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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1997. More Than Screen Deep: Toward Every-Citizen Interfaces to the Nation's Information Infrastructure. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5780.
×

More Than Screen Deep

Toward Every-Citizen Interfaces to the
Nation's Information Infrastructure

Toward an Every-Citizen Interface to the Nation's Information Infrastructure Steering Committee

Computer Science and Telecommunications Board

Commission on Physical Sciences, Mathematics, and Applications

National Research Council

NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS

Washington, D.C. 1997

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1997. More Than Screen Deep: Toward Every-Citizen Interfaces to the Nation's Information Infrastructure. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5780.
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Page ii

NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. This report has been reviewed by a group other than the authors according to procedures approved by a Report Review Committee consisting of members of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine.

Support for this project was provided by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. IRI-9529473. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

More than screen deep: toward every-citizen interfaces to the nation's information infrastructure / Toward an Every-Citizen Interface to the Nation's Information Infrastructure Steering Committee, Computer Science and Telecommunications Board, Commission on Physical Sciences, Mathematics, and Applications, National Research Council. p. cm. Summary report from a workshop held in August 1996. Includes bibliographical references. ISBN 0-309-06357-4 (pbk.: acid-free paper)1. User interfaces (Computer systems)—Congresses. 2. Human-computer interaction—Congresses. 3. Information superhighway—United States—Congresses. I. National Research Council (U.S.).Toward an Every-Citizen Interface to the Nation's Information Infrastructure Steering Committee.QA76.9.U83M67 1997303.48'3-dc21                         97-21211

Additional copies of this report are available from National Academy Press, 2101 Constitution Avenue, N.W., Lockbox 285, Washington, D.C. 20055; (800)624-6242 or (202)334-3313(in the Washington metropolitan area); Internet, http://www.nap.edu

Copyright 1997 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.

Printed in the United States of America

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1997. More Than Screen Deep: Toward Every-Citizen Interfaces to the Nation's Information Infrastructure. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5780.
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Page iii

Toward An Every-Citizen Interface To The Nation's Information Infrastructure Steering Committee

ALAN W. BIERMANN, Duke University, Chair

TORA BIKSON, RAND Corporation

THOMAS DEFANTI, University of Illinois at Chicago

GERHARD FISCHER, University of Colorado

BARBARA J. GROSZ, Harvard University

THOMAS LANDAUER, University of Colorado

JOHN MAKHOUL, BBN Corporation

BRUCE TOGNAZZINI, Healtheon Corporation

GREGG VANDERHEIDEN, University of Wisconsin

STEPHEN WEINSTEIN, NEC America Inc.

Staff

MARJORY S. BLUMENTHAL, Director

JOHN M. GODFREY, Research Associate (until January 31, 1997)

GAIL E. PRITCHARD, Project Assistant (until December 13, 1996)

SYNOD BOYD, Project Assistant (from May 21, 1997)

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1997. More Than Screen Deep: Toward Every-Citizen Interfaces to the Nation's Information Infrastructure. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5780.
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Computer Science And Telecommunications Board

DAVID D. CLARK, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Chair

FRANCES E. ALLEN, IBM T.J. Watson Research Center

JEFF DOZIER, University of California at Santa Barbara

SUSAN L. GRAHAM, University of California at Berkeley

JAMES GRAY, Microsoft Corporation

BARBARA J. GROSZ, Harvard University

PATRICK HANRAHAN, Stanford University

JUDITH HEMPEL, University of California at San Francisco

DEBORAH A. JOSEPH, University of Wisconsin

BUTLER W. LAMPSON, Microsoft Corporation

EDWARD D. LAZOWSKA, University of Washington

BARBARA H. LISKOV, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

JOHN MAJOR, Qualcomm Inc.

ROBERT L. MARTIN, AT&T Network Systems

DAVID G. MESSERSCHMITT, University of California at Berkeley

CHARLES L. SEITZ, Myricom Inc.

DONALD SIMBORG, KnowMed Systems Inc.

