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Proceedings of OZCHI'96, the CHISIG Annual Conference on Human-Computer Interaction

Fullname:Proceedings of OZCHI'96, the CHISIG Annual Conference
Note:Where it's Happening
Editors:John Grundy; Mark Apperley
Location:Hamilton, New Zealand
Dates:1996-Nov-24 to 1996-Nov-27
Publisher:Computer-Human Interaction Special Interest Group Ergonomics Society of Australia, Inc. Canberra Business Centre Bradfield Street Downer, ACT 2602 AUSTRALIA
Standard No:ISBN 0-8186-7525-X; hcibib: OZCHI96
Papers:69
Pages:351
Links:Scanned Proceedings PDF 76 Mb | Conference Series Home Page
  1. Keynote Addresses
  2. Visualization
  3. CSCW Principles
  4. CSCW Tools
  5. Case Studies
  6. Evaluation
  7. Education
  8. Direct Manipulation Interfaces
  9. Design Techniques
  10. Software Design Principles
  11. Novel Interfaces
  12. User and Task Models
  13. Poster Papers
  14. Research Student Consortium Papers

Keynote Addresses

UbiComp, HCI and the State of the Artist BIBFull-Text 2
  Bill Buxton
Experiences with Cocoa BIBFull-Text 3
  Allen Cypher
The Network Computer and Beyond BIBFull-Text 4
  George Coulouris

Visualization

Relating Distortion to Performance in Distortion-Oriented Displays BIBAKFull-Text 6
  Ray Smith; Paul Anderson
Distortion oriented displays (DOD) are an interface approach for supporting navigation through large visual datasets (maps) whilst avoiding loss of context. DOD present the user with a movable virtual magnifying glass within which a detailed view of the point of focus is presented. Surrounding this the rest of the map is presented in a visually compressed view to ensure context is retained. The large quantity of data, spatial expansiveness and range of data sizes found in demanding applications produce two major performance problems for DOD; dynamic response and high magnification requirements. Fast dynamic response is an important feature of DOD; the user should be able to move the point of focus around the screen and experience no discernible delay in the redisplay of the map. Therefore computational overhead is very important when considering the use of a DOD for visualizations of large datasets. Screen size restrictions and the expansive and physically diverse nature of the data mean high magnification is needed to view the required level of detail in the focal region. This can produce unacceptable distortions in the context region for some types of DOD. This paper considers how distortion can affect DOD performance and how understanding this can help produce DOD with higher useable magnification factors and better dynamic response.
Keywords: Distortion-oriented presentation techniques, Information visualization.
Automated General Visualizations BIBAKFull-Text 12
  D. Manuel
Abstract: This paper details research on systems which use a small set of objects to visualize event-based data from a number of potential domains, including programming languages. Empirical research suggests that user understanding of visualizations is principally defined by the visual attributes of the objects, such as position and colour, rather than with the functionality of these objects. This work shows that general visualizations are possible for event-based data domains. If the output visualization is well laid out, then it is nearly indistinguishable from visualizations specifically designed for a data set. Future work lies in the development of more intelligent systems which are capable of creating user friendly layouts.
Keywords: automated general visualizations, data visualisation, event-based data, functionality, intelligent systems, output visualization, user friendly layouts, user understanding
Interactive Visualization Tools for Analyzing NIR Data BIBAKFull-Text 19
  H. Munro; K. Novins; G. Benwell; A. Mowat
Abstract: This paper describes a tool under development that allows users to visualise the spatial ripening characteristics of fruit. Sugar acid and moisture content can be measured using non-destructive Near Infrared Reflectance (NIR) analysis techniques. The four dimensional nature of the NIR data introduces some interesting visualisation problems. The display device only provides two dimensions, making it necessary to design new methods for representing the data. We introduce the notion of spectrum and spatial tools and show how these may be combined to form a flexible visualisation environment for exploring NIR data.
Keywords: data visualisation, flexible visualisation environment, fruit, interactive visualisation tools, moisture content, nondestructive near infrared reflectance analysis techniques, spatial ripening characteristics, spatial tools, sugar acid

CSCW Principles

Organizational Memory and CSCW: Supporting the Mavis Phenomenon BIBAFull-Text 26
  Dave Randall; Jon O'Brien; Mark Rouncefield; John A. Hughes
Organizational Memory is concept which has gained some currency in recent years. The aim of this paper is to query the conceptual underpinnings of the notion. An alternative and more social conception of the kind of phenomena 'organizational memory' points to is offered, one which connects more thoroughly with 'remembering activities' as practical accomplishments of organizational life.
Locales Framework: Exploring Foundations for Collaboration Support BIBAKFull-Text 34
  Geraldine Fitzpatrick; Tim Mansfield; Simon M. Kaplan
We believe that virtual simulation of physical environments is an insufficient basis for building collaborative support systems. In response, we present a locales framework which frames collaboration as the interaction of individuals within social worlds regardless of whether that interaction is physical or virtual. The overview describes the five aspects of the framework: locale foundations, where locales are the basic structures providing the affordances for the work of social worlds; mutuality in interaction, including presence and awareness issues; individual views of multiple locales of interest, defined by the individual's participation in multiple social worlds; interaction trajectories, capturing the temporal dimensions of interaction; and civic structures, which embed locales and the collaborative work of groups in the larger public sphere.
Keywords: CSCW, spatial metaphor, place, locale, social world, collaborative environment
The Effect of Group Size and Communication Modes in CSCW Environments BIBAKFull-Text 42
  M. Masoodian; M. Apperley
Abstract: An earlier study by M. Masoodian et al. (1995) has examined the impact of different human-to-human communication modes on computer supported work involving groups of two people. Based on the findings of this study an experiment was designed to explore the relative impact of face-to-face and audio-only communication modes in supporting shared-workspace interaction between groups of three people. This paper describes the experiment, and examines its findings with the aim of establishing the relationship between the effectiveness of the various communication modes and the group size.
Keywords: CSCW environments, audio-only communication modes, communication modes, computer supported cooperative work, group size, groupware, human-to-human communication modes, shared-workspace interaction
Roamers, Cruisers and Warriors: Requirements for Personal Technologies for Workgroup Support BIBAKFull-Text 50
  P. Thomas
Abstract: Much of the emphasis in the development of systems to support workgroups has been on the requirements for collaborative work-whether that is in terms of support for focused collaborative tasks, support for group process or for communication. There is however a growing recognition that the 'personal aspects' of collaborative work are important. This recognition is based on questions such as: hew do new forms of 'personal technologies' fit into group working; how can technology provide the flexibility to support both collaborative and personal work; and how can requirements for personal support be reconciled with those for collaborative work?.
Keywords: collaborative work, group process, groupware, personal technologies, workgroup support

