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Online Publications and Tech Reports

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

Search Results for: rose (33 matches)

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

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.

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Gubbels, M., Rose, A., Russell, D., Bederson, B. (September 2012)
SearchParty: Real-time Support for Social Learning in Synchronous Environments

This paper describes SearchParty, a new tool to support social learning in synchronous environments. By providing a web-based tool for aggregating student activity as it occurs, students can both learn from each other, and teachers can better understand what is going on in the classroom. We observed 9 small classes using this tool to learn how to search, and we describe our observations and design lessons.

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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.

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.

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

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.

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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 ( Children in Technological Environments: Interaction, Development, and Design, Editors: N.G. Freier & P. H. Kahn

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 ( 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.

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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.

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.

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

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.

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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)

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.

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

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

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

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

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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.

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

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

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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,
HCIL-2003-02, CS-TR-4433, UMIACS-TR-2003-04

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

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Shneiderman, B., Kang, H., Kules, B., Plaisant, C., Rose, A., Rucheir, R. (August 2002)
A Photo History of SIGCHI: Evolution of Design from Personal to Public
ACM Interactions, 9, 3 (May 2002), 17-23.
HCIL-2002-14, CS-TR-4397, UMIACS-TR-2002-77, ISR-TR-2005-67

For 20 years I have been photographing personalities and events in the emerging discipline of human-computer interaction. Until now, only a few of these photos were published in newsletters or were shown to visitors who sought them out. Now this photo history is going from a personal record to a public archive. This archive should be interesting for professional members of this community who want to reminisce, as well as for historians and journalists who want to understand what happened. Students and Web surfers may also want to look at the people who created better interfaces and more satisfying user experiences.

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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]

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.

The Maryland Electronic Learning Community ( 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.

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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.

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.

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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

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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.

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Plaisant, C., Tarnoff, P., Keswani, S., Saraf, A., Rose, A. (October 1998)
Understanding Transportation Management Systems Performance with a Simulation-Based Learning Environment
Proceeding of Conference on Intelligent Transportation Systems' 99, ITS'99, Washington, DC, ITS America, Washington DC, (CD ROM proceedings) 1999.
HCIL-98-10, CS-TR-3947, UMIACS-TR-98-60, ISR-TR-98-59

We have developed a simulation-based learning environment to provide system designers and operators with an appreciation of the impact of incidents on traffic delay. We used an application framework developed at the University of Maryland for constructing simulation-based learning environments called SimPLE (Simulated Processes in a Learning Environment). Environments developed with SimPLE use dynamic simulations and visualizations to represent realistic time-dependent behavior and are coupled with guidance material and other software aids that facilitate learning. The simulation allows learners to close freeway lanes and divert traffic to an arterial road. Users can see the effect of the detour on freeway and arterial delay. Users can then adjust signal timing interactively on a time space diagram and watch the effect of their adjustment on green band changes and on arterial delays and total delays.

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Rose, A., Eckard, D., Rubloff, G. (May 1998)
An Application Framework for Creating Simulation-Based Learning Environments
HCIL-98-07, CS-TR-3907, UMIACS-TR-98-32

While there are numerous types of electronic learning environments including collaboratories, construction toolkits, systems with "scaffolding" and simulations, it is difficult to find authoring tools to build these systems. We have developed an application framework for constructing simulation-based learning environments called SimPLE (Simulated Processes in a Learning Environment). Environments developed with SimPLE use dynamic simulations and visualizations to represent realistic time-dependent behavior and are coupled with guidance material and other software aids that facilitate learning. The software architecture enables independent contributions from developers representing educational content (e.g., simulation models, guidance materials) and software development (e.g., user interface). We provide a user interface template and accompanying software aids to reduce the software development effort.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Ellis, J., Rose, A., Plaisant, C. (September 1996)
Putting Visualization to Work: ProgramFinder for Youth Placement
CHI 97 Proceedings, Atlanta GA, 22-27 March 1997, ACM New York, 502-509
HCIL-96-15, CS-TR-3692

The Human-Computer Interaction Laboratory (HCIL) and the Maryland Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) have been working together to develop the ProgramFinder,a tool for choosing programs for a troubled youth from drug rehabilitation centers to secure residential facilities. The seemingly straightforward journey of the ProgramFinder from an existing user interface technique to a product design required the development of five different prototypes which involved user interface design, prototype implementation, and selecting search criterion. While HCIL's effort focused primarily on design and implementation, DJJ's attribute selection process was the most time consuming and difficult task. We also found that a direct link to DJJ's workflow was needed in the prototypes to generate the necessary "buy-in". This paper analyzes the interaction between the efforts of HCIL and DJJ and the amount of "buy-in" by DJJ staff and management. Lessons learned are presented for developers.

