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Scope: All HCIL papers and technical reports records (title, authors, full reference, abstract, TR# and HCIL#). The search is case insensitive and looks for papers and technical reports containing all the words/strings typed.

Search Results for: Physical,Programming,Children (135 matches)

Norooz, L., Mauriello, M., Jorgensen, A., McNally, B., Froehlich, J. (April 2015)
BodyVis: A New Approach to Body Learning Through Wearable Sensing and Visualization
In CHI 2015 Proceedings of the 33rd Annual ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, 1025-1034. DOI: 10.1145/2702123.2702299
HCIL-2015-06

Internal organs are invisible and untouchable, making it difficult for children to learn their size, position, and function. Traditionally, human anatomy (body form) and physiology (body function) are taught using techniques ranging from worksheets to three-dimensional models. We present a new approach called BodyVis, an e-textile shirt that combines biometric sensing and wearable visualizations to reveal otherwise invisible body parts and functions. We describe our 15-month iterative design process including lessons learned through the development of three prototypes using participatory design and two evaluations of the final prototype: a design probe interview with seven elementary school teachers and three singlesession deployments in after-school programs. Our findings have implications for the growing area of wearables and tangibles for learning.


 [Link to Report]

Ahn, J., Clegg, T., Yip, J., Bonsignore, E., Pauw, D., Gubbels, M., Lewittes, C., Rhodes, E.
Seeing the unseen learner: Designing and using social media to recognize children's science dispositions in action
Published in Learning, Media, and Technology. DOI: 10.1080/17439884.2014.964254
HCIL-2014-25

This paper describes the development of ScienceKit, a mobile, social media application to promote children's scientific inquiry. We deployed ScienceKit in Kitchen Chemistry (KC), an informal science program where children learn about scientific inquiry through cooking. By iteratively integrating design and implementation, this study highlights the affordances of social media that facilitate children's trajectories of disposition development in science learning. We illuminate how the technological and curricular design decisions made in ScienceKit and KC constrain or expand the types of data we can collect and the actionable insights about learning we can recognize as both educators and researchers. This study offers suggestions for how information gleaned from social media tools can be employed to strengthen our understanding of learning in practice, and help educators better recognize the rich actions that learners undertake, which may be easily overlooked in face-to-face situations.


 [Link to Report]

Foss, E. (May 2014)
Internet Searching in Children and Adolescents: A longitudinal framework of youth search roles
Ph.D. Dissertation from the College of Information Studies
HCIL-2014-23

The current landscape of literature investigating youth Internet searching focuses mainly on how youth search in classrooms or libraries at a single point in time and highlights problems youth encounter, rather than taking an expansive view of the entire search process. This research uses a framework of searching roles, or patterns of search behavior, to provide a complete picture of how youth behave as searchers in the home environment. The searching behavior of the youth participating in this research is examined by viewing the whole searcher, where search problems are important, but equally important are factors such as affect, context, and the process of search.

This longitudinal study examined participants at ages 7, 9, and 11 in 2008 to 2009 and again at ages 10 to 15 in 2012 to 2013. The searching behaviors displayed during the study's in-home interviews were analyzed according to qualitative methods that evolved throughout the research. Results of the research provide a comprehensive picture of how youth search roles and search behaviors change over time, and through case study analysis of selected participants. The research also provides in-depth description of how individuals change as searchers over time. Additionally provided is agraphic to summarize the main characteristics of search roles in youth searchers. This research concludes with recommendations to adult stakeholders such as teachers, librarians, search engine designers, researchers, and parents to aid in promoting search literacy for youth.


 [Link to Report]

Golub, E. (July 2014)
To point or click, that is the question!
HCIL-2014-21

Student response systems (SRS) have become a common classroom technology, whether as a dedicated device or Internet-based, and an option that I have used for several years. However, laser pointers are also an interesting, though less commonly used /discussed, SRS option [1, 2]. Rather than an indirect system of displaying questions and gathering the student responses through server-based technologies, laser pointers support students (even in large classes) directly pointing at their answer among those presented. While finding that the use of laser pointers provides some interesting new interactions, this case study implies they do lack one strong benefit; a positive impact on attendance and the benefits that improved class attendance can bring to students.

I had taught a large-lecture course, introductory programming course, taken primarily by CS/CE majors, but open to non/potential majors as well, for many years without any SRS before moving to using "clickers" and then to laser pointers. The switch to using laser pointers was done in order to personally explore how the classroom experience might be altered by replacing clickers with them. Questions of pedagogy and practicality both arose. What does the use of laser pointers allow that the typical clicker system does not and what clicker abilities are lost when using laser pointers? What is gained or lost? While laser pointers could prove to be more flexible in terms of dynamic interaction and flow, might students not engage as much due to the removal of the accountability and tracking that clicker systems support?


 [Link to Report]

Lee, T., Mauriello, M., Ahn, J., Bederson, B. (June 2014)
CTArcade: Computational thinking with games in school age children
International Journal of Child-Computer Interaction, ISSN 2212-8689, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijcci.2014.06.003.
HCIL-2014-20

We believe that children as young as ten can directly benefit from opportunities to engage in computational thinking. One approach to provide these opportunities is to focus on social game play. Understanding game play is common across a range of media and ages. Children can begin by solving puzzles on paper, continue on game boards, and ultimately complete their solutions on computers. Through this process, learners can be guided through increasingly complex algorithmic thinking activities that are built from their tacit knowledge and excitement about game play. This paper describes our approach to teaching computational thinking skills without traditional programming-but instead by building on children's existing game playing interest and skills. We built a system called CTArcade, with an initial game (Tic-Tac-Toe), which we evaluated with 18 children aged 10-15. The study shows that our particular approach helped young children to better articulate algorithmic thinking patterns, which were tacitly present when they played naturally on paper, but not explicitly apparent to them until they used the CTArcade interface.


 [Link to Report]

Monroe, M. (June 2014)
Interactive Event Sequence Query and Transformation
Ph.D Dissertation from the Department of Computer Science
HCIL-2014-17

In our burgeoning world of pervasive sensors and affordable data storage, records of timestamped events are being produced across nearly every domain of personal and professional computing. This temporal event data is a fundamental component of electronic health records, process logs, sports analytics, and more. Across all domains, however, are two overarching needs: (1) to understand population-level trends and patterns, and (2) to identify important subsets of individual records.

Visual analytics tools are billed as the solution to both of these problems. A huge volume of work has demonstrated the ability of these tools to facilitate user- guided data exploration and hypothesis generation across a wide range of data types. What is typically ignored however, is the process that takes place between the data collection and this exploration stage, a process frequently referred to as data wrangling. For many data types, wrangling consists mostly of restructuring spreadsheet columns and renaming fields. For temporal event data though, this wrangling process can extend much further|to the data itself|where event patterns must be transformed to better re ect either the real world events that generated them or the perspective of a given study. Without this step, population-level trends can be obscured beyond the point of recognition, and important subsets of records are impossible to discern.

Temporal event data wrangling, however, is deceivingly difficult and error prone even for expert users. Standard, command-based query languages are poorly suited for specifying even the simplest event patterns and, in systems that are not precisely designed for handling temporal constructs, these queries are executed using a series of slow and inefficient self-join operations. Attempts at more accessible query languages frequently omit critical features such as events that occur over a period of time (intervals) or the absence of an event. Perhaps most importantly is that query alone is not enough to get users through a typical temporal event data wrangling process. Event patterns not only need to be found, but also transformed and re-represented. Temporal event wrangling is just as much about revisal as it is about retrieval, and given the ubiquity of this data type, an effective solution on this front has the potential to hugely impact the way that we utilize this data to inform future decisions. An improved query and wrangling process would not only benefit database professionals, but also dramatically increase the range of users who can access this type of data, particularly domain expert medical researchers.

This dissertation demonstrates the ability of the EventFlow visualization tool to extend beyond the typical bounds of data exploration, and serve as a critical aid for both temporal event query and data transformation. I begin by establishing a better understanding of why these two processes are innately error prone, and introduce a simple set of powerful yet usable mechanisms that can help reduce an initial portion of these errors. I then show that by coupling these mechanisms with interactive visualizations, users are able to both identify remaining errors and leverage those errors to construct more accurate queries and transformations. The direct contributions of this dissertation are (1) a graphic-based query capabilities over points, intervals, and absences, (2) an integer programming strategy for processing temporal queries, (3) a Find & Replace system for transforming event sequences, and (4) eight case studies that demonstrate the utility and validity of these approaches. However, this work is designed more broadly to open new avenues of research in how visualization and visual analytics tools can be leveraged for tasks beyond data exploration.


 [Link to Report]

Vitak, J. (May 2014)
Facebook makes the heart grow fonder: Relationship maintenance strategies among geographically dispersed and communication-restricted connections
Proceedings of the 17th ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing (pp. 842-853). New York: ACM. doi: 10.1145/2531602.2531726
HCIL-2014-15

The increasing ubiquity of information and communication technologies has dramatically impacted interpersonal communication and relationship maintenance processes. These technologies remove temporal and spatial constraints, enabling communication at a distance for low to no physical costs. Research has established that technologies such as email supplement other forms of communication in relationship maintenance, but to what extent do newer technologies--which contain a unique set of affordances--facilitate these processes? Furthermore, do SNS users engage in different practices through the site and obtain different relational benefits based on specific characteristics of the tie? Findings from a survey of adult Facebook users (N=415) indicate that geographically distant Facebook Friends, as well as those who rely on the site as their primary form of communication, engage in relationship maintenance strategies through the site to a greater extent and perceive the site to have a more positive impact on the quality of their relationships.


[Link to Report]

McNally, B., Guha, M., Norooz, L., Rhodes, E., Findlater, L. (May 2014)
Incorporating Peephole Interactions into Children's Second Language Learning Activities on Mobile Devices
To appear in Proceedings of IDC 2014, 10 pages.
HCIL-2014-10


[Link to Report]

Rust, K., Malu, M., Anthony, L., Findlater, L. (May 2014)
Understanding Child-Defined Gestures and Children's Mental Models for Touchscreen Tabletop Interaction
To appear in Proceedings of IDC 2014, 4 pages.
HCIL-2014-09


[Link to Report]

Foss, E., Guha, M., Franklin, L., Clegg, T., Findlater, L., Yip, J. (April 2014)
Designing Technology with Students with Learning Differences: Implementing Modified Cooperative Inquiry
HCIL-2014-03

Cooperative Inquiry provides a framework for involving children in the design process of technologies intended for use by children. Traditionally, the Cooperative Inquiry approach has been applied in laboratory settings with typically developing children. To extend Cooperative Inquiry to better suit diverse populations, the authors build on previous work conducted in a classroom with students with learning differences. Four implications for modifying Cooperative Inquiry when working with children with learning differences, drawn from the authors' previous research, were implemented in the current study. The recommendations of (1) informal social time, (2) high adult-to-child ratios, (3) verbal as well as written instructions, and (4) planning for high levels of engagement were used to engage ten boys ages eleven and twelve with diagnoses of learning disabilities, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, autism spectrum disorders, and anxiety disorders. These students and researchers, working as a team, developed an adventure-based computer game while following the modified form of Cooperative Inquiry. The first three recommendations were upheld during the current study, with the fourth not observed as strongly as during the initial work.


 [Link to Report]

Lee, T., Bederson, B. (January 2014)
Give the People What They Want: Studying Non- Programmers Describing End-User Web Programming
HCIL-2014-01

Understanding end-user's needs is a prerequisite for designing End-User Programming (EUP) environments. This paper reports on two qualitative studies that answer the following questions: 1) what do end-users want to improve on the Web; and 2) how do end-users without programming knowledge describe computational tasks? For the first question we asked 35 Web users about their daily activities and problems on the Web, and how they would improve it. As a result of this, we proposed functional requirements of future WebEUP systems that enable end-users to create, modify, and extend extensions with rich design details and interactivity. The second study focused on nonprogrammer's mental models about computational tasks. The interviewer asked 13 non-programmers to describe three programs (drawing a histogram, creating a custom filter, and combining information from multiple web pages). We summarized existing challenges and suggest design implications for building an easy, efficient, and expressive WebEUP system.


 [Link to Report]

Hara, K., Le, V., Sun, J., Jacobs, D., Froehlich, J. (June 2013)
Exploring Early Solutions for Automatically Identifying Inaccessible Sidewalks in the Physical World using Google Street View
HCIL-2013-34


 [Link to Report]

Fails, J., Guha, M., Druin, A. (December 2013)
Methods and Techniques for Involving Children in the Design of New Technology for Children
Published in Foundations and Trends in Human-Computer Interaction, 6(2), 2012, 85-166.
HCIL-2013-23

Children have participated in the design of technologies intended to be used by children with varying degrees of involvement, using diverse methods, and in differing contexts. This participation can be characterized as involving children as users, testers, informants, or design partners. It is only relatively recent that researchers around the world have begun to work more substantively with children to design technologies for children. This monograph synthesizes prior work involving children as informants and design partners, and describes the emergence of participatory design methods and techniques for children. We consider the various roles children have played in the design process, with a focus on those that integrally involve children throughout the process. We summarize and provide a pragmatic foundation for fellow researchers and practitioners to use several methods and techniques for designing technologies with and for children. In this monograph we relate the techniques to the design goals they help fulfill. The monograph concludes with a consideration of working with children in technology design processes as we move into the twenty-first century.


 [Link to Report]

Monroe, M., Deshpande, A. (June 2013)
An Integer Programming Approach to Temporal Pattern Matching Queries
Proc. International Workshop on Spatial and Spatiotemporal Data Mining (SSTDM-13), 1028-1035.
HCIL-2013-16


 [Link to Report]

Foss, E., Druin, A., Guha, M. (May 2013)
Recruiting and Retaining Young Participants: Strategies from Five Years of Field Research
HCIL-2013-05

This paper discusses the challenges inherent in conducting field research with young participants. Based on a series of three studies with children ranging in age from 7-17 as examples, the paper contains descriptions of participant recruitment approaches and challenges. Also included is a discussion of issues surrounding the retention of participants for longitudinal studies, including specific issues for participant retention and loss. Overall, this paper provides detailed experiences of the challenges of large-scale long-term field work with children, and provides guidance for others who are in similar research situations.


 [Link to Report]

Yip, J., Foss, E., Bonsignore, E., Guha, M., Norooz, L., Rhodes, E., McNally, B., Papadatos, P., Golub, E., Druin, A. (March 2013)
Children Initiating and Leading Cooperative Inquiry Sessions
HCIL-2013-03

Cooperative Inquiry is a Participatory Design method that involves children (typically 7-11 years old) as full partners with adults in the design of technologies intended for use by children. For many years, child designers have worked together with adults in Cooperative Inquiry approaches. However, in the past children have not typically initiated the design problems tackled by the intergenerational team, nor have they acted in leadership roles by conducting design sessions– until now. In this paper, we detail three case studies of Cooperative Inquiry in which children led the process of design, from initial problem formulation through one iteration of design review and elaboration. We frame our analysis from three perspectives on the design process: behaviors exhibited by child leaders and their fellow co-designers; supports required for child leaders; and views expressed by child leaders and their co-design cohort about the sessions that they led.


 [Link to Report]

Yip, J., Clegg, T., Bonsignore, E., Gelderblom, H., Rhodes, E., Druin, A. (January 2013)
Brownies or Bags-of-Stuff? Domain Expertise in Cooperative Inquiry with Children
HCIL-2013-02

Researchers often utilize the method of Participatory Design to work together with users to better enhance technology. In particular, Cooperative Inquiry is a method of Participatory Design with children that involves full partnership between researchers and children. One important challenge designers face in creating learning technologies is that these technologies are often situated in specific activities and contexts. While children involved in these activities may have subject expertise (e.g., science inquiry process), they may not have design expertise (e.g., design aesthetics, usability). In contrast, children with design expertise may be familiar with how to design with researchers, but they may not have subject expertise. Little is known about the distinction between child design and subject experts in Cooperative Inquiry. In this paper, we examine two cases -- involving children with design expertise and those with subject expertise -- to better understand the design process for both groups of children. The data from this study suggests that similarities do exist between the two cases, but that design and subject knowledge does play a significant role in how children co-design learning technologies.


