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Interacting with Computers 20

Editors:Dianne Murray
Publisher:Elsevier Science
Standard No:ISSN 0953-5438
Links:Table of Contents
  1. IWC 2008 Volume 20 Issue 1
  2. IWC 2008 Volume 20 Issue 2
  3. IWC 2008 Volume 20 Issue 3
  4. IWC 2008 Volume 20 Issue 4/5
  5. IWC 2008 Volume 20 Issue 6

IWC 2008 Volume 20 Issue 1

Motivations in personalisation behaviour BIBAKFull-Text 1-16
  Antti Oulasvirta; Jan Blom
A number of emerging technologies including mobile phones and services, on-line shopping and portals, and games and communities are designed to provide users with control over appearance and functioning. Understanding why users personalise could help design personalisation features so that they promote the acceptance and adoption of information and communication technology (ICT). This paper examines the psychological underpinnings of users' willingness to expend effort to personalise ICT. The important role of the basic need of self-determination [Deci, E.L., Ryan, R.M., 2000. The "what" and "why" of goal pursuits: Human needs and the self-determination of behaviour. Psychological Inquiry 11, 227-268] is argued for. Personalisation features can align the psychological resources with the user's action and therefore enhance performance and enjoyment of use. First, they can promote autonomy and the sense of being an origin and therefore transform technology to 'my technology.' Second, personalisation features can support competence by increasing the effectiveness of user's actions. At its best, personalisation becomes rewarding activity in itself regardless of the achieved effects, for example when personalisable features participate in flow experiences. Third, through its appearance functions, technology can support the basic need of relatedness through expression of emotion and identity, ego-involvement, and territory marking. Several positive effects can be identified: engagement, performance, persistence, identity, social acceptance, and social status. The paper concludes by discussing implications to design.
Keywords: Personalisation; Motivation; User needs; Motivational psychology; Information and communication technology; eCommerce; Human-computer interaction; Interface design; Adaptation
EmoPlayer: A media player for video clips with affective annotations BIBAKFull-Text 17-28
  Ling Chen; Gen-Cai Chen; Cheng-Zhe Xu; Jack March; Steve Benford
The development of multimedia annotation technique provides the possibility to redesign the interfaces of widely used media players, and EmoPlayer is such a media player that can be used to play video clips with affective annotations. A user can select a character in a video clip and view the distribution of his/her emotions along the video timeline through a colour bar based interface. Two experiments were conducted to evaluate the efficiency of affective annotation. The results of these experiments indicate that affective annotation is effective in both improving the speed of locating a specific scene within a video clip and helping comprehend a video clip in a limited viewing time period. Based on the analysis of recorded operations of participants, the strategies employed by participants and the factors that might influence the utilization of affective annotation are also highlighted.
Keywords: Affective computing; Multimedia annotation; Media player; User interface
Customization of Web applications through an intelligent environment exploiting logical interface descriptions BIBAKFull-Text 29-47
  José A. Macías; Fabio Paternò
Customization of Web-based applications is often considered a designer skill rather than an end-user need. However, there is an ongoing shift to end-user-centred technology, and even users with poor or no skill in Web-based languages may feel the need to customize Web applications according to their preferences. Although Web authoring environments have an increasing number of features, the challenge of providing end-users with the ability to easily customize entire Web applications still remains unsolved. In this paper, we propose an intelligent approach to customizing Web-based applications. Customizations rules are automatically inferred by the system from changes that users supply as examples. They remain as long-term knowledge that can be applied to support future interactions, thus minimizing the amount of authoring that end-users need to do for this purpose. In order to better understand the implications of the user's modifications, they are analysed using the logical descriptions of the corresponding Web pages.
Keywords: Human-computer interaction; End-User Development; Intelligent user interfaces; Programming by Example; Model-Based User Interfaces; Web-based nomadic applications
Tracing impact in a usability improvement process BIBAKFull-Text 48-63
  Tobias Uldall-Espersen; Erik Frøkjær; Kasper Hornbæk
Analyzing usability improvement processes as they take place in real-life organizations is necessary to understand the practice of usability work. This paper describes a case study where the usability of an information system is improved and a relationship between the improvements and the evaluation efforts is established. Results show that evaluation techniques complemented each other by suggesting different kinds of usability improvement. Among the techniques applied, a combination of questionnaires and Metaphors of Human Thinking (MOT) showed the largest mean impact and MOT produced the largest number of impacts. Logging of real-life use of the system over 6 months indicated six aspects of improved usability, where significant differences among evaluation techniques were found. Concerning five of the six aspects Think Aloud evaluations and the above-mentioned combination of questionnaire and MOT performed equally well, and better than MOT. Based on the evaluations 40 redesign proposals were developed and 30 of these were implemented. Four of the implemented redesigns where considered especially important. These evolved with inspiration from multiple evaluations and were informed by stakeholders with different kinds of expertise. Our results suggest that practitioners should not rely on isolated evaluations. Instead complementing techniques should be combined, and people with different expertise should be involved.
Keywords: Usability engineering; Case study; Usability improvement process; Metaphors of human thinking; Think loud; Questionnaire
Pedagogy and usability in interactive algorithm visualizations: Designing and evaluating CIspace BIBAKFull-Text 64-96
  Saleema Amershi; Giuseppe Carenini; Cristina Conati; Alan K. Mackworth; David Poole
Interactive algorithm visualizations (AVs) are powerful tools for teaching and learning concepts that are difficult to describe with static media alone. However, while countless AVs exist, their widespread adoption by the academic community has not occurred due to usability problems and mixed results of pedagogical effectiveness reported in the AV and education literature. This paper presents our experiences designing and evaluating CIspace, a set of interactive AVs for demonstrating fundamental Artificial Intelligence algorithms. In particular, we first review related work on AVs and theories of learning. Then, from this literature, we extract and compile a taxonomy of goals for designing interactive AVs that address key pedagogical and usability limitations of existing AVs. We advocate that differentiating between goals and design features that implement these goals will help designers of AVs make more informed choices, especially considering the abundance of often conflicting and inconsistent design recommendations in the AV literature. We also describe and present the results of a range of evaluations that we have conducted on CIspace that include semi-formal usability studies, usability surveys from actual students using CIspace as a course resource, and formal user studies designed to assess the pedagogical effectiveness of CIspace in terms of both knowledge gain and user preference. Our main results show that (i) studying with our interactive AVs is at least as effective at increasing student knowledge as studying with carefully designed paper-based materials; (ii) students like using our interactive AVs more than studying with the paper-based materials; (iii) students use both our interactive AVs and paper-based materials in practice although they are divided when forced to choose between them; (iv) students find our interactive AVs generally easy to use and useful. From these results, we conclude that while interactive AVs may not be universally preferred by students, it is beneficial to offer a variety of learning media to students to accommodate individual learning preferences. We hope that our experiences will be informative for other developers of interactive AVs, and encourage educators to exploit these potentially powerful resources in classrooms and other learning environments.