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Rose, A., Ellis, J., Plaisant, C., Greene, S. (May 1996)
Life Cycle of User Interface Techniques: The DJJ Information System Design Process
HCIL-96-07, CS-TR-3637, CAR-TR-826

To take advantage of today's technology, many organizations are migrating from their legacy systems. With help from the Human-Computer Interaction Laboratory (HCIL) and Cognetics Corporation, the Maryland Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) is currently undergoing an effort to redesign their information system to take advantage of graphical user interfaces. As a research lab, HCIL identifies interesting research problems and then prototypes solutions. As a project matures, the exploratory prototypes are adapted to suit the end product requirements. This case study describes the life cycle of three DJJ prototypes: (1) LifeLines, which uses time lines to display an overview of a youth in one screen, (2) the DJJ Navigator, which helps manage individual workloads by displaying different user views, and (3) the ProgramFinder, a tool for selecting the best program for a youth.

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Greene, S., Rose, A. (May 1996)
Information and Process Integration from User Requirements Elicitation: A Case Study of Documents in a Social Services Agency
Information and Process Integration in Enterprises: Rethinking Documents, Wakayama, T., et al., ed., Kluwer: Boston, 1998, 143-160. (Proceedings of IPIC '96: Information and Processes Integration Conference "Rethinking Documents", Sloan School of Management, MIT, Cambridge, MA, November 14-15, 1996.
HCIL-96-06, CS-TR-3638, CAR-TR-827

The Maryland Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) is seeking a new information system to replace its legacy system for youth case management. The major goal of the new information system is to improve the process of juvenile case management, and thus deliver more effective services to youths, by better facilitating the tracking of case information and the production and handling of case-related documents. The primary challenge in designing the new system is to integrate optimally the appropriate components of existing processes, information, and documents. Our approach has shown that fostering user discussion and review of existing documents is extremely valuable in defining existing processes and information requirements, and effectively highlights areas where valuable process changes can be made and what system features are needed to support them. Subsequently linking user requirements for documents with innovative graphic user interface techniques can integrate diverse information for users and can affect additional positive changes to organizational processes.

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Plaisant, C., Rose, A. (March 1996)
Exploring LifeLines to Visualize Patient Records
A short version of this report appeared as a poster summary in 1996 American Medical Informatic Association Annual Fall Symposium (Washington, DC, Oct. 26-30, 1996), pp. 884, AMIA, Bethesda MD.
HCIL-96-04, CS-TR-3620, CAR-TR-819

LifeLines provide a general visualization environment for personal histories. We explored its use for medical patient records. A one screen overview of the record using timelines provides direct access to the data. Problems, hospitalization and medications can be represented as horizontal lines, while icons represent discrete events such as physician consultations (and progress notes) or tests. Line color and thickness can illustrate relationships or significance. Techniques are described to display large records. Rescaling tools and filters allow users to focus on part of the information, revealing more details.

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Shneiderman, B., Rose, A. (September 1995)
Social Impact Statements: Engaging Public Participation in Information Technology Design
Proc. CQL'96, ACM SIGCAS Symposium on Computers and the Quality of Life (Feb. 1996) 90-96. Also appears in Friedman, B. (Editor), Human Values and the Design of Computer Technology, CSLI Publications and Cambridge Univ. Press (1997), 117-133.
HCIL-95-18, CS-TR-3537, CAR-TR-796.

"The real question before us lies here: do these instruments further life and enhance its values, or not?" - Mumford (1934) p.318. Computers have become an integral part of our everyday lives. Banks, airlines, motor vehicle administrations, police departments, Social Security, and the Internal Revenue Service all depend on computers. From their introduction, people have questioned the impact computers will have on society. We believe it is our responsibility as system designers to achieve organizational goals while serving human needs and protecting individual rights. The proposed Social Impact Statements (Shneiderman, 1990) would identify the impacts of information systems on direct and indirect users, who may be employees or the public. This paper proposes a framework for implementing Social Impact Statements for federal and local government agencies and regulated industries, with optional participation by the other privately held corporations. A Social Impact Statement should describe the new system and its benefits, acknowledge concerns and potential barriers, outline the development process, and address fundamental principles. Examples from our work with the Maryland Department of Juvenile Justice are offered.

