Model-Based User Interface Design by Example and by Interview

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Frank, Martin Robert
Foley, James D.
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Model-based user interface design is centered around a description of application objects and operations at a level of abstraction higher than that of code. A good model can be used to support multiple interfaces, help separate interface and application, describe input sequencing in a simple way, check consistency and completeness of the interface, evaluate the interface's speed-of-use, generate context-specific help and assist in designing the interface. However, designers rarely use computer-supported application modelling today and prefer less formal approaches such as story boards of user interface prototypes. One reason is that available tools often use cryptic languages for the model specification. Another reason is that these tools force the designers to specify the application model before they can start working on the visual interface, which is their main area of expertise. We present the Interactive User Interface Design Environment (Interactive UIDE), a novel framework for concurrent development of the application model and the user interface which combines storyboarding and model-based interface design. We also present Albert, an intelligent component within this framework, which is able to infer an application model from a user interface and from an interview process with the designer.
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