Towards the Design of Intelligible Object-based Applications for the Web of Things.
Pierrick Thébault , Dominique Decotter Bell Labs Applications Domain Towards the Design of Intelligible Object-based Applications for the Web of Things. Second international workshop on the Web of Things June 12 th , 2011, San Francisco, USA
ABOUT US HELLO! Pierrick Thébault Designer PhD candidate at Arts et Métiers Paristech I do research in service design , interactions techniques and user experience for smart objects and environments. Dominique Decotter Usabilist / cognitive pyschologist PhD candidate at René Descartes University He does research in co-creation techniques , probe design and identifications of latent needs. Bell Labs France Application Studio
<ul><li>Bell Labs vision of the Web of Things </li></ul><ul><li>Aim of our research </li></ul><ul><li>Our experiment on capturing mental models </li></ul><ul><li>First results </li></ul><ul><li>Discussion </li></ul>AGENDA
WOT LAYERS EVERYDAY OBJECT READY MADE OBJECT Sensor Actuator VIRTUAL OBJECT Capabilities & status View APPLICATION Smart behaviour View Digital Physical APP REPOSITORY User-generated application Pre-configured application Sensor Actuator
WOT VIRTUAL OBJECTS Real world object (RWO) Virtual object (VO) Machine interactions Users interactions
WOT APPLICATION CAPABILITIES <ul><li>Capacity to deliver Web content or media through objects whose output capabilities are compatible. </li></ul><ul><li>Query data stream from Web resources or others objects </li></ul><ul><li>Information can potentially be converted or reformatted </li></ul><ul><li>Capacity to publish information related to objects ’ states on Web Resources. </li></ul><ul><li>Log data on dedicated platforms or existing web services </li></ul><ul><li>Publishing rules can be implemented </li></ul><ul><li>Capacity to trigger objects ’ capabilities based on objects ’ states. </li></ul><ul><li>Control every aspects of objects </li></ul><ul><li>Commands can be chained and timed </li></ul><ul><li>Capacity to modify the behavior of objects based on Web resources. </li></ul><ul><li>Augment objects ’ awareness with data processing </li></ul><ul><li>The inner working of objects can be bypassed </li></ul>www www
WOT APPLICATION TYPES APPLICATIONS DESKTOP-BASED TO MONITOR OBJECTS <ul><ul><li>Social networks of things, smart metering and life logging tools, inventory and goods tracking systems… </li></ul></ul>ENV-BASED TO ORCHESTRATE OBJECTS <ul><ul><li>Automation and assisted living systems, reconfigurations for ambience sharing or communication purposes, personalization of content delivery according to social preferences and presence… </li></ul></ul>OBJECT-BASED TO AUGMENT OBJECTS <ul><ul><li>Adding a social dimension, enhancing awareness with open data, suggesting short interactions with Web services, facilitating data circulation among objects… </li></ul></ul>
RESEARCH DISAPPEARING SYSTEMS By blending in a seamless way into user ’ s environment, charging objects with additional functionalities and making them act in a proactive way, object-based applications are modifying our perception of inner systems . There is a need to investigate user ’ s mental models to make sure they match with researchers ’ application models. 1 Figure based on Don Norman’s definition of conceptual models. Retreived from: http://www.interactiondesignblog.com/2008/06/how-designers-communicate-with-users/
RESEARCH DISAPPEARING SYSTEMS SPEAKEASY BROWSER Newman, M.W BIT Roduner, C MASHUP EDITOR Guinard, D OBJECT BROWSER Boussard, M Web of things browsers needs intelligible application models!
RESEARCH QUESTIONS ? 1 CONCEPT In users ’ mind is there such concept as object-based applications? 2 PERCEPTION How do non-technical users perceive interconnections between objects and Web resources? 3 MODEL How consistently do they consider these applications as being part of an object or the environment?
RESEARCH ISSUE How to capture mental models of an objects ’ ecosystem?
