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In Proceedings of UIST 2007
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Measuring how design changes cognition at work (p. 1-2)

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The various fields associated with interactive software systems engage in design activities to enable people who would use the resulting systems to meet goals, coordinate with others, find meaning, and express themselves in myriad ways. Yet many development projects fail, and we all have contact with clumsy software-based systems that force work-arounds and impose substantial attentional, knowledge and workload burdens. On the other hand, field observations reveal people re-shaping the artifacts they encounter and interact with as resources to cope with the demands of the situations they face as they seek to meet their goals. In this process some new devices are quickly seized upon and exploited in ways that transform the nature of human activity, connections, and expression.

The software intensive interactive systems and devices under development around us are valuable to the degree that they expand what people in various roles and organizations can achieve. How can we measure this value provided to others? Are current measures of usability adequate? Does creeping complexity wipe out incremental gains as products evolve? Do designers and developers mis-project the impact when systems-to-be-realized are fielded? Which technology changes will trigger waves of expansive adaptations that transform what people do and even why they do it.

Sponsors of projects to develop new interactive software systems are asking developers for tangible evidence of the value to be delivered to those people responsible for activities and goals in the world. Traditional measures of usability and human performance seem inadequate. Cycles of inflation in the claims development organizations make (and the legacy of disappointment and surprise) have left sponsors numb and eroded trust. Thus, we need to provide new forms of evidence about the potential of new interactive systems and devices to enhance human capability.

Luckily, this need has been accompanied by a period of innovation in ways to measure the impact of new designs on:

  • growth of expertise in roles,
  • synchronizing activities over wider scopes and ranges,
  • expanding adaptive capacities.
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This talk reviews a few of the new measures being tested in each of these categories, points to some of the underlying science, and uses these examples to trigger discussion about how design of future interactive software provides will provide value to stakeholders.

In Proceedings of UIST 2009
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Changing how people view changes on the web (p. 237-246)

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The Web is a dynamic information environment. Web content changes regularly and people revisit Web pages frequently. But the tools used to access the Web, including browsers and search engines, do little to explicitly support these dynamics. In this paper we present DiffIE, a browser plug-in that makes content change explicit in a simple and lightweight manner. DiffIE caches the pages a person visits and highlights how those pages have changed when the person returns to them. We describe how we built a stable, reliable, and usable system, including how we created compact, privacy-preserving page representations to support fast difference detection. Via a longitudinal user study, we explore how DiffIE changed the way people dealt with changing content. We find that much of its benefit came not from exposing expected change, but rather from drawing attention to unexpected change and helping people build a richer understanding of the Web content they frequent.

change propagation

In Proceedings of UIST 1992
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Using taps to separate the user interface from the application code (p. 191-198)

change visualization

In Proceedings of UIST 2006
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Mnemonic rendering: an image-based approach for exposing hidden changes in dynamic displays (p. 159-168)

implicit mode change

In Proceedings of UIST 2008
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ILoveSketch: as-natural-as-possible sketching system for creating 3d curve models (p. 151-160)

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We present ILoveSketch, a 3D curve sketching system that captures some of the affordances of pen and paper for professional designers, allowing them to iterate directly on concept 3D curve models. The system coherently integrates existing techniques of sketch-based interaction with a number of novel and enhanced features. Novel contributions of the system include automatic view rotation to improve curve sketchability, an axis widget for sketch surface selection, and implicitly inferred changes between sketching techniques. We also improve on a number of existing ideas such as a virtual sketchbook, simplified 2D and 3D view navigation, multi-stroke NURBS curve creation, and a cohesive gesture vocabulary. An evaluation by a professional designer shows the potential of our system for deployment within a real design process.