Jeff Kelley

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Research Information Kiosk + Graphic Editing and Database Delivery System




J.F. Kelley, User Interface Institute

Mike Gursky, Workstation Operating Systems

IBM T.J. Watson Research Center




Keywords: Rapid Prototyping, Public Access, Graphic database, Touchscreen, Kiosk

This paper is excerpted from a paper published in a proprietary document: The Proceedings of the 1987 IBM Human Factors ITL



Five RIK - Research Information Kiosks were installed at the Toronto Hilton to provide conference and local/hotel information for the 1987 ACM CHI+GI conference. The application was a touch-screen, graphic, interactive database intended for casual walk-up use by conferees. The intention was for users to find information about papers, panels, consortia, tutorials, and other events as well as information about participants by navigating a simple hierarchical and keyword-search database structure through direct pointing. We designed the system for immediately learnability and to make it difficult or impossible for one user to leave the system in a state that subsequent walk-up, first-time user might find confusing.

The hardware used was all "off-the-shelf", primarily consisting of an IBM PC/AT and IBM InfoWindow touchscreen

The application was built using GEDD, the Graphic Editing and Database Delivery prototyping system created by the authors at IBM's T.J. Watson Research Center.

The GEDD Graphic Editor has features that are intended to make it:

There are also features of the editor that help the editor work in conjunction with the Database Delivery system. GEDD is based on an object-oriented graphic data structure that allows efficient storage and display as well as easy creation and modification of resolution-independent, arbitrarily complex graphic/textual objects. (The GEDD data structure is not unlike the Videotex NAPLPS format; in fact, it is conceivable to write filters to translate pages/frames from one language to the other.)

There is also a Database Delivery part of GEDD. After (or concurrent with) the design of the visual aspects of an interactive graphic/textual database using the GEDD graphic editor, the logical aspects of the database are developed using REXX, a popular, high-level interpretive language. We used the documented methods to extend the REXX language (in this case, the version produced by Mansfield Software Group); thus we added our own graphics/text/audio output and multi-device input routines to the built-in set of REXX functions.

The primary design goal for GEDD is to facilitate and encourage rapid, iterative prototyping and thus pave the way for the incorporation of solid, empirical Human Factors design at the end-user interface. Database developers that are neither professional programmers nor professional graphic artists should be able to use such a system to create their own multi-media interactive applications.

The bulk of the CHI conference information application was designed and implemented using RIK/GEDD in 2 person-months after the receipt of the information from the conference committee. Significant changes in the interface of the application were designed and installed during the conference with no interruption in service.

Questionnaire data was collected on people's reaction to the system (which, anecdotally was very well received). In addition, time-stamped logs were kept of the 28,000 interactions users had with the system. Analysis of the log and questionnaire data is underway.

A couple of observations:

A high percentage of touches (24%) were "misses".

A steady, observed correlation between "misses" and total touches over the 5 days of the conference seems to indicate a flat learning curve (i.e., we may have met our application design goal: most users knowing after one or two touches everything they needed about the mechanics of interacting with the system in order to get information out of it).

Other RIK/GEDD applications

Hawthorne Lobby Kiosk

An interactive graphic touchscreen walk-up information kiosk is installed in the lobby of the IBM Research building in Hawthorne New York. It allows visitors and building residents to find facilities and people's offices (with graphic floormaps) as well as learn about the day's events and see drive maps to nearby IBM locations and airports. A gallery is available for the artistically inclined.

SAA/CUA-conforming process model

This is a Human Factors model of an IWS interface for a certain process application. It uses graphics and color coding to group related stages of the process and is being used to demonstrate interactive concepts in a relatively realistic manner.

SAA/CUA model



Basically authored in 2 days, this kiosk application showed visitors to the IBM booth what (and where) the IBM exhibits were as well as what and when the events and talks were. The system was installed at the CASE/EXPO held in Dallas in May of 1988.

TASKMAPPER office system prototype

A direct manipulation window-based office application called TASKMAPPER was modeled (and tested) using RIK/GEDD. The application was built by two people in a total of 4 person-months.

PMDEMO Rapid modeling of an OS/2 Presentation Manager style interface

A one-day intensive brainstorming session with RIK/GEDD designers, product representatives, and an outside consultant yielded some alternative color and graphic designs for an OS/2 PM-style application.


Cowlishaw (1985). The Rexx Language: A practical approach to programming.Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall.

Gursky, M.C., Kelley, J.F., Kannan, K. (1987) Application Programmer&apos.s Guide to RIK/GEDD Presentation Services. (IBM Research Report in preparation).

Herder, R; Carroll, J.; Brown, P; Gursky, M.; Canetti, S.; Kelley, J. TaskMapper. (Video shown in the ACM-CHI 1988 program).

Kannan, K., Gursky, M.C., Kelley, J.F. (1987) User's Guide for Graphics Editor component of GEDD. (IBM Research Report in preparation).

Kelley, J.F. (1988) RIK+GEDD Case Study: Rapid Prototyping and the 1987 CHI+GI Conference Information Kiosk. Poster Demonstration at CHI '88 in Washington D.C..

© Copyright 1998, J.F. Kelley. All rights reserved.

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