Chinese text at speeds comparable to that observed with the pronunciation-based Pinyin method. Results showed that the new design provided users with a better understanding of the system throughout the study, beginning with their first exposure to the keypad. By utilizing a combination of abstract representations and concrete examples of the available strokes, the new design reduced the ambiguity that typically exists regarding stroke-to-key mappings. In this way, usability was improved without any changes to the underlying technologies. Our results demonstrate that stroke-based solutions for Chinese character entry can be effective alternatives for mobile phones, providing an effective alternative for the many individuals who can write Chinese but do not speak the Mandarin dialect that serves as the basis for Pinyin. The improved solution could also be used with a traditional numeric keypad to allow one-handed data entry for desktop or mobile computers.
Keywords: Mobile computers; Mandarin dialect; Pinyin method
Participatory design with train drivers -- a process analysis BIBAKFull-Text 147-166
  Eva Olsson; Anders Jansson
A participatory design process involving train drivers is analyzed and described in this paper. A group of six drivers were involved in the design process, and within a short period, four design iterations were completed. The present case study was the final part of a larger research project (TRAIN) investigating the train driving task including the drivers' information environment, number and nature of hours worked, work situation and work environment, and their effect on the drivers' behaviour and the train driver system safety. Although usability activities are widely used in IT development today, the users are not involved to the desired extent. This paper argues that to produce usable systems, quality time has to be spent initially to acquire knowledge of a work domain and establishing a common ground in terms of shared knowledge and a better understanding of the work context between the parties involved in system development. Our suggestions on participatory analysis and design that conclude the paper are based on the present case study including train drivers, as well as our experiences from previous case studies.
Keywords: Participatory design; Collaborative design; System design; User involvement
When fingers do the talking: a study of text messaging BIBAKFull-Text 167-185
  Xristine Faulkner; Fintan Culwin
SMS or text messaging is an area of growth in the communications field. The studies described below consisted of a questionnaire and a diary study. The questionnaire was designed to examine texting activities in 565 users of the mobile phone. The diary study was carried out by 24 subjects over a period of 2 weeks. The findings suggest that text messaging is being used by a wide range of people for all kinds of activities and that for some people it is the preferred means of communication. These studies should prove interesting for those examining the use and impact of SMS.
Keywords: SMS; Text messaging; E-mail; Communication
Findex: improving search result use through automatic filtering categories BIBAKFull-Text 187-206
  Mika Kaki; Anne Aula
Long result lists from web search engines can be tedious to use. We designed a text categorization algorithm and a filtering user interface to address the problem. The Findex system provides an overview of the results by presenting a list of the most frequent words and phrases as result categories next to the actual results. Selecting a category (word or phrase) filters the result list to show only the results containing it. An experiment with 20 participants was conducted to compare the category design to the de facto standard solution (Google-type ranked list interface). Results show that the users were 25% faster and 21% more accurate with our system. In particular, participants' speed of finding relevant results was 40% higher with the proposed system. Subjective ratings revealed significantly more positive attitudes towards the new system. Results indicate that the proposed design is feasible and beneficial.
Keywords: Web search; Search user interface; Categorization; Clustering; Information access
Modelling form-based interfaces with bipartite state machines BIBAKFull-Text 207-228
  D. Draheim; G. Weber
This article presents the concept of form storyboarding, a new modelling method for eliciting, specifying and communicating functional requirements of applications with form-based interfaces. We identify two-staged interaction as the abstract concept behind form-based interfaces. The method encompasses a visual language for the documents to be created and a set of proposals for the activities involved in that. The method fits to different and ubiquitous types of submit/response style interfaces, i.e. mainframe terminals as well as web-based interfaces. The method yields an abstract interface model based on bipartite state machines. The model is executable and can be used for automatic prototype generation. Form storyboarding is first and foremost a feature-driven approach. The whole form storyboard can be obtained by collecting single system features. Crucial for this approach is the fact that diagrams can be combined in an easy operation, by building the union of both diagrams and identifying nodes and edges with the same name.
Keywords: Requirements elicitation; System specification; Enterprise applications