 [Link to Report]

Foss, E., Guha, M., Papadatos, P., Clegg, T., Yip, J., Walsh, G. (December 2012)
Cooperative Inquiry Design Techniques in a Classroom of Children with Special Learning Needs
HCIL-2012-35

Cooperative Inquiry is a method of developing technology in which children and adults are partners in the design process. Cooperative Inquiry is used to empower children in the design of their own technology and to design technology that is specific to children’s needs and wants. As Cooperative Inquiry is continually evolving and expanding, we need to consider how researchers can extend this inclusive design approach to working with populations of children with developmental, behavioral, or learning disabilities. In a semester-long case study, we explored the use of Cooperative Inquiry techniques in a classroom setting with middle school age boys with special learning needs, including mild to moderate autism, dyslexia, and attention deficits. The participating class of 10 boys ages 11-12 designed a browser-based computer game using Cooperative Inquiry techniques over the course of seven design sessions. Findings include that Cooperative Inquiry techniques require few modifications for use by the population of children with special learning needs. The recommendations to employ Cooperative Inquiry in a special education classroom include modifications to session structure and planning, adding informal time during the sessions, maintaining a high adult-to child ratio, giving instructions using many modalities, and planning for high engagement. Through this work, we believe that Cooperative Inquiry’s applicability is broadened to a new population in a classroom setting, and can be used to design more effective technologies for populations of children with special leaning needs in the future.


 [Link to Report]

Clegg, T., Bonsignore, E., Yip, J., Gelderblom, H., Kuhn, A., Valenstein, T., Lewittes, C., Druin, A. (January 2012)
Technology for Promoting Scientific Practice and Personal Meaning in Life-Relevant Learning
In Proceedings of Interaction Design and Children (2012) Bremen, Germany.
HCIL-2012-33

Children often report that school science is boring and abstract. For this reason, we have developed Life-relevant Learning (LRL) environments to help learners understand the relevance that scientific thinking, processes, and experimentation can have in their everyday lives. In this paper, we detail findings that aim to increase our understanding of the ways in which technology can support learners' scientific practice and their personal meaning in LRL through the integration of two mobile apps into an LRL environment. Our analysis of the artifacts created in these systems show that technology must strike a balance between structured scaffolds and flexible personal design to support learners’ scientifically meaningful experiences. Our data suggests that integration of media forms and mobile technology can provide creative ways for learners to express their scientific thinking, make artifacts of their personally meaningful experiences, and individualize artifacts in scientifically meaningful ways.


 [Link to Report]

Walsh, G. (November 2012)
Enabling Geographically Distributed, Intergenerational, Co-operative Design
Ph.D Dissertation from the College of Information Studies
HCIL-2012-32

As more children’s technologies are designed to be used with a global audience, new technologies need to be created to include more children’s voices in the design process. However, working with those who that are geographically distributed as design partners is difficult because existing technologies do not support this process, do not enable distributed design, or are not child-friendly. In this dissertation, I take a research-through-design approach to develop an online environment that enables geographically distributed, intergenerational co-operative design.

I began my research with participant-observations of in-person, co-located intergeneration co-operative design sessions that used Cooperative Inquiry techniques at the University of Maryland. I then analyzed those observations, determined a framework that occurs during in-person design sessions and developed a prototype online design environment based on that scaffolding.

With the initial prototype deployed to a geographic distributed, intergenerational co-design team, I employed Cooperative Inquiry to design new children’s technologies with children. I iteratively developed the prototype environment over eight weeks to better support geographically distributed co-design. Adults and children participated in these design sessions and there was no significant difference between the children and adults in the number of design sessions in which they chose to participate.

After the design research on the prototype was complete, I interviewed the child participants who were in the online intergenerational design team to better understand their experiences. During the interviews, I found that the child participants had strong expectations of social interaction within the online design environment and were frustrated by the lack of seeing other participants online at the same time. In order to alleviate this problem, five of the participants involved their families in some way in the design process and created small, remote intergenerational design teams to compensate for the perceived shortcomings of the online environment.

I compared Online Kidsteam with in-person Kidsteam to evaluate if the online environment was successful in supporting geographically-distributed, intergeneration co-design. I found that although it was not the same in terms of the social aspects of in-person Kidsteam, it was successful in its ability to include more people in the design process.


 [Link to Report]

Guha, M., Druin, A., Fails, J. (October 2012)
The Social and Cognitive Experiences of Child Design Partners
To be published
HCIL-2012-31

Many researchers have explored the effects of involving children in the technology design processes on the resulting technology; however few have investigated the impact that this design process participation might have on the child design partners themselves. Using a case study method, we explored the social and cognitive experiences of children involved in a Cooperative Inquiry technology design process in partnership with adults over a one year period. Findings indicated that children involved in the technology design process in partnership with adults had social and cognitive experiences in the areas of relationships, enjoyment, confidence, communication, collaboration, skills, and content.


 [Link to Report]

Walsh, G., Foss, E., Yip, J., Druin, A. (September 2012)
Octoract: An Eight-Dimensional Framework for Intergenerational Participatory Design Techniques
HCIL-2012-24

In this paper, we present a framework that describes commonly used design techniques for Participatory Design with children. Although there are many currently used techniques for designing with children, researchers working in differing contexts and in a changing technological landscape find themselves facing difficult design situations. The Octoract framework presented in this paper can aid in choosing existing design techniques or in developing new techniques regardless of the stage in the design cycle, the technology being developed, or philosophical approach to design method. The framework consists of eight dimensions, concerning the design partners, the design goal, and the design technique. The partner dimensions are design experience of the participant and partner ability. The design goal dimensions are design space and maturity of design. The technique dimensions include: cost, mobility of technique, and technology level. Two cases will be presented which describe new techniques and two case of an existing technique.


 [Link to Report]

Lee, T., Mauriello, M., Ahn, J., Bederson, B. (September 2012)
CTArcade: Computational Thinking with Games in School Age Children
HCIL-2012-22

We believe that children as young as ten can directly benefit from opportunities to engage in computational thinking. One approach to provide these opportunities is to focus on social game play. Understanding game play is common across a range of media and ages. Children can begin by solving puzzles on paper, continue on game boards, and ultimately complete their solutions on computers. Through this process, learners can be guided through increasingly complex algorithmic thinking activities that are built from their tacit knowledge and excitement about game play. This paper describes our approach to teaching computational thinking skills without traditional programming - but instead by building on children’s existing game playing interest and skills. We built a system called CTArcade, with an initial game (Tic-Tac-Toe), which we evaluated with 18 children aged 10-15. The study shows that our particular approach helped young children to better draw out and articulate algorithmic thinking patterns, which were tacitly present when they played naturally on paper, but not explicitly apparent to them until they used the CTArcade interface.


 [Link to Report]

Guha, M., Druin, A., Fails, J. (September 2012)
Cooperative Inquiry Revisited: Reflections of the Past and Guidelines for the Future of Intergenerational Co-design
Published in: International Journal of Child-Computer Interaction (2012), doi: 10.1016/j.ijcci.2012.08.003
HCIL-2012-20

Since its creation, the Cooperative Inquiry method of designing technology with and for children has been refined, expanded, and sometimes questioned. Cooperative Inquiry has been adopted and used widely throughout the world and continues to evolve and grow to meet current needs. This paper examines the origins of Cooperative Inquiry, discusses how it has changed since its original inception, and clarifies the intent of its techniques. This paper concludes by presenting how Cooperative Inquiry can support designing with and for today's international, independent, interactive, and information active children in the context of the developing world, mobile computing, social computing, and the ubiquity of search.


 [Link to Report]

Foss, E., Hutchinson, H., Druin, A., Yip, J., Ford, W., Golub, E. (September 2012)
Adolescent Search Roles
HCIL-2012-19

In this paper, we present an in-home observation and in context research study investigating how 38 adolescents aged 14-17 search on the Internet. We present the search trends adolescents display and develop a framework of search roles that these trends help define. We compare these trends and roles to similar trends and roles found in prior work with children ages 7, 9, and 11. We use these comparisons to make recommendations to adult stakeholders such as researchers, designers, and information literacy educators about the best ways to design search tools for children and adolescents, as well as how to use the framework of searching roles to find better methods of educating youth searchers. Major findings include the seven roles of adolescent searchers, as well as that adolescents are social in their computer use, have a greater knowledge of sources than younger children, and that adolescents are less frustrated by searching tasks than younger children.


 [Link to Report]

Yip, J., Foss, E., Guha, M. (September 2012)
Co-Designing with Adolescents
HCIL-2012-18

For many years, researchers at the Human-Computer Interaction Lab (HCIL) have partnered with children ages 7-11 in designing technology through Cooperative Inquiry. In this paper, we present two cases in which we have worked with adolescents as designers using both a modified form of Cooperative Inquiry and design-focused interview techniques. We find that adolescents can participate as design partners given modifications to Cooperative Inquiry design techniques. However, designing with adolescents can present challenges in terms of logistics, communications, relationships, and power structures.


 [Link to Report]

Yip, J., Clegg, T., Bonsignore, E., Lewittes, C., Guha, M., Druin, A., Gelderblom, H. (November 2011)
Kitchen Chemistry: Supporting Learners' Decisions in Science
In Proceedings of the 9th International Conference of Learning Sciences (2012) Sydney, Australia.
HCIL-2011-35

Students often find science to be disconnected from their everyday lives. One reason for this disengagement is that learners are often not given the chance to choose how to pursue their personal goals using science reasoning. Therefore, we are creating science programs that emphasize life-relevant learning - the ability to engage science learners in the context of achieving their own goals. We developed Kitchen Chemistry to engage and support children in the design of their own personal investigations. In this paper, we use a case study analysis to examine three groups of learners in Kitchen Chemistry. We analyze the decisions that learners make, how learners make these decisions, and the supports needed to make informed choices. We examine how the use of semi-structured activities, whole group discussions, adult facilitation, and mobile technologies interact and support learners in their decision-making practices.


 [Link to Report]

Foss, E., Hutchinson, H., Druin, A., Brewer, R., Lo, P., Sanchez, L., Golub, E.
Children’s Search Roles at Home: Implications for Designers, Researchers, Educators, and Parents
HCIL-2011-23

This paper presents the results of a large-scale, qualitative study conducted in the homes of children aged 7, 9, and 11 investigating Internet searching processes on Google. Seven search roles, representing distinct behavior patterns displayed by children when interacting with the Google search engine are described, including Developing Searchers, Domain-specific Searchers, Power Searchers, Non-motivated Searchers, Distracted Searchers, Rule-bound Searchers, and Visual Searchers. Other trends are described and selected to present a view of the whole child searcher. These roles and trends are used to make recommendations to designers, researchers, educators, and parents about the directions to take when considering how to best aid children to become search literate.


 [Link to Report]

Guha, M., Druin, A., Fails, J. (Feburary 2011)
How Children Can Design the Future
Published at HCII 2011.
HCIL-2011-04

Over the past 15 years, children have become more integrally involved in the design of their technology. In this paper, we present the idea that design partnering methods, specifically Cooperative Inquiry, used for designing technology with children can and should now be extended into informal and formal educational settings.


 [Link to Report]

Bonsignore, E. (February 2010)
The Use of StoryKit: Design Implications for Intergenerational Mobile Storytelling
HCIL-2010-31

Today’s mobile devices are natively equipped with multimedia means for families to capture and share their daily experiences. However, designing authoring tools that effectively integrate the discrete media-capture components of mobile devices to enable rich expression remains a challenge. This paper details the observed use of StoryKit, a mobile application that integrates multimodal media-capture tools to support the creation of multimedia stories on an iPhone/iPod Touch. The primary objectives of this study were to explore the ways in which applications like StoryKit enable families to create and share stories; and to investigate how the created stories themselves might inform the design of and learning potential for mobile storytelling applications. Its results suggest that StoryKit’s relatively simple but well-integrated interface enables the creation of vibrant, varied narratives. Further, its portability supported the complementary coconstruction and spontaneous, playful capture of stories by children and their trusted adults.


 [Link to Report]

Guha, M. (July 2010)
Understanding the Social and Cognitive Experiences of Children Involved in Technology Design Processes
HCIL-2010-29

Technology has become ubiquitous not only in the lives of adults, but also in the lives of children. For every technology, there is a process by which it is designed. In many cases, children are involved in these design processes. This study examined the social and cognitive experiences of children who were integrally involved in a technology design process in partnership with adults. This research study employed a Vygotskian lens with a case study research method, to understand the cognitive and social experiences of child technology design partners over a one-year period of design and partnership. Artifact analysis, participant observation, and interviews were used to collect and analyze data. Results from this study demonstrated that children involved in technology design process in partnership with adults experienced social and cognitive experiences which fall into the areas of relationships, enjoyment, confidence, communication, collaboration, skills, and content.


 [Link to Report]

Elsayed, T., Ture, F., Lin, J. (October 2010)
Brute-Force Approaches to Batch Retrieval: Scalable Indexing with MapReduce, or Why Bother?
HCIL-2010-23

Modern information retrieval research has evolved a standard workflow that involves first indexing a document collection and then running ad hoc queries sequentially to evaluate retrieval effectiveness using standard test collections. This paper explores how aspects of this workflow might change in a MapReduce cluster-based environment. First, we present and evaluate two algorithms for inverted indexing that take advantage of the programming model's sorting mechanism to different extents. The running times of both algorithms scale linearly in terms of collection size up to 102 million web pages. Second, we show that it is possible to efficiently perform batch query evaluation with MapReduce by scanning all postings lists in parallel, as opposed to sequentially accessing each postings list. Third, we explore an approach that forgoes inverted indexing altogether and simply computes all query-document scores from document vectors themselves. Experimental results challenge us to think differently about previous assumptions in information retrieval, and show that brute force approaches are surprisingly compelling under certain circumstances: parallel scan of postings can effectively take advantage of large clusters and parallel scan of documents fits naturally with ranking functions that use document-level features.


 [Link to Report]

Hu, C., Bederson, B., Resnik, P. (September 2010)
MonoTrans2: An Asynchronous Human Computation System to Support Monolingual Translation
HCIL-2010-21

In this paper, we present MonoTrans2, a new user interface to support monolingual translation; that is, translation by people who speak only the source language or only the target language, but not both. Previous systems built to support monolingual translation have assumed a synchronous translation process, which it turns out not necessary. In an experiment translating children's books, we show that MonoTrans2 is able to substantially close the gap between machine translation and human bilingual translations. These results show that speakers of both languages do not have to interact in real time to translate collaboratively.


 [Link to Report]

Guha, M., Druin, A., Fails, J. (April 2010)
Investigating the Impact of Design Processes on Children
In press, IDC 2010, Barcelona, Spain
HCIL-2010-03

While there is a wealth of information about children’s technology and the design processes used to create it, there is a dearth of information regarding how the children who participate in these design processes may be affected by their participation. In this paper, we motivate why studying this impact is important and look at the foundation provided by past research that touches on this topic. We conclude by briefly proposing methods appropriate for studying the impact of the design process on the children involved.


 [Link to Report]

Fails, J., Druin, A., Guha, M. (April 2010)
Mobile Collaboration: Collaboratively Reading and Creating Children’s Stories on Mobile Devices
In press, IDC 2010, Barcelona, Spain
HCIL-2010-02

This paper discusses design iterations of Mobile Stories – a mobile technology that empowers children to collaboratively read and create stories. We present the design and discuss the impact of different collocated collaborative configurations for mobile devices including: content splitting and space sharing. We share design experiences that illustrate how Mobile Stories supports collaboration and mobility, and identify how the collocated collaborative configurations are best suited for reading and sharing tasks. We also identify how creative tasks foster more mobility and dynamic interactions between collaborators.


 [Link to Report]

Fails, J. (August 2009)
MOBILE COLLABORATION FOR YOUNG CHILDREN: READING AND CREATING STORIES
HCIL-2009-34

Within the last decade, mobile devices have become an integral part of society, at home or work, in industrialized and developing countries. For children, these devices have primarily been geared towards communication, information consumption, or individual creative purposes. Prior research indicates social interaction and collaboration are essential to the social and cognitive development of young children. This dissertation research focuses on supporting collaboration among mobile users, specifically children ages 6 to 10 while collaboratively reading and creating stories. I developed Mobile Stories, a novel software system for the Windows Mobile platform that supports collaborative story experiences, with special attention to two collocated collaboration experiences: content splitting and space sharing. Content splitting is where interface parts (e.g. words, pictures) are split between two or more devices. Space sharing is where the same content (e.g. a document) is spread or shared across devices. These collocated collaborative configurations help address mobile devices’ primary limitation: a small screen.

