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Interacting with Computers 21

Editors:Dianne Murray
Dates:2009
Volume:21
Publisher:Elsevier Science
Standard No:ISSN 0953-5438
Papers:45
Links:Table of Contents
  1. IWC 2009 Volume 21 Issue 1/2
  2. IWC 2009 Volume 21 Issue 3
  3. IWC 2009 Volume 21 Issue 4
  4. IWC 2009 Volume 21 Issue 5/6

IWC 2009 Volume 21 Issue 1/2

Special issue on enactive interfaces BIBFull-Text 1-2
  Chris Raymaekers
Toward natural interaction through visual recognition of body gestures in real-time BIBAKFull-Text 3-10
  Javier Varona; Antoni Jaume-i-Capó; Jordi Gonzàlez; Francisco J. Perales
In most of the existing human-computer interfaces, enactive knowledge as new natural interaction paradigm has not been fully exploited yet. Recent technological advances have created the possibility to enhance naturally and significantly the interface perception by means of visual inputs, the so-called Vision-Based Interfaces (VBI). In the present paper, we explore the recovery of the user's body posture by means of combining robust computer vision techniques and a well known inverse kinematics algorithm in real-time. Specifically, we focus on recognizing the user's motions with a particular mean, that is, a body gesture. Defining an appropriate representation of the user's body posture based on a temporal parameterization, we apply non-parametric techniques to learn and recognize the user's body gestures. This scheme of recognition has been applied to control a computer videogame in real-time to show the viability of the presented approach.
Keywords: Enactive interfaces; Human-computer interaction; Vision-based interfaces
On scaling strategies for the full-body postural control of virtual mannequins BIBAKFull-Text 11-25
  Ronan Boulic; Damien Maupu; Daniel Thalmann
Due to its intrinsic complexity, full-body postural input has been mostly limited to off-line motion capture and to on-line puppetry of a virtual character with little interaction with its environment (e.g. floor). The motion capture technology is now mature enough to envision the on-line full-body postural control of virtual mannequins involved in precise reaching tasks. We have investigated such tasks for mannequins of differing body heights in comparison to that of the system user. Such broad-range avatar control is relevant for virtual prototyping in various industrial sectors as a single person is responsible for evaluating a virtual prototype for a full range of potential end-users. In the present paper we report on two scaling strategies that can be enforced in such a context of height-differing avatar control. Both scaling strategies have been evaluated in a wide-range reach study both in front of a stationary immersive display and with an HMD. A comparison is also made with a baseline scenario, which exploits a simple rigid shape (i.e. a proxy), to assess the specific influence of controlling a complex articulated avatar.
Keywords: Full-body movement; Full-body interaction; Posture; Reaching; Scaling; Virtual mannequins
Integrating tactile and force feedback for highly dynamic tasks: Technological, experimental and epistemological aspects BIBAKFull-Text 26-37
  Armen Khatchatourov; Julien Castet; Jean-Loup Florens; Annie Luciani; Charles Lenay
For hand-object interaction in real situations the interplay between the local tactile interaction and force interaction seems to be very important. In current haptic interfaces, however, two different trends are present: force feedback devices which offer a permanent invariable grip and a resultant force, and tactile devices, which offer variable local patterns, often used for texture rendering. The purpose of the present work is to combine the two types of devices in a coherent manner. In the new device presented here, the tactile stimulation is obtained from strictly the same interaction loop, and obeys to the same physical model, as the force feedback, providing the information on the spatial distribution of forces circulating between the object and the fingertip. An experiment on following sharp edges of virtual object comparing the force feedback alone and different tactile augmentations is presented and discussed, alone with some open epistemological issues.
Keywords: Haptic; Force feedback; Kinesthetic feedback; Tactile; Braille; Virtual environments; Enaction; Closed-loop interaction; Real-time synchronised architecture
Tactile sensory substitution: Models for enaction in HCI BIBAKFull-Text 38-53
  Yon Visell
To apply enactive principles within human-computer interaction poses interesting challenges to the way that we design and evaluate interfaces, particularly those that possess a strong sensorimotor character. This article surveys the field of tactile sensory substitution, an area of science and engineering that lies at the intersection of such research domains as neuroscience, haptics, and sensory prosthetics. It is argued that this area of research is of high relevance to the design and understanding of enactive interfaces that make use of touch, and is also a fertile arena for revealing fundamental issues at stake in the design and implementation of enactive interfaces, ranging from engineering, to human sensory physiology, and the function and plasticity of perception. A survey of these questions is provided, alongside a range of current and historical examples.
Keywords: Enaction; Tactile display; Sensory substitution; Enactive interfaces
A run-time programmable simulator to enable multi-modal interaction with rigid-body systems BIBAKFull-Text 54-63
  Stephen Sinclair; Marcelo M. Wanderley
This paper describes DIMPLE, a software application for haptic force-feedback controllers which allows easy creation of interactive rigid-body simulations. DIMPLE makes extensive use of an established standard for control-rate transmission of audio control commands, which can be used to drive many simultaneous parameters of a given audio/visual synthesis engine.