IWC 2005 Volume 17 Issue 3

ARTICLE

In search of effective text input interfaces for off the desktop computing BIBAKFull-Text 229-250
  Shumin Zhai; Per-Ola Kristensson; Barton A. Smith
It is generally recognized that today's frontier of HCI research lies beyond the traditional desktop computers whose GUI interfaces were built on the foundation of display -- pointing device -- full keyboard. Many interface challenges arise without such a physical UI foundation. Text writing -- ranging from entering URLs and search queries, filling forms, typing commands, to taking notes and writing emails and chat messages -- is one of the hard problems awaiting for solutions in off-desktop computing. This paper summarizes and synthesizes a research program on this topic at the IBM Almaden Research Center. It analyzes various dimensions that constitute a good text input interface; briefly reviews related literature; discusses the evaluation methodology issues of text input; presents the major ideas and results of two systems, ATOMIK and SHARK; and points out current and future directions in the area from our current vantage point.
Keywords: Text input; Pervasive; Mobile; Off-desktop computing; Shorthand; Gesture; Stylus; Virtual keyboard
Using handhelds for wireless remote control of PCs and appliances BIBAKFull-Text 251-264
  Brad A. Myers
This article provides an overview of the capabilities that we are developing as part of the Pebbles research project for wireless handheld devices such as mobile phones and palm-size computers like Palm Organizers and PocketPCs. Instead of just being used as a phone or organizer, handheld devices can also be used as remote controls for computers and household and office appliances.
Keywords: Pebbles; Handhelds; Personal digital assistants; Remote control; Appliances
How productivity improves in hands-free continuous dictation tasks: lessons learned from a longitudinal study BIBAKFull-Text 265-289
  Jinjuan Feng; Clare-Marie Karat; Andrew Sears
Speech recognition technology continues to improve, but users still experience significant difficulty using the software to create and edit documents. The reported composition speed using speech software is only between 8 and 15 words per minute [Proc CHI 99 (1999) 568; Universal Access Inform Soc 1 (2001) 4], much lower than people's normal speaking speed of 125-150 words per minute. What causes the huge gap between natural speaking and composing using speech recognition? Is it possible to narrow the gap and make speech recognition more promising to users? In this paper we discuss users' learning processes and the difficulties they experience as related to continuous dictation tasks using state of the art Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) software. Detailed data was collected for the first time on various aspects of the three activities involved in document composition tasks: dictation, navigation, and correction. The results indicate that navigation and error correction accounted for big chunk of the dictation task during the early stages of interaction. As users gained more experience, they became more efficient at dictation, navigation and error correction. However, the major improvements in productivity were due to dictation quality and the usage of navigation commands. These results provide insights regarding the factors that cause the gap between user expectation with speech recognition software and the reality of use, and how those factors changed with experience. Specific advice is given to researchers as to the most critical issues that must be addressed.
Keywords: Automatic speech recognition technologies; Error correction; Speech recognition software
Model-based tools for pervasive usability BIBAKFull-Text 291-315
 
This paper aims to provide a discussion of how model-based approaches and related tools have been used to address important issues for obtaining usable interactive software and the new challenges for this research area. The paper provides an analysis of the logical descriptions that can be used in the design of interactive systems and how they can be manipulated in order to obtain useful results. This type of approach has recently raised further interest in the ubiquitous computing field for supporting the design of multi-device interfaces. The new challenges currently considered are mainly in the area of end-user development, ambient intelligence, and multimodal interfaces.
Keywords: Model-based approaches; Tools; Usability; Task models; Multi-device interfaces
Semiotic engineering: bringing designers and users together at interaction time BIBAKFull-Text 317-341
  Clarisse Sieckenius de Souza
Semiotic engineering is a semiotic theory of human-computer interaction, where interactive computer systems are viewed as one-shot messages sent from designers to users. Through the system's interface, in many direct and indirect ways, designers are telling the users how they can, should, or must interact with the system in order to achieve a particular range of goals anticipated at design time. Designers are thus active interlocutors at human-computer interaction time. Their interactive discourse is delivered implicitly and/or explicitly by the system, which constitutes the designer's deputy. The importance of bringing designers and users together at interaction time springs from the intellectual nature of software artifacts. They are the result of human reasoning, choice and decision, rather than the direct effect of universal or natural laws. An adequate understanding of interactive artifacts depends on apprehending and comprehending the human intellect in action. Hence, in addition to producing interactive artifacts, designers must also introduce them appropriately, as is the case of other intellectual products. In this paper, we show how semiotic engineering can provide substantial theoretic support for viewing and exploring design possibilities brought about by this shift in perspective. We also discuss ontological and epistemological aspects of the theory, and conclude that it can bridge some of the gaps between other fragmented HCI theories and approaches.
Keywords: Semiotic engineering; Semiotic approaches to HCI; Epistemic support for design; Users as designers

