Seminal Ideas

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An application of GOMS in a modern context (eye tracking and text input)

Reading Critiques

Matthew Barren 17:13:23 9/1/2015

Direct Manipulation Interfaces Summary: Hutchins, Hollan, and Norman explore the advantages and disadvantages of direct manipulation interfaces in the context of the cognitive load users experience due to the directness of a system. In describing the level of success for this and several other types of interfaces, they measure the directness of distance and engagement to determine qualitatively how well direct manipulation bridges the gulf of goal to task accomplishment. Critique: Direct manipulation interfaces are a means to provide a user experience that more closely correlates to the individual’s initial expectation. Hutchins, Hollan, and Norman pose that this type of interface will provide a lower semantic and articulatory distance because of the directness of the experience. More so, the required technology to provide these experiences is now available. Thus, designers should more closely consider their application design to achieve its intended purpose while providing an experience that is more direct to users vision of outcomes. The importance of this paper lies in the method of concretely considering the intention of an interface. Although it is a qualitative measurement, designers will benefit from achieving ideal user experience by evaluating their interfaces by the level of semantic distance, articulatory distance, and direct engagement. For instance, if an application has a specialized goal and relies on visual output, following Hutchins’, Hollan’s, and Norman’s process of evaluating the interface will aid developers to create an interface, which may be direct manipulation, that allows users to easily reach their desired outcomes. Likewise, if the goal of the application is to provide a generalized set of actions to provide greater customization capacity, then the evaluation process will most likely avoid the direct manipulation interface. Instead, designers and users may require a conversation interface, such as a command line, to attain their goals. Direct manipulation interfaces have allowed users to achieve their goals in a manner that more closely mirrors reality. PowerPoint is an example where each slide is similar to a poster, and the user can position items on this digital poster by clicking and dragging objects. PowerPoint follows many of the paradigms described to provide a more direct experience. For example, the icons and objects within PowerPoint all follow a well known set of vocabulary that limit the semantic distance, or the common expression of symbols that PowerPoint shares with other Microsoft Office Suite packages. In considering Hutchins’, Hollan’s, and Norman’s paper on direct manipulation interfaces, I believe that their paper provides a well informed way for me to evaluate future applications I design. Particularly for the Human Computer Interaction course, it is paramount to provide the most appropriate interface experience given the audience and the goals of the application. In reviewing their work, I believe the paper could have been split into two papers, one on the methods of measuring cognitive loads through direct experience and another examining direct manipulation interfaces through these measures. The paper used a sizable portion of its space describing the methods to measure of cognitive loads and then intertwined this with evaluating direct manipulation interfaces. I believe they would have been able to dive more into comparing direct manipulation with other interfaces to a greater degree if they wrote two separate papers. User Technology: From Pointing to Pondering Summarization: Card and Moran review their history of work in regards to human computer interfacing in regards to four tenets of interfaces: physical, cognitive, conceptual, and task. In addition, they outline future endeavors in task interfacing related to systems for idea representation and idea browsing. Critique: In “User Technology: From Point to Pondering”, Card and Moran discuss their prior research that is a quest to make modeling of human interaction with interfaces into a general predictable model. The importance of their research can be found in the hardware choices that we use today and the way we construct program interfaces to relieve users of the burden of cognitive overload while completing tasks. For example, one of their studies related to determining a best hardware interface with computer tasks. Through this research, they determined that compared to other hardware types, a mouse works at a near optimal time and accuracy relative to an individual’s hand-eye coordination. In considering this study, it would be interesting to know if touch screens are running at about the same level or are they more or less accurate. Additionally, new interfaces such as touch screen computers seem to alter an individual’s task between two interfacing pieces that are not as centrally located as a mouse and keyboard. That being said, does this new technology provide a more or less optimal experience for users. In addition, their studies are particularly intriguing because of the result variance. In several instances, Card and Moran developed a model based on a hypothesis only to find that the outcomes differed from the expectation. This exposes the differences between what is initially perceived about how an individual thinks and interacts compared to what actually occurs. More so, there progression through studies demonstrates that a more general model should be considered when viewing human’s conceptual, cognitive, and task interfacing. Many of their studies relate to class discussions of how the bottleneck in HCI is the human component. The think to execute model of a human is significantly slower than the computer’s ability to act and do. In considering task interfacing, it is intriguing that Card and Moran have chosen to make an idea representation platform called Note Cards. Although, they explained it to be a very open and general application; it seems that expressing ideas is a highly individualized task. Creating a platform to express ideas may result in biased results based on the constraints the interface will allow to produce an idea.

Mingda Zhang 17:20:07 9/1/2015

Direct Manipulation Interfaces by E. L. Hutchins, J. D. Hollan and D. A. Norman Summary Direct Manipulation, as a good human-computer interaction style, was proposed in 1982, but few people really understood its advantages and disadvantages as well as how to properly implement this idea. This paper, published in 1985, clarified the goal of the concept and also analyzed that how two main factors (distance and engagement) can help designers reach the goal, aka. improving the users' feeling of directness. Interpretation This paper was an early theoretical investigation of directly manipulation interface. It pointed out several key factors in implementation, such as reducing semantic and articulatory distance, creating model-world for users to interact with rather than through intermediary interface, and providing representation of objects instead of abstraction. As an early effort in HCI research, many of current trends in interface design can be traced back to the principles mentioned in the paper. However, even some basic strategies were illustrated in the paper, many ideas have been discarded with the evolution of technology, especially I/O devices. Meanwhile, novel interaction approaches emerged during the past two decades, which to some extent blurred the distinctions of semantic distance and articulatory distance. User Technology: From Pointing to Pondering by S. K. Card and T. P. Moran Summary This paper briefly summarized early efforts in exploring human-computer interaction technology by Xerox PARC, including experimental and theoretical progress on four different levels (physical interface, cognitive interface, conceptual interface and task interface). From the perspective of cognitive psychology, several models are proposed, including GOMS(Goal, Operation, Method and Selection) and Model Human Processor, and are proved to be successful reference for designers. Interpretation This paper was more like a technical report which covered the achievements of Xerox PARC's long-term research about user technology. Different from previous machine-centered viewpoint, they focused on human as their research emphasis in the human-computer relationship. With elegantly designed psychological experiments, they proposed several valuable models as theoretical guidance. From the most fundamental physical interface level, they extended their studies towards higher level symbiotic interactions, and further pursued the ultimate goal of designing cognitively interactive computers assisting users in challenging problems. In fact, many of their methodologies are still regarded as principles in current HCI design.