CSCW Tools

Semantic Telepointers for Groupware BIBAKFull-Text 54
  Saul Greenberg; Carl Gutwin; Mark Roseman
Real time groupware systems often display telepointers (multiple cursors) of all participants in the shared visual workspace. Through the simple mechanism of telepointers, participants can communicate their location, movement, and probable focus of attention within the document, and can gesture over the shared view. Yet telepointers can be improved. First, they can be applied to groupware where people's view of the work surface differs -- through viewport, object placement, or representation variation -- by mapping telepointers to the underlying objects rather than to Cartesian coordinates. Second, telepointers can be overloaded with semantic information to provide participants a stronger sense of awareness of what is going on, with little consumption of screen real estate.
Keywords: Groupware, CSCW, telepointers, multiple cursors, awareness
groupCRC: Exploring CSCW Support for Software Engineering BIBAKFull-Text 62
  Neville Churcher; Carl Cerecke
Software engineers invariably work in teams. However, the nature of the available tools tends to isolate individuals so that they effectively work on their own. This is partly because of the complexity of the systems involved and the high degree of formality required in the products. Computer Supported Co-operative Work (CSCW) aims to support and enhance the ability of groups of people to accomplish shared goals. This paper is an exploration of the potential for exploiting CSCW ideas to provide better tools for software engineers. groupCRC, a CSCW implementation of the Class, Responsibility, Collaborator (CRC) card object-oriented analysis technique, is used as an example.
Keywords: groupware, CSCW, CRC cards, object-oriented analysis, object-oriented design, software engineering
Low-Level and High-Level CSCW Support in the Serendipity Process Modeling Environment BIBAFull-Text 69
  John Grundy; John G. Hosking; Warwick B. Mugridge
In order to effectively collaborate using large cooperative work systems, both low-level and high-level CSCW facilities are required. Low-level mechanisms, including collaborative editing, messaging, annotations and communication, are needed. For large-scale cooperation, they should be augmented with higher-level process modelling, work coordination and work context awareness facilities. We describe the integration of both low-level and high-level support for cooperative work in the Serendipity process modelling environment, and discuss our experience of using these facilities.

Case Studies

A Goal-Oriented Approach for Designing Decision Support Displays in Dynamic Environments BIBAKFull-Text 78
  W. B. L. Wong; D. O'Hare; P. J. Sallis
Abstract: This paper reports on how the critical decision method, a cognitive task analysis technique, was employed to identify the goal states of tasks performed by dispatchers in a dynamic environment, the Sydney Ambulance Coordination Centre. The analysis identified five goal states: Notification; Situation awareness; Planning resource to task compatibility; Speedy response; Maintain history of developments. These goals were then used to guide the development of display concepts that support decision strategies invoked by dispatchers in this task environment.
Keywords: cognitive task analysis technique, critical decision method, decision support displays, dispatchers, dynamic environment, dynamic environments, goal-oriented approach, situation awareness, task analysis
A CASE for Electronic Documentary Dossier BIBAKFull-Text 86
  Hung Wing; Robert M. Colomb
This paper proposes a graphical UI, a CASE tool, for the purpose of specifying and representing trade information, common in electronic commerce. The semantic and structural information associated with trade instances can be extremely complex. For example, the formal property of Petri Nets can be used to represent the different traders' roles or to identify the various trade procedures that will lead to deadlock situations. A simple and intuitive graphical user interface that can represent and characterize the organization of the trade documents is therefore considered useful in facilitating electronic commerce.
Keywords: Electronic Commerce, CASE, UIMS, Petri-Nets, GUI
Testing a User Interface Style Guide BIBAKFull-Text 94
  Shane Morris; Ralph Kettle
Except for usability testing of the end-product systems, user interface style guides are rarely evaluated against their stated goals, or, if they are, the evaluation is largely anecdotal and occurs well after deployment. This paper describes acceptance testing of a style guide and related materials developed by an external consultancy. Due to the need to validate the work of the consultants, the test was carried out immediately after delivery, before the style guide had been put to use. Four developers independently designed a user interface for the same application using the new style guide. The interfaces were reviewed and compared and the experiences of the developers observed and recorded. The technique is compared with other alternatives for style guide evaluation.
Keywords: Style guide, styleguide, how-to-guide, sample application, evaluation, acceptance testing, usability, user interface, human-computer interaction.
A Domain Aware Tool for Guiding Requirements Capture and Design BIBAKFull-Text 100
  Ian Rogers; Lydia Plowman; John Levine; Carol Pattison
EquipCo is a multi-national electronics company. One of its tasks is to supply complex electronic systems that interact with customer supplied equipment. These systems are usually low-volume and high-cost, so the task of accurately capturing customer requirements is expensive but vital. This paper describes the CORECT tool, a computerized tool that aids this requirements capture process. The tool is notable in that it integrates many technologies and methods (graphics, Natural Language Generation, and Expert Systems, CSCW, ethnographic workplace studies etc.) to provide different users with multiple perspectives onto the design artifact. A "permissive" user interface coupled with a monitoring expert system seems to be very useful in guiding users through the requirements capture process, allowing users enough freedom to express a design while ensuring they never get lost.
Keywords: requirements capture, CSCW, group work, multi-modal interface, organizational memory, aide-memoir expert-systems

