Skip to main content

Carlea Holl-Jensen||cholljen@umd.edu


Online Publications and Tech Reports

You can search by words/phrases:

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: The,International,Children’s,Digital,Library:,Viewing,Digital,Books,Online, (269 matches)

Du, F., Plaisant, C., Spring, N., Shneiderman, B.
EventAction: Visual Analytics for Temporal Event Sequence Recommendation
To appear in Proceedings of the IEEE Visual Analytics Science and Technology (2016)
HCIL-2016-09

Recommender systems are being widely used to assist people in making decisions, for example, recommending films to watch or books to buy. Despite its ubiquity, the problem of presenting the recommendations of temporal event sequences has not been studied. We propose EventAction, which to our knowledge, is the first attempt at a prescriptive analytics interface designed to present and explain recommendations of temporal event sequences. EventAction provides a visual analytics approach to (1) identify similar records, (2) explore potential outcomes, (3) review recommended temporal event sequences that might help achieve the users' goals, and (4) interactively assist users as they define a personalized action plan associated with a probability of success. Following the design study framework, we designed and deployed EventAction in the context of student advising and reported on the evaluation with a student review manager and three graduate students.


 [Link to Report]

Zhao, Z., Marr, R., Elmqvist, N. (October 15)
Data Comics: Sequential Art for Data-Driven Storytelling
HCIL-2015-15

We present Data Comics, a novel method for storytelling using sequential art---also known as comics---constructed from data-driven visualizations. This allows for building narratives using comic layouts of panels containing both snapshots and live visualizations. Each panel in a comic layout can be decorated with visual comic symbols---such as captions, speech and thought bubbles, directional arrows, and motion lines---to augment the narrative. To validate our method, we implemented a web-based Data Comics application that consists of (1) a Clipper for capturing data-driven content from the web, (2) a Decorator for creating panels and adding comic symbols, (3) a Composer for arranging clips into comic strips, and (4) a Presenter for viewing a finished comic. We compared the method to PowerPoint slideshows in a qualitative study, and found that participants found Data Comics more engaging, efficient, and enjoyable.


 [Link to Report]

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]

Vitak, J., Blasiola, S., Patil, S., Litt, E. (May 2015)
Balancing audience and privacy tensions on social network sites
Published in International Journal of Communication (2015).
HCIL-2015-03

As social network sites grow and diversify in both users and content, tensions between users' audience composition and their disclosure practices become more prevalent. Users must navigate these spaces carefully to reap relational benefits while ensuring content is not shared with unintended audiences. Through a qualitative study of highly engaged Facebook users, this study provides insight into how people conceptualize "friendship" online, as well as how perceived audience affects privacy concerns and privacy management strategies. Findings suggest an increasingly complex relationship between these variables, fueled by collapsing contexts and invisible audiences. While a diverse range of strategies are available to manage privacy, most participants in this sample still engaged in some degree of self-censorship.


[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]

Quinn, A. (August 2014)
Crowdsourcing Decision Support: Frugal Human Computation for Efficient Decision Input Acquisition
Ph.D. Dissertation from the Department of Computer Science
HCIL-2014-22

When faced with data-intensive decision problems, individuals, businesses, and governmental decision-makers must balance trade-offs between optimality and the high cost of conducting a thorough decision process. The unprecedented availability of information online has created opportunities to make well-informed, near-optimal decisions more efficiently. A key challenge that remains is the difficulty of efficiently gathering the requisite details in a form suitable for making the decision.

Human computation and social media have opened new avenues for gathering relevant information or opinions in support of a decision-making process. It is now possible to coordinate paid web workers from online labor markets such as Amazon Mechanical Turk and others in a distributed search party for the needed information. However, the strategies that individuals employ when confronted with too much information-satisficing, information foraging, etc.-are more difficult to apply with a large, distributed group. Consequently, current distributed approaches are inherently wasteful of human time and effort.

This dissertation offers a method for coordinating workers to efficiently enter the inputs for spreadsheet decision models. As a basis for developing and understanding the idea, I developed AskSheet, a system that uses decision models represented as spreadsheets. The user provides a spreadsheet model of a decision, the formulas of which are analyzed to calculate the value of information for each of the decision inputs. With that, it is able to prioritize the inputs and make the decision input acquisition process more frugal. In doing so, it trades machine capacity for analyzing the model for a reduction in the cost and burden to the humans providing the needed information.


 [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]

Golbeck, J., Mauriello, M. (July 2014)
User Perception of Facebook App Data Access: A Comparison of Methods and Privacy Concerns
HCIL-2014-19

Despite privacy concerns, social media users continue to share vast amounts of personal information online, and to use services that can access this data. But are users fully aware of what information they are sharing when they install an app, or are they making these decisions from a weak position? In this paper, we focused on Facebook apps and set out to understand how well informed users are about the information they are sharing and how concerned they are about privacy.

We recruited 120 subjects for an experiment. Subjects completed a survey about their beliefs and concerns regarding the information Facebook apps could access in their profiles. They were shown additional information from different sources that explained what data apps could access, and then asked to re-take the survey. We found that after viewing the information about app data access, overall concern about privacy on Facbeook increased, as did concern about identity theft, and unauthorized people gaining access to subjects' data. Furthermore, after viewing the data, subjects had a better understanding of what data apps were able to access from their profile. At the same time, even after viewing explicit information on the topic, many subjects still did not fully understand what data apps could access.

We present the results of our study, address how these results can inform future work on educating users about privacy risks and policies, discuss and the implications this has for cybersecurity, social media, and HCI.


 [Link to Report]

Mohamed, N., Lesh, N., Conte, F., Findlater, L. (April 2014)
Using ICT4CHW to Influence Decision Makers
Proceedings of 4th International Conference on Mobile Communication for Development, 5 pages.
HCIL-2014-11


[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]

Yip, J., Clegg, T., Ahn, J., Bonsignore, E., Gubbels, M., Rhodes, E., Lewittes, C. (April 2014)
The Role of Identity Development Within Tensions in Ownership of Science Learning
In Proceedings of the Eleventh International Conference of the Learning Sciences (ICLS 2014).
HCIL-2014-05

Ownership of science learning is defined as learners being able to fully participate in the practicing culture of science, having greater control and possession over the ideas put forth, knowledge developed, and the science learning process. While ownership is beneficial to promoting science engagement, in this study, we show that conflicts in ownership of science learning manifest and can hinder learning. We document three focal learners who faced tensions and conflicts in their ownership of science learning. Specifically, we examine how learners' development and conceptions of ownership at home and school influenced how ownership of learning was expressed in an afterschool program called Kitchen Chemistry (KC). We argue that learners' expressions of ownership are a reflection of their identity development in science and that conflicts are a part of this manifestation.


 [Link to Report]

Ahn, J., Subramaniam, M., Bonsignore, E., Pellicone, A., Waugh, A., Yip, J. (April 2014)
"I want to be a Game Designer or Scientist:" Connected Learning and Developing Identities with Urban, African-American Youth
In Proceedings of the Eleventh International Conference of the Learning Sciences (ICLS 2014).
HCIL-2014-04

Understanding identity, including how young people come to aspire to become someone, is vital to address the underrepresentation of minorities in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). We report on a two-year, research project where we designed, implemented, and conducted case study research in an after-school program for inner city, middle school students. The program utilizes the school library, new media activities, and science fiction to engage young people to imagine STEM as relevant in their lives. We focus our analysis on two African-American boys, Damian and Jamal, who are best friends and avid gamers. Despite their similar backgrounds, they show starkly divergent identity trajectories while participating in our program. We highlight how they experienced different connected-learning activities and social positioning over time, and how these experiences related to Damian’s developing aspiration to become a game designer or scientist, contrasted with Jamal’s struggle to imagine a future in STEM.


 [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]

Ellison, N., Gray, R., Vitak, J., Lampe, C., Fiore, A.
Calling All Facebook Friends: Exploring requests for help on Facebook
Proceedings of the 7th annual International Conference on Weblogs and Social Media (pp. 155-164). Washington, DC: Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence. Doi: 10.9776/13384
HCIL-2013-28


[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]

Bederson, B., Rose, A. (December 2013)
When Crowds Come Together: Supporting Engagement and Peer Learning in a Classroom Setting
HCIL-2013-21

Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) have been very effective at bringing attention to technology and learning. But, their focus on remote, asynchronous situations leaves a gap for the co-present, synchronous settings of most university classrooms. This paper investigates the use of technology IN classrooms to better support active student engagement. By harnessing student effort with a human computation model, we provide a tool called XParty that supports a pedagogically useful activity that simultaneously engages the entire class and gives students and the instructor alike feedback about what students are thinking.


 [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]

Hara, K., Froehlich, J. (October 2012)
A Feasibility Study of Crowdsourcing and Google Street View to Determine Sidewalk Accessibility
In Proceedings of The 14th International ACM SIGACCESS Conference on Computers and Accessibility (ASSETS 2012), Boulder, Colorado, USA, October 22-24, 2012
HCIL-2012-36


 [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]

Dunne, C., Shneiderman, B. (September 2012)
Motif Simplification: Improving Network Visualization Readability with Fan, Connector, and Clique Glyphs
Dunne C and Shneiderman B (2013), "Motif simplification: improving network visualization readability with fan, connector, and clique glyphs", In CHI '13: Proc. 2013 international conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems.
HCIL-2012-29

Analyzing networks involves understanding the complex relationships between entities, as well as any attributes they may have. The widely used node-link diagrams excel at this task, but many are difficult to extract meaning from because of the inherent complexity of the relationships and limited screen space. To help address this problem we introduce a technique called motif simplification, in which common patterns of nodes and links are replaced with compact and meaningful glyphs. Well-designed glyphs have several benefits: they (1) require less screen space and layout effort, (2) are easier to understand in the context of the network, (3) can reveal otherwise hidden relationships, and (4) preserve as much underlying information as possible. We tackle three frequently occurring and high-payoff motifs: fans of nodes with a single neighbor, connectors that link a set of anchor nodes, and cliques of completely connected nodes. We contribute design guidelines for motif glyphs; example glyphs for the fan, connector, and clique motifs; algorithms for detecting these motifs; a free and open source reference implementation; and results from a controlled study of 36 participants that demonstrates the effectiveness of motif simplification.


 [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]

Sopan, A., Rey, P., Butler, B., Shneiderman, B. (September 2012)
Monitoring Academic Conferences: Real-time Visualization and Retrospective Analysis of Backchannel Conversations
Published in Proceedings of 2012 International Conference on Social Informatics
HCIL-2012-17

Social-media-supported academic conferences are becoming increasingly global as people anywhere can participate actively through backchannel conversation. It can be challenging for the conference organizers to integrate the use of social media, to take advantage of the connections between backchannel and front stage, and to encourage the participants to be a part of the broader discussion occurring through social media. As academic conferences are different in nature, specialized tools and methods are needed to analyze the vast amount of digital data generated through the backchannel conversation, which can offer key insights on best practices. In this paper we present our two fold contribution to enable organizers to gain such insights. First, we introduce Conference Monitor (CM), a real time webbased tweet visualization dashboard to monitor the backchannel conversation during academic conferences. We demonstrate the features of CM, which are designed to help monitor academic conferences and its application during the conference Theorizing the Web 2012 (TtW12). Its real time visualizations helped identify the popular sessions, the active and important participants and trending topics during the conference. Second, we report on our retrospective analysis of the tweets about the TtW12 conference and the conference-related follower-networks of its participants. The 4828 tweets from 593 participants resulted in 8:14 tweets per participant. The 1591 new follower-relations created among the participants during the conference confirmed the overall high volume of new connections created during academic conferences. We also observed that on average a speaker got more new followers than a non-speaker. A few remote participants also gained comparatively large number of new followers due to the content of their tweets and their perceived importance to the conference followers. There was a positive correlation between the number of new followers of a participant and the number of people who mentioned him/her. The analysis of the tweets suggested that remote participants had a significant level of participation in the backchannel and live streaming helped them to be more engaged.


 [Link to Report]

Shneiderman, B., Dunne, C. (August 2012)
Interactive Network Exploration to Derive Insights: Filtering, Clustering, Grouping, and Simplification
Published in: GD '12: Proc. 20th International Symposium on Graph Drawing
HCIL-2012-16

The growing importance of network analysis has increased attention on interactive exploration to derive insights and support personal, business, legal, scientific, or national security decisions. Since networks are often complex and cluttered, strategies for effective filtering, clustering, grouping, and simplification are helpful in finding key nodes and links, surprising clusters, important groups, or meaningful patterns. We describe readability metrics and strategies that have been implemented in NodeXL, our free and open source network analysis tool, and show examples from our research. While filtering, clustering, and grouping have been used in many tools, we present several advances on these techniques. We also discuss our recent work on motif simplification, in which common patterns are replaced with compact and meaningful glyphs, thereby improving readability.


 [Link to Report]

Tao, C., Wongsuphasawat, K., Clark, K., Plaisant, C., Chute, C. (April 2012)
Towards Event Sequence Representation, Reasoning and Visualization for HER Data
Published in: Proc. 2nd ACM International Health Informatics Symposium, ACM Press, New York (2012), 801-805.
HCIL-2012-07

Efficient analysis of event sequences and the ability to answer time-related, clinically important questions can accelerate clinical research in several areas such as causality assessments, decision support systems, and retrospective studies. The Clinical Narrative Temporal Reasoning Ontology (CNTRO)-based system is designed for semantically representing, annotating, and inferring temporal relations and constraints for clincial events in Electronic Health Records (EHR) represented in both structured and unstructured ways. The LifeFlow system is designed to support an interactive exploration of event sequences using visualization techniques. The combination of the two systems will provide a comprehensive environment for users to visualize inferred temporal relationships from EHR data. This paper discusses our preliminary efforts on connecting the two systems and the benefits we envision from such an environment.


 [Link to Report]

(2011)
An experimental study of social tagging behavior and image content
Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology 62 (9), 1750-1760.
HCIL-2011-37

Social tags have become an important tool for improving access to online resources, particularly non-text media. With the dramatic growth of user-generated content, the importance of tags is likely to grow. However, while tagging behavior is well studied, the relationship between tagging behavior and features of the media being tagged is not well understood. In this paper, we examine the relationship between tagging behavior and image type. Through a lab-based study with 51 subjects and an analysis of an online dataset of image tags, we show that there are significant differences in the number, order, and type of tags that users assign based on their past experience with an image, the type of image being tagged, and other image features. We present these results and discuss the significant implications this work has for tag-based search algorithms, tag recommendation systems, and other interface issues.


 [Link to Report]

Golub, E. (December 2011)
Social Norms of Students: Online Activities Surrounding a "First Date" Scenario
HCIL-2011-36

This paper presents the results of a student activity which gives some insight into the social norms of university students regarding online activities. The students were presented with a "first date" scenario and asked what online activities they would and would not do in relation to that scenario. A singlereviewer form of emergent coding was used to identify trends in the student responses and then iterative coding was used on the open-ended responses. The results are presented by gender and example anecdotal quotes are given for context. Some potential implications indicated by the responses are given.


 [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]

Sopan, A. (December 2011)
Application of ManyNets to Analyze Dynamic Networks and Compare Online Communities: A case study with Nation of Neighbors
Masters Dissertation from the Department of Computer Science
HCIL-2011-32

Application of visual analytics for dynamic network analysis is a growing field of research nowadays. ManyNets is a network visualization tool that can visualize multiple network overviews at once and I participated in its development. I used this tool to analyze the dynamics of the online social network portal Nation of Neighbors (online communities for neighborhood crime watch) and made refinement to ManyNets in order to facilitate the analysis. In this report I demonstrate this gradual improvement process. A case study with Nation of Neighbors data shows the ability of ManyNets to glean insights from the users’ activity log regarding the evolution and leadership in the communities. The study also suggests improvement of the tool and its interface, and future directions with this research.


 [Link to Report]

Lam, H., Bertini, E., Isenberg, P., Plaisant, C., Carpendale, S. (December 2011)
Empirical Studies in Information Visualization: Seven Scenarios
Published in: IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, 30 Nov. 2011. IEEE computer Society Digital Library. IEEE Computer Society, http://doi.ieeecomputersociety.org/10.1109/TVCG.2011.279
HCIL-2011-31

We take a new, scenario based look at evaluation in information visualization. Our seven scenarios, evaluating visual data analysis and reasoning, evaluating user performance, evaluating user experience, evaluating environments and work practices, evaluating communication through visualization, evaluating visualization algorithms, and evaluating collaborative data analysis were derived through an extensive literature review of over 800 visualization publications. These scenarios distinguish different study goals and types of research questions and are illustrated through example studies. Through this broad survey and the distillation of these scenarios we make two contributions. One, we encapsulate the current practices in the information visualization research community and, two, we provide a different approach to reaching decisions about what might be the most effective evaluation of a given information visualization. Scenarios can be used to choose appropriate research questions and goals and the provided examples can be consulted for guidance on how to design one's own study.


[Link to Report]

Rotman, D., Preece, J., Hammock, J., Procita, K., Hansen, D., Parr, C., Lewis, D., Jacobs, D. (November 2011)
Dynamic Changes in Motivation in Collaborative Citizen-Science Projects
In Proc. CSCW 2012. February 11-15, 2012, Seattle, Washington.
HCIL-2011-28

Online citizen science projects engage volunteers in collecting, analyzing, and curating scientific data. Existing projects have demonstrated the value of using volunteers to collect data, but few projects have reached the full collaborative potential of scientists and volunteers. Understanding the shared and unique motivations of these two groups can help designers establish the technical and social infrastructures needed to promote effective partnerships. We present findings from a study of the motivational factors affecting participation in ecological citizen science projects. We show that volunteers are motivated by a complex framework of factors that dynamically change throughout their cycle of work on scientific projects; this motivational framework is strongly affected by personal interests as well as external factors such as attribution and acknowledgment. Identifying the pivotal points of motivational shift and addressing them in the design of citizen-science systems will facilitate improved collaboration between scientists and volunteers.


 [Link to Report]

Quinn, A., Bederson, B. (November 2011)
Appsheet: Efficient use of web workers to support decision making
HCIL-2011-26

The wealth of information and social resources online has raised the bar for the quality of decisions that individuals and businesses can make. Human computation and social mediums have also increased the potential for finding relevant information or opinions and making them a part of a decision-making process. However, the strategies that individuals employ when confronted with too much information--satisficing, information foraging, etc.--are more difficult to apply with a large, distributed group. Appsheet is a new technology foundation that uses a spreadsheet model of a decision to guide distributed search parties in support of decision-making applications.


 [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]

Yeh, T., Wongsuphasawat, K., Shneiderman, B., Davis, L. (September 2011)
Making GUIs Narcissistic: Toolkit for Managing Space and Occlusion by Visual Introspection
HCIL-2011-21

Effective use of screen space and reduction of occlusion are important for usability. We present a toolkit to help a GUI manage space and occlusion by visual introspection. Rather than relying on a GUI’s internal model, our toolkit inspects a GUI’s visual appearance at the screen pixel level and computes maps to describe the GUI’s space and occlusion distribution. Moreover, we compare a GUI’s expected appearance perceived internally to the actual appearance seen on the screen for detecting occlusion. We give examples how a GUI can adapt accordingly, such as resizing, repositioning, adding and removing components and borrowing space from outside. We validate the usefulness of this toolkit with two case studies. First, the developer of LifeFlow, a visualization tool for temporal event sequences, used our toolkit to improve the space utilization of the query interface and the main visualization interface. Second, our toolkit was used to implement an automatic text placement extension for JUNG, a popular open-source network visualization library. From the two case studies, we drew recommendations to inform potential users of our toolkit.


