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QWERTY, mouse, and novel input

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  • Larry Constantine
    ... The E in HFE stands for engineering. Engineers solve problems. Engineering about solving problems within the constraints of available technology and
    Message 1 of 20 , Dec 6 9:21 AM
      Jaynee wrote:

      > Of course, my vote is to find a way to throw out the keyboard altogether
      > (Dvorak, QWERTY, or otherwise) and find a different means of input to a
      > system. We often get so bogged down with the pros and cons of a
      > particular implementation, when the best answer is "C: none of the
      > above". For example, rather an a keyboard of any kind, could the user
      > speak the inputs? Select them from large GUI buttons on limited menu?
      > Some combination thereof (voice their selection)? Do the inputs even
      > need to be introduced into the system by a human? (How often do we
      > require repeat inputs from a user when the data are already "known" to
      > the system and could have been imported?) Do we even need a
      > human-in-the-loop at all?
      >
      > This is the kind of creative thinking that we HFEs need to teach to
      > those in an Agile development world.

      The E in HFE stands for engineering. Engineers solve problems. Engineering
      about solving problems within the constraints of available technology and
      materials. Creative thinking in design, engineering, and development,
      particularly in the agile world, is about working within real budgets,
      schedules, and platforms.

      When I teach design classes, there is always someone who "solves" a visual
      and interaction design problem by invoking the seductive catchall of voice
      input. But changing from one medium to another does not solve design
      problems, as each medium has its own inherent limitations and creates its
      own design issues.

      As designers and developers, our responsibility is to deliver solutions to
      customers and users now. Someday, yes, voice input may evolve to where it is
      both sufficiently reliable and faster overall than the much maligned QWERTY
      keyboard, but researchers have been promising that day to be just around the
      corner for many decades--and we are still far from having a truly practical
      general purpose solution.

      Interestingly, both the keyboard and mouse have been roundly criticized, yet
      have proved surprisingly robust as general purpose HMI devices. Research has
      found that nothing else works quite as well for so many purposes under so
      many conditions, although other mechanisms may be better in highly specific
      circumstances. I am beginning to suspect that they may be quite fundamental
      and basically sound general purpose technologies that, like steering wheels,
      will be around and widely used in substantially the same form for a very
      long time. Indeed, our dependence on them keeps growing, as cursive
      handwriting and mechanical drawing fade into the background and become less
      essential skills for modern life.

      > To me, mapping the UI to the known expectations of the user is more
      > about mapping to real world events: for example, if I have a switch that
      > moves something up and down, then my GUI should actuate in like manner -
      > pushing the GUI switch "up" should move the item UP. Seems obvious until
      > you realize how many times in real life that simple rule gets violated.

      These sorts of "borrowings" from the physical world are also very appealing
      but often prove less apt than they seem at first glance, particularly in
      production environments. It is far easier to click on a button to toggle it
      than to slide it up like a wall switch. As HFEs (again, engineers), we need
      to know about the differences in performance characteristics in various
      interaction idioms and take these into account in our designs.

      Bill Buxton distinguishes imitating physical reality in GUI design from
      using externally learned skills and associations within the framework of
      effective interaction idioms. The structure principle, for instance, argues
      for putting the control that moves something up above the one that moves it
      down (not side-by-side as Redmond is prone to do), but whether a slider or
      rocker button or paired up-down buttons are better depends on the details of
      the task and the user performance objectives.

      --Larry Constantine, IDSA
    • Desilets, Alain
      As designers and developers, our responsibility is to deliver solutions to customers and users now. Someday, yes, voice input may evolve to where it is both
      Message 2 of 20 , Dec 6 10:31 AM
        As designers and developers, our responsibility is to deliver solutions to customers and users now. Someday, yes, voice input may evolve to where it is both sufficiently reliable and faster overall than the much maligned QWERTY keyboard, but researchers have been promising that day to be just around the corner for many decades--and we are still far from having a truly practical general purpose solution.

        -- Alain:
        As a person who had to use speech interfaces for a while (because of Repetitive Strain Injury) and who built a number of speech interfaces, I can attest to what Larry is saying.

        On paper, a continuous speech recognition system with 95% accuracy sounds great, but in practice it justg doesn't work. Just imagine a keyboard that:

        A) Lags behind what you type by 5 words.

