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Mainstreaming Accessibility through Synergistic User Modelling and Adaptability
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Innovation

MyUI contributes to the further development and mainstreaming of accessible ICT by a number of innovative concepts and approaches towards self-adaptive user interfaces which go beyond the current state-of-the art.

Explore the MyUI "Eight Treasures"

The Mainstreaming Accessibility through Synergistic User Modelling and Adaptability project contributes to the further development and mainstreaming of accessible Information and Communication Technology by a number of innovative concepts and approaches towards self-adaptive user interfaces which go beyond the current state-of-the art. Within the project consortium we used the metaphor of 'Eight Treasures' to emphasize and communicate the major scientific achievements of Mainstreaming Accessibility through Synergistic User Modelling and Adaptability. These are described below highlighting the progress in comparison to prior related work.
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(1) Extensive adaptations for accessibility

MyUI provides effective mechanisms to carry-out and manage extensive runtime adaptations while avoiding inconsistencies.

MyUI user interfaces adapt their

  1. Presentation formats and modalitities,
  2. Interaction mechanisms, and
  3. Navigation paths.

The user interface is adapted according to the available up-to-date information about

  1. User abilities and preferences,
  2. Environmental aspects and
  3. The technical platform.

Find more details in the deliverable:
D2.2 Adaptation concept and Multimodal UI Patterns Repository

Selected publication:
Peissner, M., Häbe, D., Janssen, D. & Sellner, T. (2012). MyUI: generating accessible user interfaces from multimodal design patterns. In: Proceedings of the 4th ACM SIGCHI symposium on Engineering interactive computing systems (EICS '12). New York: ACM. p. 81-90. Link: http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?doid=2305484.2305500

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(2) Adaptation rules and mechanisms: modular, open and extensible

To manage the huge amount of possible user interface solutions, MyUI takes a modular approach with design patterns as the building blocks of the adaptive user interface.

The MyUI Design Patterns Repository is publically available. Thus, the underlying adaptation rules can be reviewed, refined and extended by other experts in the field.

Find more details in the deliverable:
D2.2 Adaptation concept and Multimodal UI Patterns Repository

Selected publication:
Peissner, M; Janssen, D; Sellner,T. (2012) MyUI Individualization Patterns for Accessible and Adaptive User Interfaces. In: Proceedings of the First International Conference on Smart Systems, Devices and Technologies (SMART) 2012. IARIA. pp 25-30. Link: www.thinkmind.org/index.php?view=article&articleid=smart_2012_1_50_40052

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(3) Runtime adaptations during use

Runtime adaptations during use play an important role in improving the accessibility of mainstream ICT products.

They can reduce the need for user-initiated configuration activities which can themselves act as barriers for users with special needs.

Moreover, they help to overcome problems of use directly when they occur.

Find more details in the deliverable:
D2.3 User Interface Adaptation Engine Prototype

Selected publication:
Peissner, M., Häbe, D., Janssen, D. & Sellner, T. (2012). MyUI: generating accessible user interfaces from multimodal design patterns. In: Proceedings of the 4th ACM SIGCHI symposium on Engineering interactive computing systems (EICS '12). New York: ACM. p. 81-90. Link: http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?doid=2305484.2305500

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(4) Simple and pragmatic user profile

MyUI takes a simple and pragmatic approach to user modelling with less than 30 variables.

The part which describes user abilities relies on the WHO ICF classification.

The major advantages of the MyUI user profile include:

  1. User abilities are not maintained in a diagnostic sense but with clear regards to user interface design requirements (no physical measures but simple ordinal scales from 0 to 4).
  2. The user profile is easy to understand for industrial users and for end users (no medical terms, easy scales/metrics).

Find more details in the deliverable:
D1.2 Prototype for user context management infrastructure and user modelling

Selected publication:
Strnad, O., Felic, A., Schmidt, A. (2012). Context Management for Self-adaptive User Interfaces in the Project MyUI. In: R. Wichert & B. Eberhardt (eds.): Ambient Assisted Living, Advanced Technologies and Societal Change vol. 6, Berlin Heidelberg: Springer Verlag, p. 263-272. Link: http://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-642-27491-6_19

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(5) User profile initialization

MyUI is a mixed-initiative system. Besides the self-adaptive mechanisms, it provides rich opportunities for user-initiated configuration.