   Because it is used with a high-level, visual multimedia programming language, DIMPLE allows fast and uncomplicated development of responsive, haptically-enabled virtual environments useful for fast prototyping of applications in fields where lower level programming skills may not be widespread. Examples of specific scenes constructed using DIMPLE are given, with applications to perception, HCI research, music, and multimedia. A pilot evaluation study was performed comparing DIMPLE to another implementation of a specific scene, which showed comparable results between subjects' overall impressions of the simulation.
Keywords: Virtual reality; Haptics; Sound synthesis; Virtual instruments; Gesture; Interaction
Physicality and interaction BIBFull-Text 64-65
  Devina Ramduny-Ellis; Alan Dix; Steve Gill; Joanna Hare
What the body knows: Exploring the benefits of embodied metaphors in hybrid physical digital environments BIBAKFull-Text 66-75
  Alissa N. Antle; Greg Corness; Milena Droumeva
A recent trend in ubiquitous computing is the development of new forms of interfaces, which rely on embodied interaction. We focus on the definition of embodiment that refers to the ways in which abstract concepts rely on metaphorical extensions of embodied schemata shaped by processes below the level of conscious awareness as explored by Lakoff and Johnson [Lakoff, G., Johnson, M., 1980. Metaphors We Live By. Chicago Press, Chicago, IL, USA]. Our inquiry focuses on understanding the role embodied metaphors may play in supporting people to understand the possibilities for physical interaction in augmented spaces. We explore this issue through the development and evaluation of an interactive audio environment. We instantiate metaphor theory by using embodied schemata as the basis for the interactional metaphor that relates full-body input actions to audio output responses. We demonstrate and explore the benefits of this approach through a comparative experiment in which adults and children learn to use our audio environment. The results from our experiment indicated that embodied metaphors improve usability however, other factors including discoverability, perceivability of feedback and duplicity of structural isomorphism may mediate these metaphor-based benefits. We have generalized our main findings as a set of suggestions for the design of embodied style interfaces that rely on physical interaction.
Keywords: Physical interaction; Embodied interaction; Metaphor; Augmented environments; Audio environments
Designing physical and social intergenerational family entertainment BIBAKFull-Text 76-87
  Eng Tat Khoo; Tim Merritt; Adrian David Cheok
Present computer games and digital entertainment do not usually facilitate intergenerational family interactions. According to recent survey results in Japan, there is a high percentage of older people who own and play electronic or computer games, but rarely do they play the games with their family members. It is a positive sign that more older people are participating in the digital games arena, but it would be even more beneficial if they could interact actively with the young family members through gaming activities. This could possibly strengthen family bonding and bridge the gap between older people and youth culture.
   This paper presents steps for designing an intergenerational family entertainment system which focuses on physical and social interactions using a mixed reality floor system. The main design goals include: facilitating interactions between users with varied levels of skill in utilizing technology, utilizing the familiar physical motions from other activities to make an intuitive physical interface, and encouraging social interactions among families and friends. Detailed implementation of these steps is presented in the design of our intergenerational entertainment system, Age Invaders. Four main prototype iterations for the system is presented. Our design process is based on User Centered Design and relies on constant involvement of users to understand the key issues and to help make effective design decisions. The results of the study help to focus the refinements of the existing platform from a usability standpoint and also aids in the development of new physical entertainment and interactive applications. This study provides insights into user issues including how users interact in a complex mixed reality experience, which is heavily based in physicality. The use of one portion of the user base which is most proficient with technology before involving the novice users was found to empower novice users to begin to use digital technology.
Keywords: Mixed reality entertainment; Social computing; Family entertainment; Game play; User-centered design
Translating experience BIBAKFull-Text 88-94
  Cathy Treadaway
This paper describes research investigating the significance of physical experience and materiality in creative digital visual art and design practice. Findings are presented from a recent phenomenological study, which indicates the ways in which memory of lived experience informs creative cognition and feeds the imagination.
   The importance of physical engagement with the world, through the senses, enables emotional expression to be made in artworks that can be perceived by both artist and audience. Digital creativity support tools have been found, in this research, to lack interfaces that facilitate the translation of these visual aesthetic qualities in the virtual representation.
   Hand use and the sense of touch stimulate novel ideas and enable practitioners to break from fixated thinking when working with digital design tools. Examples of artworks are presented that illustrate ways in which artists, working with digital technology, make use of physical experience to inform visual ideas and innovate design solutions.
   Case study research is described that illuminates the ways in which memory of physical bodily experience and the time related factors involved in making by hand are crucial within the creative process. Findings from this research are presented that reveal the importance of physical interaction with the world when working creatively with digital design tools.
