An Environment to Support User Interface Evaluation Using Synchronized Video and Event Trace Recording

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Badre, Albert N.
Hudson, Scott E.
Santos, Paulo J.
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This paper presents a simple but very powerful technique to support user interface evaluation along with a prototype open environment -- I-Observe, the Interface OBServation, Evaluation, Recording, and Visualization Environment -- which supports a preliminary implementation of this technique. This technique operates by recording user interface sessions in multiple modalities, both as a trace of interesting events and through video images. It then provides tools to allow the user interface evaluator to combine these modalities, analyzing the event stream to search for patterns of interesting or important user actions, then using the recorded timestamps associated with these actions to present only the sections of the video recording of interest. This allows, for example, all places where the user invokes a help system or a particular command to be observed without requiring the evaluator to manually search the recording or sit through long sessions of unrelated interactions. By combining the precise recording of automatic event trace capture with the rich contextual information that can be captured in a video and audio recording, this technique allows analyses to be performed that would not be practical with either media alone.
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