The three research questions addressed are: how does Mobile Stories affect children’s collaboration and mobility, what are some appropriate interfaces for collocated mobile collaboration with children, and when are the developed interfaces preferred and why. Mobile Stories was designed and develop using the Cooperative Inquiry design method. Formative studies furthered the design process, and gave insight as to how these collaborative interfaces might be used. A formal, mixed method study was conducted to investigate the relative advantages for each of the collocated collaborative interfaces, as well as to explore mobility and collaboration.

The results of the formal study show children were more mobile while creating stories than when reading and sharing them. As for task effectiveness, children read more pages when they were closer, and created more pages when they were further apart and more mobile. Children were closer together when they read using the content split configuration. While creating their stories, children rarely used the collocated collaborative configurations and used verbal collaboration instead. Several indicators pointed to relative advantages of the split content configuration over the share space configuration; however, the advantages of each are discussed.


 [Link to Report]

Druin, A., Foss, E., Hutchinson, H., Golub, E., Hatley, L. (December 2009)
Children's Roles using Keyword Search Interfaces at Home
New York Times Article:
HCIL-2009-33

Children want to find information about their world, but there are barriers to finding what they seek. Young people have varying abilities to formulate complex queries and comprehend search results. Challenges in understanding where to type, confusion about what tools are available, and frustration with how to parse the results page all have led to a lack of perceived search success for children 7-11 years old. In this paper, we describe seven search roles children display as information seekers using Internet keyword interfaces, based on a home study of 83 children ages 7, 9, and 11. These roles are defined not only by the children’s search actions, but also by who influences their searching, their perceived success, and trends in age and gender. These roles suggest a need for new interfaces that expand the notion of keywords, scaffold results, and develop a search culture among children.


 [Link to Report]

Walsh, G., Druin, A., Guha, M., Foss, E., Golub, E., Hatley, L., Bonsignore, E., Franckel, S. (October 2009)
Layered Elaboration: A New Technique for Co-Design with Children
HCIL-2009-29

As technology for children becomes more mobile, social, and distributed, our design methods and techniques must evolve to better explore these new directions. This paper reports on “Layered Elaboration,” a co-design technique developed over the past year. Layered Elaboration allows design teams to generate ideas through an iterative process in which each version leaves prior ideas intact while extending concepts. Layered Elaboration is a useful technique as it enables co-design to take place asynchronously and does not require much space or many resources. Our intergenerational team used the technique to design a prototype of an instructional game about energy conservation


 [Link to Report]

Quinn, A., Bederson, B., Bonsignore, E., Druin, A. (October 2009)
StoryKit: Designing a Mobile Application for Story Creation By Children And Older Adults
HCIL-2009-22

As the capabilities of smartphones and similar mobile devices advance, opportunities increase to use them for meaningful creative tasks. Incorporating text, images, and sounds in documents is commonplace when using desktop office or graphics software. However, multimedia authoring interfaces for mobile devices remain undeveloped. Working with a participatory design group composed of children, older adults, and researchers, we developed StoryKit, an iPhone application for creating and sharing audio-visual stories on an iPhone. Our initial goal was to support children making stories together with older adults as a form of informal learning. To that end, it lets users create books on the touchscreen device by arranging their text, photos, drawings, and sounds on pages, and then sharing them via e-mail and the web. The design of StoryKit uncovered solutions to several general interface challenges that affect a wide range of mobile authoring applications. Thus, we think elements of the StoryKit interaction design may serve as a starting point for developers of mobile document authoring applications.


 [Link to Report]

Bonsignore, E., Dunne, C., Rotman, D., Smith, M., Capone, T., Hansen, D., Shneiderman, B. (August 2009)
First steps to NetViz Nirvana: Evaluating social network analysis with NodeXL
In SIN '09: Proc. International Symposium on Social Intelligence and Networking. IEEE Computer Society Press.
HCIL-2009-19

Social Network Analysis (SNA) has evolved as a popular, standard method for modeling meaningful, often hidden structural relationships in communities. Existing SNA tools often involve extensive pre-processing or intensive programming skills that can challenge practitioners and students alike. NodeXL, an open-source template for Microsoft Excel, integrates a library of common network metrics and graph layout algorithms within the familiar spreadsheet format, offering a potentially low-barrierto- entry framework for teaching and learning SNA. We present the preliminary findings of 2 user studies of 21 graduate students who engaged in SNA using NodeXL. The majority of students, while information professionals, had little technical background or experience with SNA techniques. Six of the participants had more technical backgrounds and were chosen specifically for their experience with graph drawing and information visualization. Our primary objectives were (1) to evaluate NodeXL as an SNA tool for a broad base of users and (2) to explore methods for teaching SNA. Our complementary dual case-study format demonstrates the usability of NodeXL for a diverse set of users, and significantly, the power of a tightly integrated metrics/visualization tool to spark insight and facilitate sensemaking for students of SNA.


 [Link to Report]

Bederson, B., Quinn, A., Druin, A. (May 2009)
Designing the Reading Experience for Scanned Multi-lingual Picture Books on Mobile Phones
HCIL-2009-16

This paper reports on an adaption of the existing PopoutText and ClearText display techniques to mobile phones. It explains the design rationale for a freely available iPhone application to read books from the International Children’s Digital Library. Through a combination of applied image processing, a zoomable user interface, and a process of working with children to develop the detailed design, we present an interface that supports clear reading of scanned picture books in multiple languages on a mobile phone.


 [Link to Report]

Druin, A., Bederson, B., Quinn, A. (May 2009)
Designing Intergenerational Mobile Storytelling
HCIL-2009-15

Informal educational experiences with grandparents and other older adults can be an important component of children?s education, especially in circumstances where high quality educational services and facilities are not readily available. Mobile devices offer unique capabilities to support such interactions. We report on an ongoing participatory design project with an intergenerational design group to create mobile applications for reading and editing books, or even creating all new stories on an Apple iPhone.


 [Link to Report]

Bederson, B., Quinn, A., Druin, A. (March 2009)
Designing the Reading Experience for Scanned Multi-lingual Picture Books on Mobile Phones
Published as:
Bederson, B.B., Quinn, A., Druin, A. (2009) Designing the Reading Experience for Scanned Multi-lingual Picture Books on Mobile Phones. In Proceedings of the Joint Conference on Digital Libraries (JCDL 2009), Short Paper, ACM Press, New York, NY, 305-308.
HCIL-2009-06

This paper reports on an adaption of the existing PopoutText and ClearText display techniques to mobile phones. It explains the design rationale for a freely available iPhone application to read books from the International Children’s Digital Library. Through a combination of applied image processing, a zoomable user interface, and a process of working with children to develop the detailed design, we present an interface that supports clear reading of scanned picture books in multiple languages on a mobile phone.


 [Link to Report]

Chen, R., Rose, A., Bederson, B. (March 2009)
How People Read Books Online: Mining and Visualizing Web Logs for Use Information
HCIL-2009-05

This paper explores how people read books online. Instead of observing individuals, we analyze usage of an online digital library of children’s books (the International Children’s Digital Library). We go beyond typical webpage-centric analysis to focus on book reading in an attempt to understand how people read books from websites. We propose a definition of reading a book (in comparison to others who visit the website), and report a number of observations about the use of the library in question.


 [Link to Report]

Druin, A., Foss, E., Hatley, L., Golub, E., Guha, M., Fails, J., Hutchinson, H. (February 2009)
How Children Search the Internet with Keyword Interfaces
HCIL-2009-04

Children are among the most frequent users of the Internet, yet searching and browsing the web can present many challenges. Studies over the past two decades on how children search were conducted with finite and pre-determined content found in CD-ROM applications, online digital libraries, and web directories. However, with the current popularity of the open Internet and keyword-based interfaces for searching it, more critical analysis of the challenges children face today is needed. This paper presents the findings of our initial study to understand how children ages 7, 9, and 11 search the Internet using keyword interfaces in the home. Our research has revealed that although today’s children have been exposed to computers for most of their lives, spelling, typing, query formulation, and deciphering results are all still potential barriers to finding the information they need.


 [Link to Report]

Tarkan, S., Sazawal, V., Druin, A., Foss, E., Golub, E., Hatley, L., Khatri, T., Massey, S., Walsh, G., Torres, G. (January 2009)
Designing a Novice Programming Environment with Children
HCIL-2009-03

When children learn how to program, they gain problem- solving skills useful to them all throughout life. How can we attract more children in K-8 to learn about program- ming and be excited about it? To answer this question, we worked with a group of children aged 7-12 as our design partners. By partnering with the children, we were able to discover approaches to the topic that might appeal to our target audience. Using the children's input from one design partnering session, we designed a prototype tangible pro- gramming experience based upon the theme of cooking. The children evaluated this prototype and gave us additional de- sign ideas in a second session. We plan to use the children's design ideas to guide our future work.


 [Link to Report]

Druin, A., Bederson, B., Rose, A., Weeks, A. (January 2009)
From New Zealand to Mongolia: Co-Designing and Deploying a Digital Library for the World’s Children
This article in currently "In Press" and will be published in a special issue of: Children, Youth and Environments (http://www.colorado.edu/journals/cye/): Children in Technological Environments: Interaction, Development, and Design, Editors: N.G. Freier & P. H. Kahn
HCIL-2009-02

The Internet has led to an explosion of users throughout the world. Low-cost computing options are now emerging for developing countries that are changing the world’s educational landscape. Given these conditions, there is a critical need to understand the obstacles and opportunities in designing and deploying technologies for children worldwide. This paper discusses seven years of strategies and methods learned in co-designing and deploying the International Children’s Digital Library (www.childrenslibrary.org) with children in multiple countries. Our experience with iterative international co-design, and developing world deployment shows that acquiring site-specific knowledge is critical to adapting methods needed to be successful. In the case of co-design, a combination of face-to-face and email collaboration is important to building on-going partnership relationships. With deployment activities, it is important to be prepared for the unexpected – managing complex technologies in rural settings is very difficult. Therefore, the more site-specific knowledge that can be acquired the more likely there will be a successful outcome.


 [Link to Report]

Lin, J., Bahety, A., Konda, S., Mahindrakar, S. (January 2009)
Low-Latency, High-Throughput Access to Static Global Resources within the Hadoop Framework
HCIL-2009-01

Hadoop is an open source implementation of Google's MapReduce programming model that has recently gained popularity as a practical approach to distributed information processing. This work explores the use of memcached, an open-source distributed in-memory object caching system, to provide low-latency, high-throughput access to static global resources in Hadoop. Such a capability is essential to a large class of MapReduce algorithms that require, for example, querying language model probabilities, accessing model parameters in iterative algorithms, or performing joins across relational datasets. Experimental results on a simple demonstration application illustrate that memcached provides a feasible general-purpose solution for rapidly accessing global key-value pairs from within Hadoop programs. Our proposed architecture exhibits the desirable scaling characteristic of linear increase in throughput with respect to cluster size. To our knowledge, this application of memcached in Hadoop is novel. Although considerable opportunities for increased performance remain, this work enables implementation of algorithms that do not have satisfactory solutions at scale today.


 [Link to Report]

Hutchinson, H., Druin, A., Bederson, B. (November 2008)
Supporting Elementary-Age Children’s Searching and Browsing: Design and Evaluation Using the International Children’s Digital Library
Published as:
Hutchinson, H., Bederson, B.B., Druin, A., (2007) Supporting Elementary-Age Children's Searching and Browsing: Design and Evaluation Using the International Children's Digital Library, Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, John Wiley & Sons, 58 (11), 1618-1630.
HCIL-2008-31

Elementary-age children (ages 6-11) are among the largest user groups of computers and the Internet. Therefore, it is important to design searching and browsing tools that support them. However, many interfaces for children do not consider their skills and preferences. Children are capable of creating Boolean queries using category browsers, but have difficulty with the hierarchies used in many category browsing interfaces because different branches of the hierarchy must be navigated sequentially and top-level categories are often too abstract for them to understand. Based on previous research, we believed using a flat category structure, where only leaf-level categories are available and can be viewed simultaneously, might better support children. However, this design introduces many more items on the screen and the need for paging or scrolling, all potential usability problems. To evaluate these tradeoffs, we conducted two studies with children searching and browsing using two types of category browsers in the International Children’s Digital Library. Our results suggest that a flat, simultaneous interface provides advantages over a hierarchical, sequential interface for children in both Boolean searching and casual browsing. These results add to our understanding of children’s searching and browsing skills and preferences and also suggest guidelines for other children’s interface designers.


 [Link to Report]

Lin, J. (July 2008)
Scalable Language Processing Algorithms for the Masses: A Case Study in Computing Word Co-occurrence Matrices with MapReduce
Proceedings of the 2008 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP 2008), pages 419-428, October 2008, Honolulu, Hawaii.
HCIL-2008-28

This paper explores the challenge of scaling up language processing algorithms to increasingly large datasets. While cluster computing has been available in industrial environments for several years, academic researchers have fallen behind in their ability to work on large datasets. We discuss two challenges contributing to this problem: lack of a suitable programming model for managing concurrency and difficulty in obtaining access to hardware. Hadoop, an open-source implementation of Google’s MapReduce framework, provides a compelling solution to both issues. Its simple programming model hides systemlevel details from the developer, and its ability to run on commodity hardware puts cluster computing within reach of many academic research groups. This paper illustrates these points with a case study on building word cooccurrence matrices from large corpora. We conclude with an analysis of an alternative computing model based on renting instead of buying computer clusters.


 [Link to Report]

Guha, M., Druin, A., Fails, J. (May 2008)
Designing with and for children with special needs: An inclusionary model
To appear in Interaction Design and Children, June 2008.
HCIL-2008-20

In order to design for children with special needs, we need to design with children with special needs. The inclusionary model proposed in this paper suggests that appropriate involvement of children with special needs in the design process begins with the level of involvement a team expects from children, and is additionally influenced by the nature and severity of the child’s disability and the availability and intensity of support available to the child.


 [Link to Report]

Liao, C., Guimbretière, F., Anderson, R., Linnell, N., Prince, C., Razmov, V. (May 2008)
PaperCP: Exploring the Integration of Physical and Digital Affordances for Active Learning
Proceedings of INTERACT 07, pp 15 - 28.
HCIL-2008-18

Active Learning in the classroom domain presents an interesting case for integrating physical and digital affordances. Traditional physical handouts and transparencies are giving way to new digital slides and PCs, but the fully digital systems still lag behind the physical artifacts in many aspects such as readability and tangibility. To better understand the interplay between physical and digital affordances in this domain, we developed PaperCP, a paper-based interface for a Tablet PC-based classroom interaction system (Classroom Presenter), and deployed it in an actual university course. This paper reports on an exploratory experiment studying the use of the system in a real-world scenario. The experiment confirms the feasibility of the paper interface in supporting student-instructor communication for Active Learning. We also discuss the challenges associated with creating a physical interface such as print layout, the use of pen gestures, and logistical issues.


 [Link to Report]

Liao, C., Guimbretière, F., Hinckley, K., Hollan, J. (May 2008)
PapierCraft: A Gesture-Based Command System for Interactive Paper
ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction (TOCHI) archive,Volume 14 , Issue 4 (January 2008)
HCIL-2008-16

Paper persists as an integral component of active reading and other knowledge-worker tasks because it provides ease of use unmatched by digital alternatives. Paper documents are light to carry, easy to annotate, rapid to navigate, flexible to manipulate, and robust to use in varied environments. Interactions with paper documents create rich webs of annotation, cross reference, and spatial organization. Unfortunately, the resulting webs are confined to the physical world of paper and, as they accumulate, become increasingly difficult to store, search, and access. XLibris [Schilit, et al., 1998] and similar systems address these difficulties by simulating paper with tablet PCs. While this approach is promising, it suffers not only from limitations of current tablet computers (e.g., limited screen space) but also from loss of invaluable paper affordances. In this paper, we describe PapierCraft, a gesture-based command system that allows users to manipulate digital documents using paper printouts as proxies. Using an Anoto [Anoto, 2002] digital pen, users can draw command gestures on paper to tag a paragraph, email a selected area, copy selections to a notepad, or create links to related documents. Upon pen synchronization, PapierCraft executes the commands and presents the results in a digital document viewer. Users can then search the tagged information and navigate the web of annotated digital documents resulting from interactions with the paper proxies. PapierCraft also supports real time interactions across mix-media, for example, letting users copy information from paper to a Tablet PC screen. This paper presents the design and implementation of the PapierCraft system and describes user feedback from initial use.


