Number of co-authors:39
Number of publications with 3 favourite co-authors:Bonnie E. John:3Sarah P. Everett:3Franklin P. Tamborello:2
Michael D. Byrne's 3 most productive colleagues in number of publications:Scott E. Hudson:113Peter G. Neumann:105Bonnie E. John:64
There is an old English folk saying that goes, "If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen." I have a different approach: Do something about the heat. The folk saying would have us accept the poor designs of the world. Why? After all, if people were responsible for the "heat" in the first place, then people should be able to do something about it. Is the kitchen too hot? Redesign it.
-- Don Norman
Marc Hassenzahl explains the fascinating concept of User Experience and Experience Design. Commentaries by Don Norman, Eric Reiss, Mark Blythe, and Whitney Hess
User Experience and Experience Design !
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Michael D. Byrne
Publications by Michael D. Byrne (bibliography)
Zemla, Jeffrey C., Ustun, Volkan, Byrne, Michael D., Kirlik, Alex, Riddle, Kenyon and Alexander, Amy L. (2011): An ACT-R Model of Commercial Jetliner Taxiing. In: Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society 55th Annual Meeting 2011. pp. 831-835.
The Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) seeks to reduce gridlock at airports by, among other things, creating a more efficient surface taxi management system. Addressing this situation creates a difficult evaluation problem; how can new scheduling methods be tested? Present methods generally involve either expensive human-in-the-loop experiments or computer simulations that do not adequately represent the human component of system performance. We have developed an ACT-R model of commercial jetliner taxiing with the ultimate goal of aiding in both of these efforts. The X-Plane commercial flight simulation package provides an environment in which the model can act. That environment is populated with aircraft driven by recordings taken of real aircraft at Dallas-Fort Worth airport, which contain the actual positions of all aircraft on the taxi surface for a given time slice. This also provides us with a rich source of data for model validation, as the model can "replace" one actual aircraft, allowing comparisons between model-generated and pilot-generated trajectories.
© All rights reserved Zemla et al. and/or HFES
Campbell, Bryan A., Tossell, Chad C., Byrne, Michael D. and Kortum, Philip (2011): Voting on a Smartphone: Evaluating the Usability of an Optimized Voting System for Handheld Mobile Devices. In: Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society 55th Annual Meeting 2011. pp. 1100-1104.
The goal of this research was to assess the usability of a voting system designed for current-generation smartphones. Smartphones offer remote participation in elections through the use of pervasive technology and voting on these devices could, among other benefits, increase voter participation while allowing voters to use familiar technology. We developed a mobile voting system for the iPhone and compared its usability with traditional voting platforms. Results showed that the mobile voting system was not as efficient as the other voting methods in total interaction time. However, smartphone owners committed fewer errors on the mobile voting system than on the traditional voting systems. These results, along with others, are discussed along with several important design considerations for voting technology.
© All rights reserved Campbell et al. and/or HFES
Piner, Gillian E. and Byrne, Michael D. (2011): The Experience of Accessible Voting: Results of a Survey among Legally-Blind Users. In: Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society 55th Annual Meeting 2011. pp. 1686-1690.
The Help America Vote Act (2002) mandated that all polling places have an accessible method of voting available for those wishing to vote in federal elections. Unfortunately, there is presently little voting-specific data available to help guide the design of accessible voting systems for special segments of the population, such as visually impaired voters. We hope to fill this gap, and report on results from a questionnaire survey of 180 legally blind Americans of voting age to understand voting experiences and desired changes to improve voting technology. We found that most respondents vote in person at a polling location, and prefer audio voting systems with a recorded human male voice to other methods or options, including Braille. Important issues were identified. For example, lack of poll worker training with accessible technology was reported to be a problem by 24% of respondents, and was significantly more likely to be reported by those who had been assisted by a poll worker in the past. These results can help inform the design of future accessible voting interfaces.