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Plaisant, C. (Editor) (June 1995)
1995 Human-Computer Interaction Laboratory Video Reports
HCIL-95-17, CS-TR-3532, CAR-TR-795

49 minute video of the labs work over the past year. Topics are:
  • Introduction and table of contents - Ben Shneiderman
  • Using Dynamic Queries for Youth Services Information - Anne Rose, Ajit Vanniamparampil
  • Life-Lines: Visualizing Personal Histories - Brett Milash, Catherine Plaisant, Anne Rose
  • Dynamic Queries and Pruning for Large Tree Structures - Harsha Kumar
  • Browsing Anatomical Image Databases : the Visible Human - Flip Korn, Chris North
  • Spinning Your Web: WWW Interface Design Issues - Vince Boisselle
  • BizView : Managing Business and Network Alarms - Catherine Plaisant, Wei Zhao and Rina Levy
  • Animated Specifications Using Interaction Object Graphs - David Carr
  • WinSurfer: Treemaps for Replacing the Windows File Manager - Marko Teittinen

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Plaisant, C., Milash, B., Rose, A., Widoff, S., Shneiderman, B. (September 1995)
Life Lines: Visualizing Personal Histories
ACM CHI '96 Conference Proc. (Vancouver, BC, Canada, April 13-18, 1996) 221-227, color plate 518, The paper also has a corresponding video in the CHI 96 Video Program ACM, New York. Video also available from HCIL in the 1996 HCIL Video report.
HCIL-95-15, CS-TR-3523, CAR-TR-787, ISR-TR-95-88.

Life Lines provide a general visualization environment for personal histories that can be applied to medical and court records, professional histories and other types of biographical data. A one screen overview shows multiple facets of the records. Aspects, for example medical conditions or legal cases, are displayed as individual time lines, while icons indicate discrete events, such as physician consultations or legal reviews. Line color and thickness illustrate relationships or significance, scaling tools and filters allow users to focus on part of the information. Life lines reduce the chances of missing information, facilitate spotting anomalies and trends, streamline access to details, while remaining tailorable and easily sharable between applications. The paper describes the use of Life Lines for youth records of the Maryland Department of Juvenile Justice.and also for medical records. Techniques to deal with complex records are reviewed and issues of a standard personal record format are discussed.

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Plaisant, C., Rose, A., Shneiderman, B., Vanniamparampil, A. (Revised October 1996)
User Interface Reengineering: Low Effort, High Payoff Strategies
IEEE Software, vol.14, 4 (July/August 1997) 66-72. Also translated in Japanese in Nikkei Computer,Nikkei Business Publications, Inc., Tokyo, Japan, no. 430, pp. 151-159, Nov. 1997.
HCIL-95-08, CS-TR-3459, CAR-TR-767

User interface technology has advanced rapidly in recent years. Incorporating new developments in existing systems could result in substantial improvements in usability, thereby improving performance and user satisfaction, while shortening training and reducing error rates. Our focus is on low-effort high-payoff improvements to aspects such as data display and entry, consistency, messages, documentation, and system access. This paper provides guidelines for managers and designers responsible for user interface reengineering, based on the experience we gained from six projects, and compiles our observations, recommendations and outcomes.

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Rose, A., Shneiderman, B., Plaisant, C. (February 1995)
An Applied Ethnographic Method for Redesigning User Interfaces
ACM Proc. of DIS 95, Symposium on Designing Interactive Systems: Processes, Practices, Methods & Techniques (Ann Arbor, MI, Aug 23-25, 1995)115-122.
HCIL-95-07, CS-TR-3454, CAR-TR-765.

Methods for observing software users in the workplace will become increasingly important as the number of people using computers grows and developers improve existing systems. Successful redesigns rely, in part, on complete and accurate evaluations of the existing systems. Based on our evaluation experience, we have derived a set of practical guidelines to be used by designers in preparing for the evaluation, performing the field study, analyzing the data, and reporting the findings. By providing a general framework based on ethnographic research, we hope to reduce the likelihood of some common problems, such as overlooking important information and misinterpreting observations. Examples from our ongoing work with the Maryland Department of Juvenile Services are used to illustrate the proposed guidelines.

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