At any time, a MyUI end user can access and manipulate the user profile and the user interface profile.

As an implicit mechanism for user profiling, interactive games have been integrated into the MyUI framework. These games capture the user's performance which is then used to update specific variables of the user profile.

In our user studies, both approaches (explicit configuration and games) have shown to be effective and well appreciated by end users.

Find more details in the deliverable:
D4.5 MyUI Games and Exercises for User Profiling: prototype

Selected publication:
Strnad, O., Felic, A., Schmidt, A. (2012). Context Management for Self-adaptive User Interfaces in the Project MyUI. In: R. Wichert & B. Eberhardt (eds.): Ambient Assisted Living, Advanced Technologies and Societal Change vol. 6, Berlin Heidelberg: Springer Verlag, p. 263-272. Link: http://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-642-27491-6_19

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(6) Transparent and controllable adaptations

A transparent and controllable adaptation process is a major prerequisite for the usability and acceptability of adaptive user interfaces.

The MyUI Adaptation Patterns address this important field with care. They inform the users about intended or current adaptations and provide effective control mechanisms.

A specific unique feature is the consideration of possible costs and benefits of adaptations for the end user, which determine the selection of the most appropriate adaptation pattern.

Find more details in the deliverable:
D2.2 Adaptation concept and Multimodal UI Patterns Repository

Selected publications:
Peissner, M., Edlin-White, R. (2013). User Control in Adaptive User Interfaces for Accessibility. Accepted for publication in Proceedings of INTERACT 2013 Conference, September 2013.

Peissner, M; Sellner, T (2012) Transparency and controllability in user interfaces that adapt during run-time. In: CHI 2012 Workshop: End-user interactions with intelligent and autonomous systems, 6 May 2012, CHI 2012, Austin, USA. Link: http://www.city.ac.uk/__data/assets/word_doc/0018/126711/PeissnerSellner-120113-chi2012-workshop.doc

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(7) Intuitive application modelling

Mainstreaming accessible user interfaces requires tools to facilitate intuitive and efficient development processes.

The MyUI development toolkit builds on UML State Machine Diagrams - a graphical and well-established modelling format.

User studies with developers confirm that the MyUI modelling approach satisfies major requirements from the industry

  • Easy to understand
  • No big learning effort required
  • Compatible with current design and development practice
  • Appropriate level of abstraction
  • Efficient development by concise models and reusable components.

Selected publications:
Peissner, M., Häbe, D., Janssen, D. & Sellner, T. (2012). MyUI: generating accessible user interfaces from multimodal design patterns. In: Proceedings of the 4th ACM SIGCHI symposium on Engineering interactive computing systems (EICS '12). New York: ACM. p. 81-90. Link: http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?doid=2305484.2305500

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(8) Developer-control over the generated user interface

MyUI tackles common developer concerns against generated user interfaces by a couple of specific features in its development toolkit:

  • The User Interface preview allows the developer to see how the generated User Interface would look for different user profile configurations.
  • Customization opportunities are foreseen (not fully implemented yet).
  • A what-you-see-is-what-others-get view makes it possible to validate the feasibility of customized font styles, colour schemes, etc. for diverse visual impairments.
  • The developer can modify existing design patterns and add new patterns to the repository in order to create the intended look-and-feel.

Selected publications:
Peissner, M., Häbe, D., Janssen, D. & Sellner, T. (2012). MyUI: generating accessible user interfaces from multimodal design patterns. In: Proceedings of the 4th ACM SIGCHI symposium on Engineering interactive computing systems (EICS '12). New York: ACM. p. 81-90. Link: http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?doid=2305484.2305500


This project is partially funded by the European Commission under the Seventh (FP7 2007 - 2013)
Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development
Copyright MyUI Consortium (Feb. 2010 to Oct. 2012)