Adaptive User Interfaces through Dynamic Design Automation

Robin R. Penner and Erik S. Steinmetz, University of Minnesota; Christopher L. Johnson, Honeywell Technology Center

The inherent difficulty in supporting human usability in large control systems--such as building environmental and security systems--derives from the large diversity of components and users within each domain. As a result, applying traditional methods of interface design to these systems is insufficient. Designers end up handcrafting each diagram required by each type of user, the effort needed to add new functionality quickly bloats, and users end up juggling multiple disparate applications. We have begun to deploy a tool called DIG (Dynamic Interaction Generation) that addresses this difficulty. DIG uses models of domain, task, and presentation knowledge to automatically design and present interfaces specialized to a user’s current role and task, the current situation, and the capabilities of the current display hardware. In this demonstration, DIG will convert a real-life building management configuration into a dynamic interface that building managers can operate using either a standard PC or a Palm Pilot.

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