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Model-based automation of the design of user interfaces to digital control systems

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2 Author(s)
Penner, R.R. ; Iterativity, Inc., Minneapolis, MN, USA ; Steinmetz, E.S.

Digital control systems, like those controlling the functions of buildings or industrial processes, pose a number of special problems for good user interface design. The general problems of providing usability, common to all systems, include difficulty in accessing and applying principles of good design. In addition, digital control systems can have multiple users, with multiple roles, and each installation has different configurations of systems, controls, and user interface devices. Providing interactions for the users of building control systems is often achieved by manually implementing each required display. This is an expensive solution, which often produces less than optimal results. We address these problems through the automation of user interface design. Our solution, called DIGBE (dynamic interface generation for building environments), separates the domain knowledge, interaction design, and presentation heuristics into multiple collaborating models. Each model contains knowledge about a particular aspect of interface design, and uses this knowledge to dynamically create each user interface that is needed to support the users of a control system. DIGBE demonstrates that it is possible to automatically and dynamically create consistent and individualized user interfaces from model-based design knowledge

Published in:

Systems, Man and Cybernetics, Part A: Systems and Humans, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:32 ,  Issue: 1 )