Browsing by Author "Maurer, Frank"
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- ItemMetadata onlyActiveStory Enhanced: Low-Fidelity Prototyping and Wizard of Oz Usability Testing Tool(Springer, 2009) Hosseini-Khayat, Ali; Ghanam, Yaser; Park, Shelly; Maurer, FrankThis paper presents “ActiveStory Enhanced” as a tool that enables prototyping user interfaces and conducting usability tests in a way that is aligned with agile principles. The tool allows designers to sketch user interface prototypes as well as add basic interactions to provide navigation. Sketching can be done using a mouse or stylus on tablet PCs. Designers can then export the prototype to a web-based Wizard of Oz testing tool, allowing test participants to remotely walk through a UI while recording metrics such as mouse movements and time spent on pages. ASE improves on the original by providing some usability improvements, improved browser support, undo support, more control over the design and an improved pen and paper metaphor.
- ItemMetadata onlyAdapting Existing Applications to Support New Interaction Technologies: Technical and Usability Issues(ACM, 2010) Andreychuk, Darren; Ghanam, Yaser; Maurer, FrankEngineering interactive systems for use on emerging technologies such as touch-enabled devices and horizontal displays is not straightforward. Firstly, the migration process of a system from an old hardware platform to new multi-touch displays is challenging. Issues pertaining to scaling, orientation, new input mechanisms, novel interaction techniques and different SDKs need to be examined. Secondly, even after we manage to understand and resolve these issues, we need to find effective ways to migrate applications and maintain them. This paper contributes a thorough analysis of the technical and usability issues that need to be considered when migrating systems to different touch-enabled technologies including vertical and horizontal displays.
- ItemMetadata onlyAgile Interaction Design and Test-Driven Development of User Interfaces – A Literature Review(Springer, 2010) Hellmann, Theodore D.; Hosseini-Khayat, Ali; Maurer, FrankThis chapter describes the development of GUI-based applications, from usability engineering and prototyping to acceptance test-driven development, in an agile context. An overview of current agile interaction design practices will be presented, including a thorough analysis of the current role of prototyping and current attempts to facilitate test-driven development of GUI systems, as presented in academic and industrial literature. Traditional usability engineering approaches shows that if user input is taken into consideration early in the development process by repeatedly conducting usability tests on low-fidelity prototypes of the GUI system, the final version of the GUI will be both more usable and less likely to require revision. The major risk associated with test-driven development of GUIs is the high likelihood of change in the target GUI, which can make test development unnecessarily expensive and time consuming. A unification of these styles of development will be presented, along with a prediction of how this process can be used to simplify creating testable GUI-based applications by agile teams.
- ItemOpen AccessAn agile framework for variability management in software product line engineering(2012-07-13) Ghanam, Yaser; Maurer, FrankDuring the past few years, research in agile product line engineering has been gaining more popularity, driven by the much needed ability to combine the flexibility and high responsiveness of agile methods with the economic advantages of reuse and mass customization offered by software product lines. This dissertation presents a novel framework to manage variability in software product lines in an agile context. By leveraging agile practices such as iterative and incremental development, test-driven development, and refactoring, this dissertation shows that a reactive approach to variability management is indeed feasible. The findings of this research demonstrate that acceptance tests can play an important role in variability elicitation; but they may not be sufficient to deduce implicit constraints from requirements. This issue is addressed by using executable acceptance tests alongside feature models in order to uncover implicit constraints and hidden dependencies. The dissertation also discusses the role of executable acceptance tests in supporting the evolution of variability by providing instantaneous feedback on the impact of adding or removing features or variants. For requirements that cannot be adequately described using acceptance tests such as usability and portability requirements, the dissertation demonstrates how such requirements can be treated using a lightweight and reactive approach. At the implementation level, the results of this research show that realizing variability can occur in a reactive manner provided that proper refactoring and testing practices are followed. The results also illustrate how the process can be made more systematic by using tests as a common starting point to inject variability on-demand. The efficiency of the process can be improved by providing automated tool support. Once variability has been realized in the system, the dissertation discusses how individual products can be built using the derivation technique or the instantiation technique. Finally, the dissertation presents important findings on the issues and challenges likely to arise when adopting a new software product line framework in an industrial context. The findings reveal a number of technical challenges, but also bring to surface non-technical issues related to the business needs, the organizational context, and a raft of human factors.
