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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1942/1928

Title: A Graphical Design tool for Multi-Device User Interfaces based on UIML
Authors: MESKENS, Jan
Advisors: CONINX, K.
Issue Date: 2007
Publisher: tUL
Abstract: A platform-independent User Interface (UI) would be desirable to enable the access to a wide range of services on many different devices with varying display sizes. It is not straightforward, however, to design such a UI because of the heterogeneity among these devices. A Model-Based User Interface Design (MBUID) process can be used to (semi-) automatically generate an interface for a desired target platform from a platform independent user interface description. A lot of UI design tools have adopted this approach, however, many of them cannot have serious usability problems since the gap between the mental model of the designer and the presentation the tool offers is too big. Yet, most designers prefer the usage of traditional Graphical User Interface (GUI) builders because they provide a concrete representation during their design activities. Most GUI builders, however, do not support platform independence. In this thesis, the strengths of both MBUID design tools and GUI builders are combined in order to create a new generation of flexible design tools. To establish this, we propose a domain specific GUI builder which can be generated from a domain vocabulary. This vocabulary contains a set of abstractions commonly used in the domain considered, each of them coupled to a concrete UI element. The domain specific GUI builder will allow the creation of a UI by combining these concrete elements, although the resulting UI description will still contain the necessary abstractions. The approach followed here is based on the User Interface Markup Language (UIML). A concrete representation, however, shows the UI for one particular display size. To address multiple display sizes, a UI interpolation technique is integrated in the domain specific GUI builder. This technique generates UIs for arbitrary screen sizes from two previously created user interfaces. Consequently, the designed UI can easily be ported to a broad range of devices with varying screen sizes. Our implementation of a domain-specific GUI builder and a UI interpolation mechanism is based on the open Uiml.net renderer. To validate our approach, the existing System.Windows.Forms (SWF) vocabulary is used as a mapping from the GUI domain vocabulary to specific SWF user interface elements. From this, we generate a SWF-specific GUI builder.
Notes: Master in de Informatica - Human-computer interaction
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1942/1928
Category: T2
Type: Theses and Dissertations
Appears in Collections: Master theses
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