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Prototyping with Data: Opportunistic Development of Data-Driven Interactive Applications
KTH, School of Computer Science and Communication (CSC), Media Technology and Interaction Design, MID.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2355-3973
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

There is a growing amount of digital information available from Open-Data initiatives, Internet-of-Things technologies, and web APIs in general. At the same time, an increasing amount of technology in our lives is creating a desire to take advantage of the generated data for personal or professional interests. Building interactive applications that would address this desire is challenging since it requires advanced engineering skills that are normally reserved for professional software developers. However, more and more interactive applications are prototyped outside of enterprise environments, in more opportunistic settings. For example, knowledge workers apply end-user development techniques to solve their tasks, or groups of friends get together for a weekend hackathon in the hope of becoming the next big startup. This thesis focuses on how to design prototyping tools that support opportunistic development of interactive applications that take advantage of the growing amount of available data.

In particular, the goal of this thesis is to understand what are the current challenges of prototyping with data and to identify important qualities of tools addressing these challenges. To accomplish this, declarative development tools were explored, while keeping focus on what data and interaction the application should afford rather than on how they should be implemented (programmed). The work presented in this thesis was carried out as an iterative process which started with a design exploration of Model-based UI Development, followed by observations of prototyping practices through a series of hackathon events and an iterative design of Endev – a prototyping tool for data-driven web applications. Formative evaluations of Endev were conducted with programmers and interaction designers. 

The main results of this thesis are the identified challenges for prototyping with data and the key qualities required of prototyping tools that aim to address these challenges. The identified key qualities that lower the threshold for prototyping with data are: declarative prototyping, familiar and setup-free environment, and support tools. Qualities that raise the ceiling for what can be prototyped are: support for heterogeneous data and for advanced look and feel.

Abstract [sv]

Mer och mer digital information görs tillgänglig på olika sätt, t.ex. via öppna data-initiativ, Sakernas internet och API:er. Med en ökande teknikanvändning så skapas även ett intresse för att använda denna data i olika sammanhang, både privat och professionellt. Att bygga interaktiva applikationer som adresserar dessa intressen är en utmaning då det kräver avancerade ingenjörskunskaper, vilket man vanligtvis endast hittar hos professionella programmerare. Sam­tidigt byggs allt fler interaktiva applikationer utanför företagsmiljöer, i mer opportunistiska sammanhang. Detta kan till exempel vara kunskapsarbetare som använder sig av s.k. anveckling (eng. end-user development) för att lösa en uppgift, eller kompisar som träffas en helg för att hålla ett hackaton med hopp om att bli nästa framgångsrika startup-företag. Den här avhandlingen fokuserar på hur prototypverktyg kan utformas för att stödja utveckling av interaktiva applikationer i sådana opportunistiska sammanhang, som utnyttjar den ökande mängden av tillgänglig data.

Målet med arbetet som presenteras i den här avhandlingen har varit att förstå utmaningarna som det innebär att använda data i prototyparbete och att identifiera viktiga kvalitéer för de verktyg som ska kunna hantera detta. För att uppnå detta mål har verktyg för deklarativ programmering utforskats med ett fokus kring vilken data och interaktion en applikationen ska erbjuda snarare än hur den ska implementeras. Arbetet som presenteras i den här avhandlingen har genomförts som en iterativ process, med en startpunkt i en utforskning av modellbaserad gränssnittsutveckling, vilket sedan följdes av observationer av prototyparbete i praktiken genom en serie hackathon och en iterativ design av Endev, som är ett prototypverktyg för att skapa datadrivna webbapplikationer. Formativa utvärderingar av Endev har utförts med programmerare och interaktionsdesigners.