Evaluation

Sounds like HELP: The Use of Voice for Procedural Instructions in GUI HELP BIBAKFull-Text 108
  Nina Reeves; Stella Mills; Jan Noyes
During a study considering the usability of a Graphical User Interface (GUI) for discretionary, intermittent users, the on-line HELP was found to be unsatisfactory from the point of view of flexibility and learnability. The HELP system for a spreadsheet package was rewritten to incorporate spoken, procedural instructions and the usability assessed in situ by considering the task completion rates and times together with user satisfaction. A complex picture emerged suggesting a follow-up study considering the learning styles of the users. The results reported here are part of a larger case study.
Keywords: Usability, GUI, on-line HELP, sound, multimedia, learning styles
Visual Coherence and Usability: A Cohesion Metric for Assessing the Quality of Dialogue and Screen Designs BIBAKFull-Text 115
  L. L. Constantine
Abstract: Interface design metrics help developers evaluate user interface quality from designs and visual prototypes before implementing working prototypes or systems. Visual coherence, based on the established software engineering concept of cohesion, measures the fit between the layout of user interface features and their semantic content. Visually coherent interfaces group semantically more closely related features together, enhancing comprehension and ease of use. Preliminary research using a scenario-based technique with built in validity checks found professional developers preferred more visually coherent designs and rated them easier to use, even when these departed from familiar dialogue conventions. Implications for design and further research are discussed.
Keywords: cohesion, cohesion metric, dialogue design, ease of use, interface design metrics, scenario-based technique, screen design quality assessment, semantic content, software engineering, software quality, usability, user interface quality, visual coherence, visual prototypes, visually coherent interfaces, working prototypes
Evaluating the Developers Interface to a kbs Shell: Some Reflections BIBAKFull-Text 122
  E. A. Kemp
In this paper, the evaluation of the knowledge-based system (kbs) shell, Nexpert, is reported. It has been argued that AI tools of this kind have not had the success anticipated because of problems with the developer's interface. It would appear that software of this type does not help users develop a good conceptual model. An evaluation of Nexpert has been conducted using various approaches. A group of students who had experience with the tool were asked to fill in the Software Usability Measurement Inventory (SUMI) 50 item questionnaire. The data was analyzed and various aspects of usability measured: Learnability, Helpfulness, Affect, Control and Efficiency. An expert user and a group of students were also interviewed to find out what they believed were the best and worst aspects of the software. The overall results are discussed and suggestions made for improving the interface of Nexpert.
Keywords: interface evaluation, conceptual model, expert system shell
TUNE: A Tool for User Interface Evaluation BIBAKFull-Text 129
  T. Nordqvist
Abstract: The paper describes and discusses a prototype tool (TUNE) for computer-supported evaluation of guideline and style guide compliance in user interfaces. The aim of the tool is to facilitate the use of human factors knowledge, in the form of guidelines and style guides, GLSG, when developing user interfaces. After discussing the increased interest in GLSG compliance and reasons for computer-support in this area, TUNE is presented, together with experiences from practical use. With these experiences as a basis the possible benefits in using the tool to evaluate GLSG compliance is discussed. The paper finally presents the future development of TUNE, for example implementing more GLSG.
Keywords: GLSG compliance, TUNE, computer-supported evaluation, future development, guideline compliance, human factors, prototype tool, style guide compliance, user interface evaluation tool
Towards Effective Usability Evaluation in Asia: Cross-Cultural Differences BIBAKFull-Text 135
  L. Herman
Abstract: A study of cultural effects on the reliability of objective and subjective usability evaluation of software user interfaces is reported in this paper. Subjects comprised actual users involved in a real system development project. The results obtained indicated that cultural effects exist and exerted a strong influence on the outcome of user interface evaluation. Implications of the findings for practitioners are discussed in the paper. In particular, to account for cultural effects the need to modify 'western' usability evaluation methods for application in the Far East, is highlighted. Initial recommendations for effective usability evaluation in the Far East are proposed.
Keywords: Asia, Far East, cross-cultural difference, cultural effects, human factors, reliability, software evaluation, system development project, usability evaluation, user interface evaluation

Education

Subjecting CSCW to Business: A Model Curriculum for CSCW Validated Against Business Needs BIBAKFull-Text 138
  K. Henschke; S. Howard
Abstract: Business and computing journals indicate a resurgence of interest in the competitive advantages offered by groupware products. However, problems and limitations in the development and implementation of such products suggest a lack of understanding of the interdisciplinary nature of computer-supported cooperative work (CSCW). A pilot study was conducted to formulate the core content of a universal CSCW curriculum, a curriculum that includes topics from a range of disciplines. Topics were extracted from existing CSCW syllabi and supplemented with material found in research papers covering CSCW issues. The proposed curriculum was then validated against a small sample of Australian business managers and consultants. The findings highlight the interdisciplinary nature of CSCW systems development and implementation. Implications of findings for CSCW education of business graduates in information systems are discussed together with directions for further research.
Keywords: Australian business managers, CSCW, CSCW education, business graduates, business journals, business needs, competitive advantage, computer-supported cooperative work, computing journals, consultants, educational curriculum, groupware, groupware products, information systems, model curriculum, pilot study, research papers, systems development
Towards the Integration of Software Engineering and HCI Education: A Cross-Disciplinary Approach BIBAFull-Text 145
  Chris Phillips; Elizabeth Kemp
In this paper, the intersection of software engineering (SE) and human-computer interaction (HCI) education is explored through an examination of some current textbooks, papers and curriculum proposals. It is argued that currently HCI is not well integrated with SE lifecycle models; that interface design is often perceived as a small part of overall system design; and that in current computer science curricula, HCI is often viewed as an 'add on'. There is a need for a more integrated approach, and for HCI issues to become SE issues. Recommendations for a cross-disciplinary approach to the teaching of these subjects in undergraduate courses in computer science are presented.
An Academic Response to Industrys Need for HCI Education: A Case Study BIBAKFull-Text 151
  Judith H. Hammond
In the 1990s, organizations rely heavily on information technology to support their operations and give them a competitive edge in the local and global marketplace. The need to incorporate human-computer interaction (HCI), and especially 'usability', into software design and system development is increasingly evident. If industry is to pay more attention to improving the usability of its software and systems, courses need to be established so that students gain knowledge and skills that are important in the real-world and experience realistic situations that address usability issues. To date, the provision of HCI education for practitioners has not been addressed substantively by most Australian universities. This paper presents one university course that responds to industry needs. The paper describes the course, its objectives, content, resources and some teaching strategies. It also provides insights into problems of conducting courses relating to industry needs and plans for future development of the academic program.
Keywords: human-computer interaction, education, training, industry needs, HCI curriculum, human factors, usability
Teaching Web Page Design: Challenges and Opportunities BIBAKFull-Text 157
  Leoni Warne
This paper describes a research project in which a semester-long, tertiary course was developed to teach students how to design home pages for the World Wide Web. The course outcome was a series of web pages produced for clients from the public and private sector. Students conducted a needs analysis which showed that, in many cases, clients were keen to develop a presence on the Web because of external, competitive factors, rather than a perceived organisational need. Few clients knew the target audience they were trying to reach and design options were conservative, or governed by designs already seen on the Web. It appears that Web page design is very much technology driven, rather than user-driven and this presents real challenges and opportunities for HCI designers.
Keywords: Education, Interface Design, Internet, Home Page, WWW, World Wide Web.
Comparing Interfaces: Should We Assume that Ease of Use Influences Users Preference? BIBAFull-Text 159
  Phillip Treweek
This paper reports a comparison of student preference for GUI and CLI interfaces as exemplified by the Apple Macintosh and IBM PC compatible. The paper considers one of the basic assumptions of interface research -- namely that users will prefer the interface they find easier to use. The assumption has previously been considered intuitive, and there has been little research to consider the validity of such an assumption. This paper presents a summary of a quantitative analysis to show that the assumption is correct.

