The final step in the URGenT process is the actual generation of a GUI for implementing the user's task. Having identified a class of graphical objects appropriate for each data item, URGenT proceeds to develop a dynamic HTML GUI with graphical objects appropriate for the users for which this GUI is intended. At this point, since we are dealing with report tasks, which are fairly small, this problem is simple in that only a single screen is needed with a few objects placed in a simple sequence according to the order of their use in the process. More complex tasks will require more elaborate approaches to the object layout problem.
In this paper, we discussed a process for the migration of a legacy system's interface to a GUI. This process is based on the understanding of the user's information-processing task, as extracted from traces of the user's interaction with the system, and results in the design of task- and user- specific GUIs. We are currently working to extend this method from deterministic tasks, for which all traces of the same task consist of the same sequences of screens and actions, to more complex, non-deterministic tasks.
Acknowledgements: This work has benefited from a lot of lively and in-depth discussions with the rest of the CelLest group, Paul Sorenson, Mohammad EIRamly and Roland Penner. It was supported by NSERC CRD 215451-98.
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