Toward overcoming culture, skill and situation hurdles in Human-Computer Interaction
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This paper proposes a new effective strategy for designing and implementing interactive systems overcoming culture, skill and situation hurdles in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI). The strategy to identify and reduce these hurdles is developed in the framework of a methodology based on a recently introduced model of HCI, and exploits the technological innovations of XML (Extensible Markup Language). HCI is modelled as a cyclic process in which the user and the interactive system communicate by materializing and interpreting a sequence of messages. The interaction process is formalized by specifying both the physical message appearance and the computational aspect of the interaction. This formalization allows the adoption of notation traditionally adopted by users in their workplaces as the starting point of the interactive system design. In this way, the human–system interaction language takes into account the users’ culture. Moreover, the methodology permits user representatives to build a hierarchy of systems progressively adapted to users’ situations, skills and habits, according to the work organization in the domain considered. The strategy is proved to be effective by describing how to implement it using BANCO (Browsing Adaptive Network for Changing user Operativity), a feasibility prototype based on XML, which allows the hierarchy implementation and system adaptations. Several examples from an environmental case under study are used throughout the paper to illustrate the methodology and the effectiveness of the technology adopted.
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