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UI4ALL Tables of Contents: 000204069596979899

Proceedings of the 8th ERCIM Workshop on 'User Interfaces for All'

Fullname:Proceedings of the 8th ERCIM Workshop on 'User Interfaces for All' - User-Centered Interaction Paradigms for Universal Access in the Information Society
Note:User-Centered Interaction Paradigms for Universal Access in the Information Society
Editors:Christian Stary; Constantine Stephanidis
Location:Paris, France
Dates:2004-Jun-28 to 2004-Jun-29
Publisher:Springer Verlag
Standard No:ISBN 3-540-23375-X; hcibib: UI4ALL04
Links:Springer Proceedings Online | Contents Online | Conference Home Page | Final Program | ui4all.ics.forth.gr
  1. Part I: Implementing User Diversity
  2. Part II: Adaptation and Personalisation
  3. Part III: Accessibility and Usability of Interactive Applications and e-Services
  4. Part IV: Universal Access and Design for All: Guidelines, Standards and Practice
  5. Part V: Novel Interaction Techniques, Devices and Metaphors

Part I: Implementing User Diversity

Universal Access Through Client-Centred Cognitive Assessment and Personality Profiling BIBAFull-Text 3
  Ray Adams
The demand for universal access to information in the evolving Information Society produces an inexorable move towards complex, powerful and interlinked technological solutions. In this context, user requirements must be captured by more powerful user models, based upon more advanced user centred methods. Traditional HCI techniques may not work well in the new context of future and emerging technologies. Earlier work [1] observed significant dissociations between observed task performance and self report, raising profound and serious problems for user modelling methods. This empirical paper evaluates three different types of method used in user modelling; task performance, self-report and the personality inventory. Four case studies with individuals with acquired disabilities are reported here. The relationships between these three aspects of the users profile (self report, task performance and the personality inventory) are more complex than expected and provide different, sometimes contradictory, perspectives of user needs. A potential explanatory framework is offered briefly to guide future user modelling work. More importantly, any code of practice for Universal Access must not rely on any one method alone but must combine methods to minimise conceptual and practical errors. User profiles for adaptive technology must also employ multiple methods, if such technology is to be reliable in practice.
A Study of Web-Based Information Needs of Senior Citizens in Singapore BIBAFull-Text 16
  Seck-Pin Chong; Yin-Leng Theng
Despite its high penetration rate of information technology among youngsters, most senior citizens in Singapore do not know how to use the Web. This study aims to determine the information needs of senior citizens in Singapore, with particular focus on the use of the Web. It attempts to investigate senior citizens experience in using computers and the Web, and identify their leisure activities and topics of interests that could be transferred to the Web. The study further explores Web-based services most used by senior citizens and their perceptions of using the Web. It also examined their willingness, as well as their reluctance in learning to use the Web. The paper concludes with a discussion on implications of findings on interface design of Web-based information systems for senior citizens.
Strategies for Finding Government Information by Older People BIBAFull-Text 34
  Paul Curzon; Suzette Keith; Judy Wilson; Gill Whitney
Governments increasingly expect web technology to become their major way of exchanging information with citizens, replacing existing methods. They also give accessibility a high priority. Older people are a major user of government services. We describe a pilot study comparing attitudes of older people to e-government with other ways of obtaining information. We examine what individuals consider important in an information search strategy, and the relative effectiveness of each for achieving an individuals personal aims. We do this in the light of research on the effects of aging on cognitive skills.
Towards Universal Access Through Automated Assessment of Defined Clinical Populations BIBAFull-Text 42
  Michael C. Fairhurst; Sanaul Hoque; Mohamed A. Razian
Specific clinical populations often display behavioural characteristics which can seriously impair the ability to engage in a variety of activities taken for granted in other social groups. If the principle of universal access is to be rigorously pursued it is essential that assessment and understanding of the capabilities of the individuals concerned can be effectively and efficiently achieved. A typical example -- and the one considered here -- is the condition of dyspraxia in younger children. This paper develops a child-centred paradigm where assessment and individual profiling of dyspraxic children can be carried out within an automated computer-assisted scenario. It is argued that the approach described can both facilitate a characterisation and improved understanding of the condition itself and point to strategies for developing rehabilitation programmes, both of which are crucial in achieving a genuine degree of inclusivity for this group which is a key feature of the principle of universal access.