Direct Manipulation Interfaces

Scribble: A Diagram Editor with a Minimal Interface BIBAKFull-Text 162
  James Noble
Existing CASE tool diagram editors have large, complex, and sophisticated graphical user interfaces. Because of their size, these interfaces are difficult to learn and hard to use. A minimal interface for a diagram editor provides only the essential behaviour required by the user in the simplest possible manner. Minimal interfaces are smaller than traditional interfaces, and should be easier and quicker to use.
Keywords: CASE tool, diagram editor, minimal user interface, interaction design.
Towards a Constructor Kit for Visual Notations BIBAFull-Text 169
  Warwick B. Mugridge; John G. Hosking; John Grundy
BuildByWire is a constraint-based environment for specifying and implementing visual notations for environments developed using the MViews framework. Previous approaches to user-interface construction based on constraint propagation approaches have been limited We describe a new approach that avoids some of these difficulties through the use of the multi-directional constraints of Snart, an object-oriented extension of Prolog.
Generating Direct Manipulation Program Editors BIBAKFull-Text 177
  M. Read; C. Marlin
Abstract: Language specific editors are cognisant of the syntax and semantics of the programming language they manipulate. Despite the various potential advantages of language specific editors, they have not been widely accepted by software developers for serious software development. On the other hand direct manipulation editors, which are also cognisant of the entities they manipulate, have proven to be successful in other domains such as drawing and VLSI design tools. Thus, it is worth while investigating the incorporation of direct manipulation mechanisms into program editors. This paper presents a technique for specifying direct manipulation editing of programs which is amenable to the generation of language specific editors incorporating direct manipulation from a specification of the desired editing mechanisms.
Keywords: direct manipulation, direct manipulation editors, direct manipulation mechanisms, editing mechanisms, language specific editors, program editors, software development, text editing
Animating Indirect Manipulation in Direct-Manipulation Editors BIBAKFull-Text 184
  C. R. Roast; J. I. Siddiqi
The notion of "cognitive dimensions" developed by Green provides an analytic framework for assessing usability for a variety of information artifacts. The work here describes a formal interpretation of dimensions in order to precisely assess the suitability of interactive systems for particular tasks. The particular dimension considered is viscosity -- this concerns the ease with which information structures can be modified and updated within a given environment. A formal interpretation of such a dimension has the benefit of yielding practical measures and guidelines for assessment. This extends a growing body of work concerned with formally characterizing interactive properties that are significant to successful use. The context in which we demonstrate our interpretation of dimensions is that of program modification, where a program represents an information structure to be updated. The framework developed provides an interpretation of empirical evidence regarding software quality and modifiability.
Keywords: Cognitive Dimensions, Formal Methods, Notations, Tools