© All rights reserved Piner and Byrne and/or HFES
Howie, Nicole, Purkayastha, Sagar N., Byrne, Michael D. and O'Malley, Marcia K. (2011): Motor Skill Acquisition in a Virtual Gaming Environment. In: Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society 55th Annual Meeting 2011. pp. 2148-2152.
There are many domains that still require use of complex manual control, despite the general shift in the field toward research on supervisory control. One of the problems in complex manual control is training; we currently lack models that can help guide training. The research reported here is part of an effort to fill that gap. In this study, we used the Neverball video game as a motor control task and used performance metrics from the game to measure learning. In addition, we collected motion data to determine what basic movements correlated with game performance. Subjects showed evidence of learning in almost all of the performance metrics, which will enable comparisons with the motion data. The ultimate goal is to use the motion data to identify basic movements that underlie successful performance to provide as feedback during training, and hopefully accelerate learning.
© All rights reserved Howie et al. and/or HFES
Byrne, Michael D., O'Malley, Marcia K., Gallagher, Melissa A., Purkayastha, Sagar N., Howie, Nicole and Huegel, Joel C. (2010): A Preliminary ACT-R Model of a Continuous Motor Task. In: Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society 54th Annual Meeting 2010. pp. 1037-1041.
Cognitive architectures such as ACT-R and EPIC are being applied to human factors research problems with increasing frequency. However, it is unclear whether such systems can model continuous motor tasks that were once staples in the field but have since been largely displaced by more cognitively-oriented problems. Recent research on a challenging continuous motor control task has revealed interesting patterns in skill acquisition that appear compatible with the learning mechanisms present in ACT-R. However, what was not clear was whether ACT-R could model expert performance in a high-frequency motor control task. Unmodified, ACT-R could not. However, by making some small changes in ACT-R's motor system and capitalizing on ACT-R's ability to imagine visual objects, ACT-R was able to achieve expert-level performance in this task. Whether ACT-R will be able to mirror the skill acquisition data is still an open question.
© All rights reserved Byrne et al. and/or HFES
Everett, Sarah P., Greene, Kristen K., Byrne, Michael D., Wallach, Dan S., Derr, Kyle, Sandler, Daniel and Torous, Ted (2008): Electronic voting machines versus traditional methods: improved preference, similar performance. In: Proceedings of ACM CHI 2008 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems April 5-10, 2008. pp. 883-892.
© All rights reserved Everett et al. and/or ACM Press
Tamborello, Franklin P., Chung, Phillip H. and Byrne, Michael D. (2008): Where no interface has gone before: what can the phaser teach us about label usage in HCI?. In: Proceedings of ACM CHI 2008 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems April 5-10, 2008. pp. 3609-3614.
Chung, Phillip H. and Byrne, Michael D. (2008): Cue effectiveness in mitigating postcompletion errors in a routine procedural task. In International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, 20 (4) pp. 217-232.
Postcompletion errors, which are omissions of actions required after the completion of a task's main goal, occur in a variety of everyday procedural tasks. Previous research has demonstrated the difficulty of reducing their frequency by means other than redesigning the task structure [Byrne, M.D., Davis, E.M., 2006. Task structure and postcompletion error in the execution of a routine procedure. Human Factors 48, 627-638]. Nevertheless, finding a successful strategy for mitigation of this type of error may uncover important mechanisms underlying interactive behavior. Two experiments were carried out to test visual cues for their ability to reduce the frequency of postcompletion errors in a computer-based routine procedural task. A cue that was visually salient, just-in-time, and meaningful entirely eliminated the error, whereas cues that were not as specific were ineffective. These results are beyond the predictive capability of extant error identification methods and common design guidelines but are consistent with the work of Altmann and Trafton [2002. Memory for goals: an activation-based model. Cognitive Science 26, 39-83] and Hollnagel [1993. Human Reliability Analysis, Context and Control. Academic Press, London]. Finally, a computational model developed in ACT-R is presented as a first step towards validation of the major findings from the two experiments.
