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Contextualising user interfaces for complex systems

Meech, John Foster (2000)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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This thesis addresses the difficulties that people have in interacting with complex, computer-based systems. The fields of intelligent and adaptive interfaces and agent-based systems are surveyed and critiqued to identify how intelligent human-computer interfaces can be used to improve interaction. The need to manage context is identified as a key element in intelligent interfaces used to manage complexity. A model of contextualization is developed to encompass a range of interface design and implementation paradigms, with the objective of improving the design of dynamic interactive systems. Viewing the process of contextualization as part of the interaction process provides a powerful conceptual methodology for the design of agent-based intelligent user interfaces. A model of contextualization is developed consisting of several components that are intended to promote contextualization in user and interface. An experimental evaluation of these components shows that elements of dialogue instigation and adaptation of the user interface via user preferences provide the expected performance advantages in both objective and subjective evaluations. In addition, the experiments show that contextualization is affected by factors such as the personality of the user. The interaction of the various components of the model of contextualization is discussed and proposals for future work are presented.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Harris, Mike and Edmondson, William
School/Faculty:Schools (1998 to 2008) > School of Psychology
Subjects:QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
BF Psychology
Institution:University of Birmingham
Library Catalogue:Check for printed version of this thesis
ID Code:250
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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