HCI and business practices in a collaborative method for augmented reality systems
In Information and Software Technology, Elseiver (52). pages 492-505. 2010.
Context: Every interactive system is composed of a functional core and a user interface. However, the software engineering (SE) and human–computer interaction (HCI) communities do not share the same methods, models or tools. This usually induces a large work overhead when specialists from the two domains try to connect their applicative studies, especially when developing augmented reality systems that feature complex interaction cores.
Objective: We present in this paper the essential activities and concepts of a development method integrating the SE and HCI development practices, from the specifications down to the design, as well as their application on a case study.
Method: The efficiency of the method was tested in a qualitative study involving four pairs of SE and HCI experts in the design of an application for which an augmented reality interaction would provide better user performance than a classic interactive system. The effectivity of the method was evaluated in a qualitative study comparing the quality of three implementations of the same application fragment (based on the same analysis model), using software engineering metrics.
Results: The first evaluation confirmed the ease of use of our method and the relevance of our tools for guiding the design process, but raised concerns on the handling of conflicting collaborative activities. The second evaluation gave indications that the structure of the analysis model facilitates the implementation of quality software (in terms of coupling, stability and complexity).
Conclusion: It is concluded that our method enables design teams with different backgrounds in application development to collaborate for integrating augmented reality applications with information systems. Areas of improvement are also described.