IWC 2005 Volume 17 Issue 4

ARTICLE

Mobile agents for mobile tourists: a user evaluation of Gulliver's Genie BIBAKFull-Text 343-366
  M. J. O'Grady; G. M. P. O'Hare; C. Sas
How mobile computing applications and services may be best designed, implemented and deployed remains the subject of much research. One alternative approach to developing software for mobile users that is receiving increasing attention from the research community is that of one based on intelligent agents. Recent advances in mobile computing technology have made such an approach feasible. We present an overview of the design and implementation of an archetypical mobile computing application, namely that of an electronic tourist guide. This guide is unique in that it comprises a suite of intelligent agents that conform to the strong intentional stance. However, the focus of this paper is primarily concerned with the results of detailed user evaluations conducted on this system. Within the literature, comprehensive evaluations of mobile context-sensitive systems are sparse and therefore, this paper seeks, in part, to address this deficiency.
Keywords: User evaluation; Mobile computing; Context-sensitive service delivery; Intelligent agents
The long-term effects of integral versus composite metaphors on experts' and novices' search behaviors BIBAKFull-Text 367-394
  Yu-chen Hsu
For years, metaphors have been used extensively to facilitate multiple user tasks on Web sites. Nonetheless, research examining metaphor's effects in facilitating user tasks, not to mention the proposal of the design methodology, is limited. There is disagreement about using single or multiple metaphors in designing computer systems. Regarding metaphor's long-term effects, Carroll and Thomas [Carroll, J.M., Thomas, C.J., 1982. Metaphor and the cognitive representation of computing systems. IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics, SMC 12, 107-116] claim that metaphors lose utility once users are familiar with the system. Furthermore, little evidence exists about metaphor's effects on users with differing computer experience. This researcher proposes a metaphor design methodology to examine the long-term effects of integral (single) versus composite (mixed) metaphors on subjects' information search behaviors and their effects on Internet novices and experts. Ninety-eight college students participated in this study. The findings suggest that metaphor's effects decrease over time as users become more experienced. Moreover, composite metaphors facilitate experts' searching better than novices'.
Keywords: Composite metaphor; Hypermedia system; Information search behavior; Integral metaphor; Long-term effect; Novice versus expert
Will it be a capital letter: signalling case mode in mobile phones BIBAKFull-Text 395-418
  Hokyoung Ryu; Andrew Monk
While there are well established guidelines for interaction via mouse and keyboard, new forms of interaction being devised for small handheld devices have yet to be standardised. There is a case for re-visiting basic principles for user interface design such as how to signal mode. Two ways of signalling case mode when editing text into a small handheld device such as a mobile phone are considered in this paper. One is through the system prompt, e.g. 'Entry:', the other is through the case of the last letter displayed in response to a button push. Two unsupervised web-based experiments are described which show that users are sensitive to both these signals for case mode. The first experiment manipulated the prompt in a text entry task using a web simulation of a novel mobile device. The results showed that users' expectations were influenced by the case of the letters in the prompt. Users took many more trials to learn to expect a case inconsistent with the model provided by the prompt. The second experiment manipulated both the case of the letters in the prompt and the case of the last letter displayed. The results replicated the findings above and demonstrated a strong effect of the case of the last letter displayed. Guidelines for signalling case mode and a notation (Interaction Units) are suggested that might be used to reason about low level interaction design with handheld devices.
Keywords: Mode; Action-effect consistency; Handheld devices; Interaction unit; Interaction modelling; Case mode; Cell phones; Analysis; Experiment
Designing interfaces that support formation of cognitive maps of transitional processes: an empirical study BIBAKFull-Text 419-452
  Kamran Sedig; Sonja Rowhani; Hai-Ning Liang
Many conditions, phenomena, and concepts are of a transitional nature. Transitional processes involve change from one form to another, such as biological, chemical, and geological metamorphoses. Transitional processes take place in time-space and are not always easy to encode, communicate, and understand. The purpose of this research is to investigate how to design human-computer interfaces that support users in their formation of cognitive maps of transitional processes. To conduct this investigation, geometric shapes were used as the testbed, and their metamorphic transformations were captured and communicated using three different interface styles: temporally stacked, spatially distributed, and spatio-temporal. The usability and effectiveness of each interface was evaluated. The results of the study indicate that the spatio-temporal interface is the most effective of the three interfaces. The findings of this research imply that many kinds of transitional processes, such as rock metamorphoses, historical changes, or economical processes, may best be explored and understood using spatio-temporal interfaces.
Keywords: Cognitive tools; Interaction design; Visual representations; Visual metamorphosis; Temporal representations; Spatial representations
Text formats and web design for visually impaired and dyslexic readers -- Clear Text for All BIBAKFull-Text 453-472
  Lindsay Evett; David Brown
The Royal National Institute of the Blind (RNIB) has produced a Clear Print booklet, which contains recommendations for the production of Clear Print for the blind and partially sighted. The British Dyslexia Association (BDA) has produced a Dyslexia Style Guide, which covers similar issues. Both focus on producing text, which is clear and therefore more easily read, and there is significant overlap between the two. By comparing the two, a set of specifications for the production of text has been generated. Using the specifications should produce clear text for both dyslexic and visually impaired readers. It should improve readability for all. The text specifications plus additional recommendations from the BDA are considered with respect to an existing set of web site design guidelines for dyslexic readers to produce an enhanced set of guidelines compatible with both. These guidelines are recommended to be followed as standard, both for their benefits to visually impaired and dyslexic readers, promoting accessibility for these groups, and for their potential to improve accessibility for all.
Keywords: Accessibility; Visual impairment; Dyslexia; Clear print; Clear text; Web design guidelines