 [Link to Report]

Quinn, A., Hu, C., Arisaka, T., Rose, A., Bederson, B. (May 2008)
Readability of Scanned Books in Digital Libraries
Proceeding of the Twenty-Sixth Annual SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (Florence, Italy, April 05 - 10, 2008). CHI '08. ACM, New York, NY, 705-714.
HCIL-2008-15

Displaying scanned book pages in a web browser is difficult, due to an array of characteristics of the common user’s configuration that compound to yield text that is degraded and illegibly small. For books which contain only text, this can often be solved by using OCR or manual transcription to extract and present the text alone, or by magnifying the page and presenting it in a scrolling panel. Books with rich illustrations, especially children’s picture books, present a greater challenge because their enjoyment is dependent on reading the text in the context of the full page with its illustrations. We have created two novel prototypes for solving this problem by magnifying just the text, without magnifying the entire page. We present the results of a user study of these techniques. Users found our prototypes to be more effective than the dominant interface type for reading this kind of material and, in some cases, even preferable to the physical book itself.


 [Link to Report]

Golub, E., Druin, A., Komlodi, A., Resnik, P., Preece, J., Fails, J., Hou, W., Barin, T., Clamage, A. (May 2008)
Exploring Cross-Language Communication for Children via a Word Guessing Game
HCIL-2008-14

Techniques and tools exist to allow children to create and share stories. However, challenges can arise when attempting to share stories across languages and cultures. In this paper we explore a novel approach to crosslanguage communication. Rather than work with natural language translation tools, we successfully explored the use of images in attempting to communicate a concept across the language barrier, and be able to confirm that the concept has been properly understood. Our initial exploration is framed within the context of a word guessing game, and shows that such an image-based exchange can allow cross-language communication.


 [Link to Report]

Druin, A. (April 2008)
Designing Online Interactions: What Kids Want and What Designers Know
Interactions Magazine, May/June 2008.
HCIL-2008-12

This article discusses what kids want, and what designers know about online interactions. This article compares the capabilities of Webkinz with the lessons learned from my own team experiences. Over the last three years, our team at the University of Maryland has developed an online community for children that supports their use of books and sharing stories. In addition, we have spent time in our lab with children and Webkinz, watching the interaction patterns between children and between technology and children. Given these research experiences, I suggest children want: control, to collect (stuff), a relationship with characters in many forms, to be creators not just consumers, and stories. I also suggest that designers know: how much time kids can be in a specific activity; limits to what children can say online; and the need for "green design."


 [Link to Report]

Druin, A. (April 2008)
Lifelong Interactions: My Father's Kitchen Table
HCIL-2008-11

This article introduces a new forum for Interactions Magazine on users at the extremes of life. Articles in this forum will investigate the relationship between children, teenagers, and older adults, with technologies they interact with - from screen-based worlds, to tangible/ubiquitous computing. These interactions may take place at home, in school, at work, or in public places. What will be a critical part of this forum, no matter what the subject matter will be the respect we need to have for users of any age, life experience, with diverse dreams and needs. I introduce this forum topic by discussing my own father's use (and non-use) of a wireless mouse and how some of his challenges compare to those of young users.


 [Link to Report]

Hu, C., Quinn, A., Rose, A., Bederson, B., Arisaka, T. (February 2008)
Enhancing Readability of Scanned Picture Books
HCIL-2008-09

We describe a system that enhances the readability of scanned picture books. Motivated by our website of children’s books in the International Children's Digital Library, the system separates textual from visual content which decreases the size of the image files (since their quality can be lower) while increasing the quality of the text by displaying it as computer-generated text instead of an image. This text-background separation combines image processing and human validation in an efficient manner and results in a system that not only is more readable, but also accessible, searchable, and translatable.


 [Link to Report]

Shneiderman, B. (July 2009)
Creativity Support Tools: Accelerating Discovery and Innovation
Communications of the ACM 50, 12 (December 2007), cover story, 20-32.
HCIL-2007-31

Since scientific discoveries and engineering innovation bring broad benefits, improved tools that advance individual, group and social creativity are important contributions. The current and forthcoming generations of programming, simulation, information visualization, and other tools are empowering engineers and scientists just as animation and music composition tools have invigorated filmmakers and musicians (see sidebar by Linda Candy). These and many other creativity support tools enable discovery and innovation on a broader scale than ever before; eager novices are performing like seasoned masters and the grandmasters are producing startling results. The accelerating pace of academic research, engineering innovation, and consumer product design is amply documented in journal publications, patents, and customer purchases. While telescopes and microscopes extended an individual’s perceptual abilities to make discoveries, modern creativity support tools also enable new forms of expression for individuals, and they are especially potent in supporting group collaboration and social creativity (Table 1). Creativity includes discovery or invention of a significant idea, pattern, method, or device that gains recognition from accepted leaders in a field, while innovation requires further steps to ensure adoption (see section on Defining and supporting creative processes). For example, many researchers extend their perceptual abilities by applying general purpose scientific or information visualization tools, which enable them to make discoveries about their data (Figure 1). Other domain experts, such as genomic researchers, use specialized visual analysis tools to discover biological pathways. Scientists and engineers draw on powerful mathematical, design, and simulation tools to support their discovery and innovation (Figure 2). New media artists realize their desire for personal expression with powerful development environments that support animation, music, or video editing tools. Even more remarkable opportunities have emerged for group collaboration across time and space, as afforded by programming environments that enable distributed teams to accelerate development of software projects. Still broader impacts stem from social creativity tools, such as wikis, citizen journalism, and media sharing, that enable thousands of cooperating individuals to create and share significant new content and services. Never before has it been possible to arrange rapid and broad collaboration among numerous content creators and service providers. Understanding the passion and persistence required for individual creativity is difficult enough, so designing for social creativity requires rigorous research, with fresh theories of collective efficacy and the motivational impact of rewards and recognition (see sidebar by Gerhard Fischer and Elisa Giaccardi).


 [Link to Report]

Bederson, B. (November 2007)
No Road, Drive: The ICDL Goes to the Mongolian Countryside
International Children's Digital Library
HCIL-2007-30

In June 2006, I brought the International Children’s Digital Library (ICDL) to Mongolia by installing a server in the capital that offers www.read.mn, a Mongolian version of the ICDL. This time, in November 2007, I traveled to Mongolia with graduate student Sheri Massey to bring the ICDL to the Mongolian countryside. To understand why we would do such a strange sounding thing, we must first take a quick peek at Mongolian education and children’s books.


 [Link to Report]

Karlson, A. (November 2007)
Interface and Interaction Design for One-Handed Mobile Computing
Ph.D. Dissertation from the Department of Computer Science
HCIL-2007-24

Mobile phones are not only a ubiquitous social accessory, but rapid technology advances have transformed them into feature-rich, Internet-enabled mobile PCs?a role once reserved for touchscreen-based personal digital assistants (PDAs). Although the most widespread phone styles in circulation feature the classic combination of numeric keypad and non-touchscreen display, larger touchscreen devices are gaining ground, as indicated by the fervor surrounding new devices such as Apple’s iPhone and LG’s Prada phone. Yet as devices evolve, users will remain constrained by the limits of their own visual, physical, and mental resources. My research has focused on the specific limitation that mobile users often have only one hand available to operate a device, which can be especially problematic for touchscreen-based devices, since they are frequently designed for two-handed stylus operation. Considering the growing volumes of data that small devices can now store and connect to, as well as the expanding cultural role of mobile phones, improving usability in mobile computing has potentially enormous implications for user productivity, satisfaction and even safety. My own exploratory surveys have suggested that one-handed use of mobile devices is very common but that today’s hardware and software designs do not support users in performing many tasks with only one hand. Motivated by these findings, the research goal of this dissertation is to contribute substantial knowledge in the form of empirically backed design guidelines and interaction techniques for improving one-handed usability and operation of mobile devices, with particular emphasis on those with touch-sensitive displays. The guidelines for one-handed mobile device design are the product of a series of studies conducted in pursuit of foundational knowledge in user behavior, preference, thumb capabilities and touchscreen-thumb interaction characteristics for single-handed device use. I also demonstrate the application of these guidelines through the development and evaluation of four applications. Two involve designs for navigating among programs, one provides an interface for searching large data sets, and the last offers a generalized mechanism for controlling arbitrary touchscreen interfaces with a thumb. Each of these applications explores a different one-handed interaction technique and offers perspective on its viability for one-handed device use.


 [Link to Report]

Druin, A., Xie, B., Fails, J., Massey, S., Golub, E., Schneider, K., Kruskal, A. (September 2007)
Connecting Generations: Developing Co-Design Methods for Older Adults and Children
HCIL-2007-15

As new technologies emerge that can bring older adults together with children, little has been discussed by researchers concerning the design methods used to create these new technologies. How to give both children and older adults a voice in a shared design process comes with many challenges. This paper details an exploratory study focusing on connecting generations through co-design methods that can enable idea construction and elaboration to flourish. Design techniques were adapted that ranged from low-tech prototyping, to sticky-note feedback, to distributed collaboration. The critical finding in this research was how children and older adults need time together to collaborate, but also time apart to collaborate at a distance. This case study research reports on how our methods evolved and how others can apply these methods for their own work.


 [Link to Report]

Chipman, L. (September 2007)
Collaborative Technology for Young Children's Outdoor Education
Ph.D. Dissertation from the Department of Computer Science
HCIL-2007-13

Children participating in classroom field trips learn first hand in an authentic context. However, activities during these trips are often limited to observation and data collection. Children synthesize their knowledge later, in classroom discussions and in the collaborative construction of a representational artifact. But the classroom is removed from the authentic context in which the knowledge was gained. My research investigated how mobile technology can bridge this gap by supporting and encouraging young children (grades K-4) to collaboratively construct knowledge artifacts, while simultaneously exploring open, educational environments. Three key elements are addressed; creating a concrete connection between digital information and the real world, supporting awareness of collaborative opportunities in an open environment, and promoting face-to-face collaboration. This dissertation details the conception, design, implementation, and evaluation of the Tangible Flags technology; a tangible interface that is developmentally appropriate for children (grades K-4) to embed and access digital information through their physical environment and multi-user tools that support collaboration in open environments. Tangible Flags are simple for children to attach to the environment and promote an awareness of artifact creation and exploration activities because they are visually apparent. An interface that provides an awareness of changes to digital artifacts and enables concurrent and remote access to these artifacts further enhances collaboration. Two studies were conducted to evaluate the concepts of Tangible Flags. A case study was conducted in an authentic outdoor learning environment, a National Park. A second study compares children’s use of the Tangible Flags technology to a roughly equivalent paper system. Quantitative and qualitative analysis indicates that children using Tangible Flags participated in more asynchronous collaborative activity and were more engaged than those who did not. It also showed that awareness of peer activity combined with remote and concurrent access to digital artifacts resulted in increased face-to-face collaborative activity and examines the impact of artifact awareness and access on children’s focus on the environment. These contributions will be useful to educators, designers of educational environments and researchers in the field of children’s educational technology.


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Druin, A., Weeks, A., Massey, S., Bederson, B. (January 2007)
Children's Interests and Concerns when using the International Children's Digital Library: A Four Country Case Study
Published as Druin, A., Weeks, A., Massey, S., & Bederson, B. B. (2007) Children’s Interests and Concerns When Using the International Children’s Digital Library: A four country case study, Proceedings of the Joint Conference on Digital Libraries (JCDL 2007), 167-176. Available in the ACM Digital Library.
HCIL-2007-02

This paper presents a case study of 12 children who used the International Children’s Digital Library (ICDL) over four years and live in one of four countries: Germany, Honduras, New Zealand, and the United States. By conducting interviews and classroom observations, along with collecting drawings, book reviews, and work samples, this study describes how these children were interested in books, libraries, technology and the world around them. Findings from this study include: these young people increased the variety of books they read online; still preferred physical interactions with books for reading, but appreciated the searching tools online; still valued their physical libraries as spaces for social interaction and reading; showed increased reading motivation; and showed interest in exploring different cultures.


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Bederson, B. (2006)
No Hotel, Tent: The International Children’s Digital Library Goes to Mongolia
HCIL-2006-26


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Guha, M., Druin, A., Montemayor, J., Chipman, L. (August 2006)
A Theoretical Model of Children's Storytelling using Physically-Oriented Technologies (SPOT)
Journal of Educational Multimedia and Hypermedia, 16 (4), pp. 389-410, (October 2007).
HCIL-2006-23

This paper develops a model of children’s storytelling using Physically-Oriented Technology (SPOT). The SPOT model draws upon literature regarding current physical storytelling technologies and was developed using a grounded theory approach to qualitative research. This empirical work focused on the experiences of 18 children, ages 5-6, who worked with an existing multimedia physical storytelling technology in order to tell stories. Pairs of children worked over five weeks to tell stories using StoryRooms, a physical storytelling technology developed at the University of Maryland’s Human-Computer Interaction Lab (HCIL). The SPOT model suggests that the each unique child and context together determine the best degree of control over the technology, the degree of control over story content, and the physical activity for each situation. Together, these characteristics of technology, story content, and physical activity produce a unique storytelling experience. The SPOT theoretical model provides a basis to propose technology design guidelines that will support the creation of new multimedia physical storytelling technologies.


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Chipman, L., Druin, A., Beer, D., Fails, J., Guha, M., Simms, S. (February 2006)
A Case Study of Tangible Flags: A Collaborative Technology to Enhance Field Trips
To appear in Interaction Design and Children 2006, pp. 1-8.
HCIL-2006-03

This paper describes research that investigates the use of a technology designed to support young children’s collaborative artifact creation in outdoor environments. Collaboration while creating knowledge artifacts is an important part of children’s learning, yet it can be limited while exploring outdoors. The construction of a joint representation often occurs in the classroom after the experience, where further investigation and observation of the environment is not possible. This paper describes a research study where collaborative technology was developed, used by children, and evaluated in an authentic setting, a U.S. National Park.


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Karlson, A., Bederson, B. (January 2006)
Understanding Single Handed Use of Handheld Devices.
Lumsden, Jo (Ed.), Handbook of Research on User Interface Design and Evaluation for Mobile Technology, Idea Group Reference, 86-101, 2007.
HCIL-2006-02

A major challenge faced in the design of mobile devices is that they are typically used when the user has limited physical and attentional resources available. We are interested in the circumstances when a user has only a single hand available. To offer insight for future one-handed mobile designs, we conducted three foundational studies: a field study to capture how users currently operate devices; a survey to record user preference for the number of hands used for a variety of mobile tasks, and an empirical evaluation to understand how device size, target location, and movement direction influence thumb mobility. We have found that one-handed use of keypad-based phones is widespread, and in general, a majority of phone and PDA users would prefer to use one hand for device interaction. Additionally, our results suggest that device size is not a factor in how quickly users can access objects within thumb reach, but that larger devices have more areas that are out of reach, and thus inappropriate for one-handed access. Finally, regardless of device size, diagonal thumb movement in the NW?SE direction is the most difficult movement for right handed users to perform.


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Hutchinson, H., Bederson, B., Druin, A. (December 2005)
The Evolution of the International Children's Digital Library Searching and Browsing Interface
Proceedings of the 2006 Conference on Interaction Design and Children, 2006, 105-112.
HCIL-2005-33

Elementary-age children (ages 3-13) are among the largest user groups of computers and the Internet, so it is important to design searching and browsing tools to support them. However, many such tools do not consider their skills and preferences. In this paper, we present the design rationale and process for creating the searching and browsing tool for the International Children’s Digital Library (ICDL), the results from a user study evaluating it, and the challenges and possibilities it presents for other children’s interfaces.


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Hutchinson, H. (December 2005)
Children's Interface Design for Searching and Browsing
Ph.D. Dissertation from the Department of Computer Science
HCIL-2005-32

Elementary-age children are among the largest user groups of computers and the Internet, so it is important to design searching and browsing interfaces to support them. However, many interfaces for children do not consider their skills and preferences. Children can perform simple, single item searches, and are also capable of conducting Boolean searches involving multiple search criteria. However, they have difficulty creating Boolean searches using hierarchical structures found in many interfaces. These interfaces often employ a sequential presentation of the category structure, where only one branch or facet at a time can be explored. This combination of structure and presentation keeps the screen from becoming cluttered, but requires a lot of navigation to explore categories in different areas and an understanding of potentially abstract high-level categories. Based on previous research with adults, I believed that a simultaneous presentation of a flat category structure, where users could explore multiple, single-layer categories simultaneously, would better facilitate searching and browsing for children. This method reduces the amount of navigation and removes abstract categories. However, it introduces more visual clutter and sometimes the need for paging or scrolling. My research investigated these tradeoffs in two studies comparing searching and browsing in two interfaces with children in first, third, and fifth grade. Children did free browsing tasks, searched for a single item, and searched for two items to create conjunctive Boolean queries. The results indicate that a flat, simultaneous interface was significantly faster, easier, likeable, and preferred to a hierarchical, sequential interface for the Boolean search tasks. The simultaneous interface also allowed children to create significantly more conjunctive Boolean searches of multiple items while browsing than the sequential interface. These results suggest design guidelines for others who create children's interfaces, and inform design changes in the interfaces used in the International Children's Digital Library.


