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Articles 1 - 16 of 16

Full-Text Articles in Computer Engineering

Usability Inspection Methods After 15 Years Of Research And Practice, David G. Novick, Tasha Hollingsed Oct 2007

Usability Inspection Methods After 15 Years Of Research And Practice, David G. Novick, Tasha Hollingsed

Departmental Papers (CS)

Usability inspection methods, such as heuristic evaluation, the cognitive walkthrough, formal usability inspections, and the pluralistic usability walkthrough, were introduced fifteen years ago. Since then, these methods, analyses of their comparative effectiveness, and their use have evolved in different ways. In this paper, we track the fortunes of the methods and analyses, looking at which led to use and to further research, and which led to relative methodological dead ends. Heuristic evaluation and the cognitive walkthrough appear to be the most actively used and researched techniques. The pluralistic walkthrough remains a recognized technique, although not the subject of significant further ...


Toward A More Accurate View Of When And How People Seek Help With Computer Applications, David G. Novick, Edith Elizalde, Nathaniel Bean Oct 2007

Toward A More Accurate View Of When And How People Seek Help With Computer Applications, David G. Novick, Edith Elizalde, Nathaniel Bean

Departmental Papers (CS)

Based on 40 interviews and 11 on-site workplace observations of people using computer applications at work, we confirm that use of printed and on-line help is very low and find that providing greater detail of categories solution methods can present a more realistic picture of users’ behaviors. Observed study participants encountered a usability problem on average about once every 75 minutes and typically spent about a minute looking for a solution. Participants consumed much more time when they were unaware of a direct way of doing something and instead used less effective methods. Comparison of results from different data-collection methods ...


A Computational Model Of Culture-Specific Conversational Behavior, Dusan Jan, David Herrera, Bilyana Martinovski, David G. Novick, David Traum Sep 2007

A Computational Model Of Culture-Specific Conversational Behavior, Dusan Jan, David Herrera, Bilyana Martinovski, David G. Novick, David Traum

Departmental Papers (CS)

This paper presents a model for simulating cultural differences in the conversational behavior of virtual agents. The model provides parameters for differences in proxemics, gaze and overlap in turn taking. We present a review of literature on these factors and show results of a study where native speakers of North American English, Mexican Spanish and Arabic were asked to rate the realism of the simulations generated based on different cultural parameters with respect to their culture.


What Users Say They Want In Documentation, David G. Novick, Karen Ward Oct 2006

What Users Say They Want In Documentation, David G. Novick, Karen Ward

Departmental Papers (CS)

While earlier work provided a partial view of users’ preferences about manuals, for most users in most work contexts the important question remains open: What do users want in documentation? This paper presents the results of a study in which a diverse cross-section of 25 users was interviewed in depth about their needs and preferences with respect to software help systems, whether printed or on-line, that they use at work. The study’s participants indicated that they preferred documentation, whether online or printed, that is easy to navigate, provides explanations at an appropriate level of technical detail, enables finding as ...


Why Don't People Read The Manual?, David G. Novick, Karen Ward Oct 2006

Why Don't People Read The Manual?, David G. Novick, Karen Ward

Departmental Papers (CS)

Few users of computer applications seek help from the documentation. This paper reports the results of an empirical study of why this is so and examines how, in real work, users solve their usability problems. Based on in-depth interviews with 25 subjects representing a varied cross-section of users, we find that users do avoid using both paper and online help systems. Few users have paper manuals for the most heavily used applications, but none complained about their lack. Online help is more likely to be consulted than paper manuals, but users are equally likely to report that they solve their ...


Usability Over Time, Valerie Mendoza, David G. Novick Sep 2005

Usability Over Time, Valerie Mendoza, David G. Novick

Departmental Papers (CS)

Testing of usability could perhaps be more accurately described as testing of learnability. We know more about the problems of novice users than we know of the problems of experienced users. To understand how these problems differ, and to understand how usability problems change as users change from novice to experienced, we conducted a longitudinal study of usability among middle-school teachers creating Web sites. The study looked at the use both the use of documentation and the underlying software, tracking the causes and extent of user frustration over eight weeks. We validated a categorization scheme for frustration episodes. We found ...


Co-Generation Of Text And Graphics, David G. Novick, Brian Lowe Sep 2005

Co-Generation Of Text And Graphics, David G. Novick, Brian Lowe

Departmental Papers (CS)

To reduce potential discrepancies between textual and graphical content in documentation, it is possible to produce both text and graphics from a single common source. One approach to co-generation of text and graphics uses a single logical specification; a second approach starts with CAD-based representation and produces a corresponding textual account. This paper explores these two different approaches, reports the results of using prototypes embodying the approaches to represent simple figures, and discusses issues that were identified through use of the prototypes. While it appears feasible to co-generate text and graphics automatically, the process raises deep issues of design of ...


Root Causes Of Lost Time And User Stress In A Simple Dialog System, Nigel G. Ward, Anais G. Rivera, Karen Ward, David G. Novick Sep 2005

Root Causes Of Lost Time And User Stress In A Simple Dialog System, Nigel G. Ward, Anais G. Rivera, Karen Ward, David G. Novick

Departmental Papers (CS)

As a priority-setting exercise, we compared interactions between users and a simple spoken dialog system to interactions between users and a human operator. We observed usability events, places in which system behavior differed from human behavior, and for each we noted the impact, root causes, and prospects for improvement. We suggest some priority issues for research, involving not only such core areas as speech recognition and synthesis and language understanding and generation, but also less-studied topics such as adaptive or flexible timeouts, turn-taking and speaking rate.