IWC 2005 Volume 17 Issue 5

EDITORIAL

The social implications of emerging technologies BIBFull-Text 475-483
  Vassilis Kostakos; Eamonn O'Neill; Linda Little; Elizabeth Sillence

ARTICLE

Moving towards inclusive design guidelines for socially and ethically aware HCI BIBAFull-Text 484-505
  Julio Abascal; Colette Nicolle
Most people acknowledge that personal computers have enormously enhanced the autonomy and communication capacity of people with special needs. The key factor for accessibility to these opportunities is the adequate design of the user interface which, consequently, has a high impact on the social lives of users with disabilities. The design of universally accessible interfaces has a positive effect over the socialisation of people with disabilities. People with sensory disabilities can profit from computers as a way of personal direct and remote communication. Personal computers can also assist people with severe motor impairments to manipulate their environment and to enhance their mobility by means of, for example, smart wheelchairs. In this way they can become more socially active and productive. Accessible interfaces have become so indispensable for personal autonomy and social inclusion that in several countries special legislation protects people from 'digital exclusion'. To apply this legislation, inexperienced HCI designers can experience difficulties. They would greatly benefit from inclusive design guidelines in order to be able to implement the 'design for all' philosophy. In addition, they need clear criteria to avoid negative social and ethical impact on users. This paper analyses the benefits of the use of inclusive design guidelines in order to facilitate a universal design focus so that social exclusion is avoided. In addition, the need for ethical and social guidelines in order to avoid undesirable side effects for users is discussed. Finally, some preliminary examples of socially and ethically aware guidelines are proposed.
Sharing experiences through awareness systems in the home BIBAKFull-Text 506-521
  Panos Markopoulos; Wijnand IJsselsteijn; Claire Huijnen; Boris de Ruyter
In the current paper we hypothesize that providing peripheral awareness information to remotely located but socially close individuals will yield affective user benefits. An experiment in a controlled home-like environment was conducted to investigate the effects of providing different levels of peripheral awareness information on these affective benefits. In the experiment peripheral awareness aimed to support groups of friends to jointly watch a soccer match at remote locations. The experiment has shown that providing awareness information increases the social presence and the group attraction felt by individuals towards their remote partners. The experiment has provided concrete quantitative and qualitative evidence for the hypothesized benefits of supporting primary relationships through awareness systems and of the relevance of social presence as a requirement in the design of peripheral awareness displays.
Keywords: Awareness systems; Home; Communication; Social Presence
Assessing the effects of building social intelligence in a robotic interface for the home BIBAKFull-Text 522-541
  Boris de Ruyter; Privender Saini; Panos Markopoulos; Albert van Breemen
This paper reports an exploration of the concept of social intelligence in the context of designing home dialogue systems for an Ambient Intelligence home. It describes a Wizard of Oz experiment involving a robotic interface capable of simulating several human social behaviours. Our results show that endowing a home dialogue system with some social intelligence will: (a) create a positive bias in the user's perception of technology in the home environment, (b) enhance user acceptance for the home dialogue system, and (c) trigger social behaviours by the user in relation to the home dialogue system.