Keywords: Physicality; Hand use; Creativity; Art; Craft; Design
Of pages and paddles: Children's expectations and mistaken interactions with physical-digital tools BIBAKFull-Text 95-107
  Eva Hornecker; Andreas Dünser
An assumption behind new interface approaches that employ physical means of interaction is that these can leverage users' prior knowledge from the real world, making them intuitive or 'natural' to use. This paper presents a user study of Tangible Augmented Reality, which shows that physical input tools can invite a wide variety of interaction behaviours and raise unmatched expectations about how to interact. Children played with interactive sequences in an augmented book using physical paddles to control the main characters. Our analysis focuses on how knowledge and skills that children have from the physical world succeed or fail to apply in the interaction with this application. We found that children expected the digital augmentations to behave and react analogous to physical 3D objects, encouraged by the ability to act in 3D space and the (digital) visual feedback. The affordances of the paddles as physical interaction devices invited actions that the system could not detect or interpret. In effect, children often struggled to understand what it was in their actions that made the system react.
Keywords: Physicality; Tangible; Affordance; Augmented book; Intuitive interaction; Hybrid tools
The role of physical artefacts in agile software development: Two complementary perspectives BIBAKFull-Text 108-116
  Helen Sharp; Hugh Robinson; Marian Petre
Agile software development promotes feedback, discipline and close collaboration between all members of the development team, and de-emphasises documentation, 'big design up front' and hierarchical processes. Agile teams tend to be co-located and multi-disciplinary, and rely heavily on face-to-face communication and seemingly simple physical artefacts to support interaction. In this paper we focus on the functionality of two key physical artefacts -- the story card and the Wall -- which, individually and in combination, underpin the team's activity. These artefacts have two main roles -- one which enables a shared understanding of requirements and one which facilitates the development process itself. We consider these roles from two perspectives: a notational perspective and a social perspective. This discussion shows how the two perspectives -- the notational and the social -- intertwine and are mutually supportive. Any attempt to replace these physical artefacts with alternative support for an agile team needs to take account of both perspectives, and the complex relationships between them.
Keywords: Cognitive dimensions; Ethnography; Software teams; Agile development; Empirical studies
Setting the stage -- Embodied and spatial dimensions in emerging programming practices BIBAKFull-Text 117-124
  Martin Jonsson; Jakob Tholander; Ylva Fernaeus
In the design of interactive systems, developers sometimes need to engage in various ways of physical performance in order to communicate ideas and to test out properties of the system to be realised. External resources such as sketches, as well as bodily action, often play important parts in such processes, and several methods and tools that explicitly address such aspects of interaction design have recently been developed. This combined with the growing range of pervasive, ubiquitous, and tangible technologies add up to a complex web of physicality within the practice of designing interactive systems. We illustrate this dimension of systems development through three cases which in different ways address the design of systems where embodied performance is important. The first case shows how building a physical sport simulator emphasises a shift in activity between programming and debugging. The second case shows a build-once run-once scenario, where the fine-tuning and control of the run-time activity gets turned into an act of in situ performance by the programmers. The third example illustrates the explorative and experiential nature of programming and debugging systems for specialised and autonomous interaction devices. This multitude in approaches in existing programming settings reveals an expanded perspective of what practices of interaction design consist of, emphasising the interlinking between design, programming, and performance with the system that is being developed.
Keywords: Interaction design; Embodied interaction; Physical user interfaces; Embodied performance; Programming practice
Between 2: Tango as interactive design BIBAKFull-Text 125-132
  Kristin R. Helle; Brad Hokanson
Drawing from interactive design theories and the authors' personal tango experiences in the Twin Cities and Buenos Aires, this paper critically examines tango dancing as a complex social world capable of revealing rich metadata about its physicality, spatiality, constituents, and underlying interactive processes that can be used to inform and invigorate designers' approach to digital interactivity. By exploring tango's physical and conceptual elements, parallels and connections with interactive design are identified, demonstrating how such explorations can inspire new perspectives on enhancing digital interactivity, while simultaneously refocusing our understanding of the dynamic, reciprocal relationship between digital worlds and the physical world we inhabit.
Keywords: Interactivity; Tango; Dance; Culture; Engagement
Fundamentals of physiological computing BIBAKFull-Text 133-145
  Stephen H. Fairclough
This review paper is concerned with the development of physiological computing systems that employ real-time measures of psychophysiology to communicate the psychological state of the user to an adaptive system. It is argued that physiological computing has enormous potential to innovate human-computer interaction by extending the communication bandwidth to enable the development of 'smart' technology. This paper focuses on six fundamental issues for physiological computing systems through a review and synthesis of existing literature, these are (1) the complexity of the psychophysiological inference, (2) validating the psychophysiological inference, (3) representing the psychological state of the user, (4) designing explicit and implicit system interventions, (5) defining the biocybernetic loop that controls system adaptation, and (6) ethical implications. The paper concludes that physiological computing provides opportunities to innovate HCI but complex methodological/conceptual issues must be fully tackled during the research and development phase if this nascent technology is to achieve its potential.
