Human-Computer Interaction: Ergonomics and User Interfaces - Vol. 1

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

USER MODELLING IN A GUI

Maria Virvou
Department of Computer Science, University of Piraeus,
80, Karaoli and Dimitriou St., Piraeus 185 34, Greece
mvirvou@unipi.gr

Anna Stavrianou
Department of Computer Science, University of Glascow,
Glasgow G 12 8QQ, Glasgow, UK
stavriaa@dcs.gla.ac.uk


1
Overview

This paper describes a graphical user interface that reasons about user's actions. This graphical user interface is called "Intelligent File Manipulator" and is used for a file manipulation program. Intelligent File Manipulator executes users' actions in a similar way as the Windows 95 Explorer. However, it also reasons about each user action so as to find out whether the user really meant the action that's/he issued. The main aim of Intelligent File Manipulator is to provide spontaneous assistance and advice to users who have made an error with respect to their hypothesised intentions. As Cerri and Loia ( 1997) point out if error diagnosis is to be performed then a user modelling component should be incorporated into the system. Therefore, Intelligent File Manipulator has a user modelling component that keeps track of intentions and possible confusions of each individual user.

Intelligent File Manipulator has originated from another system, called RESCUER, that was meant to provide assistance to users of command-language interfaces such as the interface of UNIX ( Virvou, 1998). The requirements analysis of RESCUER was based on an empirical analysis that involved real UNIX users ( Virvou et al., 1999). This analysis revealed that users often issued commands that they did not really mean. These lead them to problematic situations with respect to their original intentions. Similar problems may occur in graphical user interfaces despite the fact that they are user friendlier than

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