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RE: SWUI workshop accepted at ISWC 2006

From: Duane Degler <ddegler@ipgems.com>
Date: Tue, 23 May 2006 23:32:42 -0400
To: 'Sören Auer' <auer@seas.upenn.edu>, <public-semweb-ui@w3.org>
Message-Id: <20060524033248.E178A351933@mail.itcinternet.net>

Sören, 

Interesting discussion you've started. I believe that the first of the three
points you mention (the "art") in that last note is where the heart of the
user interaction challenge really resides.

The burden of the physical actions relating to a task are often outweighed
by the cognitive and emotional elements in a user's task. The number of
clicks on any given page may raise user frustration or decrease motivation,
but only if they impede reaching a goal successfully. Adding a click that
reduces error or allows complex actions to be broken down into clearly
represented steps can actually be seen as beneficial or reducing their
overall time on task. So how can we understand goal achievement and user
motivation in the context of interacting with a "semantic" web? Are the
methods of analysis/design different from understanding the user in any
other context? If so, what makes it different?

On the point about widgets, is it useful to us as designers to think about
how they serve as aggregators of actions and rules to allow a user to
execute that set of actions and rules in a convenient way? For example, if I
drag-and-drop an item in a list into a new location, am I actually executing
a set of actions relating to sequence/prioritization of data items, in the
context of a set of rules about where those data items are allowed to live
in relation to each other? Is the power of the widget coming, in part, from
the user's understanding of the expected actions and the control that he/she
has over those actions using a simple representation/metaphor? So I wonder,
in the world of the semantic web, how widgets might interact with the
implicit/inferred rules embodied in the data relationships (and able to be
changed in the data, rather than the code) - how do we make sure that our
widgets reflect the world view (affordances, perhaps?) of the data, the
designer, and the user?

As you said... probably more an art!

Duane Degler


> -----Original Message-----
> From: public-semweb-ui-request@w3.org 
> [mailto:public-semweb-ui-request@w3.org] On Behalf Of Sören Auer
> Sent: Tuesday, May 23, 2006 1:38 PM
> To: public-semweb-ui@w3.org
> Subject: Re: SWUI workshop accepted at ISWC 2006
> 
> 
> Lloyd Rutledge wrote:
> > To achieve these four goals, submit a SWUI06 paper on them. 
> And build 
> > them up in this forum, of course. How can you frame these questions 
> > from the perspective of an improved user experience? And 
> what does SW 
> > in particular make possible that wasn't before?
> 
> Ok, I will have a look if I can contribute something, 
> meanwhile I will respond with some thoughts to your remarks 
> and maybe someone else on the list has some ideas, too...
> 
> > Your fourth bullet, minimizing user interaction to achieve certain 
> > goals, is interesting. Can you define the goals in terms of the 
> > knowledge structure? How do you measure "minimized 
> interaction"? With 
> > number of user "clicks"? However, doesn't what you write about 
> > coordinated client/server speed up on the processing time, 
> while the 
> > "clicks" remain the same?
> 
> I think there are three possibilities to optimize required user
> interactions:
> 
> * minimize the reception time a user needs to realize what 
> has to be done and how
> * minimize the number of clicks he needs
> * minimize the latency between clicks
> 
> While strategies of the first category are probably more an 
> art and might be hard to evaluate. Second and third are easy 
> to measure. The new category of dynamic web applications 
> (using technologies ala AJAX) rapidly reduce latency between 
> clicks by minimizing data transfer and time for rendering.
> 
> > Bullets one and two mention "widgets" as general purpose, detailed 
> > components of interfaces. Are there certain types of interaction 
> > widgets that are specific to the Semantic Web?
> 
> I think widgets somehow represent elements of a data model. 
> If you are working with a relational database, you might have 
> widgets to edit rows, cells, data values in cells according 
> to the datatypes provided by the DBMS etc. With the Semantic 
> Web I guess it's slightly more complicated, since there is 
> somewhat like a hierarchy of data models, i.e. RDF has 
> triples, RDFS arranges information in hierarchies of classes, 
> properties and instances, OWL on top adds constraints and 
> logical axioms and finally there are domain models. So 
> eventually widgets for representing and authoring data on the 
> Semantic Web are also kind of nested:
> A widget for adding a new gene in Gene Ontology for example 
> could combine an OWL instance creation widget with widgets 
> for editing RDFS annotation properties etc.
> I guess it could be useful for application developers in the 
> Java and Web Application World to have reusable sets of 
> generic widgets to create domain specific Semantic Web 
> applications, such as Desktop Application programmers can 
> rely on "file open", menu or tree widgets. However, the 
> challenging part may be the interfacing to the Semantic Web 
> middleware behind. What do you think? What could such an 
> interface be, just RDF or some query language? A standardized 
> object model, i.e. something like DOM for XML could be useful...
> 
> 
> --Sören
> 
> 
> 
Received on Wednesday, 24 May 2006 03:33:01 GMT

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