Design Techniques

A Visual Approach to Procedural Tutor Specification BIBAKFull-Text 190
  R. H. Kemp; S. P. Smith
TANDEM (Task and Domain Environment Model) is a package for aiding the design of procedural tutors. Using this system, domain experts and teachers (the authors) can cooperate to produce an accurate model of a device or procedure and also incorporate appropriate feedback for the potential users of the simulation. This paper describes the interface to TANDEM and demonstrates how graphical representation of domains and tasks aids the authors in the production of their target system.
Keywords: Human-computer interaction, Intelligent Learning Environments, Authoring Systems
Behavior Sharing in Adaptable User Interfaces BIBAKFull-Text 197
  Hung Wing; Robert M. Colomb
The practical contribution of this research is to remove the UI behavioural conflicts existing in a compound software environment. From the user point of view, editing text in a spreadsheet cell should not be any different from editing text in a text editor or any other integrated software package. However, this is not always the case since different UI applications may inherit different UI techniques and behaviours. In this paper, an extended object-oriented model and Documentary Petri Net (DPN) are used to model an 'adaptable user interface' system. In doing so, rule-bases can be added to the DPN model allowing automatic reasoning about the user interface behaviours. Furthermore, formal properties of UI behaviours such as 'liveness' and 'boundedness' can be analyzed by using algorithms based on the formal properties of Petri Nets.
Keywords: Adaptive User Interfaces, UIMS, Petri-Nets, GUI, Groupware Technology
Architecture Model for a User Interface Software Tool Supporting Application Independence BIBAKFull-Text 205
  David Unterweger; Eugen Brenner
User interface software tools are based on architecture models which usually fail to separate the application from the user interface as strictly as needed for application independence. The architecture model proposed in this paper tries to overcome this problem by providing a bi-directional mapping mechanism for interaction objects. Interactions as well as user interface data are mapped to textual messages which can be exchanged between the application and interaction objects on the one hand and between different interaction objects on the other hand. This solution facilitates independent development of application and user interface. In particular the application programmer no longer has to cope with details of the user interface program code. To show the benefits of the proposed architecture a user interface tool supporting graphical object editing is discussed.
Keywords: user interface software, software architecture, software tool, direct graphical specification, visual programming, graphical object editor.
Interactive Design Metric Visualisation: Visual Metric Support for User Interface Design BIBAKFull-Text 213
  James Noble; Larry L. Constantine
Interactive metric visualization is a novel approach providing complex, multi-dimensional feedback on the effects of layout changes in user interface designs. A graphical overlay, based on the underlying rationale of quantitative design metrics, provides immediate feedback, continually guiding designers toward improved layouts. Effective visual metaphors, colour coding, and dynamic updating enable designers to interpret and utilize more complex information than from simple quantitative data or static overlays. This technique is especially suited to accelerated design and development using modern visual development tools. An experimental prototype for this approach is described and initial experience is reported.
Keywords: user interface design, design metrics, interface layout, graphical representation, user interface design tools, task concordance, visual coherence, layout uniformity

Software Design Principles

Relating Knock-on Viscosity to Software Modifiability BIBAKFull-Text 222
  C. R. Roast; J. I. Siddiqi
The notion of "cognitive dimensions" developed by Green provides an analytic framework for assessing usability for a variety of information artifacts. The work here describes a formal interpretation of dimensions in order to precisely assess the suitability of interactive systems for particular tasks. The particular dimension considered is viscosity -- this concerns the ease with which information structures can be modified and updated within a given environment. A formal interpretation of such a dimension has the benefit of yielding practical measures and guidelines for assessment. This extends a growing body of work concerned with formally characterising interactive properties that are significant to successful use. The context in which we demonstrate our interpretation of dimensions is that of program modification, where a program represents an information structure to be updated. The framework developed provides an interpretation of empirical evidence regarding software quality and modifiability.
Keywords: Cognitive Dimensions, Formal Methods, Notations, Tools
Reuse in the Eye of Its Beholder: Cognitive Factors in Software Reuse BIBAKFull-Text 228
  J. L. Cybulski
Abstract: We investigate the impact of human cognition on developers' ability to effectively reuse software artefacts. We look at the cognitive impediments to and furtherance of software reuse. We review the computing models of human knowledge and reasoning which may assist in the emulation of our abilities to reuse software. Finally we investigate the possibility of integrating human and machine capabilities to arrive at the efficient method of software reuse.
Keywords: cognitive factors, cognitive impediments, computing models, human cognition, human knowledge, human reasoning, software reusability, software reuse
Using Object-Z to Specify a Web Browser Interface BIBAKFull-Text 236
  A. Hussey; D. Carrington
Abstract: A specification describes the functions which a system provides to its users without explanation of how those functions are implemented. A specification of an interactive system's user-interface is an abstract description of the interactive system itself. Such a specification indicates which functional aspects of the system are perceivable by the user and the logical organisation of information provided by the interface. To illustrate, we specify the user-interface for a World-Wide-Web browser. We use Object-Z, a formal specification and design language. Formal methods are increasingly accepted for specifying functional aspects of software systems, however their use in user-interface development is less common. This is despite widespread support for the view that formal methods ease system development. We demonstrate that Object-Z can be used to specify, the user-interface for an interactive system. Such a specification may form the basis for an Object-Z user-interface design.
Keywords: Object-Z, World-Wide-Web browser, abstract description, formal specification, formal specification and design language, interactive system's user-interface, web browser interface

Novel Interfaces

Do it This Way: Equal Opportunity Programming for Kids BIBAKFull-Text 246
  Andy Cockburn; Andrew Bryant
End-user programming is becoming increasingly common -- from setting the controls on a VCR to creating a home-finance spreadsheet. This paper describes Leogo, a novel user-interface that promotes programming skills in primary and junior schools. Users can express their programming tasks through any mixture of three concurrently active programming paradigms: by direct-manipulation using 'programming by demonstration'; by clicking buttons and dragging sliders in an iconic language; and by typing commands in a normal text-based language. Leogo's design, development, and evaluation are described.
Keywords: Equal opportunity interfaces, educational environments, programming paradigms.
The Oval Menu -- Evolution and Evaluation of a Widget BIBAKFull-Text 252
  P. J. Lyons; M. Pitchforth; D. Page; T. Given; M. D. Apperley
Abstract: This paper describes the development and heuristic evaluation of the oval menu, a widget for use in applications for drawing networks and similar linked structures. It is a variety of pie menu, capable of being organised as a hierarchy and of having its contents updated dynamically. Thus it is suitable for environments where libraries of components are created and used. Care has been taken to optimise it for use as a direct manipulation tool. The oval menu has been implemented for use on PC and PC-compatible computers running Windows and Windows95. It is written in Microsoft Visual C++ and uses the Microsoft Foundation Classes. It is a DLL, and the component libraries it uses are also DLLs, so it is easily adaptable for use by other applications.
Keywords: DLL, Microsoft Foundation Classes, Microsoft Visual C++, Windows, Windows95, direct manipulation tool, drawing, graphical user interfaces, heuristic evaluation, oval menu, personal computer, pie menu, software libraries, widget
The Design of a Pen-Based Musical Input System BIBAKFull-Text 260
  J. Anstice; T. Bell; A. Cockburn; M. Setchell
Computerising the task of music editing can avoid a considerable amount of tedious work for musicians, particularly for tasks such as key transposition, part extraction, and layout. However the task of getting the music onto the computer can still be time consuming and is usually done with the help of bulky equipment. This paper reports on the design of a pen-based input system that uses easily-learned gestures to facilitate fast input, particularly if the system must be portable. The design is based on observations of musicians writing music by hand, and an analysis of the symbols in samples of music. A preliminary evaluation of the system is presented, and the speed is compared with the alternatives of handwriting, synthesiser keyboard input, and optical music recognition. Evaluations suggest that the gesture-based system could be approximately three times as fast as other methods of music data entry reported in the literature.
Keywords: gesture interface, handwriting, key transposition, light pens, music data entry, music editing, music layout, optical music recognition, part extraction, pen-based musical input system, symbols, synthesiser keyboard input, time consuming
Supporting Casual or Naive Users of Externally Derived Statistical Data BIBAKFull-Text 268
  P. Hyland; H. Hasan; A. Fuentes
This paper describes a study of users of externally derived statistical data (EDSD) in academic, business, government and non-government organisations. It clarifies the terms casual user, naive user and novice user and applies these concepts to categorise the survey respondents. The survey reveals that users of EDSD are far more varied than has been previously thought. The paper identifies the type of interfaces that are suitable for casual or naive users, particularly for users of EDSD.
Keywords: business, casual users, computer literacy, education, externally derived statistical data, government, naive users, novice user, organisations, survey, user interfaces