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Hutchinson, H., Druin, A., Bederson, B., Reuter, K., Rose, A., Weeks, A. (August 2005)
How do I Find Blue Books About Dogs? The Errors and Frustrations of Young Digital Library Users
Proceedings of HCII 2005, Las Vegas, NV (CD-ROM).
HCIL-2005-27

Children are among the fastest growing groups of users of the Internet, so it is important to design searching and browsing interfaces, such as those found in digital libraries, to support them. However, many interfaces geared toward elementary-age children suffer from at least one of two common problems. First, many assume that young users can spell, type, read, navigate, compose queries, and/or select small objects. Second, many assume that children search for books using the same criteria as adults. In fact, children have difficulty using and understanding traditional interface tools, and often employ different searching and browsing strategies from adults. A number of researchers have created digital libraries that better support young children. Our lab has also focused on this goal, most recently with the International Children?s Digital Library (ICDL) project. This paper elaborates on the reasons why children require different searching and browsing tools and how interfaces that fail to recognize this lead to frustrating experiences. It describes how the ICDL addresses these issues and a study designed to investigate them further.


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Hutchinson, H., Bederson, B., Druin, A. (Sept 2005)
Interface Design for Children's Searching and Browsing
HCIL-2005-24

Elementary-age children are among the largest user groups of computers and the Internet, so it is important to design searching and browsing tools that support them. However, many interfaces for children do not consider their skills and preferences. Children are capable of doing Boolean searches, but have difficulty with the sequential presentation of hierarchical structures used in many category browsers. Based on previous research, we believed a simultaneous presentation of a flat category structure might better support children. We conducted two studies of searching and browsing with these two types of category browsers. Our results suggest that a flat, simultaneous interface provides advantages for both Boolean searching and casual browsing. These results add to the understanding of children?s searching and browsing skills and preferences and suggest guidelines for other interface designers.


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Komlodi, A., Alburo, J., Preece, J., Druin, A., Elkiss, A., Resnik, P. (May 2005)
Evaluation a Cross-Cultural Children's Online Book Community: Sociability, Usability, and Cultural Exchange
To appear in Interacting with Computers
HCIL-2005-15, CS-TR-4749, UMIACS-TR-2005-52

As an extension of the International Children's Digital Library, the ICDLCommunities project will enable children's communities to develop around the book collection, build tools that allow intercultural communication between children without the use of machine translation, and promote cross-cultural understanding. It will provide a supportive, safe environment for children (aged 7-11) who speak different languages and are from different cultures to come together and use activities related to books in the ICDL to provide common ground. This report presents a review of the research on children, technology, and online communities; describes an evaluation of the prototype activities and tools conducted with children in Argentina and the U.S.; and discusses the lessons learned and their implications on the design of the ICDLCommunities interface.


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Liao, C., Guimbretière, F., Hinckley, K. (May 2005)
PapierCraft: A System for Interactive Paper
Proceedings of the 18th Annual ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology, 2005, 241-244.
HCIL-2005-11, CS-TR-4753, UMIACS-TR-2005-56

The affordances of paper (e.g., ease of annotation and navigation) make it a fundamental tool for knowledge gathering and crystallization tasks. During such tasks, users create a rich web of annotation and cross references. Un-fortunately, as paper is a static media, this web often gets trapped in the physical world. Some systems such as XLibris [33] address this problem by transferring this task in the digital realm where it is easy to capture all links created by the users. This approach is very powerful but suffers from the limitations of current tablet computers such as a limited screen space. In this paper we propose a paper-based interface to support the knowledge gathering and crystallization process. Our system considers document printouts as proxies of digital documents stored on the user's computer. Users can draw command gestures on printouts to indicate operations such a copying a document area, pasting an area previously copied, or creating a link. Upon pen synchronization, our infra-structure will execute these commands and present the result in our custom built viewer.


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Fails, J., Druin, A., Guha, M., Chipman, L., Simms, S. (April 2005)
Child's Play: A Comparison of Desktop and Physical Interactive Environments
Proceeding of the 2005 conference on Interaction design and children, 2005, 48-55.
HCIL-2005-09, CS-TR-4705, UMIACS-TR-2005-13

The importance of play in young children's lives cannot be minimized. From teddy bears to blocks, children's experiences with the tools of play can impact their social, emotional, physical, and cognitive development. Today, the tools of play now include desktop computers and computer-enhanced physical environments. In this paper, we consider the merits of desktop and physical environments for young children (4-6 years old), by comparing the same content-infused game in both contexts. Both quantitative and qualitative methods are used for data collection and analysis. In this paper we also discuss the process of working with children of multiple age groups to develop the physical computer-enhanced environment.


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Hutchinson, H., Rose, A., Bederson, B., Weeks, A., Druin, A. (September 2004)
The International Children's Digital Library: A Case Study in Designing for a Multi-Lingual, Multi-Cultural, Multi-Generational Audience
Information Technology and Libraries, American Library Association, March 2005, 24, 1, 4-12.
HCIL-2004-24, CS-TR-4650, UMIACS-TR-2005-11

We describe the challenges encountered in building the International Children's Digital Library, a freely available online library of children's literature. These challenges include selecting and processing books from different countries, handling and presenting multiple languages simultaneously, and addressing cultural differences. Unlike other digital libraries that present content from one or a few languages and cultures, and focus on either adult or child audiences, the ICDL must serve a multi-lingual, multi-cultural, multi-generational audience. We present our research as a case study for addressing these design criteria and describe our current solutions and plans for future work.


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Conroy, K., Levin, D., Guimbretière, F. (May 2004)
ProofRite: A Paper-Augmented Word Processor
This paper has been submitted to UIST 2004.
HCIL-2004-22, CS-TR-4652

While proofreading digital documents is a common pattern of use among word processor users [29], at present there are no word processing programs that support this function. This forces users to reenter the corrections into the digital version of a document manually, a time-consuming and error-prone task. To address this problem, we introduce ProofRite, a word processor that supports digital and physical document annotation. When users print a ProofRite document and annotate it with a digital pen, they may merge their changes with the digital source. As they continue the writing process, ProofRite reflows these markings.


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Druin, A. (May 2004)
The Role of Books, Libraries, Technology, and Culture in Children's Lives: An International case study
HCIL-2004-16, CS-TR-4658

Libraries can be a critical part of a child's world. Yet few researchers have investigated the concerns of children and what they can contribute to understanding and designing future new libraries. This paper presents a case study of 12 children who live in one of four countries: Germany, Honduras, New Zealand, and the U.S. By conducting interviews with children, their parents, teachers, librarians, and principals, as well as collecting drawings from children, this case study describes the role of books, libraries, technology and culture in these children's lives. Findings from this study include: these young people see informal reading as important; are keenly aware of the physical limitations of library spaces; appreciate and continually go to their school libraries; use technology (e.g., Internet applications or local software) for entertainment, social experiences, schoolwork, and personal empowerment; and, if living in the U.S, have a strong appreciation of public libraries.


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Reuter, K., Druin, A. (January 2004)
Bringing Together Children and Books: An Initial Descriptive Study of Children's Book Searching and Selection Behavior in a Digital Library
Proc. American Society for Information Science and Technology Conference (ASIST), Providence, RI.
HCIL-2004-02, CS-TR-4671

This study describes how elementary school students search for and select books using a digital library. This work was done as part of the International Children's Digital Library (ICDL) project in order to explore and discover new directions for the development of digital library interfaces for children ages 3-13. Children used two versions of the ICDL software to search for, select, and read books. We performed a frequency analysis of the number of queries run, books selected, and books opened, and compared book selection rates and book opening rates. Popular query categories and titles selected are tallied. We found differences in book searching and selection behavior, query category preferences, and titles accessed by gender and age and no differences by software version.


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Guha, M., Druin, A., Chipman, L., Fails, J., Simms, S. (January 2004)
Mixing Ideas: A New Technique for Working with Young Children as Design Partners
Proc of Interaction Design and Children (IDC) 2004 Conference, 35-42.
HCIL-2004-01, CS-TR-4672

This paper sets forth a new technique for working with young children as design partnerts. Mixing ideas is presented as an addional Cooperative Inquiry design technique used to foster effective collaboration with young children (ages 4-6). The method emerged from our work with children on the Classroom of the Future Project at the University of Maryland.


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Montemayor, J.
Physical Programming: Tools for Kindergarten Children to Author Physical Interactive Environments
Ph.D. Dissertation from the Department of Computer Science
HCIL-2003-46


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Hutchinson, H. (November 2003)
Children's Interface Design for Hierarchical Search and Browse
In ACM SIGCAPH Newsletter. ACM Press, pp. 11-12.
HCIL-2003-42, CS-TR-4676

I propose to design and evaluate a hierarchical category browser interface for children. Previous tools for handling hierarchical data rely on text-based visualizations, lose or distort global context, and/or rely on complex abstractions, excluding children from using them. I will instead use graphic representations of hierarchical categories and animated query creation in an accessible, web-based environment to support conjunctive queries. I will evaluate this tool using iterative design and a study comparing it with a version without animated query creation.


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Druin, A. (October 2003)
What Children Can Teach Us: Developing Digital Libraries for Children with Children
A revised version of this paper will be published in Library Quarterly
HCIL-2003-39, CS-TR-4679

Abstract At the University of Maryland, an interdisciplinary team of researchers from information studies, computer science, education, art, and psychology work together with seven children (ages 7-11) to design new digital libraries for children. Working with children has led to new approaches to collection development, cataloging (metadata standards), and the creation of new technologies for information access and use. This paper presents a discussion of the interdisciplinary research landscape that contributes to our understanding of digital libraries for children; examines a case study on the development of the International Children's Digital Library; and discusses the implications from this research as they relate to new technology design methods with children and new directions for future digital libraries.


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Knudtzon, K., Druin, A., Kaplan, N., Summers, K., Chisik, Y., Kulkarni, R., Moulthrop, S., Weeks, H., Bederson, B. (April 2003)
Starting an Intergenerational Technology Design Team: A Case Study
Proc. Interaction Design and Children (IDC' 2003), Lancashire, England, 51-58.
HCIL-2003-27, CS-TR-4689

This paper presents a case study of the first three months of a new intergenerational design team with children ages 10-13. It discusses the research and design methods used for working with children of this age group. The challenges and opportunities of starting a new team, and the lessons learned are discussed.


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Hourcade, J. (April 2003)
User Interface Technologies and Guidelines to Support Children's Creativity, Collaboration, and Learning
Ph.D. Dissertation from the Dept. of Computer Science
HCIL-2003-21, CS-TR-4480, UMIACS-TR-2003-49

Computers are failing children. They are taking time away from meaningful interactions with people, and are often providing children with inappropriate experiences. In particular, they are failing to support children collaborating, being creative, using their imagination, and accessing appropriate content. To address these issues, I have created developmentally appropriate technologies that support children collaborating, creating, and learning. To support collaboration, I developed MID (Multiple Input Devices), a Java toolkit that supports advanced events, including those from multiple input devices. I used MID to develop KidPad, a collaborative storytelling tool that supports groups of children in the creation of drawings and stories. To support collaboration in a concrete, developmentally appropriate manner, KidPad uses the local tools user interface metaphor in which I implemented several improvements to make efficient use of screen space and to encourage collaboration. SearchKids is an application that also supports collaboration and gives children the ability to search and browse a multimedia animal library. The International Children's Digital Library uses a similar user interface to enable children to search and browse an international collection of digitized children's books. Both applications offer children access to curated collections, shielding them from inappropriate content while keeping them in control of what to experience. While building these technologies I observed that young children had greater difficulty using input devices. This affected their ability to collaborate, be creative and access valuable content. Motivated by such observations, I conducted a study to gain a better understanding of how young children use mice as compared to adults. The results provide guidelines for the sizing of visual targets in young children's software and insight into how children use mice.


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Hourcade, J., Bederson, B., Druin, A. (April 2003)
Building KidPad: An Application for Children's Collaborative Storytelling
Software: Practice & Experience, 34(9), 895-914.
HCIL-2003-18, CS-TR-4474, UMIACS-TR-2003-44

Collaborating in small groups can be beneficial to children's learning and socializing. However, there is currently little computer support for children's collaborative activities. This was our motivation for building KidPad, a collaborative storytelling tool for children. KidPad provides children with drawing, typing, and hyperlinking capabilities in a large, two-dimensional canvas. It supports collaboration by accepting input from multiple mice. In building KidPad, we developed solutions to problems common to all single-display groupware applications for children: obtaining input from multiple devices, and using an intuitive user interface metaphor that can support collaboration. Our solution for obtaining input from multiple devices was MID, an architecture written in Java. We addressed the need for an appropriate user interface metaphor by using the local tools metaphor. This paper describes our work on MID and local tools in the context of building of KidPad, and aims to provide developers with valuable insights into how to develop collaborative applications for children.


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Hourcade, J., Bederson, B., Druin, A., Rose, A., Takayama, Y. (April 2003)
The International Children's Digital Library: Viewing Digital Books Online
Interacting with Computers, 15, 151-167.
HCIL-2003-17, CS-TR-4473, UMIACS-TR-2003-43

Reading books plays an important role in children's cognitive and social development. However, many children do not have access to diverse collections of books due to the limited resources of their community libraries. We have begun to address this issue by creating a large-scale digital archive of children's books, the International Children's Digital Library (ICDL). In this paper we discuss our initial efforts in building the ICDL, concentrating on the design of innovative digital book readers.


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Hourcade, J., Bederson, B., Druin, A., Guimbretière, F. (April 2003)
Accuracy, Target Reentry and Fitts' Law Performance of Preschool Children Using Mice
ACM Transactions on Computer Human Interaction(TOCHI).
HCIL-2003-16, CS-TR-4472, UMIACS-TR-2003-42

Several experiments by psychologists and human factors researchers have shown that when young children execute pointing tasks, they perform at levels below older children and adults. However, these experiments were not conducted with the purpose of providing guidelines for the design of graphical user interfaces. To address this need, we conducted a study to gain a better understanding of 4 and 5 year-old children's use of mice. We compared the performance of thirteen 4 year-olds, thirteen 5 year-olds and thirteen young adults in point-and-click tasks. As expected, we found age had a significant effect on accuracy, target reentry and Fitts' law's index of performance. We also found that target size had a significant effect on accuracy and target reentry. Measuring movement time at four different times (first entering target, last entering target, pressing button, releasing button) yielded the result that Fitts' law models children well only for the first time they enter the target. Another interesting result was that using the adjusted index of difficulty (IDe) in Fitts' law calculations yielded lower linear regression correlation coefficients than using the unadjusted index of difficulty (ID). These results provide valuable guidelines for the design of graphical user interfaces for young children, in particular when it comes to sizing visual targets. They also suggest designers should adopt strategies to accommodate users with varying levels of skill.


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Chipman, L., Bederson, B., Golbeck, J. (April 2003)
SlideBar: Analysis of a linear input device
Journal of Behavior and Information Technology, 23 (1), pp 1-9.
HCIL-2003-15, CS-TR-4471, UMIACS-TR-2003-41

The SlideBar is a physical linear input device for absolute position control of one degree of freedom, consisting of a physical slider with a graspable knob positioned near or attached to the keyboard. Its range of motion is directly mapped to a one dimensional input widget such as a scrollbar. The SlideBar provides absolute position control in one dimension, is usable in the non-dominant hand in conjunction with a pointing device, and offers constrained passive haptic feedback. These characteristics make the device appropriate for the common class of tasks characterized by one-dimensional input and constrained range of operation. An empirical study of three devices (SlideBar, mouse controlled scrollbar, and mousewheel) shows that for common scrolling tasks, the SlideBar has a significant advantage over a standard mouse controlled scrollbar in both speed and user preference and an advantage over the mousewheel in user preference.


