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GUIDE: Understanding user experience to promote its integration into interactive systems

This AFR project will be affiliated in a larger research FNR Core 2009 project (GENIUS, FNR/C09/IS/13). The context of GENIUS is cooperative engineering, namely the apted IT environment support that is required for projects involving temporarily teams of heterogeneous actors from different firms cooperating and collaborating together for achieving a set of activities. This kind of environment is needed for example in the construction sector for problem supporting activities on a construction site, and requires some flexibility and efficiency regarding the methodology and the supporting tools.

In GENIUS project, we propose a methodology dedicated to the generation of user interfaces, through an iterative process made from 4 successive major steps:

  1. the modeling of the business domain (i.e. any relation to the tasks of the operator and the context in which these tasks occur). Thus, four main elements are considered: the project, the organization, the collective work and the user profile;
  2. automatically generating an adaptive Human-Computer Interface based on the modeling of the various issues identified during the step 1. This step is enhanced through ergonomic criteria constraining the interface generation, and involves the modelling of ergonomic heuristics;
  3. to allow free use of the interface to multiple users. This is an important step in our research because it collects data from a field study. In our case, the field of study will be Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC);
  4. feedback process that enriches the understanding of models developed in step 1. These feed-backs will allow to collect information of the use of interface created previously. They provide valuable information that is useful in designing future interfaces, adding to their adaptivity.

Several types of results are planned for each stage of the methodological approach that we propose:

  • the definition and development of models for automatic generation of user interfaces;
  • a proposal of modeling heuristics to generate ergonomic interfaces;
  • a comprehensive listing of advantages and weaknesses of automated interface creation relative to ergonomics/usability and as compared to well approved empirical iterative workflows;
  • a generic framework for the automatic generation of interface, including a step of collecting information needed to adapt gradual interfaces.

The AFR project takes place in the steps 2, 3 and 4. In step 2, this AFR project will define a rigid of ergonomic criteria, which will be formalized in order to be integrated into the UsiXML language (our modeling language). In the step 3, the AFR project will contribute to define the most activity traces in a general model of automatic usability analysis. This will be the major result of this AFR project. The applicant will be autonomous in the definition of ergonomic criteria and elements for trace analysis. Moreover, her contributions to the model of automatic usability analysis will be fully connected to the AFR project.

The AFR project will depend on the FNR GENIUS project on two aspects:

  1. the case study, based on cooperation services dedicated to the construction sector activities. The case study will define within Work Package 5 of GENIUS project. However, the AFR project will include other case studies (as eMobility, Expert Interface, etc.) in order to extend the field of results application;
  2. the language standards, UsiXML, that will be used to automatically generate user interfaces.

All results related to ergonomic criteria, traces analysis and the general model of automatic usability analysis will be published within the AFR project.

For further information or questions, please do not hesitate to contact Vincent Koenig