Based on a model of user performance, MenuOptimizer evaluates the efficiency of the current menu and suggests improvements, hence enabling the design of better menu systems with significantly less effort.
The last time you searched for a menu entry in your word processor, you probably thought "Why is this not there, where I expect it?" And then you mused, ¡°Why did the designers not put a bit more emphasis into the logic structure.¡±
But given that a mere 6 menu entries can offer more than 479,000,000 different menu systems, you might want to reconsider that complexity. A hierarchy with only 50 commands, less than most word processors, creates a large search space of 100! ¡Ö 10^158 possible menu systems ¨C which is beyond any managea-ble limit.
Designing user interfaces is a complex, expensive, and time-consuming process. To support the software developers, computer scientists from Saarbr¨¹cken, Germany, have built an integrated interactive optimization tool. The proof-of-concept has been integrated in Qt Designer, a widely used design tool, to design complex menu systems.
For designers, the system aims at accelerating the design process and facilitates decision-making in the team. For users, the system aims at producing more efficient graphical user interfaces. The de-signer can edit the menu normally while the optimization method explores a large number of designs in the background in order to find ones superior to those used now.
The lead researcher, Gilles Bailly, states: "The challenge was to combine the designers' abilities to design interfaces with the power of the computer to explore large search space to guide the design process."
This novel approach can radically change how designers work. First, the system will inform the designer about the impact of their choices on performance. Designers can thus decide to revisit the current design. Second, the system will provide suggestions of menu design in order to accelerate the design process. To let designers interact with the optimizer, re-searchers have integrated a large number of interactions to define the optimization prob-lem, the objectives, and the constraints. The result is that designers, even novice designers, can design good menus with 38% less effort.
The work is being presented at the UIST 2013 conference in St Andrew on October 10. UIST is the premier forum on User Interface Software and Technology. MenuOptimizer will be made available on the project page: http://www.gillesbailly.fr/menuoptimizer/
Dr. Antti Oulasvirta
Max Planck Institute for Informatics
Computer Science on the Saarland University Campus
The Max Planck Institute for Informatics is just one of several institutes on Saarland University's campus devoted to research in computer science. In the direct vicinity are also located: the De-partment of Computer Science of Saarland University, the Max Planck Institute for Software Sys-tems, the Center for Bioinformatics, the Center for IT-Security, Privacy and Accountability, the recently renewed Cluster of Excellence "Multimodal Computing and Interaction", the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI), and the Intel Visual Computing Institute.
Bertram Somieski (email@example.com)
Max Planck Institute for Informatics
Max Planck Institute for Software Systems
¨C public relations ¨C
Bertram Somieski | Source: Max-Planck-Institut
Further information: www.mpii.de
More articles from Information Technology:
Electronic mandates for SEPA direct debit transactions
09.12.2013 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Arbeitswirtschaft und Organisation IAO
Computers can covertly communicate via audio signals
05.12.2013 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Kommunikation, Informationsverarbeitung und Ergonomie FKIE
In power electronics systems bonded connections create the central electrical connections between adjoining surfaces.
The quality of these bonded connections is one of the main factors that determines the reliability and availability of drive systems in electric vehicles, and hence constitutes a major design challenge for German auto manufacturers aiming to electrify their vehicles.
Now the partners participating in the RoBE (Robust Bonds in ...
International team of scientists develops new feedback method for optimizing the laser pulse shapes used in the control of chemical reactions
In many ways, traditional chemical synthesis is similar to cooking. To alter the final product, you can change the ingredients or their ratio, change the method of mixing ingredients, or change the temperature or pressure of the environment of the ingredients.
Like an accomplished chef, chemists have become very skilled ...
A genetic defect protects mice from infection with influenza viruses
A new study published in the scientific journal PLOS Pathogens points out that mice lacking a protein called Tmprss2 are no longer affected by certain flu viruses.
The discovery was made by researchers from the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (HZI) in Braunschweig in collaboration with colleagues from Göttingen and ...
The Light: Global study gets underway with online user survey
Light has a fundamental impact on our sense of well-being and performance. In cooperation with Zumtobel, a supplier of lighting solutions, Fraunhofer IAO has launched a global user survey of lighting quality in offices. The objective is to identify the best lighting conditions for a variety of spaces and lighting ...
Quantum entanglement, a perplexing phenomenon of quantum mechanics that Albert Einstein once referred to as “spooky action at a distance,” could be even spookier than Einstein perceived.
Physicists at the University of Washington and Stony Brook University in New York believe the phenomenon might be intrinsically linked with wormholes, hypothetical features of space-time that in popular science fiction can provide a much-faster-than-light shortcut from one part of the universe to another.
But here’s the catch: One couldn’t actually ...
09.12.2013 | Materials Sciences
09.12.2013 | Life Sciences
09.12.2013 | Studies and Analyses
05.12.2013 | Event News
04.12.2013 | Event News
12.11.2013 | Event News