How Task Analysis Can Prime the Design of Context-Aware Technologies

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Yun-Maw Cheng, Yue-Sun Kuo, Wai Yu and Chris Johnson
Institute of Information Science, Academia Sinica, Taipei, TAIWAN
Virtual Engineering Centre, Queen’s University, Belfast, BT9 5HN, UK
Department of Computing Science, University of Glasgow, G12 8RZ, UK

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How Task Analysis Can Prime the Design of Context-Aware Technologies

  1. 2. The World Is Not Just a Desktop <ul><li>Technology Trends </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Mobile Devices </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Wireless Communications </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sensors </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Bridging the gulf between digital and physical realms </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Claim: computing are invisibly granting users’ wishes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Most are ad-hoc approaches </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Huge gap between designers and users’ mental models </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Computing services are everywhere but users don’t know where and what they are </li></ul></ul>
  2. 3. General Guideline for Staging Context-Aware Technologies <ul><li>What, how, and where people do things with what </li></ul><ul><li>Identify what information needed for each task </li></ul><ul><li>Form general input requirement for potential context-aware technologies performing actions relevant to users’ scenarios </li></ul>
  3. 4. Hierarchical Task Analysis (HTA) <ul><li>Arguably the most widely used task analysis method within HCI community </li></ul><ul><li>Easy to learn and use; flexible </li></ul><ul><li>Rough-and-ready: rapid structure user tasks and basic functional specification for potential applications </li></ul><ul><li>Preliminary user testing to observe limitations </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Critical for design of context-aware technologies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Avoid usability and human factor issues before launching real system into the environments </li></ul></ul>
  4. 5. Before and After: Context-Aware Technologies into Play <ul><li>Call forwarding </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Early canonical applications </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reduce user tasks required for receptionists and recipients </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Confirm that user’s location and current status are context information via HTA </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(solely from designer’s point of view) Fail to identify human factor  privacy, social preferences </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Emphasis this technique should play user-centered </li></ul></ul>
  5. 6. Before and After: Context-Aware Technologies into Play (con.) <ul><li>Recreational entertainment </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Exciting trend in this research field </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Canonical example: Pirates! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Multi-user game </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Walk around the physical game arena </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Find treasure to earn points </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Engage in a battle with others nearby </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Confirm that user’s location is a key context information </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Can HTA identify “enjoyment”? </li></ul></ul>
  6. 7. Future Work <ul><li>Find out framework for thinking about design context-aware technologies </li></ul><ul><li>Reuse HCI knowledge  old techniques play new tricks </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Reduce the learning effort </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Easy to spread out </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Try-to-destroy ad-hoc and technology-lead development  more human-centric </li></ul>

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