Workflow User Interfaces Patterns

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A collection of user interface design patterns for workflow infor¬ma¬tion systems is presented that contains forty three resource patterns classified in seven categories. These categories and their corre¬sponding patterns have been logically identified from the task life cycle based on offering and allocation operations. Each Workflow User Interface Pattern (WUIP) is characterized by properties expressed in the PLML markup language for expressing patterns and augmented by additional attributes and models at¬tached to the pattern: the abstract user interface and the corresponding task model. These models are specified in a User Interface Description Langua¬ge. All WUIPs are stored in a library and can be retrieved within a workflow editor that links each workflow pattern to its corresponding WUIP, thus giving rise to a user interface for each workflow pattern

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Workflow User Interfaces Patterns

  1. 1. Workflow User Interfaces Patterns Dra. Josefina Guerrero García Dr. Juan Manuel González Calleros Dr. Jean Vanderdonckt * Facultad de Ciencias de la Computación Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla *Université catholique de Louvain Email: jguerrero@cs.buap.mx juan.gonzalez@cs.buap.mx
  2. 2. Outline• Introduction• State of the art• Developing user interface for a workflow information system• Workflow user interface patterns• Case study and tool support• Conclusion
  3. 3. 3Introduction (1/3) Business Domain IT Domain Workflow The automation of a business process, in whole or part, during which documents, information or tasks are passed from one participant to another for action, according to a set of procedural rules.
  4. 4. Introduction (2/3)• The challenges to have a method to support the development of an IS from a workflow specification are considerable.• Considering just the specification of the required user interfaces: ▫ Execution of work ▫ Resource allocation ▫ Control of the workflow ▫ Agendas and work lists
  5. 5. Introduction (3/3)• A collection of workflow patterns has been identified that provide the basis for an in-depth comparison of commercially available workflow systems: ▫ Control-flow patterns indicate basic routing constructs of the process in a workflow. ▫ Workflow data patterns are aimed at capturing the various ways in which data is represented. ▫ Workflow resource patterns correspond to the manner in which tasks are allocated to resources.
  6. 6. State of the art• The rationale to identifying workflow resource patterns was the need to master the many way according work can be distributed.• There is not knowledge or guidance on how such patterns could be implemented in an IS.• We explore a systematic manner to develop UIs for each workflow resource pattern following its current definition (http://www.workflowpatterns.com/patterns/resource/)
  7. 7. Developing user interface for aworkflow information system (1/4)Why user interfaces to workflow information systems? Traditionally, workflow IS are designed to be used by different types of users to accomplish a variety of tasks and in different situations. One important aspect to consider is the design of the user interfaces of the systems. When planning a user interface, a designer should focus on the needs of end users. The interaction of the users takes place on two different levels: the workflow manager and the user. Workflow software rarely supports designers in developing user interfaces.
  8. 8. Developing user interface for aworkflow information system (2/4) Method overview
  9. 9. Developing user interface for aworkflow information system (3/4)Identifying workflow components: What to do? Processes specification How to do it? Tasks specification Where to do it? Organizational units specification Who will carry out it? Job and user specification Whom? Applying workflow resource patterns
  10. 10. Developing user interface for aworkflow information system (3/4)Identifying workflow components: What to do? Processes specification How to do it? Tasks specification Where to do it? Organizational units specification Who will carry out it? Job and user specification Whom? Applying workflow resource patterns
  11. 11. Developing user interface for a workflow information system (4/4)UsiXML structure Model-driven engineering method
  12. 12. Workflow user interface patterns (1/6)• A pattern is referred to as the abstraction from a concrete form which keeps recurring in specific non-arbitrary contexts.• Workflow patterns refer specifically to recurrent problems and proven solutions related to the development of workflow IS in particular, and more broadly, of process-oriented applications.
  13. 13. Workflow user interface patterns (2/6) Workflow resource patterns To allocate tasks to resources [Russell, 2005]
  14. 14. Classification of workflow resource patterns March 23th, 2010 - LLN Private Defense
  15. 15. Workflow user interface patterns (4/6)Methodology for defining the WUIPs:1. Augmented UI pattern definition. A patterns is characterized by: name, synopsis, solution and its consequences (strengths, weakness, opportunities).2. Incorporation in the model-driven engineering method.3. Final WUIPs.
  16. 16. Workflow user interface patterns (5/6) Describing workflow resource patternsName Direct allocationIdentifier R-DASynopsis The ability to specify at design time the identity of the resource that will execute a taskStrengths To prevent the problem of non-suitable allocationWeakness No opportunity to change the resource if he is not available to perform the taskOpportunities To ensure task is routed to specific resourceProblem This pattern effectively defines a static binding of tasks to a single resourceSolution Probably the use of deadline and escalation mechanisms when the resource becomes overload and cannot deal with his assigned workload in a reasonable timeframeExample “Ask reviewers preferences” task must only be undertaken by “Joshua Brown”
  17. 17. Workflow user interface patterns (6/6)Authorization pattern Each pattern can be selected in a workflow model editor so as to automatically generate the specifications for both the workflow model and the user interface model.
  18. 18. Case study and tool support (1/3)• TASKS AND JOBS IDENTIFICATION Id Author Task Organizer Reviewer 1 Find the program committee x 2 Prepare the call for paper x 3 Distribute the call for paper x 4 Install conference tool x 5 Configure conference tool x
  19. 19. Case study and tool support (2/3)• ASSIGNING TASKS TO RESOURCES Task Job Resource Pattern Find the program committee Organizer Chloé Lambin Direct allocation Prepare the call for paper Organizer Jacques Khelil Capability based Distribute the call for paper Organizer Jacques Khelil Retain familiar Install conference tool Organizer Ellen Martin Capability based Configure conference tool Organizer Ellen Martin Retain familiar
  20. 20. Case study and tool support (3/3)• Workflow resource pattern in design phase of workflow
  21. 21. Conclusion• We introduced a library of user interface design patterns that are particularly applicable to user interfaces of workflow information systems.• We have proposed an approach where a model- based approach to develop user interface, is used in the context of workflow systems to develop WUIPs.• Each pattern (43) can be selected in a workflow model editor so as to automatically generate the specifications for both the workflow model and the user interface model.
  22. 22. Join us @usixmlhttp://www.facebook.com/UsiXML BUAP
  23. 23. User Interface eXtensible Markup Languagehttp://www.usixml.orghttp://www.usixml.euRegister as a member of the UsiXML End-User Club athttp://www.usixml.eu/end_user_clubFor more information and downloading,http://www.lilab.eu
  24. 24. ContactDra. Josefina Guerrero-García jguerrero@cs.buap.mxDr. Juan Manuel González-Calleros juan.gonzalez@cs.buap.mx @Juan__Gonzalez

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