Keywords: Physiological computing; Affective computing; Human factors; Psychophysiology; System adaptation; Intelligent systems
The impact of self-efficacy, ease of use and usefulness on e-purchasing: An analysis of experienced e-shoppers BIBAKFull-Text 146-156
  Blanca Hernandez; Julio Jimenez; M. Jose Martin
The objective of the present research is to study the Internet purchasing behaviour of consumers who are experienced with the channel, employing a dual perspective for the analysis: (1) present e-purchasing behaviour and (2) future repurchasing behaviour measured through repurchasing intentions. On the basis of this approach, we attempt to understand the effect of perceived self-efficacy, ease of use and usefulness on both types of behaviour and the links between them. Furthermore, the research includes other variables related to Internet experience, extracted from models widely tested in the literature. These variables, namely, acceptance, frequency of use and satisfaction with the Internet, act as antecedents of e-purchasing behaviour and permit a deeper analysis of the consumer. The results obtained show that self-efficacy and usefulness are important perceptions in explaining the behaviour of experienced consumers, while ease of use does not have a significant influence.
Keywords: e-Commerce; Experienced e-shopper; Future repurchasing behaviour; Present e-purchasing behaviour; Perceived self-efficacy

IWC 2009 Volume 21 Issue 3

Older adults' perceptions and experiences of online social support BIBAKFull-Text 159-172
  Ulrike Pfeil; Panayiotis Zaphiris; Stephanie Wilson
This paper reports an investigation of older adults' needs and preferences concerning online social support. We focused our analysis on seven different aspects of online support: Self disclosure, Deep support, Light support, Community building, Information/Facts, Off topic, and Technical issues. For each aspect we were interested in how older adults perceive this aspect of support, what they think are the similarities and differences of this aspect of support in online settings vs offline settings, and what they perceive are the advantages and disadvantages of communicating this aspect of support online. We did this by conducting detailed interviews with three groups of older adults (31 people in total) with different levels of expertise in using the internet and online communication (older adults who do not use the internet, older adults who use only email, and older adults who participate in online support communities). Interviews were transcribed verbatim and analyzed. Our findings describe older adults' perception of different aspects of support and identify their motivation for turning to online support and the reasons for any reluctance to do so. Thus, our findings give insight into how online support communities could best be utilized to improve older people's experience with online support.
Keywords: Older people; Online communities; CMC
Augmenting paper-based learning with mobile phones BIBAKFull-Text 173-185
  Po-Yao Chao; Gwo-Dong Chen
Paper and traditional books have been serving as useful tools in supporting knowledge-intensive tasks and school learning. Although learning strategies such as selective verbatim note-taking or question-asking may foster intentional recall or resolve comprehension difficulties in paper-based learning practice, improvement in learning may depend on the opportunity and quality of which students apply note-taking, review notes, or enhance comprehension through questioning. This study aims to complement a paper textbook with a mobile phone and to treat the combination as a whole to facilitate verbatim note-taking, resolving comprehension questions, and receiving reading recommendations. The textbook paragraphs were augmented with line numbers to facilitate coordination between the mobile phone and the paper textbook. An eight-week comparative study was conducted to explore the use of two reading vehicles. The results and findings show that using a mobile phone to augment paper-based learning is technically feasible and seems to promote the application of verbatim note-taking and posting comprehension questions for discussion. However, the results of two course tests indicate that consequent learning improvement seemed inconsistent among the students. A six-week case study was also conducted to explore the implications of the augmented support to students' learning practice. The findings show that mobile phones as learning supportive tools to augment paper-based learning could support students' planning and management of learning strategies or activities. The portability of mobile phones and paper textbooks and the ubiquitous connection of paper-based learning with an online learning community may provide the flexibility in planning ahead for suitable learning strategies or activities and may enhance students' assessment for management of students' learning goals.
Keywords: Paper-based learning; Mobile learning; Line numbers
The motivational and control structure underlying the acceptance of adaptive museum guides -- An empirical study BIBAKFull-Text 186-200
  Fabio Pianesi; Ilenia Graziola; Massimo Zancanaro; Dina Goren-Bar
Acceptance of adaptive museum guides raises important issues stemming from both the nature of the scenario (museum visit) and the very kind of technological approach adopted (adaptivity). As to the former, museum guides play a utilitarian role in a hedonic scenario; at present, however, it is not clear how this reflects on the balance between intrinsic and extrinsic motivations for guide acceptance. The adaptive nature of the guide, in turn, raises questions about the impact of the opaqueness of the system behavior, of the alleged loss of perceived control over the interaction, and the role of presentation personalization. All these issues are explored in this paper by means of a model derived from TAM and comprising both extrinsic and intrinsic motivational constructs. The results of a analysis of data from 115 subjects show that the motivational structure of the guide usage is mainly utilitarian, with intrinsic motivations playing a role insofar as they acquire an instrumental value. The impact of the control issues on acceptability is low and indirect, while the importance of the feedback provided by the system is confirmed. Finally, personalization positively impacts on user engagement, this way strengthening the empirical and theoretical groundings for work in adaptive systems.