        B) Screws up one out of 5 words. And by "screw up", I don't mean a few characters. I mean that you type "beach" and the keyboard types "bitch" instead. Oh, and because of A), you don't get to see the error until 5 words later.

        C) Types gibberish whenever you happen to have a cold.

        D) Makes loud clanking noises that allow your neighbours.

        How long would you put up with such a keyboard?

        Today's speech interfaces CAN be very useful, but only in limited context like:

        - people who can't type (ex: RSI, paraplegics)
        - people who WON'T type (ex: "REAL lawyers/doctors don't type!")
        - people who are in hands and/or eyes busy situation (ex: people driving cars)

        Alain Désilets, MASc
        Agent de recherches/Research Officer
        Institut de technologie de l'information du CNRC /
        NRC Institute for Information Technology

        alain.desilets@...
        Tél/Tel (613) 990-2813
        Facsimile/télécopieur: (613) 952-7151

        Conseil national de recherches Canada, M50, 1200 chemin Montréal,
        Ottawa (Ontario) K1A 0R6
        National Research Council Canada, M50, 1200 Montreal Rd., Ottawa, ON
        K1A 0R6

        Gouvernement du Canada | Government of Canada




        ----
      • Joshua Seiden
        ... Josh replies: Buxton also said (at your last forUSE conference) something like this: as long as we are interacting with the computer using a mouse, we are
        Message 3 of 20 , Dec 6 4:44 PM
          Larry wrote:

          > Interestingly, both the keyboard and mouse have been roundly
          > criticized, yet have proved surprisingly robust as general
          > purpose HMI devices. Research has found that nothing else
          > works quite as well for so many purposes under so many
          > conditions, although other mechanisms may be better in
          > highly specific circumstances.

          And:

          > Bill Buxton distinguishes imitating physical reality in
          > GUI design from using externally learned skills and
          > associations within the framework of effective interaction
          > idioms.


          Josh replies: Buxton also said (at your last forUSE conference) something
          like this: as long as we are interacting with the computer using a mouse, we
          are interacting with the world using the equivalent of the point of a single
          chopstick. That gives us the manipulative power of a fruitfly!

          To be fair, this was in the context of a discussion of the limits of general
          purpose devices and general purpose computing.

          JS
        • Dymond, Robin
          Well, you won t find me trading my mouse for a touch screen and a chop stick any time soon! I agree with Larry, our systems are built within a context, the
          Message 4 of 20 , Dec 7 7:36 AM
            Well, you won't find me trading my mouse for a touch screen and a chop
            stick any time soon!

            I agree with Larry, our systems are built within a context, the idea of
            building an enterprise app with something other than a keyboard and
            mouse is quixotic.

            How come no one in this group is discussing ideas on integrating
            usability and agile?

            Agile is rapidly gaining adoption across the software industry, for
            example Microsoft has recently become a strong proponent of Scrum and is
            promoting it with their development tools. How are you integrating agile
            methods with usability ideas on a daily basis? Are you? Or do you have
            waterfall processes, in which the IAs do usability as part of the
            "Design" process, with mockups from photoshop, that may or may not
            become actual software?

            This group has been a bit of a disappointment. I think there is lots of
            work to be done. Usability practitioners will benefit from better
            integration with agile teams building better software quickly. But teams
            will adopt Agile with or without usability practitioners or their ideas
            on board.

            But maybe, with all of the good feedback agile teams get from working
            closely with a customer, usability is inherent, and IAs are largely
            irrelevant for most projects?

            Thoughts?

            Robin Dymond

            -----Original Message-----
            From: agile-usability@yahoogroups.com
            [mailto:agile-usability@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Joshua Seiden
            Sent: Tuesday, December 06, 2005 7:45 PM
            To: agile-usability@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: RE: [agile-usability] QWERTY, mouse, and novel input


            Larry wrote:

            > Interestingly, both the keyboard and mouse have been roundly
            > criticized, yet have proved surprisingly robust as general purpose HMI

            > devices. Research has found that nothing else works quite as well for
            > so many purposes under so many conditions, although other mechanisms
            > may be better in highly specific circumstances.

            And:

            > Bill Buxton distinguishes imitating physical reality in
            > GUI design from using externally learned skills and
            > associations within the framework of effective interaction
            > idioms.