 [Link to Report]

Rotman, D., Procita, K., Hansen, D., Parr, C., Preece, J. (July 2011)
Supporting Content Curation Communities: The Case of the Encyclopedia of Life
HCIL-2011-19

This paper explores the opportunities and challenges of creating and sustaining large-scale, "content curation communities" through an in-depth case study of the Encyclopedia of Life (EOL). Content curation communities are large scale crowdsourcing endeavors that aim to curate existing content into a single repository, making these communities different from content creation communities such as Wikipedia. In this paper we define content curation communities and provide examples of this increasingly important genre. We then follow by presenting EOL, a compelling example of a content curation community, and describe a case study of EOL based on analysis of interviews, online discussions, and survey data. Our findings are characterized into two broad categories - information integration and social integration. Information integration challenges at EOL include the need to (a) accommodate multiple taxonomic classification sources and (b) integrate traditional peer reviewed sources with user-generated, non-peer reviewed content. Social integration challenges at EOL include the need to (a) establish the credibility of open-access resources within the scientific community, and (b) facilitate collaboration between experts and novices. After identifying the challenges, we discuss the potential strategies EOL and other content curation communities can use to address them, and provide technical, content, and social design recommendations for overcoming them.


 [Link to Report]

Violi, N., Shneiderman, B., Hanson, A., Rey, P. (June 2011)
Motivation for Participation in Online Neighborhood Watch Communities: An Empirical Study Involving Invitation Letters
Proc. IEEE Conference on Social Computing 2011 (October 2011, Boston, MA), IEEE Press, Piscataway, NJ, 760-765.
HCIL-2011-13

This paper presents a three-part experiment designed to investigate the motivations of users of a community safety and neighborhood watch social networking website. The experiment centers around an intervention into the invitation system that current users employ to invite nonmembers to join the site, and involves several versions of an invitation email which differ by expressing one of four possible motivations for using such a site. The research presented investigates how potential users' choice of whether or not to join the site is affected by the use case presented by the invitation. It also includes an investigation of the motivations of current users of the site, as reported in an online survey. The experiment yielded no significant difference in responses to the emails. Overall, invitations that included a specific motivation slightly outperformed those which did not, but not to a statistically significant degree. We conclude that although users have specific motivations for using the site, as reported in the survey, attempting to increase response rates to invitation emails by suggesting use cases of the site is surprisingly unlikely to be successful.


 [Link to Report]

Gove, R., Gramsky, N., Kirby, R., Sefer, E., Sopan, A., Dunne, C., Shneiderman, B., Taieb-Maimon, M. (June 2011)
NetVisia: Heat Map and Matrix Visualization of Dynamic Social Network Statistics and Content
In SocialCom '11:Proc. IEEE 3rd International Conference on Social Computing (October 2011), 19-26.
HCIL-2011-12

Visualizations of static networks in the form of node-link diagrams have evolved rapidly, though researchers are still grappling with how best to show evolution of nodes over time in these diagrams. This paper introduces NetVisia, a social network visualization system designed to support users in exploring temporal evolution in networks by using heat maps to display node attribute changes over time. NetVisia's novel contributions to network visualizations are to (1) cluster nodes in the heat map by similar metric values instead of by topological similarity, and (2) align nodes in the heat map by events. We compare NetVisia to existing systems and describe a formative user evaluation of a NetVisia prototype with four participants that emphasized the need for tooltips and coordinated views. Despite the presence of some usability issues, in 30-40 minutes the user evaluation participants discovered new insights about the data set which had not been discovered using other systems. We discuss implemented improvements to NetVisia, and analyze a co-occurrence network of 228 business intelligence concepts and entities. This analysis confirms the utility of a clustered heat map to discover outlier nodes and time periods.


 [Link to Report]

Walsh, G., Brown, Q., Druin, A., Amos, C. (April 2011)
Social Networking as a Vehicle to Foster Cross-Cultural Awareness
To appear in IDC 2011.
HCIL-2011-10

The growth of online social networks such as Facebook, MySpace, and Linked-In has transformed the way in which individuals establish and maintain relationships for both business and entertainment. In this paper we present the analysis of a similar online social network that was used to foster cross-cultural awareness among users ages 14-17.The social network provided students across the globe with an environment to establish online identities, explore their own culture and the culture of peers who were located in three different countries.We make recommendations to network designers to reconsider friendship metaphors, work within existing network tools, and replace text as the default medium in communication.

Supplementary Info:
Survey
Interview Questions


[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]

Shneiderman, B. (March 2011)
Technology-Mediated Social Participation: The Next 25 Years of HCI Challenges
Keynote: Proc. HCI International Conference, Springer (to appear July 2011).
HCIL-2011-03

The dramatic success of social media such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, blogs, and traditional discussion groups empowers individuals to become active in local and global communities. Some enthusiasts believe that with modest redesign, these technologies can be harnessed to support national priorities such as healthcare/wellness, disaster response, community safety, energy sustainability, etc. However, accomplishing these ambitious goals will require long-term research to develop validated scientific theories and reliable, secure, and scalable technology strategies. The enduring questions of how to motivate participation, increase social trust, and promote collaboration remain grand challenges even as the technology rapidly evolves. This talk invites researchers across multiple disciplines to participate in redefining our discipline of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) along more social lines to answer vital research questions while creating inspirational prototypes, conducting innovative evaluations, and developing robust technologies. By placing greater emphasis on social media, the HCI community could constructively influence these historic changes.


 [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]

Bederson, B., Quinn, A. (November 2010)
Web Workers Unite, Addressing Challenges of Online Laborers
HCIL-2010-27

The ongoing rise of human computation as a means of solving computational problems has created an environment where human workers are often regarded as nameless, faceless computational resources. Some people have begun to think of online tasks as a "remote person call". In this paper, we summarize ethical and practical labor issues surrounding online labor, and offer a set of guidelines for designing and using online labor in ways that support more positive relationships between workers and requestors, so that both can gain the most benefit from the interaction.


 [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]

Golbeck, J., Hansen, D. (September 2010)
Computing Political Preference among Twitter Followers
HCIL-2010-20

Through anecdotal evidence and a variety of methods, claims are constantly being made about the bias of media outlets. As many of those outlets create online personas, we seek to measure the political preferences of their audience, rather than of the outlet itself. In this paper, we present a method for computing political preferences of an organization’s Twitter followers using congressional liberal/conservative ADA scores as a seed. We apply this technique to characterize the political preferences of major news media Twitter audiences. We discuss how this technique can be extended or used to create personalized recommendations and insights for news seekers and social media analysts and marketers.


 [Link to Report]

Hansen, D., Smith, M., Shneiderman, B.
EventGraphs: Charting Collections of Conference Connections
Accepted to the Social Networking and Communities Mini-Track of the Forty-Forth Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS), Jan 4-7, 2011. Kauai, Hawaii.
HCIL-2010-13

EventGraphs are social media network diagrams constructed from content selected by its association with time-bounded events, such as conferences. Many conferences now communicate a common "hashtag" or keyword to identify messages related to the event. EventGraphs help make sense of the collections of connections that form when people follow, reply or mention one another and a keyword. This paper defines EventGraphs, characterizes different types, and shows how the social media network analysis add-in NodeXL supports their creation and analysis. The paper also identifies the structural and conversational patterns to look for and highlight in EventGraphs and provides design ideas for their improvement.


 [Link to Report]

Wang, T., Wongsuphasawat, K., Plaisant, C., Shneiderman, B. (June 2010)
Visual Information Seeking in Multiple Electronic Health Records: Design Recommendations and A Process Model
Published in Proceedings of the 1st ACM International Informatics Symposium (IHI '10) (2010) 46-55.
HCIL-2010-12

In the advent of electronic health record (EHR) systems, physicians and clinical researchers enjoy the ease of storage, retrieval, persistence, and sharing of patient data. However, the way physicians interact with EHRs has not changed much. More specifically, task support for temporally analyzing large number of EHRs has been lacking. A number of information visualization techniques have been proposed to alleviate this problem. Unfortunately, due to their limited application to a single case study, the results are often difficult to generalize across medical scenarios. In this paper we present the usage data of and user comments on our information visualization tool Lifelines2 through eight different medical case studies. We generalize our experience into an information- seeking process model for multiple EHRs. Base on our analysis, we make recommendations to future information visualization designers for EHRs on common design requirements and future research directions.


 [Link to Report]

Yeh, T., White, B., Davis, L., Katz, B. (May 2010)
Searching the Web Using Screenshots
HCIL-2010-08

Many online articles contain useful know-how knowledge about GUI applications. Even though these articles tend to be richly illustrated by screenshots, no system has been designed to take advantage of these screenshots to visually search know-how articles e ectively. In this paper, we present a novel system to index and search software knowhow articles that leverages the visual correspondences between screenshots. To retrieve articles about an application, users can take a screenshot of the application to query the system and retrieve a list of articles containing a matching screenshot. Useful snippets such as captions, references, and nearby text are automatically extracted from the retrieved articles and shown alongside with the thumbnails of the matching screenshots as excerpts for relevancy judgement. Retrieved articles are ranked by a comprehensive set of visual, textual, and site features, whose weights are learned by RankSVM. Our prototype system currently contains 150k articles that are classi ed into walkthrough, book, gallery, and general categories. We demonstrated the system's ability to retrieve matching screenshots for a wide variety of programs, across language boundaries, and provide subjectively more useful results than keyword-based web and image search engines.


 [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]

Sopan, A., Freire, M., Taieb-Maimon, M., Golbeck, J., Shneiderman, B., Shneiderman, B. (April 2010)
Exploring Data Distributions: Visual Design and Evaluation
Published in International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction (2012).
HCIL-2010-01

Visual overviews of tables of numerical and categorical data have been proposed for tables with a single value per cell. In this paper we address the problem of exploring tables including columns consisting of distributions, e.g. the distributions of movie ratings or trust ratings in recommender systems, age distributions in demographic data, usage distributions in logs of telephone calls etc. We propose a novel way of displaying and interacting with distribution data, and present the results of a usability study that demonstrates the benefits of the interface in providing an overview of the data and facilitating the discovery of interesting clusters, patterns, outliers and relationships between columns.
Index Terms--Information visualization, distributions, overview, tabular visualization.


 [Link to Report]

Hansen, D.
Overhearing the Crowd: An Empirical Examination of Conversation Reuse in a Technical Support Community
Published in Proceedings of the Fourth International Conference on Communities and Technologies (University Park, PA, USA, June 25 - 27, 2009). C&T '09. ACM, New York, NY, 155-164.
HCIL-2009-36

This paper describes a mixed method, empirical analysis of conversation reuse in an online technical support community. I find that the same characteristics that make the conversation successful (its highly personal, immediate, and socially engaging nature) make reuse of the conversation problematic. The archived discussion and wiki are reused to satisfy an immediate need, while the ongoing conversation is reused to help learn the practice. Use of the discussion archive and wiki repository are compared, showing benefits of the decontextualized, distilled wiki content for reuse. Implications of the findings on the design of "reuser friendly" tools and strategies are discussed.


 [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]

Freire, M., Plaisant, C., Shneiderman, B., Golbeck, J. (September 2009)
ManyNets: An Interface for Multiple Network Analysis and Visualization
In Proceedings of the 28th international conference on Human factors in computing systems (CHI '10). ACM, New York (2010) 213-222
HCIL-2009-30

Traditional network analysis tools support analysts in studying a single network. ManyNets offers these analysts a powerful new approach that enables them to work on multiple networks simultaneously. Several thousand networks can be presented as rows in a tabular visualization, and then inspected, sorted and filtered according to their attributes. The networks to be displayed can be obtained by subdivision of larger networks. Examples of meaningful subdivisions used by analysts include ego networks, community extraction, and time-based slices. Cell visualizations and interactive column overviews allow analysts to assess the distribution of attributes within particular sets of networks. Details, such as traditional node-link diagrams, are available on demand. We describe a case study analyzing a social network geared towards film recommendations by means of decomposition. A small usability study provides feedback on the use of the interface on a set of tasks issued from the case study.


 [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]

Bederson, B., Hu, C., Resnik, P. (October 2009)
Translation by Iterative Collaboration between Monolingual Users
Published as:
Bederson, B.B., Hu, C., & Resnik, P. (2010) Translation by Iteractive Collaboration between Monolingual Users, Proceedings of Graphics Interface (GI 2010), 39-46.
HCIL-2009-28

In this paper we describe a new iterative translation process designed to leverage the massive number of online users who have minimal or no bilingual skill. The iterative process is supported by combining existing machine translation methods with monolingual human speakers. We have built a Web-based prototype that is capable of yielding high quality translations at much lower cost than traditional professional translators. Preliminary evaluation results of this prototype confirm the validity of the approach.


 [Link to Report]

Golbeck, J., Hu, C. (October 2009)
Impact of Visualization Methods on Interaction with Search Results
HCIL-2009-27

There are many search and browsing tasks online where relevance scores are not particularly important to the user, but other scores like popularity or average rating can be very informative. If and how these scores are shown varies widely between systems. In this paper, we investigate di erent methods for visualizing these scores and how they a ect user behavior. We conducted a con- trolled study with 21 subjects who each completed tasks with six di erent visualization methods. We found that there was no signi cant di erence between the meth- ods with respect to their impact on the user interaction with search results, but that there was a strong prefer- ence for having some sort of visualization. We discuss the experiment, results, and design implications that follow from this work.


 [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]

Hansen, D., Rotman, D., Bonsignore, E., Milic-Frayling, N., Rodrigues, E., Smith, M., Shneiderman, B. (September 2009)
Do You Know the Way to SNA?: A Process Model for Analyzing and Visualizing Social Media Data
HCIL-2009-17

Traces of activity left by social media users can shed light on individual behavior, social relationships, and community efficacy. Tools and processes to analyze social traces are essential for enabling practitioners to study and nurture meaningful and sustainable social interaction. Yet such tools and processes remain in their infancy. We conducted a study of 15 graduate students who were learning to apply Social Network Analysis (SNA) to data from online communities. Based on close observations of their emergent practices, we derived the Network Analysis and Visualization (NAV) process model and identified stages where intervention from peers, experts, and an SNA tool were most useful. We show how the NAV model informs the design of SNA tools and services, education practices, and support for social media practitioners.


 [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]

Hu, C., Rose, A., Bederson, B. (March 2009)
Locating Text in Scanned Books
Published as:
Hu, C., Rose, A., Bederson, B.B.* (2009) Locating Text in Scanned Books. In Proceedings of the Joint Conference on Digital Libraries (JCDL 2009), Poster.
HCIL-2009-07

Text location in scanned documents is important for selection, search, and other interactions with visual presentations of scanned books. In this paper, we describe a work flow to extract and verify text locations using commercial software, along with free software products and human proofing. Our method uses Adobe Acrobat’s OCR functionality, but can be easily adapted to other OCR software products. To help mid-sized digital libraries, we are making our solution available as open source software.


 [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]

Golbeck, J., Rothstein, M. (December 2008)
Linking Social Networks on the Web with FOAF
HCIL-2008-40

One of the core goals of the Semantic Web is to store data in distributed locations, and use ontologies and reasoning to aggregate it. Social networking is a large movement on the web, and social networking data using the Friend of a Friend (FOAF) vocabulary makes up a significant portion of all data on the Semantic Web. Many traditional webbased social networks share their members’ information in FOAF format. While this is by far the largest source of FOAF online, there is no information about whether the social network models from each network overlap to create a larger unified social network model, or whether they are simply isolated components. In this paper, we present a study of the intersection of FOAF data found in many online social networks. Using the semantics of the FOAF ontology and applying Semantic Web reasoning techniques, we show that a significant percentage of profiles can be merged from multiple networks. We present results on how this affects network structure and what it says about relationships and individual behavior. Finally, we discuss the implications this has for using web-based social networking data to create intelligent user interfaces and social software.


 [Link to Report]

Golbeck, J. (December 2008)
Trust and Nuanced Profile Similarity in Online Social Networks
HCIL-2008-39

Online communities, where users maintain lists of friends and express their preferences for items like movies, music, or books, are very popular. The web-based nature of this information makes it ideal for use in a variety of intelligent systems that can take advantage of the users’ social and personal data . For those systems to be effective, however, it is important to understand the relationship between social and personal preferences. In this work we investigate features of profile similarity and how those relate to the way users determine trust. Through a controlled study, we isolate several profile features beyond overall similarity that affect how much subjects trust a hypothetical users. We then use data from FilmTrust, a real social network where users rate movies, and show that the profile features discovered in the experiment allow us to more accurately predict trust than when using only overall similarity. In this paper, we present these experimental results and discuss the potential implications for social networking and intelligent systems.


 [Link to Report]

Hendler, J., Golbeck, J. (December 2008)
Metcalfe's Law, Web 2.0, and the Semantic Web
HCIL-2008-38

The power of the Web is enhanced through the network effect produced as resources link to each other with the value determined by Metcalfe's law. In Web 2.0 applications, much of that effect is delivered through social linkages realized via social networks online. Unfortunately, the associated semantics for Web 2.0 applications, delivered through tagging, is generally minimally hierarchical and sparsely linked. The Semantic Web suffers from the opposite problem. Semantic information, delivered through ontologies of varying amounts of expressivity, is linked to other terms (within or between resources) creating a link space in the semantic realm. However, the use of the Semantic Web has yet to fully realize the social schemes that provide the network of users. In this article, we discuss putting these together, with linked semantics coupled to linked social networks, to deliver a much greater effect.


 [Link to Report]

Clement, T., Plaisant, C., Vuillemot, R. (November 2008)
The Story of One: Humanity scholarship with visualization and text analysis
in Proc. Of the Digital Humanities Conference (DH 2009)
HCIL-2008-33

Most critiques of The Making of Americas (Paris 1925) by Gertrude Stein contend that the text deconstructs the role narrative plays in determining identity by using indeterminacy to challenge readerly subjectivity. The current perception of Making as a postmodern text relies on the notion that there is a tension created by frustrated expectations that result from the text’s progressive disbandment of story and plot as the narrative unweaves into seemingly chaotic, meaningless rounds of repetitive words and phrases. Yet, a new perspective that is facilitated by digital tools and based on the highly structured nature of the text suggests that these instabilities can be resolved by the same seemingly nonsensical, non-narrative structures. Seeing the manner in which the structure of the text makes meaning in conversation with narrative alleviates perceived instabilities in the discourse. The discourse about identity formation is engaged—not dissolved in indeterminacy—to the extent that the reader can read the composition.


 [Link to Report]

Jong, C., Rajkumar, P., Siddiquie, B., Clement, T., Plaisant, C., Shneiderman, B. (November 2008)
Interactive Exploration of Versions across Multiple Documents
to appear in Proc. of the Digital Humanities Conference (DH 2009)
HCIL-2008-32

The need to compare two or more documents arises in a variety of situations. Some instances include detection of plagiarism in academic settings and comparing versions of computer programs. Extensive research has been performed on comparing documents based on their content (Si et al., 1997; Brin et al., 1995) and there also exist several tools such as windiff to visually compare a pair of documents. However, little work has been done on providing an effective visual interface to facilitate the comparison of more than two documents simultaneously. Versioning Machine (Schreibman et al., 2003) is a web-based interface that provides the facility to view multiple versions of a document, along with the changes across versions. Motivated by Versioning machine (VM), we build a tool MultiVersioner that facilitates viewing multiple versions of multiple documents at once, and provides the user with a rich set of information regarding their comparison. The primary user during the development of MultiVersioner was Tanya Clement, a doctoral candidate in English at the University of Maryland, who researches the works of experimental poets.