LESLIE L. VADASZ, Intel Corporation

MARJORY S. BLUMENTHAL, Director

HERBERT S. LIN, Senior Staff Officer

JERRY R. SHEEHAN, Staff Officer

JULIE LEE, Administrative Assistant

SYNOD BOYD, Project Assistant

LISA L. SHUM, Project Assistant

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1997. More Than Screen Deep: Toward Every-Citizen Interfaces to the Nation's Information Infrastructure. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5780.
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Page v

Commission On Physical Sciences, Mathematics, And Applications

ROBERT J. HERMANN, United Technologies Corporation, Co-chair

W. CARL LINEBERGER, University of Colorado, Co-chair

PETER M. BANKS, Environmental Research Institute of Michigan

LAWRENCE D. BROWN, University of Pennsylvania

RONALD G. DOUGLAS, Texas A&M University

JOHN E. ESTES, University of California at Santa Barbara

L. LOUIS HEGEDUS, Elf Atochem North America Inc.

JOHN E. HOPCROFT, Cornell University

RHONDA J. HUGHES, Bryn Mawr College

SHIRLEY A. JACKSON, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission

KENNETH H. KELLER, University of Minnesota

KENNETH I. KELLERMANN, National Radio Astronomy Observatory

MARGARET G. KIVELSON, University of California at Los Angeles

DANIEL KLEPPNER, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

JOHN KREICK, Sanders, a Lockheed Martin Company

MARSHA I. LESTER, University of Pennsylvania

THOMAS A. PRINCE, California Institute of Technology

NICHOLAS P. SAMIOS, Brookhaven National Laboratory

L.E. SCRIVEN, University of Minnesota

SHMUEL WINOGRAD, IBM T.J. Watson Research Center

CHARLES A. ZRAKET, MITRE Corporation (retired)

NORMAN METZGER, Executive Director

Page vi

The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Bruce Alberts is president of the National Academy of Sciences.

The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. William A. Wulf is president of the National Academy of Engineering.

The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Kenneth I. Shine is president of the Institute of Medicine.

The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy's purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Bruce Alberts and Dr. William A. Wulf are chairman and vice chairman, respectively, of the National Research Council.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1997. More Than Screen Deep: Toward Every-Citizen Interfaces to the Nation's Information Infrastructure. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5780.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1997. More Than Screen Deep: Toward Every-Citizen Interfaces to the Nation's Information Infrastructure. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5780.
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Preface

The spread of information systems and, in particular, information infrastructure throughout the economy and social fabric raises questions about the technology's ease of use by different people, from those with limited technical know-how to those with various disabilities to the so-called power users who push for higher performance on many dimensions. In response to a request from the National Science Foundation, the Computer Science and Telecommunications Board (CSTB) of the National Research Council convened a steering committee to evaluate and suggest fruitful directions for progress in user interfaces to computing and communications systems. The charge to the steering committee is best presented by quoting from the project prospectus, which called for a workshop to "determine the state-of-the-art of research in CS [computer science] and other disciplines, identify the questions most important to investigate next ..., identify what is known from research on the longer-term problems that will aid in near-term human-computer communications design, and identify important long-term research issues." The steering committee met in March 1996 to plan a two-day workshop that was held in August 1996 (the agenda and participants are listed in Appendix A) and then met again in September 1996 to plan the structure and format of this summary report. It relied primarily on electronic mail for its subsequent interactions, including electronic mail with the larger set of workshop participants.

The workshop participants, like the steering committee, included experts from multiple disciplines-computing and communications software

Page viii Cite
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1997. More Than Screen Deep: Toward Every-Citizen Interfaces to the Nation's Information Infrastructure. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5780.
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and hardware, psychology, sociology, human factors, design, and economics-and experts experienced with applications in specific domains (e.g., health and education) and with the needs and experiences of a wide range of subpopulations (e.g., people with physical disabilities; those with low-income and/or limited education). Whether from a computer science, social science, or application-domain perspective, all had experience working with a variety of computing and communications system users, and all were asked to draw on their practical experience. It was anticipated that viewing earlier, more technically focused treatments of user interfaces through the lens of a familiar life domain would reveal neglected issues, unidentified challenges, unexpected convergences, or new directions for research or action. The participants pooled their skills to make suggestions concerning how to build interfaces that will enable the broadest-possible spectrum of citizenry to interact easily and effectively with the nation's information infrastructure to obtain as many services as is reasonable.

The workshop demonstrated the value of assembling a very diverse group of experts embodying many complementary perspectives; it also demonstrated how differently people in different disciplines-or people with different subspecialties within a given discipline-perceive, analyze, and discuss the experiences and needs of users of computing and communications systems. That recognition implies that the workshop should be seen as part of a process of interdisciplinary convening and exchange that should continue. That process may require special effort and encouragement through activities like the one responsible for this report.