Keywords: Technology acceptance; Adaptive guides; Intrinsic and extrinsic motivations; Utilitarian and hedonic systems
A survey of sketch-based 3-D modeling techniques BIBAKFull-Text 201-211
  Matthew T. Cook; Arvin Agah
As 3-D modeling applications transition from engineering environments into the hands of artists, designers, and the consumer market, there is an increasing demand for more intuitive interfaces. In response, 3-D modeling and interface design communities have begun to develop systems based on traditional artistic techniques, particularly sketching. Collectively this growing field of research has come to be known as sketch-based modeling, however the name belies a diversity of promising techniques and unique approaches. This paper presents a survey of current research in sketch-based modeling, including a basic introduction to the topic, the challenges of sketch-based input, and an examination of a number of popular approaches, including representative examples and a general analysis of the benefits and challenges inherent to each.
Keywords: Human computer interaction; User interface; 3-D modeling; Interaction styles; Sketch-based modeling
Cultural cognition in usability evaluation BIBAKFull-Text 212-220
  Torkil Clemmensen; Morten Hertzum; Kasper Hornbæk; Qingxin Shi; Pradeep Yammiyavar
We discuss the impact of cultural differences on usability evaluations that are based on the thinking-aloud method (TA). The term 'cultural differences' helps distinguish differences in the perception and thinking of Westerners (people from Western Europe and US citizens with European origins) and Easterners (people from China and the countries heavily influenced by its culture). We illustrate the impact of cultural cognition on four central elements of TA: (1) instructions and tasks, (2) the user's verbalizations, (3) the evaluator's reading of the user, and (4) the overall relationship between user and evaluator. In conclusion, we point to the importance of matching the task presentation to users' cultural background, the different effects of thinking aloud on task performance between Easterners and Westerners, the differences in nonverbal behaviour that affect usability problem detection, and, finally, the complexity of the overall relationship between a user and an evaluator with different cultural backgrounds.
Keywords: Cultural differences; Thinking aloud; Usability; International systems development
Incorporating user motivations to design for video tagging BIBAKFull-Text 221-232
  Lex van Velsen; Mark Melenhorst
User video tagging can enhance the indexing of large collections of videos, or can provide the basis for personalizing output. However, before the benefits of tagging can be reaped, users must be motivated to provide videos with tags. This article describes a two-stage study that aimed at collecting the most important motivations for users to tag video material. First, focus groups with internet users were held to elicit all possible motivations to tag videos on the internet. Next, 125 persons ranked these motivations for two cases via an online survey and responded to statements that assessed their acceptance of personalized output, based on their tags. Motivations related to indexing appear to be far more important for people than motivations related to socializing or communication. Furthermore, people were moderately positive about personalized output, based on their tags. Finally, important user barriers to tagging are discussed.
Keywords: Tagging; Motivation; Video platforms; User-centered design

IWC 2009 Volume 21 Issue 4

Look-ahead and look-behind shortcuts in large item category hierarchies: The impact on search performance BIBAKFull-Text 235-242
  John Harold Pardue; Jeffery Paul Landry; Eric Kyper; Rodrigo Lievano
Websites use shortcuts to facilitate navigation of large hierarchies of item categories. Two common types of shortcuts used for this purpose are location breadcrumbs and down-to-child/up-to-parent links; frequently both are employed simultaneously. The combined used of these shortcuts provide proximal cues which enable the user to look-ahead and look-behind in the navigational structure. In this study, the impact of shortcut usage on search performance on a known-item search task is estimated. A controlled experiment was conducted using a realistic hypertext hierarchy of item categories. The results indicate that greater use of shortcuts decreases both time on task and lostness for the user, and that the decrease is associated with increased depth in the hierarchy. These findings provide insight into possible performance trade-offs involved in website designs that include look-ahead shortcuts for navigating large item category hierarchies.