User and Task Models

Methodologies in Tightly and Loosely Coupled Dynamic Information Ecologies BIBAKFull-Text 272
  Mimi M. Recker
Network-accessible multimedia repositories are proliferating at a rapid rate, providing the potential for people to access a wide variety of distributed and dynamic information resources. This shift from traditionally closed systems (such as books and CD-ROMs) to open systems (such as the WWW) has resulted in the locus of control moving away from designers towards users. Supporting interaction in these open systems, I argue, requires new approaches based on both bottom-up and top-down methods of design and analysis. Using two case studies, a method for each approach is presented. I conclude with a discussion of the implications for the design of networked, interactive multimedia.
Keywords: Information Systems Applications, Human Factors, Evaluation
An Object-Oriented Approach for an Adaptive Interface with Dual-Classification of the User BIBAKFull-Text 279
  Nathalie Mura; Philippe Francois
The focus of our work is to provide the users with an optimal working environment for retrieval from database, without its intervention for any modification. To do this, we develop an adaptive interface supported by user models represented as stereotypes. In an object-oriented approach, we create two hierarchies of stereotypes (taxonomies of classes). They class the user according to criteria respectively independent and dependent to the database domain, allowing respectively to adapt the syntax and the semantic of the user-database interaction. The user works then in a fitted environment and obtains adapted answers to his global need.
Keywords: Adaptive interface, user model, hierarchy of stereotypes, dual-classification, database
Tasks as Agents: Prototyping Task Models BIBAKFull-Text 286
  Birgit Bomsdorf; Christian Geiger
Research has shown the significant importance of task models for the design of human-computer interfaces. However, for encouragement in real projects there is a lack of appropriate tool support for applying this modeling technique. In this paper we suggest the use of an agent based execution of task models. Agents as underlying architecture for the execution seem to fit naturally. The transformation from tasks to agents is straightforward with respect to similarity of the concepts. This technique allows to use prototypes very early in the design process, improving the designer's and user's capabilities to evaluate the model.
Keywords: task models, user interfaces, prototyping, agents
Information Searching Preferences and Practices of Computer Science Researchers BIBAFull-Text 294
  Sally Jo Cunningham; Lynn Silipigni Connaway
We present preliminary findings of an ongoing study of the ways that computer scientists seek, use, and store information when conducting research. Their preferred methods of information foraging has implications for the design of information retrieval systems for these researchers. Traditional indexing schemes based on controlled vocabularies see little use. Researchers rely heavily on browsing and citation searches -- information gathering techniques that are not well supported by existing indexes and retrieval systems. Not surprisingly, resources that can be immediately accessed from the user's office (particularly via the Internet) are preferred to those requiring a special trip to another location (such as a university library).

