A User-Centred Design approach implies: focus on users and tasks to understand who, what, how and why; empirical evaluations with paper mock-ups first and system prototypes later; iterative design by fixing the problems found and performing new evaluations. The Clarity project has adopted a User-Centred approach: users’ representatives are part of the consortium and an extensive field study has been done to gather a whole understanding of users and uses. The study result is at the bases of the interface design here presented. Presented at SIGIR2002 Tampere - Finland Clarity is funded by EU - IST Program Contract no.: IST-2000-25310 http://clarity.shef.ac.uk/ Swedish Institute of Computer Science Preben Hansen Jussi Karlgren University of Sheffield Department of Information Studies Daniela Petrelli Micheline Beaulieu Mark Sanderson User-Centred Interface Design for Cross-Language Information Retrieval SCENARIO BASED DESIGN IMAGINING THE INTERACTION THE FIELD STUDY The first user interface layout was based on the scenarios and on the previous literature. Work discussing empirical evidence for interface choices were carefully considered. Users representatives have been involved in Clarity design at first to create scenarios of interaction. Scenarios are narratives describing a specific user with goals and characteristics who performs a task interacting with a supposed system by using an imagined user interface. ` • The data collected during the user study were analysed according to the following factors: • Goal (final objective), task (set of acts done for a purpose) and act (single move). • Community context, e.g. interaction with other people in the context of CLIR tasks. • Practices and procedure done despite effectiveness, e.g. change DB instead of the query. • Interface design suggestions and general users opinions. Users were asked to try Google web-page machine translation and a CLIR system available on the web (Arctos). System settings were summarised in the upper part of the Input panel; updating by pressing the up-arrow. Below the typing line other possible term are suggested on the left and translations are displayed on the right. This last pane contains the final search terms. Arrows allow the user to remove or add terms to the final query. Joannes Scenario Joannes is a journalist. He is from Finland. He is fluent in English Any other relevant skill? and French, but does not speak any Italian at all. He has to write an article about the follow-up actions taken by the The task requires to find Italian government after the disorder in Genoa during last G8 information on a single topic; meeting. He is interested in the political discussion that also only the most important ones followed those facts. Images are important too. matter. He does not have a precise idea of what happened after. He heard rumours about public inquiry and parliament clarification done by the government after the Left asked for explanation. He sits at his computer and uses his usual browser to connect to Clarity has to be multi-browser CLARITY site. He is asked for login and password. e.g. Netscape and Explorer He enters his domain, customised respect to his profile. Here the Is customisation important? history of past searches is kept. The screen for new search is displayed as default. Joannes Should Clarity translated proper types in few words: Genoa G8 disorder political discussion names e.g. Genoa – Genova ? Given his information need, his search will be more effective if Italian newspapers are searched. Nevertheless other international agencies may have reported about it already. So he sets the language to “search in” to Italian, but did not excluded other languages (“only” tick box left blank). …… Scenarios have been used in Clarity to generate ideas and stimulate discussion on plausible uses of CLIR systems. The scenario has in the left column the narrative while on the right column comments and questions about the foreseeable capability of the system are pointed out. Those points have been discussed by the Clarity consortium for common agreement on the technical feasibility and appropriateness. A few users at work were observed and interviewed. Questionnaires were more widely distributed The panel displaying the output is organized in tabs to support the switch between different result filters, for example preferring a concept organization respect to a ranked list. Documents are described using several different attributes: language, title, terms, keywords, summaries (in two languages) and links to similar documents. Users were actively involved in participatory design sessions on the bases of the interface mock-ups. USER REQUIREMENTS MAIN DESIGN FINAL REFINEMENTS The user requirement list was used to revise the initial ideas and a new interface layout was generated on this bases, first as mock-up and later as an implemented prototype. The changes have been to remove the suggestion - translation panels and to allow more dynamic language selection. The prototype was then evaluated by HCI experts (heuristic evaluation) and further refined to correct few minor flaws that were not evident in the paper version, e.g. tabs moved on the horizontal edge and filters displayed as subsections; title indentation to the right for easier reading; links moved to document page. Other changes were required since the system was not yet able to support few features, e.g. the best passage detection. • A user requirement list was compiled on the bases of the field study: • Users who know the language they are searching (the large majority) have other goals (e.g. writing) and do not want (or know how) to control the translation mechanisms; • Users want to search many text collections and many languages with the same query; • Users do not always use their native language for searching; they use the most appropriate for the task in hand; • English is used as a pivot to search other languages because of its relevance in technical jargon at international level; English can be used in combination with other languages; • Users would find benefit from tools to sort the result (e.g. by date, language, source etc.) and to apply Boolean logic on to of the retrieved set; • Users often use compound names, proper names and phrases but have difficulties in generating synonyms or handle term variants (e.g. venture capital, venture capitalism, venture capitalist); • User-created dictionaries are a valuable support and can be shared with colleagues. Finally interface designers added two buttons, one for display the query translation… The output was reorganized as table where the filtering features are the columns. Tabs along the right border contain alternative result display methods, e.g. organization by concepts. Summaries were removed in favour of a “best passage” excerpt with search terms highlighted. …and one to save documents in a relevant list maintained between searches.