Keywords: Look-ahead; Shortcuts; Lostness; Time on task
Technology for supporting web information search and learning in Sign Language BIBAKFull-Text 243-256
  Inmaculada Fajardo; Markel Vigo; Ladislao Salmerón
Sign Languages (SL) are underrepresented in the digital world, which contributes to the digital divide for the Deaf Community. In this paper, our goal is twofold: (1) to review the implications of current SL generation technologies for two key user web tasks, information search and learning and (2) to propose a taxonomy of the technical and functional dimensions for categorizing those technologies. The review reveals that although contents can currently be portrayed in SL by means of videos of human signers or avatars, the debate about how bilingual (text and SL) versus SL-only websites affect signers' comprehension of hypertext content emerges as an unresolved issue in need of further empirical research. The taxonomy highlights that videos of human signers are ecological but require a high-cost group of experts to perform text to SL translations, video editing and web uploading. Avatar technology, generally associated with automatic text-SL translators, reduces bandwidth requirements and human resources but it lacks reliability. The insights gained through this review may enable designers, educators or users to select the technology that best suits their goals.
Keywords: Web accessibility; Deafness; Sign Language; Information search; e-Learning; Video Technology
Error prevention in online forms: Use color instead of asterisks to mark required-fields BIBAKFull-Text 257-262
  Stefan L. Pauwels; Christian Hübscher; Stefan Leuthold; Javier A. Bargas-Avila; Klaus Opwis
In this study, a simple but important user interface design choice is examined: when marking required-fields in online forms, should GUI designers stick with the often used asterisk that many form design guidelines cite as the de-facto web standard, or should they choose a colored background as a new design solution to visually signal which input fields are required? An experiment with 24 participants was conducted to test the hypotheses that efficiency, effectiveness and satisfaction ratings of colored required-fields exceed those of asterisk-marked required-fields. Results indicate that colored required field marking leads to fewer errors, faster form fill-in and higher user satisfaction.
Keywords: Online forms; Required-fields; Error prevention; User feedback; Interaction design
A framework for evaluating the usability of mobile phones based on multi-level, hierarchical model of usability factors BIBAKFull-Text 263-275
  Jeongyun Heo; Dong-Han Ham; Sanghyun Park; Chiwon Song; Wan Chul Yoon
As a mobile phone has various advanced functionalities or features, usability issues are increasingly challenging. Due to the particular characteristics of a mobile phone, typical usability evaluation methods and heuristics, most of which are relevant to a software system, might not effectively be applied to a mobile phone. Another point to consider is that usability evaluation activities should help designers find usability problems easily and produce better design solutions. To support usability practitioners of the mobile phone industry, we propose a framework for evaluating the usability of a mobile phone, based on a multi-level, hierarchical model of usability factors, in an analytic way. The model was developed on the basis of a set of collected usability problems and our previous study on a conceptual framework for identifying usability impact factors. It has multi-abstraction levels, each of which considers the usability of a mobile phone from a particular perspective. As there are goal-means relationships between adjacent levels, a range of usability issues can be interpreted in a holistic as well as diagnostic way. Another advantage is that it supports two different types of evaluation approaches: task-based and interface-based. To support both evaluation approaches, we developed four sets of checklists, each of which is concerned, respectively, with task-based evaluation and three different interface types: Logical User Interface (LUI), Physical User Interface (PUI) and Graphical User Interface (GUI). The proposed framework specifies an approach to quantifying usability so that several usability aspects are collectively measured to give a single score with the use of the checklists. A small case study was conducted in order to examine the applicability of the framework and to identify the aspects of the framework to be improved. It showed that it could be a useful tool for evaluating the usability of a mobile phone. Based on the case study, we improved the framework in order that usability practitioners can use it more easily and consistently.
Keywords: Mobile usability; User interfaces; Usability evaluation; Evaluation framework
Reducing working memory load in spoken dialogue systems BIBAKFull-Text 276-287
  Maria Wolters; Kallirroi Georgila; Johanna D. Moore; Robert H. Logie; Sarah E. MacPherson; Matthew Watson
We evaluated two strategies for alleviating working memory load for users of voice interfaces: presenting fewer options per turn and providing confirmations. Forty-eight users booked appointments using nine different dialogue systems, which varied in the number of options presented and the confirmation strategy used. Participants also performed four cognitive tests and rated the usability of each dialogue system on a standardised questionnaire. When systems presented more options per turn and avoided explicit confirmation subdialogues, both older and younger users booked appointments more quickly without compromising task success. Users with lower information processing speed were less likely to remember all relevant aspects of the appointment. Working memory span did not affect appointment recall. Older users were slightly less satisfied with the dialogue systems than younger users. We conclude that the number of options is less important than an accurate assessment of the actual cognitive demands of the task at hand.
Keywords: Spoken dialogue systems; Cognitive ageing; Working memory; Processing speed; Usability; Universal design
UbiCicero: A location-aware, multi-device museum guide BIBAKFull-Text 288-303
  Giuseppe Ghiani; Fabio Paternò; Carmen Santoro; Lucio Davide Spano
In this paper, we propose UbiCicero, a multi-device, location-aware museum guide able to opportunistically exploit large screens when users are nearby. Various types of games are included in addition to the museum and artwork descriptions. The mobile guide is equipped with an RFID reader, which detects nearby tagged artworks. By taking into account context-dependent information, including the current user position and behaviour history, as well as the type of device available, more personalised and relevant information is provided to the user, enabling a richer overall experience. We also present example applications of this solution and then discuss the results of first empirical tests performed to evaluate the usefulness and usability of the enhanced multi-device guide.
