MyUI: Mainstreaming Accessibility through Synergistic User Modelling and Adaptability

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MyUI will foster the mainstreaming of accessible and highly individualized ICT products – a major issue for e-Inclusion. The project addresses important barriers which include developers’ lack of awareness and expertise, time and cost requirements of incorporating accessibility and missing validated approaches and infrastructures.

The project’s approach goes beyond the notion of Universal Design by addressing specific user needs through adaptive personalized interfaces. An ontology-based context management infrastructure will collect user and context information in real-time during use. Sharing the collected information across several personal applications will increase efficiency and validity. The user interface will self-adapt to the evolving individualuser model, in order to fit the user’s special needs and preferences. The MyUI adaptation engine will rely on empirically based design patterns for specified user and context characteristics.

End-users and developers will be involved in all stages of the project. Empirical research will determine the design of user models, design patterns, and adaptation mechanisms. Iterative development and research cycles will ensure that the MyUI artefacts will increase accessibility and that they can be adopted efficiently by the industry. Field tests will validate the project approach in realistic environments.

MyUI technologies will be implemented in three selected ’use cases’ to demonstrate their benefit and feasibility in industrial development contexts:

  • interactive TV device
  • interactive digital physiotherapy service
  • interactive socialisation service

End-users and developers will be involved in all stages of the project. Empirical research will determine the design of user models, design patterns, and adaptation mechanisms. Iterative development and research cycles will ensure that the MyUI artefacts will increase accessibility and that they can be adopted efficiently by the industry. Field tests will validate the project approach in realistic environments.

Objectives

MyUI technologies will comprise a Virtual User Lab and a modelling and adaptivity framework to as a development tools for industrial development of highly personalized and accessible systems. The MyUI technologies will be used, refined and validated in the MyUI reference implementations by our industrial project partners. Empirical research lays the basis for all the developed results: user research will be integrated in the framework and virtual user lab default models, the adaptation rules, and UI design patterns library so that these development components offer valid adaptivity mechanisms. User involvement will comprise work with industrial developers as well as end users in system validation.

Objective 1.
Compile a user model and context ontology that includes all relevant end user characteristics and environmental aspects influencing the accessibility and usability of the ICT products and services to be addressed in MyUI: interactive TV device, interactive physiotherapy application and social communication service.

Objective 2.
Develop a distributed user and context management infrastructure that collects information about a specific user and her context in real-time. The infrastructure shall integrate and store user and context information from various sources (e.g. sensors, tracking user interaction behaviour, explicit configuration, etc.).

Objective 3.
Develop a user interface adaptation engine for ICT products and services such as the ones to be developed in MyUI (cf. objective 1). The MyUI Adaptation Engine shall support the development of selflearning systems that increasingly adapt to a specific end user and context of use.

Objective 4.
Develop a Virtual User Lab that will serve as an illustrative virtual environment for exploring individual user and context models. A unique feature of the virtual user lab will be the integration of physical/motor, perceptual and cognitive perspectives on user modelling and the provision of adequate and vivid visualisations.

Objective 5.
Provide extensive support for developers in embedding accessibility within future mainstream ICT-based products and services. Developer support will include different aspects and artefacts:

  • sensitizing and information.
  • guidelines and re-usable software components.
  • software-infrastructure for embedded accessibility.
  • virtual environment for monitoring real use.

Virtual User Modeling Simulation Cluster

VUMS is a project cluster that includes the GUIDE, MyUI, VERITAS and VICON projects. The projects collaborate on future joint efforts. All projects work on improving the accessibility of various products and application areas, taking into account various impairments.

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