Xinyue Huang 21:41:16 9/1/2015

Direct Manipulation Interfaces: The paper analyzed both the advantages and disadvantages of direct manipulating interfaces. The paper also identified two aspects of directness: distance and engagement. The paper is important because it systematically introduced the direct manipulation interfaces from the scope of directness. One involves a notion of the distance between one’s thoughts and the physical requirements of the system under use. The second aspect concerns the qualitative feeling of engagement, the feeling that one is directly manipulating the objects of interests. Distance involves a relationship between the task the user has in mind and the way that task can be accomplished via the interface. Distance also has two forms: semantic and articulatory. Semantic distance concerns the relation of the meaning of an expression in the interface language to what the user wants to say. Articulatory distance has to do with the relationship between the meanings of expressions and their physical form. Direct engagement emphasizes a feeling of involvement directly with a world of objects rather than of communication with an intermediary. The paper also stressed about the problems of Direct manipulation. For example, not all of the things should be done directly. Direct manipulation interface have difficulty handling variables and distinguishing individual elements. Another fundamental problem is that direct manipulation interface come from our normal thoughts, which restricts us to build an interface creatively. It reminds us about what kind of problems can be directly manipulable and the trade-off. The absolutely manipulable concrete world is still a long way to go. User Technology: From Pointing to Pondering The paper traces some of the history of the understanding of users and their interactions with workstations. It is organized from pointing to pondering: physical interface, cognitive interface, conceptual interface, and task interface. At physical interface level, they discovered that user performance is constrained by the information-processing capacity of the user. At cognitive interface level, they found that subjects have little search behavior of problem solving and use cognitive skill to solve problems. They also developed GOMS model and Keystroke-Level Model to test it. At conceptual interface level, they discovered that users often have mental models and these enable some novel tasks. But they also mentioned that they did not pursue explicit studies for the lack of satisfactory representations of it. At the task interface level, there are two problems to solve: 1) the user needs new ways to represent ideas, and 2) the user needs new ways to manipulate ideas. They are developing a system called NoteCards to explore authoring task for representation challenge and experimental browsing system for manipulation challenge. The paper is important because it systematically stated the development of user interactions with systems. It also clearly pointed out the milestone establishment of models, standard and methodology for user interface. We can also get a clear understanding about the future development of user interface. Maybe mental models can be achieved from conceptual to experimental.

Ameya Daphalapurkar 22:28:46 9/1/2015

The Paper titled “Direct Manipulation Interfaces” summarizes the whole broad concept of direct manipulation, its importance and its various aspects in the field of human computer interaction. The paper is important with respect to the explanation it provides to different properties and crucial terms of direct manipulation. The numerous examples supported to support the claim of different nuances an interpretation of a particular display can carry, perfectly justify the attributes the new technologies can currently use for a future development in the process of computing and interpretation. It also showers relationship with the current advanced technologies of touch screen, digital pens, and even unique interfaces like the tablets and mini pads. Detailed and specific information about the semantic and articulatory distances along with respect to gulfs of evaluation and execution do not leave any space for blind spots. The paper titled "User Technology: From Pointing to Pondering" illustrates the stages of developments and various levels in the making for devices and their importance in computing. It relates highly to the new technologies that are ongoing. The user's behavior that underlines cognitive mechanisms and the scientific application behind them, the limitations are present in terms of pointing devices in user level. It is evident that human computer interaction involves a great amount of cognitive skills based on known methods for execution and the mental models drive through the system designs.

Chi Zhang 22:31:08 9/1/2015

Critiques on "Direct Manipulation Interfaces" by Chi Zhang: this article mainly talks about a good form of interface design, which is also predominantly perceived by users. The authors introduced the definition of Direct Manipulation Interfaces, with examples. Then they addressed two aspects of directness, which are distance and engagement. Two forms of distance are illustrated, namely semantic and articulatory. They also explain about the direct engagement. This article is a very comprehensive and thoroughly illustrative paper. Direct manipulation actually targets to make the users feel as if they are the object themselves. Direct engagement tells us that the main difficulty to get fully adapted to a new system does not equal to spending efforts getting used to the program or the computer. This is very interesting and novel idea at that time. The authors introduce many possible topics for future research. Critiques on "User Technology" by Chi Zhang: this article talks about the definition and scientific part of user technology. The authors try to express their ideas in a way that bases on their own experiences, researches and years of studying. They introduced the vision of an applied user psychology, and then talked about the physical interface, pointing. They also illustrated from the cognitive view, and many details about the cognitive skills. Then comes the ideas about task interfaces. This paper narrated their efforts at building a vision of the form of an applied science of the user and a few areas of knowledge where that vision has been realized. They have learned that: user performance with pointing devices is constrained by the information-processing capacity of the user; routine human-computer interaction does not involve problem solving , but rather cognitive skills based on the execution of know methods. It’s actually providing us very good views to deeply understand the user technology and the challenge to the advances of this topic.