Sc@ut: Platform for Communication in Ubiquitous and Adaptive Environments Applied for Children with Autism BIBAKFull-Text 50
  Miguel Gea-Megias; Nuria Medina-Medina; Maria Luisa Rodriguez-Almendros; Maria Josee Rodriguez-Fortiz
Augmentative and Alternative Communication Systems (AAC) are an emergent technology for improving the social integration of people with temporary or permanent communication difficulties. One problem which arises is the need to adapt these systems to the different users and situations by taking their capabilities, skills and progress into account. In this regard, we propose an adaptive architecture on a ubiquitous computation paradigm, which is being applied for children with autism. This paper proposes a two-tier architecture consisting of a communicator and a context meta-model. It allows child communication to be represented and controlled using a PDA device by means of a wireless network. The main aim of the architecture is to facilitate communication, adapting to changes in user and scenario.
Keywords: autism, PDAs, hypermedia, augmentative and alternative communication, adaptability
A Question of Realism BIBAFull-Text 68
  Richard Hetherington; Alison Crerar; Phil Turner
We present the results of an exploratory study investigating the feasibility of using multimedia software to teach life skills to adults with learning difficulties. As a precursor to determining whether the clients would benefit from the software, we needed to address the issue of realism in visual displays, to discover if photorealistic images of a familiar kitchen and utensils were essential, or if the clients would be able to abstract and apply information from generic cartoon-like representations. The level of realism was varied in two sets of tasks: object recognition exercises and problem-solving scenarios. Realistic versions of each task contained photorealistic images, and the problem-solving scenarios used images and speech of a support worker known to the participants to supply feedback and prompts. Unrealistic versions used clip art images and a cartoon-style character instead of the support worker. Contrary to expectations, measurements of errors and reaction times revealed the level of realism to have a negligible effect upon user performance in both sets of tasks. What has emerged is the overwhelming effect of individual differences on the design and evaluation of learning software.
Individual Differences and Behavioral Aspects Involved in Modeling Web Navigation BIBAFull-Text 77
  Ion Juvina; Herre van Oostendorp
This paper presents an empirical study aiming at investigating individual differences and behavioral aspects involved in modeling web navigation. Factors that have an influence on web navigation behavior were identified with the aid of task analysis and their relevance in predicting task outcomes (performance, satisfaction, disorientation) was tested with the aid of multiple regression analysis. Several types of navigation metrics were calculated based on web logging data and used as indicators of user characteristics and task outcomes. Results show that spatial-semantic cognitive mechanisms seem to be crucial in adequately performing web navigation tasks. The fact that user characteristics and task outcomes can be estimated with reasonable accuracy based on navigation metrics suggests the possibility of building adaptive navigation support in web applications.
Enabling Access to Computers for People with Poor Reading Skills BIBAFull-Text 96
  Albrecht Schmidt; Thorsten Kolbl; Siegfried Wagner; Walter Strassmeier
Access to information and communication using the Internet is still very limited for people with poor reading skills. Current mainstream web-applications such as email or web-shops are designed for people that have good reading skills. In our research we investigated the use of a web based email system by people with poor reading and writing skills. As literacy is not an absolute concept and peoples abilities differ by a great extent. Recent reports suggest that even in developed countries up to a quarter of the population have only elementary reading skills. In our research we investigate how web applications can be designed to be usable by this group of people. In this paper we report an analysis of a password based logon procedure and suggest an alternative. The development method use is based on the idea of participatory design, includes investigations and studies and lasted over about 4 months. In a study we could show that the login time can be significantly reduced for those users using an image based authentication method. Furthermore it showed that this method can be used by the users without help. For our experience with working with users we suggest general design guidelines for building UIs for people with a low level of literacy.

Part II: Adaptation and Personalisation

Personalisation Meets Accessibility: Towards the Design of Individual User Interfaces for All BIBAFull-Text 119
  Anita H. M. Cremers; Mark A. Neerincx
Current accessibility guidelines are composed to allow users with special needs to more easily and comfortably access the Internet. However, most of the guidelines are written with both a standard device and a standard use context in mind, which is the user sitting in front of a desktop computer, in a non-mobile situation at home or at work. This approach does not take into account the likely possibility that an individual who happens to have a certain limitation may also have other personal needs, a certain type of behaviour or activities that require a specific type of support. In this position paper, we plead for a more fundamental approach of dealing with Internet accessibility for people with special needs. We claim that a person with a special need does not differ from a regular individual, in the sense that they are both users who are trying to accomplish a certain task in a certain use context using a certain device, who may have their own personal requirements for support. One could state that in this way accessibility and personalisation are intertwined to result in an optimal, individual user experience, thereby making optimal use of technologies that are currently available ((dedicated) devices, user interface technologies and assistive technologies).