 [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]

Parr, C. (May 2008)
Ecological Informatics Internet
Jorgensen, S.E., ed. Encyclopedia of Ecology. Oxford, UK: Elsevier.
HCIL-2008-25

Shaping internet technologies for ecology in the next century is an important focus in ecological informatics. The internet, and in particular the world wide web, makes data sharing and collaboration among ecologists far easier than ever before, but significant challenges remain. We provide brief histories and explanations of core internet and web concepts, including protocols and languages and relevant database and digital library concepts. Examples are drawn from the ecological community where possible. Particularly active areas of current research seek to increase the scale of ecological studies, both in terms of the amount and geographic and temporal scale of data, and in the number of people involved and reached. The semantic web aims to facilitate discovery and intelligent integration of distributed data. Grid computing enables large computational analyses across widely distributed computers. Social computing technologies allow distant members of communities to interact and collaborate. These range from traditional electronic mail applications and citizen science web sites, to more modern technology such as wikis and weblogs.. The internet is changing the way ecologists and other scientists conduct and disseminate their work. Finally, ecological concepts are being applied to the study of the internet which in turn provides ideas for the study of ecology.


 [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]

Yeh, R., Liao, C., Klemmer, S., Guimbretière, F., Lee, B., Kakarodov, B., Stamberger, J., Paepcke, A. (May 2008)
ButterflyNet: A Mobile Capture and Access System for Field Biology Research
Proceedings of ACM CHI 06, pp. 571- 580
HCIL-2008-17

Through a study of field biology practices, we observed that biology fieldwork generates a wealth of heterogeneous information, requiring substantial labor to coordinate and distill. To manage this data, biologists leverage a diverse set of tools, organizing their effort in paper notebooks. These observations motivated ButterflyNet, a mobile capture and access system that integrates paper notes with digital photographs captured during field research. Through ButterflyNet, the activity of leafing through a notebook expands to browsing all associated digital photos. ButterflyNet also facilitates the transfer of captured content to spreadsheets, enabling biologists to share their work. A first-use study with 14 biologists found this system to offer rich data capture and transformation, in a manner felicitous with current practice.


 [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]

Lin, J., Smucker, M. (February 2008)
How Do Users Find Things with PubMed? Towards Automatic Utility Evaluation with User Simulations
Proceedings of the 31th Annual International ACM SIGIR Conference on Research and Development in Information Retrieval (SIGIR 2008),pages 19-26, July 2008, Singapore.
HCIL-2008-07, LAMP-TR-148

In the context of document retrieval in the biomedical domain, this paper explores the complex relationship between the quality of initial query results and the overall utility of an interactive system. We demonstrate that a content-similarity browsing tool can compensate for poor retrieval results, and that the relationship between retrieval perfor- mance and overall utility is non-linear. Arguments are advanced with user simulations, which characterize the relevance of documents that a user might encounter with di erent browsing strategies. With broader implications to IR, this work provides a case study of how user simulations can be exploited as a formative tool for automatic utility evalua- tion. Simulation-based studies provide researchers with an additional evaluation tool to complement interactive and Cran eld-style experiments.


 [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]

Perer, A., Shneiderman, B. (December 2007)
Systematic Yet Flexible Discovery: Guiding Domain Experts through Exploratory Data Analysis
Proceedings of the International Conference on Intelligent User Interfaces, (IUI 2008).
HCIL-2007-26

During exploratory data analysis, visualizations are often useful for making sense of complex data sets. However, as data sets increase in size and complexity, static information visualizations decrease in comprehensibility. Interactive techniques can yield valuable discoveries, but current data analysis tools typically support only opportunistic exploration that may be inefficient and incomplete. We present a refined architecture that uses systematic yet flexible (SYF) design goals to guide domain expert users through complex exploration of data over days, weeks and months. The SYF system aims to support exploratory data analysis with some of the simplicity of an e-commerce check-out while providing added flexibility to pursue insights. The SYF system provides an overview of the analysis process, suggests unexplored states, allows users to annotate useful states, supports collaboration, and enables reuse of successful strategies. The affordances of the SYF system are demonstrated by integrating it into a social network analysis tool employed by social scientists and intelligence analysts. The SYF system is a tool-independent component and can be incorporated into other data analysis tools.


 [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]

Shneiderman, B., Bederson, B., Drucker, S. (November 2007)
Find that photo! Interface strategies to annotate, browse, and share
Communications of the ACM, 49, 4, April 2006, p. 69 - 71.
HCIL-2007-21

As digital photos become the standard media for personal photo taking, supporting users to explore those photos becomes a vital goal. Dominant strategies that have emerged involve innovative user interfaces that support annotation, browsing, and sharing that add up to rich support for exploratory search. Successful retrieval is based largely on attaching appropriate annotations to each image and collection since automated image content analysis is still limited. Therefore, innovative techniques, novel hardware, and social strategies have been proposed. Interactive visualization to select and view dozens or hundreds of photos extracted from tens of thousands has become a popular strategy. And since the goal of photo search is to support sharing, storytelling, and reminiscing, experiments with new collaborative strategies are being examined.


 [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.


 [Link to Report]

Golub, E. (August 2007)
PhotoCropr: A first step towards computer-supported automatic generation of photographically interesting cropping suggestions
HCIL-2007-12

In the age of digital photography, post-processing (for better or for worse) has become a more common activity. Actions such as red-eye removal, adjusting levels and colors, and cropping are "part of the routine" for many users. When cropping a photograph, a variety of factors can come into play, including basic aesthetics. Tool-based support for a simple guideline such as the Rule of Thirds could provide many photo enthusiasts with a useful tool in their editing arsenal. This work motivates that idea, and explores it both within the context of mostly-manual "assisted" editing as well as the application of automated techniques.


 [Link to Report]

Buono, P., Plaisant, C., Simeone, A., Aris, A., Shneiderman, B., Shmueli, G., Jank, W. (April 2007)
Similarity-Based Forecasting with Simultaneous Previews: A River Plot Interface for Time Series Forecasting
Similarity-Based Forecasting with Simultaneous Previews: A River Plot Interface for Time Series Forecasting,Proc. of the 11th International Conference Information Visualization (IV '07), 2007, 191-196
HCIL-2007-05

Time-series forecasting has a large number of applications. Users with a partial time series for auctions, new stock offerings, or industrial processes desire estimates of the future behavior. We present a data driven forecasting method and interface called Similarity-Based Forecasting (SBF). A pattern matching search in a dataset of historical time series produces a subset of curves similar to the partial time series. The forecast is displayed graphically as a river plot showing statistical information about the SBF subset. A forecasting preview interface allows users to interactively explore alternative pattern matching parameters and see multiple forecasts simultaneously. User testing with 8 users demonstrated advantages and led to improvements.


 [Link to Report]

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.


 [Link to Report]

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


 [Link to Report]

Perer, A., Shneiderman, B. (November 2006)
Balancing Systematic and Flexible Exploration of Social Networks
IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, 12, 5, (October 2006), 693 - 700.
HCIL-2006-25

Social network analysis (SNA) has emerged as a powerful method for understanding the importance of relationships in networks. However, interactive exploration of networks is currently challenging because: (1) it is difficult to find patterns and comprehend the structure of networks with many nodes and links, and (2) current systems are often a medley of statistical methods and overwhelming visual output which leaves many analysts uncertain about how to explore in an orderly manner. This results in exploration that is largely opportunistic. Our contributions are techniques to help structural analysts understand social networks more effectively. We present SocialAction, a system that uses attribute ranking and coordinated views to help users systematically examine numerous SNA measures. Users can (1) flexibly iterate through visualizations of measures to gain an overview, filter nodes, and find outliers, (2) aggregate networks using link structure, find cohesive subgroups, and focus on communities of interest, and (3) untangle networks by viewing different link types separately, or find patterns across different link types using a matrix overview. For each operation, a stable node layout is maintained in the network visualization so users can make comparisons. SocialAction offers analysts a strategy beyond opportunism, as it provides systematic, yet flexible, techniques for exploring social networks.


 [Link to Report]

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.


 [Link to Report]

White, R., Kules, B., Bederson, B. (May 2006)
Exploratory Search Interfaces: Categorization, Clustering and Beyond
SIGIR Forum, volume 39, issue 2, December 2005
HCIL-2006-18

The development and testing of systems to support users engaged in exploratory search activities (i.e., searches where the target may be undefined) is an challenge for the online search community. In this article we report on a workshop on exploratory search issues organized in conjunction with the University of Maryland Human-Computer Interaction Laboratory’s Annual Symposium and Open House in June 2005. This workshop brought together researchers from the fields of Information Seeking (IS), Information Retrieval (IR), Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) and Information Visualization (IV) for a cross-disciplinary exploration of these and other issues. Although originally intended to focus on interfaces to support exploratory search the workshop blossomed into a rich discussion of not only interface issues, but also evaluation, the cognitive processes that underlie information exploration and research methods.


[HTML [Link to Report]

Shneiderman, B., Fischer, G., Czerwinski, M., Resnick, M., Myers, B., Candy, L., Edmonds, E., Eisenberg, M., Giaccardi, E., Hewett, T., Jennings, P., Kules, B., Nakakoji, K., Nunamaker, J., Pausch, R., Selker, T., Sylvan, E. (May 2006)
Creativity Support Tools: Report from a U.S. National Science Foundation Sponsored Workshop
International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction, 20 (2). 61-77
HCIL-2006-17

Creativity support tools is a research topic with high risk but potentially very high payoff. The goal is to develop improved software and user interfaces that empower users to be not only more productive but also more innovative. Potential users include software and other engineers, diverse scientists, product and graphic designers, architects, educators, students, and many others. Enhanced interfaces could enable more effective searching of intellectual resources, improved collaboration among teams, and more rapid discovery processes. These advanced interfaces should also provide potent support in hypothesis formation, speedier evaluation of alternatives, improved understanding through visualization, and better dissemination of results. For creative endeavors that require composition of novel artifacts (e.g., computer programs, scientific papers, engineering diagrams, symphonies, artwork), enhanced interfaces could facilitate exploration of alternatives, prevent unproductive choices, and enable easy backtracking. This U.S. National Science Foundation sponsored workshop brought together 25 research leaders and graduate students to share experiences, identify opportunities, and formulate research challenges. Two key outcomes emerged: (a) encouragement to evaluate creativity support tools through multidimensional in-depth longitudinal case studies and (b) formulation of 12 principles for design of creativity support tools.


 [Link to Report]

White, R., Kules, B., Drucker, S., Schraefel, M. (May 2006)
Supporting Exploratory Search
Communications of the ACM, 49(4), 36-39.
HCIL-2006-16

Online search has become an increasingly important part of the everyday lives of most computer users. Search engines, bibliographic databases, and digital libraries provide adequate support for users whose information needs are well defined. However, there are research and development opportunities to improve current search interfaces so users can succeed more often in situations when: they lack the knowledge or contextual awareness to formulate queries or navigate complex information spaces, the search task requires browsing and exploration, or system indexing of available information is inadequate. For example, what if we want to find something from a domain where we have a general interest but not specific knowledge? How would we find classical music we might enjoy if we do not know what Beethoven or Berlioz sound like? What about the difference between Baroque and Romantic? What do we type into a search engine?


 [Link to Report]

Kules, B., Kustanowitz, J., Shneiderman, B. (2006)
Categorizing Web Search Results into Meaningful and Stable Categories using Fast-Feature techniques
Proceedings of the 6th ACM/IEEE-CS Joint Conference on Digital libraries (Chapel Hill, NC, USA, June 11 - 15, 2006). JCDL '06. ACM Press, New York, NY. 210-219.
HCIL-2006-15

When search results against digital libraries and web resources have limited metadata, augmenting them with meaningful and stable category information can enable better overviews and support user exploration. This paper proposes six "fast-feature" techniques that use only features available in the search result list, such as title, snippet, and URL, to categorize results into meaningful categories. They use credible knowledge resources, including a US government organizational hierarchy, a thematic hierarchy from the Open Directory Project (ODP) web directory, and personal browse histories, to add valuable metadata to search results. In three tests the percent of results categorized for five representative queries was high enough to suggest practical benefits: general web search (76-90%), government web search (39-100%), and the Bureau of Labor Statistics website (48-94%). An additional test submitted 250 TREC queries to a search engine and successfully categorized 66% of the top 100 using the ODP and 61% of the top 350. Fast-feature techniques have been implemented in a prototype search engine. We propose research directions to improve categorization rates and make suggestions about how web site designers could re-organize their sites to support fast categorization of search results.


[HTML [Link to Report]

Kules, B. (April 2006)
Supporting Exploratory Web Search with Meaningful and Stable Categorized Overviews
Ph.D. Dissertation from the Department of Computer Science
HCIL-2006-14

This dissertation investigates the use of categorized overviews of web search results, based on meaningful and stable categories, to support exploratory search. When searching in digital libraries and on the Web, users are challenged by the lack of effective overviews. Adding categorized overviews to search results can provide substantial benefits when searchers need to explore, understand, and assess their results. When information needs are evolving or imprecise, categorized overviews can stimulate relevant ideas, provoke illuminating questions, and guide searchers to useful information they might not otherwise find. When searchers need to gather information from multiple perspectives or sources, categorized overviews can make those aspects visible for interactive filtering and exploration. However, they add visual complexity to the interface and increase the number of tactical decisions to be made while examining search results. Two formative studies (N=18 and N=12) investigated how searchers use categorized overviews in the domain of U.S. government web search. A third study (N=24) evaluated categorized overviews of general web search results based on thematic, geographic, and government categories. Participants conducted four exploratory searches during a two hour session to generate ideas for newspaper articles about specified topics. Results confirmed positive findings from the formative studies, showing that subjects explored deeper while feeling more organized and satisfied, but did not find objective differences in the outcomes of the search task. Results indicated that searchers use categorized overviews based on thematic, geographic, and organizational categories to guide the next steps in their searches. This dissertation identifies lightweight search actions and tactics made possible by adding a categorized overview to a list of web search results. It describes a design space for categorized overviews of search results, and presents a novel application of the brushing and linking technique to enrich search result interfaces with lightweight interactions. It proposes a set of principles, refined by the studies, for the design of exploratory search interfaces, including "Organize overviews around meaningful categories," "Clarify and visualize category structure," and "Tightly couple category labels to search result list." These contributions will be useful to web search researchers and designers, information architects and web developers.


 [Link to Report]

Kang, H., Plaisant, C., Lee, B., Bederson, B. (May 2006)
NetLens: Iterative Exploration of Content-Actor Network Data
Proceedings of IEEE Symposium on Visual Analytics Science and Technology (VAST 2006), 91 - 98.
HCIL-2006-10

Networks have remained a challenge for information retrieval and visualization because of the rich set of tasks that users want to accomplish. This paper offers an abstract Content-Actor network data model, a classification of tasks, and a tool to support them. The NetLens interface was designed around the abstract Content-Actor network data model to allow users to pose a series of elementary queries and iteratively refine visual overviews and sorted lists. This enables the support of complex queries that are traditionally hard to specify. NetLens is general and scalable in that it applies to any dataset that can be represented with our abstract data model. This paper describes NetLens applying a subset of the ACM Digital Library consisting of about 4,000 papers from the CHI conference written by about 6,000 authors. In addition, we are now working on a collection of half a million emails, and a legal cases dataset.


[HTML [Link to Report]

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.


[HTML [Link to Report]

Plaisant, C., Rose, J., Yu, B., Auvil, L., Kirschenbaum, M., Smith, M., Clement, T., Lord, G. (January 2006)
Exploring Erotics in Emily Dickinson's Correspondence with Text Mining and Visual Interfaces
Proceedings of the 6th ACM/IEEE Joint Conference on Digital Libraries, JCDL 06, 141-150 (nominated for Best Paper award)
HCIL-2006-01

This paper describes a system to support humanities scholars in their interpretation of literary work. It presents a user interface and web architecture that integrates text mining, a graphical user interface and visualization, while attempting to remain easy to use by non specialists. Users can interactively read and rate documents found in a digital libraries collection, prepare training sets, review results of classification algorithms and explore possible indicators and explanations. Initial evaluation steps suggest that there is a rationale for “provocational” text mining in literary interpretation.


[HTML [Link to Report]

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.


[HTML [Link to Report]

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.


[HTML [Link to Report]

Plaisant, C., Shneiderman, B., Baker, H., Duarte, N., Haririnia, A., Klinesmith, D., Lee, H., Velikovich, L., Wanga, A., Westhoff, M. (November 2005)
Personal Role Management: Overview and a Design Study of Email for University Students
To appear in: Kaptelinin, V., Czerwinski, M. (Eds) Integrated Digital Work Environments: Beyond the Desktop, MIT Press, (This is an expansion on HCIL-2003-30), (2007) 143-170.
HCIL-2005-30

Evidence is accumulating about the difficulties that users have in managing their work using contemporary graphical user interfaces. Current designs offer a hierarchy of folders containing documents and taskbar operations to launch/exit applications. We propose a Personal Role Management strategy that emphasizes management of the multiple roles users have in their professional and personal lives. Each role involves coordination with groups of people and accomplishment of tasks within a schedule. We define Personal Role Management and summarize our earlier work that led to this strategy. This current project focused on understanding how Personal Role Management might improve email for college students. College students often assume distinct and predictable roles. Their student role is structured by the rhythm and interactions of classes, projects and exams. In both their family role and their work role for local companies, they deal with separate groups of people. We describe scenarios of use of a role-based email system, an interface mockup and user reactions. This research suggests that using those roles as a driving component for designing an email interface might address problems identified in our surveys and interviews of college students.


[HTML [Link to Report]

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.


[HTML [Link to Report]

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.


[HTML [Link to Report]

Kustanowitz, J., Shneiderman, B. (July 2005)
Hierarchical layouts for photo libraries
IEEE MultiMedia, 13, 4, Oct-Dec 2006, 62-72.
HCIL-2005-21, CS-TR-4744, UMIACS-TR-2005-47, ISR-TR-2005-101

A frequently-used layout for a collection of two-dimensional, fixed aspect-ratio objects, such as photo thumbnails, is the grid, in which rows and columns are configured to match the allowed space. However, in cases where these objects have some group relationship among them, it can be advantageous to show this relationship in the layout, rather than in textual captions. We use an annotated digital photo collection as a case study of an auto-layout technique in which a two-level hierarchy is generated, consisting of a primary, central region with secondary regions (typically 2-12 regions) surrounding it. We show that given specific requirements, this technique is also optimal, in the sense that it will generate the largest size for the objects. Since all objects are the same size we refer to them as quantum content. These algorithms are designed to be real-time, enabling a compelling interactive display as users resize the canvas, or move and resize the primary region. The interactive redisplay also occurs as users add regions or objects to a secondary region.


[HTML [Link to Report]

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.


[HTML [Link to Report]

Norman, K., Campbell, S. (May 2005)
Pet Enumeration: Usability Testing of U.S. Census Bureau Data Collection Methods Avoiding Protected Personal Data
HCIL-2005-14, CS-TR-4750, UMIACS-TR-2005-53

The U.S. Bureau of the Census is testing new methods of collecting census information both online with Web-based self-administered surveys and in person with enumerators using PDAs going to each household. Usability testing has been hampered by the fact that household and personal data is confidential under “Title 13” security regulations. To avoid these problems, we propose to collect data analogous to household census data, but that is not subject to Title 13, namely, information about household pets. Survey screens for the Web have been reconfigured so that they have all of the same features, functionality, and types of data as those for the household census data but pertain to pets rather than persons. These interfaces can be easily tested in the lab or on the Web without personal data security concerns.


[HTML [Link to Report]

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.