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Montemayor, J., Druin, A., Chipman, L., Guha, M. (January 2003)
Sensing, Storytelling, and Children: Putting Users in Control
HCIL-2003-05, CS-TR-4446, UMIACS-TR-2003-16

Over the past few years, researchers have been exploring possibilities for how embedded sensors can free children from traditional interaction strategies with keyboards and mice. In this paper, we consider sensing-based interactions from a child's perspective. That is, how children decide to handle sensor data and affect state changes in their environment. We will present this in the context of our research on physical interactive storytelling environments for children. The system architecture will be presented as well as an empirical study of the technology's use with 18 children, ages 5-6. We will discuss the challenges and opportunities for kindergarten children to become designers of their own sensing-based interactions.


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Druin, A., Bederson, B., Weeks, A., Grosjean, J., Guha, M., Hourcade, J., Lee, J., Liao, S., Reuter, K., Rose, A., Takayama, Y., Zhang, L. (January 2003)
The International Children's Digital Library: Description and Analysis of First Use
First Monday,http://firstmonday.org/issues/issue8_5/
HCIL-2003-02, CS-TR-4433, UMIACS-TR-2003-04

In this paper we describe the first version of the International Children's Digital Library (ICDL). As a five-year research project, its mission is to enable children to access and read an international collection of children's books through the development of new interface technologies. This paper will describe the need for such research, our work in the context of other digital libraries for children, and an initial analysis of the first seven weeks of the ICDL's public use on the web. Categories and Subject Descriptors H.3.7 [Information Storage and Retrieval]: Digital Libraries - Dissemination, User Issues; H.5.2 [Information Interfaces and Presentation]: User Interfaces - Graphical User Interfaces General Terms Design, Experimentation, Human Factors. Measurement Keywords Children, Digital Libraries, Books, Graphical User Interfaces, Zoomable User Interfaces.


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Hourcade, J. (November 2002)
It's Too Small! Implications of Children's Developing Motor Skills on Graphical User Interfaces
HCIL-2002-24, CS-TR-4425, UMIACS-TR-2002-104

Research has shown children's information processing speed increases with age [19] [37]. This speed has a direct impact on motor skill, as the human motor system depends on processed feedback from the perceptual system [4]. Children use their motor skills when performing Fitts' law tasks, including the operation of input devices [4]. Several experiments by psychologists and human factors researchers have confirmed that young children perform at levels below older children and adults when executing Fitts' law tasks. In spite of this evidence, human-computer interaction researchers have seldom reported using this information to influence the design of children's user interfaces. This paper surveys the relevant literature from human development, psychology and human-computer interaction, and examines its implications on the design of children's graphical user interfaces, in particular young children's need of larger visual targets. Keywords Children, human information processing, human development, Fitts' law, Kail's model, point-and-click, graphical user interfaces.


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Druin, A., Chipman, L., Julian, D., Somashekhar, S. (June 2002)
How Young Can Our Design Partners Be?
Proc. Participatory Design Conference (PDC' 2003), Malmo, Sweden, 127-131.
HCIL-2002-13, CS-TR-4396, UMIACS-TR-2002-76

For this work-in-progress presentation, we report on our experiences working with young children as technology design partners. Our team from the Human-Computer Interaction Lab has extensive participatory design experience in working with 7-11 year old children. Here we describe our first year working with 4-6 year old children and the ways that we altered our methodologies to meet the unique needs of our younger design partners.


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Druin, A., Revelle, G., Bederson, B., Hourcade, J., Lee, J., Campbell, D. (May 2002)
A Collaborative Digital Library for Children: A Descriptive Study of Children's Collaborative Behavior and Dialogue
Journal of Computer-Assisted Learning, 19 (2), pp. 239-248.
HCIL-2002-07, CS-TR-4366, UMIACS-TR-2002-46

Over the last three years, we have been developing a collaborative digital library interface where two children can collaborate using multiple mice on a single computer to access multimedia information concerning animals. This technology, called “SearchKids” leverages our lab's past work in co-present collaborative zoomable interfaces for young children. This paper describes the differences in children's collaborative behavior and dialogue when using two different software conditions to search for animals in the digital library. In this study, half the children had to “confirm” their collaborative activities (e.g., both children had to click on a given area to move to that area). The other half used an “independent” collaboration technique (e.g., just one mouse click allows the pair to move to that area). The participants in this study were 98 second and third grade children (ages 7-9 years old) from a suburban public elementary school in Prince George's County, Maryland. The children were randomly divided into two groups and paired with a classmate of the same gender. Each pair was asked to find as many items as possible from a list of 20 items given a limit of 20 minutes. Sessions were video taped and the first and last five minutes of each session were coded for discussion type and frequency. The results of our study showed distinct differences between groups in how children discussed their shared goals, collaborative tasks, and what outcomes they had in successfully finding multimedia information in the digital library. These findings suggest various ways educators might use and technologists might develop new collaborative technologies for learning. Keywords Children, Collaboration, Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning, Digital Libraries, Educational Applications, Single Display Groupware (SDG), SearchKids, Zoomable User Interfaces (ZUIs).


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Boltman, A., Druin, A. (November 2001)
Children's Storytelling Technologies
An edited version was presented in the Proceedings of the American Educational Research Association.
HCIL-2001-25, CS-TR-4310, UMIACS-TR-2001-87

This study examined the elaboration and recall of children's stories through an analysis of the content and structure of children's retelling of a wordless picture book. The book was presented to 72 children (ages 6-7) in England and Sweden. Using a between subjects design, each child was presented with either a paper version of the picture book, a computer presentation with traditional hyperlinks, or a computer presentation with panning and zooming. The technology that was used was KidPad, a children's spatial storytelling application (Druin et al., 1997). Results revealed that the computer presentation with panning and zooming offered benefits in elaboration and recall by means of more complex story structure and a greater understanding of initiating events and goals.


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Boltman, A. (October 2001)
Children's Storytelling Technologies: Differences in Elaboration and Recall
University of Maryland, College of Education, Human Development, Dissertation
HCIL-2001-24, CS-TR-4305, UMIACS-TR-2001-82

Dissertation directed by: Professor Allison Druin College of Education, Human Development Institute of Advanced Computer Studies This study examined the elaboration and recall of children's stories through analysis of the content and structure of children's retelling of a well-known wordless story book, Frog, Where Are You? (Mayer, 1969). This picture book, which has been used in many international studies, (e.g., Berman, 1988; Trabasso et al., 1992), was presented to 72 children (ages 6-7) in England and Sweden. The technology that was utilized in this study was KidPad (Druin et al., 1997), a children's spatial storytelling application. Each child was presented with one of three conditions: (a) a paper version of a picture book, (b) a non-spatial computer presentation of this book with traditional hyperlinks, or (c) a spatial computer presentation of this book with animated panning and zooming between pictures. The study participants were asked to retell the story first with the story technology in front of them, and then without the story technology. Children's story elaboration and recall were coded for structure and content using two previously developed instruments (Berman, 1988; Trabasso et al., 1992). For structure, evidence was provided by text length, number of references to plot advancing events and of plot summations, types of connectivity markers, and the use of verb tense. For content, evidence was offered by relationships, initiating events, attempts, purposeful attempts, failures, and subordinate and superordinate goals. Multivariate analyses of variance were performed focusing on media type, gender, and language. Results revealed that media type was statistically significant in every major category of measure, while language was significant only in the structure measures. There were no significant gender differences and there were no interaction effects. Results illustrated that the spatial computer presentation assisted in many storytelling areas, with greater benefits in elaboration than in recall. Children's stories showed more complex story structure and a greater understanding of initiating events and goals. This study was a part of KidStory, a European Union-funded, 3-year international research initiative (i3, ESE project # 29310) creating innovative technologies for and with young children.


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Montemayor, J., Druin, A., Simms, S., Churaman, W., D'Armour, A. (September 2001)
Physical Programming: Designing Tools for Children to Create Physical Interactive Environments
CHI 2002, ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI Letters, 4(1), 299-306.
HCIL-2001-21, CS-TR-4288, UMIACS-TR-2001-67

Abstract Physical interactive environments can come in many forms: museum installations, amusement parks, experimental theaters, and more. Programming these environments has historically been done by adults, and children have been the visiting participants offered a few pre-created choices to explore. The goal of our research has been to develop programming tools for physical interactive environments that are appropriate for use by young children (ages 4-6). We have explored numerous design approaches over the past two years. Recently we began focusing on a "physical programming" approach and developed a wizard-of-oz prototype for young children. This paper presents the motivation for this research, the evolution of our programming approach, and our recent explorations with children. Keywords Children, educational applications, programming by demonstration, ubiquitous computing, tangible computing, physical programming, physical interactive environments.


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Druin, A., Fast, C. (July 2001)
The Child as Learner, Critic, Inventor, and Technology Design Partner: An Analysis of Three Years of Swedish Student Journals
International Journal for Technology and Design Education, 12(3), 189-213.
HCIL-2001-14, CS-TR-4273, UMIACS-TR-2001-53

From autumn 1998 to spring 2001, 27 Swedish children (14, at age 5 and 13 at age 7) partnered with researchers supported by the European Union to create new storytelling technologies for children. After each of the many design activities, children were asked to reflect with drawings and/or writing in a bound paper journal. As the project concluded in year three, the children's journals were analyzed and four constructs emerged from the data: learner, critic, inventor, and technology design partner. This study examines the motivation for such a research and learning experience, describes the changes in roles we saw represented in our child partners' journals, and suggests possible future directions for educators and technology developers.


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Plaisant, C. (Editor) (June 2001)
2001 Human-Computer Interaction Laboratory Video Reports
HCIL-2001-12, CS-TR-4263, UMIACS-TR-2001-46

45 minute video of the lab's work over this year. Topics are:
  • PhotoFinder Goes Public: Redesigning for the CHI Community
  • PhotoMesa: A Zoomable Image Browser
  • Visual Specification of Queries for Finding Patterns in Time-Series Data
  • Fisheye Menus
  • Visualization for Production Management: Treemap and Fisheye Table Browser
  • Generalizing Query Previews
  • SearchKids: A Digital Library for Children
  • From MusicBlocks to AnimalBlocks: a case study in design
  • Designing the Classroom of the Future
  • Jesterbot: a Storytelling Robot for Pediatric Rehabilitation


[HTML] [Video] [Link to Report]

Revelle, G., Druin, A., Platner, M., Weng, S., Bederson, B., Hourcade, J., Sherman, L. (September 2000)
Young Children's Search Strategies and Construction of Search Queries
Revised version: A Visual Search Tool for Early Elementary Science Students, Journal of Science Education and Technology (2002), 11(1), 49-57
HCIL-2000-19, CS-TR-4187, UMIACS-TR-2000-68

This paper describes a quantitative study focused on two questions: (1) Can children understand and use a hierarchical domain structure to find particular instances of animals? (2) Can children construct search queries to conduct complex searches if sufficiently supported, both visually and conceptually? These two questions have been explored in the context of developing a digital library interface (called "QueryKids") for children ages 5-10 years old that visualizes the querying process and its results. The results of this study showed that children were able to search very efficiently, primarily using a "fewest-steps" strategy, with the QueryKids software prototype. In addition, children were able to construct search queries with a high degree of accuracy. Results are discussed in terms of the scaffolding support that QueryKids provides, and its effectiveness in helping children to search efficiently and construct complex search queries.


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Druin, A., Bederson, B., Hourcade, J., Sherman, L., Revelle, G., Platner, M., Weng, S. (September 2000)
Designing a Digital Library for Young Children: An Intergenerational Partnership
Revised version in the Proceedings of ACM/IEEE Joint Conference on Digital Libraries (JCDL), Virginia, June 2001 (pp. 398-405).
HCIL-2000-18, CS-TR-4185, UMAICS-TR-2000-67

As more information resources become accessible using computers, our digital interfaces to those resources need to be appropriate for all people. However when it comes to digital libraries, the interfaces have typically been designed for older children or adults. Therefore, we have begun to develop a digital library interface developmentally appropriate for young children (ages 5-10 years old). Our prototype system we now call "QueryKids" offers a graphical interface for querying, browsing and reviewing search results. This paper describes our motivation for the research, the design partnership we established between children and adults, our design process, the technology outcomes of our current work, and the lessons we have learned.


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Browne, H., Bederson, B., Druin, A., Sherman, L., Westerman, W., Bederson, B. (Advisor) (September 2000)
Designing a Collaborative Finger Painting Application for Children
HCIL-2000-17, CS-TR-4184, UMAICS-TR-2000-66

We describe the design and implementation of a collaborative, computer-based finger painting program for children using a new hardware input device called a Multi-Touch Surface (MTS). The MTS uses a flat surface about the size of a keyboard to track multiple, simultaneous finger motions, which we transform into paint strokes on a screen. We describe related work and explain how our program design was guided by the suggestions of children. We discuss the hardware and software of the MTS and the challenges of designing our program. Finally, we present the Finger Painting Table, a collaborative, embedded application built using the MTS, and discuss future work.


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Plaisant, C., Druin, A., Lathan, C., Dakhane, K., Edwards, K., Vice, J., Montemayor, J. (September 2000)
A Storytelling Robot for Pediatric Rehabilitation
Revised version: Proc. ASSETS '00, Washington, Nov. 2000, ACM, New York, 50-55.
HCIL-2000-16, CS-TR-4183, UMIACS-TR-2000-65

We are developing a prototype storytelling robot for use with children in rehabilitation. Children can remotely control a large furry robot by using a variety of body sensors adapted to their disability or rehabilitation goal. In doing so, they can teach the robot to act out emotions (e.g. sad, happy, excited) and then write stories using the storytelling software and include those emotions in the story. The story can then be "played" by the remote controlled robot, which acts out the story and the emotions. We believe that this robot can motivate the children and help them reach their therapy goals through therapeutic play, either by exercising muscles or joints (e.g. for physically challenges children) or by reflecting on the expression of emotions (e.g. for autistic children). We use an innovative design methodology involving children as design partners.


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North, C. (May 2000)
A User Interface for Coordinating Visualizations based on Relational Schemata: Snap-Together Visualization
University of Maryland, Computer Science Dept., Doctoral Dissertation
HCIL-2000-15

[PDF]

In the field of information visualization, researchers and developers have created many types of visualizations, or visual depictions of information. User interface designers often coordinate multiple visualizations, taking advantage of the strengths of each, to enable users to rapidly explore complex information. However, the combination of visualizations and coordinations needed in any given situation depends heavily on the data, tasks, and users. Consequently, the number of needed combinations explodes, and implementation becomes intractable.

Snap-Together Visualization (Snap) is a conceptual model, user interface, software architecture, and implemented system that enables users to rapidly and dynamically construct coordinated-visualization interfaces, customized for their data, without programming. Users load data into desired visualizations, then create coordinations between them, such as brushing and linking, overview and detail, and drill down.

This dissertation presents four primary contributions. First, Snap formalizes a conceptual model of visualization coordination that is based on the relational data model. Visualizations display relations, and coordinations tightly couple user interaction across relational joins.

Second, Snap's user interface enables the construction of coordinated-visualization interfaces without programming. Data users can dynamically mix and match visualizations and coordinations while exploring. Data disseminators can distribute appropriate interfaces with their data. Interface designers can rapidly prototype many alternatives.

Third, Snap's software architecture enables flexibility in data, visualizations, and coordinations. Visualization developers can easily snap-enable their independent visualizations using a simple API, allowing users to coordinate them with many other visualizations.

Fourth, empirical studies of Snap reveal benefits, cognitive issues, and usability concerns. Six data-savvy users successfully, enthusiastically, and rapidly designed powerful coordinated-visualization interfaces of their own. In a study with 18 subjects, an overview-and-detail coordination reliably improved user performance by 30-80% over detail-only and uncoordinated interfaces for most tasks.

Snap has proven useful in a variety of domains, including census statistics and geography, digital photo libraries, case-law documents, web-site logs, and traffic incident data.

Some individual portions:


 [Link to Report]

North, C., Shneiderman, B. (May 2000)
Snap-Together Visualization: A User Interface for Coordinating Visualizations via Relational Schemata
Conference Proc. Advanced Visual Interfaces 2000, ACM, New York.
HCIL-2000-05, CS-TR-4128, UMIACS-TR-2000-22, ISR-TR-2005-6

Multiple coordinated visualizations enable users to rapidly explore complex information. However, users often need unforeseen combinations of coordinated visualizations that are appropriate for their data. Snap-Together Visualization enables data users to rapidly and dynamically mix and match visualizations and coordinations to construct custom exploration interfaces without programming. Snap's conceptual model is based on the relational database model. Users load relations into visualizations then coordinate them based on the relational joins between them. Users can create different types of coordinations such as: brushing, drill down, overview and detail view, and synchronized scrolling. Visualization developers can make their independent visualizations snap-able with a simple API. Evaluation of Snap revealed benefits, cognitive issues, and usability concerns. Data savvy users were very capable and thrilled to rapidly construct powerful coordinated visualizations. A snapped overview and detail-view coordination improved user performance by 30-80%, depending on task.