Keywords: Mobile guides; Multi-device adaptation; Location-awareness; Interactive games in museums; User interface software and technology
An integrative approach to requirements analysis: How task models support requirements reuse in a user-centric design framework BIBAKFull-Text 304-315
  Cyril Montabert; D. Scott McCrickard; Woodrow W. Winchester; Manuel A. Pérez-Quiñones
Many software systems fail to address their intended purpose because of a lack of user involvement and requirements deficiencies. This paper discusses the elaboration of a requirements-analysis process that integrates a critical-parameter-based approach to task modeling within a user-centric design framework. On one hand, adapting task models to capture requirements bridges the gap between scenarios and critical parameters which benefits design from the standpoint of user involvement and accurate requirements. On the other hand, using task models as a reusable component leverages requirements reuse which benefits design by increasing quality while simultaneously reducing development costs and time-to-market. First, we present the establishment of both a user-centric and reuse-centric requirements process along with its implementation within an integrated design tool suite. Secondly, we report the design, procedures, and findings of two user studies aimed at assessing the feasibility for novice designers to conduct the process as well as evaluating the resulting benefits upon requirements-analysis deliverables, requirements quality, and requirements reuse.
Keywords: Requirements engineering; Task modeling; Reuse; Critical parameters
Private whispers/public eyes: Is receiving highly personal information in a public place stressful? BIBAKFull-Text 316-322
  Linda Little; Pam Briggs
The use of technology to access personal information in public places is increasingly common, but can these interactions induce stress? Sixty-eight participants were led to believe that extremely sensitive personal information would be displayed via either a public or personal handheld device in isolated or crowded (in the presence of strangers) conditions. Stress responses were taken in terms of heart rate, galvanic skin response and subjective ratings. As anticipated, participants showed stronger stress reactions in the crowded rather than the isolated conditions and also experienced greater stress when the information was presented on a public screen in comparison to a personal handheld device. Implications for the design of public/private information systems are discussed.
Keywords: Privacy; Technology; Public places; Stress

IWC 2009 Volume 21 Issue 5/6

Special Issue Papers Section

Special memorial issue to Brian Shackel: A dedication BIBFull-Text 323
 
In Memoriam Brian Shackel 1927-2007 BIBFull-Text 324
  Donald Day; Gitte Lindgaard; Jan Noyes
Designing for people in the age of information BIBAFull-Text 325-330
  Brian Shackel
Some characteristics of the Information Age and the importance of human factors issues are outlined. Immediate questions for the next 7 years or so are discussed, including nine substantive areas needing research (from a recent survey) and the development and better implementation of design procedures. Longer term questions discussed are -- the passing of paper, the reduction of writing, the victory of voice, the wired society and the expert in the system. Finally, some of the important broader issues are mentioned and the need for synergy by human and information engineers is emphasised.
Back to the future: A retrospective on early predictions BIBAKFull-Text 331-334
  Russell Beale
Professor Brian Shackel's paper "Designing for People in the Age of Information" was published in 1984. In his paper, Shackel looked ahead to the research areas that he considered important and makes some predictions for the future. This paper provides a current perspective on his views, assessing which areas he successfully predicted and which he did not, and contextualising his work in the field that he significantly shaped.
Keywords: Retrospective; Brian Shackel; Information age; Research questions; Design; Usability; HCI; Social perspectives
Telescreens, keypens, and the expert: A 60 year snapshot BIBAKFull-Text 335-338
  Jan Noyes
Brian Shackel was responsible for initiating the first international conference on human-computer interaction, INTERACT '84. This was in the same year to which George Orwell referred in the now-classic book, Nineteen Eighty-Four. Both texts share the common theme of being concerned with information and its effects on the individual. In Professor Shackel's paper (the focus here), both aspects are considered over a 60-year lifespan -- with a particular emphasis on his interest on "Designing for People in the Age of Information". This keynote address at the INTERACT conference is reviewed and the accuracy of his many predictions for the future considered. It is concluded that despite Professor Shackel's preoccupation with designing for humans some quarter of a century ago, there still is much work to do.
Keywords: HCI (human-computer interaction); Ergonomics; Information; Technology
Usability -- Context, framework, definition, design and evaluation BIBFull-Text 339-346
  Brian Shackel
A test-first view of usability BIBAKFull-Text 347-349
  Judy Kay
The foundations of usability evaluation were being established in the early 1990s. In this context, "Usability -- Context, Definition, Design and Evaluation" built upon Brian Shackel's earlier influential work -- work that helped define the notion of usability. In this paper, he established key dimensions of usability as well as approaches to integrating the testing of these dimensions, within the whole process of setting requirements. Essentially he argued for usability design as part of the system design process.