[HTML [Link to Report]

Kang, H., Hawala, S., Zayatz, L. (April 2005)
IDFinder: Data Visualization for Checking Re-identifiability in Microdata
To appear in the Proc. of International Conference on Human Computer Interaction 2005
HCIL-2005-10, CS-TR-4704, UMIACS-TR-2005-12

This paper introduces a novel user interface, IDFinder, which is specifically designed to facilitate the disclosure avoidance process on microdata files. IDFinder is designed based on the well-known visual seeking mantra, “Overview first, Zoom and filter, and Details on demand”. Direct data manipulation and dynamic query techniques implemented in IDFinder provide users rapid, incremental and reversible operations, which are critical for disclosure avoidance tasks. Multiple tightly coupled data viewers are used to represent the different data hierarchies in microdata. In addition, time series viewers, which are also tightly coupled with other data viewers, visualize the change of attribute values over time and enable users to observe the attribute values in each data hierarchy at the specified time. The usability study with a small group of disclosure avoidance researchers led to the refined designs of IDFinder, and it also revealed benefits, scalability issues, and applicability to other tasks.


[HTML [Link to Report]

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.


[HTML [Link to Report]

Parr, C., Espinosa, R., Myers, P. (March 2005)
Serving Computational Ecology From a Digital Library
HCIL-2005-07, CS-TR-4707, UMIACS-TR-2005-15

We describe a case study using a digital library resource to assist ecological research that involves computational approaches. Our purpose is to detail the approach and demonstrate the power of combining encyclopedic content presentation with harvestable data. While acknowledging the advantages and generality of this approach, we also consider the challenges faced before digital libraries can adequately support research in this way.


[HTML [Link to Report]

Axelrod, A., Golbeck, J., Shneiderman, B. (February 2005)
Generating and Querying Semantic Web Environments for Photo Libraries
HCIL-2005-04, CS-TR-4710, UMIACS-TR-2005-18, ISR-TR-2005-75

Online photo libraries require a method to efficiently search a collection of photographs, and retrieve photos with similar attributes. Our motivation was to incorporate an existing collection of over 250 photographs of over 200 faculty members and events spanning 7 decades into a library called CS PhotoHistory that is available in hypertext and on the Semantic Web. In this paper, we identify challenges related to making this repository available on the Semantic Web, including issues of automation, modeling, and expressivity. Using CS PhotoHistory as a case study, we describe the process of creating an ontology and a querying interface for interacting with a digital photo library on the Semantic Web.


[HTML [Link to Report]

Kustanowitz, J., Shneiderman, B. (February 2005)
Meaningful Presentations of Photo Libraries: Rationale and Applications of Bi-Level Radial Quantum Layouts
Proc. ACM/IEEE Joint Conference on Digital Libraries,June 2005, 188-196. Winner Best Student Paper Award
HCIL-2005-03, CS-TR-4711, UMIACS-TR-2005-19, ISR-TR-2005-74

Searching photo libraries can be made more satisfying and successful if search results are presented in a way that allows users to gain an overview of the photo categories. Since photo layouts on computer displays are the primary way that users get an overview, we propose a novel approach to show more photos in meaningful groupings. Photo layouts can be linear strips, or zoomable three dimensional arrangements, but the most common form is the flat two-dimensional grid. This paper introduces a novel bi-level hierarchical layout with motivating examples. In a bi-level hierarchy, one region is designated for primary content, which can be a single photo, text, graphic, or combination. Adjacent to that primary region, groups of photos are placed radially in an ordered fashion, such that the relationship of the single primary region to its many secondary regions is immediately apparent. A compelling aspect is the interactive experience in which the layout is dynamically resizable, allowing users to rapidly, incrementally, and reversibly alter the dimensions and content. It can accommodate hundreds of photos in dozens of regions, can be customized in a corner or center layout, and can scale from an element on a web page to a large poster size. On typical displays (1024 x 1280 or 1200 x 1600 pixels), bi-level radial quantum layouts can conveniently accommodate 2-20 regions with tens or hundreds of photos per region.


[HTML [Link to Report]

Marchionini, G., Haas, S., Plaisant, C., Shneiderman, B., Hert, C. (November 2004)
Project Highlight: Toward a Statistical Knowledge Network
Proc. National Conference on Digital Government Research, (2004), 93-94 http://www.dgrc.org/dgo2004
HCIL-2004-28, CS-TR-4637, UMIACS-TR-2004-79, ISR-TR-2005-60


[HTML [Link to Report]

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.


[HTML [Link to Report]

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.


[HTML [Link to Report]

Kustanowitz, J., Shneiderman, B. (May 2004)
Motivating Annotation for Digital Photographs: Lowering Barriers While Raising Incentives
HCIL-2004-18, CS-TR-4656, ISR-TR-2005-55

Frameworks for understanding annotation requirements could guide improved strategies that would motivate more users to invest the necessary effort. We propose one framework for annotation techniques along with the st rengths and weaknesses of each one, and a second framework for target user groups and their motivations. Several applications are described that provide useful and information-rich representations, but which require good annotations, in the hope of providing incentives for high quality annotation. We describe how annotations make possible four novel presentations of photo collections: (1) Birthday Collage to show growth of a child over several years, (2) FamiliarFace to show family trees of photos, (3) Kaleidoscope to show photos of related people in an appeal tableau, and (4) TripPics to show photos from a sequential story such as a vacation trip.


[HTML [Link to Report]

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.


[HTML [Link to Report]

Chintalapani, G., Plaisant, C., Shneiderman, B. (April 2004)
Extending the Utility of Treemaps with Flexible Hierarchy
Proc. International Conference on Information Visualization, (2004), 335-344.
HCIL-2004-10, CS-TR-4663, ISR-TR-2005-52

Treemaps is a visualization technique for presenting hierarchical information on two dimensional displays. Prior implementations limit the visualization to pre-defined static hierarchies. Flexible hierarchy, a new capability of Treemap 4.0, enables users to define various hierarchies through dynamically selecting a series of data attributes so that they can discover patterns, clusters and outliers. This paper describes the design and implementation issues of flexible hierarchy. It then reports on a usability study which led to enhancements to the interface.


[HTML [Link to Report]

Zhao, H., Plaisant, C., Shneiderman, B., Duraiswami, R. (February 2004)
Sonification of Geo-Referenced Data for Auditory Information Seeking: Design Principle and Pilot Study
Proc. International Conference on Auditory Displays (2004), (http://www.icad.org)
HCIL-2004-04, CS-TR-4669, ISR-TR-2005-36

We present an Auditory Information Seeking Principle (AISP) (gist, navigate, filter, and details-on-demand) modeled after the visual information seeking mantra [1]. We propose that data sonification designs should conform to this principle. We also present some design challenges imposed by human auditory perception characteristics. To improve blind access to geo-referenced statistical data, we developed two preliminary sonifications adhering to the above AISP, an enhanced table and a spatial choropleth map. Our pilot study shows people can recognize geographic data distribution patterns on a real map with 51 geographic regions, in both designs. The study also shows evidence that AISP conforms to people's information seeking strategies. Future work is discussed, including the improvement of the choropleth map design.


[HTML [Link to Report]

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.


[HTML [Link to Report]

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.


[HTML [Link to Report]

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


 [Link to Report]

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.


[HTML [Link to Report]

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.


[HTML [Link to Report]

Plaisant, C., Bederson, B., Clamage, A., Hutchinson, H., Druin, A. (October 2003)
Shared Family Calendars: Promoting Symmetry and Accessibility
ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction, 13, 3 (2006) 313 - 346.
HCIL-2003-38, CS-TR-4680

We demonstrate a system facilitating the sharing of calendar information between remotely located family members. Depending on their preference, some users enter information into computerized calendars, while others handwrite on digital paper calendars. All of the information is automatically viewable by everyone in the family.


[HTML [Link to Report]

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.


[HTML [Link to Report]

Seo, J., Bakay, M., Zhao, P., Chen, Y., Clarkson, P., Shneiderman, B., Hoffman, E. (April 2003)
Interactive Color Mosaic and Dendrogram Displays for Signal/Noise Optimization in Microarray Data Analysis
Proceedings IEEE International Conference on Multimedia and Expo, July 6-9, 2003, Baltimore, MD (http://www.icme2003.com)
HCIL-2003-24, ISR-TR-2005-44

Data analysis and visualization is strongly influenced by noise and noise filters. There are multiple sources of “noise” in microarray data analysis, but signal/noise ratios are rarely optimized, or even considered. Here, we report a noise analysis of a novel 13 million oligonucleotide dataset - 25 human U133A (~500,000 features) profiles of patient muscle biposies. We use our recently described interactive visualization tool, the Hierarchical Clustering Explorer (HCE) to systemically address the effect of different noise filters on resolution of arrays into “correct” biological groups (unsupervised clustering into three patient groups of known diagnosis). We varied probe set interpretation methods (MAS 5.0, RMA), “present call” filters, and clustering linkage methods, and investigated the results in HCE. HCE's interactive features enabled us to quickly see the impact of these three variables. Dendrogram displays showed the clustering results systematically, and color mosaic displays provided a visual support for the results. We show that each of these three variables has a strong effect on unsupervised clustering. For this dataset, the strength of the biological variable was maximized, and noise minimized, using MAS 5.0, 10% present call filter, and Average Group Linkage. We propose a general method of using interactive tools to identify the optimal signal/noise balance or the optimal combination of these three variables to maximize the effect of the desired biological variable on data interpretation.


[HTML [Link to Report]

Norman, K., Zhao, H., Shneiderman, B., Golub, E. (June 2003)
Dynamic Query Chloropleth Maps for Information Seeking and Decision Making
Proc. Human-Computer Interaction International 2003: Volume 2 Theory and Practice, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Mahwah, NJ (June 2003), 1263-1267.
HCIL-2003-23, CS-TR-4484, UMIACS-TR-2003-53, ISR-TR-2005-43

Information retrieval and visualization can be combined in dynamic query systems that allow users unparalleled access to information for decision making. In this paper, we report on the development and evaluation of a dynamic query system (YMap) that displays information on a chloropleth map using double thumb sliders to select ranges of query variables. The YMap prototype is a Java-Applet that supports panning and zooming. Several usability studies were conducted on early prototypes that resulted in the current version. Applications of YMap for decision making tasks are discussed.


[HTML [Link to Report]

Kules, B., Kang, H., Plaisant, C., Rose, A., Shneiderman, B. (April 2003)
Immediate Usability: A Case Study of Public Access Design for a Community Photo Library
Interacting with Computers, 16, 3, December 2004, 1171-1193.
HCIL-2003-22, CS-TR-4481, UMIACS-TR-2003-50, ISR-TR-2005-42

This paper describes a novel instantiation of a digital photo library in a public access system. It demonstrates how designers can utilize characteristics of a target user community (social constraints, trust, and a lack of anonymity) to provide capabilities that would be impractical in other types of public access systems. It also presents a compact set of design principles and guidelines for ensuring the immediate usability of public access information systems. These principles and guidelines were derived from our experience developing PhotoFinder Kiosk, a community photo library. Attendees of a major HCI conference (CHI 2001 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems) successfully used the tool to browse and annotate collections of photographs spanning 20 years of HCI-related conferences, producing a richly annotated photo history of the field of human-computer interaction. Observations and log data were used to evaluate the tool and develop the guidelines. They provide specific guidance for practitioners, as well as a useful framework for additional research in public access interfaces.


[HTML [Link to Report]

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.


[HTML [Link to Report]

Hochheiser, H., Baehrecke, E., Mount, S., Shneiderman, B. (April 2003)
Dynamic Querying for Pattern Identification in Microarray and Genomic Data
Proceedings IEEE International Conference on Multimedia and Expo, July 6-9, 2003, Baltimore, MD (http://www.icme2003.com)
HCIL-2003-19, CS-TR-4478, UMIACS-TR-2003-47, ISR-TR-2005-41

Data sets involving linear ordered sequences are a recurring theme in bioinformatics. Dynamic query tools that support exploration of these data sets can be useful for identifying patterns of interest. This paper describes the use of one such tool – TimeSearcher - to interactively explore linear sequence data sets taken from two bioinformatics problems. Microarray time course data sets involve expression levels for large numbers of genes over multiple time points. TimeSearcher can be used to interactively search these data sets for genes with expression profiles of interest. The occurrence frequencies of short sequences of DNA in aligned exons can be used to identify sequences that play a role in the pre-mRNA splicing. TimeSearcher can be used to search these data sets for candidate splicing signals.


[HTML [Link to Report]

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.


[HTML [Link to Report]

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.


[HTML [Link to Report]

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.


[HTML [Link to Report]

Guimbretière, F. (April 2003)
Paper Augmented Digital Documents
Proceedings of the 16th Annual ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology, 2003, 51 - 60
HCIL-2003-14, CS-TR-4470, UMIACS-TR-2003-40

Paper Augmented Digital Documents (PADD), are digital documents that can be manipulated either on a computer screen or on paper. PADD, and the infrastructure supporting them, can be seen as a bridge between the digital and the paper worlds. As digital documents, PADD are easy to edit, distribute and archive; as paper documents, PADD are easy to navigate, annotate and well accepted in social settings. The chimeric nature of PADD makes them well suited for many tasks such as proofreading, editing, and annotation of large format document like blueprints. We are presenting an architecture which supports the seamless manipulation of PADs using today's technologies and reports on the lessons we learned while implementing the first PADD system.


[HTML [Link to Report]

Zhao, H., Plaisant, C., Shneiderman, B. (March 2003)
Improving Accessibility and Usability of Geo-referenced Statistical Data
Proc. of the Digital Government Research Conference, 147-150, http://www.dgrc.org/dgo2004
HCIL-2003-11, CS-TR-4467, UMIACS-TR-2003-37, ISR-TR-2005-40

Several technology breakthroughs are needed to achieve the goals of universal accessibility and usability. These goals are especially challenging in the case of geo-referenced statistical data that many U.S. government agencies supply. We present technical and user-interface design challenges in accommodating users with low-end technology (slow network connection and low-end machine) and users who are blind or vision-impaired. Our solutions are presented and future work is discussed.


[HTML [Link to Report]

Kang, H., Plaisant, C., Shneiderman, B. (March 2003)
New Approaches to Help Users Get Started with Visual Interfaces: Multi-Layered Interfaces and Integrated Initial Guidance
Proc. of the Digital Government Research Conference, 141-146, http://www.dgrc.org/dgo2004
HCIL-2003-10, CS-TR-4466, UMIACS-TR-2003-36, ISR-TR-2005-39

We are investigating new ways to help users learn to use public access interactive tools, in particular for the visual exploration of government statistics. Our work led to a series of interfaces using multi-layered design and a new help method called Integrated Initial Guidance. Multi-layer designs structure an interface so that a simpler interface is available for users to get started and more complex features are accessed as users move through the more advanced layers. Integrated Initial Guidance provides help within the working interface, right at the start of the application. Using the metaphor of “sticky notes” overlaid on top of the functional interface locates the main widgets, demonstrates their manipulation, and explains the resulting actions using preset animation of the interface. Additional sticky notes lead to example tasks, also being executed step by step within the interface itself. Usability testing with 12 participants led to refined designs and guidelines for the design of Integrated Initial Guidance interfaces.


[HTML [Link to Report]

Kules, B., Shneiderman, B., Plaisant, C. (March 2003)
Data Exploration with Paired Hierarchical Visualizations: Initial Designs of PairTrees
Proc. of the Digital Government Research Conference, 255-260, http://www.dgrc.org/dgo2004
HCIL-2003-09, CS-TR-4465, UMIACS-TR-2003-35, ISR-TR-2005-38

Paired hierarchical visualizations (PairTrees) integrate treemaps, node-link diagrams, choropleth maps and other information visualization techniques to support exploration of hierarchical data sets at multiple levels of abstraction. This paper describes several novel applications of PairTrees in the econometric and health statistics domains, as well as some challenges and trade-offs inherent in the technique.


[HTML [Link to Report]

Kules, B., Shneiderman, B. (March 2003)
Designing a Metadata-Driven Visual Information Browser for Federal Statistics
Proc. of the Digital Government Research Conference, 117-122.
HCIL-2003-08, CS-TR-4464, UMIACS-TR-2003-34, ISR-TR-2005-37

When looking for federal statistics, finding the right table, chart or report can be a daunting task for anyone not thoroughly familiar with the federal statistical system. Search tools help, but differing terminologies within the statistical agencies and a lack of familiarity of terms by information seekers limit their effectiveness. The FedStats Browser is a design for visually browsing federal agency statistical products and publications, using techniques that allow users to reformulate queries and iteratively refine results via simple, reversible actions with immediate feedback. This paper also discusses the characteristics of metadata needed for such a browser and the challenges inherent in acquiring that metadata.


[HTML [Link to Report]

He, D., Wang, J., Oard, D., Nossal, M. (February 2003)
Comparing User-assisted and Automatic Query Translation
Proceedings of the 26th Annual International ACM SIGIR Conference on Research and Development in Informaion Retrieval, 2003, 461.
HCIL-2003-07, CS-TR-4453, UMIACS-TR-2003-23

For the 2002 Cross Language Evaluation Forum Interactive Track, the University of Maryland team focused on query formulation and reformulation. Twelve people performed a total of forty eight searches in the German document collection using English queries.Half of the searches were with user assisted query translation, and half with fully automatic query translation. For the user assisted query translation condition, participants were provided two types of cues about the meaning of each translation: a list of other terms with the same translation (potentialsynonyms), and a sentence in which the word was used in a translation appropriate context. Four searchers performed the o?cial iCLEF task, the other eight searched a smaller collection. Searchers performing the o?cial task were able to make more accurate relevance judgments with user assisted query translation for three of the four topics. We observed that the number of query iterations seems to vary systematically with topic,system,and collection, and we are analyzing query content and ranked retrieval measures to obtain further insight into these variations in search behavior.


[HTML [Link to Report]

Kim, J., Oard, D., Soergel, D. (January 2003)
Searching Large Collections of Recorded Speech: A Preliminary Study
Proceedings of ASIS&T 2003 Annual Meeting, October 19-22, 2003, Long Beach, CA
HCIL-2003-06, CS-TR-4450, UMIACS-TR-2003-20

This paper reports on an exploratory study of the criteria searchers use when judging the relevance of recorded speech from radio programs and the attributes of a recording on which those judgments are based. Five volunteers each performed three searches using two systems (NPR Online and SpeechBot) for three questions and judged the relevance of the results. Data were collected through observation and screen capture, think aloud, and interviews; coded; and analyzed by looking for patterns. Criteria used as a basis for selection were found to be similar to those observed in relevance studies with printed materials, but the attributes used as a basis for assessing those criteria were found to exhibit modality-specific characteristics. For example, audio replay was often found to be necessary when assessing story genre (e.g., report, interview, commentary) because of limitations in presently available metadata. Participants reported a strong preference for manually prepared summaries over passages extracted from automatic speech recognition transcripts, and consequential differences in search behavior were observed between the two conditions. Some important implications for interface and component design are drawn, such as the utility of summaries at multiple levels of detail in view of the difficulty of skimming imperfect transcripts and the potential utility of automatic speaker identification to support authority judgments in systems.


[HTML [Link to Report]

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.


[HTML [Link to Report]

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.