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Alborzi, H., Druin, A., Montemayor, J., Sherman, L., Taxén, G., Best, J., Hammer, J., Kruskal, A., Lal, A., Plaisant Schwenn, T., Sumida, L., Wagner, R., Hendler, J. (February 2000)
Designing StoryRooms: Interactive Storytelling Spaces for Children
Proc. ACM Desiging Interactive Systems (DIS'2000), NY, 95-100.
HCIL-2000-02, CS-TR-4106, UMIACS-TR-2000-06

Limited access to space, costly props, and complicated authoring technologies are among the many reasons why children can rarely enjoy the experience of authoring room-sized interactive stories. Typically in these kinds of environments, children are restricted to being story participants, rather than story authors. Therefore, we have begun the development of "StoryRooms," room-sized immersive storytelling experiences for children. With the use of low-tech and high-tech storytelling elements, children can author physical storytelling experiences to share with other children. In the paper that follows, we will describe our design philosophy, design process with children, the current technology implementation and example StoryRooms.


[HTML  [Video] [Link to Report]

Plaisant, C. (Editor) (October 2000)
1999 Human-Computer Interaction Laboratory Video Reports
HCIL-99-34, CS-TR-4195

45 minute video of the lab's work over the past year. Topics are:
  • Introduction - Ben Shneiderman
  • Query Previews for EOSDIS
  • Design Space for Data and label Placement for information visualization
  • Understanding the effect of incidents on transportation delays with a simulation based environment
  • Visualizing Legal Information: Hierarchical and Temporal presentations
  • Snap together visualization
  • Designing PETS: A Personal Electronic Teller of Stories
  • Welcome to the HCIL-2 Kids First Kid-Made Video
  • KidPad: A Collaborative Storytelling Environment for Children
  • Softer Software: an excerpt from the Maryland State of Mind program


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Benford, S., Bederson, B., Åkesson, K., Bayon, V., Druin, A., Hansson, P., Hourcade, J., Ingram, R., Neale, H., O'Malley, C., Simsarian, K., Stanton, D., Sundblad, Y., Taxén, G. (November 1999)
Designing Storytelling Technologies to Encourage Collaboration Between Young Children
Proceedings of CHI 2000, The Hague, Netherlands, April 1-6, ACM, New York, 556-563.
HCIL-99-28, CS-TR-4087, UMIACS-TR-99-76

We describe the iterative design of two collaborative storytelling technologies for young children, KidPad and the Klump. We focus on the idea of designing interfaces to subtly encourage collaboration so that children are invited to discover the added benefits of working together. This idea has been motivated by our experiences of using early versions of our technologies in schools in Sweden and the UK. We compare the approach of encouraging collaboration with other approaches to synchronizing shared interfaces. We describe how we have revised the technologies to encourage collaboration and to reflect design suggestions made by the children themselves.

Keywords: Children, Single Display Groupware (SDG), Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW), Education, Computer Supported Collaborative Learning (CSCL)


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Bederson, B., Stewart, J., Druin, A. (November 1999)
Single Display Groupware
Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, 1999, 286 - 293.
HCIL-99-27, CS-TR-4086, UMIACS-TR-99-75

We discuss a model for supporting collaborative work between people that are physically close to each other. We call this model Single Display Groupware (SDG). In this paper, we describe the model, comparing it to more traditional remote collaboration. We describe the requirements that SDG places on computer technology, and our understanding of the benefits and costs of SDG systems. Finally, we describe a prototype SDG system that we built and the results of a usability test we ran with 60 elementary school children. Through participant observation, video analysis, program instrumentation, and an informal survey, we discovered that the SDG approach to collaboration has strong potential. Children overwhelmingly prefer two mice to one mouse when collaborating with other children. We identified several collaborative styles including a dominant partner, independent simultaneous use, a mentor/mentee relationship, and active collaboration.

Keywords: Computer Supported Collaborative Work (CSCW), Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), Single Display Groupware (SDG), co-present collaboration, children, educational applications, input devices, Pad++, KidPad.


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North, C., Shneiderman, B. (October 1999)
Snap-Together Visualization: Evaluating Coordination Usage and Construction
Int'l Journal of Human-Computer Studies special issue on Empirical Studies of Information Visualization, Volume 53, 5 (November 2000), 715-739.
HCIL-99-26, CS-TR-4075, UMIACS-TR-99-68

Multiple coordinated visualizations enable users to rapidly explore complex information. However, users often need unforeseen combinations of coordinated visualizations. Snap-Together Visualization is a conceptual model, based on the relational model, and system to enable users to quickly coordinate otherwise-independent visualization tools. Users construct customized browsing environments with coordinations for selecting, navigating, and loading data, without programming. Evaluation revealed benefits, cognitive issues, and usability concerns with coordination concepts and the Snap system. Two user studies explore the value of coordination usage and the learnability of coordination construction. The overview and detail-view coordination improved user performance by 30-80%, depending on task. Data savvy users were very capable and thrilled to rapidly construct powerful coordinated visualizations.

Keywords: User interface, information visualization, multiple views, coordination, user study and usability.


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Montemayor, J., Druin, A., Hendler, J. (October 1999)
PETS: A Personal Electronic Teller of Stories
Druin, A., Hendler, J. (ed.) Robots for Kids: New Technologies for Learning. Morgan Kaufmann, San Francisco, CA (2000).
HCIL-99-25, CS-TR-4074, UMIACS-TR-99-67

Let us start by reading a story written by a seven year old child, entitled Michelle.

There once was a robot named Michelle. She was new in the neighborhood. She was HAPPY when she first came, thinking she would make friends. But it was the opposite. Other robots threw rocks and sticks. She was SAD. Now no one liked her. One day she was walking down a street, a huge busy one, when another robot named Rob came up and ask [sic] if she wanted to have a friend. She was SCARED at first but then realized that she was HAPPY. The other robots were ANGRY but knew that they had learned their lesson. Michelle and Rob lived HAPPILY ever after. No one noticed the dents from rocks that stayed on Michelle.” (Druin, Research notes, August 1998)

This is just one of many stories that children have written with the help of PETS (Druin et al. 1999a). The author of Michelle did not just write this moving story; she is also an integral member of the team that built our robots. As you read on, PETS will be further described. Our motivations behind building such an interactive robotic pet will also be discussed. In addition, the process of how we made this robotic technology with our team of adults and six children will be introduced. And with this, we will present cooperative inquiry (Druin 1999a), the methodology that we embrace as we discover insights about technology, education, science, engineering, and art. Finally, this chapter will close with reflections on what was learned from on-going research effort.


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Druin, A. (September 1999)
The Role of Children in the Design of New Technology
Behaviour and Information Technology (BIT), 2002, 21 (1), 1-25.
HCIL-99-23, CS-TR-4058, UMIACS-TR-99-53

Children play games, chat with friends, tell stories, study history or math, and today this can all be done supported by new technologies. From the Internet to multimedia authoring tools, technology is changing the way children live and learn. As these new technologies become ever more critical to our children's lives, we need to be sure these technologies support children in ways that make sense for them as young learners, explorers, and avid technology users. This may seem of obvious importance, because for almost 20 years the HCI community has pursued new ways to understand users of technology. However, with children as users, it has been difficult to bring them into the design process. Children go to school for most of their days; there are existing power structures, biases, and assumptions between adults and children to get beyond; and children, especially young ones have difficulty in verbalizing their thoughts. For all of these reasons, a child's role in the design of new technology has historically been minimized. Based upon a survey of the literature and my own research experiences with children, this paper defines a framework for understanding the various roles children can have in the design process, and how these roles can impact technologies that are created.

Keywords: Children, design techniques, participatory design, evaluation, educational applications


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Druin, A. (May 1999)
Cooperative Inquiry: Developing New Technologies for Children with Children
Proceedings of CHI'99, Pittsburgh, PA, USA, May 15-20, ACM, New York, 592-599
HCIL-99-14

In today's homes and schools, children are emerging as frequent and experienced users of technology [3, 14]. As this trend continues, it becomes increasingly important to ask if we are fulfilling the technology needs of our children. To answer this question, I have developed a research approach that enables young children to have a voice throughout the technology development process. In this paper, the techniques of cooperative inquiry will be described along with a theoretical framework that situates this work in the HCI literature. Two examples of technology resulting from this approach will be presented, along with a brief discussion on the design-centered learning of team researchers using cooperative inquiry.

Keywords: Children, design techniques, educational applications, cooperative design, participatory design, cooperative inquiry, intergenerational design team, KidPad, PETS.


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Druin, A., Montemayor, J., Hendler, J., McAlister, B., Boltman, A., Fiterman, E., Plaisant, A., Kruskal, A., Olsen, H., Revett, I., Plaisant Schwenn, T., Sumida, L., Wagner, R. (May 1999)
Designing PETS: A Personal Electronic Teller of Stories
Proceedings of CHI'99, Pittsburgh, PA, USA, May 15-20, ACM, New York, 326-329
HCIL-99-13

We have begun the development of a new robotic pet that can support children in the storytelling process. Children can build their own pet by snapping together the modular animal parts of the PETS robot. After their pet is built, children can tell stories using the My Pets software. These stories can then be acted out by their robotic pet. This video paper describes the motivation for this research and the design process of our intergenerational design team in building the first PETS prototypes. We will discuss our progress to date and our focus for the future.


[HTML] [Video] [Link to Report]

Potter, R., Shneiderman, B., Bederson, B. (May 1999)
Pixel Data Access for End-User Programming and Graphical Macros
HCIL-99-09, CS-TR-4019, UMIACS-TR-99-27

Pixel Data Access is an interprocess communication technique that enables users of graphical user interfaces to automate certain tasks. By accessing the contents of the display buffer, users can search for pixel representations of interface elements, and then initiate actions such as mouse clicks and keyboard entries. While this technique has limitations it offers users of current systems some unusually powerful features that are especially appealing in the area of end-user programming.

Keywords: End-User Programming, Programming by Example, Pixel Data Access, Interprocess Communication, Graphical Macros.


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Plaisant, C. (Editor) (March 1999)
1998 Human-Computer Interaction Laboratory Video Reports
HCIL-98-16, CS-TR-4007

45 minute video of the lab's work over the past year. Topics are:
  • Introduction - Ben Shneiderman
  • LifeLines: Enhancing Navigation and Analysis of Patient Records
  • SimPLE: Simulated Processes in a Learning Environment
  • Pad++: A Zooming User Interface
  • LinKit: Tight Coupling for Flexible Mutiple-Window Coordination
  • Query Previews for NASA EOSDIS
  • Children as Our Technology Design Partners
  • Genex: An Introduction
  • Genex: A Medical Scenario
  • Human Values for Shaping Educational Technology


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Stewart, J., Bederson, B., Druin, A. (December 1998)
Single Display Groupware: A Model for Co-present Collaboration
Proceedings of CHI'99, Pittsburgh, PA, USA, May 15-20, 1999, ACM, New York, 286-293.
HCIL-98-14, CS-TR-3966, UMIACS-98-75

We introduce a model for supporting collaborative work between people that are physically close to each other. We call this model Single Display Groupware (SDG). In this paper, we describe this model, comparing it to more traditional remote collaboration. We describe the requirements that SDG places on computer technology, and our understanding of the benefits and costs of SDG systems. Finally, we describe a prototype SDG system that we built and the results of a usability test we ran with 60 elementary school children.

Keywords: CSCW, Single Display Groupware, children, educational applications, input devices, Pad++, KidPad.


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Druin, A., Bederson, B., Boltman, A., Miura, A., Knotts-Callahan, D., Platt, M. (1998)
Children as Our Technology Design Partners
In Druin, A. (Ed.), The Design of Children's Technology: How we design and why?, Morgan Kaufmann, 1998, pp. 51-72.
HCIL-98-03, CS-TR-3887, UMIACS-TR-98-20

"That's silly!" "I'm bored!" "I like that!" "Why do I have to do this?" "What is this for?" These are all important responses and questions that come from children. As our design partners in developing new technologies, children can offer bluntly h onest views of their world. They have their own likes, dislikes, and needs that are not the same as adults' (Druin, Stewart, Proft, Bederson, & Hollan, 1997). As the development of new technologies for children becomes commonplace in industry and univ ersity research labs, children's input into the design and development process is critical. We need to establish new development methodologies that enable us to stop and listen, and learn to collaborate with children of all ages. In the chapter that follo ws, a discussion of new research methodologies will be presented.


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Shneiderman, B. (January 1997)
Direct Manipulation for Comprehensible, Predictable, and Controllable User Interfaces
Proceedings of IUI97, 1997 International Conference on Intelligent User Interfaces, Orlando, FL, January 6-9, 1997, 33-39.
HCIL-97-01

Direct manipulation user interfaces have proven their worth over two decades, but they are still in their youth. Dramatic opportunities exist to develop direct manipulation programming to create end-user programming tools, dynamic queries to perform information search in large databases, and information visualization to support network database browsing. Direct manipulation depends on visual representation of the objects and actions of interest, physical actions or pointing instead of complex syntax, and rapid incremental reversible operations whose effect on the object of interest is immediately visible. This strategy can lead to user interfaces that are comprehensible, predictable and controllable. Direct manipulation interfaces are seen as more likely candidates to influence advanced user interfaces than adaptive, autonomous, intelligent agents. User control and responsibility are highly desirable.

Note: This paper is adapted, with permission of the publisher, from: Designing the User Interface: Strategies for Effective Human-Computer Interaction (3rd Edition), Addison Wesley, Reading, MA (1997).


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Plaisant, C., Levy, R., Zhao, W. (November 1995)
BizView: Managing Business and Network Alarms
Summary of the video available from HCIL as part of the 1995 HCIL Video report.
HCIL-95-22

We demonstrate a network monitoring prototype incorporating both physical network alarms (e.g., a node is down) and logical alarms generated by sensors in the business applications running on the network (inventory too low or too high, excessive number of orders, etc.). Our BizView Enterprise Monitoring prototype provides tightly coupled filtered views of the network's current status and past history, timelines of alarm overviews and traditional textual details. Filtering attributes are modified interactively to deal with temporary needs or alarm overflows.


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Atallah, G., Ball, M., Baras, J., Goli, S., Karne, R., Kelley, S., Kumar, H., Plaisant, C., Roussopoulos, N., Shneiderman, B., Srinivasarao, M., Stathatos, K., Teittinen, M., Whitefield, D.
Next Generation Network Management Technology
ISR-TR-94-42 Proceedings of the 12th Symposium on Space Nuclear Power and Propulsion/Commercialization, pp. 75-82, Albuquerque, NM, January 8-12, 1995.
HCIL-94-19

Today's telecommunications networks are becoming increasingly large, complex, mission critical and heterogeneous in several dimensions. For example, the underlying physical transmission facilities of a given network may be "mixed media" (copper, fiber-optic, radio, and satellite); the sub networks may be acquired from different vendors due to economic, performance, or general availability reasons; the information being transmitted over the network may be "multimedia" (video, data, voice, and images) and, finally, varying performance criteria may be imposed e.g. data transfer may require high throughput while the others, whose concern is voice communications, may require low call blocking probability. For these reasons, future telecommunications networks are expected to be highly complex in their services and operations. Due to this growing complexity and the disparity among management systems for individual sub networks, efficient network management systems have become critical to the current and future success of telecommunications companies. This paper addresses a research and development effort which focuses on prototyping configuration management, since that is the central process of network management and all other network management functions must be built upon it. Our prototype incorporates ergonomically designed graphical user interfaces tailored to the network configuration management subsystem and to the proposed advanced object-oriented database structure. The resulting design concept follows open standards such as Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) and incorporates object oriented programming methodology to associate data with functions, permit customization, and provide an open architecture environment.