Manali Shimpi 22:32:58 9/1/2015

Direct Manipulation Interfaces The paper discusses in deep about the direct manipulation interfaces and its advantages and disadvantages.The paper further discusses about the aspects of directness which are distance and engagement where the distance is the relationship between the tasks in the mind of a user and the accomplishment of those tasks. Semantic and articulatory are the forms of directness. The paper also discusses about how to bridge the gulf between intetions of user and the specification required by the system in which it states about the use of high level languages and showing the symantic concepts directly or by changing the conceptualisation of the user.The paper also discusses about the articulatory distance that is the relationship between the meaning of expressions and their physical form. User Technology:From Pointing to Pondering The paper discusses the knowledge in the form of applied science of the user at various levels such as physical interface, cognitive and conceptual level. At physical interface it compares various devices and discovers that the user performance is dependent in the information processing capacity of user. At cognitive level , it states that the interactions of human with computer invooces cognitive skills based on known methods. Conceptual model states that the user make use of their mental models to enable performance of novel tasks.The paper also discusses about the issue that is to help the users to develop mental models so that they can evaluate them.

Samanvoy Panati 23:44:31 9/1/2015

Critique 1: The paper describes about the importance of the direct manipulation property of the interfaces, its advantages and disadvantages. It also dives into the phenomena which directly influence direct manipulation such as directness and distance. An application, a machine or a system will be applauded and be used by a wide range of users only if they like the application. The acceptance of application is mostly determined by the charming and alluring nature of the interface. This paper is important because it discusses the necessary steps to design such an interface. At first, it gives some knowledge about the history of interfaces. Then it dives into the concepts of directness and distance. One form of directness is defined as how close the interface is to user’s thoughts. Another form deals with the feeling of engagement that user gets from using the interface. It also describes the methodologies like gulf of execution and gulf of evaluation where the first one deals with the bridge between the commands and mechanisms of the system and the goals of the user. The latter one deals with the bridge between the output and the perceived conceptual model. The paper also describes about two forms of distance called sematic and articulatory distance. Semantic distance deals with the relation between the meaning of the expression in the interface language and the user’s intentions. Articulatory distance is about the relationship between the meanings of expressions and their physical form. The paper also describes the correlations between the above mentioned methodologies and states which are necessary for designing good interfaces. It also mentions the disadvantages of direct manipulation interfaces and that there is a tradeoff between specificity and generality. The user’s knowledge of the domain and the experience in using the interface also play key roles in getting the feeling of directness. Finally, the design of the interface depends primarily on the task at hand. Critique 2: This paper mainly deals with the importance and techniques of understanding the user’s behavior for the development of attractive and widely usable interfaces. This paper is important because the interfaces play a key role for the success of any application. And for designing those successful interfaces the user’s intentions and requirements are important and must be taken into account and those are clearly described in this paper. The paper starts with mentioning different types of interfaces and then describes each interface. It clearly describes about some experiments done to find the usability of mouse, taken as an example, and then states the steps taken to come to the final result. It describes the importance of cognitive science in making the interfaces. The paper clearly describes about the psychology of humans in using the interfaces and then gives some suggestions about the dos and don’ts required in designing the interfaces. It describes many experiments conducted in the process of understanding the nature of the user and also gives the pictorial representation of the results. It also says that the language of the interface should be clear for the user to understand or else it leads to complex problems of the user deducing his/her own myths. The interface must be kept simple, consistent and clear enough for the users to grasp. The function of the interface must not deviate from the given task. Finally, with the advancement in today’s technologies and the knowledge of the people, more experimental systems can be created by understanding the nature of the user.

Vineet Raghu 0:32:43 9/2/2015

User Technology: From Pointing to Pondering The authors here describe how they transitioned user interface research from a highly empirical evidence based field into a mathematically precise applied science. They also describe several of the more recent studies that they have done, and how they can be used to enhance interface design in the future, through the use of applied AI, and innovative graphics. The paper and methodology discussed is very important because it has provided an innovative way of observing what was a very static field at the time of interface design. In particular, this paper (published in 1986) hints to a crucial insight in current HCI research that the limiting factor in many cognitive tasks involving humans and computers comes in terms of human computing power. For example, researchers at the time needed an improvement in graphics due to the highly limited human working memory, and researchers could not improve user input speed, because the limiting factor in this input speed is the user itself. The paper is still quite relevant to the modern computing environment, as these mathematical models can be utilized in the various computing formats we see today. For example, the modeling analysis of the bottleneck in the input device can be just as effective in a smartphone environment to see if the touchscreen can be improved upon. Moreover, determining the conceptual models of users could be a beneficial tool in the analysis of any type of new environment. Things such as Google Glasses or the Apple Watch could take some benefit in understanding how users think that the devices function. It is difficult to suggest additions to this paper since it is simply a summary of the authors’ works. But one critique of the work is with the stack-based calculator assessment. I’m curious to know how exactly the users protocols were analyzed since from simply observing a solution it seems very difficult to determine the precise thought process that the author’s mentioned involving the task space and the methods space. In general though, it appears that the next step for this work would be to expand upon the usage of conceptual models by users, since it seems like the authors are not even confident that these types of models are actually used at all or at least with any frequency. Since they found that these are only used in “novel tasks” which probably occur very rarely during the course of an interaction between a human and computer. Direct Manipulation Interface This paper describes direct manipulation interfaces, and in particular how they minimize various distance metrics that can be used to quantitatively measure interfaces. It also provides benefits and drawbacks of these types of interfaces to users, and the final conclusion of the paper is that these interfaces can be more or less useful for users depending upon the user’s knowledge and the specific task domain in which the problem is located. Though this paper was published 20 years ago, it still remains highly relevant today, as visual programming languages are still being developed and many software projects maintain a hybrid between direct manipulation and language. For example, the Yahoo Pipes framework allows users to click and drag icons to produce a workflow for a website, and though this setup can have immediate benefits for some tasks, it still has not really caught on as a prolific web programming interface possibly due to the drawbacks mentioned in this paper. I believe that are a few additions that could have been made to this paper to enhance it. In the semantic distance section, the author mentions solutions to reduce the semantic distance for the user. I thought one way to do this would be to allow for the mixing of high level and lower level language in the creation of a project. Then, the user would be able to mix low level language for tasks that the high level language has too much specificity for. I believe the C programming language allows for this with a mixture of inline assembly using x86. I also found it interesting that the author mentions that many tasks will be replaced by a direct manipulation system in the future, but after 20 years I still don’t believe that to be the case today. Perhaps with the advent of even faster computers like quantum computing this may be the case (to allow for incredibly high speeds to prevent lag), but at the present it seems that there is still a very large body of work for high level languages to operate.