[HTML  [Link to Report]

Zhao, H., Shneiderman, B. (December 2002)
Colour-Coded Pixel-Based Highly Interactive Web Mapping for Georeferenced Data Exploration
International Journal of Georgraphical Information Science, 19, 4, 2005.
HCIL-2002-26, CS-TR-4431, UMIACS-TR-2003-02, ISR-TR-2005-35

This paper describes an image-based technique that enables highly interactive Web choropleth maps for geo-referenced data publishing and visual exploration. Geographic knowledge is encoded into raster images and delivered to the client, instead of in vector formats. Differing from traditional raster-image-based approaches that are static and allow very little user interaction, it allows varieties of sub-second fine-grained interface controls such as dynamic query, dynamic classification, geographic object data identification, user setting adjusting, as well as turning on/off layers, panning and zooming, with no or minimum server support. Compared to Web GIS approaches that are based on vector geographic data, this technique has the features of short initial download time, near-constant performance scalability for larger numbers of geographic objects, and download-map-segment-only-when-necessary which potentially reduces the overall data transfer over the network. As a result, it accommodates general public users with slow modem network connections and low-end machines, as well as users with fast T-1 connections and fast machines. The client-side (browser) is implemented as light-weight Java applets. YMap, an easy-to-use, user-task-oriented highly interactive mapping tool prototype for visual geo-referenced data exploration is implemented using this technique. Keywords: Web GIS, choropleth map, information visualization, dynamic query, universal usability Web supplement: http://www.cs.umd.edu/hcil/census/YMap122002/smap.html


[HTML  [Link to Report]

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.


[HTML  [Link to Report]

Bessiere, K., Ceaparu, I., Lazar, J., Robinson, J., Shneiderman, B. (2004)
Social and Psychological Influences on Computer User Frustration
In Bucy, E. and Newhagen, J. (eds.) Media Access: Social and Psychological Dimensions of New Technology Use. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 169-192.
HCIL-2002-19, CS-TR-4410, UMIACS-TR-2002-90, ISR-TR-2005-34

As computer usage has proliferated, so has user frustration. Even devoted and knowledgeable users encounter annoying delays, incomprehensible messages, incompatible files, and indecipherable menus. The frustration generated by these problems can be personally disturbing and socially disruptive. Psychological and social perspectives on frustration may clarify the relationships among variables such as personality types, cultural factors, goal attainment, workplace anger, and computer anxiety. These perspectives may also help designers, managers, and users understand the range of responses to frustration, which could lead to effective interventions such as redesign of software, improved training, better online help, user discipline, and even resetting of national research priorities.


[HTML  [Link to Report]

Keogh, E., Hochheiser, H., Shneiderman, B. (August 2002)
An Augmented Visual Query Mechanism for Finding Patterns in Time Series Data
Proc. Fifth International Conference on Flexible Query Answering Systems (October 27 - 29, 2002, Copenhagen, Denmark), Springer-Verlag, in the series Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence.
HCIL-2002-15, CS-TR-4398, UMIACS-TR-2002-78, ISR-TR-2005-32

Relatively few query tools exist for data exploration and pattern identifi-cation in time series data sets. In previous work we introduced Timeboxes. Time-boxes are rectangular, direct-manipulation queries for studying time-series datasets. We demonstrated how Timeboxes can be used to support interactive exploration via dynamic queries, along with overviews of query results and drag-and-drop support for query-by-example. In this paper, we extend our work by introducing Variable Time Timeboxes (VTT). VTTs are a natural generalization of Timeboxes, which permit the specification of queries that allow a degree of uncertainty in the time axis. We carefully motivate the need for these more expressive queries, and demon-strate the utility of our approach on several data sets.


[HTML  [Link to Report]

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.


[HTML  [Link to Report]

Ceaparu, I., Shneiderman, B. (May 2002)
Improving Web-based Civic Information Access: A Case Study of the 50 US States
Proc. 2002 International Symposium on Technology and Society (ISTAS'02), IEEE.
HCIL-2002-12, CS-TR-4372, UMIACS-TR-2002-52, ISR-TR-2005-31

An analysis of the home pages of all fifty U. S. states reveals great variety in key design features that influence efficacy. Some states had excessively large byte counts that would slow users connected by commonly-used 56K modems. Many web sites had low numbers of or poorly organized links that would make it hard for citizens to find what they were interested in. Features such as search boxes, privacy policies, online help, or contact information need to be added by several states. Our analysis concludes with ten recommendations and finds many further opportunities for individual states to improve their websites. However still greater benefits will come through collaboration among the states that would lead to consistency, appropriate tagging, and common tools.


[HTML  [Link to Report]

Ceaparu, I., Lazar, J., Bessiere, K., Robinson, J., Shneiderman, B. (May 2002)
Determining Causes and Severity of End-User Frustration
International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction, 17, 3, (2004), 333-356.
HCIL-2002-11, CS-TR-4371, UMIACS-TR-2002-51, ISR-TR-2005-30

While computers are beneficial to individuals and society, frequently, users encounter frustrating experiences when using computers. This study attempts to measure, through 111 subjects, the frequency, cause, and the level of severity of frustrating experiences. The data showed that frustrating experiences happen on a frequent basis. The applications in which the frustrating experiences happened most frequently were web browsing, e-mail, and word processing. The most-cited causes of the frustrating experiences were error messages, dropped network connections, long download times, and hard-to-find features. The time lost due to the frustrating experiences ranged from 30.5% of time spent on the computer to 45.9% of time spent on the computer. These disturbing results should be a basis for future study. Keywords: user frustration, user interfaces, user experience, errors, user perception, helpdesk


[HTML [Link to Report]

Seo, J., Shneiderman, B. (May 2002)
Understanding Hierarchical Clustering Results by Interactive Exploration of Dendrograms: A Case Study with Genomic Microarray Data
Final version: "Interactively Exploring Hierarchical Clustering Results", IEEE Computer, Volume 35, Number 7, pp. 80-86, July 2002.
HCIL-2002-10, CS-TR-4370, UMIACS-TR-2002-50, ISR-TR-2005-29

Hierarchical clustering is widely used to find patterns in multi-dimensional datasets, especially for genomic microarray data. Finding groups of genes with similar expression patterns can lead to better understanding of the functions of genes. Early software tools produced only printed results, while newer ones enabled some online exploration. We describe four general techniques that could be used in interactive explorations of clustering algorithms: (1) overview of the entire dataset, coupled with a detail view so that high-level patterns and hot spots can be easily found and examined, (2) dynamic query controls so that users can restrict the number of clusters they view at a time and show those clusters more clearly, (3) coordinated displays: the overview mosaic has a bi-directional link to 2-dimensional scattergrams, (4) cluster comparisons to allow researchers to see how different clustering algorithms group the genes.


[HTML  [Link to Report]

Golub, E., Shneiderman, B. (May 2002)
Dynamic Query Visualizations on World Wide Web Clients: A DHTML Approach for Maps and Scattergrams
To appear International Journal of Web Engineering and Technology 1, 1 (2003).
HCIL-2002-08, CS-TR-4367, UMIACS-TR-2002-47, ISR-TR-2005-28

Dynamic queries are gaining popularity as a method for interactive information visualization. Many implementations have been made on personal computers, and there is increasing interest in web-based designs. While Java and Flash strategies have been developed, we believe that a Dynamic HTML implementation could help promote more widespread use. We implemented double-box range sliders with choropleth maps and scattergrams, which are two popular visualizations, using HTML layers and tables. This paper describes our methods for slider control, visual presentation, and displaying/updating results for these visualizations. Visual design issues innovations and performance enhancements were necessary to create viable designs.


[HTML  [Link to Report]

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).


[HTML  [Link to Report]

Tang, L., Shneiderman, B. (March 2001)
Dynamic Aggregation to Support Pattern Discovery: A Case Study with Web Logs
University of Maryland, College Park, MD. Short version appears in Proc. Discovery Science: 4th International Conference 2001, Editors (Jantke, K. P. and Shinohara, A.), Springer-Verlag, Berlin, 464-469.
SHORT VERSION
HCIL-2001-27, CS-TR-4345, UMIACS-TR-2002-26, ISR-TR-2005-24

Rapid growth of digital data collections is overwhelming the capabilities of humans to comprehend them without aid. The extraction of useful data from large raw data sets is something that humans do poorly because of the overwhelming amount of information. Aggregation is a technique that extracts important aspect from groups of data thus reducing the amount that the user has to deal with at one time, thereby enabling them to discover patterns, outliers, gaps, and clusters. Previous mechanisms for interactive exploration with aggregated data was either too complex to use or too limited in scope. This paper proposes a new technique for dynamic aggregation that can combine with dynamic queries to support most of the tasks involved in data manipulation.


[HTML  [Link to Report]

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.


[HTML  [Link to Report]

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.


[HTML  [Link to Report]

Kules, B., Kang, H., Plaisant, C., Rose, A., Shneiderman, B. (October 2001)
Immediate Usability: Kiosk Design Principles from the CHI 2001 Photo Library
This paper has been updated and replaced by HCIL-2003-22
HCIL-2001-23, CS-TR-4293, UMIACS-TR-2001-71, ISR-TR-2005-25

This paper describes a novel set of design principles and guidelines for ensuring the immediate usability of public access systems. These principles and guidelines were formulated while developing PhotoFinder Kiosk, a community photo library. Attendees of CHI 2001 successfully used the tool to browse and annotate collections of photographs spanning 20 years of CHI and related conferences, producing a richly annotated photo history of the field of human-computer interaction. We used observations and log data to evaluate the tool and refine the guidelines. They provide specific guidance for practitioners, as well as a useful framework for additional research in public access interfaces.


[Link to Report]

Tanin, E. (September 2001)
Browsing Large Online Data Using Generalized Query Previews
University of Maryland, Computer Science Dept., Dissertation
HCIL-2001-22, CS-TR-4292, UMIACS-TR-2001-70, ISR-TR-2005-18

Companies, government agencies, and other organizations are making their data available to the world over the Internet. These organizations store their data in large tables. These tables are usually kept in relational databases. Online access to such databases is common. Users query these databases with different front-ends. These front-ends use command languages, menus, or form fillin interfaces. Many of these interfaces rarely give users information about the contents and distribution of the data. This leads users to waste time and network resources posing queries that have zero-hit or mega-hit results. Generalized query previews forms a user interface architecture for efficient browsing of large online data. Generalized query previews supplies distribution information to the users. This provides an overview of the data. Generalized query previews gives continuous feedback about the size of the results as the query is being formed. This provides a preview of the results. Generalized query previews allows users to visually browse all of the attributes of the data. Users can select from these attributes to form a view. Views are used to display the distribution information. Queries are incrementally and visually formed by selecting items from numerous charts attached to these views. Users continuously get feedback on the distribution information while they make their selections. Later, users fetch the desired portions of the data by sending their queries over the network. As they make informed queries, they can avoid submitting queries that will generate zero-hit or mega-hit results. Generalized query previews works on distributions. Distribution information tends to be smaller than raw data. This aspect of generalized query previews also contributes to better network performance. This dissertation presents the development of generalized query previews, field studies on various platforms, and experimental results. It also presents an architecture of the algorithms and data structures for the generalized query previews. There are three contributions of this dissertation. First, this work offers a general user interface architecture for browsing large online data. Second, it presents field studies and experimental work that define the application domain for generalized query previews. Third, it contributes to the field of algorithms and data structures.


[HTML  [Video] [Link to Report]

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.


[HTML  [Link to Report]

Browne, H., Bederson, B., Plaisant, C., Druin, A. (September 2001)
Designing an Interactive Message Board as a Technology Probe for Family Communication
HCIL-2001-20, CS-TR-4284, UMIACS-TR-2001-63

In this paper, we describe the design issues and technical implementation of an interactive Family Message Board. The Family Message Board enables members of a distributed family to communicate with one another both synchronously and asynchronously via simple, pen-based, digital notes. Each household running this Java-based software can view, create, and manipulate notes in a zoomable space. The Family Message Board will be used as a “technology probe” to help us understand the communication needs of distributed families, and to help us design new devices to meet those needs.


[HTML  [Link to Report]

Shneiderman, B. (July 2001)
Inventing Discovery Tools: Combining Information Visualization with Data Mining
Information Visualization 1, 1 (2002), 5-12. Also appeared in Proc. Discovery Science 4th International Conference 2001.
HCIL-2001-16, CS-TR-4275, UMIACS-TR-2001-55, ISR-TR-2005-20

The growing use of information visualization tools and data mining algorithms stems from two separate lines of research. Information visualization researchers believe in the importance of giving users an overview and insight into the data distributions, while data mining researchers believe that statistical algorithms and machine learning can be relied on to find the interesting patterns. This paper discusses two issues that influence design of discovery tools: statistical algorithms vs. visual data presentation, and hypothesis testing vs. exploratory data analysis. I claim that a combined approach could lead to novel discovery tools that preserve user control, enable more effective exploration, and promote responsibility.


[HTML  [Link to Report]

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.


[HTML  [Link to Report]

Tanin, E., Shneiderman, B. (June 2001)
Exploration of Large Online Data Tables Using Generalized Query Previews
Information Systems(to appear, 2006).
HCIL-2001-13, CS-TR-4266, UMIACS-TR-2001-47

Companies, government agencies, and other organizations are making their data available to the world over the Internet. These organizations often store their data as large online relational database tables. Users query these databases with front-ends that mostly use menus or form fillin interfaces, but these interfaces rarely give users information about the contents and distribution of the data. This situation leads users to waste time and network resources posing queries that have zero-hit or mega-hit results. Generalized query previews form a user interface architecture for efficient browsing of large online databases by supplying data distribution information to the users. The data distribution information provides an overview of the data. Generalized query previews give continuous feedback about the size of the results as the query is being formed. This provides a preview of the results. This paper presents the generalized query previews user interface architecture and our experimental findings. Our user study shows that for exploratory querying tasks, generalized query previews speed user performance and reduce network load. Categories and Subject Descriptors: H.5.2 [Information Interfaces and Presentation]: User Interfaces - Graphical user interfaces (GUI), H.3.5 [Information Storage and Retrieval]: Online Information Services - Web-based services. General Terms: Design, Human Factors, Experimentation. Keywords: Visual Data Mining, Information Visualization, Graphical User Interfaces, Relational Databases, Database Querying, Online Databases, Dynamic Queries, Previews and Overviews.


[HTML  [Link to Report]

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]

Dang, G., North, C., Shneiderman, B. (April 2001)
Dynamic Queries and Brushing on Choropleth Maps
Proc. International Conference on Information Visualization 2001, 757-764. IEEE Press (July 2001).
HCIL-2001-08, CS-TR-4254, UMIACS-TR-2001-37, ISR-TR-2005-17

Users who must combine demographic, economic or other data in a geographic context are often hampered by the integration of tabular and map representations. Static, paper-based solutions limit the amount of data that can be placed on a single map or table. By providing an effective user interface, we believe that researchers, journalists, teachers, and students can explore complex data sets more rapidly and effectively. This paper presents Dynamaps, a generalized map-based information-visualization tool for dynamic queries and brushing on choropleth maps. Users can use color coding to show a variable on each US state or county, and then filter out areas that do not meet the desired criteria. In addition, a scattergram view and a details-on-demand window support overviews and specific fact finding.


[HTML  [Video] [Link to Report]

Suh, B., Bederson, B. (March 2001)
OZONE: A Zoomable Interface for Navigating Ontology
Proceedings of International Conference on Advanced Visual Interfaces (AVI 2002), ACM, Trento, Italy, 139-143, ACM Press.
HCIL-2001-04, CS-TR-4227, UMIACS-TR-2001-16

We present OZONE (Zoomable Ontology Navigator), for searching and browsing ontological information. OZONE visualizes query conditions and provides interactive, guided browsing for DAML (DARPA Agent Markup Language) ontologies. To visually represent objects in DAML, we define a visual model for its classes, properties and relationships between them. Properties can be expanded into classes for query refinement. The visual query can be formulated incrementally as users explore class and property structures interactively. Zoomable interface techniques are employed for effective navigation and usability.


[HTML  [Link to Report]

Shneiderman, B. (February 2001)
Bridging the Digital Divide with Universal Usability
ACM Interactions,Vol. 8, No. 2, 11-15, March/April 2001
HCIL-2001-01, CS-TR-4306, UMIACS-TR-2001-83, ISR-TR-2005-14


[HTML  [Link to Report]

Plaisant, C. (Editor) (October 2000)
2000 and 1999-1991 Retrospective: Human-Computer Interaction Laboratory Video Reports
HCIL-2000-24, CS-TR-4196

45 minute video of the lab's work over this year. Topics are:
  • Browsing and annotating digital photographs with Photofinder
  • Learning histories in simulation based learning environments
  • Dynamap
  • StoryRooms


[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.


[HTML  [Link to Report]

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.


[HTML  [Link to Report]

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.


[HTML  [Link to Report]

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.


[HTML  [Video] [Link to Report]

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]

Tanin, E., Plaisant, C., Shneiderman, B. (May 2000)
Broadening Access to Large Online Databases by Generalizing Query Previews
Proc. of the Symposium on New Paradigms in Information Visualization and Manipulation - CIKM, pp. 80-85, 2000.
HCIL-2000-14, CS-TR-4139, UMIACS-TR-2000-32, ISR-TR-2005-10

Companies, government agencies, and other types of organizations are making their large databases available to the world over the Internet. Current database front-ends do not give users information about the distribution of data. This leads many users to waste time and network resources posing queries that have either zero-hit or mega-hit result sets. Query previews form a novel visual approach for browsing large databases. Query previews supply data distribution information about the database that is being searched and give continuous feedback about the size of the result set for the query as it is being formed. On the other hand, query previews use only a few pre-selected attributes of the database. The distribution information is displayed only on these attributes. Unfortunately, many databases are formed of numerous relations and attributes. This paper introduces a generalization of query previews. We allow users to browse all of the relations and attributes of a database using a hierarchical browser. Any of the attributes can be used to display the distribution information, making query previews applicable to many public online databases.


[HTML  [Link to Report]

Kang, H., Shneiderman, B. (May 2000)
Visualization Methods for Personal Photo Collections: Browsing and Searching in the PhotoFinder
Proc. IEEE International Conference on Multimedia and Expo (ICME2000), New York City, New York.
HCIL-2000-07, CS-TR-4494, UMIACS-TR-2003-63, ISR-TR-2005-8

Software tools for personal photo collection management are proliferating, but they usually have limited searching and browsing functions. We implemented the PhotoFinder prototype to enable non-technical users of personal photo collections to search and browse easily. PhotoFinder provides a set of visual Boolean query interfaces, coupled with dynamic query and query preview features. It gives users powerful search capabilities. Using a scatter plot thumbnail display and drag-and-drop interface, PhotoFinder is designed to be easy to use for searching and browsing photos.


[HTML  [Link to Report]

Shneiderman, B., Kang, H. (May 2000)
Direct Annotation: A Drag-and-Drop Strategy for Labeling Photos
Proc. International Conference Information Visualization (IV2000). London, England. Proc. International Conference on Information Visualization 2000, IEEE, Los Alamitos, CA (July 2000), 88-95.
HCIL-2000-06, CS-TR-4129, UMIACS-TR-2000-23, ISR-TR-2005-7

Annotating photos is such a time-consuming, tedious and error-prone data entry task that it discourages most owners of personal photo libraries. By allowing users to drag labels such as personal names from a scrolling list and drop them on a photo, we believe we can make the task faster, easier and more appealing. Since the names are entered in a database, searching for all photos of a friend or family member is dramatically simplified. We describe the user interface design and the database schema to support direct annotation, as implemented in our PhotoFinder prototype.


[HTML  [Link to Report]

Semple, P., Allen, R., Rose, A. (2000)
Developing an Educational Multimedia Digital Library: Content Preparation, Indexing, and Usage
ED-MEDIA 2000, Montreal, and reprinted with permission of Assn. for the Advancement of Computing in Education.
HCIL-2000-04

The Maryland Electronic Learning Community (blcschools.net) is building a multimedia digital library of educational resources. Now in the fourth year of the project, we evaluate early decisions we made about segmenting and indexing videos. We also discuss an experiment in encouraging collaborative community indexing with a Quick Indexing Tool. We conclude that a broader base of users would better support the infrastructure requirements and we propose ways that such a broad base can be developed while also providing a framework for local learning communities. We propose a federated system of collaborative indexing communities.