Keywords: Interactive algorithm visualization; Pedagogy; Design; Evaluation; Human factors; Artificial intelligence
Animated demonstrations and training wheels interfaces in a complex learning environment BIBAKFull-Text 97-111
  Christian Spannagel; Raimund Girwidz; Herbert Löthe; Andreas Zendler; Ulrik Schroeder
Learning how to use a new software program can be a difficult and demanding task, especially for novices. There are several types of support for users exploring a software package. Animated demonstrations show how experts use an application, and training wheels interfaces offer a secure environment for exploration. To support different types of learners, external help should be adapted according to learner characteristics. The study presented in this article investigates effects of different support types in combination with the computer self-efficacy of learners. Young students (8th graders) were supported with text manuals, animated demonstrations, or animated demonstrations combined with a training wheels interface. In this context, they had to solve problems in physics and mathematics with a spreadsheet program. Results showed that animated demonstrations outperformed text manuals in many cases. Training wheels interfaces seemed to have disadvantages compared to unmodified user interfaces. In addition, motivational aspects have been investigated. Subjects with high computer self-efficacy scores were more motivated than their counterparts. Statistics (analysis of variance) revealed no interaction effects between the treatment and computer self-efficacy.
Keywords: Animated demonstration; Training wheels interface; Computer self-efficacy
A language-driven approach for the design of interactive applications BIBAKFull-Text 112-127
  José-Luis Sierra; Baltasar Fernández-Manjón; Alfredo Fernández-Valmayor
In this paper we propose a language-driven approach for the high-level design of interactive applications architected according to the model-view-controller pattern. The approach is especially well-suited for applications that incorporate contents with sophisticated structures, and whose interactive behavior is driven by these structures. In our approach we characterize the structure of the contents stored in the applications' models with suitable domain-specific languages. Then we characterize the interactive behavior of these applications by assigning suitable operational semantics to these languages. The resulting designs are amenable to support rapid prototyping, exploration and early discovery of application features, systematic implementation using standard web-based technologies, and rational collaboration processes between domain experts and developers during production and maintenance. We exemplify the approach in the e-learning domain with a system for the production of Socratic tutors.
Keywords: Language-driven development; Domain-specific language; Model-view-controller; e-Learning; Document-oriented approach
Projected Cognition -- extending Distributed Cognition for the study of human interaction with computers BIBAKFull-Text 128-140
  William H. Edmondson; Russell Beale
In this paper, we introduce the notion of Projected Cognition as an extension to Distributed Cognition. Distributed Cognition is a conceptual framework which can be useful in studying human interactions with artefacts; the idea is that of cognition not bounded by the cranium but instead perfusing artefacts in ways that are recoverable. We argue that this analysis has not been fully understood in relation to the behaviour of humans with artefacts in that the intentionality in behaviour has been ignored. We argue that we need to view the human as sometimes projecting their intention in behaviour onto the artefacts they use, and suggest that this conception permits greater clarity in the study of user behaviour with artefacts such as computers. We illustrate the development with case studies of two users of complex configurations of computers as well as examples drawn from the published literature. We conclude with consideration of some design implications and discussion of related domains in HCI where Projected Cognition could be influential.
Keywords: Distributed Cognition; Observational study; Multiple computers; Virtual desktops; Projected Cognition; Computer supported cooperative working
A socio-cognitive analysis of online design discussions in an Open Source Software community BIBAKFull-Text 141-165
  Flore Barcellini; Françoise Détienne; Jean-Marie Burkhardt; Warren Sack
This paper is an analysis of online discussions in an Open Source Software (OSS) design community, the Python project. Developers of Python are geographically distributed and work online asynchronously. The objective of our study is to understand and to model the dynamics of the OSS design process that takes place in mailing list exchanges. We develop a method to study distant and asynchronous collaborative design activity based on an analysis of quoting practices. We analyze and visualize three aspects of the online dynamics: social, thematic temporal, and design. We show that roles emerge during discussions according to the involvement and the position of the participants in the discussions and how they influence participation in the design discussions. In our analysis of the thematic temporal dynamics of discussion, we examine how themes of discussion emerge, diverge, and are refined over time. To understand the design dynamics, we perform a content analysis of messages exchanged between developers to reveal how the online discussions reflect the "work flow" of the project: it provides us with a picture of the collaborative design process in the OSS community. These combined results clarify how knowledge and artefacts are elaborated in this epistemic, exploration-oriented, OSS community. Finally, we outline the need to automate of our method to extend our results. The proposed automation could have implications for both researchers and participants in OSS communities.
Keywords: Open Source Software community; Distributed and asynchronous design; Online discussions; Quoting; Role
Simple pen interaction performance of young and older adults using handheld computers BIBAKFull-Text 166-183
  Juan Pablo Hourcade; Theresa R. Berkel
Several experiments have documented how older adults have greater difficulty using input devices than young adults. None of these experiments, however, have provided information on the challenges faced by older adults when using pens to interact with handheld computers. To address this need, we conducted a study comparing the performance of twenty 18-22 year olds, twenty 50-64 year olds, and twenty 65-84 year olds conducting selection and steering tasks. We found that for the most part, older adults were able to complete tasks accurately and efficiently. An exception occurred with the low accuracy rates achieved by 65-84 year old participants when tapping on targets of the same size as the standard radio buttons on the PocketPC. An alternative selection technique we refer to as "touch" enabled 65-84 year olds to select targets significantly more accurately. If tapping to select, making standard-sized targets 50% larger provided 65-84 year olds with similar advantages to switching to "touch" interactions.
Keywords: Handheld computers; PDAs; Stylus; Point; Steering; Older adults
Collaborative use of individual search histories BIBAKFull-Text 184-198
  Anita Komlodi; Wayne G. Lutters
Interaction history tools record interactions between users and systems, allowing users to annotate, edit, and replay their activities. Search history tools, a class of interaction history recorders, preserve search, browse, and other information-seeking steps. These tools include web browser histories and history lists in online full-text databases. Although search history tools were developed to support individuals in their information seeking, individuals often share their histories with one another collaboratively. This paper examines such sharing behaviors in two field studies of knowledge workers who routinely shared their individual search histories with their colleagues. While this practice is widespread, it is not supported by the design of contemporary interaction history tools. The results of the field research highlight core dimensions of this activity and inform considerations for the next generation of collaboration-sensitive interaction history tools.
