Katrin Plaumann, langjähriges Mitglied der Forschungsgruppe Mensch-Computer-Interaktion, hat ihre Dissertation unter dem Titel Challenging Selections in Mobile and Pervasive Computing erfolgreich verteidigt. Sie begutachteten Prof. Dr. Enrico Rukzio (Medieninformatik, Universität Ulm), Prof. Dr. Susanne Boll (Universität Oldenburg), die Wahlmitglieder Prof. Dr. Anke Huckauf und Prof. Dr. Dr.-Ing. Wolfgang Minker (beide Universität Ulm), sowie als weiteres Mitglied in der Prüfungskommission Prof. Dr. Manfred Reichert (Vorsitz und Protokoll).
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Selecting objects is a key element of Human Computer Interaction. Successful selection of objects allows users to chose display options, input text, open and close applications among others. Without successful selections, no viable input would be possible. Yet through the introduction of mobile and pervasive computing, the design space for input has changed dramatically. Objects are more and more selected directly, through touch and gesture. Those selections using touch and gesture, however, introduce several new challenges in the areas of motor abilities and limited display possibilities. Motor abilities vary between persons, and may be affected by age. While with sole indirect manipulation (e.g. by using mouse and keyboard as input facilitators), those varying abilities could be compensated through adjustments of existing or using of different input means. When relying on direct manipulation, however, no such intermediaries are feasible, challenging both mid-air gesture and touch based interfaces to account for variations in motor abilities. Besides varying motor abilities of users, successful selections in mobile and pervasive scenarios are challenged by limited display space. In case of mobile scenarios, display sizes have grown smaller and smaller, making selections cumbersome. In pervasive scenarios, this phenomenon is taken so far that some smart environments lack the possibility to indicate which objects were selected. My research is concerned with finding solutions to those challenges, so that robust and reliable selections both in mobile and pervasive scenarios is possible. Therefore, several solutions were developed and evaluated following a user-centred design approach. Findings show how selections in mobile and pervasive scenarios can be optimised through accounting for users' characteristics.
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