Interfacing the Interface: Unification Through Separation BIBAFull-Text 125
  David Crombie; Roger Lenoir; Neil McKenzie; Klaus Miesenberger
This paper addresses the modeling of user-centred interaction paradigms at a fundamental level. Interfacing can be described as defining and specifying connection points for communication. By providing interactive means of relating flows between these connection points, we can achieve a dialogue. A dialogue becomes a Dialog if a sufficient level of understanding both ways is achieved. We consider this to represent the level of accessibility an environment, whether virtual or real, requires. A well balanced design in any information system provides an architecture with built-in accessibility features. To this end, a high level of flexibility and accessibility can be achieved by separating the various entities that are of importance in the communication process. This paper provides an explanation of this approach and an example of its implementation.
Learning Usage Patterns for Personalized Information Access in e-Commerce BIBAFull-Text 133
  Marco Degemmis; Oriana Licchelli; Pasquale Lops; Giovanni Semeraro
The World Wide Web is a vast repository of information, much of which is valuable but very often hidden to the user. Currently, Web personalization is the most promising approach to remedy this problem, and Web usage mining, is considered a crucial component of any effective Web personalization system. Web usage mining techniques such as clustering and association rules, which rely on offline pattern discovery from user transactions, can be used to improve searching in the Web. We present the Profile Extractor, a personalization component based on machine learning techniques, which allows for the discovery of preferences and interests of users that have access to a Web site. More specifically, we present the module that exploits unsupervised learning techniques for the creation of communities of users and usage patterns applied to customers of an online bookshop. To support our work, we have performed several experiments and discussed the results.
Adaptive User Modelling in AthosMail BIBAFull-Text 149
  Kristiina Jokinen; Kari Kanto; Jyrki Rissanen
In this paper we discuss the adaptive User Model component of the AthosMail system, and describe especially the Cooperativity Model which produces recommendations for the appropriate explicitness of the system utterances, depending on the users observed competence levels. The Cooperativity Model deals with the systems dialogue control and explicitness of the given information: these two aspects affect the systems interaction capabilities and thus naturalness of the dialogue as a whole. The model consists of an offline and an online version, which use somewhat different input parameters, due to their different functionality in the system.
A Personalised Interface for Web Directories Based on Cognitive Styles BIBAKFull-Text 159
  George D. Magoulas; Sherry Y. Chen; Dionisios Dimakopoulos
Implementing personalisation in Web Directories depends not only on developing appropriate architectures and equipping Web Directories with adaptation techniques, but also on incorporating human factors considerations at an early design stage. Among a range of human factors this paper explores cognitive styles and their influence on users preferences. Preferences with respect to the organisation and presentation of the content, and the navigation paths are identified through a small-scale study. The findings are analysed and used to implement a prototype Web Directory Browser, gearing interface features to cognitive style-related preferences.
Keywords: Personalisation, User Interfaces, Web-based Information Retrieval, Cognitive Styles
Framework for User Interface Adaptation BIBAFull-Text 167
  Jing-Hua Ye; John Herbert
This paper presents research efforts targeted at the development of a generic framework providing support for automated user interface (UI) adaptation. We have developed a generic java-based adaptation framework that combines the advantages of manual and automated adaptation. This framework supports the addition and removal of modular adaptation mechanisms. The framework is based on a generic UI markup language (XUL) allowing the manual addition of semantic meta-information at design time. Users may add various adaptive transformations as well as making use of various built-in modules. The framework supports transformation in both SAX and DOM. In addition a supplied fragmentation mechanism automates the decomposition of UIs into UI pages that fit device specific resource limits. The framework has been evaluated on simple case studies doing various experiments, for example, cost of fragmentation and speed comparison of SAX and DOM transformations.
Interface Tailoring for Mobile Computing Devices BIBAFull-Text 175
  Jing-Hua Ye; John Herbert
One of the major challenges in user interface (UI) development is device heterogeneity. Currently, devices such as smart phones, PDAs, and PCs are already capable of providing ubiquitous access to the Internet. In the near future, we are expecting other devices to support the same capabilities. As the number of these devices proliferates, the conventional approach of developing a UI for each device results in too much redundant effort. To meet this challenge, we propose a new fragmentation methodology using a general indexing technique. It allows users to fragment a UI into a number of fragments for the target device. This innovative fragmentation methodology has been evaluated in terms of processing time, and a comprehensive comparison made between the processing time of adaptation with fragmentation and the processing time of adaptation without fragmentation.