            Josh replies: Buxton also said (at your last forUSE conference)
            something
            like this: as long as we are interacting with the computer using a
            mouse, we
            are interacting with the world using the equivalent of the point of a
            single
            chopstick. That gives us the manipulative power of a fruitfly!

            To be fair, this was in the context of a discussion of the limits of
            general
            purpose devices and general purpose computing.

            JS






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          • Josh Seiden
            ... [snip] ... There are certainly some frustrations associated with the group. One of them is the monthly discussion of the relevance of UX. Another is the
            Message 5 of 20 , Dec 7 9:08 AM
              > This group has been a bit of a disappointment. I
              > think there is lots of
              > work to be done. Usability practitioners will
              > benefit from better
              > integration with agile teams building better
              > software quickly. But teams
              > will adopt Agile with or without usability
              > practitioners or their ideas
              > on board.

              [snip]

              > But maybe, with all of the good feedback agile teams
              > get from working
              > closely with a customer, usability is inherent, and
              > IAs are largely
              > irrelevant for most projects?
              >
              > Thoughts?

              There are certainly some frustrations associated with
              the group. One of them is the monthly discussion of
              the relevance of UX. Another is the implication that
              UX practitioners should be grateful for a seat at a
              table with folks that don't see value in their work.

              For me, comments like are deeply disrespectful, and
              illustrate a major hurdle to closer collaboration--the
              basic lack of shared experience and trust among the
              players.

              That lack of shared experience will always be a
              hindrence to this discussion group. (Discussion lists
              don't create the shared experience we need. Project
              work does.) It would be interesting, Jeff, to take a
              poll to assess how many folks on this list have
              actually collaborated on an Agile/UI project.

              Personally, I'm here to learn about working in an
              Agile context, but have never worked in one. I wonder
              how many Agilists on this list have ever worked with a
              dedicated UX professional.

              JS
            • shel kimen
              It would be interesting, Jeff, to take a poll to assess how many folks on this list have actually collaborated on an Agile/UI project. I am an IA/Interaction
              Message 6 of 20 , Dec 7 9:50 AM

                It would be interesting, Jeff, to take a poll to assess how many folks on this list have
                actually collaborated on an Agile/UI project.

                 

                I am an IA/Interaction Designer/Internet Strategist/Etc…. Since about 1995. Many different hats many different projects, 90% web with some .Net, mobile, and custom devices thrown in the mix.

                 

                I’ve had one Agile dev experience, which was only part Agile b/c the client hadn’t finalized the dev environment while we (as consultants) went ahead defining use cases and general scenarios, trying to break it all into ‘stories’ anticipating an agile environment. I had extreme difficulty in creating space to establish a UX strategy, and it was tough to break out of my training in long exploratory concept phases. I noticed that on another project, another team (of consultants) with the same client were working very well to integrate usability, ux, and agile – they created what seemed to be smart and quick feedback loops that seemed to work. I never got to complete the project on our side – which is probably just as well – but I was enjoying ‘thinking differently’ . It was refreshing, rational, and a nice challenge.

                 

                I was fascinated by Agile as a concept/philosophy and joined this list to try to understand the points of intersection – particularly relating to strategy and feedback. To Josh’s point – that has not happened and probably would not without a project.

                 

                Now we are all very busy, and I certainly am not quite ready to jump up and lead a project – definitely not before 2006. But it would be interesting to pick some pro-bono something interesting to try and tackle, so those of us who want to learn more about Agile or more about UX in a team environment can have that opportunity.

                 

                ./s

                 

                 

              • Desilets, Alain
                There are certainly some frustrations associated with the group. One of them is the monthly discussion of the relevance of UX. Another is the implication that
                Message 7 of 20 , Dec 7 10:54 AM
                  There are certainly some frustrations associated with
                  the group. One of them is the monthly discussion of
                  the relevance of UX. Another is the implication that
                  UX practitioners should be grateful for a seat at a
                  table with folks that don't see value in their work.

                  For me, comments like are deeply disrespectful, and
                  illustrate a major hurdle to closer collaboration--the
                  basic lack of shared experience and trust among the
                  players.

                  -- Alain:
                  Interesting...

                  I have not read anything on this list that to my eyes, questioned the
                  relevance of either U* or Agile.

