Profile Management

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User Requirements


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.

General aspects

General requirements of user interface auto-configuration refer to both profile initialisation and management.

When talking about auto-configuration of interfaces and devices the following main areas should be adaptable to the user’s needs and preferences:

  • UI parameter: e.g. font size, font type, colors, etc.
  • Content: e.g. simple language
  • Assistive technologies (AT): different AT software should be available within the GPII cloud, AT hardware connected to the end device should be automatically identified by the GPII system.
  • Range of AT functions: users want to define the used range of functionality of AT.
  • Context parameters: The user interface should be automatically adapted to changing context variables like light conditions. This adaptation should be independent from the actual user interface profile of the user.

In fact, as much parameter and variables as possible should be adaptable.

Some more relevant requirements regarding user interface profiles:

  • Auto-configuration: self-acting should not be based on diagnostic data.
  • Privacy settings: should be included in the management tool because users want to decide between high privacy/data security, accepting less comfort/easy access and less privacy/ data security and high comfort/easy access.

Profile initialisation

A major outcome of the requirement analysis is that users are willing to spend a lot of time on profile initialisation, if they have an added value afterwards, e.g high accessiblity, high usability. Furthermore all workshop participants want to do the profile initialisation by themself or in mutual exchange with friends as support. Help from a second person is conceivable in case of cognitive difficulties or low computer literacy.

The following requirements could be gathered regarding profile initialisation:

  • Users would use apersonal device (e.g. personal computer, smartphone, tablet PC) for profile initialisation that is already adjusted to the user needs/ already equipped with the needed AT. On public devices only profile management is conceivable.
  • There should betwo modes for profile initialisation – an expert mode for advanced users and a simple mode for users with cognitive difficulties and low computer literacy.
  • Profile initialisation could be handled comparable to an application store: different alternatives for preference settings are offered and can be accepted or rejected.
  • Instead of selecting predefined personas users would prefer astep by step approach for profile initialisation (e.g. dialogue wizard), where user interface parameters can be adjusted to the user’s needs by selecting an option out of an defined number of proposed options or by adjusting the value for an interface parameter (simple and advanced mode).
  • Next to the step by step approach for profile initialization, the user should be able to take over the device settings of the device used for initialization as default profile.  
  • If the user want neither the wizard or the to take over the device settings, the profile should be left blank until the user changes the setting of a parameter.
  • Users can imagine to generate a first „rough“ profile, that is extendable, as well as to compile a detailed profile in one session.
  • Users would prefer to set main preferences by selecting between alternatives first and to adjust the preference setting afterwards in more detail.
  • Simple language and pictures/videos should be used to support the user in profile initialisation.

Profile management

The following requirements were gathered concerning profile management:

  • The profile management tool should be clearly structured.
  • The menu structure should be not too deep – three levels within the menu hierarchy are adequate.
  • The WYSIWYG principle should be applied – when changing a preference setting a preview of the change should be given.
  • Menu items should be clearly labelled. Simple language should be used.
  • Preferences should be clearly categorised within the profile management tool. A categorisation in sensory channels, e.g. „visual“, can be ambiguous, because it is not clear if the category contains preferences regarding visual elements or settings for people with visual impairments.
  • A filter function should be provided to select between a view of the main preferences and all preferences.
  • The management tool is mostly used on personal computer so a browser based tool is suitable.
  • The management tool should fulfilaccessibility standards
  • Recommendations for preference settings could be a useful tool for selecting suitable AT software (e.g. screen readers). settings can indeed be suggested, but they should nevertheless be personally customizable (for example, some customizable schemes). Recommendations should be given not too intrusive.
  • There should be an opportunity to make temporary settings that will not be stored within the user interface profile
  • A global profile should consist only of the main important preference settings (e.g. to assure that an interface is perceivable). Device and platform specific settings should be managed in sub-profiles
  • Users would like to manage profiles and to change preference settings of public devicesvia remote, using a personal device (e.g. preferences settings for a ticket machine are assessed via a persona smartphone using near-field-communication).