Part III: Accessibility and Usability of Interactive Applications and e-Services

Towards Guidelines for Usability of e-Learning Applications BIBAFull-Text 185
  Carmelo Ardito; Maria Francesca Costabile; Marilena De Marsico; Rosa Lanzilotti; Stefano Levialdi; Paola Plantamura; Teresa Roselli; Veronica Rossano; Manuela Tersigni
One present goal of researchers and developers is to design software tools that make learning materials available online in an educationally effective manner. We face the twofold challenge of implementing advanced e-learning functionalities, though designing their interface so as to provide an easy interaction grasping the students interest. A poorly designed interface makes students spend more time in learning it than in mastering the provided knowledge, so becoming a barrier to effective learning. In this context, both User-Centered Design (UCD) and Learner-Centered Design (LCD) guidelines are needed; it is also important to devise suited evaluation tools, able to help in identifying usability, and, more in general, accessibility flaws. Such tools must be designed bearing in mind the specific characteristics of e-learning applications. Traditional heuristic evaluation appears too general and subjective. In this paper, we propose a set of guidelines and criteria for e-learning platforms (containers) and for educational modules (contents), to be used within the SUE (Systematic Usability Evaluation) inspection. We point out that human factors experts can primarily evaluate syntactic aspects of applications. Experts of education science and domain experts are to be involved for a more comprehensive evaluation.
An Empirical Methodology for Usability Analysis of a Touchscreen-Based Information Kiosk System for African Users with Low Levels of Computer Literacy BIBAFull-Text 203
  Pieter Blignaut
A set of reliable usability metrics was determined to evaluate touchscreen-based information kiosk systems used by computer-illiterate, low-income, African users. Usability techniques that rely on communication between evaluator and user suffer from a language barrier if the evaluator is not fluent in the language of the typical users. Empirical metrics can be administered so that the effect of the language barrier is minimized. Candidate metrics were identified to measure the usability of a system with regard to learnability, productivity achieved and retention of interface knowledge over time. Three of the candidate metrics for learnability and five metrics for productivity proved to be applicable and reliable. Three of these metrics could also predict the degree to which users retain interface knowledge over time. The reliable metrics were consolidated into a survey form and a methodology is proposed for usability testing.
Using Automatic Tools in Accessibility and Usability Assurance Processes BIBAFull-Text 219
  Giorgio Brajnik
The paper claims that processes for monitoring, assessing and ensuring appropriate levels of accessibility and usability have to be adopted by web development and maintenance teams. Secondarily it argues that automatic tools for accessibility and usability are a necessary component of these processes. The paper presents first an analysis of web development and maintenance activities that highlights the reasons why accessibility and usability are so poorly achieved. It then suggests which processes, borrowed from the domain of software quality assurance, should be established to improve production and maintenance of web sites. The paper finally shows how automatic tools could fit in those processes and actually improve them, while being cost-effective.
Accessibility in the Field of Education BIBAFull-Text 235
  Laura Burzagli; Pier Luigi Emiliani; Paola Graziani
Accessibility of documents in electronic format is an important element of the e-inclusion process. An aspect that needs further investigation is the connection between the general problem of accessibility and the specific application domains. An interesting example is represented by Education, because an intense use of the ICT is foreseen in it. By means of the use of scenarios, a description of the relationships between technologies for Education and Accessibility is analyzed in three different situations: a current class with typically employed technologies, a class where all existing technologies are used and a third scenario in which the learning environment is an intelligent environment. The comparison highlights in particular the differences between technologies, accessibility problems and approaches for their solution.
Supporting Web Usability for Vision Impaired Users BIBAFull-Text 242
  Francesco Correani; Barbara Leporini; Fabio Paterno
The aim of this work is to provide designers and developers of Web applications with support to obtain systems that are usable for vision-impaired users. To this end, we have defined a number of design criteria to improve Web site navigation through screen readers or other similar devices. A test of navigation by blind and vision-impaired subjects showed that our criteria improved Web site usability both qualitatively and quantitatively. Subsequently, an inspection-based tool was developed to ease application of such criteria. Its main features are presented along with a discussion of some of the first application results.
Disability as a Vehicle for Identifying Hidden Aspects of Human Activity: Inclusive Design and Dyslexia in Educational Software Development BIBAFull-Text 254
  Mark Dixon
Dyslexia accounts for the largest proportion of UK higher education students identifying themselves as disabled, and recent widening participation initiatives mean that numbers are likely to rise. Static media (slides, books, handouts) cannot express the temporal aspects of computer programming concepts, and require narratives, which are difficult to follow, especially for dyslexic students.