- ItemOpen AccessAnalyzing Twitter Data for Emergency Management(2018-05-23) Marbouti, Mahshid; Maurer, Frank; Braun, John; Willett, Wesley; Far, Behrouz Homayoun; Costa Sousa, MarioSocial media is an important part of our lives. It is hard to ignore the role of social media in our everyday lives and during disastrous events. During emergencies, emergency personnel need to make strategic decisions in a short amount of time, coordinate actions and prioritize tasks. Social media can be a powerful source of information that comes directly from the public; it can reflect public sentiment, needs, and questions. In this research, I performed an interview study to find the use cases and challenges that emergency-related organizations encounter when dealing with social media. The findings reveal the needs of practitioners for designing social media monitoring tools to help them find the information they need. One of the main challenges for practitioners is that commercial tools are not designed for emergency response, and academic approaches do not consider their requirements. This dissertation brings insight into the design of expert-informed machine learning solutions for identifying relevant information from social media by following a human-centered design approach. By actively being involved with emergency practitioners throughout three years, I designed, developed, and evaluated a social media monitoring tool for emergency response. The evaluation results show the effectiveness of bringing analysts into the classification loop to train and get feedback to machine learning classifiers. It also shows that analysts would like to combine the training tasks with their response tasks. Another aspect of this research is exploring the significance of various categories of features and machine learning algorithms and automatically identifying situational awareness information in different emergency event datasets. Results show that significant features vary across different events which indicates that training should happen during the event.
- ItemMetadata onlyAuto-tagging Emails with User Stories Using Project Context(Springer, 2010) Sohan, S.M.; Richter, Michael M.; Maurer, FrankIn distributed agile teams, people often use email as a knowledge sharing tool to clarify the project requirements (aka user stories). Knowledge about the project included in these emails is easily lost when recipients leave the project or delete emails for various reasons. However, the knowledge contained in the emails may be needed for useful purposes such as re-engineering software, changing vendor and so on. But, it is difficult to relate texts such as emails to certain topics because the relation is not explicit. In this paper, we present and evaluate a technique for automatically relating emails with user stories based on their text and context similarity. Agile project management tools can use this technique to automatically build a knowledge base that is otherwise costly to produce and maintain.
- ItemOpen AccessAutomated Example Oriented REST API Documentation(2017) Sohan, S M; Maurer, Frank; Anslow, Craig; Wang, MeaAPI documentation presents both a problem and an opportunity for API usability. REST APIs provide interconnectivity between applications over HTTP. Documentation of a REST API is a key information source for API client developers. Most REST APIs are documented using a manual approach, which can be time consuming and error-prone. REST API developers need to efficiently document their APIs with qualities that make the API usable. In this research, I focused on the topic of automated REST API documentation to satisfy this need. In this thesis, I present and evaluate a novel technique to solve REST API documentation requirements. I present a set of REST API documentation requirements by studying the existing literature and the current industry practice. From this study, I observed that REST APIs evolve frequently, but used a manual or bespoke approach for generating and maintaining their documentation. I present, SpyREST, a reusable technique with a prototype implementation to automate the REST API documentation process with executable API usage examples. The technique involves the interception of example REST API calls from API test code using an HTTP proxy server to auto-generate an accurate and updated REST API documentation. I present an industrial evaluation of the proposed technique based on a period of eighteen months of production use. From this study, I found that it was feasible to leverage API test code to automatically generate an always-updated REST API documentation for evolving REST APIs with usage examples. To evaluate the impact of usage examples on REST API client developers, I performed a controlled study with experienced REST API developers. From this case study, I found that REST API client developers faced patterns of obstacles using REST APIs that can be reduced by including API usage examples in the API documentation, as suggested in the proposed technique. The findings of this research can be used as a guideline for practitioners to automatically generate REST API documentation with usage examples. Researchers can extend the novel concept of using interception to automatically document API usage examples for other forms of APIs.
- ItemOpen AccessAutomated GUI Testing for Agile Development Environments(2015-04-24) Hellmann, Theodore; Maurer, FrankFor as long as graphical user interfaces (GUIs) have existed, it has been difficult to test them. This difficulty has become more pressing with the advent of Agile development methodologies, which stress that software should be fully tested to demonstrate that it works from developers’ and users’ points of view. In this thesis, I explored the fundamental question of whether automated GUI testing and Agile development environments are, or can be made, compatible. I conducted systematic mapping studies to determine how GUI testing and agile are currently compatible in existing literature, and performed an interview study with practitioners in order to determine how well these results matched up with what is done in industry. Based on the results of these studies, I confirmed that test-driven development (TDD) was a major area where automated GUI tests could fit into an agile process. I proposed a novel approach to TDD of GUIs that leverages Agile User Interaction Design techniques: by using an interactive low-fidelity prototype – already part of many Agile development processes – as the basis for automated GUI tests, TDD can be performed on a GUI with minimal added effort. A controlled experiment was used to validate this approach with practitioners, and the results indicated that this approach would be useful in practice.