Keywords: Search histories; Interaction histories; Awareness; Coordination; HCI; CSCW

IWC 2008 Volume 20 Issue 2

Building up usability-engineering capability by improving access to automated usability evaluation BIBAKFull-Text 199-211
  Chris Stary; Peter Eberle
For the automated evaluation of interactive software systems a variety of techniques exists. Different backgrounds, various concepts for representation and processing make it difficult for developers (and users) to identify the proper technique for automated evaluation with respect to acknowledged usability principles, such as the suitability for the task. In order to facilitate the selection and application of automated usability-evaluation techniques, we introduce a template for structured documentation and reflection. Enriching traditional schemes it addresses the relationship between usability principles and parameters used for processing. We consider the relation of usability principles to processing schemes to be of major importance, since it not only facilitates the communication between users and designers, but also reveals ways how qualitative attributes can be mapped on to operational structures. If we could utilize that information for design, e.g., for automatically checking specifications or prototypes, interactive-system development could be improved significantly. The proposed template stems from our work in the EU COST action 294 MAUSE (www.cost294.org) targeting towards quality assessment of usability-evaluation methods.
Keywords: Usability; Evaluation; Design; Automated usability evaluation; Usability engineering
Explaining B2C e-commerce acceptance: An integrative model based on the framework by Gatignon and Robertson BIBAKFull-Text 212-224
  Angel Herrero Crespo; Ignacio A. Rodríguez Del Bosque Rodríguez
This study attempts to analyze e-commerce adoption, proposing a global model that integrates the most relevant approaches in the literature. Gatignon and Robertson's Adoption Model is taken as a reference framework because of its overall nature and its agreement with the main theories used to explain e-commerce acceptance. Thus, the model proposed to explain e-commerce adoption by consumers includes the simultaneous influence of attitudes, social norms, perceived risk, personal innovativeness in the field of new technologies and attributes perceived in the technology. The results obtained show that attitudes toward the system and Subjective Norm are the main determinants of the intention to shop on the Net. On the contrary, perceived risk has no significant effect on adoption process, while the influence of personal innovativeness is only relevant in the first purchase on the Internet.
Keywords: E-commerce; Adoption intention; Attitude; Subjective norm; Perceived risk; Personal innovativeness
Psychological responses to simulated displays of mismatched emotional expressions BIBAFull-Text 225-239
  Chris Creed; Russell Beale
Embodied agents are often designed with the ability to simulate human emotion. This paper investigates the psychological impact of simulated emotional expressions on computer users with a particular emphasis on how mismatched facial and audio expressions are perceived (e.g. a happy face with a concerned voice). In a within-subjects repeated measures experiment (N = 68), mismatched animations were perceived as more engaging, warm, concerned and happy when a happy or warm face was in the animation (as opposed to a neutral or concerned face) and when a happy or warm voice was in the animation (as opposed to a neutral or concerned voice). The results appear to follow cognitive dissonance theory as subjects attempted to make mismatched expressions consistent on both the visual and audio dimensions of animations, resulting in confused perceptions of the emotional expressions. Design implications for affective embodied agents are discussed and future research areas identified.
West meets East: Adapting Activity Theory for HCI & CSCW applications? BIBAKFull-Text 240-246
  Dan Diaper; Gitte Lindgaard
This is the introduction to a set of seven commentary papers. Activity Theory, with its roots in Soviet Communist society, is introduced and the relevant, critical concept of a three level hierarchy of human activity is summarised, along with a key proposal that for Western HCI and CSCW applications the utility of this hierarchy would be improved by the introduction of a new, intermediate level, called either 'working spheres' or 'engagements'. A thumbnail sketch of each commentary paper is then provided. Analysis of these papers reveals a set of five 'convergences', ideas and conclusions that occur in at least two of the papers. This introduction concludes that while the problems of migrating and adapting Activity Theory to Western HCI and CSCW applications are here made visible, very similar issues arise when attempts are made using linguistically and culturally closer theories, methods and practices.
Keywords: Activity Theory; Human-computer interaction; Computer supported cooperative work; Cross-cultural migration
57 Varieties of Activity Theory BIBAKFull-Text 247-250
  Yvonne Rogers
A commentary of González's adaptation of Activity Theory for HCI is presented. It critiques his proposal for a new level of analysis that is called working spheres/engagements. While considered insightful it questions whether his new framework will be used by other researchers.
Keywords: Activity Theory
"Working sphere/engagement" and the concept of task in activity theory BIBAKFull-Text 251-255
  Gregory Z. Bedny; Steven Robert Harris
The purpose of this commentary article is to present critical analysis of the term 'engagement' which some scientists attempt to introduce to the activity theory.
   Presented commentary demonstrates that the term 'engagement' is redundant because activity theory utilizes the concept of task instead of engagement. In activity theory the task is considered as logically organised system of cognitive and behavioural actions oriented toward a particular goal of task. The task always involves goal achievement that assumes motivational components.
Keywords: Activity theory; Engagement; Task; Actions; Goal of action; Goal of task; Motives and motivation
Enriching activity theory without shortcuts BIBAKFull-Text 256-259
  Yrjö Engeström
Attempts to identify an intermediate unit between collective activity and individual action within activity theory are useful and necessary. While several possible conceptualizations have been put forward, engagement is a relevant candidate for naming such a unit. However, the elaboration of such a unit opens up difficult theoretical questions which should not be overlooked. To avoid shortcuts in this endeavor, I discuss four challenges, namely (1) outcomes, not just purposes as the driving force of engagements, (2) dimensions and types of engagements, (3) the linear-temporal and socio-spatial aspects of engagements, and (4) the importance of contradictions, alienation and expansion in the analysis of engagements.
Keywords: Activity theory; Action; Engagement; Contradiction
Reactionary reactions to altering activity theory BIBAKFull-Text 260-266
  Dan Diaper
The proposal of [González, V., 2006. The nature of managing multiple activities in the workplace. Doctoral dissertation in Information and Computer Science, University of California, Irvine], that an intermediate level of analysis is desirable when applying traditional activity theory in practical human-computer interaction and computer supported cooperative work applications, is examined with respect to its teleological and methodological adequacy. The specification of his new level and its relationship to its adjacent lower level one is analysed. First, it is suggested that if one new level can be added to an activity theory analysis, then there seems no reason not to add more levels if required in a project. Second, it is disputed that teleological entities, goals, can be aggregated to higher level ones, purposes. Third, the utility of activity theory's traditional emphasis on individual and collective consciousness is questioned. Fourth, some of the example data provided is analysed with respect to the claims concerning its support for the new level of analysis. Fifth, the distinction between analysts' versus stakeholders' models of a system of interest is discussed.