Keywords: Ambient Intelligence; Social intelligence; Human-like
Rendezvousing with location-aware devices: Enhancing social coordination BIBAKFull-Text 542-566
  David Dearman; Kirstie Hawkey; Kori M. Inkpen
Emerging technologies such as location-awareness devices have the potential to significantly impact users' social coordination, particularly while rendezvousing. It is important that we explore how new technologies influence social behaviours and communication in order to realize their full potential. This paper presents a field study investigating the use of mobile location-aware devices for rendezvous activities. Participants took part in one of three mobile device conditions (a mobile phone, a location-aware handheld, or both a mobile phone and a location-aware handheld) and completed three rendezvousing scenarios. The results reveal key differences in communication patterns between the mediums, as well as the potential strengths and limitations of location-aware devices for social coordination. The paper concludes with a discussion of relevant design issues drawn from observations gathered during the field study.
Keywords: Location-aware computing; Mobile devices; Rendezvous; Field study
A system of agent-based software patterns for user modeling based on usage mining BIBAKFull-Text 567-591
  Rosario Girardi; Leandro Balby Marinho; Ismenia Ribeiro de Oliveira
In adaptive hypermedia systems, a user can select explicitly an adaptation effect or he/she can leave the system execute some of these functions. An important component of an adaptive system is the ability to model the users of the system according to their goals and preferences. Web usage mining aims at discover interesting patterns of use by analyzing Web usage data. This information can be used to capture implicitly user models and used them for the adaptation of systems. User modeling and system adaptability can be approached through the agent paradigm. This article summarizes a system of architectural and detailed design patterns describing known agent-based solutions to recurrent problems of user modeling based on usage mining along with the description of a general purpose problem-solving architectural pattern used by some of the first ones. Patterns are derived from recurrent designs of specific agent-based applications. The proposed patterns are being developed in the context of a Multi-Agent Domain Engineering research project, which approaches software complexity and productivity through the construction of techniques and tools promoting software reuse in Multi-Agent Domain Engineering.
Keywords: Software patterns; Software design; Software architectures; Multi-agent systems; User modeling; User-adapted systems; Web usage mining
Better discount evaluation: illustrating how critical parameters support heuristic creation BIBAKFull-Text 592-612
  Jacob Somervell; D. Scott McCrickard
This paper describes a heuristic creation process based on the notion of critical parameters, and a comparison experiment that demonstrates the utility of heuristics created for a specific system class. We focus on two examples of using the newly created heuristics to illustrate the utility of the usability evaluation method, as well as to provide support for the creation process, and we report on successes and frustrations of two classes of users, novice evaluators and domain experts, who identified usability problems with the new heuristics. We argue that establishing critical parameters for other domains will support efforts in creating tailored evaluation tools.
Keywords: Heuristics; Evaluation; Notification systems; Critical parameters

IWC 2005 Volume 17 Issue 6

EDITORIAL

HCI and the older population BIBKFull-Text 613-620
  Joy Goodman; Jay Lundell
Keywords: Older people; Aging; Interface design; Health; Daily living; Social issues

