The end-user vs. adaptive user interfaces

AutorVeit Schwartze, Frank Trollmann, Sahin Albayrak

In smart environments, applications can support users in their daily life by being ubiquitously available through various interaction devices. Applications deployed in such an environment, have to be able to adapt to different context of use scenarios in order to remain usable for the user. For this purpose the designer of such an application defines adaptations from her point of view. Because of situations, which are unforeseeable at design time, the user sometimes needs to adjust the designers’ decisions. For instance, the capabilities and personal preferences of the user cannot be completely foreseen by the designer. The user needs a way to understand and change adaptations defined by the designer and to define new adaptations. This requires the definition of a set of context of uses and adaptations applied to the user interface in this situation. For this reason supportive user interfaces should enable the user to control and evaluate the state of the adaptive application and to understand “What happens and why?” In this paper, we describe the requirements and function of a supportive user interface to evaluate and control an adaptive application, deployed in a smart environment.