   Code-memory diagrams show changes to memory that individual instructions make over time, and can facilitate deeper and quicker understanding. However, they are error prone and time consuming. An animation software tool could address this. Furthermore, inclusive design would be essential to ensure accessibility to the widest range of students.
   This paper focuses on inclusive design aspects of such a tool. The software helped enhance learning for all students, but dyslexic students to a greater degree. It showed that disabled people can identify subtle hidden aspects of human activity, that the target user population is unable to articulate.
Designing Web-Applications for Mobile Computers: Experiences with Applications to Medicine BIBAKFull-Text 262
  Andreas Holzinger; Maximilian Errath
Designing Web-applications is considerably different for handhelds than for desktop computers. Screen size is limited, browsers further limit the visible content area and users interact differently. Detecting handheld-browsers on the server side and delivering pages optimized for a small client form factor is inevitable. The authors discuss their experiences during the design and development of an application for medical research which was designed for both handhelds and desktops. It is important to include mobile computing design considerations into User Interfaces for All [1], [2].
Keywords: Information Interfaces and Representation, Life and Medical Sciences, Internet Applications, Mobile Computing
Empirical Performance Analysis of Web Accessibility in Ubiquitous Information Network BIBAFull-Text 268
  Yung Bok Kim; Young-Han Kim
Beyond the computer networking, the wired Internet and mobile Internet penetrate deeply in various applications based on the ubiquitous computing and networking. We need to consider the Web-based information services with ubiquitous information portal and client devices for convenient accessibility without any gap of the Digital Divide. Web accessibility for unified and ubiquitous information portal becomes important for real-time ubiquitous information networking in the milieu of ubiquitous computing. We studied the empirical performance analysis of Web accessibility in ubiquitous information network based on wired and mobile Internet.
Designing and Implementing a Paradigm of Interactive and Communicative Cultural Playspaces in an On-Line Language Learning Program BIBAFull-Text 275
  Dimitris Tolias; George Exadaktylos; Diana Slattery
Since 2000, the Hellenic American Union (Greece) and the Academy of Electronic Media at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (USA) have been involved in the development of Hellas Alive, an on-line language and culture learning program for Greek as a Foreign or Second Language. Users of Hellas Alive work in a virtual environment, which supports autonomous exploration, simulation, representation and collaboration, and are provided with multiple learning opportunities in the form of an immersive 3D world, rich multimedia content, synchronous and asynchronous learning tools, and interactive cultural playspaces. The aim of these playspaces is two-fold: On the one hand, they promote language learning in a variety of realistic contexts and in a way consonant with current educational communicative methodology. On the other hand, they raise the users cultural awareness. Thus, the playspaces address a broad audience that encompasses not only ordinary language learners, but also those who are intrigued by the idea of cultural information, contact and awareness. Both objectives are implemented with a very high degree of interactivity. Eight types of playspaces have been developed so far: How To, Art Exploration, Documentary, Maps and Directions, Meet the Parea, Word Games, Lets Talk Greek, and Scavenger Hunt.

Part IV: Universal Access and Design for All: Guidelines, Standards and Practice

User Needs and e-Government Accessibility: The Future Impact of WCAG 2.0 BIBAKFull-Text 289
  Shane Anderson; Paul R. Bohman; Oliver K. Burmeister; Gian Sampson-Wild
Governments in many countries require that government Web content adhere to international accessibility standards, in addition to specific national standards. The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) version 2.0 will set a new standard for Web accessibility. The implications of WCAG 2.0 for eGovernment sites in two nations, the United States of America and Australia, are considered. While the needs of all users are important when determining accessibility and usability requirements of sites, the particular needs of people with cognitive impairments are considered in greater detail, as an example to designers that people with disabilities are a heterogeneous group, where one solution does not fit all.
Keywords: W3C, Web, disability, guidelines
Inclusive Design in Industry: Barriers, Drivers and the Business Case BIBAFull-Text 305
  Hua Dong; Simeon Keates; P. John Clarkson
Despite increasing discussion in academia, genuinely inclusive design in industry remains the exception rather than the rule. Based on literature reviews and industry surveys, this paper explores the barriers faced by manufacturers, retailers and design consultancies in adopting inclusive design. Drivers for practising inclusive design are also investigated. Using information about such barriers and drivers and linking them to business objectives, a basic framework for the business case for inclusive design is proposed. The paper contributes to the in-depth understanding of industry barriers and motivations for inclusive design and forms the basis for further research into the business case in an inclusive design context. The paper provides an insight into industry practice that is applicable to the design of User Interfaces for All.