Assessing Effectiveness Of Personality Style In Documentation, Kenneth Sayles, David G. Novick Jan 2004

Assessing Effectiveness Of Personality Style In Documentation, Kenneth Sayles, David G. Novick

Departmental Papers (CS)

This paper extends previous work by other researchers that indicated that users of computers preferred a computer with a personality that was similar to theirs. We conducted a similar experiment, but looking beyond preference to see if the personality of documentation would make a difference in the user’s performance. Our data suggest did not indicate that personality match affects performance; and if such a relationship exists it is likely to be weak. We discuss the related research, describe our methodology, present our results, and describe their implications and limitations.


Post-Training Support For Learning Technology, Sam Snoddy Jr., David G. Novick Jan 2004

Post-Training Support For Learning Technology, Sam Snoddy Jr., David G. Novick

Departmental Papers (CS)

To examine the effects of post-training support, we studied the introduction of new gradebook software in a public high school. The school's 108 faculty members received training on the software, and approximately half of the faculty received posttraining support for eight weeks. The study measured the faculty's current computer usage, usage of earlier versions of the software, and their perceived skill levels in using the software. The data suggest that the faculty members who received post-training support maintained and raised their skill levels, while unsupported faculty had their skill levels decline.


An Interaction Initiative Model For Documentation, David G. Novick, Karen Ward Jan 2003

An Interaction Initiative Model For Documentation, David G. Novick, Karen Ward

Departmental Papers (CS)

In this paper we propose a model of creation and use of documentation based on the concept of mixed-initiative interaction. In our model, successful single-initiative interaction is characterized by grounding of contributions, and successful mixed-initiative interaction is characterized by both grounding and agreement. Just as in spoken conversation, achievement of actual agreement depends on the intentions of both parties; agreement is achieved when the reader follows the documentation’s instructions. In fact, readers are not obligated to—and often do not—act according to the author’s intentions. By making these dynamics explicit, the model can aid authors in developing ...


Hands-Free Documentation, Karen Ward, David G. Novick Jan 2003

Hands-Free Documentation, Karen Ward, David G. Novick

Departmental Papers (CS)

In this paper, we introduce an analysis of the requirements and design choices for hands-free documentation. Hands-busy tasks such as cooking or car repair may require substantial interruption of the task: moving the pan off the burner and wiping hands, or crawling out from underneath the car. We review the need for hands-free documentation and explore the role of task in the use of documentation. Our central analysis examines the roles and characteristics of input and output modalities of hands-free documentation. In particular, we review the use of speech as an input modality, and then visual means and speech as ...


Extending Direct Manipulation In A Text Editor, David G. Novick, Francisco Romero, Edgar Rene Saenz, Armando Sandoval Jan 2002

Extending Direct Manipulation In A Text Editor, David G. Novick, Francisco Romero, Edgar Rene Saenz, Armando Sandoval

Departmental Papers (CS)

This paper describes the implementation of a prototype text editor that incorporates conversation-like features through the direct-manipulation modality. In this way, traditional direct-manipulation interaction techniques such as direct reference via pointing can be extended to include techniques more commonly associated with human conversation, such as negotiation of reference. The paper illustrates the use of the prototype with an extended example, and discusses research issues raised by the implementation.


Accounting For Domain Context In Evaluation, Meriem Chater, David G. Novick Jan 2001

Accounting For Domain Context In Evaluation, Meriem Chater, David G. Novick

Departmental Papers (CS)

Work is situated activity. Taking into account human factors in evaluation involves considering not only users but also their contexts of use. Consequently, the evaluation of systems — from video-games to safetycritical interfaces — requires analysis of context to understand not only the effect of context on usability but also the impact of artifacts' usability on users' environments. In the case of safety-critical systems (SCS), errors (by users or designers) may threaten human lives.
To assess the degree to which interface evaluation methods currently account for context, we have used the research strategy taxonomy of McGrath as a framework for classifying existing ...


Users And Uses Of Synchronous Business Communications Software, David G. Novick, Eleanor Wynn Jan 2001

Users And Uses Of Synchronous Business Communications Software, David G. Novick, Eleanor Wynn

Departmental Papers (CS)

To help designers and authors understand users' intentions and work practices for synchronous business communications in a systematic way, we used ethnographic and task-analytic techniques to collect, analyze and classify evidence of the activities of potential users as they conducted their work lives. The interactions we observed among our users took place through a variety of modalities. We found eight categories of tasks for the collaborative or interactive work in which our subjects engaged. Based on these data, we were able to classify roles of potential users of synchronous business communications software into a set of "archetypes" that characterize their ...


"Conversational" Dialogues In Direct-Manipulation Interfaces, David G. Novick Jan 2001

"Conversational" Dialogues In Direct-Manipulation Interfaces, David G. Novick

Departmental Papers (CS)

This paper reports ongoing research in extending direct-manipulation interfaces by incorporating, via the direct-manipulation modality itself, interaction techniques that add kinds of language features associated with spoken conversation. The paper proposes means of implementing ways for a user of a direct-manipulation system to define new kinds of relations among objects in the interface.