                  I HAVE read a lot of discussion about which parts of these two
                  approaches work well together, and how they can be modified to take
                  advantage of each other.

                  As a U* or Agile practicionner, you should not come to this list and
                  expect that "what you know to be true" will be accepted without
                  question. In fact, you should be prepared to revise "what you know is
                  true", as a result of what you find here.

                  As far as I can tell, the positions held by both U* and Agilists on this
                  list are far more nuanced than the views of their respective
                  constituancies. In other words, the Agilists on this list are more
                  user-centered than most Agilists out there. And most U* people on this
                  list are more Agile than most U* professionals out there.
                  ----

                  That lack of shared experience will always be a
                  hindrence to this discussion group. (Discussion lists
                  don't create the shared experience we need. Project
                  work does.) It would be interesting, Jeff, to take a
                  poll to assess how many folks on this list have
                  actually collaborated on an Agile/UI project.

                  Personally, I'm here to learn about working in an
                  Agile context, but have never worked in one. I wonder
                  how many Agilists on this list have ever worked with a dedicated UX
                  professional.

                  -- Alain:
                  I for one work with one ollegue who is an HCI person all the time, and I
                  really appreciate his contributions to my projects.
                  ----
                • Ron Vutpakdi
                  ... We have before, just not recently. You might want to check the archives. ... A number of people are integrating agile and usability successfully. One
                  Message 8 of 20 , Dec 7 11:18 AM
                    --- In agile-usability@yahoogroups.com, "Dymond, Robin"
                    <robin.dymond@c...> wrote:
                    >
                    > How come no one in this group is discussing ideas on integrating
                    > usability and agile?
                    >
                    We have before, just not recently. You might want to check the archives.

                    > How are you integrating agile
                    > methods with usability ideas on a daily basis? Are you? Or do you have
                    > waterfall processes, in which the IAs do usability as part of the
                    > "Design" process, with mockups from photoshop, that may or may not
                    > become actual software?

                    A number of people are integrating agile and usability successfully.
                    One method is to basically be one iteration or otherwise just slightly
                    ahead of the developers while trying to keep an eye out for a general
                    idea of what might be coming down the road.

                    On the usability and design side, a lot of practices involve scaling
                    activities appropriately.

                    On the development side, one practice seems to involve learning how to
                    engage and consult usability rather than assuming that they don't matter.

                    >
                    > This group has been a bit of a disappointment. I think there is lots of
                    > work to be done. Usability practitioners will benefit from better
                    > integration with agile teams building better software quickly. But teams
                    > will adopt Agile with or without usability practitioners or their ideas
                    > on board.

                    So it's just the usability practioners and designers who have to
                    adapt, and not the whole team?

                    >
                    > But maybe, with all of the good feedback agile teams get from working
                    > closely with a customer, usability is inherent, and IAs are largely
                    > irrelevant for most projects?
                    >

                    Design still does matter as does usability. So does everyone learning
                    how to work together as a team and draw from the best of everyone's
                    skills so that the whole team is more than the sum of the individual
                    members.

                    I don't normally see teams where customers, through their feedback
                    effectively design the internal or backend architecture. Why should
                    the interface be any different? Yes, the feedback and input matter,
                    are highly important, and should be used to influence the design.
                    But, that doesn't mean that you want to give the customer the task of
                    designing the interface for you.

                    Ron
                  • Ron Vutpakdi
                    ... driving cars) ... Just as an aside: the doctors and psychologists that I know who use speech to text for dictation do so because it s faster for them to
                    Message 9 of 20 , Dec 7 11:24 AM
                      --- In agile-usability@yahoogroups.com, "Desilets, Alain"
                      <alain.desilets@n...> wrote:
                      > Today's speech interfaces CAN be very useful, but only in limited
                      context like:
                      >
                      > - people who can't type (ex: RSI, paraplegics)
                      > - people who WON'T type (ex: "REAL lawyers/doctors don't type!")
                      > - people who are in hands and/or eyes busy situation (ex: people
                      driving cars)
                      >

                      Just as an aside: the doctors and psychologists that I know who use
                      speech to text for dictation do so because it's faster for them to
                      dictate reports rather than typing (not that they can't type). They
                      can do so while walking around or even just sitting at their desk, but
                      speaking is faster than typing.