ARTICLE

Introducing the Internet to the over-60s: Developing an email system for older novice computer users BIBAKFull-Text 621-642
  Anna Dickinson; Alan F. Newell; Michael J. Smith; Robin L. Hill
Contemporary technology offers many benefits to older people, but these are often rendered inaccessible through poor software design. As the Internet increasingly becomes a source of information and services it is vital to ensure that older people can access these resources. As part of project funded by the UK government, a multi-disciplinary team set out to develop usable software that would help to introduce older people to the Internet. The first step was to develop an email system for older people with no experience of Internet use. The project was intended to show that it is possible to design usable technology for this group and to explore some of the issues involved in doing so. Design and technical challenges necessitated various tradeoffs. The system produced demonstrated the success of the design decisions: it was significantly easier to use than, and preferred to, a commercial equivalent by a group of older people with no experience of Internet use.
Keywords: Design; Older people; Internet; Email; Digital inclusion; Usability
The design of next generation in-vehicle navigation systems for the older driver BIBAFull-Text 643-659
  Andrew May; Tracy Ross; Zaheer Osman
It has been proposed that the current design of in-vehicle displays may not be appropriate for the older driver. This paper describes an empirical, road-based investigation of the benefits to older and younger drivers of providing landmarks within the instructions presented by an in-vehicle navigation system. Thirty two participants navigated a challenging urban route using either landmarks or distance information to identify the location of forthcoming manoeuvres. A range of driver behaviour measures were collected, including visual glance data, driving errors, driver workload, navigation errors, navigation confidence, and pre and post-trial driver attitudinal responses. Results show that, for older and younger drivers, landmarks reduced the time spent glancing to a visual display, reduced navigation and driving errors, and influenced driver confidence. There were some key differences between the older and younger drivers. The wider implications for the design of in-car interfaces for the older driver are discussed.
Successful strategies of older people for finding information BIBAFull-Text 660-671
  Paul Curzon; Judy Wilson; Gill Whitney
Older people have successful search strategies for finding practical information in everyday situations but, increasingly, traditional information sources are being supplemented or replaced by web based ones. However, there are wider issues than just making information available if people are to replace existing strategies by new web based ones. In this paper we use three studies on the information usage of older people to explore the issues surrounding why they favour specific search strategy and technology combinations. The studies each investigate different aspects of information search in a natural setting and concern tasks relevant to older people as their lives change: finding e-government information and planning travel. Results suggest that a variety of measures are important in choice of strategy. Furthermore, interface mechanisms are needed that complement existing strategies, reinforce the existence and crossing of boundaries, and support interactive use of landmarks.
Socially dependable design: The challenge of ageing populations for HCI BIBAFull-Text 672-689
  Mark A. Blythe; Andrew F. Monk; Kevin Doughty
This paper considers the needs of an ageing population and the implications for Human Computer Interaction (HCI) research. The discussion is structured around findings from interviews with medical and care professionals and older people. Various technologies are being successfully used to monitor for falls and other emergencies, and also to assess and manage risk. The design of this technology is currently driven by a medical model of client needs and takes little account of the social context of the home. The design challenges for HCI are to make this technology attractive, provide privacy, allow informed choice and reduce rather than increase the isolation currently felt by many older people. It is argued that the ageing population presents a fundamental challenge to HCI in the need for socially dependable systems. Socially dependable systems take account of social context, the need for sociability and are accessible to all who need them.
Age differences in trust and reliance of a medication management system BIBAKFull-Text 690-710
  Geoffrey Ho; Dana Wheatley; Charles T. Scialfa
The present study examined age differences in trust and reliance of an automated decision aid. In Experiment 1, older and younger participants performed a simple mathematical task concurrent with a simulated medication management task. The decision aid was designed to facilitate medication management, but with varying reliability. Trust, self-confidence and usage of the aid were measured. The results indicated that older adults had greater trust in the aid and were less confident in their performance, but they did not calibrate trust differently than younger adults. In Experiment 2, a variant of the same task was used to investigate whether older adults are subject to over-reliance on the automation. Differences in omission and commission errors were examined. The results indicated that older adults were more reliant on the decision aid and committed more automation-related errors. A signal detection analyses indicated that older adults were less sensitive to automation failures. Results are discussed with respect to the perceptual and cognitive factors that influence age differences in the use of fallible automation.
