Human-Computer Interaction: Communication, Cooperation, and Application Design

By Hans-Jörg Bullinger; Jürgen Ziegler | Go to book overview

A Grammar-based Approach for Populating HCI Design Spaces

Margherita Antona, Demosthenes Akoumianakis and Constantine Stephanidis Institute of Computer Science, Foundation for Research and Technology-Hellas, Science and Technology Park of Crete, GR-71110, Heraklion, Crete, Greece e-mail: cs@ics.forth.gr


1 Introduction

Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) design is anticipated to become in the future a much more complex activity than today, and to require appropriate supporting tools ( Stephanidis and Akoumianakis 2000), capable, amongst other things, to facilitate designers in the population and exploration of the design space, i.e., the (sets of) design alternatives, or combinations of interface artefacts, possibly integrating elements from different toolkits. Furthermore, design tools will be required to facilitate designers in shaping such design spaces in a principled and coherent way on the basis of the user's characteristics (i.e., abilities, preferences, skills, requirements), and the context of use.

This paper proposes a grammar-based approach to the population of HCI design spaces (i.e., the generation of alternative design specifications) on the basis of task models. Such an approach builds, on the one hand, on the frequently occurring parallelism between user interfaces and sign systems ( Institute for Personalized Information Environment 1995), and on a view of user interface design as a process of mapping concepts in a function domain to symbols in a presentation domain, and vice versa ( Stephanidis and Akoumianakis 1999). On the other hand, it builds on concepts and techniques recently elaborated in the field of Natural Language Processing (NLP).


2 Head-Driven Phrase Structure Grammar

Head-Driven Phrase Structure Grammar (HPSG, Pollard and Sag 1987, 1994), is a recent language theory that has emerged as one of the best suited for NLP

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