                      In their cases, with a special dictionary and training, the
                      recognition is generally better than 95% since the vocabulary used is
                      considerably more limited than full speech.

                      Many doctors and psychologists still dictate reports/evaluations to a
                      phone service which then uses a person to transcribe the reports.

                      Ron
                    • Ron Vutpakdi
                      ... I have (as far as usability and design goes). But, then again, I m also on another list where there are occasional flashes of usability is irrelevant
                      Message 10 of 20 , Dec 7 11:33 AM
                        --- In agile-usability@yahoogroups.com, "Desilets, Alain"
                        <alain.desilets@n...> wrote:
                        > -- Alain:
                        > Interesting...
                        >
                        > I have not read anything on this list that to my eyes, questioned the
                        > relevance of either U* or Agile.

                        I have (as far as usability and design goes). But, then again, I'm
                        also on another list where there are occasional flashes of "usability
                        is irrelevant" from the interaction designers on the list. In both
                        cases, I see it as a mixture of infantile "us vs. them," "I know
                        everything so I don't need you," "this sandbox is not big enough for
                        the two of us," or "you don't get to play in my sandbox" attitudes.

                        It's harder to get to the point of working together well if one starts
                        with that attitude. Respect and valuing what everyone can bring to
                        the table is what teams need to use everyone's strengths.

                        I have worked on non-agile and agilish projects. And, I like to think
                        of myself as being a fairly agile designer / usability guy since I
                        adapt what I do to meet what the teams want/need/can handle. But,
                        things work best when the teams adapt as well.

                        Ron
                      • Desilets, Alain
                        ... From: agile-usability@yahoogroups.com [mailto:agile-usability@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Ron Vutpakdi Sent: Wednesday, December 07, 2005 2:33 PM I have
                        Message 11 of 20 , Dec 7 11:41 AM
                          -----Original Message-----
                          From: agile-usability@yahoogroups.com
                          [mailto:agile-usability@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Ron Vutpakdi
                          Sent: Wednesday, December 07, 2005 2:33 PM
                          I have (as far as usability and design goes). But, then again, I'm also
                          on another list where there are occasional flashes of "usability is
                          irrelevant" from the interaction designers on the list.

                          -- Alain:
                          For sure, you get the occasional posting of this sort on all lists
                          (including this one).

                          My point is that this list does not exhibit more of those types of
                          messages than your average mailing list.

                          Therefore, if you come to this list and feel that your discipline (be it
                          U* or Agile development) is being dismissed, you are probably not coming
                          to it with an open mind.
                          ----
                        • Desilets, Alain
                          Therefore, if you come to this list and feel that your discipline (be it U* or Agile development) is being dismissed, you are probably not coming to it with an
                          Message 12 of 20 , Dec 7 11:43 AM
                            Therefore, if you come to this list and feel that your discipline (be it
                            U* or Agile development) is being dismissed, you are probably not coming
                            to it with an open mind.

                            -- Alain:
                            BTW: in the above I didn't mean you, Ron Vutpakdi (I know you have an
                            open mind ;-)). I meant the generic you, as in "if someone comes to this
                            list and feels etc..."
                            -----
                          • Ron Vutpakdi
                            ... Darn, just before I was going fire off an angry reply. ;-) Seriously, I think that part of this discussion highlights what I ve thought for many years
                            Message 13 of 20 , Dec 7 12:03 PM
                              --- In agile-usability@yahoogroups.com, "Desilets, Alain"
                              <alain.desilets@n...> wrote:
                              >
                              > Therefore, if you come to this list and feel that your discipline (be it
                              > U* or Agile development) is being dismissed, you are probably not coming
                              > to it with an open mind.
                              >
                              > -- Alain:
                              > BTW: in the above I didn't mean you, Ron Vutpakdi (I know you have an
                              > open mind ;-)). I meant the generic you, as in "if someone comes to this
                              > list and feels etc..."
                              > -----
                              >
                              Darn, just before I was going fire off an angry reply. ;-)

                              Seriously, I think that part of this discussion highlights what I've
                              thought for many years (starting back when I was primarily a
                              developer): the hardest part of software development (in a team) isn't
                              the technology, the architecture, or the interaction design: it's the
                              people aspect of working in a team and working with those outside of
                              the team proper.