Keywords: Activity theory; General systems analysis; Human-computer interaction; Computer supported cooperative work; Software engineering; Task analysis; Consciousness; Teleology
Missing links in the rhetoric of Activity Theory BIBAKFull-Text 267-271
  Clarisse Sieckenius de Souza
This commentary on Victor González's proposal to introduce the notion of working spheres/engagements in the traditional activity hierarchy adopts a semiotic perspective. It suggests that the benefit of the proposed introduction is rhetorical rather than strictly conceptual. Thus, the commentary focuses on the importance of distinguishing between models (or descriptions) of activities and of "discourse about" activities. It also illustrates some kinds of questions that might be asked and answered by virtue of such a distinction.
Keywords: Activity Theory; Semiotic approaches to HCI; Sign mediation
Understanding work units and activities -- A perspective from general psychology BIBFull-Text 272-278
  Annette Aboulafia
Working spheres or engagements: Implications for designing? BIBAKFull-Text 279-286
  Gilbert Cockton
At the CHI 2006 conference, one of the most talked about papers was Implications for Design [Dourish, P., 2006. Implications for design. In: Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, pp. 541-550], which discussed how ethnographic contributions to HCI should be evaluated. It provided a timely context for considering González [González, V., 2006. The Nature of Managing Multiple Activities in the Workplace. Doctoral dissertation in Information and Computer Science, University of California, Irvine] doctoral dissertation on working spheres or engagements. This commentary thus gives equal attention to both, since Dourish's position is critical to giving González's a "fair hearing" as an ethnographic contribution for Human-Computer Interaction (HCI). However, to fully explore the implications for designing of working spheres/engagements, we must also adopt an understanding of contemporary design processes which is far richer than design teams being given insights, ideas and recommendations from ethnographers, usability evaluators and other 'independent' experts. The primary goal in these processes is to understand user value, business value, and value for non-commercial sponsors. Understanding activities is a secondary concern.
Keywords: Designing; Working spheres; Total iteration potential; Value-centred design and evaluation; Activity theory; Implications for design

IWC 2008 Volume 20 Issue 3

Special issue on the abuse and misuse of social agents BIBFull-Text 287-291
  Sheryl Brahnam; Antonella De Angeli
When sex, drugs, and violence enter the classroom: Conversations between adolescents and a female pedagogical agent BIBAKFull-Text 292-301
  George Veletsianos; Cassandra Scharber; Aaron Doering
In this article, we investigate the discourse between a female conversational pedagogical agent and 59 adolescents in the context of a social studies lesson. We note that previous pedagogical agent research has focused on the positive effects of agents, while failing to take into account the intricacies of learner-agent discourse, and subsequently missing the abuse suffered by pedagogical agents at users' fingertips. Our analysis indicates that learners readily misuse and abuse pedagogical agents while placing them in a subordinate and inferior role. We conclude by making recommendations on agent design and future research.
Keywords: Pedagogical agents; Conversational agents; Agent abuse; Agent misuse; Computer-mediated discourse analysis; Social studies
I hate you! Disinhibition with virtual partners BIBAKFull-Text 302-310
  Antonella De Angeli; Sheryl Brahnam
This paper presents a descriptive lexical analysis of spontaneous conversations between users and the 2005 Loebner prize winning chatterbot, Jabberwacky. The study was motivated in part by the suspicion that evidence in support of the Media Equation, especially in the field of conversational agents, was supported by incomplete data; too often omitted in its purview is the occurrence of unsavoury user responses. Our study shows that conversations with Jabberwacky often bring about the expression of negative verbal disinhibition. We discovered that 10% of the total stems in the corpus reflected abusive language, and approximately 11% of the sample addressed hard-core sex. Users were often rude and violated the conversation maxims of manner, quantity, and relevance. Also particularly pronounced in the conversations was a persistent need of the user to define the speakers' identities (human vs. machine). Users were also curious to understand and test the cognitive capabilities of the chatterbot. Our analysis indicates that the Media Equation may need qualifying, that users treat computers that talk, less as they do people and more as they might treat something not quite an object yet not quite human.
Keywords: Chatterbots; Disinhibition; Verbal abuse; Sex-talk; Media equation; Social agents
"She is just stupid" -- Analyzing user-agent interactions in emotional game situations BIBAKFull-Text 311-325
  Matthias Rehm
A multiplayer dice game was realized which is played by two users and one embodied conversational agent. During the game, the players have to lie to each other to win the game and the longer the game commences the more probable it is that someone is lying, which creates highly emotional situations. We ran a number of evaluation studies with the system. The specific setting allows us to compare user-user interactions directly with user-agent interactions in the same game. So far, the users' gaze behavior and the users' verbal behavior towards one another and towards the agent have been analyzed. Gaze and verbal behavior towards the agent partly resembles patterns found in the literature for human-human interactions, partly the behavior deviates from these observations and could be interpreted as rude or impolite like continuous staring, insulting, or talking about the agent. For most of these seemingly abusive behaviors, a more thorough analysis reveals that they are either acceptable or present some interesting insights for improving the interaction design between users and embodied conversational agents.
Keywords: Embodied conversational agents; Social interaction; Multiuser interaction
Sometimes it's hard to be a robot: A call for action on the ethics of abusing artificial agents BIBAKFull-Text 326-333
  Blay Whitby
This is a call for informed debate on the ethical issues raised by the forthcoming widespread use of robots, particularly in domestic settings. Research shows that humans can sometimes become very abusive towards computers and robots particularly when they are seen as human-like and this raises important ethical issues.
   The designers of robotic systems need to take an ethical stance on at least three specific questions. Firstly is it acceptable to treat artefacts -- particularly human-like artefacts -- in ways that we would consider it morally unacceptable to treat humans? Second, if so, just how much sexual or violent 'abuse' of an artificial agent should we allow before we censure the behaviour of the abuser? Thirdly is it ethical for designers to attempt to 'design out' abusive behaviour by users?
   Conclusions on these and related issues should be used to modify professional codes as a matter of urgency.