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.


Pending Issues

User Profile Management_UI CONCEPT

Approach & Decisions

Use Context

One of the main objectives of the project Cloud4all is to address all users who have the aim to interact with the Cloud4all-System in every possible context on several platforms. For the development of a user interface concept towards testing though it is necessary to reduce the complexity of the use context and concentrate for this moment on a specific context with specific user groups to design effectively. Furthermore there is a need to make further assumptions for certain functionalities due to this fact. Therefore some of them are described as black-boxes, which indicate that further development is needed here in a second or third iteration. All these decisions were made and then discussed in calls within the WP 102-group. There exist two use cases which should be considered at this stage of the design process -one for the Initialization Process and the other one for the Management System of Cloud4all. Due to design issues as described in the next section the focus for now lays on the use context of the Management Process of the Cloud4all-System. There is one use context needed for the Initialization Process, which was decided to be at the physical home of the user, where the user interacts with a personal device. This implies that the User Interface of the Cloud4all-System is already accessible to the person who initializes the profile. Furthermore it was decided that Assistive Technologies will not be part of the investigation for this iteration due to the expected complexity of the design process in this case. Another optional scenario for the Initialization process consists of a caregiver who sets the needed preferences for the person who is currently not able to adjust them. The current user group is described in the paragraph below. The use context of the Management System consists of a library scenario because this is where the Cloud4all-System is probably going to be implemented at first hand. The library scenario is characterized through a Personal Computer for the device and three possible goals a user could have. Furthermore it has to be mentioned that further context parameters like for instance daytime and light will not be part of the first iteration step. Therefore these issues are not described in detail. It has to be noted though that one objective of the Cloud4all-Development is that every set user interface - preference should be linked to certain conditions or a certain context. Another point to mention is that the user group for this part of the design process will be aged people above sixty years old. This was decided based on public statistics of Statistisches Bundesamt (2012), which state that people at this age are most likely to have accessibility problems in one or the other kind. Possible characteristics of this user group are listed in the Figure below.

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Profile Initialization
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The registration-activity of this process is seen as a black-box. After that there exist three possible actions to continue. The user has the option to either use a Wizard to set the profile preferences, to transfer preference settings from the personal device or to go directly into the management system and adjust specific preference settings there. The Wizard is seen as one of the main parts to be developed for this step. At this state of the design process the Wizard is seen as a module which covers the setting of the High-Impact preferences, which have to be detected in the first testing with users. After the first iteration the User Interface of the Wizard will be developed.

Profile Management
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The Figure above shows a proposed scope of operations / functionalities within the Cloud4all-Management System.

After the user is detected and verified by the system (blackbox) the startscreen appears. There are two main options to proceed – either to make general settings (e.g. password) or to go to basic screen of the Cloud4all-Management System. Furthermore there are the following interaction-options on the startscreen:

  • search field
  • help/assistance
  • logout

If the basic screen was chosen for further interaction the possible profiles which can be adjusted are displayed. After the selection of the profile the basic screen of the Cloud4all-Management System appears. Here are always displayed:

  • main categories of user interface preferences

  • home button [see logout]
  • display active profile
  • search field
  • help/assistance
  • logout [anytime when activated the user gets a pop up – query concerning the process of saving adjusted preferences]
  • show all/show simple interface

There exist three possible ways to navigate through the system on the basic screen:

  • hierarchy
  • search field
  • search list

In the first case – navigation through hierarchy – the user clicks through the several layers to access the adjustment-fields for the single preferences [see 2 – 2.2]. It is possible to switch to layer 1 or 2 at all times. For the navigation by search field or list the user can access layer 2 or 3 directly.

Layer 3 consists of the actual preference settings. After each adjustment a direct feedback is provided about the changed settings. These are applied after confirmation for the active profile. Furthermore each adjusted preference is marked as processed.There exist also the possibility to undo the recent settings.


Pending Issues

Related Pages

File:Cloud4all telco 13.11.12.ppt