                              Seems to me that cross cultural communication and understanding is one
                              of the biggest challenges where the "cross cultural" could be the
                              result of different disciplines, cultures, languages, locations,
                              and/or previous experiences. I'm currently slamming my head against
                              this particular brick wall. Most of the developers that I'm working
                              with are in Scotland and have never worked with an interaction
                              designer before. So I've got the discipline, location, culture, and
                              previous experience divide to bridge (some would also argue that
                              Scottish English counts as a different language than American English
                              :-) ).

                              More face to face time and experience working together would really help.

                              On a more relevant note, how many people here have worked on an agile
                              development team split across 6+ time zones? Any suggestions? We
                              really need the equivalent of a shared team room where we can put up
                              task/story cards and such, and SharePoint (uggh) just isn't cutting it.

                              I thought about trying to do a virtual one in Canvas, but that limits
                              who can effectively update the "wall".

                              Ron
                            • Jade Ohlhauser
                              And here I thought you had stopped following this list, Robin :) * I think a challenge to this discussion is that the knowledge a lot of people desire is about
                              Message 14 of 20 , Dec 7 12:15 PM
                                And here I thought you had stopped following this list, Robin :) *
                                 
                                I think a challenge to this discussion is that the knowledge a lot of people desire is about the details. I personally believe it's not the big ideas that make the most difference on real world projects, it's the hundreds of little things.
                                 
                                Let me put it another way. A while ago I was at the (good) CANUX conference in Banff (http://www.flickr.com/photos/tags/creativecanux/). There was various presentations on various subjects, but the ones that really stood out for me were the case studies. I saw their analysis studies, their interesting life-size cardboard personas covered in multi-color post-its, etc. To me those "facts" were more interesting and more useful than the academic arguments.
                                 
                                Unfortunately I don't have any suggestions for this list re: that.
                                 
                                Anyway, Ron said:
                                 
                                "... the hardest part of software development (in a team) isn't
                                the technology, the architecture, or the interaction design: it's the
                                people aspect of working in a team and working with those outside of
                                the team proper."
                                I agree, one topic I'd enjoy going into deeper is documentation. At our shop documentation and mockups/prototypes are a key part of the relationship between usability and development and the agileness of both. We started down this road with the wiki discussion. Anyone else?
                                 
                                Jade Ohlhauser
                                Product Manager
                                RPM Software                                 
                                www.rpmsoftware.com 403-265-6727 x704
                                 
                                 
                                 
                                 
                                * Disclaimer: we worked together for a year and a half, but it felt much longer (in a good way)
                                 
                                 


                                From: agile-usability@yahoogroups.com [mailto:agile-usability@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Dymond, Robin
                                Sent: Wednesday, December 07, 2005 8:36 AM
                                To: agile-usability@yahoogroups.com
                                Subject: RE: [agile-usability] QWERTY, mouse, and novel input

                                Well, you won't find me trading my mouse for a touch screen and a chop
                                stick any time soon!

                                I agree with Larry, our systems are built within a context, the idea of
                                building an enterprise app with something other than a keyboard and
                                mouse is quixotic.

                                How come no one in this group is discussing ideas on integrating
                                usability and agile?

                                Agile is rapidly gaining adoption across the software industry, for
                                example Microsoft has recently become a strong proponent of Scrum and is
                                promoting it with their development tools. How are you integrating agile
                                methods with usability ideas on a daily basis? Are you? Or do you have
                                waterfall processes, in which the IAs do usability as part of the
                                "Design" process, with mockups from photoshop, that may or may not
                                become actual software?

                                This group has been a bit of a disappointment. I think there is lots of
                                work to be done. Usability practitioners will benefit from better
                                integration with agile teams building better software quickly. But teams
                                will adopt Agile with or without usability practitioners or their ideas
                                on board.

                                But maybe, with all of the good feedback agile teams get from working
                                closely with a customer, usability is inherent, and IAs are largely
                                irrelevant for most projects?

                                Thoughts?

                                Robin Dymond

                                -----Original Message-----
                                From: agile-usability@yahoogroups.com
                                [mailto:agile-usability@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Joshua Seiden
                                Sent: Tuesday, December 06, 2005 7:45 PM
                                To: agile-usability@yahoogroups.com
                                Subject: RE: [agile-usability] QWERTY, mouse, and novel input


                                Larry wrote:

                                > Interestingly, both the keyboard and mouse have been roundly
                                > criticized, yet have proved surprisingly robust as general purpose HMI

                                > devices. Research has found that nothing else works quite as well for
                                > so many purposes under so many conditions, although other mechanisms
                                > may be better in highly specific circumstances.