© All rights reserved Chung and Byrne and/or Academic Press
Byrne, Michael D., Greene, Kristen K. and Everett, Sarah P. (2007): Usability of voting systems: baseline data for paper, punch cards, and lever machines. In: Proceedings of ACM CHI 2007 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems 2007. pp. 171-180.
In the United States, computer-based voting machines are rapidly replacing other older technologies. While there is potential for this to be a usability improvement, particularly in terms of accessibility, the only way it is possible to know if usability has improved is to have baseline data on the usability of traditional technologies. We report an experiment assessing the usability of punch cards, lever machines, and two forms of paper ballot. There were no differences in ballot completion time between the four methods, but there were substantial effects on error rate, with the paper ballots superior to the other methods as well as an interaction with age of voters. Subjective usability was assessed with the System Usability Scale and showed a slight advantage for bubble-style paper ballots. Overall, paper ballots were found to be particularly usable, which raises important technological and policy issues.
© All rights reserved Byrne et al. and/or ACM Press
Fleetwood, Michael D. and Byrne, Michael D. (2006): Modeling the Visual Search of Displays: A Revised ACT-R Model of Icon Search Based on Eye-Tracking Data. In Human-Computer Interaction, 21 (2) pp. 153-197.
Because of the visual nature of computer use, researchers and designers of computer systems would like to gain some insight into the visual search strategies of computer users. Icons, a common component of graphical user interfaces, serve as the focus for a set of studies aimed at (1) developing a detailed understanding of how people search for an icon in a typically crowded screen of other icons that vary in similarity to the target, and (2) building a cognitively plausible model that simulates the processes inferred in the human search process. An eye-tracking study of the task showed that participants rarely refixated icons that they had previously examined, and that participants used an efficient search strategy of examining distractor icons nearest to their current point of gaze. These findings were integrated into an ACT-R model of the task using EMMA and a "nearest" strategy. The model fit the response time data of participants as well as a previous model of the task, but was a much better fit to the eye movement data.
© All rights reserved Fleetwood and Byrne and/or Taylor and Francis
Tamborello, Franklin P. and Byrne, Michael D. (2005): Information search: the intersection of visual and semantic space. In: Proceedings of ACM CHI 2005 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems 2005. pp. 1821-1824.
In the context of an information search task, does the visual salience of items interact with information scent? That is, do things like bold headlines or highlighted phrases interact with local semantic cues about the usefulness of distal sources of information? Most research on visual search and highlighting has used stimuli with no semantic content, while studies on information search have assumed equal visual salience of items in the search space. In real information environments like the Web, however, these things do not occur in isolation. Thus, we used a laboratory study to examine how these factors interact. The almost perfectly additive results imply that good information scent cannot overcome poor visual cues, or vice versa, and that both factors are equally important.
© All rights reserved Tamborello and Byrne and/or ACM Press
Neumann, Peter G. and Byrne, Michael D. (2005): Disability-related risks. In Communications of the ACM, 48 (8) p. 144.
Everett, Sarah P. and Byrne, Michael D. (2004): Unintended effects: varying icon spacing changes users' visual search strategy. In: Dykstra-Erickson, Elizabeth and Tscheligi, Manfred (eds.) Proceedings of ACM CHI 2004 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems April 24-29, 2004, Vienna, Austria. pp. 695-702.
Users of modern GUIs routinely engage in visual searches for various control items, such as buttons and icons. Because this is so ubiquitous, it is important that the visual properties of user interfaces support such searches. The current research is aimed at deepening our understanding of how the visual spacing between icons affects visual search times. We constructed an experiment based on previous icon sets  where spacing between icons was systematically manipulated, and for which we had a computational cognitive model that predicted performance. In particular, the model predicted that larger spacing would lead to slower search times. While this prediction was borne out, there was an unanticipated finding: users in this new experiment were substantially slower than in previous similar experiments with smaller spacing. In fact, results from this new experiment were better fit with a model that employed a fundamentally different, and less efficient, search strategy. A second experiment was conducted to explicitly test the surprising result that this varied and larger icon spacing would lead to increased search times. Results were consistent with this hypothesis. These results imply that while small differences in visual layout may not intrinsically produce large differences in user performance, they may cause users to adopt suboptimal strategies that do produce such differences.