The Role of Working Memory and Long Term Memory in Deaf Users' Hypertext Navigation: Review of Guidelines for Web Accessibility BIBAFull-Text 320
  Inmaculada Fajardo; Julio Abascal; Jose J. Canas
Important tasks performed in hypertext such as information retrieval or comprehension of texts are strongly related to memory process functioning, more exactly, to working memory and long term memory functioning. These two processes work in a peculiar way for deaf users. In this document, we discuss the validity of the existing web accessibility guidelines for people with deafness in contrast to our own empirical work in the web environment with these kinds of users, and according to literature reviews concerning memory process in the deaf and in hypertext interaction.
The Role of the Trust Intermediary in the Information and Knowledge Society BIBAFull-Text 326
  Dino Giuli; Paolo Bussotti; Maria Chiara Pettenati; Ioana Codoban
The evolution of the Internet encourages us to think that universal and pervasive access is going to be possible in the near future, from the technological point of view. However there are many other problems that we have to address before, in order to bring the Internet to the desired state of an Information and Knowledge Society for all. The incredible widening of possible users is also determining problems for personalization of services. Adaptive interfaces represent one of the solutions, but they need to backed-up by an adequate network architecture. This paper describes and analyses this conceptual architecture.
Developing BS7000 Part 6 -- Guide to Managing Inclusive Design BIBAFull-Text 332
  Simeon Keates
Companies are increasingly finding themselves having to ensure that their products and services are accessible and inclusive, or else be exposed to the possibility of litigation and damage to their brand reputation. However, the adoption of inclusive design within industry has been patchy at best. While there are undoubtedly companies that have yet to be persuaded of the merits of inclusive design, there is a growing number that want to design inclusively, but do not know how to set about doing so. In response to this need, a new technical guidance Standard is currently being prepared by the British Standards Institute (BSI). The new document, BS 7000-6: 2004 - Guide to managing inclusive design, will form part of the BS 7000 Design Management Systems series. The aim of this paper is to explain the rationale behind the development of the new Standard and an overview of its contents. Due to copyright restrictions, this paper does not attempt to provide a summary of the contents of the new Standard.
Investigating the Inclusivity of Digital Television Set-Top Boxes BIBAFull-Text 340
  Simeon Keates
The aim of this study was to investigate the accessibility of digital television (DTV) technology available in the UK, focusing on the current generation of set-top boxes (STBs) which provide free to view services. Specifically, the objective of the study was to identify specific causes of concern with regard to user interaction with DTV that might lead to exclusion, i.e. situations where users may be unable to use the new technology. In particular interest was the identification of new challenges presented to users by DTV that are not found when using the current analogue equivalent. The number of STBs is increasing rapidly. Hence, for the purposes of this study, efforts were focused on looking at three set-top boxes (STB1, 2 and 3). STB1 was selected because it was being marketed as easy to use; STB2 because it was the market leader at the time; and STB3 was a satellite-based television service.
Methodological Approaches to Identify Honorable Best Practice in Barrier-Free Web Design -- Examples from Germany's 1st BIENE Award Competition BIBAFull-Text 360
  Michael Pieper; Renate Anderweit; Beate Schulte; Ulrike Peter; Jutta Croll; Iris Cornelssen
In the European Year of People with Disabilities 2003 the major German social organisation Aktion Mensch (German Association for the Care of the Disabled) and the Stiftung Digitale Chancen (Digital Opportunities Foundation) have for the first time jointly initiated a competition for the design of barrier-free websites. The so-called BIENE-Award is meant to honour the best barrier-free web sites in the German language and to present them as best practice examples. BIENE stressing the objectives of promoting communication, joint action and productive cooperation. This article refers upon the methodological approach underlying the evaluation of competitive award contributions.

Part V: Novel Interaction Techniques, Devices and Metaphors

A Supportive Multimodal Mobile Robot for the Home BIBAFull-Text 375
  Lynne Baillie; Michael Pucher; Marian Kepesi
This paper explores how multimodality and robotics can aid us to support users in their homes. We describe how our work attempts to tackle issues such as privacy, control of personal space and fun within the home. In an ever increasingly ageing society, we realize that certain information gathering or support may be required by users in their homes. However, we strongly believe that we should preserve a users privacy in their home and ensure that any artifact we propose is seen as fun, aesthetically pleasing and most importantly non-stigmatizing. We describe in this paper how a multimodal mobile robot can assist in the monitoring of a home in a fun and unobtrusive way.