- ItemMetadata onlyBancada: Mobile Zoomable Lenses for Collaborative Geospatial Exploration(2nd Collaboration meets Interactive Surfaces Workshop (CmIS), 2014) Rodrigues, Francisco Marinho; Seyed, Teddy; Maurer, Frank; Carpendale, Sheelagh
- ItemMetadata onlyBancada: Using Mobile Zoomable Lenses for Geospatial Exploration(ACM, 2014) Rodrigues, Francisco Marinho; Seyed, Teddy; Maurer, Frank; Carpendale, SheelaghNowadays, looking at the path between two points on a city map has become a simple task using any modern tablet, smartphone or laptop. However, when exploring maps with different information across multiple layers and scales, users experience information discontinuity. Bancada is a multi-display system developed to investigate the exploration of geospatial information using multiple mobile devices in a multi-display environment. In Bancada, tablets are Zoomable Magic Lenses that augment, through specific geospatial layers, an overview map displayed on a tabletop or on a wall display. Users interact with lenses using touch gestures to pan and zoom; and multi-layer maps can be built by overlapping different lenses. Currently, Bancada is being used to research user interfaces separated across multiple devices and interactions with high-resolution mobile devices. Future work with Bancada includes (i) evaluating the user performance when using one tablet or multiple tablets to control all lenses; (ii) exploring what and how interactions can be performed on an overview map; and (iii) exploring how lenses can be changed.
- ItemOpen AccessBody-Centric Interaction with Wall Displays in Multi-Display Environments(2017) Zochodne, Julia; Maurer, Frank; Jacob, Christian; Tang, TonyLarge wall displays have become increasingly widespread, and they can be used in diverse environments to support information sharing and collaboration. Wall displays can also be easily incorporated into multi-display environments, allowing for information exchange between the wall display and personal devices, such as tablets. However, traditional input devices such as the mouse and keyboard present challenges for these types of displays, including problems with window and task management, navigation, as well as selecting individual regions or items. Different techniques should be investigated in order to effectively interact with these large displays. In this thesis we perform a study comparing the effectiveness of interaction techniques with large wall displays including body-centric techniques (i.e. proxemics and mid-air gestures) and interaction involving secondary devices (i.e. tablets). Participants were given tasks involving different permutations of these interaction techniques, and the results were evaluated using a quantitative measure of task completion time, and qualitative data gathered from post-study interviews and questionnaires. We found that the fastest interaction technique was touch interaction with a tablet, where the tablet was used to control the large wall display. The study also showed that touch selection was most preferred by users in terms of usability.
- ItemOpen AccessBuild Notifications in Agile Environments(2008-01-14) Ablett, Ruth; Maurer, Frank; Sharlin, Ehud; Denzinger, Joerg; Schock, CraigIn an agile software development environment, developers write code that should work together to fulfill the wishes of the customer. Continuous integration (CI) ensures that code from different individuals integrates properly. CI compiles the entire codebase, deploys and tests it with each change. CI alerts developers of any problems as errors can be fixed more easily if caught earlier in the process. This paper compares the effectiveness of different types of mechanisms for notifying developers to a successful or unsuccessful build. Two different quantitative and qualitative user studies were performed testing the effectiveness of three types of notification devices one virtual e-mail based mechanism, one using ambient lava lamps, and one robotic device. The results show that most developers preferred an easily visible but unobtrusive ambient device combined with an e-mail describing the problem in more detail.
- ItemOpen AccessBuildBot: A Robotic Software Development Monitor in an Agile Environment(2006-05-18) Ablett, Ruth; Maurer, Frank; Sharlin, Ehud; Denzinger, JoergIn this paper, we describe BuildBot, a robot developed to assist with continuous integration of a software build in Agile development teams. BuildBot can interact physically with individual members of the team and be an active part of the development process by bringing together human-robot interaction with human group dynamics and knowledge about software engineering concepts. This paper describes the design and implementation of a robot that can sense virtual stimuli, in this case the state of a software build, and react accordingly in a physical way. By increasing awareness of the state of the software build, BuildBot assists in the self-supervision of teams.
- ItemOpen AccessCHANGE AWARENESS IN SOFTWARE ENGINEERING USING TWO DIMENSIONAL GRAPHICAL DESIGN AND DEVELOPMENT TOOLS(2000-10-19) Tam, James; McCaffrey, Lorin; Maurer, Frank; Greenberg, SaulIn this paper, we discuss several display mechanisms for representing changes in the UML (Unified Modeling Language) class diagrams: animated replays, storyboards, iconic representations and a documentation method. These display mechanisms were implemented in a prototype UML editor. We present the results of an empirical interface refinement study that was conducted to determine the strengths and weaknesses of the four change display mechanisms. The results show some preference for the symbolic presentation of changes, specifically that most study participants liked the documentation method best. Qualitative result summaries are given for documentation and the other mechanisms.