[HTML [Link to Report]

Gandhi, R., Kumar, G., Bederson, B., Shneiderman, B. (March 2000)
Domain Name Based Visualization of Web Histories in a Zoomable User Interface
Proc. 11th International Workshop on Database and Expert Systems Applications, includes WebVis 2000: Second International Workshop on Web-Based Information Visualization, IEEE Computer Society, Los Alamitos, CA (2000), 591-598.
HCIL-2000-03, CS-TR-4114, UMIACS-TR-2000-12, ISR-TR-2000-8

Users of hypertext systems like the World Wide Web (WWW) often find themselves following hypertext links deeper and deeper, only to find themselves "lost" and unable to find their way back to the previously visited pages. We have implemented a web browser companion called Domain Tree Browser (DTB) that builds a tree structured visual navigation history while browsing the web. The Domain Tree Browser organizes the URLs visited based on the domain name of each URL and shows thumbnails of each page in a zoomable window. A usability test was conducted with four subjects.


  [Link to Report]

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


[HTML] [Link to Report]

Rose, A., Allen, R., Fulton, K. (1999)
Multiple Channels of Electronic Communication for Building a Distributed Learning Community
Proceedings of the Computer Support for Collaborative Learning, CSCL '99, Stanford, CA, 495-502.
HCIL-99-32

The Maryland Electronic Learning Community (MELC) is part of the Baltimore Learning Community, a Challenge Grant project funded by the U.S. Department of Education. Created as a partnership between the Baltimore City Public Schools, the University of Maryland, and corporate and public sponsors, MELC was designed to investigate how an electronic learning community could be created around the development and use of a multimedia digital library for teacher-generated lesson plans and activities. In addition to audio, video, image, text, and web resources available in the library, multiple communications technologies (i.e., a community web site, email, a threaded discussion board, and distance learning laboratories) have supported collaboration and interaction among the teacher and university participants. In this paper we present a preliminary analysis of the impact of these technologies on teacher interaction and technology use. We find a substantial level of teacher communication and collaboration across media and we look for evidence that the multiple channels of interaction facilitate teacherís professional development and increasing comfort with technology.


[HTML [Link to Report]

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)


[HTML [Video] [Link to Report]

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.


[HTML [Link to Report]

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.


[HTML  [Link to Report]

Hochheiser, H., Shneiderman, B. (September 1999)
Performance Benefits of Simultaneous Over Sequential Menus as Task Complexity Increases
International Journal of Human Computer Interaction, Volume 12, #2, 173-192.
HCIL-99-24, CS-TR-4066, UMIACS-TR-99-60, ISR-TR-99-71

To date, experimental comparisons of menu layouts have concentrated on variants of hierarchical structures of sequentially presented menus. Simultaneous menus - layouts that present multiple active menus on a screen at the same time – are an alternative arrangement that may be useful in many web design situations. This paper describes an experiment involving a between-subject comparison of simultaneous menu and their traditional sequential counterparts. Twenty experienced web users used either simultaneous or sequential menus in a standard web browser to answer questions based on US Census data. Our results suggest that appropriate use of simultaneous menus can lead to improved task performance speeds without harming subjective satisfaction measures. For novice users performing simple tasks the simplicity of sequential menus appears to be helpful, but experienced users performing complex tasks may benefit from simultaneous menus. Design improvements can amplify the benefits of simultaneous menu layouts.


[HTML  [Link to Report]

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


[HTML [Link to Report]

Harris, C., Allen, R., Plaisant, C., Shneiderman, B. (June 1999)
Temporal Visualization for Legal Case Histories
ASIS'99 Proceedings of the 62nd Annual Meeting of the American Society for Information Sciences, Conference October 31-November 4, 1999, Vol. 36, 271-279.
HCIL-99-18, CS-TR-4047

This paper discusses visualization of legal information using a tool for temporal information called LifeLines. The direct and indirect histories of cases can become very complex. We explored ways that LifeLines could aid in viewing the links between the original case and the direct and indirect histories. The Apple Computer, Inc. v. Microsoft Corporation and Hewlett Packard Company case is used to illustrate the prototype. For example, if users want to find out how the rulings or statutes changed throughout this case, they could retrieve this information within a single display. Using the timeline, users could also choose at which point in time they would like to begin viewing the case. LifeLines support various views of a case's history. For instance, users can view the trial history of a case, the references involved in a case, and citations made to a case. The paper describes improvements to LifeLines that could help in providing a more useful visualization of case history.

Keywords: Graphical user interface, information visualization, legal information, temporal data, history


[HTML  [Link to Report]

Shneiderman, B. (July 1999)
Supporting Creativity with Advanced Information-Abundant User Interfaces
In Earnshaw, R., Guedj, R., Van Dam, A., and Vince, J. (Editors), Human-Centred Computing, Online Communities, and Virtual Environments, Springer-Verlag London (2001), 469-480.
HCIL-99-16, CS-TR-4042, UMIACS-TR-99-42, ISR-TR-99-73

A challenge for human-computer interaction researchers and user interface designers is to construct information technologies that support creativity. This ambitious goal can be attained if designers build on an adequate understanding of creative processes. This paper describes a model of creativity, the four-phase genex framework for generating excellence:

- Collect: learn from previous works stored in digital libraries, the web, etc.
- Relate: consult with peers and mentors at early, middle and late stages
- Create: explore, compose, discover, and evaluate possible solutions
- Donate: disseminate the results and contribute to the digital libraries, the web, etc.

Within this integrated framework, there are eight activities that require human-computer interaction research and advanced user interface design. This paper concentrates on techniques of information visualization that support creative work by enabling users to find relevant information resources, identify desired items in a set, or discover patterns in a collection. It describes information visualization methods and proposes five questions for the future: generality, integration, perceptual foundations, cognitive principles, and collaboration.


[HTML [Link to Report]

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.


[HTML  [Link to Report]

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]

Plaisant, C., Rose, A., Rubloff, G., Salter, R., Shneiderman, B. (May 1999)
The Design of History Mechanisms and Their Use in Collaborative Educational Simulations
Proc. of the Computer Support for Collaborative Learning, CSCL' 99, Palo Alto, CA, 348-359.
HCIL-99-11, CS-TR-4027, UMIACS-TR-99-34, ISR-TR-99-74

Reviewing past events has been useful in many domains. Videotapes and flight data recorders provide invaluable technological help to sports coaches or aviation engineers. Similarly, providing learners with a readable recording of their actions may help them monitor their behavior, reflect on their progress, and experiment with revisions of their experiences. It may also facilitate active collaboration among dispersed learning communities. Learning histories can help students and professionals make more effective use of digital library searching, word processing tasks, computer assisted design tools, electronic performance support systems, and web navigation.

This paper describes the design space and discusses the challenges of implementing learning histories. It presents guidelines for creating effective implementations, and the design tradeoffs between sparse and dense history records. The paper also presents a first implementation of learning histories for a simulation-based engineering learning environment called SimPLE (Simulated Processes in a Learning Environment) for the case of a semiconductor fabrication module, and reports on early user evaluation of learning histories implemented within SimPLE.

Keywords: HCI, scaffolding, simulation


[HTML [Video] [Link to Report]

Combs, T., Combs, T., Bederson, B. (February 1999)
Does Zooming Improve Image Browsing?
Proceedings of Digital Libraries '99, ACM, New York,1999, 130-137.
HCIL-99-05, CS-TR-3995, UMIACS-TR-99-14

We describe an image retrieval system we built based on a Zoomable User Interface (ZUI). We also discuss the design, results and analysis of a controlled experiment we performed on the browsing aspects of the system. The experiment resulted in a statistically significant difference in the interaction between number of images (25, 75, 225) and style of browser (2D, ZUI, 3D). The 2D and ZUI browser systems performed equally, and both performed better than the 3D systems. The image browsers tested during the experiment include Cerious Software's Thumbs Plus, TriVista Technology's Simple LandScape and Photo GoRound, and our Zoomable Image Browser based on Pad++.


[HTML [Link to Report]

Shneiderman, B., Feldman, D., Rose, A., Ferre Grau, X. (February 1999)
Visualizing Digital Library Search Results with Categorical and Hierarchial Axes
Proc. 5th ACM International Conference on Digital Libraries (San Antonio, TX, June 2-7, 2000), ACM, New York, 57-66.
HCIL-99-03, CS-TR-3992, UMIACS-TR-99-12, ISR-TR-99-75

Digital library search results are usually shown as a textual list, with 10-20 items per page. Viewing several thousand search results at once on a two-dimensional display with continuous variables is a promising alternative. Since these displays can overwhelm some users, we created a simplified two-dimensional display that uses categorical and hierarchical axes, called hieraxes. Users appreciate the meaningful and limited number of terms on each hieraxis. At each grid point of the display we show a cluster of color-coded dots or a bar chart. Users see the entire result set and can then click on labels to move down a level in the hierarchy. Handling broad hierarchies and arranging for imposed hierarchies led to additional design innovations. We applied hieraxes to a digital video library used by middle school teachers and a legal information system.


[HTML  [Link to Report]

Shneiderman, B. (February 1999)
Creating Creativity for Everyone: User Interfaces for Supporting Innovation
ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction 7, 1 (March 2000), 114-138. Also to appear in Carroll, J. (Ed.) (2001) HCI in the Millennium, ACM, New York.
HCIL-99-01, CS-TR-3988, UMIACS-TR-99-10, ISR-TR-99-4

A challenge for human-computer interaction researchers and user interface designers is to construct information technologies that support creativity. This ambitious goal can be attained by building on an adequate understanding of creative processes. This paper offers the four-phase genex framework for generating excellence:

- Collect: learn from previous works stored in digital libraries
- Relate: consult with peers and mentors at early, middle and late stages
- Create: explore, compose, and evaluate possible solutions
- Donate: disseminate the results and contribute to the digital libraries

Within this integrated framework, this paper proposes eight activities that require human-computer interaction research and advanced user interface design. A scenario about an architect illustrates the process of creative work within a genex environment.


[HTML  [Link to Report]

Plaisant, C., Venkatraman, M., Ngamkajornwiwat, K., Barth, R., Harberts, B., Feng, W.
Refining query previews techniques for data with multivalued attributes: The case of NASA EOSDIS
IEEE Forum on Research and Technology Advances in Digital Libraries (ADL '99), IEEE Computer Society, Los Alamitos, CA, 50-59
HCIL-98-17, CS-TR-4010, UMIACS-TR-99-20

Query Previews allows users to rapidly gain an understanding of the content and scope of a digital collection. It uses overviews and previews of abstracted metadata that allows users to perform rapid and dynamic elimination of undesired data. In this paper we present an update on our work developing query previews for a variety of NASA EOSDIS situations. We focused on approaches that successfully address the challenge of multi-valued attribute data while remaining independent of the number of records. We proposed two techniques and showed examples of their use with NASA data.


[HTML [Link to Report]

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


[HTML] [Link to Report]

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.


[HTML [Link to Report]

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.


[HTML] [Link to Report]

Marchionini, G., Plaisant, C., Komlodi, A. (1998)
Interfaces and Tools for the Library of Congress National Digital Library Program
Information Processing & Management, 34, 5, pp. 535-555, 1998. Also French version appeared in Document numerique. 2(1), 1998, pages 53-65, Hermes, Paris.
HCIL-98-01, CS-TR-3872, UMIACS-TR-98-09

This paper describes a collaborative effort to explore user needs in a digital library, develop interface prototypes for a digital library, and suggest and prototype tools for digital librarians and users at the Library of Congress (LC). Interfaces were guided by an assessment of user needs and aimed to maximize interaction with primary resources and support both browsing and analytical search strategies. Tools to aid users and librarians in overviewing collections, previewing objects, and gathering results were created and serve as the beginnings of a digital librarian toolkit. The design process and results are described and suggestions for future work are offered.


[HTML] [Link to Report]

Plaisant, C. (Editor) (March 1999)
1997 Human-Computer Interaction Laboratory Video Reports
HCIL-97-22, CS-TR-4006

45 minute video of the lab's work over the past year. Topics are:
  • Introduction - Ben Shneiderman
  • Bringing treasures to the surface
  • Viewing websites using a hierarchical table of contents browser
  • Elastic Windows
  • Using multimedia learning resources for the Baltimore Learning Community
  • Visual data mining using Spotfire
  • Relate-Create-Donate
  • Query previews in networked information systems
  • As others see us: HCIL & the Teaching/Learning Theater Extract from "Your ticket to technology: Beyond the horizon"


[HTML] [Link to Report]

Shneiderman, B. (1997)
Codex, Memex, Genex: The Pursuit of Tranformational Technologies
International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction 10,2 (1998), 87-106.
HCIL-97-21, CS-TR-3862, UMIACS-TR-97-89

Handwritten codexes or printed books transformed society by allowing users to preserve and transmit information. Today, leather-bound volumes and illuminated manuscripts are giving way to animated image maps and hot links. Vannevar Bush's memex has inspired the World Wide Web, which provides users with vast information resources and convenient communications. In looking to the future, we might again transform society by building genexes -- generators of excellence. Such inspirational environments would empower personal and collaborative creativity by enabling users to:
  • collect information from an existing domain of knowledge,
  • create innovations using advanced tools,
  • consult with peers or mentors in the field, and then
  • disseminate the results widely.
This paper describes how a framework for an integrated set of software tools might support this four-phase model of creativity in science, medicine, the arts, and beyond. Current initiatives are positive and encouraging, but they do not work in an integrated fashion, often miss vital components, and are frequently poorly designed. A well-conceived and clearly-stated framework could guide design efforts, coordinate planning, and speed development.


[HTML] [Link to Report]

Greene, S., Tanin, E., Plaisant, C., Shneiderman, B., Olsen, L., Major, G., Johns, S. (1997)
The End of Zero-Hit Queries: Query Previews for NASA's Global Change Master Directory
International Journal Digital Libraries Vol. 2 No.2+3 (1999), pp.79-90
HCIL-97-20, CS-TR-3856, UMIACS-TR-97-84

The Human-Computer Interaction Laboratory (HCIL) of the University of Maryland and NASA have collaborated over the last three years to refine and apply user interface research concepts developed at HCIL in order to improve the usability of NASA data services. The research focused on dynamic query user interfaces, visualization, and overview +preview designs. An operational prototype, using query previews, was implemented with NASA's Global Change Master Directory (GCMD), a directory service for earth science data sets. Users can see the histogram of the data distribution over several attributes and choose among attribute values. A result bar shows the cardinality of the result set, thereby preventing users from submitting queries that would have zero hits. Our experience confirmed the importance of metadata accuracy and completeness. The query preview interfaces make visible problems or holes in the metadata that are unnoticeable with classic form fill-in interfaces. This could be seen as a problem, but we think that it will have a long-term beneficial effect on the quality of the metadata as data providers will be compelled to produce more complete and accurate metadata. The adaptation of the research prototype to the NASA data required revised data structures and algorithms.


[HTML] [Link to Report]

Greene, S., Marchionini, G., Plaisant, C., Shneiderman, B. (1997)
Previews and Overviews in Digital Libraries: Designing Surrogates to Support Visual Information-Seeking
Journal of the American Society for Information Science 51, 3 (March 2000), 380-393.
HCIL-97-16, CS-TR-3838, UMIACS-TR-97-73, ISR-TR-97-80

To aid designers of digital library interfaces and web sites in creating comprehensible, predictable and controllable environments for their users, we define and discuss the benefits of previews and overviews as visual information representations. Previews and overviews are graphic or textual representations of information abstracted from primary information objects. They serve as surrogates for those objects. When utilized properly, previews and overviews allow users to rapidly discriminate objects of interest from those not of interest, and to more fully understand the scope and nature of large collections of information resources. We provide a more complete definition of previews and overviews, and discuss system parameters and aspects of primary information objects relevant to designing effective preview and overviews. Finally, we present examples that illustrate the use of previews and overviews and offer suggestions for designers.


[HTML [Link to Report]

Rose, A., Ding, W., Marchionini, G., Beale Jr., J., Nolet, V. (1997)
Building an Electronic Learning Community: From Design to Implementation
Proceedings of CHI 98, Los Angeles, CA, 18-23 April 1998, ACM, New York, 203-210
HCIL-97-15, CS-TR-3831, UMIACS-TR-97-67, CLIS-TR-97-12

The University of Maryland at College Park in cooperation with Baltimore City Public Schools and several partners is working to build an electronic learning community that provides teachers with multimedia resources that are linked to outcome-oriented curriculum guidelines. The initial resource library contains over 100 videos, texts, images, web sites, and instructional modules. Using the current system, teachers can explore and search the resource library, create and present instructional modules in their classrooms, and communicate with other teachers in the community. This paper discusses the iterative design process and the results of informal usability testing. Lessons learned are also presented for developers.


[HTML] [Link to Report]

Alonso, D., Rose, A., Plaisant, C., Norman, K. (1997)
Viewing Personal History Records: A Comparison of Tabular Format and Graphical Presentation Using LifeLines
Behavior and Information Technology 17, 5, 1998, 249-262.
HCIL-97-13, CS-TR-3795, UMIACS-TR-97-45

Thirty-six participants used a static version of either LifeLines, a graphical interface, or a Tabular representation to answer questions about a database of temporal personal history information. Results suggest that overall the LifeLines representation led to much faster response times, primarily for questions which involved interval comparisons and making intercategorical connections. In addition, on a follow-up questionnaire, nine out of eleven questions rated LifeLines preferable in terms of user satisfaction. A "first impression"test showed that LifeLines can reduce some of the biases of the tabular record summary. A post-experimental memory test led to significantly (p<.004) higher recall for LifeLines. Finally, simple interaction techniques are proposed to augment LifeLines ability to better deal with precise dates, attribute coding and overlaps.


[HTML] [Link to Report]

Oard, D. (1997)
Speech-Based Information Retrieval for Digital Libraries
HCIL-97-12, CS-TR-3778, UMIACS-TR-97-36, CLIS-TR-97-05, LAMP-TR-015

Libraries and archives collect recorded speech and multimedia objects that contain recorded speech, and such material may comprise a substantial portion of the collection in future digital libraries. Presently, access to most of this material is provided using a combination of manually annotated metadata and linear search. Recent advances in speech processing technology have produced a number of techniques for extracting features from recorded speech that could provide a useful basis for the retreival of speech or multimedia objects in large digital library collections. Among these features are the semantic content of the speech, the identity of the speaker, and the language in which the speech was spoken. We propose to develop a graphical and auditory user interface for speech-based information retrieval that exploits these features to facilitate selection of recorded speech and multimedia information objects that include recorded speech. We plan to use that interface to evaluate the effectiveness and usability of alternative ways of exploiting those features and as a testbed for the evaluation of advanced retrieval techniques such as cross-language speech retrieval.


[HTML] [Link to Report]

Marchionini, G., Nolet, V., Williams, H., Ding, W., Beale Jr., J., Rose, A., Gordon, A., Enomoto, E., Harbinson, L. (1997)
Content + Connectivity => Community: Digital Resources for a Learning Community
HCIL-97-07, CS-TR-3785, CLIS-TR-97-07

Digital libraries offer new opportunities to provide access to diverse resources beyond those held in school buildings and to allow teachers and learners to reach beyond classroom walls to other people to build distributed learning communities. Creating learning communities requires that teachers change their behaviors and the Baltimore Learning Community Project described here is based on the premise that access to resources should be tied to the assessment outcomes that increasingly drive curricula and classroom activity. Based on examination of curriculum guides and discussions with project teachers, an interface for the BLC digital library was prototyped. Three components (explore, construct, and present) of this user interface that allow teachers to find text, video images, web sites, and instructional modules and create their own modules are described. Although the technological challenges of building learning communities are significant, the greater challenges are mainly social and political.