Keywords: Robot ethics; Abusive interaction; Ethical design
Response to "Sometimes it's hard to be a robot: A call for action on the ethics of abusing artificial agents" BIBFull-Text 334-337
  Alan Dix
Robot ethics? Not yet: A reflection on Whitby's "Sometimes it's hard to be a robot" BIBAKFull-Text 338-341
  Harold Thimbleby
Science fiction stories seductively portray robots as human. In present reality (early 21st century) robots are machines, even though they can do many things far better than humans (fly, swim, play chess to name a few). Any ethics for or of robots is therefore a seductive mix of fiction and reality. The key issue for rational discourse is to provide a rigorous framework for reasoning about the issues, including identifying flaws in the framework. We find such meta-reasoning in discussion about robot ethics to be ready for improvement.
   This paper takes its inspiration from B. Whitby, "Sometimes it's hard to be a robot: A call for action on the ethics of abusing artificial agents," Interacting with Computers, this issue, 2008.
Keywords: Robot ethics; Meta-ethics
Humour, Relationship Maintenance and Personality Matching in automated dialogue: A controlled study BIBAKFull-Text 342-353
  Marco De Boni; Alannah Richardson; Robert Hurling
We built an automated dialogue system whose style of interaction can be varied along the three dimensions of Humour, Relationship Maintenance and Personality Matching. We then ran a longitudinal experiment which investigated manipulations of these three dimensions. We explored the interaction of these separate dimensions on user perception of the system using a controlled study design. We showed a strong positive effect for the use of Humour and Relationship Maintenance, while the use of Personality Matching raised a number of questions which need further investigation.
Keywords: Humour; Relationship Maintenance; Personality Matching; Automated dialogue
Did you feel something? Distracter tasks and the recognition of vibrotactile cues BIBAKFull-Text 354-363
  Ian Oakley; Junseok Park
Research on vibrotactile displays for mobile devices has developed and evaluated complex multi-dimensional tactile stimuli with promising results. However, the possibility that user distraction, an inevitable component of mobile interaction, may mask (or obscure) vibrotactile perception has not been thoroughly considered. This omission is addressed here with three studies comparing recognition performance on nine tactile icons between control and distracter conditions. The icons were two dimensional (three body sites against three roughness values) and displayed to the wrist. The distracter tasks were everyday activities: Transcription, mouse-based Data-entry and Walking. The results indicated performance significantly dropped in the distracter condition (by between 5% and 20%) in all studies. Variations in the results suggest different tasks may exert different masking effects. This work indicates that distraction should be considered in the design of vibrotactile cues and that the results reported in lab based studies are unlikely to represent real world performance.
Keywords: Wearable computing; Mobile; Haptic interface; Tactile icons; Tactons
Using multiple data sources to get closer insights into user cost and task performance BIBAKFull-Text 364-374
  Tao Lin; Atsumi Imamiya; Xiaoyang Mao
This pilot study explores the use of combining multiple data sources (subjective, physical, physiological, and eye tracking) in understanding user cost and behavior. Specifically, we show the efficacy of such objective measurements as heart rate variability (HRV), and pupillary response in evaluating user cost in game environments, along with subjective techniques, and investigate eye and hand behavior at various levels of user cost. In addition, a method for evaluating task performance at the micro-level is developed by combining eye and hand data. Four findings indicate the great potential value of combining multiple data sources to evaluate interaction: first, spectral analysis of HRV in the low frequency band shows significant sensitivity to changes in user cost, modulated by game difficulty -- the result is consistent with subjective ratings, but pupillary response fails to accord with user cost in this game environment; second, eye saccades seem to be more sensitive to user cost changes than eye fixation number and duration, or scanpath length; third, a composite index based on eye and hand movements is developed, and it shows more sensitivity to user cost changes than a single eye or hand measurement; finally, timeline analysis of the ratio of eye fixations to mouse clicks demonstrates task performance changes and learning effects over time. We conclude that combining multiple data sources has a valuable role in human-computer interaction (HCI) evaluation and design.
Keywords: Usability evaluation; User cost; Task performance; Multiple data sources
Software development methods and usability: Perspectives from a survey in the software industry in Norway BIBAKFull-Text 375-385
  Bendik Bygstad; Gheorghita Ghinea; Eivind Brevik
This paper investigates the relationship between software development methodologies and usability. The point of departure is the assumption that two important disciplines in software development, one of software development methods (SDMs) and one of usability work, are not integrated in industrial software projects.
   Building on previous research we investigate two questions; (1) Will software companies generally acknowledge the importance of usability, but not prioritise it in industrial projects? and (2) To what degree are software development methods and usability perceived by practitioners as being integrated? To this end a survey in the Norwegian IT industry was conducted. From a sample of 259 companies we received responses from 78 companies.
   In response to our first research question, our findings show that although there is a positive bias towards usability, the importance of usability testing is perceived to be much less than that of usability requirements. Given the strong time and cost pressures associated with the software industry, we believe that these results highlight that there is a gap between intention and reality. Regarding our second research question our survey revealed that companies perceive usability and software development methods to be integrated. This is in contrast to earlier research, which, somewhat pessimistically, has argued for the existence of two different cultures, one of software development and one of usability. The findings give hope for the future, in particular because the general use of system development methods are pragmatic and adaptable.
Keywords: Software development methods; Usability; Software industry; Survey
Non-visual game design and training in gameplay skill acquisition -- A puzzle game case study BIBAKFull-Text 386-405
  Tatiana V. Evreinova; Grigori Evreinov; Roope Raisamo
This paper reports the results of a study on the design and evaluation of the game and techniques which allow puzzles to be played in the absence of visual feedback. We have demonstrated that a camera-mouse can be used successfully for blind navigation and target location acquisition within a game field. To gradually teach the players the sequential learning method was applied. Blind exploration of the gamespace was augmented with sticky labels and overview sound cues, verbal and non-verbal, which can significantly reduce the cognitive load and facilitate mental matching and integration. The full-sticky labels technique does not require fine motor skills and allows a user to gain control over the game with a minimum level of skills. With the vertical sticky labels technique training was focused on the development of accurate head movements only on a horizontal plane. With practice, the players can use the non-sticky labels technique. After 240 trials (3-4 h), the cumulative experience of the blindfolded players was increased 22.5-27 times compared to the initial 10 trials.