   This commentary describes the context of Professor Shackel's paper and reviews the influential ideas that appear in much subsequent work.
Keywords: Ergonomics; Pervasive; Test-first; Usability evaluation
Early traces of usability as a science and as a profession BIBAKFull-Text 350-352
  Gitte Lindgaard
Shackel's paper [Shackel, B., 1991. Usability -- context, framework, definition, design and evaluation. In: Shackel, B., Richardson, S. (Eds.), Human Factors for Informatics Usability. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK] is reviewed in an attempt to assess his contribution to the development of usability as a science and as a profession. Usability related research is first situated in the period around 1990. The contributions to usability as a science then are addressed via Professor Shackel's definition and evaluation of usability. Finally, his contribution toward usability as a profession is acknowledged via his view of usability in the light of wider business goals.
Keywords: Usability; Design; Evaluation; User satisfaction
Human-computer interaction -- Whence and whither? BIBAFull-Text 353-366
  Brian Shackel
In this article, an overview is presented of the growth of work in human-computer interaction (HCI) over the last 40 years. Inevitably much must be omitted, but the referenced papers may fill some of the gaps. Various formative influences and contributing disciplines are noted. Aspects of research and human factors knowledge are prominent, but attention is also given to technology, applied problems, and design for usability. Finally, after summarizing the growth in three age-group partitions, some of the major threads of development are noted under the heading of continuities from the past and perspectives into the future.
Inventing HCI: The grandfather of the field BIBAKFull-Text 367-369
  Andrew Dillon
Brian Shackel is considered by many to be the grandfather of the field of human-computer interaction. The present paper provides a commentary to Shackel's seminal (1997) paper on the field, "HCI: Whence and Whither" with accompanying observations of his life's work and intellectual contributions.
Keywords: History; Brian Shackel; Foundations; Review
Brian Shackel's contribution to the written history of Human-Computer Interaction BIBAKFull-Text 370-374
  Jonathan Grudin
In 1997, Brian Shackel published the article "Human-Computer Interaction -- Whence and Whither?" In this early foray into historical reflection on the field, past work is covered with a focus on identifying European contributions, issues of particular contemporary interest are explored, and a set of 10-year predictions are offered. In this essay, from a vantage-point of an additional decade of history, insights of lasting value that Professor Shackel was uniquely positioned to glean are identified. His work is placed in the broader context now available, and an always-useful reminder of the difficulty of anticipating future events is provided.
Keywords: History; Human-Computer Interaction; Human factors and ergonomics
Brian Shackel (1927-2007) BIBFull-Text 375-376
  Ken Eason
CV: B Shackel, MA (Cantab), HonDTech, FBPsS, HonFErgSoc, FHF and ES, C Psychol BIBFull-Text 377-384
 

Regular Papers

Understanding factors affecting trust in and satisfaction with mobile banking in Korea: A modified DeLone and McLean's model perspective BIBAKFull-Text 385-392
  Kun Chang Lee; Namho Chung
As mobile technology has developed, mobile banking has become accepted as part of daily life. Although many studies have been conducted to assess users' satisfaction with mobile applications, none has focused on the ways in which the three quality factors associated with mobile banking -- system quality, information quality and interface design quality -- affect consumers' trust and satisfaction. Our proposed research model, based on DeLone and McLean's model, assesses how these three external quality factors can impact satisfaction and trust. We collected 276 valid questionnaires from mobile banking customers, then analyzed them using structural equation modeling. Our results show that system quality and information quality significantly influence customers' trust and satisfaction, and that interface design quality does not. We present herein implications and suggestions for further research.
Keywords: DeLone and McLean's IS success model; Mobile banking; Customer satisfaction; Trust; Quality
Using the Internet: Skill related problems in users' online behavior BIBAKFull-Text 393-402
  Alexander J. A. M. van Deursen; Jan A. G. M. van Dijk
This study extends the conventional and superficial notion of measuring digital skills by proposing definitions for operational, formal, information and strategic skills. The main purpose was to identify individual skill related problems that users experience when navigating the Internet. In particular, lower levels of education and aging seem to contribute to the amount of experienced operational and formal skill related problems. With respect to information skills, higher levels of education seem to perform best. Age did not seem to contribute to information skill related problems. Results did reveal that age had a negative effect on selecting irrelevant search results. Individual strategic Internet skill related problems occurred often, with the exception of subjects with higher levels of education. Younger subjects experienced far less operational and formal skill related problems, but there was no difference regarding information and strategic skill related problems.
Keywords: Digital skills; Computer literacy; Information literacy; Digital inequality; Digital divide