Priyanka Walke 0:33:16 9/2/2015

Reading Critique on Direct Manipulation Interfaces The paper can be summarized to deal with describing the ways by which the interaction between humans and computer systems can be made natural as much as possible by using the Direct Manipulation Interfaces. It also states the problems that need to be overcome by these systems and their segregation based upon their ability to represent the real world entities. The author gives a fair idea about the scope of the paper in the introductory paragraph by stating the important phenomena that generate the feeling of ‘directness’ along with cognitive consideration of the advantages and the disadvantages of these interfaces. He defines ‘Directness’ by using lesser number of cognitive resources in designing the interfaces. Directness being a relative term, it is important that the designers need to maintain a balance in making the system more natural as in direct and still keeping it simple for the new users to understand it. The author has discussed the critical issues regarding the problems due hardware and I/O limitations, domain specific interfaces and tries to bridge the gap to achieve directness. He also states that an excessive focus on this aspect results in limitation of our thinking capability thereby resulting in a limited functionality. The paper consists of redundant information on the 2 important phenomena: distance and engagement. It covers a maximum portion of the paper hardly giving any variety nor depth on those terms. Reduction of this content would make the paper a bit concise and even more interesting to read. It widely describes direct manipulation along with suitable examples which may help while designing interfaces however, it does not state any innovative ideas for the same. Learning from this paper is to bridge the semantic & articulatory gap in execution and to focus on the improvement of the article part than improving the interface language thus serving as a baseline for designing direct manipulation interfaces. This idea can be summarized as designing the interfaces and hen bridging them together to create a direct manipulation interface system as it exhibits innovation, looks more direct and designing fragments of interfaces reduces overload of the hardware. Thus, it can be concluded that as excessive focus on directness definitely restricts our view of the world whereas the remaining interfaces languages complicate the process of designing. In spite of the existing conflicts, the direct manipulation interface design is definitely worth giving a try. Reading Critique on User Technology: From Pointing to Pondering The paper sheds light on the close relationship between humans and computers and also reduce the trade-offs in their communication. It mainly focuses on the human/user’s psychology while using the computers thus contributing to the field of HCI. Designing innovative models that implement the interfaces thereby allowing humans to perform significant intellectual tasks. The author mentions about variety of researches being carried out at PARC one of which resulting into a highly innovative and widely accepted user interface for Xerox. The primary emphasis was to get models needed for applying the Cognitive human aspects for designing highly efficient systems mainly divided into the 4 major sections: Physical Interface, Cognitive Interface, Conceptual Interface and Task Interface. These sections cover not only a variety of areas as well as methods of HCI, but also address their limitations and also the models that have been designed till date. The most creative study mentioned is that of Model Human Processor, the idea of rationality along with the restrictions on information processing. The paper is interesting and elaborate enough to understand the concepts along with a great combination of examples that depict the human psychology which supports the concepts. It describes the limitations in aspects of memory and its impact on the efficiency of the systems. It’s mainly purpose of acquiring a clear picture of the human aspect of technology and the means to integrate them in the design is completely accomplished. Conflicts do exist here as it considers Fitts Law for outlining the physical interface without mentioning any specific methods of interaction that fit onto the current world objects like the smartphones which are way faster and have advanced features that would definitely expedite the activity but, they were not invented when this paper was published. Unexperienced users would have given a deeper insight of the complexity of the system unlike the experienced ones that have been considered in the paper. The unexperienced users would definitely serve in accomplishing the desired expectations of the 4 sections mentioned above. Also, it considers the mental model in the Conceptual interface which is not easy to grasp. Most of the time people end up being least interested in the in-depth working of the systems and follow the manuals to complete their tasks. The paper definitely succeeds in raising its own point of view which is gaining support in today’s world. The material published along with the snapshots have definitely contributed towards the topic. It can be concluded saying that “In the early 1970’s when little was known scientifically about computer users, we now have a vision of the form of an applied science of the user and a few areas of knowledge where that vision has been realized”.

Lei Zhao 0:37:31 9/2/2015

1. Direct Manipulation Interfaces This article introduces the concept of Direct Manipulation. The benefits and draw-backs of this technique are also described. Since this paper was published in 1985, the idea of What You See Is What You Get was very innovative. Nowdays, lots of softwares have such kind of interfaces. For example, the PowerPoint and Excel. Although this paper is not new, some ideas are still very important. For instance, this paper analysed the draw-backs of Direct Manipulation, which is still very useful when developing new softwares. One of the disadvantages of this technique is that only some predefined actions can be done through this interface. That is why almost all the softwares used in my own research do not employ Direct Manipulation Interfaces, because my work need to modify the existing computer hardware intensively, the only way to do this is to modify the code directly in a simulator. 2. User Technology: From Pointing To Pondering This paper mainly focused on the problem that the interaction between human and computer affacts the performance of the whole system. Nowadays, the computer hardware has been advanced so greatly that it is the human user that affacts the total performance of the whole system. This paper also describes the experiments that have been conducted to find the relation between the user and the machine. Although this paper is 30 years ago, I think the findings are even more important that 30 years ago, because the performance gap between human and machine is keep increasing rapidly. From this paper, I realized the close relationship between HCI and Psycology. As to my own research, the findings in this paper give an important guide to design more user friendly interfaces.