Keywords: Non-visual puzzle game; Sonification; Overview sound cues; Sticky labels; Sequential learning; Skills training
User errors on scanning keyboards: Empirical study, model and design principles BIBAKFull-Text 406-418
  Samit Bhattacharya; Debasis Samanta; Anupam Basu
Scanning keyboards are used as augmentative communication aids by persons with severe speech and motion impairments. Literature reports two approaches for the design of scanning keyboards; design based on the experience and intuition of designers and user model based design methods. None of these approaches, however, considers user errors in the design process, potentially limiting the practical usefulness of the designs. We have performed experiments in order to study user errors on scanning keyboards. We have found that two types of errors affect performance of scanning keyboard users significantly, namely (a) timing error that occurs when a user fails to select a key at the appropriate time and (b) selection error that occurs when the user selects a wrong key. These errors have been found to increase users' text entry time by as high as 65% and 35%, respectively. Based on empirical observations, we have developed a state transition model of user behavior during user-keyboard interaction. The model comprises of four states, each of which represents the physical and cognitive state of the user at particular instant of the interaction. The transitions are caused by users' physical, cognitive and perceptual activities. We have found that the errors could be explained as caused due to the problems in making the transitions properly. In addition to explaining errors, the model has helped us to predict distribution of error probabilities with respect to the distance between keys. We have used the model predicted error distributions to develop principles for scanning keyboard design that aim to reduce user errors. The principles state that the frequently used key pairs should be placed apart by a minimum distance, which has been obtained from the error distributions, in order to reduce errors. The method and results of the study, the user model and the design principles are presented in this paper.
Keywords: Augmentative communication; Soft keyboards; Scanning input methods; Focus distance; Timing errors; Selection errors
Modelling user experience with web sites: Usability, hedonic value, beauty and goodness BIBAKFull-Text 419-432
  Paul van Schaik; Jonathan Ling
Recent research into user experience has identified the need for a theoretical model to build cumulative knowledge in research addressing how the overall quality or 'goodness' of an interactive product is formed. An experiment tested and extended Hassenzahl's model of aesthetic experience. The study used a 2 x 2 x (2) experimental design with three factors: principles of screen design, principles for organizing information on a web page and experience of using a web site. Dependent variables included hedonic perceptions and evaluations of a web site as well as measures of task performance, navigation behaviour and mental effort. Measures, except Beauty, were sensitive to manipulation of web design. Beauty was influenced by hedonic attributes (identification and stimulation), but Goodness by both hedonic and pragmatic (user-perceived usability) attributes as well as task performance and mental effort. Hedonic quality was more stable with experience of web-site use than pragmatic quality and Beauty was more stable than Goodness.
Keywords: User experience; Aesthetics; Hedonic quality; Usability; Web site; Modelling

IWC 2008 Volume 20 Issue 4/5

Understanding purchasing behaviors in a virtual economy: Consumer behavior involving virtual currency in Web 2.0 communities BIBAKFull-Text 433-446
  Dong Hee Shin
This study analyzes consumer purchasing behavior in Web 2.0, expanding the technology acceptance model (TAM), focusing on which variables influence the intention to transact with virtual currency. Individuals' responses to questions about attitude and intention to transact in Web 2.0 were collected and analyzed with various factors modified from the TAM. The results of the proposed model show that subjective norm is a key behavioral antecedent to using virtual currency. In the extended model, the moderating effects of subjective norm on the relations among the variables were found to be significant. The new set of variables is virtual environment-specific, acting as factors enhancing attitudes and behavioral intentions in Web 2.0 transactions.
Keywords: Technology acceptance model; Virtual currency; Structural equation modeling; Web2.0
Being-with: A study of familiarity BIBAKFull-Text 447-454
  Phil Turner
How people learn to use an interactive device has always been an important field of research in human-computer interaction (HCI). The theoretical bases of which have ranged from the traditional cognitive perspectives through situated learning to collectivist -- social perspectives. Each of these has treated learning to use interactive devices in a typical dualistic manner with a clear distinction between "man and machine". However, in addition to simply using interactive technologies we also co-exist with them, a relationship which might be called being-with. For many of us, interactive technology has always been there (we are born into a world replete with it) and we have a deep familiarity with it. Familiarity, according to Heidegger, is non-dualistic; it is a fact of our existence, of our worldliness; it is one of the primary ways in which we relate to the world, and offers an alternate basis for thinking about how we learn to use technology. An empirical study of familiarity is presented involving a group of seniors learning to use a personal computer and the services it provides. The analysis of the resultant substantial body of interview and discussion group data lead to the conclusion that to become familiar with technology is to integrate it into one's everyday life -- an everyday life which is correspondingly reconfigured. Specifically, learning to use these technologies is better seen as changing the practices of everyday life to accommodate them. This dimension of being-with potentially has significant consequences for very many aspects of HCI. So, in addition to designing for ease of use; designing for experience perhaps we should now add designing for being-with.
Keywords: Being-with; Familiarity; Learning; Qualitative analysis; Heidegger; Borgmann
The role of stereopsis in virtual anatomical learning BIBAKFull-Text 455-460
  Jan-Maarten Luursema; Willem B. Verwey; Piet A. M. Kommers; Jan-Henk Annema
The use of virtual learning environments in the medical field is on the rise. An earlier experiment [Luursema, J.-M., Verwey, W.B., Kommers, P.A.M., Geelkerken, R.H., Vos, H.J., 2006. Optimizing conditions for computer-assisted anatomical learning. Interacting with Computers, 18, 1123-1138.] found that a combination of computer-implemented stereopsis (visual depth through seeing with both eyes) and dynamic exploration (being able to continuously change one's viewpoint with respect to the objects studied in real-time) is beneficial to anatomical learning, especially for subjects of low visuo-spatial ability (the ability to form, retrieve and manipulate mental representations of a visuo-spatial nature). The present experiment investigated the contribution of computer-implemented stereopsis alone to anatomical learning. Two groups with a similar distribution of visuo-spatial ability were formed; one group studied a 3D computer model of the human abdominal anatomy in a stereoptic condition, the other group studied the same anatomy in a biocular condition (both eyes exposed to the same image). Although visuo-spatial ability was the most important variable predicting anatomical learning, computer implemented stereopsis provided a significant benefit for one of the post-tasks assessing this learning.
Keywords: Visuo-spatial ability; Stereopsis; Anatomical learning; Virtual learning environments
A model of user adoption of interface agents for email notification BIBAKFull-Text 461-472
  Alexander Serenko
This study presents and empirically validates a model that describes user adoption behavior towards email notification interface agents from the end-user perspective. In addition to the original Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) constructs, the model included perceived enjoyment, computer playfulness, and personal innovativeness in the domain of IT. Data were collected from 75 actual email interface agent users, the model was tested by employing PLS (Partial Least Squares) techniques, and several conclusions were offered. First, current email interface agent users are highly innovative individuals who perceive the technology as very enjoyable, useful, and easy to use. Second, in contrast to prior expectations, no direct effect of personal innovativeness on perceived usefulness of interface agents was found. This suggests that more innovative people do not necessarily perceive this technology more useful than less innovative ones. Third, the degree of personal innovativeness had a strong positive direct effect on the extent of perceived ease of use of email interface agents. This finding supports much of the prior research on the role of personal innovativeness in user technology perceptions. At the same time, with regards to the link between perceptions of enjoyment with an email interface agent and perceptions of its usefulness, no relationship was found. Fourth, user perceptions of enjoyment with an email interface agent were found to be the key influencing factor of future behavioral usage intentions towards an agent.