Multimodal Interaction in Architectural Design Applications BIBAFull-Text 384
  Lou Boves; Andre Neumann; Louis Vuurpijl; Louis ten Bosch; Stephane Rossignol; Ralf Engel; Norbert Pfleger
In this paper we report on ongoing experiments with an advanced multimodal system for applications in architectural design. The system supports uninformed users in entering the relevant data about a bathroom that must be refurnished, and is tested with 28 subjects. First, we describe the IST project COMIC, which is the context of the research. We explain how the work in COMIC goes beyond previous research in multimodal interaction for eWork and eCommerce applications that combine speech and pen input with speech and graphics output: in design applications one cannot assume that uninformed users know what they must do to satisfy the systems expectations. Consequently, substantial system guidance is necessary, which in its turn creates the need to design a system architecture and an interaction strategy that allow the system to control and guide the interaction. The results of the user tests show that the appreciation of the system is mainly determined by the accuracy of the pen and speech input recognisers. In addition, the turn taking protocol needs to be improved.
Audio Rendering of Mathematical Formulae Using MathML and AudioMath BIBAKFull-Text 391
  Helder Ferreira; Diamantino Freitas
Technical, scientific or even simple documents presented online that involve mathematical expressions, issue a big problem with accessibility regarding visually impaired persons. One possible solution is to parse and interpret the mathematical contents and convert them into an audio format. This is a complex and multidisciplinary problem, which AudioMath [1], a work in progress at LPF-ESI [2], studies and aims to contribute to solve. AudioMath provides conversions from mathematical expressions in W3Cs MathML [3][4] format into plain text, something that a capable text-to-speech (TTS) engine would understand and read-out. This paper reviews the state of the art in publishing mathematical documents in the Internet, and introduces the AudioMath prototype and its working mechanisms, as an accessibility tool for use together with a TTS engine or to use as a standalone application, with great advantages for visual impaired persons. The main scientific and technical challenges, specifically at the levels of interpretation of the content of the MathML coded expressions and conversion into spoken form, are considered and the current status of the work is described.
Keywords: Accessibility, Audio Rendering of Mathematical Expressions, Text-to-Speech, MathML, Conversion of mathematical formulae into text
A Comparison of Prediction Techniques to Enhance the Communication Rate BIBAFull-Text 400
  Nestor Garay-Vitoria; Julio Abascal
Prediction is one of the most extended techniques to enhance the rate of communication for people with motor and speech impairments who use Augmentative and Alternative Communication systems. There is an enormous diversity of prediction methods and techniques mentioned in the literature. Therefore, the designer finds tremendous difficulties in understanding and comparing them in order to decide the most convenient technique for a specific design. This paper presents a survey on prediction techniques applied to communicators with the intention of helping them to understand this field. Prediction applications and related features, such as block size, dictionary structure, prediction method, interface, special features, measurement and results, are detailed. Systems found in the literature are studied and described. Finally, a discussion is carried out on the possible comparison among the different methods.
A Framework for Context-Sensitive Coordination of Human Interruptions in Human-Computer Interaction BIBAFull-Text 418
  Sonja Gievska; John Sibert
Recent trends in software development directed toward intelligence, distribution, and mobility need to be followed by an increased sophistication in user interface design. Employment of theoretically sound methods for managing and coordinating complex information, and supporting graceful switching between tasks is especially critical for information-intensive and safety-critical tasks. This paper presents a framework for computer-mediated coordination of human interruptions. As a basis for the framework a new Interruption Taxonomy is outlined to categorize a variety of traceable information needed to exhaustively describe the context space. An exploratory user study is underway to calibrate the kind of benefit gained with the formulated Interruption Model. The expressiveness of the proposed Interruption Model is demonstrated by concretizing the general approach using the particularities of the selected problem domain. The initial results have shown that taxonomy-based coordination of interruption resulted in statistically significant improvement of the primary task resumption time.
A Method to Extend Functionality of Pointer Input Devices BIBAFull-Text 426
  Oleg Gusyatin; Mikhail Urinson; Margrit Betke
We describe a general method for extending any pointer input device with an arbitrary set of commands. The proposed interface can be trained by the user to recognize certain cursor movement patterns and interpret them as special input events. Methods for extraction and recognition of such patterns are general enough to work with low-precision pointing devices, and they can be adjusted to provide computer access for people with disabilities. The core of the system is a trainable classifier, in the current implementation an artificial neural network. The architecture of the neural network automatically adjusts according to complexity of the classification task. The system demonstrated good accuracy and responsiveness during extensive experiments. Some tests included a severely motion-impaired individual.