© All rights reserved Everett and Byrne and/or ACM Press
Katz, Michael A. and Byrne, Michael D. (2003): Effects of scent and breadth on use of site-specific search on e-commerce Web sites. In ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction, 10 (3) pp. 198-220.
Users faced with Web sites containing many possibly relevant pages often have a decision to make about navigation: use the menu of links or use the provided site search function. Two studies were conducted to examine what users do when faced with this decision on e-commerce Web sites, and how users go about deciding which method to attempt. An exploratory study revealed a wide distribution of searching and browsing behavior across sites and users. Counter to some predictions, use of the site search functions did not yield faster or more accurate performance in locating products. Questionnaire data suggested that factors relevant to the menu structure, interface element prominence, information scent and user dispositions all influenced the decision of whether to browse or search a site for a product. A second experiment utilizing novel e-commerce sites and allowing for more control of factors found to be important in the first study found that browsing behavior was influenced by both the breadth and information scent of the menus. These results suggest that providing site search should not be used to compensate for poor menu design, and provide further evidence regarding the design of effective menu structures.
© All rights reserved Katz and Byrne and/or ACM Press
Byrne, Michael D. (2001): ACT-R/PM and menu selection: applying a cognitive architecture to HCI. In International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, 55 (1) pp. 41-84.
Understanding the interaction of a user with a designed device such as a GUI
requires clear understanding of three components: the cognitive, perceptual and
motor capabilities of the user, the task to be accomplished and the artefact
used to accomplish the task. Computational modeling systems which enable
serious consideration of all these constraints have only recently begun to
emerge. One such system is ACT-R/PM, which is described in detail. ACT-R/PM is
a production system architecture that has been augmented with a set of
perceptual-motor modules designed to enable the detailed modeling of
interactive tasks. Nilsen's (1991) random menu selection task serves two goals:
to illustrate the promise of this system and to help further our understanding
of the processes underlying menu selection and visual search. Nilsen's original
study, two earlier models of the task, and recent eye-tracking data are all
considered. Drawing from the best properties of the previous models considered
and guided by information from the eye-tracking experiment, a series of new
models of random menu selection were constructed using ACT-R/PM. The final
model provides a zero-parameter fit to the data that does an excellent, though
not perfect, job of capturing the data.
© All rights reserved Byrne and/or Academic Press
Baumeister, Lynn K., John, Bonnie E. and Byrne, Michael D. (2000): A Comparison of Tools for Building GOMS Models. In: Turner, Thea, Szwillus, Gerd, Czerwinski, Mary, Peterno, Fabio and Pemberton, Steven (eds.) Proceedings of the ACM CHI 2000 Human Factors in Computing Systems Conference April 1-6, 2000, The Hague, The Netherlands. pp. 502-509.
We compare three tools for creating GOMS models, QGOMS , CATHCI  and GLEAN3 , along several dimensions. We examine the representation and available constructs in each tool, the qualitative and quantitative design information provided, the support for building cognitively plausible models, and pragmatics about using each tool (e.g., how easy it is to modify a model). While each tool has its strengths, they all reave something to be desired as a practical UI design tool.
© All rights reserved Baumeister et al. and/or ACM Press
Byrne, Michael D., Anderson, John R., Douglass, Scott and Matessa, Michael (1999): Eye Tracking the Visual Search of Click-Down Menus. In: Altom, Mark W. and Williams, Marian G. (eds.) Proceedings of the ACM CHI 99 Human Factors in Computing Systems Conference May 15-20, 1999, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. pp. 402-409.