 [Link to Report]

Barreau, D. (December 1994)
Context as a Factor in Personal Information Management Systems
Journal of American Society for Information Science, 46 (5) 327-339.
HCIL-94-11

Personal Information Management (PIM) systems are information systems developed by individuals for use in a work environment. Seven managers are interviewed to observe how their electronic documents were organized, stored, and retrieved. The purpose of the study was to investigate classification behavior both to identify the features of a PIM system and to suggest whether the factors which influence classification decisions in an electronic environment were consistent with the factors that Kwasnik observed for physical documents in an office. It is suggested that these behaviors may be influenced by the hardware and software environment and may impact personal as well as organizational effeciency.


[Link to Report]

Potter, R. (April 1993)
Guiding Automation with Pixels: A Technique for Programming in the User Interface
Video in ACM INTERCHI 93 Video Program (Amsterdam, Netherlands, April 24-29, 1993), video available through ACM SIGGRAPH Video Review, issue 88-89. A one page summary also appears in INTERCHI 93 Proceedings, 530. Video also available through HCIL as part of the 1992 HCIL Video Report.
HCIL-93-23

Accessing data is a critical challenge for users who write programs to process data already stored in the computer. This data access challenge is particularly acute for end-user programming because the users' data often exists in applications like word processors, drawing editors, and spreadsheet applications whose internal workings are unknown to the users. Regardless of how easy their programming system is to use or how skilled they are at using it (whether it be C, PASCAL, keyboard macro, or programming by demonstration), the system is of no use if it cannot access the data of interest. This challenge will be all the more frustrating to users when the data is clearly represented on the computer display but cannot be accessed.


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Potter, R., Maulsby, D. (May 1993)
A Test Suite for Programming by Demonstration
Watch What I Do: Programming By Demonstration, Allen Cypher, Ed., MIT Press, Cambridge, MA (1993) 539-591.
HCIL-93-19

This Appendix is the start of what should grow into a valuable resource for PBD research. The suite of example tasks that follows should help the researcher in two ways. One is to illustrate (by example) the generality of the PBD vision by showing broad practical applications across many task domains. The other is to push the generality of PBD research by allowing researchers to challenge their systems with tasks from other peoples' experiences. As tasks are contributed to the suite and as systems are compared in their ability to automate these tasks, researchers should be able to formulate a robust list of generic PBD capabilities. Classic problems needing special research attention should emerge as well.


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Potter, R. (May 1993)
Just-in-Time Programming
Watch What I Do: Programming By Demonstration, Allen Cypher, Ed., MIT Press (1993) 513-526.
HCIL-93-18

Many of the other chapters have presented advancements in programming by demonstration (PBD) by presenting PBD systems and their innovations. In other words, these chapters have presented solutions. This chapter takes another tack by discussing PBD in the context of a problem. The problem is to create a new type of programming system that overcomes the obstacles users encounter when they attempt to use present-day programming systems for just-in-time programming. This chapter defines just-in-time program ming and identifies five of these obstacles: inaccessible data and operators, the effort of entering the algorithm, limited computational generality, effort of invoking the algorithm, and risk. Just-in-time programming motivates PBD research because PBD can potentially overcome several of these obstacles.


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Shneiderman, B. (1993)
Preface to Sparks of Innovation in Human-Computer Interaction
Sparks of Innovation in Human-Computer Interaction, B. Shneiderman, Ed., Ablex Publ. (1993) 385 pages. ACM Interactions, vol. 1, 1 (Jan. 1994) 67-71.
HCIL-93-13

The occasion for this book is the 10th Anniversary of the Human-Computer Interaction Laboratory (HCIL) at the University of Maryland. I have selected two dozen key papers from more than a hundred to repersent the work of many participants. My section introductions tell how we do what we do, including some of our failures and background stories that are not appropriate for journal papers. Many papers are trimmed to emphasize the cogent points. They weave together the threads of our work into a unified fabric that reveals the patterns of developement. It was difficult to choose the best papers; these exemplify different research method-ologies and show the maturation of thuman-computer interaction research. This book is a tribute to the faculty, staff, visitors, and students who have shared in a decade of work.

Contents
Preface
Overview: fuel for a new discipline
Introduction: supporting the process of innovation
1. Direct manipulation
1.1 Direct manipulation: a step beyond programming languages, Ben Shneiderman
1.2 A study of file manipulation by novices using commands vs. direct manipulation, Sepeedeh Margono, Ben Shneiderman
1.3 Remote direct manipulation: a case study of a telemedicine workstation, Richard Keil-Slawik, Catherine Plaisant, Ben Shneiderman
2. Menu selection
2.1 Embedded menus: selecting items in context, Larry Koved, Ben Shneiderman
2.2 An empirical comparison of pie vs. linear menus, Jack Callahan Don Hopkins, Mark Weiser, Ben Shneiderman
2.3 Time stress effects on two menu selection systems, Daniel F. Wallace, Nancy S. Anderson, Ben Shneiderman
3. Hypertext
3.1 Finding facts vs. browsing knowledge in hypertext systems, Gary Marchionini, Ben Shneiderman
3.2 Restructuring knowledge for an electronic encyclopedia, Charles B. Kreitzberg, Ben Shneiderman
3.3 The Electronic Teaching Theater: interactive hypermedia & mental models of the classroom, Kent L. Norman
4. Touchscreens
4.1 Improving the accuracy of touchscreens: an experimental evaluationof three strategies, Richard L. Potter, Linda J. Weldon, Ben Shneiderman
4.2 High precision touchscreens: design strategies and comparisons with a mouse, Andrew Sears, Ben Shneiderman
4.3 Touchscreens now offer compelling uses, Ben Shneiderman
4.4 Touchscreen interfaces for alphanumeric data entry, Catherine Plaisant, Andrew Sears
4.5 Scheduling home control devices: a case study of the transition from the research project to a product, Catherine Plaisant, Ben Shneiderman, Jim Battaglia
5. Public access
5.1 Guide to Opportunities in Volunteer Archaeology: case study on the use of a hypertext system , in a museum exhibit, Catherine Plaisant
5.2 Evaluating three museum installations of a hypertext system, Ben Shneiderman, Dorothy Brethauer, Catherine Plaisant, Richard Potter
5.3 ACCESS at the Library of Congress, Gary Marchionini, Maryle Ashley, Lois Korzendorfer
5.4 User interface consistency: an evaluation of original and revised interfaces for a videodisk library, Richard Chimera, Ben Shneiderman
6. Information visualization: dynamic queries, treemaps, and the filter/flow metaphor
6.1 Dynamic Queries for information exploration: an implementation and evaluation, Christopher Ahlberg, Christopher Williamson, Ben Shneiderman
6.2 The Dynamic HomeFinder: evaluating Dynamic Queries in a real-estate information exploration system, Christopher Williamson, Ben Shneiderman
6.3 Treemaps: a space-filling approach to the visualization of hierarchical information structures, Brian Johnson, Ben Shneiderman
7. Essays and explorations
7.1 A nonanthropomorphic style guide: overcoming the Humpty Dumpty syndrome, Ben Shneiderman
7.2 Human values and the future of technology: a declaration of responsibility, Ben Shneiderman
7.3 Engagement and construction: educational strategies for the post-TV era, Ben Shneiderman
7.4 Protecting rights in user interface designs, Ben Shneiderman
7.5 Declaration in Apple vs. Microsoft/Hewlett-Packard, Ben Shneiderman
Appendix-HCIL publications
Appendix-videos
Name index
Subject index


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Potter, R. (Jan. 1993)
Triggers: Guiding Automation with Pixels to Achieve Data Access
Watch What I Do: Programming by Demonstration, Cypher, A., Ed., MIT Press (1993) 360-380.
HCIL-93-02, CS-TR-3027, CAR-TR-658

Triggers is a programming system that shows how simple pattern matching applied to the pixels on a computer screen can effectively access data that is otherwise hidden inside an application program and unavailable to other programming by demonstration systems. Triggers invokes operators in applications by simulating keyboard and mouse actions, and accesses data through the pixel representations on the computer screen. Triggers extends the record/playback style popularized by keyboard macros. Triggers shows that pixel-based device-level algorithms exist, are understandable, can be easily implemented, and can allow a programming system to process data in situations where it would otherwise be impossible.


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Plaisant, C. (Editor) (June 1992)
1992 Human-Computer Interaction Laboratory Video Reports
HCIL-92-17, CS-TR-3529, CAR-TR-792

Introduction - Ben Shneiderman, [3:00] Dynamic Queries: database searching by direct manipulation - Ben Shneiderman, Chris Williamson, Christopher Ahlberg, [10:55] Treemaps for visualizing hierarchical information - Ben Shneiderman, Brian Johnson, Dave Turo, [11:25] Three strategies for directory browsing - Rick Chimera, [10:30] Filter-Flow metaphor for boolean queries - Degi Young, Ben Shneiderman, [6:35] The AT&T Teaching Theater: active learning through computer supported collaborative courseware - Kent Norman, [8:25] ACCESS: an online public access catalog at the Library of Congress - Gary Marchionini, [8:15] Remote Direct Manipulation: a telepathology workstation - Catherine Plaisant, Dave Carr, [7:30] Guiding automation with pixels: a technique for programming in the user interface - Richard Potter, [11:50]


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Shneiderman, B. (March 1991)
Tree visualization with treemaps: a 2-d space-filling approach
ACM Transactions on Graphics, vol. 11, 1 (Jan. 1992) 92-99.
HCIL-91-03, CS-TR-2645, CAR-TR-548

The traditional approach to representing tree structures is as a rooted, directed graph with the root node at the top of the page and children nodes below the parent node with lines connecting them has a long discussion about this standard representation, especially why the root is at the top and he offers several alternatives including brief mention of a space-fillling approach . However, the remainder of his presentation and most other discussions of trees focus on various node and edge representiation. By contrast, this paper deals with a two-dimensional (2-) space-filling approach in which each node is a rectangle whose area is proportional to some attribute such as node size.


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Kreitzberg, C., Shneiderman, B. (1988)
Restructuring knowledge for an electronic encyclopedia
Proc. International Ergonomics Association 10th Congress 31, vol. 2, (Sydney, Australia, Aug. 1-5, 1988) 615-620. Also Sparks of Innovation in Human-Computer Interaction, Shneiderman, B., Ed. , Ablex (June 1993) 123-131.
HCIL-88-05

Hyperties is a powerful, yet simple, new software tool for organizing and presenting information. It has been developed over the past five years at the University of Maryland's Human-Computer Interaction Laboratory and has been used for more than 50 projects (Shneidernan 1987a, 1987b). Hyperties authors can create databases consisting of articles that contain text and illustrations. Without the need for programming, authors can link these articles together so readers can easily browse through them. Hyperties can be used for a wide variety of applications, including:
  • On-line encyclopedias
  • Newletters
  • On-line help
  • Instruction and dynamic glossaries
  • Reference manuals
  • Corporate policy manuals
  • Summaries of products and services
  • Employee orientation
  • Biographies
  • Regulations and procedures
  • Museum exhibits
The strategies for gaining the benefits of paper texts are well understood, but there is a great need for study of how knowledge must be restructured to take advantage of hypertext environments (Yankelovich, Meyrowitz & Van Dam, 1985; Conklin, 1987; Marchionini & Shneiderman, 1988). This paper provides some guidance for designing Hyperties databases and reports on an exploratory study of comprehension tasks when article length was varied.


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Marchionini, G., Shneiderman, B. (Jan. 1988)
Finding facts vs. browsing knowledge in hypertext systems
IEEE Computer, 21, 1, 70-80. Also Sparks of Innovation in Human-Computer Interaction, Shneiderman, B., Ed., Ablex (June 1993) 103-121.
HCIL-88-01

For hypertext and electronic information systems to be effective, designers must understand how users find specific facts, locate fragments of text that satisfy information queries, or just browse. Users' information retrieval depends on the cognitive representation (mental model) of a system's features, which is largely determined by the conceptual model designers provide through the human-computer interface. Other determinants of successful retrieval include the users' knowledge of the task domain, information-seeking experience, and physical setting. In this article we present a user-centered framework for information-seeking that has been used in evaluating two hypertext systems. We then apply the framework to key design issues related to information retrieval in hypertext systems.


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Chin, J., Norman, K., Shneiderman, B. (July 1987)
Subjective user evaluation of CF Pascal programming tools
HCIL-87-06, CS-TR-1880, CAR-TR-304

This study investigated subjective evaluations of two programming environments: 1) SUPPORT, an interactive programming environment with a syntax directed editor on a personal computer and 2) a batch run environment on a large mainframe computer. Participants were students in a 15 week introductory computer science course. In Part 1, one group of 128 first used SUPPORT, while another group of 85 programmed on a mainframe environment. After 6 weeks they were given an evaluative questionnaire and then switched programming environments. In Part 2, 68 used SUPPORT and 60 used the mainframe. At the twelfth week of the course, they were given two questionnaires, one evaluating the environment they had used in the last 6 weeks and one comparing both enviro nments. A measure of programming performance (exam and programming project grades) was also collected. SUPPORT was predicted to reduce the burden of remembering syntactic details resulting in better performance and higher subjective evaluations. Unexpectedly, the SUPPORT users did not earn statistically significantly higher grades. Furthermore, participants expressed a preference for the mainframe over SUPPORT. Specific items on the questionnaires were used to diagnose the strengths and weaknesses of each environment. Designers of syntax directed editors should focus on reducing the syntactic burden not only in programming , but also in the user interface of these tools.


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Mills, C., Weldon, L. (1987)
Reading text from computer screens
ACM Computing Surveys, 19 (4), 329-358.
HCIL-87-02, CS-TR-1449, CAR-TR-94

This paper reviews empirical studies concerning the readability of information from computer screens. The review focuses on the form and physical attributes of complex, realistic displays of text material. Studies comparing paper and computer screen readability show that screens are less readable than paper. There are many potential factors that could lead to improvements in screen readability. Those explored in this review are size, width, design, and case of characters on the computer screen, the formatting of the screen, and the effects of color. In addition, a brief discussion of physiological and physical influences on readability and workstation design was included. Conclusions based on the empirical findings are offered to the designer for improving screen readability. Numerous areas for future research are pinpointed.


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Baroff, J., Simon, R., Gilman, F., Shneiderman, B. (Dec. 1986)
Direct manipulation user interfaces for expert systems
Expert Systems: The User Interface, J. Hendler, Ed., Ablex (1987) 101-127.
HCIL-86-10, CS-TR-1745, CAR-TR-244

The emergence of production rules as a programming technique has stimulated the creation of many varieties of expert systems: adviser, consultants, intelligent computer-assisted instruction, oracles, and various decision aids. Applications have ranged from medicine, to computer system configuration, to automobile repair, to financial decision making, and to many other domains (Waterman, 1986). Production rules have multiple variations, but the central theme is that a system consists of hundreds or thousands of IF-THEN rules and a large unstructured set of facts. If the antecedent conditions (IF part) are satisfied by the facts then the rule "fires" and the consequents (THEN part) are carried out. Rules may be written and stored in any order. All rules whose antecedents are satisfied may fire, but the order of firing is unpredictable. The nonsequential, nonprocedural behaviour and the random firing order are often cited as benefits that free up the programmer to make incremental changes easy. A few rules can be written and the system is quickly working, even though the refinements to make a complete system may take months or years. On the other hand, this approach is sometimes seen as chaotic, unstructured, or undisciplined by those who worry about the difficulties of debugging, error tracing, and predictability. The unique nature of rule-based programming suggests that special techniques for designing, programming, browsing, debugging, testing, and documenting are necessary for expert systems. This chapter explores some possibliities for programmer and user interface design for expert systems. Rule-based systems may be well suited for many programming situations, but an interactive system must have a good user interface to succeed. The simple question-and-answer dialogue style (teletype) may be inappropriate for many applications where greater visibility, user control, and user initiative is required. All rule-based systems must provide programmers with good facilities for managing the user interface or provide an exit to a more procedural language with screen manipulation facilities. Rule-based systems are quickly being reshaped to meet the demands of professional system developers. Rule bases are being integrated with data bases, computational tools, communications facilities, graphic manipulation software, etc. The blend of techniques will lead to more powerful systems that ease the programmer's burden and increase the quality of service to the end users.


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Shneiderman, B. (August 1983)
Direct Manipulation: A Step Beyond Programming Languages
IEEE Computer 9, 4 (August 1983), 57-69.
Please contact Ben Shneiderman (ben@cs.umd.edu) for a copy of this paper.
HCIL-83-01


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User Interface and Visualization for Electronic Health Records: SharpC at Maryland Screenshot

User Interface and Visualization for Electronic Health Records: SharpC at Maryland
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