Poster Papers

User Interfaces for Workflow Systems: Designing for End-User Tailorability BIBAFull-Text 302
  Aaron Tay; Andy Cockburn
Workflow technology has been referred to as a 'technology for the nineties', and many commercial workflow systems are being released. Our research reviews workflow technology and its theoretical foundations, focusing on the barriers to workflow success, particularly the problems of workflow tailorability. The user interface requirements for workflow systems are examined using task-centred system design. A user interface for workflow specification, AWE, supports our investigations.
Cost-Effective Computer Security: Cognitive and Associative Passwords BIBAKFull-Text 304
  John Podd; Julie Bunnell; Ron Henderson
Recall and guessing rates for conventional, cognitive, and word association passwords were compared using 86 Massey University undergraduates. Respondents completed a questionnaire covering all three password types, returning two weeks later for a recall test. Each respondent also nominated a "significant other" (parent, partner, etc.) who tried to guess the respondent's answers. On average, cognitive items produced the highest recall rates (80%) but the guessing rate was also high (39.5%). Word associations produced low guessing rates (7%) but response words were poorly recalled (39%). Nevertheless, both cognitive items and word associations showed sufficient promise as password techniques to warrant further investigation.
Keywords: Computers, security, passwords
Information, Artefacts and Management Strategies: The Personal Perspective BIBAKFull-Text 306
  David Y. Lees; John F. Meech; Peter J. Thomas
A study was undertaken to explore the artifacts and strategies used by mobile workers to manage their information. Using over 40 semi-structured interviews, a number of common features were found to hold across the sample group both in terms of the information that was maintained and the reasons why it was carried. These results suggest that there is a rich diversity of strategies for managing personal information, which may be embodied in common artifacts such as diaries and address books. Consequently, these results have a significant impact for the design of electronic devices for personal information management.
Keywords: Personal Information Management, Mobile Computing, Personal Digital Assistants, Personal Technologies.
Evaluation of the Task-Action Grammar Method for Assessing Learnability in User Interface Software BIBAFull-Text 308
  Judy Brown
Many approaches to evaluation of user interfaces in HCI exist. Most methodologies evaluate prototypes through user testing. Since user testing is expensive and time consuming, other methods are sometimes applied before user testing. These other approaches aim to identify problems through expert evaluation techniques. In this paper we present a novel use of the TAG (Task-Action Grammar) method as an evaluation tool to identify learnability problems in a interface prior to user testing. We find that the TAG assessment method revealed problems related to inconsistency and conceptual complexity in a design.
Implementing World Wide Web Forms: A Case Study BIBAKFull-Text 310
  S. Willie
Implementation of a complex query interface which allows novice users to select trees and shrubs suitable to their local growing conditions on the World Wide Web (Web) users points out some problems in using the Web for information delivery. A major limitation lies in implementing standards familiar to the target users. The paper outlines tradeoffs which must be considered when designing a complex forms interface for the Web and provides recommendations arising from our work.
Keywords: World Wide Web forms, complex forms interface, complex query interface, information delivery, novice users, standards, target users, tradeoffs, user interfaces
A Formative Model for Hand Input Devices in Virtual Environments or Haptic Manipulation BIBAKFull-Text 312
  Mike Edwards
A condensed version of a general and formative user model for a hand input device in human-computer interaction is presented which arises from a single subject case study developing guidelines for a postural interface in a virtual environment. There was no model available in human-computer interaction, or other fields related or otherwise, thus the impetus for formulating a model. The user model though simplistic, amalgamates several factors, offering a foundation for knowledge on hand input devices for haptic operation and in virtual environments.
Keywords: Hand Input Device (HID) user model, Virtual environments, Whole Hand Input and Haptic operation
GIGA: A Pen-Based Constraint Drawing System BIBAKFull-Text 314
  S. Kawachiya; T. Igarashi; S. Matsuoka
Traditional sketching/drawing tools on computers lacked the freedom of real pens. They also ignore human perception. In order to avoid such limitation, we developed new techniques such as interactive beautification with extended pie-menu (PieSlider), sketch with perceptual recognition (PerSketch), the function of layout according to human perception (PerLayout), and new data structure for PerSketch. Prototype implementation on IBM pen PC and Xerox Liveboard has shown that the system is fast and easy to use.
Keywords: Pen-based drawing, Perceptual constraint, Perceptual layout, Interactive beautification, Extended pie menu, CAI
Designing Interfaces for Culturally Diverse Users BIBAKFull-Text 316
  Paula Bourges Waldegg; Stephen A. R. Scrivener
Cultural diversity is a phenomenon of increasing interest to HCI designers given the development of global markets and multi-user applications, such as Internet and CSCW. However, current HCI methods provide little specific guidance on how to design systems that are usable by a culturally heterogeneous user group. It is argued that the internalization -- localization process, here called culturalization, is inappropriate for shared applications because it deals with design for a specific, culturally homogeneous user group. This paper describes a study designed to examine the nature of Internet application usability problems due to cultural diversity. It is concluded that the main issue is centered in the relation between representation and meaning. Finally, a HCI design method that considers issues of cultural diversity, called Non-specific Representations Method (NSRM), is outlined.
Keywords: usability, interface, cultural diversity, shared applications, representation, meaning, context
An Application Interface with Multiple Workspaces: The Context Switcher BIBAKFull-Text 318
  Eva Schroeter; Jon D. Patrick
One difficulty in the design of user interfaces is the limited amount of screen area available. A conflict arises between the need for displaying numerous interface elements at one time and the danger of confusing the user with too much information. The context switcher is designed to solve this conflict for applications consisting of several related subtasks which will be carried out repeatedly in varying sequence. The context switcher allows the creation of a variety of working environments, called workspaces, which the user can to switch. Each workspace provides an environment to fulfill a different subtask based on shared data and contributing to the overall task. The context switcher concept guarantees consistency of both data and metadata across all workspaces whilst allowing them to be updated at will.
Keywords: Application interface, multiple tasks, multiple workspaces, task-orientation, data consistency
A New Interface for Querying Experts on Prerequisite Relationships BIBAKFull-Text 320
  C. E. Dowling; U. Koch; K. A. Quante
A graphical user interface integrating a procedure for knowledge acquisition is introduced. This querying procedure supports the expert by omitting judgements which follow logically from previous ones, and by avoiding contradictions. The new interface is designed to enrich the experts task, and to reduce the number of the experts judgements.
Keywords: graphical user interface, knowledge acquisition, prerequisite relationships, querying experts
The Holistic Evaluation of Expert System Interfaces BIBAKFull-Text 322
  S. M. Ots; E. A. Kemp
There has been little work done with respect to the evaluation of interfaces to expert systems. A methodology for comparing expert systems in a holistic fashion is discussed. The design of two interfaces to the same expert system and their evaluation are reviewed. The qualitative analysis of the observations and interview transcripts is discussed and the major findings with respect to expert system interface issues reported.
Keywords: holistic evaluation, expert systems, usability, qualitative analysis
HCI Factors Affecting Quality of Information in Crisis Management Systems BIBAKFull-Text 324
  L. J. Dunn
The design of an efficient indexing system that enhances user access to just-in-time information in crisis management systems offers new and challenging research problems. In investigating the type of information required by crisis managers to manage natural and man-made disasters, it became clear that the HCI factors affecting quality of information made available to the crisis manager affected not only the design of the index architecture but placed additional demands on the design human-computer interface. The paper discusses the HCI factors and presents justification for the design of the interface.
Keywords: HCI factors, command and control systems, crisis management systems, crisis manager, human-computer interface, indexing system, just-in-time information, quality of information
Global Telerobotics: Exploring Effective Internet Access to Robots BIBAKFull-Text 326
  S. Hartfiel; L. Dunn
This paper describes an Industrial Automation research project at the University of Wollongong, Australia. The project aims to develop a telerobotic planning and control architecture and human robot interface that can be used for intervention robots which require task level programming. In order to investigate global telerobotic principles, the workspace will be made accessible across the Internet via the World Wide Web. The paper describes the experimental setup and implementation of this project, focussing on a discussion of human robot interaction issues, such as interface design problems and the use of a World Wide Web browser for user interaction.
Keywords: Internet access, University of Wollongong, World Wide Web, World Wide Web browser, global telerobotic, human robot interface, interface design, intervention robots, robots, task level programming, telerobotics, user interaction
User Interface Evaluation: A Comparison of 18 Techniques when Implementing the EU-Directive on Human-Computer Interaction BIBAFull-Text 328
  Chris Stary; Thomas Riesenecker-Caba; Jorg Flecker
Several methodologies and criteria have been proposed for the evaluation of user interfaces. They stem from different disciplines and are based on different techniques for measurement. There exist only few structured reviews and catalogs for reviewing the different approaches. In this paper we report on a comparative study that has been performed in the course of putting the EC-Directive on Human-Computer Interaction to work.