                                And:

                                > Bill Buxton distinguishes imitating physical reality in
                                > GUI design from using externally learned skills and
                                > associations within the framework of effective interaction
                                > idioms.


                                Josh replies: Buxton also said (at your last forUSE conference)
                                something
                                like this: as long as we are interacting with the computer using a
                                mouse, we
                                are interacting with the world using the equivalent of the point of a
                                single
                                chopstick. That gives us the manipulative power of a fruitfly!

                                To be fair, this was in the context of a discussion of the limits of
                                general
                                purpose devices and general purpose computing.

                                JS






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                              • Desilets, Alain
                                Seriously, I think that part of this discussion highlights what I ve thought for many years (starting back when I was primarily a developer): the hardest part
                                Message 15 of 20 , Dec 7 2:06 PM
                                  Seriously, I think that part of this discussion highlights what I've
                                  thought for many years (starting back when I was primarily a
                                  developer): the hardest part of software development (in a team) isn't
                                  the technology, the architecture, or the interaction design: it's the
                                  people aspect of working in a team and working with those outside of the
                                  team proper.

                                  Seems to me that cross cultural communication and understanding is one
                                  of the biggest challenges where the "cross cultural" could be the result
                                  of different disciplines, cultures, languages, locations, and/or
                                  previous experiences. I'm currently slamming my head against this
                                  particular brick wall. Most of the developers that I'm working with are
                                  in Scotland and have never worked with an interaction designer before.
                                  So I've got the discipline, location, culture, and previous experience
                                  divide to bridge (some would also argue that Scottish English counts as
                                  a different language than American English
                                  :-) ).

                                  More face to face time and experience working together would really
                                  help.

                                  -- Alain:
                                  Righto. To quote from the Agile manifesto:

                                  "Individuals and interactions over processes and tools"

                                  This is the only way to bridge the various culture gaps involved in a
                                  software project.
                                  ----









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                                • Larry Constantine
                                  ... we ... single ... On many occasions while sharing dimsum I have been impressed by what can be accomplished with chopsticks. ;-) --Larry Constantine, IDSA
                                  Message 16 of 20 , Dec 8 7:20 AM
                                    > Josh replies: Buxton also said (at your last forUSE conference) something
                                    > like this: as long as we are interacting with the computer using a mouse,
                                    we
                                    > are interacting with the world using the equivalent of the point of a
                                    single
                                    > chopstick. That gives us the manipulative power of a fruitfly!

                                    On many occasions while sharing dimsum I have been impressed by what can be
                                    accomplished with chopsticks. ;-)

                                    --Larry Constantine, IDSA
                                  • Larry Constantine
                                    ... Another interesting example. Audio noting to the chart, whether supported by speech-to-text software or human transcription is a must-have function in
                                    Message 17 of 20 , Dec 8 7:20 AM
                                      Ron Vutpakdi wrote:

                                      > Just as an aside: the doctors and psychologists that I know who use
                                      > speech to text for dictation do so because it's faster for them to
                                      > dictate reports rather than typing (not that they can't type). They
                                      > can do so while walking around or even just sitting at their desk, but
                                      > speaking is faster than typing.
                                      >
                                      > In their cases, with a special dictionary and training, the
                                      > recognition is generally better than 95% since the vocabulary used is
                                      > considerably more limited than full speech.
                                      >
                                      > Many doctors and psychologists still dictate reports/evaluations to a
                                      > phone service which then uses a person to transcribe the reports.

                                      Another interesting example. Audio noting to the chart, whether supported by
                                      speech-to-text software or human transcription is a must-have function in
                                      modern medical informatics, but that does not mean it is truly efficient or
                                      sufficiently reliable to meet real medical practice objectives. Because of
                                      the high potential for errors (95% accuracy sounds good until you turn it
                                      around: 1 out of 20 words is wrong), transcribed audio does not become part
                                      of the legal patient record until the dictating clinician reviews and signs
                                      off on the transcription. Reviewing for errors and correcting is a somewhat
                                      tedious process and itself quite error prone, particularly as clinicians
                                      typically do so at a later time when the context is no longer fresh in their
                                      heads. Transcribed audio, even after review, correction, and sign-off, has a
                                      significantly higher error rate than directly entered notes and orders.

