Adaptable User Interfaces for Reusable Applications


AURA - 5634

Keywords user interface design tools


Start Date: 01-OCT-90 / Duration: 12 months

[ contact / participants ]


Objectives

The AURA project is an exploratory study in the area of adaptable human-computer interfaces (HCI). The overall aim is to produce an HCI architecture and tool specifications for the implementation of adaptable user interfaces consistent with low-cost workstation technology. The study will cover several different application areas, but with the common themes of training for the use of future systems and improvements in user acceptance of new systems.

The particular concerns of the action are application systems with diverse groups of users requiring different modes of interaction according to their roles and levels of knowledge of the system, including integration of information from more than one application. The examples to be used in the study, for which small scale demonstrations based on existing software applications will be shown, are in the areas of:

The existing activities of consortium members in each of these areas will provide the initial extraction and collation of users' requirements, from which common themes will be distilled. The first of the two major action activities (definition of HCI architecture) will concentrate on the definition of user model structures in relation to the dialogue manager and its interface, including the role of knowledge-based components; presentation management is a secondary issue for the action, but will be consistent with current "standard look and feel approaches. The work will also consider how information from distributed applications should be integrated into this architecture.

The results of this first stage will the be used in the second major action activity, which will develop initial specifications of tools to enable rapid adaptation of instances of HCI by non-specialists in IT. As part of this process, the consortium has selected the three application domains listed above, where the combination of existing, available application software, current commercial activity, and knowledge of user needs will enable small-scale examples to be constructed, illustrating the architecture principles already identified.

The consortium expects to exploit results of the study in their specific commercial application domains, primarily in terms of improvements in competitiveness and market knowledge arising from the ability to develop systems which are more acceptable to users and can be tailored to market sectors more efficiently. But the results will also be of wider benefit especially in the areas of CBT software and complex software systems where the needs of several groups of users, and their changes over a period of time, must be satisfied in an accessible and integrated manner.


CONTACT POINT

Mr M J Martin
MARI APPLIED TECHNOLOGIES LTD
Old Town Hall, Mari House
UK - GATESHEAD NE8 1HF
tel:+ 44/ 91-490-1515 ext 254
fax: +44/ 91-490-0013

Participants

MARI APPLIED TECHNOLOGIES LTD - UK - C
FRAUNHOFER GESELLSCHAFT - D - P
UNIVERSITY OF LEEDS - UK - P
THOMSON-CSF - F - P
ISA GMBH - D - P


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AURA - 5634, December 1993


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html version of synopsis by Nick Cook