Keywords: Email; Interface agents; User adoption; Partial Least Squares; Technology Acceptance Model
How motivational orientation influences the evaluation and choice of hedonic and pragmatic interactive products: The role of regulatory focus BIBAKFull-Text 473-479
  Marc Hassenzahl; Markus Schöbel; Tibor Trautmann
The perceived quality of interactive products can be roughly divided into instrumental, task-related, pragmatic attributes (e.g., usefulness, usability) and non-instrumental, self-referential, hedonic attributes (e.g., novelty, beauty). Recent studies suggest that the weighting of both aspects in forming an overall evaluation of an interactive product heavily depends on features of the actual situation, such as whether an individual has to perform a specific task or not. The present paper extends these findings by assuming that a match between an individual's motivational orientation and particular product attributes (i.e., pragmatic, hedonic) moderates the perceived value of interactive products. Specifically, it shows how differences in regulatory foci (promotion or prevention focus), that is, differences in the way goal-directed behavior is regulated, influence product evaluation and choice. Participants were either set in a prevention focus (concern for safety and the avoidance of negative outcomes) or promotion focus (concern for personal growth and the attainment of positive outcomes). Subsequently, they were asked to evaluate and choose between a primarily pragmatic and a primarily hedonic mp3-player. The results revealed the expected effect of the activated regulatory focus on evaluation and choice. Individuals in a promotion focus rated the hedonic player as more appealing and chose it more frequently compared to individuals in a prevention focus. Reverse results, albeit not as strong, were found for the evaluation and choice of the pragmatic player. Our findings support the idea that product appeal and choice is strongly context-dependent. It further extends previous findings by showing that not only major differences in the situation, such as providing a specific task or not, impact product appreciation but that more subtle, motivational orientations can have similar effects.
Keywords: User experience; Motivation; Affect; Hedonic quality; Product evaluation
Generating multimodal user interfaces for Web services BIBAKFull-Text 480-490
  Kisub Song; Kyong-Ho Lee
Web services are gaining momentum as a standard interface to a rich variety of services in ubiquitous computing environments. To improve access to Web services, convenient user interfaces should be provided. This paper presents a method that automatically constructs multimodal user interfaces from WSDL files of Web services. The proposed method appropriately produces user interfaces based on context information. To describe context information, including the characteristics of devices, the proposed context model is developed based on the CC/PP standard. The proposed method extracts operations and their input message types, which are in the form of XML Schema, and chooses the most suitable input controls according to input message types and context information. Experiment results with a usability test show that the proposed method successfully generates multimodal user interfaces from the description files of Web services.
Keywords: Web Services; WSDL; User Interfaces; Context; Multimodal
Effects of visual cues and sustained attention on spatial presence in virtual environments based on spatial and object distinction BIBAKFull-Text 491-502
  Sungkil Lee; Gerard Jounghyun Kim
This article reports two human experiments to investigate the effects of visual cues and sustained attention on spatial presence over a period of prolonged exposure in virtual environments. Inspired by the two functional subsystems subserving spatial and object vision in the human brain, visual cues and sustained attention were each classified into spatial and object cues, and spatial and non-spatial attention, respectively. In the first experiment, the effects of visual cues on spatial presence were examined when subjects were exposed to virtual environments configured with combinations of spatial and object cues. It was found that both types of visual cues enhanced spatial presence with saturation over a period of prolonged exposure, but the contribution of spatial cues became more relevant with longer exposure time. In the second experiment, subjects were asked to carry out two tasks involving sustained spatial attention and sustained non-spatial attention. We observed that spatially directed attention improved spatial presence more than non-spatially directed attention did. Furthermore, spatial attention had a positive interaction with detailed object cues.
Keywords: Virtual reality; Spatial presence; Spatial vision; Object vision; Sustained attention

IWC 2008 Volume 20 Issue 6

Comparison of techniques for matching of usability problem descriptions BIBAKFull-Text 505-514
  Kasper Hornbæk; Erik Frøkjær
Matching of usability problem descriptions consists of determining which problem descriptions are similar and which are not. In most comparisons of evaluation methods matching helps determine the overlap among methods and among evaluators. However, matching has received scant attention in usability research and may be fundamentally unreliable. We compare how 52 novice evaluators match the same set of problem descriptions from three think aloud studies. For matching the problem descriptions the evaluators use either (a) the similarity of solutions to the problems, (b) a prioritization effort for the owner of the application tested, (c) a model proposed by Lavery and colleagues [Lavery, D., Cockton, G., Atkinson, M.P., 1997. Comparison of evaluation methods using structured usability problem reports. Behaviour and Information Technology, 16 (4/5), 246-266], or (d) the User Action Framework [Andre, T.S., Hartson, H.R., Belz, S.M., McCreary, F.A., 2001. The user action framework: a reliable foundation for usability engineering support tools. International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, 54 (1), 107-136]. The resulting matches are different, both with respect to the number of problems grouped or identified as unique, and with respect to the content of the problem descriptions that were matched. Evaluators report different concerns and foci of attention when using the techniques. We illustrate how these differences among techniques might adversely influence the reliability of findings in usability research, and discuss some remedies.
Keywords: Usability evaluation; Usability problems; Problem matching; Evaluator effect; Similarity
TAM-based success modeling in ERP BIBAKFull-Text 515-523
  Salvador Bueno; Jose L. Salmeron
The literature assumes that Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems are complex tools. Due to this complexity, ERP produce negative impacts on the users' acceptation. However, few studies have tried to identify the factors that influence the ERP users' acceptance. This paper's aim is to focus on decisive factors influencing the ERP users' acceptance and use. Specifically, the authors have developed a research model based on the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) for testing the influence of the Critical Success Factors (CSFs) on ERP implementation. The CSFs used are: (1) top management support, (2) communication, (3) cooperation, (4) training and (5) technological complexity. This research model has offered some evidence about main acceptance factors on ERP which help to set the users' behavior toward ERP.