Anuradha Kulkarni 2:54:09 9/2/2015

Direct Manipulation Interface : The paper deals with Direct Manipulation, its advantage and disadvantage, the two aspects of directness, two major metaphors, two forms of distance. Direct manipulation prescribes a general set of rules that have applications across the field of human computer interaction. Direct manipulation systems present the user with an easy to use, familiar method of interaction that helps novices to have an easier time with these systems. It is used in designs from word processing to video games to virtual reality. Direct manipulation was clearly a large and important step beyond programming languages. However, it is not a panacea for human computer interaction as even the earliest of commentators point out since there are situations in which manipulation is clumsy to perform. The key to taking the next step beyond manipulation lies in recognizing that these situations are the very same ones in which language is more graceful as an interaction method, and that a one-sided 'programming' of computers by people can be replaced by a two-sided conversation conducted in the context of some visual framework. Given the very many ways in which 24 language and action might be combined at the interface, the options for new forms of manipulation based interaction are expanding rather than contracting at present; although the overall effect of exercising these options may be a general reduction in the dominance of manipulation as an interaction method. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------User Technology: From Pointing to Pondering The tight coupling between human and computer required by these visions necessitated advances in the ways humans and computers interact. These advances have slowly begun to accumulate into what might be called a user technology. The paper discusses about sequence of ever-broader interfaces. At physical interface level it was determined that user performance with pointing devices is constrained by the information-processing capacity of the user. At the cognitive level, the routine human-computer interaction, such as text-editing, does not involve problem solving, but rather cognitive skills based on the execution of known methods. At the conceptual level, the users often have mental models of the systems they use, and that such models enable performance of novel tasks. This paper is an example of a scientific approach to Human-Computer Interaction: hypotheses are proposed and then tested via user studies. Models of human behavior that are not directly corroborated are cited from earlier studies (e.g., working memory and unit-task behavior), adding significant credence to the arguments. It demonstrates the value of using simple models of human behavior: it is feasible to test them through experiments. And yet low-level theories are straightforward to apply to a wide domain of problems (e.g., predicting expert user performance when you can only observe novices). The crux of cognitive psychology is breaking down the complex process of thought into fine-grained steps than can be modeled and studied. The idea that user interface should simplify the necessary mental model of the system is also powerful, and practical advice for system designers. In addition, this paper is atypical of traditional research papers in that it is written in a narrative style. Today’s technology there are varied types of user interface that ranges from graphical user interface to touch user interface to gesture interface and many more.

Jesse Davis 4:18:09 9/2/2015

User Technology: From Pointing to Pondering This paper takes the subject of HCI and turns it into studying the human end of HCI by identifying habits and coming up with models to give a structure to the way humans interact with different parts of a computer (keyboard, mouse, monitor, etc.) I found the GOMS model in Figure 4 very interesting and thought it was cool because it looked like the setup for a FSM, which is a unique way of thinking of a specific person’s approach to problem solving (or in this case, correcting errors). This article also made a lot of good points on using experts versus novices (lots of trained data versus just adapting untrained novice data). The research behind this still relates to modern day HCI where we should be taking a more psychological/cognitive approach to examining humans and how they interact with new pieces of technology. Direct Manipulation Interfaces Direct Manipulation Interfaces are an important part of many branches of HCI because they are easy to learn and can get work done efficiently (quickly). The concept of direct manipulation as explained by the paper was difficult for me to comprehend until they got to section 1.1 and gave early examples of direct manipulation; perhaps they should have opened with this section. While the concept of direct manipulation interfaces is important, I feel it is also important to be aware of over simplification. For example, a semi-popular form of coding nowadays is graphical coding, and while this might be useful to implement for a younger/less experienced audience, it doesn’t have the same power/control as normal coding.

