User Profile Initialization
A Cloud4all user workshop was carried out in Berlin at the end of August 2012 with the main aim to gather requirements for the Cloud4all profile initialisation and the profile management tool, as well as to get general information on user needs and preferences regarding user interface auto-configuration within the GPII.
Eight users with different disabilities attended the workshop. The user expressed their needs and requirements with focus in the following disabilities: Low Vision, Learning Difficulties, Blindness, Deafness, Hardness of Hearing, Physical limitations.
The following topics where discussed with the different users:
- Cloud4All main concept and ideas: Within this session the Cloud4All project and its main objectives were presented.
- Self-adapting systems: This session collected first experiences, attitudes and opinions on self-adapting systems. The users talked about their needs regarding user interface adaptation and interaction modalities. The users were asked which problems and obstacles they have to face in their everyday life when dealing with ICT and what kind of experience they have with self-adapting systems. Furthermore the users were asked how ICT solutions have to be adapted to fit their needs and preferences. User answers where collected and pinned to a board.
- Profile Management Tool: Within this session the profile management tool was introduced to the participants. Requirements regarding the tool and its functionalities were collected and discussed.
A second requirement analysis was conducted at the Fraunhofer laboratories in Stuttgart. Focus of the analysis was on requirements for profile management in more depth. In an early stage of the profile management concept work it was decided to focus on elderly persons as user group first, for that reason eight elderly participants with different limitations (low severity level) in seeing, hearing abilities took part in the focus group.
Approach & Decisions
High impact variables
Previously User interface variables have been defined, which are the basis for the basic profile parameters. It is necessary to reduce all adaptable interface variables to a defined number of variables that are presented to the user as preference settings in a first step. This is also important for the profile initialization. Even though users are willing to invest a lot of time in profile initialization it is not useful to confront a first time user with all variables.
This reduced set of preference settings will be called “high impact preferences". They are fundamental to make an interface accessible or rather perceivable. These variables/ preferences will be presented within the Discovery Aid Wizard and will be provided in the filtered view of the profile management editor.
There are different ways to identify these high impact preferences:
- User interviews could be used to identify the variables that are adjusted by the user when accessing an interface. This approach focusses mainly on the user preferences and would lead to a high user satisfaction.
- Common guidelines for accessibility and user interface design could be reviewed and thereof high impact variables could be deduced.
- Interface and Accessibility experts could reduce the list of adaptable variables to a set of high impact preferences relying on their expertise.
For the first conceptual stage of the profile management development the expert approach was used to identify the high impact variables focusing on elderly users. The user can set the high impact preference variables within the Discovery Aid Wizard by selecting a proposed alternative of this variable. Within the profile management editor the preference setting can be done by adjusting to a specific value.