Original Article

Cognition, Technology & Work

, Volume 11, Issue 4, pp 267-277

User interface specification with sequence diagrams: an application to the AIRBUS A380 Datalink system

  • Anne-Elodie MoninAffiliated withAIRBUS
  • , John DowellAffiliated withComputer Science, UCL Email author 

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The development of user interfaces for safety critical systems is driven by requirements specifications. Because user interface specifications are typically embedded within complex systems requirements specifications, they can be intractable to manage. Proprietary requirements specification tools do not support the user interface designer in modelling and specifying the user interface. In this paper, a new way of working with embedded user interface specifications is proposed, exploiting sequence diagrams with a hypertext structure for representing and retrieving use cases. This new tool concept is assessed through an application to the requirements specification for the Airbus A380 air traffic control Datalink system; engineers involved in the development of the Airbus cockpit used a prototype of the tool concept to resolve a set of user interface design anomalies in the requirements specification. The results of the study are positive and indicate the user interface to requirements specification tools which user interface designers themselves need.


Requirements Sequence diagrams Use cases Safety critical software Information retrieval