De viktigaste resultaten av den här avhandlingen är de utmaningar som har identifierats kring hur man skapar prototyper och de kvalitéer som krävs av prototypverktyg som ska adressera dessa utmaningar. De identifierade kvalitéerna som sänker trösklarna för att inkludera data i prototyper är: deklarativt prototyparbete, välbekanta och installationsfria miljöer, och supportverktyg. Kvalitéer som höjer taket för vad som kan göras i en prototyp är: stöd för olika typer av data och för avancerad “look and feel”.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2016. , 85 p.
Series
TRITA-CSC-A, ISSN 1653-5723 ; 2016:29
Keyword [en]
prototyping, model-based UI development, web engineering, interaction design
National Category
Human Computer Interaction
Research subject
Human-computer Interaction
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-196851ISBN: 978-91-7729-204-3OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-196851DiVA: diva2:1049313
Public defence
2016-12-16, F3, Lindstedtsvägen 26, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2016-11-24 Created: 2016-11-24 Last updated: 2016-11-28Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Lightweight low-level query-centric user interface modeling
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Lightweight low-level query-centric user interface modeling
2013 (English)In: Proceedings of the Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, 2013, 440-449 p.Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Query languages are usually small, powerful and easy to learn, and that motivated us to investigate their role in modeling user interfaces. We explore annotation of template user interface with queries, especially embedded queries, to achieve partial generation of user interface with the ability to generate user interface with interaction styles such as form fillin and direct manipulation. Our model-driven development approach targets especially highly interactive data intensive applications. While our query-oriented user interface modeling principles have already been applied in an agile development environment, the role of this paper is to present a generalization of query-oriented modeling towards more interaction styles. Our modeling approach is annotation-based, thereby lightweight, and although it operates at a lower level than most current UI modeling approaches, its shows promising potential.

Series
, Proceedings of the Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, ISSN 1530-1605
Keyword
Model-driven development, Query-oriented modeling, User interface modeling, Agile development environments, Data-intensive application, Direct manipulation, Interaction styles, Interface modeling, Model driven development, Modeling approach, Query languages, Systems science, User interfaces
National Category
Computer Systems
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-134657 (URN)10.1109/HICSS.2013.384 (DOI)2-s2.0-84875533645 (ScopusID)9780769548920 (ISBN)
Conference
46th Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, HICSS 2013, 7 January 2013 through 10 January 2013, Wailea, Maui, HI
Note

QC 20131211

Available from: 2013-12-11 Created: 2013-11-27 Last updated: 2016-11-24Bibliographically approved
2. Towards Fully Declarative High-level Interaction Models: An Approach Facilitating Automated GUI Generation
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Towards Fully Declarative High-level Interaction Models: An Approach Facilitating Automated GUI Generation
2014 (English)In: 2014 47th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, HICSS, IEEE Computer Society, 2014, 412-421 p.Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Models of high-level interaction design are usually based on procedural representation. For knowledge representation and reasoning, however, declarative representations are preferred. In this paper, we define purely declarative high-level interaction models based on theories of human communication. In contrast, earlier attempts to define purely declarative models resulted for pragmatic reasons in a mixed representation including procedural constructs within the overall declarative model structure. We show how the declarative models can be operationalized into behavioral (abstract) UI models corresponding to those generated from the mixed representation. Based on an implementation integrated with an existing framework for GUI generation, we show that and how it is possible to automatically generate GUIs from purely declarative models as well.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
IEEE Computer Society, 2014
Series
, Proceedings of the Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, ISSN 1060-3425
Keyword
interaction design, discourse model, declarative representation, GUI generation
National Category
Human Computer Interaction
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-157231 (URN)10.1109/HICSS.2014.59 (DOI)000343806600052 ()2-s2.0-84902285725 (ScopusID)978-1-4799-2504-9 (ISBN)
Conference
47th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, HICSS 2014; Waikoloa, HI; United States; 6 January 2014 through 9 January 2014
Note