RESEARCH ISSUE The concept of smart objects is still fuzzy for many French people! “ Bluetooth ” “ Domotics ” “ Robots ” “ iPhone ” “ Sensors ” “ Connected fridge ”
RESEARCH CAPTURING MENTAL MODELS “ Mental models are mechanisms whereby humans are able to generate descriptions of system purpose and form, explanations of system functioning and observed system states, and predictions of future system states. ” 1 1 Rouse, W.B., Morris, N.M., et RESEARCH, G.I.O.T.A.C.F.H.S. On looking into the black box: Prospects and limits in the search for mental models. (1985). <ul><li>A NEW PROTOCOL: </li></ul><ul><li>To allow participants to project themselves in a simulated reality involving well-known objects or Web resources. - </li></ul><ul><li>Based on schematic representations of a non-existing but functioning smart environment. - </li></ul><ul><li>To measure users ’ understanding of the different representations or schemas. - </li></ul><ul><li>To identify the different strategies used by users. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Every morning, my alarm clock plays a song from my Deezer playlist (i.e. a music on demand platform) to wake me up. </li></ul><ul><li>When I press the snooze button, a public message is automatically published on my Facebook profile. </li></ul><ul><li>The alarm time will be automatically delayed if snowfalls have caused serious traffic jams. </li></ul><ul><li>The bathroom heater and the coffee machine will be automatically turned on before the alarm of my alarm clock is fired. </li></ul><ul><li>My multi-color lamp will turn green if I received some letter in my mailbox. </li></ul><ul><li>My digital photo frame will display Facebook pictures of my friends when they are at my place (i.e. their position is retrieved from Google Latitude). </li></ul><ul><li>Every morning, during weekdays, my lamp blinks with a red color to warn me that I have to leave now if I do not want to miss the metro. The schedule is fetched from RATP ’ s website (i.e. Paris public transport). </li></ul><ul><li>Shutters and lights of my place will be automatically triggered to simulate a presence when I am on holydays somewhere else (i.e. the dates are retrieved from Google Calendar). </li></ul>EXPERIMENT MATERIALS
EXPERIMENT EVALUATION <ul><li>Participants had to answer these four questions: </li></ul><ul><li>The schema is clearly understandable. </li></ul><ul><li>I clearly see the links between objects and Web resources. </li></ul><ul><li>I understand how to activate or deactivate an object-based application. </li></ul><ul><li>The schema will help me to manage my applications. </li></ul><ul><li>Six-point Likert scale (i.e. from 1 corresponding to totally agree to 6 which indicates that they totally disagree) </li></ul>
RESULTS PANEL 1 6 STUDENTS 23.6 YEARS OLD (M) 45 MIN <ul><li>Limited background on smart-objects </li></ul><ul><li>Clear interest in this topic </li></ul><ul><li>Good panel to apprehend the concept of object-based applications </li></ul>
RESULTS USER EVALUATION SCHEMA 5 SCHEMA 4 SCHEMA 1 <ul><li>Best perception </li></ul><ul><li>Best clarity of links </li></ul><ul><li>Best for managing objects </li></ul><ul><li>Best global evaluation </li></ul><ul><li>Best clarity of links </li></ul><ul><li>Best global evaluation </li></ul><ul><li>Best for managing objects </li></ul>According to the participants ’ point of view, none of the representation clearly indicates how to control object-based applications.
RESULTS INTERPRETATION GRID UNDERSTANDING OF OBJECT-BASED APPLICATIONS Are applications represented? Can we count them? How many relates to an object? To a web resource? STRATEGIES OF CATEGORIZATION Are items organized in clusters? Can we count them? Are they labeled? TYPE OF INTERCONNECTIONS BETWEEN OBJECTS How are links directed? How many different types can we count? Are they captioned? REPRESENTATION AND APPLICATION LOGIC Does the schema follow a specific structure? Is the logic of the application represented? How? NOTES Remarkable details or strategies.
DISCUSSION FAR FROM SIMPLE “ For me everything is linked with the alarm-clock ” “ I added some sensors in order to… uhhh ” “ I drew a mobile phone ” “ I didn ’ t like that object so I didn ’ t put it ” “ I needed to see the user ”
DISCUSSION METAPHORS THE COMPUTER BRAIN THE INTERNET BUBBLE THE PERSONAL TIMELINE THE NETWORK MAP
DISCUSSION INSIGHT #1 The concept of applications is still fuzzy. “ Applications are for iPhone. ” Objects are augmented with features . www The link often represents the feature. + Some feature combine several complementary Web resources.
DISCUSSION INSIGHT #2 Some groups of objects are different. “ It ’ s not really a feature of this object. ” www It happens when a Web resource triggers an object. www The Web resource brings awareness . Who? What? Where? When? Such groups are often labeled .
DISCUSSION INSIGHT #3 There is no rule for intelligence distribution. “ In my opinion, this object control this one. ” The lamp query the mailbox. Lamp Mailbox The mail control the lamp. Lamp Mailbox Users try to avoid having to many “ smart objects ” .
DISCUSSION INSIGHT #4 Users don ’ t care about the logic representation (yet). “ The object is smart enough to work by itself. ” www Interactions are often implicit . IF? When? The issue of collective use and personal data is rarely envisioned. Behaviors are not intelligible without explanations. What?
DISCUSSION DESIGN IMPLICATIONS INTRODUCE A TAXONOMY OF APPLICATIONS Desktop-based, object-based and environment-based applications are different. The 3 types should be designed in a way that allows users to clearly distinguish them. DO NOT FORCE FEATURES CLUSTERIZATION Having multiple applications for objects seems complex to handle. Each new augmentations should be considered as a feature based on the functional DNA or the user interfaces of the objects. DESIGN MULTI-SCALE REPRESENTATION MODES Users should be able to “ zoom ” in their objects ’ ecosystem and switch from global views to detailed representations. Information should be hierarchized. CREATE A VISUAL GRAMMAR FOR APPLICATION LOGIC A graphic language is needed to make some parts of the inner-working of applications visible and to allow users to change parameters. ENABLE REALLOCATION OF APPLICATIONS OR FEATURES Representations should be flexible enough to allow users to distribute the intelligence as they see it. They should be able to concentrate features in a single object is they want.
DISCUSSION TESTING REPRESENTATIONS “ THIS REPRESENTATION IS REALLY CLEAR! ”
DISCUSSION ITERATING THE EXPERIMENT To be continued… + INTERVIEW PANEL 1 <ul><li>6 design students (product design background) </li></ul><ul><li>23 to 27 years old </li></ul><ul><li>Following a course on smart objects </li></ul>PANEL 2 <ul><li>5 design students (product design, interaction design, spatial design) + 1 teacher </li></ul><ul><li>22 to 24 years old (+36) </li></ul><ul><li>No particular background on smart objects </li></ul>PANEL 3 <ul><li>3 family members (not working in creation or telecommunications industry) </li></ul><ul><li>53, 52 and 21 years old </li></ul><ul><li>No background at all on smart objects </li></ul>