A New Visualization Concept for Navigation Systems BIBAFull-Text 440
  Wolfgang Narzt; Gustav Pomberger; Alois Ferscha; Dieter Kolb; Reiner Muller; Jan Wieghardt; Horst Hortner; Christopher Lindinger
At present, various types of car navigation systems are progressively entering the market. Simultaneously, mobile outdoor navigation systems for pedestrians and electronic tourist guides are already available on handheld computers. Although, the depiction of the geographical information on these appliances has increasingly improved during the past years, users are still handicapped having to interpret an abstract metaphor on the navigation display and translate it to their real world.
   This paper introduces an innovative visual paradigm for (mobile) navigation systems, embodied within an application framework that contributes to the ease of perception of navigation information by its users through mixed reality.
Haptic and Spatial Audio Based Navigation of Visually Impaired Users in Virtual Environment Using Low Cost Devices BIBAFull-Text 452
  Vladislav Nemec; Adam J. Sporka; Pavel Slavik
The use of haptic peripherals to mediate spatial information to visually impaired users is a problem which has recently been examined thoroughly, however the main issue of almost all current approaches is the use of custom made peripheral devices, the high cost of which renders their massive deployment infeasible. We have focused on using low-cost haptic devices to allow visually impaired users to navigate in and inspect a virtual environment. In this paper we describe our approach to navigation in virtual environments by using force feedback joystick and haptic mouse. We also employ the spatial sound to enhance the information perception. We discuss two different navigation modes of avatar in the virtual environment (joystick and mouse based) and several information mediation techniques. Numerous tests have also been performed. Results show that the efficiency and usability of our solution is comparable with tactile exploration of physical paper models of an environment.
Data Entry on the Move: An Examination of Nomadic Speech-Based Text Entry BIBAFull-Text 460
  Kathleen J. Price; Min Lin; Jinjuan Feng; Rich Goldman; Andrew Sears; Julie A. Jacko
Desktop interaction solutions are often inappropriate for mobile devices due to small screen size and portability needs. Speech recognition can improve interactions by providing a relatively hands-free solution that can be used in various situations. While mobile systems are designed to be transportable, few have examined the effects of motion on mobile interactions. We investigated the effect of motion on automatic speech recognition (ASR) input for mobile devices. We examined speech recognition error rates (RER) with subjects walking or seated, while performing text input tasks and the effect of ASR enrollment conditions on RER. RER were significantly lower for seated conditions. There was a significant interaction between enrollment and task conditions. When users enrolled while seated, but completed walking tasks, RER increased. In contrast, when users enrolled while walking, but completed seated tasks, RER decreased. These results suggest changes in user training of ASR systems for mobile and seated usage.
Whistling User Interface (U3I) BIBAKFull-Text 472
  Adam J. Sporka; Sri Hastuti Kurniawan; Pavel Slavik
The paper describes the design, implementation and user evaluation of a system that allows a user to control a mouse pointer through whistling or humming. The pointer can be controlled in two ways: orthogonally (the pointer can only move with variable speed either horizontally or vertically at a time) and melodically (the pointer can move with fixed speed in any direction). The user study indicates that the users thought the orthogonal control was easier to operate than the melodic control. The orthogonal control was considered useful for controlling mouse movement while the melodic control was more useful for entertainment purposes. Humming was considered less tiring than whistling. This study makes several contributions to the field. First, it is perhaps the first published study investigating the use of whistling to operate a mouse pointer. Second, the system can be used as a low-cost alternative pointing device for people with motor disabilities.
Keywords: Pointing devices, motor disabilities, acoustic input, assistive technologies
Use of Force Feedback Pointing Devices for Blind Users BIBAFull-Text 479
  Bertrand Tornil; Nadine Baptiste-Jessel
We discuss in this paper the possible uses of force feedback pointing devices for a blind user. We use the Wingman Force Feedback Mouse and the PHANTOM, associated with a sound feedback. First, we set the definitions of the gesture interaction and we propose the interaction loop relative to these devices. Related works enable us to raise the limit of their use and to specify an adapted framework: the relative localization. The applications that we are developing are based on this applicative context. We present our application of geography which shows the relative positions of the areas on a map. We finish with a presentation of our 3-dimensional application prototype, which shows the relative position of the human body elements. In order to automate the treatment as much as possible, we have based our applications on XML data files: the SVG for the geographical maps and the X3D will be retained for the format of the forms in 3D.