Click-down (or pull-down) menus have long been a key component of graphical user interfaces, yet we know surprisingly little about how users actually interact with such menus. Nilsen's  study on menu selection has led to the development of a number of models of how users perform the task [6, 21. However, the validity of these models has not been empirically assessed with respect to eye movements (though  presents some interesting data that bear on these models). The present study is an attempt to provide data that can help refine our understanding of how users interact with such menus.
© All rights reserved Byrne et al. and/or ACM Press
Byrne, Michael D., John, Bonnie E., Wehrle, Neil S. and Crow, David C. (1999): The Tangled Web We Wove: A Taskonomy of WNW Use. In: Altom, Mark W. and Williams, Marian G. (eds.) Proceedings of the ACM CHI 99 Human Factors in Computing Systems Conference May 15-20, 1999, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. pp. 544-551.
A prerequisite to the effective design of user interfaces is an understanding of the tasks for which that interface will actually be used. Surprisingly little task analysis has appeared for one of the most discussed and fastest-growing computer applications, browsing the World-Wide Web (WWW). Based on naturally-collected verbal protocol data, we present a taxonomy of tasks undertaken on the WWW. The data reveal that several previous claims about browsing behavior are questionable, and suggests that that widget-centered approaches to interface design and evaluation may be incomplete with respect to good user interfaces for the Web.
© All rights reserved Byrne et al. and/or ACM Press
Hudson, Scott E., John, Bonnie E., Knudsen, Keith and Byrne, Michael D. (1999): A Tool for Creating Predictive Performance Models from User Interface Demonstrations. In: Zanden, Brad Vander and Marks, Joe (eds.) Proceedings of the 12th annual ACM symposium on User interface software and technology November 07 - 10, 1999, Asheville, North Carolina, United States. pp. 93-102.
A central goal of many user interface development tools has been to make the construction of high quality interfaces easy enough that iterative design approaches could be a practical reality. In the last 15 years significant advances in this regard have been achieved. However, the evaluation portion of the iterative design process has received relatively little support from tools. Even though advances have also been made in usability evaluation methods, nearly all evaluation is still done "by hand," making it more expensive and difficult than it might be. This paper considers a partial implementation of the CRITIQUE usability evaluation tool that is being developed to help remedy this situation by automating a number of evaluation tasks. This paper will consider techniques used by the system to produce predictive models (keystroke level models and simplified GOMS models) from demonstrations of sample tasks in a fraction of the time needed by conventional handcrafting methods. A preliminary comparison of automatically generated models with models created by an expert modeler show them to produce very similar predictions (within 2%). Further, because they are automated, these models promise to be less subject to human error and less affected by the skill of the modeler.
© All rights reserved Hudson et al. and/or ACM Press
Byrne, Michael D. and Bovair, Susan (1997): A Working Memory Model of a Common Procedural Error. In Cognitive Science, 21 (1) pp. 31-61.
Byrne, Michael D., Wood, Scott D., Sukaviriya, Piyawadee, Foley, James D. and Kieras, David E. (1994): Automating Interface Evaluation. In: Adelson, Beth, Dumais, Susan and Olson, Judith S. (eds.) Proceedings of the ACM CHI 94 Human Factors in Computing Systems Conference April 24-28, 1994, Boston, Massachusetts. pp. 232-237.
One method for user interface analysis that has proven successful is formal analysis, such as GOMS-based analysis. Such methods are often criticized for being difficult to learn, or at the very least an additional burden for the system designer. However, if the process of constructing and using formal models could be automated as part of the interface design environment, such models could be of even greater value. This paper describes an early version of such a system, called USAGE (the UIDE System for semi-Automated GOMS Evaluation). Given the application model necessary to drive the UIDE system, USAGE generates an NGOMSL model of the interface which can be "run" on a typical set of user tasks and provide execution and learning time estimates.
© All rights reserved Byrne et al. and/or ACM Press
Byrne, Michael D. (1991): The Misunderstood Picture: A Study of Icon Recognition. In ACM SIGCHI Bulletin, 23 (4) pp. 37-38.
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