QC 20141209

Available from: 2014-12-09 Created: 2014-12-08 Last updated: 2016-11-24Bibliographically approved
3. Generating Interactive Prototypes from Query Annotated Discourse Models
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Generating Interactive Prototypes from Query Annotated Discourse Models
2015 (English)In: I-COM: A Journal of Interactive and Cooperative Media, ISSN 1618-162X, E-ISSN 2196-6826, Vol. 14, no 3, 205-219 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Model Based User Interface Development offers the possibility to design User Interfaces without being concerned about the underlying implementation. This is achieved by devising models at a high level of abstraction, thus creating the potential for involving users or domain experts to achieve a user-centered design process. Obtain- ing a running interactive application from such models usually requires several model transformations. One of the current problems is that while a user interface is generated after these transformations, other parts of the interactive system such as the application logic need to pre-exist or they must be written manually before the interface can be tested in a realistic scenario. This leaves the domain experts dependent on programmers and increases the time between iterations. In this paper we work with Query Anno- tations, which were previously used only for modeling at low levels and for generating fully functional interfaces, and we aim to generalize them for the high-level modeling approach called Discourse Modeling. The direct expected benefit of this generalization is the possibility to generate complete, readily testable interactive prototypes, rather than just their user interfaces. In addition, Query Annota- tions can serve as the mapping between the various levels of abstraction and bring to the domain experts a better understanding of the transformation process, as well as the possibility to modify the interfaces and models directly.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Walter de Gruyter, 2015
Keyword
Discourse Model, GUI Generation, Interactive Prototypes, Query Annotations, UI Modeling
National Category
Human Computer Interaction
Research subject
Human-computer Interaction
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-184089 (URN)10.1515/icom-2015-0041 (DOI)
Note

QC 20160329

Available from: 2016-03-23 Created: 2016-03-23 Last updated: 2016-11-24Bibliographically approved
4. Declarative Setup-free Web Application Prototyping Combining Local and Cloud Datastores
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Declarative Setup-free Web Application Prototyping Combining Local and Cloud Datastores
2016 (English)In: 2016 IEEE Symposium on Visual Languages and Human-Centric Computing (VL/HCC), IEEE, 2016, 115-123 p.Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The trend of “open data” coupled with the recentsadvancement in web development technologies and thesproliferation of JavaScript frameworks has helped popularizesprogramming of interactive web applications. Still, some of thescommon features of today’s web applications that access datasfrom own data stores or from web services require a complexssetup or a significant amount of programming knowledge, andsthus make it hard for developers to quickly prototype applicationssand iterate on solutions. Therefore, we propose Endev,sa declarative framework for prototyping applications that usescloud data storage or web service data. By not needing to writesany JavaScript code or set up any servers, Endev provides a lowslearning threshold. We show that Endev is perceived useful andseasy to use through a study with 15 developers.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
IEEE, 2016
Keyword
HTML, Databases, Programming, Mashups, Synchronization, Prototypes
National Category
Human Computer Interaction
Research subject
Human-computer Interaction
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-196843 (URN)10.1109/VLHCC.2016.7739673 (DOI)978-1-5090-0252-8 (ISBN)978-1-5090-0253-5 (ISBN)
Conference
2016 IEEE Symposium on Visual Languages and Human-Centric Computing (VL/HCC), 4-8 Sept. 2016, Cambridge, UK
Note

QC 20161124

Available from: 2016-11-23 Created: 2016-11-23 Last updated: 2016-11-24Bibliographically approved
5. Prototyping with data: designer needs and tool support
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Prototyping with data: designer needs and tool support
2016 (English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

With large amounts of data available for interactive applications, data is becoming an increasingly important material in the design process. Consequently, including real data in prototyping work and early design iterations is desired, but prototyping tools currently allow mostly prototyping with dummy and static data. Programming skills are often required for prototyping with real data, which can be a problem for designers lacking such skills or when design ideas quickly need to be tested. We have analyzed approaches for prototyping with data taken by commercial prototyping tools targeted specifically at designers and we compare these solutions to data-related prototyping needs identified in a study, including interviews and prototyping tasks, with 7 design practitioners. We provide details on why and when prototyping with real data is valuable in the design process and we analyze challenges that designers may face when prototyping with data. Finally, we give a number of suggestions for prototyping tools aiming to support designers in prototyping with real data.

Keyword
prototyping, data-driven applications, interaction design, prototyping tools
National Category
Human Computer Interaction
Research subject
Human-computer Interaction
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-196841 (URN)978-1-4503-4031-1 (ISBN)
Conference
11th ACM SIGCHI Conference on Designing Interactive Systems, DIS 2016, Gardens Point Campus of Queensland University of Technology (QUT)Brisbane, Australia, 4 June 2016 through 8 June 2016
Note

QC 20161124

Available from: 2016-11-23 Created: 2016-11-23 Last updated: 2016-11-24Bibliographically approved

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