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AIC Seminar Series

End-User Creation of Mashups and Cross-Device UI Prototypes

James LinIBM Almaden Research Center[Home Page]

Notice:  hosted by Aaron Spaulding

Date:  Thursday, April 2nd 2009 at 4:00pm

Location:  EJ228 (SRI E building)  (Directions)


I will discuss two projects that I have worked on whose goals are to bring more of the power of programming to non-programmers. Damask is a prototyping tool for designing UIs that run across multiple devices. It targets web UIs that run on PCs and mobile phones, and prompt-and-response style voice UIs. In Damask, designers sketch out their design for one device while using design patterns to specify higher-level concepts within their design. Damask’s patterns include pre-built UI fragments that are already optimized for each device. Designers also use layers to specify which UI parts are common across devices and which are specific to one device. Damask uses the sketches and patterns to generate designs for the other devices, which the designers can refine. A study performed with 12 professional UI designers found that, in the early stages, designers using patterns and layers in Damask created cross-device UIs that are rated at least as good as those created without patterns and layers, without more time. Vegemite is a mashup tool that aims to lower the barrier for end-users to create mashups. It adds a spreadsheet-like table to the bottom of the Firefox web browser. Users extract data from a web page into the table. They then demonstrate, through a series of actions on the table and the web, how to fill additional columns into the table. These actions are recorded into scripts, which can be re-executed immediately for other rows in the table and used later to refresh the data in the table. A particular strength of our approach is its ability to augment a data set with new values computed by a web site, such as determining the driving distance from a particular location to each of the addresses in a data set. An informal user study suggests that Vegemite may enable a wider class of users to address their information needs.

   Bio for James Lin

James Lin is a research scientist specializing in human-computer interaction. His research interests include end-user programming, user interface design tools, and collaborative user interfaces. He has worked at IBM Almaden Research Center in San Jose. He received an M.S. and Ph.D. in computer science from UC Berkeley and a B.S. in computer science from Caltech.

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