Research Student Consortium Papers

Locales, Social Worlds and Support for Collaboration BIBAKFull-Text 332
  Geraldine Fitzpatrick
Building collaborative systems based on an understanding of work is difficult. We outline work in progress towards the development of a locales framework which is aimed at bridging the gap between social studies of work and systems design. This framework is based on Strauss' notion of social worlds and the implications of individuals being involved in multiple social worlds simultaneously. The locales framework describes the essential characteristics of a collaborative environment, interpreting the notion of space from an interaction rather than a simulation perspective.
Keywords: CSCW, collaboration support, spatial metaphors, locale, social world, interaction
W4: A World Wide Web Browser with CSCW support BIBAKFull-Text 334
  Simon Gianoutsos
There has been much recent interest in using the World Wide Web to facilitate distributed, cooperative work. Unfortunately, most existing Internet tools do not provide adequate cooperative work support to make this possible. This short paper describes how a simple Web browser was extended to support a range of CSCW facilities, including telepointers, group awareness widgets, text chats, collaborative notes, messages and URL annotations, and collaborative editors.
Keywords: CSCW, Group Awareness, Groupware, Shared Workspace, WWW
Object-Oriented Specification and Design of User Interfaces BIBAKFull-Text 336
  Andrew Hussey
The specifier of a user-interface describes user-perceivable functions and information organisation in an implementation independent way. The designer is concerned with both the presentation and software structure of the user-interface. The path from specification to software design can be assisted by design patterns. In this paper we examine techniques for specification and the design of both the presentation and software aspects of user-interfaces. We outline our research strategy towards the generation of a specification and design framework for developing user-interfaces.
Keywords: User-interface specification and design, object-orientation, formal methods
Exploratory Study of Implicit Theories in Human-Computer Interaction BIBAFull-Text 338
  Nicole Kaiyan
Development methodologies in Human Computer Interaction (HCI) embody unstated assumptions (implicit theories) of what is and what is not important in relation to their processes and intended products. This project aims to develop a framework for identifying implicit theories of interaction held by HCI methods used for user interface development.
Computer Support for Teaching and Learning BIBAKFull-Text 340
  Michael Klemme
This paper describes some opportunities and prerequisites for the use of computers in education. To render electronic information systems useful, a high degree of integration has to be achieved. Hypermedia systems can serve as a basic integration platform for learning resources. However, for the day-to-day use of these systems a range of tools need to be developed for creating content, maintaining and navigating within the system.
Keywords: Hypermedia, multimedia, computers in education, collaboration
Supporting Emergent Collaborative Work through the Use of Personal Technologies BIBAKFull-Text 342
  David Y. Lees
Whilst there has been considerable progress in the development of the CSCW in business organizations, some of the notions arising from modern organizational thinking are not reflected by groupware developments. This thesis examines the notion of emerging collaboration through the overlapping personal interests and agendas of information-based workers. Building on notions of knowledge work, Personal Information Management and informal communication a bottom-up approach to groupwork is explored. This is contrasted with other approaches which either i) use an explicitly top-down approach, which imposes rigor and classification from upper- to lower-levels of the organization, or ii) have no explicit model of the organization, but implicitly use the organizational model through the use of it's technological and communicational infrastructure.
Keywords: Computer-Supported Cooperative Work, Personal Information Management, Personal Technology, Informal Communication
Generalizing Programming by Demonstration BIBAKFull-Text 344
  Gordon W. Paynter
Programming by demonstration (PBD) is a term that describes a wide range of end-user programming techniques that generate code from the user's examples. Most systems that use PBD rely on knowledge of a specific application (domain knowledge) and on ad hoc inferencing techniques to make sense of the user's actions. This paper argues that it is possible and practical to build a PBD system that incorporates domain knowledge without being restricted to a single application and that uses general purpose learning algorithms. A methodology for designing such a system and the author's current work in the area are described.
Keywords: programming by demonstration, intelligent interfaces, machine learning
Specifying Direct Manipulation within Program Editors BIBAKFull-Text 346
  Michael Read
Language specific editors, since they are cognizant of the syntax and semantics of the programming language they manipulate, should provide a number of advantages for software developers. However, they have not been widely accepted by software developers for serious software development. In other domains, such as drawing and VLSI design, direct manipulation editors (which are also cognizant of the entities they manipulate) have proven to be successful. Consequently, the incorporation of direct manipulation into program editors is worthy of investigation. Furthermore, the generation of editors from descriptions of the language to be handled and the editing mechanisms to be used has a number of advantages. Thus, this paper outlines a technique for specifying direct manipulation editing of programs which is amenable to the generation of language specific editors from a specification of the desired editing mechanisms.
Keywords: Language specific editors, direct manipulation, program editing, generation of language specific editors, state machines.
Software Internationalization and Localization BIBAKFull-Text 348
  Alvin Yeo
Software internationalization is a way in which software can be distributed to the rest of the world without any change to the software. Besides economic goals, other reasons motivate software internationalization. A list of factors that need to be addressed in the internationalization and localization process is given. Even though more people have access to computers, little is still known about how different cultures interact with computers. An internationalized spreadsheet has been created and will be used to detect cultural differences in spreadsheet use.
Keywords: software internationalization, localization, cultural differences, spreadsheets