The role of the steering committee was not only to organize the workshop but also to sift through the many inputs to distill key themes, ideas, and recommendations. The results compose Part I of the present report, which is a synthesis and distillation primarily of workshop-related inputs and which focuses on research opportunities. Its contribution lies in its integration of a very diverse set of perspectives to illuminate directions for research, with emphasis on directions that blend multiple disciplines. Part I does not purport to be a comprehensive treatise on either user interfaces or the entire set of problems inherent in the challenge of broadening public access to the national information infrastructure (NII), nor does it focus on the important subset of problems associated with NII applications in support of the rights and responsibilities of citizenship. For those seeking more detail and a mapping of ideas to sources, position papers contributed by workshop participants (several containing bibliographies) are included in Part II. Additional position papers can be found on the World Wide Web at http://www2.nas.edu/CSTBWEB).

The steering committee is grateful to the many people who contributed to its deliberations and to this report. The workshop participants

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1997. More Than Screen Deep: Toward Every-Citizen Interfaces to the Nation's Information Infrastructure. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5780.
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generated a lively set of discussions and commented on early drafts derived from panel discussions. The steering committee is particularly grateful to those who also contributed position statements (see Part II), brief outlines of the state of the art in specific areas (distributed with the workshop program to participants), and comments on a draft of this report. H. Rex Hartson (Virginia Polytechnic Institute), who was unable to attend the workshop, generously supplied a special overview of the user interface landscape, which is the lead segment of Part II. Terry Winograd (Stanford University), Ben Shneiderman (University of Maryland), and Nathan Shedroff (vivid studios), who were also unable to attend, provided position papers.

Several workshop participants and a few individuals with no formal participation in the project provided extraordinary inputs to this report. Austin Henderson (Apple Computer) made significant contributions to the committee's thinking about collaboration and information dimensions. Johanna Moore (University of Pittsburgh) assisted in the revision of the discussion on agent technology by collecting input from other participants and integrating it with her own suggestions. Candace Sidner (Lotus Development Corporation) and C. Raymond Perrault (SRI International) contributed additional insights, references, and text describing natural language understanding and processing. Black Hannaford (University of Washington) contributed text describing commercial and research trends relating to haptic and tactile interfaces, and David Warner (Syracuse University) provided input on medical applications for such technology. Julia Hirschberg (AT&T Research Laboratories) and Pierre Isabelle (Center for Information Technology Innovation) provided state-of-the-art reviews for text-to-speech synthesis and machine translation, respectively. Jason Leigh (University of Illinois at Chicago) supplied a substantial part of the graphics and virtual reality reference list. CommerceNet (http://www.commerce.net) and Nielsen Media Research (http://www.nielsenmedia.com/commercenet) generously provided results of their Internet Demographics Survey. Michael North (North Communications) and Marc Regberg (Venture Development Corporation) supplied reference materials on kiosks and their uses. David Crocker (Brandenburg Consulting) created an electronic mail discussion list that supported post-workshop exchanges by the workshop participants and the steering committee.

The anonymous reviewers of this report provided an invaluable, if sometimes confounding, sanity check on the steering committee's early efforts to synthesize its impressions and conclusions. The range of comments, criticisms, and suggestions was as broad as the other inputs to the project, but collectively they guided the steering committee in tightening and reinforcing its presentation.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1997. More Than Screen Deep: Toward Every-Citizen Interfaces to the Nation's Information Infrastructure. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5780.
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Page x

John Godfrey, a CSTB research associate until February 1997, put considerable effort into organizing the workshop and working with the steering committee as it developed this report. Rob Cheng, a graduate student at the Massachussetts Institute of Technology, prepared background research and other materials for the workshop as a summer intern with CSTB. Finally, the committee thanks Gary Strong, of the National Science Foundation, for both making this project possible and providing ongoing encouragement.

Alan W. Biermann, Chair

Toward an Every-Citizen Interface to the Nation's Information Infrastructure

Steering Committee

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1997. More Than Screen Deep: Toward Every-Citizen Interfaces to the Nation's Information Infrastructure. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5780.
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Page xi

Contents

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

1

PART I

 

1 Introduction

9

2 Requirements for Effective Every-Citizen Interfaces

21

3 Input/Output Technologies: Current Status and Research Needs

71

4 Design and Evaluation

121

5 Communication and Collaboration

154

6 Agents and Systems Intelligence

180

7 Conclusions and Recommendations

192

Bibliography

198

PART II

 

BACKGROUND PAPER

 

Trends in Human-Computer Interaction Research and Development

H. Rex Hartson, Virginia Polytechnic Institute

221

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1997. More Than Screen Deep: Toward Every-Citizen Interfaces to the Nation's Information Infrastructure. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5780.
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POSITION PAPERS

 

On Interface Specifics

 

