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The role of the tutorials is to provide a platform for a more intensive scientific exchange amongst researchers interested in a particular topic and as a meeting point for the community. Tutorials complement the depth-oriented technical sessions by providing participants with broad overviews of emerging fields. A tutorial can be scheduled for 1.5 or 3 hours.


Tutorial on
Defining Requirements Through Interaction Design


Hermann Kaindl
TU Wien, Univ. for Continuing Education Krems, Vienna Univ. of Economics and Business
Brief Bio
Hermann Kaindl joined the Institute of Computer Technology at TU Wien in early 2003 as a full professor, where he served in this position until September 2022, for several years as the department head and the head of the organizational unit entitled “Software-intensive Systems”. He served for several years as a member of the Senate at TU Wien, from October 2019 until September 2022 as a Vice Chairman. After his retirement, Hermann Kaindl is still working on (funded) research projects at three different universities. Prior to moving to academia, he was a senior consultant with the division of program and systems engineering at Siemens AG Austria. There he has gained more than 24 years of industrial experience in requirements and software engineering, human-computer interaction and artificial intelligence. He is a Senior Member of the IEEE and a Distinguished Scientist member of the ACM.

When the requirements and the interaction design of a system are separated, they will most likely not fit together, and the resulting system will be less than optimal. Even if all the real needs are covered in the requirements and also implemented, errors may be induced by human-computer interaction through a bad interaction design and its resulting user interface. Such a system may even not be used at all. Alternatively, a great user interface of a system with features that are not required will not be very useful as well.
This tutorial explains joint modeling of (communicative) interaction design and requirements, through discourse models and ontologies. While these models were originally devised for capturing interaction design, it turned out that they can be also viewed as precisely and comprehensively defining classes of scenarios, i.e., use cases. In this sense, they can also be utilized for defining requirements. User interfaces for these software systems can be generated semi-automatically from our discourse models, domain-of-discourse models and specifications of the requirements. This is especially useful when user interfaces tailored for different devices are needed. So, interaction design facilitates requirements engineering to make applications both more useful and usable.


Use Cases, Interaction Design,
Discourse Models

Aims and Learning Objectives

In order to improve the development of useful and usable software systems, participants will learn about an approach to precisely define requirements (scenarios, use cases) in terms of interaction design. As a positive ‘side-effect’, supporting user interfaces can be generated semi-automatically.
Many software systems are used now in practice by end-users through the Web using multiple devices and need not only to be useful but also usable. Hence, they have to conform to requirements and to provide appropriate user interfaces tailored for the device used. The tool-supported approach to be presented in this proposed tutorial is unique in combining these two important aspects.

Target Audience

This tutorial is targeted towards people who are supposed to work on the requirements or the interaction design, e.g., requirements engineers, interaction designers, user interface developers, or project managers. It will be of interest for teachers and students as well.

The value for the attendees is primarily improved understanding of a potential separation of requirements engineering and interaction design, and how it can be overcome by combining them to make business applications both more useful and usable.

Prerequisite Knowledge of Audience

The assumed attendee background is some familiarity with requirements in the form of scenarios / use cases.

Detailed Outline

1.Introduction 5min
In the short Introduction, it turned out to be useful in the past to have all the people in the room briefly introduced. In particular, it is good to know the particular background and expectation of each participant, so that it becomes possible to focus parts of the following presentation on them. Then it also becomes easier to motivate the tutorial and to provide an overview.
2. Background 20min
Still, the group will not share the same background required for digesting the subsequent material. So, very basic statements on underlying themes help in this regard. For this particular tutorial, sharing an essential view on Requirements and Scenarios / Use Cases is important, much as on Interaction design. Ontologies and Speech Acts may not necessarily be known by some participants at all, but these may not be ready to reveal that and ask. Therefore, it is important to say a few words, also on the historical background.
3. Interaction design based on discourse modeling 55min
After that, the ground will be paved for the first part of the core material on interaction design based on discourse modeling. It starts with an example Discourse Model and its essential explanation by the tutor. Then the basic building blocks of such models, Communicative Acts (as a generalization of Speech acts), are explained, and the set of concrete ones is presented in some detail, always including examples. The Communicative Acts are connected via Adjacency Pairs, so that dialog structures can be modeled. Adjacency Pairs, in turn, are connected via Rhetorical Structure Theory (RST) relations. These are also explained, of course, as well as the set of RST relations adopted for discourse modeling, always including examples. In addition, Procedural constructs are introduced, which serve for convenience in modeling the flow of a discourse. Based on all these building blocks, the Conceptual Discourse Metamodel can be explained, followed by another example of a Discourse Model.
4. Use case definition 40min
The second part of the core material on precisely defining use cases explains Use case diagram and sketches Use case report (RUP) as well as flow of events through scenarios. While these may be known by the participants already, experience has shown that there are often misunderstandings around. Business process — Business Use Case shows the application of the use case approach for business processes. Defining based on discourse modeling is the culmination of this part, and supposedly new to the participants. It glues the previous core part together with this one and shows the essence of precisely defining requirements through interaction design.
5. Exercises 45min
After the presentation of these core parts, it is time for exercises, so that the participants can get hands-on experience themselves. The first exercise, try to understand the model sketch of a discourse, still does not require modeling by the participants themselves, but interpreting the third overall example of a Discourse Model, this time by themselves. A volunteer typically will share his or her interpretation with the group. The second exercise, try to model a discourse yourself, is clearly more demanding and, therefore, done in small groups of 2-4 participants. Each subgroup collaboratively works together on one flip-chart. Experience over several years has shown that the model sketches of most such subgroups are very reasonable, but not all the same. So, it has turned out useful that at least some of the results are presented and explained for the whole group of participants, and this also leads to useful discussions.
6. Sketch of automated user-interface generation 40min
After these exercises, the tutor presents a sketch of automated user-interface generation from such Discourse Models and Domain-of Discourse Models related to Ontologies (plus another kind of model and a device specification not treated in detail in the course of the tutorial). This presentation includes Examples of generated user interfaces, in particular for a typical smartphone. The underlying Unified Communication Platform is also briefly mentioned.
7. Summary and conclusion 5min
Finally, a summary and conclusion wraps up and makes a few statements to carry home.

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