[HTML] [Link to Report]

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).


[HTML [Link to Report]

Tanin, E., Beigel, R., Shneiderman, B. (1996)
Incremental Data Structures and Algorithms for Dynamic Query Interfaces
Workshop on New Paradigms in Information Visualization and Manipulation, Fifth ACM International Conference on Information and Knowledge Management (CIKM '96) (Rockville, MD, Nov. 16, 1996) 12-15. Also in SIGMOD Record, Vol. 25, No. 4 (21-24), December 1996
HCIL-96-18, CS-TR-3730, ISR-TR-97-5

Dynamic query interfaces are a recently developed form of database access that provides continuous realtime feedback to the user during the query formulation process. Previous work shows that DQIs are an elegant and powerful interface to small databases. Unfortunately, when applied to large databases, previous DQI algorithms slow to a crawl. We present a new approach to DQI algorithms that works well with large databases.


[HTML] [Link to Report]

Plaisant, C., Marchionini, G., Bruns, T., Komlodi, A., Campbell, L. (October 1996)
Bringing Treasures to the Surface: Iterative Design for the Library of Congress National Digital Library Program
CHI 97 Proceedings, Atlanta GA, 22-27 March 1997, ACM New York, 518-525
HCIL-96-16, CS-TR-3694, CLIS-TR-96-03

The Human-Computer Interaction Lab worked with a team of the Library of Congress (LC) to develop and test interface designs for LCUs National Digital Library Program. Three iterations are described and illustrate the progression of the design toward a compact design that minimizes scrolling and jumping and anchors users in a screen space that tightly couples search and results. Issues and resolutions are discussed for each iteration and reflect the challenges of incomplete metadata, data visualization, and the rapidly changing web environment.


[Video] [Link to Report]

Marchionini, G., Plaisant, C., Komlodi, A. (May 1996)
User Needs Assessment for the Library of Congress National Digital Library
HCIL-96-09, CS-TR-3640, CAR-TR-829, CLIS-96-01


[HTML] [Link to Report]

Shneiderman, B. (April 1996)
Designing Information-Abundant Websites
International Journal of Human-Computer Studies 47 (1997), 5-29. Also Designing the User Interface, 3rd edition, Addison Wesley.
HCIL-96-05, CS-TR-3634, CAR-TR-824, ISR-TR-96-40

The deluge of web pages has generated dystopian commentaries on the tragedy of the flood as well as utopian visions of harnessing the same flood for constructive purposes. Within this ocean of information there are also lifeboat web pages with design principles, but often the style parallels the early user interface writings in the 1970s. The well-intentioned Noahs who write from personal experience as website designers, often draw their wisdom from specific projects, making their advice incomplete or lacking in generalizability. Their experience is valuable but the paucity of empirical data to validate or sharpen insight means that some guidelines are misleading. As scientific evidence accumulates, foundational cognitive and perceptual theories will structure the discussion and guide designers in novel situations.


[HTML] [Link to Report]

Paton, N., Doan, K., Díaz, O., Jaime, A. (December 1995)
Exploitation of Object-Oriented and Active Constructs in Database Interface Development
Proceedings of the 3rd International Workshop on Database Interfaces (IDS3) (Edinburgh, Scotland, July 1996) Springer Verlag, 1-14. http://www.springer.co.uk/eWiC/eWiCAbstracts/IDS3.html
HCIL-96-03

This paper presents some experiences in the exploitation of database interface development architecture in which the interface is implemented using the facilities of the database. It is shown how novel interfaces, specifically a multi-paradigm query interface and a debugger for an active rule system, can benefit from and exploit the uniform representation of interface and database system concepts as database objects.


[HTML [Link to Report]

Korn, F., Shneiderman, B. (February 1996)
Navigating Terminology Hierarchies to Access a Digital Library of Medical Images
HCIL-96-01

Browsing is an interactive and exploratory process for finding information in a digital library that has advantages over search term queries in many situations. Some browsers display a concept space as a node-link graph diagram, but this can look chaotic for a graph of moderate complexity. The approach taken in this paper is to suppress some of the interrelationships (links) and order the concept space as a tree by some `natural' hierarchy. The user can then explore hidden interrelationships by dynamically interacting with the system. We demonstrate the usefulness of browsing a hierarchy via this method in a prototype called MeSH-BROWSE, a system for browsing terms from the NLM Medical Subject Headings tree. It displays a node-link tree diagram of the con-cept space and reveals hidden interrelationships when a node is clicked on by triggering related nodes scattered about the tree to become highlighted. In this paper we describe MeSHBROWSE, discuss semantic and algorithmic issues involved with it, and discuss its implications for further research.


[HTML [Link to Report]

Pointek, J. (November 1995)
Data Structures for Dynamic Query Browsing of EOS Data Directories
Presentation abstract appears in online Proc. of NASA Science Information Systems Interoperability Conference (University of Maryland, College Park, MD, Nov. 6-9, 1995)
HCIL-95-21

NASA's Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS) seeks to manage large volumes of complex data from satellite and field management programs, allowing users to query and search for relevant subsets of data. The challenge in developing an appropriate user interface for this system lies in meaningfully representing these data to a diverse user community in a compact, easy-to-use manner. The dynamic query approach lends itself well to this problem. Dynamic queries involve range searches on multi-key data sets. Users directly manipulate slider or button widgets to specify ranges for each key value. Within a dynamic query interface, changes to query fields are reflected in a visual display of the data almost instantaneously, usually within 100 ms. To reduce lengthy network delays due to the transfer of enormous volumes of data, we plan to implement a two-level query architecture. The initial level will allow the user to narrow the query selection on a coarser scope, while the second refined query level will allow users to locally view and manipulate the previously selected data subset. Because of the need for immediate feedback and display, efficient query computation must be supported using suitable data structures and search algorithms. Previous work in dynamic queries has resulted in favorable performance for smaller data sets (less than 5000) using simple data structures. However, these data structures are poorly suited for large, complex data sets such as those present in EOSDIS, prompting the need for development of new multidimensional data structures and algorithms.


[HTML] [Link to Report]

North, C., Shneiderman, B., Plaisant, C. (October 1995)
User Controlled Overviews of an Image Library: A Case Study of the Visible Human
Proc. of the 1st ACM International Conference on Digital Libraries (Bethesda, MD, March 20-23, 1996) 74-82. ACM, New York. In addition a video "Browsing anatomical image databases: A case study of the Visible Human" appeared in CHI 96 Video Program with a two-page video summary in ACM CHI '96 Conference Companion (Vancouver, BC, Canada, April 13-18, 1996) 414-415, http://www.acm.org/sigchi/chi96/proceedings. The video is also available from HCIL as part of the 1995 HCIL Video report.
HCIL-95-20, CS-TR-3550, CAR-TR-798, ISR-TR-95-99.

This paper proposes a user interface for remote browsing of the Visible Human digital image library from the National Library of Medicine. The interface presents the user with a pair of tightly coupled views into the data set. The overview image provides a global view of the overall search space, and the preview image provides details about high resolution images available for downloading. The user sweeps the views through the search space and receives smooth, rapid feedback of contents. The interface software is completely functional and is freely available for public use at http://www.nlm.nih.gov.


[HTML] [Video] [Link to Report]

Doan, K., Plaisant, C., Shneiderman, B. (September 1995)
Query Previews in Networked Information Systems
Proc. of the Third Forum on Research and Technology Advances in Digital Libraries, ADL '96 (Washington, DC, May 13-15, 1996) IEEE CS Press, 120-129. Also abstract appears as Architecture of dynamic query user interface for networked information systems in on-line Proc. of NASA Science Information Systems Interoperability Conference (College Park, MD, Nov. 6-9, 1995)
HCIL-95-16, CS-TR-3524, CAR-TR-788, ISR-TR-95-90

In a networked information system, there are three major obstacles facing users in a querying process: slow network performance, large data volume and data complexity. In order to overcome these obstacles, we propose a two-phase approach to query formulation: Query Preview and Query Refinement. In the Query Preview phase, users formulate an initial query by selecting desired attribute values. The volume of matching data sets is shown graphically on preview bars which aid users to rapidly eliminate undesired data sets, and focus on a manageable number of relevant data sets. Query previews also prevent wasted steps by eliminating zero-hit queries. When the estimated number of data sets is low enough, users submit the initial query to the network, which returns the metadata of the data sets for the Query Refinement phase. Using this approach, we developed dynamic query user interfaces allowing users to formulate their queries using direct manipulation in an exploratory manner across a networked enviroment.


[HTML] [Link to Report]

Carr, D. (May 1995)
A Compact Graphical Representation of User Interface Interaction Objects
190 page Doctoral dissertation CSC 949, see 94-09 for condensed version.
HCIL-95-13

The design of new user-interface interaction objects (or widgets) remains a laborious process. The designer must translate the proposed widget into a computer language and install it in the graphical user interface. This dissertation proposes an executable, graphical specification method to help solve this problem. After a review of previous methods used to specify user interfaces and widgets, the Interaction Object Graph (IOG) is introduced and defined. IOGs are a graphical specification method designed specifically for widgets. Example IOG specifications are given for many current widgets and for several new widgets. In addition, it is shown that an arbitrary Turing machine can be transformed into an IOG. Therefore, IOGs may be used to specify any widget. The dissertation also reports on a pilot experiment comparing IOGs with a text specification method, User Action Notation. This experiment gives a weak indication that graphical specifications such as IOGs are easier to understand. Finally, a C++ class library was implemented for executing IOG-specified widgets while animating the diagrams. The design of this library and the animated specification diagrams are discussed. IOGs extend statecharts with special states to represent display changes and with special nodes and arcs to model widget attribute updates. Display states are represented by a picture of the widget appearance. The picture improves IOG diagram readability by providing an idea of how the widget's appearance will change as the user operates the widget. Data nodes and arcs allow the widget designer to specify the relationship between user actions and widget attribute values. This capability can result in smaller specifications than methods without data modeling. It is also easier to locate all updates to a particular data item in an IOG than in methods that model change with equations annotating a state or column entry. Finally, in order to enhance specification understanding and debugging, the IOG class library animates an IOG diagram showing changes in the active states as the user operates the widget.


 [Link to Report]

Kumar, H., Plaisant, C., Shneiderman, B. (March 1995)
Browsing Hierarchical Data with Multi-Level Dynamic Queries and Pruning
International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, Volume 46, No. 1, 103-124 (January 1997).
HCIL-95-12, CS-TR-3474, CAR-TR-772, ISR-TR-95-53.

Users often must browse hierarchies with thousands of nodes in search of those that best match their information needs. The PDQ Tree-browser (Pruning with Dynamic Queries) visualization tool was specified, designed and developed for this purpose. This tool presents trees in two tightly-coupled views, one a detailed view and the other an overview. Users can use dynamic queries, a method for rapidly filtering data, to filter nodes at each level of the tree. The dynamic query panels are user-customizable. Subtrees of unselected nodes are pruned out, leading to compact views of relevant nodes. Usability testing of the PDQ Tree-browser, done with 8 subjects, helped assess strengths and identify possible improvements. The PDQ Tree-browser was used in Network Management (600 nodes) and UniversityFinder (1100 nodes) applications. A controlled experiment, with 24 subjects, showed that pruning significantly improved performance speed and subjective user satisfaction. Future research directions are suggested.


[HTML] [Link to Report]

Plaisant, C., Shneiderman, B. (May 1995)
Organization Overviews and Role Management: Inspiration for Future Desktop Environments
Video in CHI '95 Video Program, ACM, New York. A two page video summary also appears in ACM CHI '95 Conference Companion, (Denver, Colorado, May 7-11, 1995) 419-420. Video also available through HCIL as part of the 1994 HCIL Video Report.
HCIL-95-03

We worked with the World Bank, a large international organization, to look at desktop environments of the near future. We chose to focus on a subset of problems that employees regularly have to struggle with:
  • finding people who can help
  • searching documents and resources
  • juggling many roles (e.g. a person can be in charge of three projects, member of two task forces, editor of the bank magazine, and organizer of the holiday party.)
A great deal of personal organization is required to manage these roles whose goals, partners, tools and documents are likely to be very different. The previous research on role theory [1] or CSCW focuses mainly on the coordination of individuals while our goal is to assist individuals manage their multiple roles.


[HTML [Link to Report]

Rosenfeld, A., Marchionini, G., Holliday, W., Ricart, G., Faloustos, C., Dick, J., Shneiderman, B. (June 1994)
QUEST: QUery Environment for Science Teaching
Proc. of Digital Libraries '94 (Texas A&M University, College Station, TX) 74-79. Also available at http://atg1.WUSTL.edu/DL94
HCIL-94-18

This proposal describes our plan, called QUEST (QUery Environment for Science Teaching), to meet the challenge proposed by these visionary thinkers. While we cannot perfect digital libraries within our four year multidisciplinary effort, we believe that our ten research projects and the ambitious testbed development, implementation and evaluation with active users will identify fruitful paths. Our design for QUEST emerged from a novel concept of future libraries, the communities they serve, and a theory of visual information seeking. We are dedicated to universal access and diverse usage, to enabling patrons to become contributors, and to facilitating retrieval and discovery. QUEST will contain massive multimedia resources and will be accessible by the many networks in the National Information Infrastructure. The contents will be automatically analyzed and indexed, thereby facilitating search by users who achieve mastery over the advanced user interfaces that we develop. To realize these goals, we have formulated ten interlocking QUEST research projects: four dealing with building and six with querying. These projects take advantage of established research expertise and reach beyond current paradigms. Our choice of research projects was guided by a desire to produce foundational results that are widely applicable. To validate the outcome of these research projects we will build an extensive testbed, and evaluate its efficacy with our identified user community. QUEST will meet critical library needs of students enrolled in the major testbed site - Prince George's Public Schools, one of the most multiculturally and socio-economically diverse regions in the country, located next to the Northeast sector of Washington, DC. QUEST will provide trained science teachers with networking and query subsystems, allowing them access to information with which to engage and motivate their students in problem-solving science projects_beyond anything possible in today's schools.


 [Link to Report]

Kumar, H., Plaisant, C., Teittinen, M., Shneiderman, B. (June 1994)
Visual information management for network configuration
Part of this article was later published in: Next Generation Network Management Technology, G. Atallah, M. Ball, J. Baras, S. Goli, R. Karne, S. Kelley, H. Kumar, C. Plaisant, N. Roussopoulos, B. Shneiderman, M. Srinivasarao, K. Stathatos, M. Teittinen, and D. Whitefield, Proceedings of the 12th Symposium on Space Nuclear Power and Propulsion/Commercialization, pp. 75-82, Albuquerque, NM, January 8-12, 1995
HCIL-94-07, CS-TR-3288, CAR-TR-716, ISR-TR-94-45

Current network management systems rely heavily on forms in their user interfaces. The interfaces reflect the intricacies of the network hardware components but provide little support for guiding users through tasks. There is a scarcity of useful graphical visualizations and decision-support tools. We applied a task-oriented approach to design and implemented the user interface for a prototype network configuration management system. Our user interface provides multiple overviews of the network (with potentially thousands of nodes) and the relevant configuration tasks (queries and updates). We propose a unified interface for exploration, querying, data entry and verification. Compact color-coded treemaps with dynamic queries allowing user-controlled filtering and animation of the data display proved well-suited for representing the multiple containment hierarchies in networks. Our Tree-browser applied the conventional node-link visualization of trees to show hardware containment hierarchies. Improvements to conventional scrollbar-browsers included tightly coupled overviews and detailed views. This visual interface, implemented with Galaxy and the University of Maryland Widget Library TM, has received enthusiastic feedback from the network management community. This application-specific paper has design paradigms that should be useful to designers of varied systems.


[HTML] [Link to Report]

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


[HTML [Link to Report]

Chimera, R., Shneiderman, B. (1993)
User Interface Consistency: An Evaluation of Original and Revised Interfaces for a Videodisk Library
Sparks of Innovation in Human-Computer Interaction, B. Shneiderman, Ed., Ablex Publ. (1993) 259-273.
HCIL-93-11

Original and revised versions of the National Library of Medicine MicroAnatomy Visual Library system were evaluated with an empirical test of nineteen subjects. The versions of the program's interface differed on issues relating to consistency of wording and screen layout, use of color coding, display of status information, and availability of help information. Each subject used both versions of the program to perform matched sets of tasks. The dependent variables were time to perform tasks correctly and subjective satisfaction as reported via the QUIS questionnaire. The revised version was statistically significantly faster for five of twenty tasks and more satisfying to use on a number of dimensions. The benefits of consistency and guidelines for design of interactive computer systems are discussed.


[HTML [Link to Report]

Marchionini, G., Ashley, M., Korzendorfer, L. (1993)
ACCESS at the Library of Congress
Sparks of Innovation in Human-Computer Interaction, B. Shneiderman, Ed., Ablex Publ., Norwood, NJ (1993) 251-258.
HCIL-93-10

Supporting patron access to library collections requires significant resources in all types of libraries. Card catalogs and reference librarians have traditionally assisted patrons in locating materials related to their information needs and the development of online public access catalogs (OPACs) has begun to affect both of these patron resources (Hildreth, 1982). Many libraries have invested heavily in OPACs in spite of the many problems they present to library patrons. Patrons have difficulty using the computer workstations, formulating queries appropriate to the OPAC command language, and interpreting feedback from the system (Borgman, 1986). In many libraries, reference staff who hoped that OPACs would allow them to assist patrons with challenging information problems have found themselves spending large amounts of time assisting patrons in the mechanics of using the OPAC. This problem is likely to be an ongoing one since patrons in public and academic libraries are what may be termed "casual" rather than "regular" users. The challenges of OPACs are particularly critical at the Library of Congress (LC), a premier library in the world and host to patrons from all walks of life and experience. The Library was a pioneer in automating bibliographic records and has long provided electronic access to its catalog. Patrons to the library are often visitors to Washington, D.C. who spend a short amount of time using the library and do not want to invest time learning to use the system.


[HTML [Link to Report]

Shneiderman, B. (April 1993)
Engagement and Construction: Education Strategies for the Post-TV Era
Computer Assisted Learning, International Conference on Computers and Learning, (Wolfville, Nova Scotia, Canada, June 17-20, 1992) 39-45. Also Journal of Computing in Higher Education, vol. 4 (2) (Spring 1993) 106-116. Also Sparks of Innovation in Human-Computer Interaction, Shneiderman, B., Ed., Ablex (June 1993) 345-350.
HCIL-93-05

We all remember the empty faces of students seated in rows, intermittently taking notes, and trying to retain disjointed facts. This old lecture style seems as antiquated as a 19th century clockwork mechanism; familiar and charming, but erratic and no longer adequate. The orderly structure of industrial age mechanisms and the repetitiveness of the assembly line are giving way to the all-at-once immediacy of McLuhan's non-linear electrified global village [McL64]. The early electronic media such as radio, stereos, and television have created a snap-crackle-and-popular culture that is enjoyable, but passive. The post-TV era will be different. Computing and communication technologies offer opportunities for engagement with other people and the power too ls to construct remarkable artifacts and experiences. Educators can now create engaging processes for their students that will motivate them to work together and explore the frontiers of knowledge. Students from elementary schools through college can apply computing technology (word processors, spreadsheets, databases, drawing programs, design tools, music composition software, etc.) to construct high quality products that they can proudly share with others. Advanced communications tools (electronic mail, network access, bulletin board systems, videotape recorders, TV broadcasts) support engagement among students, connection to the external world, information gathering, and dissemination of results.