Ankita Mohapatra 7:29:05 9/2/2015

The paper on Direct Manipulation Interfaces identifies a class of user interfaces that involve “direct manipulation” and investigates the characteristics that contribute to directness in any given interface. This paper goes a long way to refining the concept of ease-of-use. While we have an intuitive understanding of the concept, having a model of *why* something is easy to use is critical to the design of successful interfaces. The two characteristics explored in the paper are that of distance and direct engagement, where distance comprised two components (semantic distance and articulatory distance) and engagement is described under two different metaphors for human-computer interfaces: conversation and model-world. The metaphors of cognitive distance, and gulfs of execution and evaluation, are now widely-used. This paper proposes an extremely thorough examination of the essential components that make up an interface and the effect of those components on the user experience while interacting with the interface. This paper is clearly very influential. It seems like the modern successor to direct-manipulation interfaces are tangible interfaces. Their work seems primarily screen/keyboard-based, as those were the I/O devices they were limited to at the time. Today, with the increase in accessibility of electronics, physical interfaces are becoming easier to build. The paper also tends to argue in favor of directness and implies that an interface trying to provide the optimal experience should approach the feeling of interacting with real objects rather than an interaction with a machine, which I agree with. I also believe that the concepts of “distance” and “engagement,” although new to me before reading the paper, capture well the bottlenecks involved in users’ interactions with interfaces. Especially convincing was the breakdown of distance into semantic and articulatory distance, which are important concepts to apply when identifying users’ needs or addressing problems with existing interfaces. The main weaknesses in the paper came from the discussions surrounding the two metaphors for human-computer interaction, classified as “conversation” and “model-world,” which the authors talked about in relation to direct engagement. Mostly, I do not believe that the two metaphors are always wholly distinct as it seems to be implied. One interface can certainly incorporate concepts from both metaphors. However, the possible mixture of the two metaphors is never explored. It is conceded that conversation metaphor interfaces could be ideal for certain tasks, but the author makes unsubstantiated claims that this only applied to high-level programming languages and direct manipulation could never work for coding, which I would have liked to see more evidence for. It is also conceded that experienced users on poor interfaces with high levels of automation to be very direct, but again it missed combining this sense of directness with the directness offered by a model-world interface. The paper may be missing altogether the point that interfaces can offer multiple ways of accomplishing the same task and introduce multiple paradigms for interacting with one domain. The idea of forcing the user to overcome difficulties in semantic (and probably articulatory) distance would, over the long term, improve their ability to complete a task they were initially comfortable with is very interesting. This certainly does occur with many modern interfaces that humans have adapted to (e.g. unique touch interactions on phone apps, mobile phones themselves). ======================================================================================================== The paper on User Technology: From Pointing to Pondering is an excellent example of a scientific approach to Human-Computer Interaction: hypotheses are proposed and then tested via user studies. This paper first explores the authors’ personal research trajectories in the different categories of interfaces (physical, cognitive, conceptual). This introduction provides a background leading up to their proposal (their pondering) that interfaces should allow users to act on task domain objects directly. That human cognitive capability is a limiting factor on interaction with machines I had already known, but I did not suspect that the mouse would be found to be a near-optimal interface for its task and humans would be the limiting factor there. The paper also brought up a few interesting points relating to the interface classes. Models of human behavior that are not directly corroborated are cited from earlier studies (e.g., working memory and unit-task behavior), adding significant credence to the arguments. Furthermore, the value of using simple models of human behavior is demonstrated: it is feasible to test them through experiments. And yet low-level theories (such as the Keystroke-Level Model) are straightforward to apply to a wide domain of problems (e.g., predicting expert user performance when you can only observe novices). The crux of cognitive psychology is breaking down the complex process of thought into fine-grained steps than can be modeled and studied. The idea that user interface should simplify the necessary mental model of the system is also powerful, and practical advice for system designers. Though I believe the authors were correct in saying that it is "under-appreciated"; it continues to be so, as much of design in industry becomes mired in superficial aspects like the size and placement of buttons, the legibility of text, and choice of wording. Out of all of the ideas presented in this paper, I would have liked to see more ideas and research on how computers can help compensate for human cognitive limitations in relation to the described “unit-task structure.” I would really like to further explore the fact that the ‘think’ portion of ‘think-execute’ can be expedited by the computer such that the majority of time spent by a user in executing actions.

Mahbaneh Eshaghzadeh Torbati 7:47:01 9/2/2015

2610: First Reading, User Technology- From Pointing to Pondering Writer: Mahbaneh Eshaghzadeh Torbati • Summary (2 sentences): The main idea from beginning of the technology of personal workstations was that users would work on intellectual tasks with intimate partnership of computer systems. This paper is a study on user behavior in interaction with the basic systems and intellectual systems. The writers are mostly seeking to a vision of applied science of the user. • Why is/isn’t the paper important? It is important because they noted the vision of the form of an applied science of the user and a few areas of knowledge where that vision has been realized. They also explained the applied science in different levels. Physical interface level: They discovered that user performance with pointing devices is restricted by factors such as information-processing capacity of the user. They figured out that the quantitative law describing this constraint is learnable. Cognitive level: They recognized that human-computer interaction mostly involves cognitive skills based on the running of familiar methods. Conceptual level: They learnt that users often have mental models of the systems they use, and that such models enable performance of complex tasks. System conceptual models provide the basis for users to acquire mental models, and thus are an important basis for system design. • What new results, techniques or methodologies does it offer? The last level, The Task Interface, they propose the new understanding they have about the users’ behavior. They believe that the most informative problems are at the task level ones. Thus, understanding the nature of complex intellectual tasks and finding ways to build tools to figure out the user interactions with these intellectual tasks are all attempts they have done for experiments of this level. • How does the paper relate to today’s technologies? The challenge in most of today’s applications is to use our understanding of users to discover new ways to augment users in complex intellectual endeavors. The last level that they discussed is completely related to this need. • Does the paper relate to your own work? In the part it is suggesting using the cognitive and artificial intelligence methods, it is completely related my field of study. Since the paper is so abstract and focused on the analysis of the users’ behavior, I have no precise idea how and which AI methods can be used for the parts mentioned in the paper. • What about blind spots? If you had a chance to re-do the word, how would you have done it differently? The main problem I had with this paper is that the explanations are too much. I am new with this topic and I need precise and brief definition and explanation of the concepts and material. Feeding readers with too much information, just made me confused about the concepts. If I were the writer of this paper, I would provide the materials in more simple way. 2610: First Reading , Direct Manipulation Interfaces Writer: Mahbaneh Eshaghzadeh Torbati • Summary (2 sentences): This paper proposes a form of interface design, Direct interfaces. It covers all the definitions and concepts fundamental in analyzing the advantages and disadvantages of this design, among which we can name distance and engagement. This design has been well received by users and it is need of providing representation of objects that behave as if they are objects themselves. • Why is/isn’t the paper important? This paper was complete and can be considered as the reference to direct interfaces. It covers all the concepts, justifications and analysis of the design. It also covers many examples. It is important, since it can be referred as one of the HCI references. • What new results, techniques or methodologies does it offer? The whole design, concepts and sample systems are new. This paper proposes a new design which is more user-demanded, so the whole paper is novel. • How does the paper relate to today’s technologies? One of the main factors in today’s application is the users’ satisfaction. In this design, the main aim is in filling the gap between the user goals and the system. All the concepts and metrics defined in this system are based on the users’ engagement or satisfaction. In conclusion, I can say that the goal of this system is the users’ satisfaction which is one the most important demand in today’s applications. • Does the paper relate to your own work? I am working on natural language processing. Our research is finally ends in applications, such as translators or summarizors and so on. Thus, we are in need of implementing systems and attract the user attentions. So, this design will be beneficial in this part of our work. • What about blind spots? If you had a chance to re-do the word, how would you have done it differently? • If I were the writer of this paper, I tried to start from just a single method and discuss all concepts and factors on this system. In this case, the reader and remember the effects of one factor or parameter better. Now, by all these examples proposed in the paper I am a little bit confused. If you change one system, the analysis explained for the system change. Thus, having a unique system to discuss eliminate the complexity of system’s features.