- ItemOpen AccessDesign and Discussion of Visualizations in Pairs(2014-05-05) Farooq, Shahbano; Maurer, Frank; Carpendale, SheelaghThere are many commercial information visualization tools that enable domain experts to create visualizations on their own. However, when the data and the domain is complex, the visualization design task is delegated to a visualization designer. In this case, the visualization designer works in close collaboration with domain experts and their knowledge of the domain evolves through prototyping visualizations. The visualization prototypes are designed programmatically or on paper. Therefore, we propose that visualization designers and domain experts should create visualizations together using a visualization tool. These visualization design activities can lead to discussion and criticism on existing representations and serve as important usability criteria for more useful designs. We designed PairedVis, a tool to support both experts, the visualization designer and the domain expert in creating visualizations together. We conducted a study to investigate whether PairedVis supports the two experts in sharing knowledge and discussing representations.
- ItemOpen AccessDesign and Evaluation of a Self-monitoring Application for Chronic Headaches(2015-11-19) Rahman, S. M. Waliur; Maurer, Frank; Tang, AnthonyChronic headache sufferers use headache diaries to learn about their headache symptoms and triggers. But the existing headache diaries do not support identification of probable headache triggers which is a critical requirement for self-monitoring of headaches. The literature describes several applications that keep track of headaches, but none of them allow the patients to identify potential headache triggers by exploring the correlations between the self-tracked factors and the onset of headaches. In this thesis, a self-monitoring application is designed that supports reviewing of headache trends and enables interactive visual exploration of potential correlations between the headaches and the putative triggers based on temporal data analysis. The design of the application reflects the data collection and the analytical needs of the headache patients. The evaluation results suggest that the application can be useful for the headache patients to identify their potential headache triggers, and hence enable better self-monitoring of headaches.
- ItemOpen AccessDesigning Geovisual Analytics Application for Exploring Hydrological Data(2015-05-08) Marbouti, Mahshid; Bhaskar, Rahul; Shakeri, Zahra; Anslow, Craig; Jackson, Leland; Maurer, FrankThe ability to analyze and visualize large amounts of environmental and hydrological data on maps is difficult. Interaction and manipulation of data is crucial for decision making in natural disasters like floods. Hence, we present a Water Management Application (WMA), a geovisual analytics application to help analysts explore large amounts of hydrological data on web-based maps, create early flood warnings, and make strategic decisions in critical situations. With WMA we have provided monitoring and management of environmental resources which can help inform the design of future geospatial and geovisual analytics applications.
- ItemOpen AccessDesigning Social Media Tools for Emergency Response(2015-05-27) Chokshi, Apoorve; Maurer, FrankWith the ubiquity of smartphones and the use of social media, people can share information with a population once reserved to traditional media (e.g. print, television, or radio). This combination has empowered citizens to use social media to share and disseminate information during emergencies, like the 2013 Southern Alberta floods and Bermuda Shorts Day 2014. Social media’s increased use during emergencies presents an interesting challenge for emergency operations centre personnel who need to filter and assess information before deciding if, how, and when to act, often in parallel with handling information from other sources. Though commercial tools exist, they are not designed with emergency management personnel in mind. This thesis presents Piu, a Twitter-based social media tool supporting both emergency planning and emergency response phases of emergency management. Piu was designed, built, and subsequently evaluated through a series interviews with emergency operations, campus security, and crisis communication experts.
- ItemOpen AccessDesigning Tabletop and Surface Applications Using Interactive Prototypes(2013-01-25) de Souza Alcantara, Tulio; Maurer, FrankInnovative possibilities of interacting with touch-based devices come with the cost of having interaction designers to determine if users consider the interactions natural and easy to use. It is safe to assume that user-centered design helps creating applications that better fit user requirements and one of its steps is prototyping. However, interaction designers sometimes skip the prototyping phase due to time or economic constraints or for a lack of proper tools. In order to help designers of touch-based applications this research presents an approach that allows designers to create their own application-specific hand, finger or tag-based gestures and evaluate these gestures using sketch-based prototypes for touch-based applications without requiring any textual programming. The development of a sketch based prototyping tool followed a user centered design approach with requirements provided by user experience designers from industry. The whole application suite was evaluated to determine its fitness for helping designers of touch-based applications. The evaluation process was conducted in three steps: first, a study with software developers determined the efficacy of the tool to create custom gestures for performing tasks in sketch based prototypes. A follow up evaluation investigated the performance of the tool as a prototyping tool for tangible applications. Finally this thesis reports two cases where this solution helped in the design of real touch-based applications.