An Embedded, Invisible Every-Citizen Interface

243

Mark Weiser, Xerox Palo Alto Research Center

 

Intelligent Multimedia Interfaces for ''Each" Citizen

246

Mark T. Maybury, Mitre Corporation

 

Interfaces for Understanding

252

Nathan Shedroff, vivid studios

 

Interspace and an Every-Citizen Interface to the National Information Infrastructure

260

Terry Winograd, Stanford University

 

Mobile Access to the Nation's Information Infrastructure

265

Daniel P. Siewiorek, Carnegie Mellon University

 

Ordinary Citizens and the National Information Infrastructure

271

Bruce Tognazzini, Healtheon Corporation

 

Spoken-Language Technology

279

Ronald A. Cole, Oregon Graduate Institute of Science and Technology

 

Toward an Every-Citizen Interface

284

Steven K. Feiner, Columbia University

 

Nomadicity, Disability Access, and the Every-Citizen Interface

297

Gregg C. Vanderheiden, University of Wisconsin-Madison

 

On Functions

 

Computer-Mediated Collaboration

307

Loren Terveen, AT&T Research

 

Creating Interfaces Founded on Principles of Discourse Communication and Collaboration

315

Candace Sidner, Lotus Development Corporation

 

Digital Maps

322

Lance McKee and Louis Hecht, Open GIS Consortium Inc.

 

Gathering and Integrating Information in the National Information Infrastructure

330

Craig A. Knoblock, University of Southern California

 
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1997. More Than Screen Deep: Toward Every-Citizen Interfaces to the Nation's Information Infrastructure. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5780.
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Integrating Audiences and Users

334

John Richards, Turner Le@rning Inc.

 

Intelligent Agents for Information

341

Katia P. Sycara, Carnegie Mellon University

 

Intelligent Information Agents

345

Johanna D. Moore, University of Pittsburgh

 

Resource Discovery and Resource Delivery

354

Kent Wittenburg, Bellcore

 

Search and Publishing

359

Robert A. Virzi, GTE Laboratories Incorporated

 

Security

363

Stephen Kent, BBN Corporation

 

Research to Support Widespread Access to Digital Libraries and Government Information and Services

372

Ben Shneiderman, University of Maryland

 

On Application Areas

 

Community Computing Projects

375

Aki Helen Namioka, Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility

 

Lifelong Learning

382

Gerhard Fischer, University of Colorado, Boulder

 

Supporting Learning in Communities of Practice

389

Charles Cleary, Northwestern University

 

On Selected Population Groups

 

Extending Knowledge Access to Underserved Citizens

395

Wallace Feurzeig, BBN Systems and Technologies

 

Electronic Access to Services for Low-Income Populations

403

Adam Porter, University of Maryland

 

Access for People with Disabilities

407

Larry Goldberg, WGBH Educational Foundation

 
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1997. More Than Screen Deep: Toward Every-Citizen Interfaces to the Nation's Information Infrastructure. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5780.
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On Key Processes

 

Cross-Disciplinary, Social-Context Research

411

John Leslie King, University of California, Irvine

 

Audio Access to the National Information Infrastructure

417

John C. Thomas, NYNEX Science and Technology

 

APPENDIXES

 

A Workshop Agenda and Participants

425

B Steering Committee Members' Biographies

429

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The national information infrastructure (NII) holds the promise of connecting people of all ages and descriptions--bringing them opportunities to interact with businesses, government agencies, entertainment sources, and social networks. Whether the NII fulfills this promise for everyone depends largely on interfaces--technologies by which people communicate with the computing systems of the NII.

More Than Screen Deep addresses how to ensure NII access for every citizen, regardless of age, physical ability, race/ethnicity, education, ability, cognitive style, or economic level. This thoughtful document explores current issues and prioritizes research directions in creating interface technologies that accommodate every citizen's needs.

The committee provides an overview of NII users, tasks, and environments and identifies the desired characteristics in every-citizen interfaces, from power and efficiency to an element of fun. The book explores:

  • Technological advances that allow a person to communicate with a computer system.
  • Methods for designing, evaluating, and improving interfaces to increase their ultimate utility to all people.
  • Theories of communication and collaboration as they affect person-computer interactions and person-person interactions through the NII.
  • Development of agents: intelligent computer systems that "understand" the user's needs and find the solutions. Offering data, examples, and expert commentary, More Than Screen Deep charts a path toward enabling the broadest-possible spectrum of citizens to interact easily and effectively with the NII. This volume will be important to policymakers, information system designers and engineers, human factors professionals, and advocates for special populations.
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