Sudeepthi 8:27:08 9/2/2015

This Research Paper is about Direct Manipulation and why it is one of the most preferred forms of interface design. Direct Manipulation has been giving the user higher satisfaction till date because it projects directly what the user feels and imagines. The user is not needed to know all the intricate background details as to how it happened but is happy that the he can continuously view the objects and the changes based on his desire. Direct Manipulation, as perfect as it sounds, has some drawbacks too. It is analysed for its performance based on two important factors- Distance and Direct Engagement. Distance because the user has to feel connected with the system and Engagement because the it makes the user believe that he has the control over the objects and thus it can bridge the gap between person’s goals and knowledge. This very interesting research paper holds high relevance too in todays world. With the increasing number of applications for all various purposes, it is important that the directness is retained from the users perspective. The user satisfaction is the most important factor determining the validity of any feature. As Direct Manipulation is a relative feature, as the feeling changes from person to person, it is important that studies are performed in this field for better understanding and better development. Both the Gulf of Execution and Gulf of Evaluation, holding the distance from users imagination and the implementation, should be bridged by incorporating additional options or button presses. There are several problems that should be addressed too. Repetitive actions are not covered under Direct Manipulation. Sometimes the user himself want accurate modification which are a result of various computations. Accuracy then becomes a problem. This issue needs to be addressed at the earliest because in today’s world the technologies have become so complex that, it is difficult for the user to arrive at the result by just keeping him in control of the objects and allowing him to modify at his disposal. From the users point of view, ease of operation and the closeness of the result to their imagination is all that takes to increase the user satisfaction and utility. Direct Manipulation is one such effective feature that helps the user to work on his own, manipulate with regard to himself and arrive at the result which he thinks is the most accurate. _______________________________________________________________ Computers serve the basic purpose of reducing human efforts and catering to the needs of every end user. Every end user is different and the level of imagination, level of understanding and the level of expressing differs from user to user. This research paper identifies the different interfaces and the areas in them that are needed to be focussed on. The physical interface, Cognitive interface, conceptual interface and task interface, so identified, help the user to achieve his goals to the maximum extent. This research paper also talks about how these interfaces could be made more useful for the user. The main idea behind this research paper is being able to invent a workstation that can satisfy the user or serve his utilities to the fullest without any incompletions or misinterpretations. Several technologies have been adopted in trying to arrive at the solution. Technologies like The Model Human Processor depicts the trajectory of human behaviours and his utility. Analysing the task that user wants to perform and also understanding how important the task is to the user, the need of the user is better understood. The Key-Stroke Level Model gives us a quantitative analysis of how long the user takes to arrive at the result, assuming all the necessary details are given and also that the user has knowledge about the parameters of the system. Studies have been performed to understand the human computer interaction. Results from the test about how many users can solve a problem dealing with cognitive behaviours gives us the insight into the problem space they are working in. Users cognitive behaviour shows that the idea generation is a continuous process and its highly volatile. It keeps changing from time to time and the changes need to be reflected on the models too. The user should be able to reflect these changes on a timely manner in the continuous representation of objects. Introduction to different sources can lead to idea generation and it is to be understood that the user is in continuous contact with numerous sources from all over. Several led-backs or loop holes have been identified by the researches. These include the limitation of the user information processing capacity, interpretation at a higher conceptual level, the inability to map the exact interpretation of thought, etc. Therefore it is important to study deeper into this topic to arrive at empirical results which can help the researcher to arrive at a more effective workstation which can cater to the needs of all the users regardless of the need of the user.

Kent W. Nixon 8:32:02 9/2/2015

DIRECT MANIPULATION INTERFACES This paper discusses the merits and downfalls of what are referred to as “direct manipulation interfaces.” These interfaces attempt to reduce perceived complexity of end-user programming by representing functions or relationships in a manner that is easily understandable to the user – i.e. physical relationships via flow diagrams and etc. This paper is significant as it provides a quantitative metric for considering ease of human user of given direct manipulation interfaces. These are provided through the definition of semantic and articulatory distance, which represent the difference in language between the user and the machine. This paper is interesting to me as it presents a method of evaluating user input methods that is generalizable enough that it can still be applied to modern systems, even 30 years after the paper's publication. This paper does not directly relate to my own work, but it does prove apt if used to consider the differences in interface between, for example, a smartphone and a traditional desktop computer. USER TECHNOLOGY: FROM POINTING TO PONDERING This paper discusses what can be considered as the first attempt to define empirical models to estimate human-computer interaction – specifically involving the efficiency of a given interface. The authors discuss multiple methods of modeling a user similarly to how a machine is modeled, and how things like task complexity, working memory, and prior knowledge contribute to task efficiency. I believe that this paper is significant as it provides a quantitative model with which to evaluate multiple different interfaces. This provides a powerful tool to UI designers that lacks the cost of traditional user-group testing methods. I was interested to read that based on their studies, it was found that the computer mouse was near optimal in terms of converting hand and arm movement into computer input. While reading this work, I could not help but consider how well it applies today, especially when considering Microsoft's decision to remove the Start button in Windows 8, and how that affected user productivity. This paper does not relate to my work.

