Towards a Library of Workflow User Interface Patterns


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  • In order to structure the development life cycle of a workflow UI, we are relying on FlowiXML, a structured method for developing UIs of a workflow information system. The underlying method is composed of four models: workflow , process , task , and organization . The workflow model is recursively decomposed into processes which are in turn decomposed into tasks. By exploiting task models UIs can be generated.
  • This model is based on Cameleon reference framework, which proposes 4 levels: Task and domain, AUI level, CUI level and FUI level.
  • Augmented UI pattern definition : from each workflow resource pattern a WUIP is created and consistently described through attributes. Incorporation in the model-driven engineering method : for each initial pattern definition resulting from the previous step, a task model has been specified. Final WUIPs : from the task model resulting from the previous steps, an abstract UI and, consequently, a concrete UI have been defined in terms of the User Interface Description Language (here, UsiXML) so as to form corresponding abstract and concrete UI models.
  • We can take as an example the workflow resource pattern: DIRECT ALLOCATION, which specify t he ability to specify at design time the identity of the resource that will execute a task. We observe that a task is assigned to a specific resource, then a task model is generated defining the task and after a UI is developed.
  • Another example is the Hierarchy level-based pattern, which specify the ability to offer or allocate instances of a tasks to resources based their position within the organization. From the definition we built the task model and consequently the AUI, CUI and FUI
  • In order to support the application of WUIPs, a special module has been developed and incorporated in our workflow model editor. This module enables the designer, while modeling the general workflow, to retrieve any WUIP from the library, to configure it, and to automatically incorporate it in the current model.
  • Towards a Library of Workflow User Interface Patterns

    1. 1. Towards a Library of Workflow User Interface Patterns Josefina Guerrero García 1 , Jean Vanderdonckt 1 , Juan Manuel González Calleros 1 , Marco Winckler 1,2 1 Université catholique de Louvain (UCL) Louvain School of Management (LSM) - Information Systems Unit (ISYS) Belgian Laboratory of Computer-Human Interaction (BCHI) 2 IRIT, Université Toulouse 3, France, 118 route de Narbonne, F-31062 Toulouse cedex 9 (France), –
    2. 2. Outline <ul><li>Introduction & motivations </li></ul><ul><li>Developing user interfaces for workflow information systems </li></ul><ul><li>Workflow user interface patterns </li></ul><ul><li>Conclusion and related work </li></ul>
    3. 3. Introduction & motivations <ul><li>Workflow is defined as the automation of business process. </li></ul><ul><li>A Workflow Information System (WfIS) is a system that defines, creates and manages the execution of workflows through the use of software; the users of a WfIS interact with it through its user interfaces (UIs). </li></ul><ul><li>Workflow patterns refer specifically to recurrent problems and proven solutions related to the development of WfIS in particular, and more broadly, of process-oriented applications. </li></ul><ul><li>Workflow resource patterns have been identified that capture the different manners in which resources are presented and used in workflows. </li></ul>
    4. 4. Introduction & motivations <ul><li>The rationale for identifying these patterns was the need to master the many ways according which work can be distributed. </li></ul><ul><li>We explore a systematic manner to develop user interfaces (UIs) for each workflow resource pattern following the same definition and using UsiXML language. </li></ul><ul><li>The goal of this work is not to reproduce the workflow resource patterns, but to associate a default UI to each pattern. </li></ul>
    5. 5. Developing user interfaces for workflow information systems
    6. 6. Developing user interfaces for workflow information systems Task & domain level AUI level CUI level FUI level
    7. 7. Workflow user interface patterns <ul><li>We adopted the following methodology for defining Workflow User Interface Pattern (WUIP): </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Augmented UI pattern definition </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Incorporation in the model-driven engineering method </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Final WUIPs </li></ul></ul>
    8. 8. Workflow user interface patterns Augmented UI pattern definition Identifier Name Alias Synopsis Strengths Weakness Opportunities Threads Problem Solution Example Incorporation in the model-driven engineering method Final WUIPs Definition WUIP
    9. 9. Examples <ul><li>Direct allocation : “Ask reviewers preferences” task must only be undertaken by “ Joshua Brown ” </li></ul>
    10. 10. Example 2 <ul><li>Hierarchy level-based : “Reduce wage bill” task is allocated to a “Financier” with has a 5 level, i.e. the “Financial Manager” </li></ul>
    11. 12. Conclusion and related work <ul><li>Workflow resource patterns correspond to the manner in which tasks are allocated to resources. </li></ul><ul><li>This paper introduced a library of user interface design patterns that are particularly applicable to user interfaces of workflow information systems. </li></ul><ul><li>For each workflow pattern from Russel & van der Aalst, we have a task model, a AUI model, a CUI model </li></ul><ul><li>Designers are able now to specificity resource allocation patterns using UIs that fits: both at design-time and at run-time, considering constraints imposed by mutually excluded patterns. </li></ul>
    12. 13. Conclusion and related work <ul><li>YAWL (Yet Another Workflow Language) provides support for the resource perspective. </li></ul><ul><li>We rely on a proved method to generate User Interfaces, UsiXML, passing from task model and abstract user interface to final user interface. </li></ul><ul><li>We propose a model-driven engineering method that provides designers with methodological guidance on how to systematically derive user interfaces of workflow information systems from a series of models. </li></ul><ul><li>It is intended that our model supports changes inside the organization and automatically update the UIs generated. </li></ul>
    13. 14. Thank you very much for your attention For more information and downloading, User Interface eXtensible Markup Language European network on Multimodal UIs Special thanks to all members of the team!