[HTML [Link to Report]

Shneiderman, B. (Jan. 1993)
Dynamic Queries: For Visual Information Seeking
IEEE Software, vol. 11, 6 (Nov. 1994) 70-77.
HCIL-93-01, CS-TR-3022, CAR-TR-655, SRC-TR-93-3.

Dynamic queries are a novel approach to information seeking that may enable users to cope with information overload. They allow users to see an overview of the database, rapidly (100 msec updates) explore and conveniently filter out unwanted information. Users fly through information spaces by incrementally adjusting a query (with sliders, buttons, and other filters) while continuously viewing the changing results. Dynamic queries on the chemical table of elements, computer directories, and a real estate database were built and tested in three separate exploratory experiments. These results show statistically significant performance improvements and user enthusiasm more commonly seen with video games. Widespread application seems possible but research issues remain in database and display algorithms, and user interface design. Challenges include methods for rapidly displaying and changing many points, colors, and areas; multi-dimensional pointing; incorporation of sound and visual display techniques that increase user comprehension; and integration with existing database systems.


[HTML] [Link to Report]

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]


[HTML] [Link to Report]

Karl, L., Pettey, M., Shneiderman, B. (July 1992)
Speech versus mouse commands for word processing: an empirical evaluation
International Journal of Man-Machine Studies, vol. 39, 4 (Oct. 1993) 667-687.
HCIL-92-09, CS-TR-2925, CAR-TR-630, SRC-TR-92-86.

Despite advances in speech technology, human factors research since the late 1970's has provided only weak evidence that automatic speech recognition devices are superior to conventional input devices such as keyboards and mice. However, recent studies indicate that there may be advantages to providing an additional input channel based on speech input to supplement the more common input modes. Recently the authors conducted an experiment to demonstrate the advantages of using speech-activated commands over mouse-activated commands for word processing applications when, in both cases, the keyboard is used for text entry and the mouse for direct manipulation. Sixteen experimental subjects, all professional and all but one novice users of speech input, p erformed four simple word processing tasks using both input groups in this counterbalanced experiment. Performance times for all tasks were significantly faster when using speech to activate commands as opposed to using the mouse. On average, the reduct ion in task time due to using speech was 18.67%. The error rates due to subject mistakes were roughly the same for bothinput groups, and recognition errors, averaged over all the tasks, occurred for 6.25% of the speech-activated commands. Subjects made significantly more memorization errors when using speech as compared with the mouse for command activation. Overall, the subjects reacted positively to using speech input and preferred it over the mouse for command activation, however, they also voiced c oncerns about recognition accuracy, the interference of background noise, inadequate feedback and slow response time. The authors believe that the results of the experiment provide guidance for implementors and evidence for the utility of speech input fo r command activation in application programs.


[HTML] [Link to Report]

Shneiderman, B. (1991)
Education by engagement and construction: A strategic education initiative for a multimedia renewal of American education
Sociomedia: Multimedia, Hypermedia, and the Social Construction of Knowledge, Barrett, E., Ed., MIT Press (1992) 13-26.
HCIL-91-15

We can renew American education by offering students the opportunity to develop skills, experiences, and values they need to become successful individuals, workers, family members, and societal contributors. They can have fun while learning and gain sat isfaction from meaningful accomplishments. The Strategic Education Initiantive is a five year, $100 billion plan to help transform American education, provide powerful tools for teachers, promote advanced technology, and make schools more meaningul. Dynamic multimedia, novel user interfaces, powerful computing facilities, and international networks can empower teachers and students in remarkable ways. These technologies can support teachers in fostering student engagement with peers and outsiders, and construction of projects that contribute to a better world. these approaches also promote each student's self-worth while learning the subject material. I believe that as teacher effectiveness increases and learning becomes interactive, creation gen erates satisfaction, process and product become entwined, and cooperation builds community.


 [Link to Report]

Shneiderman, B. (July 1991)
Visual user interfaces for information exploration
1991 ASIS Proc., 379-384.
HCIL-91-10, CS-TR-2748, CAR-TR-577

The next generation of database management, directory browsing, information retrieval, hypermedia, scientific data management, and library systems can enable convenient exploration of growing information spaces by a wider range of users. User interface designers can provide more powerful search techniques, more comprehensible query facilities, better presentation methods, and smoother integration of technology with task. This paper offers novel graphical and direct manipulation approaches to query formu lation and information presentation/manipulation. These approaches include a graphical approach to restricted boolean query formulation based on generalization/aggregation hierarchies, a filter/flow metaphor for complete boolean expressions, dynamic quer y methods with continuous visual presentation of results as the query is changed (possibly employing parallel computation), and color-coded 2-dimensional space-filling tree-maps that present multiple-level hierarchies in a single display (hundreds of dire ctories and more than a thousand files can be seen at once).


[Link to Report]

Johnson, B., Shneiderman, B. (April 1991)
Treemaps: a space-filling approach to the visualization of hierarchical information structures
Proc. of the 2nd International IEEE Visualization Conference (San Diego, Oct. 1991) 284-291. Also Sparks of Innovation in Human-Computer Interaction, Shneiderman, B., Ed., Ablex (June 1993) 309-322.
HCIL-91-06, CS-TR-2657, CAR-TR-552, SRC-92-62.

This research concerns a novel method for the visualization of hierarchically structured information called Tree-Maps. The visualization technique makes use of 100% of the available display space, mapping the full hierarchy onto a rectangular window in a space-filling manner. This efficient use of space allows very large hierarchies to be displayed in their entirety and facilitates the presentation of semantic information. It is hoped that this approach to the visualization of hierarchical information will produce benefits similar to those achieved by visualization in other areas.


[HTML] [Video] [Link to Report]

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.


[HTML] [Link to Report]

Shneiderman, B. (Oct. 1990)
Protecting rights in user interface designs
ACM SIGCHI Bulletin, Oct. 1990. Excerpt of this paper also appeared as: Intellectual protection for user interfaces?, Communications of the ACM, 34, 4, (April 1991) 13-14. Also Sparks of Innovation in Human-Computer Interaction, Shneider man, B., Ed., Ablex (June 1993) 351-354.
HCIL-90-12

Sacrificing individual rights in the hope of benefiting the public good is a tempting, but often misguided pursuit. I believe that protecting individual rights (civil, voting, privacy, intellectual property, etc.) is usually the best way to advance the public good. The current policy debate rages over the merits of offering intellectual property protection to user interface designs. While most commentators agree that copyright is appropriate for books, songs, artwork, and evenuseful items such as engineering drawi ngs and maps, some are reluctant to offer such protection for user interfaces. These critics argue strenuously that intellectual protection for interfaces is "monopolistic"--that it would have a destructive effect on the public good by li miting dessemin ation of useful innovations and inhibiting standardization. These critics claim that traditional individual and corporate rights to creative works should be denied to user interface designers.


[HTML [Link to Report]

Plaisant, C., Shneiderman, B. (revised Feb. 1991)
Scheduling home control devices: design issues and usability evaluation of four touchscreen interfaces
International Journal of Man-Machine Studies (1992) 36, 375-393.
HCIL-89-18, CS-TR-2352, CAR-TR-472

This article describes four different user interfaces supporting scheduling two-state (ON/OFF) devices over time periods ranging from minutes to days. The touchscreen-based user interfaces including a digital, 12-h clock, 24-h linear and 24-h dial proto types are described and compared on a feature by feature basis. A formative usability test with 14 subjects, feedback from more than 30 reviewers, and the flexibility to add functions favour the 24-h linear version.


[Video] [Link to Report]

Sears, A., Shneiderman, B. (June 1989)
High precision touchscreens: design strategies and comparisons with a mouse
International Journal of Man-Machine Studies, (1991) 34, 4, 593-613. Also Sparks of Innovation in Human-Computer Interaction, Shneiderman, B., Ed., Ablex (June 1993) 171-185.
HCIL-89-17, CS-TR-2268, CAR-TR-450

Three studies were conducted comparing speed of performance, error rates, and user preference ratings for three selection devices. The devices tested were a touchscreen, a touchscreen with stabilization (stabilization software filters and smooths raw da ta from hardware), and a mouse. The task was the selection of rectangular targets 1,4,16,32 pixels per side (0.4x0.6, 1.7x2.2, 6.9x9.0, 13.8x17.9 mm respectively). Touchscreen users were able to point at single pixel targets, thereby countering widespre ad expectations of poor touchscreen resolution. The results show no difference in performance between the mouse and touchscreen for targets ranging from 32 to 4 pixels per side. In addition, stabilization significantly reduced the error rates for the to uchscreen when selecting small targets. These results imply that touchscreens, when properly used, have attractive advantages in selecting targets as small as 4 pixels per size (approximately one-quarter of the size of a single character). Ideas for fut ure research are presented.


[Link to Report]

Shneiderman, B. (Sept. 1989)
Future directions for human-computer interaction
Proc. Human-Computer Interaction '89 (Boston, Sept. 18-22, 1989). Also Designing and Using Human-Computer Interfaces and Knowledge Based Systems, Salvendy, G. & Smith, M. J. Eds., Elsevier Science B.V. Also International Journal of Huma n-Computer Interaction (1990) 2 (1) 73-90.
HCIL-89-13, CS-TR-2235, CAR-TR-436

This article offers a set of goals for user interface development, followed by scenarios of future developments. The applications include home control, hypermedia, office automation, digital photography, collaborative meetings/classrooms, public access, professional workstations, and medical record keeping. Also, predictions are made for some of the underlying technologies such as User Interface Management Systems, remote control, flexible search, display devices, and touchscreens.


[HTML] [Link to Report]

Jones, T. (May 1989)
Incidental learning during information retrieval: a hypertext experiment
Proc. International Conference on Computer-Assisted Learning, Springer Verlag (Berlin) 235-253.
HCIL-89-09


 [Link to Report]

Seabrook, R., Shneiderman, B. (April 1989)
The user interface in a hypertext, multi-window program browser
Interacting with Computers, 1(3) (1989) 299-337.
HCIL-89-04, CS-TR-2237, CAR-TR-437

The program browsing problem is discussed, with particular emphasis on a multiple-window user interface and its implications for recording acquired knowledge, navigation, and attention-tracking. Hypertext systems are considered as an implementation of b rowsing techniques for non-program text. A classification scheme for text-viewing systems is offered, and then browsing is discussed as a non-intrusive, static technique for program study. Multiple techniques are synthesized into a coherent plan for a multi-window program study tool, based on theories of program browsing and the use of hypertext. A test system, HYBROW, emerged from the plan for studying the application of several hypertex t multiple-window techniques to program browsing, especially window replacement. HYBROW is a hypertext, multiple-window program browser. This generic tool is applicable to any source language, although certain aspects of the preprocessing and the hierarc hical browser presentation are specific to the C language. The tool permits opening an arbitrary number of text windows into an arbitrary number of files, rapid window switching, multiple-window search, place-marking, automatic screen organization, and s ervices for the creation, maintenance and production of study notes. An informal usability study was conducted.


[Link to Report]

Potter, R., Berman, M., Shneiderman, B. (Nov. 1988)
An experimental evaluation of three touchscreen strategies within a hypertext database
International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction,1(1) (1989) 41-52.
HCIL-88-09, CS-TR-2141, CAR-TR-405

High resolution touch screens and novel usage strategies have overcome earlier problems with parallax and inaccurate pointing. A study testing the utility of three touch screen strategies within the Hyperties hypertext environment was performed. This provided a replication and extension of an earlier touch screen strategy comparison that focused on small closely-spaced targets. The experiment compared three touch screen strategies in three experimental tasks that reflect hypertext usage. The results showed that a strategy that only uses the initial impact with the touch screen causes the use to miss the target more than other touch strategies. A statisticallyx significant difference in errors was found. Our results should encourage system implementers and touch screen hardware desiners to support "touch mouse" strategies that enable coursor dragging on the touch screen surface.


[Link to Report]

Shneiderman, B. (1988)
We can design better user interfaces: a review of human-computer interaction styles
Proc. International Ergonomics Association 10th Congress 31, vol. 5 (Sydney, Australia, Aug. 1-5, 1988) 699-710.
HCIL-88-06

The widespread use of computers has opened a new dimension of application for the ergonomic sciences. This review recommends three pillars to support the user interface design process: guidelines documents, User Interface Management Systems, and usability labs for iterative testing. Then it presents five primary interaction styles: menu selection, form fill-in, command language, natural language and direct manipulation. The author encourages greater attention to direct manipulation in which the objects and actions are visible, the actions are invoked by selection or pointing, and the impact is immediately visible and reversible.


[Link to Report]

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.


 [Link to Report]

Wang, X., Liebscher, P., Marchionini, G. (Jan. 1988)
Improving information seeking performance in hypertext: roles of display format and search strategy
HCIL-88-02, CS-TR-2006, CAR-TR-353

Information systems support problem solving and decision making. Information seeking, a special case of problem solving, ranges from fact retrieval to ongoing self instruction. The research reported here looks at the effect of a system's human interfac e on fact retrieval in an electronic hypertext environment . Two experiments were conducted. The first looked at the effect, on user performance, of searching electronic versus paper versions of an encyclopedia. The second examined the effect of two di stinct search strategies, index use and browsing, on subject performance in the electronic version of the same encyclopedia. In addition this experiment looked at the effect of previous computer/online searching experience on performance. Results indica te that subjects complete searches faster using paper, but that search success was the same for both print and electronic versions. Use of an index as a search strategy proved more efficient overall than a browse strategy in terms of search success and o ther dependent measures. However, superiority of the index strategy diminished over several searches and for some performance measured reversed, indicating a possible learning effect. Previous computer/online searching experience did not have a signific ant effect on subject performance.


[Link to Report]

Shneiderman, B. (Aug. 1987)
User interface design and evaluation for an electronic encyclopedia
Proc. of the 2nd International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction, (Honolulu, HI, Aug. 1987). Cognitive Engineering in the Design of Human-Computer Interaction and Expert Systems, G. Salvendy, Ed., Elsevier (1987) 207-223.
HCIL-87-08, CS-TR-1819, CAR-TR-280

The Interactive Encyclopedia System (TIES) has been under development since Fall 1983. It enables users to easily traverse a database of articles by merely pointing at highlighted words in context. This embedded menus approach to hypertext and its user interface design are described with three exploratory studies of TIES use. Plans for future development and studies are offered.


[Link to Report]

Shneiderman, B. (1987)
User interface design for the Hyperties electronic encyclopedia
Proc. Hypertext '87, 199-205. See 86-09 for previous version.
HCIL-87-01

Printed books were an enormous stimulus to science, culture, commerce, and entertainment. Electronic books and hypertext systems may produce a similar stimulus in the next century, but current designs are poor. Typical screens are too small, too slow, too complicated, and too hard to read. With careful attention to the user interface and the underlying technology, we have a chance to create a new medium that is potentially more attractive and effective than printed books in many situations.


[Link to Report]

Morariu, J., Shneiderman, B. (Nov. 1986)
Design and research on The Interactive Encyclopedia System (TIES)
Proc. 29th Conference of the Association for the Development of Computer Based Instructional Systems, 19-21. See 87-01 for revised version.
HCIL-86-09

Printed books were an enormous stimulus to science, culture, commerce, and entertainment. Electronic books and hypertext systems may produce a similar stimulus in the next century, but current designs are poor. Typical screens are too small, too slow, too complicated, and too hard to read. With careful attention to the user interface and the underlying technology, we have a chance to create a new medium that is potentially more attractive and effective than printed books in many situations.


[Link to Report]

Norman, K., Weldon, L., Shneiderman, B. (Aug. 1986)
Cognitive layouts of windows and multiple screens for user interfaces
International Journal of Man-Machine Studies, 25, 229-248.
HCIL-86-07, CS-TR-1498, CAR-TR-123

In order to make computers easier to use and more versatile many system designers are exploring the use of multiple windows on a single screen and multiple coordinated screens in a single work station displaying linked or related information. The designers of such systems attempt to take into account the characteristics of the human user and the structure of the tasks to be performed. Central to this design issue is the way in which the user views and cognitively processes information presented in the windows or in multiple screens. This paper develops a theory of the "cognitive layout" of information presented in multiple windows or screens. It is assumed that users adopt a cognitive representation or layout of the type of information to be presented and the relationships among the window of screens and the information they contain. A number of cognitive layouts are derived from theories in cognitive psychology and are discussed in terms of the intent of the software driving the system and congruence with the cognitive processing of the information. It is hypothesized that the particular layout adopted by a user will drastically affect the user's understanding and expectation of events at the human-computer interface and could either greatly facilitate or frustrate the interaction. Ways of ensuring the former and avoiding the latter are discussed in terms of implementations on existing multiple-window and multiple-screen systems.


[Link to Report]

Ewing, J., Mehrabanzad, S., Sheck, S., Ostroff, D., Shneiderman, B. (Jan. 1986)
An experimental comparison of a mouse and arrow-jump keys for an interactive encyclopedia
International Journal of Man-Machine Studies, 24, 1, 29-45.
HCIL-86-01

This paper reports on an experiment which was conducted to examine relative merits of using a mouse or arrow-jump keys to select text in an interactive enclyclopedia. Timed path traversals were performed by subjects using each device, and were followed by subjective questions. Personality and background of the subjects were recorded to see if those attributes would affect device preference and performance. The arrow-jump keys were found to have the quickest traversal times for paths with either short or long target distances. The subjective responses indicated that the arrow-jump method was overwhelmingly preferred over the mouse method. Personality type was not found to play a critical role.


[Link to Report]

Koved, L. (July 1985)
Restructuring textual information for online retrieval
masters thesis
HCIL-85-04, CS-TR-1529, CAR-TR-133


[Link to Report]

Weldon, L., Mills, C., Koved, L., Shneiderman, B. (1985)
The structure of information in online and paper technical manuals
Proc. Human Factors Society - 29th Annual Conference (Santa Monica, CA) 1110-1113.
HCIL-85-01

An experiment was conducted to compare online computer manuals to paper manuals. For each type of manual there were two different database structures -- a linear (sequential) structure and a tree structure. The results showed that people using the paper manuals were faster at performing a switch setting task based on information in the manual than were people using the online manuals. No significant differences were found in speed of performance between the linear and tree structures. Nor were there any differences in the number of correct switch settings for the different types of manuals. The subjective evaluation data revealed that the online manuals were rated as better and judged to be more organized than the paper manuals.


[Link to Report]


International Children's Digital Library Screenshot

International Children's Digital Library helps young readers worldwide
More information

Tech Reports
Video Reports
Annual Symposium

News
Seminars + Events
Calendar
HCIL Seminar Series
Annual Symposium
HCIL Service Grants
Events Archives
Awards
HCIL Conference Travel Award
Job Openings
For the Press
HCIL Overview
Become a Member
Collaborators
Collaborating Groups + People
Academic Visitors
Join our Mailing List
Contact Us
Visit Us
HCIL Store
Give the HCIL a Hand
HCIL T-shirts for Sale
Our Lighter Side
HCIL Memories Page
Faculty/ Staff
Students
Ph.D. Alumni
Past Members
Research Areas
Communities
Design Process
Digital Libraries
Education
Physical Devices
Public Access
Visualization
Research Histories
Faculty Listed by Research
Project Highlights
Project Screenshots
Publications and TRs
Videos
Books
Products
Presentations
Studying HCI
Masters in HCI
PhD in HCI
Visiting Scholars
Class Websites
Sponsor our Research
Sponsor our Annual Symposium
Active Sponsorship
Industrial Visitors