Darshan Balakrishna Shetty 8:34:15 9/2/2015

1. Direct Manipulation: The paper sheds light on direct manipulation, it's advantages disadvantages, where is it applicable and where it should not be. The paper succeeds in making the reader understand the definition of directness in terms of both distance and the engagement between the user and the machine. Important terms like gulf of execution and gulf of evaluation with good understandable examples. The main advantage of direct manipulation is that it is easy for layman to understand and use the technology by just a mere demonstration of the machine/tool to get his tasks completed. But as the machine is more direct it is difficult to generalize the machine and it is accustomed to specific set of tasks. For the user point of view if he needs to perform a different or solve new task it is difficult to figure out. That is the trade off between the degree of directness being provided. Paper provides a bunch of very good examples to understand the trade offs. The paper also explains what is Semantic distance articulatory distance, relationship between input format output format how far or close is it to the user or machine. In general paper gives a clear idea of level abstractions required, the trade offs to betake care of while designing the interface between user and the machine which is very important in today's world. 2. User Technology: From Pointing to Pondering The paper discusses about how the technology of personal workstation is moving forward with the goal and vision driven by the future that the user and the machine work in intimate partnership on the intellectual tasks. The paper explains 5 different interfaces between the computer and the user which was developed with the time. Provides a clear picture on how the humans are pictured in terms of a computer scientist (Model-human processor) which is very important to know while designing the user interface. The paper manages to explain the pros/cons at each interface which started from pointing devices to conceptual level. Even-though the paper is from 1986, it still is very important as it gives a very clear picture on how the personal work station changed and what all improvements came along with the time. The paper sheds light on different techniques like Fitt's Law, GOMS, Key Stroke Level Model, Human processor Model, Conceptual model, difference between the User's model and the Intended User's model. It is very important to understand the user's task, what he is thinking and what he is expecting. Design the user model based upon these study. The paper gives a lot examples to understand the design methodology of user interface.

Zinan Zhang 8:49:54 9/2/2015

section1: The paper is important. It introduces a good way for user to deal with data. The promise of direct manipulation is that all the "programming is done graphically, in a form that matches the way one thinks about the problem. That means all the operations supposed to be simply by moving the appropriate icons onto the screen and connecting them together. Although some of the surface features are unlikely to capture the real sources of power in direct manipulation interfaces, it is greatly convenient for the user and reduces some classes of syntax errors at the same time. I have done some work about the statistic characteristic of image based on DCT domain-resampling technique can only be on the global image tamper detection. The main point of the work is to find out the area that could be forensics according to the statics. With the help of the method of direct manipulation, it can be easier and much quicker to figure out the area we need. section2: The paper mainly focuses on what the authors have learned about users in their years of studying them and how they see their findings relating to the original visions of the personal workstation. They study the human’s interact with computer from three different levels: physical interface level, cognitive level, and conceptual level. With the study of their experiment and work, they decide to discover new ways to augment users in complex intellectual endeavors. This paper gives me an impression about the studying of human-computer interacts. Admittedly, I not fully understand so many math models and formula actually. But I have a basic understanding the way the authors studying going on. With so many experiments and research, there are still lots of thermo to be discovered in this field.

Shijia Liu 8:50:34 9/2/2015

Session 1: Direct manipulation Direct manipulation interfaces is the interaction between human-being and computers. In this article we could know that direct manipulation is doing programs instead of an abstract computational medium. It is more visual and direct. It has no unitary concept which is kind of feeling about an interface. For directness, which includes distance and direct engagement. A short distance means that the translation is simple and straightforward. We will use the term directness to refer to the feeling that results from interaction with an interface. About the two forms of distance: Semantic and Articulatory, whatever the gulf of execution or the evaluation. It is composed with semantic and articulatory distance. Interpretation is the activity that shows articulatory distance in the gulf f evaluation. The dimension of the engagement has two values: the metaphor of interface as conversation and the metaphor of interface as model world. However, it still has problems in direct manipulation. Not all things should be done directly. A more fundamental problem with direct manipulation interfaces because of the fact that much of the appeal and power comes from its ability to directly support the way we normally think about a domain. But as a result, direct manipulation is still powerful and useful for in the majority areas, many things done today will be replaced by direct manipulation systems. Session 2: User Technology: From Pointing to Pondering This article is pay more attention on what we have learned about users in recent years of studying them and how we see our findings relating to the original visions of the personal workstation. Form pointing to pondering is also means from the physical interface to the mental interface and result in the task interface. It has 3 levels in this article :physical level, cognative level and conceptual level. All of them are base an applied science on a theory of the cognitive mechanisms user behavior. 40 years ago, it was just developed a few steps on the user technology, little was known scientifically about computer users. However, the challenge for us today is to use our understanding of users to discover new ways to augment users in complex intellectual endeavors. And based on task level, it is the key for this field, we still have a lot of space to discover, to feel about the users.

Zihao Zhao 9:55:00 9/2/2015

Critiques on "Direct Manipulation Interfaces" by Zihao Zhao. This article mainly talks about a good form of interface design, Direct Manipulation. The author introduces the benefits and draw-backs of this technology. This article is a very comprehensive and thoroughly illustrative paper. It uses several examples to explain the definition of Direct Manipulation Interfaces. For example, the PowerPoint and Excel. The ideas are that, direct manipulation actually targets to make the users feel as if they are the object themselves. Direct engagement tells us that the main difficulty to get fully adapted to a new system does not equal to spending efforts getting used to the program or the computer. This is very interesting and novel idea at that time One of the disadvantages of this technique is that only some predefined actions can be done through this interface. That is why almost all the softwares used in my own research do not employ Direct Manipulation Interfaces, because my work need to modify the existing computer hardware intensively, the only way to do this is to modify the code directly in a simulator. Critiques on "User Technology" by Zihao Zhao This article is mainly about definition and scientific part of user technology, the article pays more attention on what we have learned about users in recent years of studying them and how we see our findings relating to the original visions of the personal workstation. It also talks about the experiments that have been conducted to find the relation between the user and the machine. Even though this article is 30 years ago, yet we still learn that they extended their studies towards higher level symbiotic interactions from fundamental physical interface level, and to design cognitively interactive computers assisting users in challenging problems. It is still useful in today's HCI design.