                                      I don't know if the analysis has been done in medical settings, but in other
                                      contexts, when all activities in the process are taken into
                                      account(including slowed speech, repetition and correction on the fly,
                                      review and editing), the effective total throughput is almost invariably
                                      less than even slow direct keyboard entry. We can process up to about 400
                                      wpm when heard and rapid speech clocks at nearly 200 wpm, although 120-160
                                      is considered tops for persuasive communication. The best commercial
                                      "trained" speech-to-text systems are typically only good to about 100 wpm.
                                      But, users typically find they can spend as much time correcting errors as
                                      dictating (some report as much as 2-3 times). So effective throughput drops
                                      to well within the range of typical typing (30-60 wpm).

                                      That said, it can still be more efficient use of the clinician's time if
                                      notes and orders can be dictated while moving between patients or while
                                      riding the subway. (Although HIPAA compliance may become an issue in the
                                      latter case.)

                                      I think audio notes and orders could actually diminish in use over time, at
                                      least in the short run, because the new generation of clinicians has grown
                                      up with computers. My personal physician does all his own notes and orders
                                      directly into the medical system, typing away at 100+ words/minute. When I
                                      commented, he mentioned growing up with computers and video games, then
                                      added that being a musician also helped!

                                      --Larry Constantine, IDSA
                                    • Desilets, Alain
                                      I don t know if the analysis has been done in medical settings, but in other contexts, when all activities in the process are taken into account(including
                                      Message 18 of 20 , Dec 8 7:40 AM
                                        I don't know if the analysis has been done in medical settings, but in
                                        other contexts, when all activities in the process are taken into
                                        account(including slowed speech, repetition and correction on the fly,
                                        review and editing), the effective total throughput is almost invariably
                                        less than even slow direct keyboard entry. We can process up to about
                                        400 wpm when heard and rapid speech clocks at nearly 200 wpm, although
                                        120-160 is considered tops for persuasive communication. The best
                                        commercial "trained" speech-to-text systems are typically only good to
                                        about 100 wpm. But, users typically find they can spend as much time
                                        correcting errors as dictating (some report as much as 2-3 times). So
                                        effective throughput drops to well within the range of typical typing
                                        (30-60 wpm).

                                        -- Alain:
                                        In one of the projects I worked on (computer-assisted transcription of
                                        the debates at the House of Commons of Canada), we did some WOZ
                                        experiments with professional transcribers and found that we broke even
                                        when the speech recognition system had an accuracy of around 85%. In
                                        other words, when accuracy was above 85%, it took less time to correct
                                        errors in the transcription than to transcribe from scratch for the raw
                                        audio.
                                        ----
                                      • elise_urbanek
                                        ... From a linguistics point of view, FYI, they re considered different varieties of the same language. :)
                                        Message 19 of 20 , Dec 25 2:15 PM
                                          --- In agile-usability@yahoogroups.com, "Ron Vutpakdi" <vutpakdi@a...>
                                          wrote:
                                          >
                                          > Darn, just before I was going fire off an angry reply. ;-)
                                          >
                                          > Seriously, I think that part of this discussion highlights what I've
                                          > thought for many years (starting back when I was primarily a
                                          > developer): the hardest part of software development (in a team) isn't
                                          > the technology, the architecture, or the interaction design: it's the
                                          > people aspect of working in a team and working with those outside of
                                          > the team proper.
                                          >
                                          > Seems to me that cross cultural communication and understanding is one
                                          > of the biggest challenges where the "cross cultural" could be the
                                          > result of different disciplines, cultures, languages, locations,
                                          > and/or previous experiences. I'm currently slamming my head against
                                          > this particular brick wall. Most of the developers that I'm working
                                          > with are in Scotland and have never worked with an interaction
                                          > designer before. So I've got the discipline, location, culture, and
                                          > previous experience divide to bridge (some would also argue that
                                          > Scottish English counts as a different language than American English
                                          > :-) ).


                                          From a linguistics point of view, FYI, they're considered different
                                          'varieties' of the same language. :)
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