Keywords: Automation reliability; Aging
'It's just like you talk to a friend' relational agents for older adults BIBAKFull-Text 711-735
  Timothy W. Bickmore; Lisa Caruso; Kerri Clough-Gorr; Tim Heeren
Relational agents -- computational artifacts designed to build and maintain long-term social-emotional relationships with users -- may provide an effective interface modality for older adults. This is especially true when the agents use simulated face-to-face conversation as the primary communication medium, and for applications in which repeated interactions over long time periods are required, such as in health behavior change. In this article, we discuss the design of a relational agent for older adults that plays the role of an exercise advisor, and report on the results of a longitudinal study involving 21 adults aged 62-84, half of whom interacted with the agent daily for 2 months in their homes and half who served as a standard-of-care control. Results indicate the agent was accepted and liked, and was significantly more efficacious at increasing physical activity (daily steps walked) than the control.
Keywords: Relational agents; Social interfaces; Human-computer interaction
Writing with speech recognition: The adaptation process of professional writers with and without dictating experience BIBAKFull-Text 736-772
  Marielle Leijten; Luuk Van Waes
This paper describes the adaptation and writing process of writers who have started using speech recognition systems for writing business texts. The writers differ in their previous writing experience. They either have previous classical dictating experience or they are used to writing their texts with a word processor. To gather the process data for this study we chose complementary research methods. First the participants were asked to fill in a questionnaire and given instruction about the speech recognition system. Then they were observed five times using the speech recognition system during their day-to-day work. Finally, they also filled in a logging questionnaire after each task. The quantitative analysis of the use of the writing mode shows that those participants who had no previous dictating experience, tend to use the voice input more extensively, both for formulating and reviewing. This result is confirmed in the more detailed case analysis. The other analyses in the case study -- i.e. repair, revision, and pause analysis-refine the differences in the organization of the writing process between the writers, and show that the speech recognition mode seems to create a writing environment that is open for different writing profiles.
Keywords: Speech recognition; Writing processes; Dictating; Adaptation processes; Research method; Writing modes; Writing experience; Writing profiles
Cross-user analysis: Benefits of skill level comparison in usability testing BIBAKFull-Text 773-786
  Laura Faulkner; David Wick
This study presents a cross-user usability test approach and analysis technique that extends beyond merely identifying the existence of a usability problem to introducing an empirical basis for identifying the type of usability problem that exists. For experimental purposes, 60 users were tested with three levels of user-competency determined by experience in using: (1) computers, and (2) the tested application. Applying the Tukey honestly significant difference (HSD) test to each test element provided statistical comparison between different experience levels. Analysis results between experience levels suggested which levels encountered usability problems. The authors demonstrate that statistical calculations of cross-user data can render empirical support for categorizing usability problems.
Keywords: Usability testing; Users; HCI methodology; Usability research; Empirical method
Affordance as context BIBAKFull-Text 787-800
  Phil Turner
The concept of affordance is relatively easy to define, but has proved to be remarkably difficult to engineer. This paradox has sparked numerous debates as to its true nature. The discussion presented here begins with a review of the use of the term from which emerges evidence for a two-fold classification -- simple affordance and complex affordance. Simple affordance corresponds to Gibson's original formulation, while complex affordances embody such things as history and practice. In trying to account for complex affordance, two contrasting, but complementary philosophical treatments are considered. The first of these is Ilyenkov's account of significances which he claims are 'ideal' phenomena. Ideal phenomena occupy are objective characteristics of things and are the product of human purposive activity. This makes them objective, but not independent (of any particular mind or perception) hence their similarity to affordances. The second perspective is Heidegger's phenomenological treatment of 'familiarity' and 'equipment'. As will be seen, Heidegger has argued that familiarity underpins our ability to cope in the world. A world, in turn, which itself comprises the totality of equipment. We cope by making use of equipment. Despite the different philosophical traditions both Ilyenkov and Heidegger have independently concluded that a thing is identified by its use and that use, in turn, is revealed by way of its affordances/significances. Finally, both authors -- Heidegger directly and Ilyenkov indirectly -- equate context and use, leading to the conclusion that affordance and context are one and the same.
Keywords: Affordance; Familiarity; Phenomenology; Context