Keywords: Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP); Users' acceptance; Technological acceptance model; Critical Success Factors (CSFs)
A web-based programming learning environment to support cognitive development BIBAKFull-Text 524-534
  Wu-Yuin Hwang; Chin-Yu Wang; Gwo-Jen Hwang; Yueh-Min Huang; Susan Huang
Web-based programming has become a popular and vital issue in recent years. The rapid growth of various applications not only demonstrates the importance of web-based programming, but also reveals the difficulty of training relevant skills. The difficulty is owing to the lack of facilities such as online coding, debugging and peer help to assist the students in promoting their cognitive development in web-based programming. To cope with these problems, in this paper, a web-based programming assisted system, "WPAS", is proposed, which is able to support five programming activities with various difficulty levels of cognition based on Bloom's cognitive taxonomy. WPAS provides online coding, debugging and annotation tools to conduct the training and peer assessment for web-based programming. Experimental results of 47 undergraduate students show that the innovative approach is helpful to the students in improving their cognitive development in Web-based programming. In addition, according to the results of the questionnaire, most of the participants perceived the ease of use and usefulness of the proposed system. Therefore, this study suggests that teachers could design Web-based programming activities supported by the WPAS system to improve students' cognitive development in web-based programming.
Keywords: Web-based programming; Digital learning environment; Cognitive development; Teaching/learning strategies
Automated semantic elaboration of web site information architecture BIBAKFull-Text 535-544
  Christos Katsanos; Nikolaos Tselios; Nikolaos Avouris
Structuring of the content is an important step in web site design, affecting greatly navigability and the overall user experience. Automated support of this task is the object of this paper. AutoCardSorter, a computational tool that supports clustering of the web pages of a site, is introduced. The proposed tool-based methodology uses semantic similarity measures, such as latent semantic analysis, and hierarchical clustering algorithms, in order to suggest suitable information navigation schemes. In the paper, after introducing AutoCardSorter design and functionality, three independent studies are discussed. The studies, that were conducted in order to validate the proposal, compared the proposed method with the established card-sorting approach, in different domains. It was found that substantial gain in effectiveness was achieved without expense in the quality of results, therefore, reducing the required time and human resources.
Keywords: Information architecture; Automated tool; Semantic similarity; Card-sorting; Latent semantic analysis; Cluster analysis
The use of modality in the design of verbal aids in computer-based learning environments BIBAKFull-Text 545-561
  Emilio Sanchez; Hector Garcia-Rodicio
Computer-based learning environments include verbal aids helping learners to gain a deep understanding. These aids can be presented in either the visual or the auditory modality. The problem is that it is not clear-cut how to present them for two reasons: the modality principle [Mayer, R.E., 2001. Multimedia Learning. Cambridge University Press, New York] is not applicable because verbal aids do not usually come with related pictures and the little empirical research on the question provides diverging results. Our aim was twofold: to present a research framework, which makes it possible to reinterpret prior findings, and to test it empirically as it provides guidelines about how to present verbal aids. It distinguishes between two types of verbal aids: regulatory, which guide the learners' decision making process during learning, and explanatory, which help learners to revise their understanding of the to-be-learned contents. The framework suggests that explanatory aids should be presented visually and regulatory aids should be presented auditorily. In two experiments participants learned from a computer-based learning environment on plate tectonics and solved retention and inference questions afterwards. They received verbal aids presented in different modalities depending on the condition. Participants receiving visual explanatory aids outperformed those receiving auditory explanatory aids both in retention and inference questions. Participants receiving auditory regulatory aids showed no advantage; the same pattern was obtained in the second experiment, in which the auditory aids were given by a pedagogical agent. Results have practical implications for the design of computer-based materials.
Keywords: Computer-based learning environments; Verbal aids; Visual modality; Auditory modality
Extending drag-and-drop to new interactive environments: A multi-display, multi-instrument and multi-user approach BIBAKFull-Text 562-573
  Maxime Collomb; Mountaz Hascoët
Drag-and-drop is probably one of the most successful and generic representations of direct manipulation in today's WIMP interfaces. At the same time, emerging new interactive environments such as distributed display environments or large display surface environments have revealed the need for an evolution of drag-and-drop to address new challenges. In this context, several extensions of drag-and-drop have been proposed over the past years. However, implementations for these extensions are difficult to reproduce, integrate and extend. This situation hampers the development or integration of advanced drag-and-drop techniques in applications.
   The aim of this paper is to propose a unifying implementation model of drag-and-drop and of its extensions. This model-called M-CIU-aims at facilitating the implementation of advanced drag-and-drop support by offering solutions to problems typical of new emerging environments. The model builds upon a synthesis of drag-and-drop implementations, an analysis of requirements for meeting new challenges and a dedicated interaction model based on instrumental interaction. By using this model, a programmer will be able to implement advanced drag-and-drop supporting (1) multi-display environments, (2) large display surfaces and (3) multi-user systems. Furthermore by unifying the implementation of all existing drag-and-drop approaches, this model also provides flexibility by allowing users (or applications) to select the most appropriate drag-and-drop technique depending on the context of use. For example, a user might prefer to use pick-and-drop when interacting with multiple displays attached to multiple computers, push-and-throw or drag-and-throw when interacting with large displays and possibly standard drag-and-drop in a more traditional context. Finally, in order to illustrate the various benefits of this model, we provide an API called PoIP which is a Java-based implementation of the model that can be used with most Java-based applications. We also describe Orchis, an interactive graphical application used to share bookmarks and that uses PoIP to implement distributed drag-and-drop like interactions.
Keywords: Distributed display environments; Wall-sized displays; Drag-and-drop; Multi-user interaction models; Plasticity
Designing new technologies for illiterate populations: A study in mobile phone interface design BIBAKFull-Text 574-586
  Zereh Lalji; Judith Good
Designing for illiterate populations involves particular challenges: for a start, the life experiences, needs and expectations of non-elite and illiterate populations in developing nations are likely to be markedly different from those of a designer. To avoid any bias, the creation of new technologies for such groups must develop in continuous partnership with primary users, and include a thorough investigation into their worlds, lives, relationships and concerns. Involving the user throughout the design process can also help in progressively testing and fine-tuning the prototypes by exposing the shortcomings and strengths in the design.
   In this paper, we report on a study that investigated the design of a mobile phone for illiterate persons. While the study takes a user-centred, incremental design approach, the users' context of use forms the basis for the phone design. Through a discussion which compares key insights from our study with related HCI studies, we have endeavoured to illustrate how findings from our study could be useful in the area of design for non-traditional users.
Keywords: Illiterate users; Mobile phone; User-centred design; Learner-centred design; Adaptive interface; Audio-visual interface