The following projects are selected examples chosen from about 150 research and usability testing projects that CURE has carried out within the last years.
2009 - 2010
AID’s project aim was to develop a communication terminal for elderly people using a touchscreen interface to facilitate access to communication services. AID displays were placed in the home environment of the target group and were designed to stimulate communication to relatives and friends. AID integrated text messages, email, and display to display communication as well as information services.
CURE gathered specific user requirements in collaboration with representatives of the target group,
relatives and „Daseinsvorsorger“ (professional health carers). On the basis of defined user needs detailed applications, service and interface concepts were designed by CURE. Those concepts were evaluated and tested by end-users at the beginning, throughout and at the end of the development and implementation phase. An AID prototype was used by elderly people and relatives in a real living environment.
- Telekom Austria AG
- Forschungsinstitut des Roten Kreuzes
2010 - 2013
The goal of the project AIR “Advanced Interface Research” is to explore new ways of interaction with interactive systems in real-world scenarios, looking into the very specifics of the interaction contexts in these scenarios. Current and emerging interaction techniques are investigated in order to enhance the usability, user experience, accessibility, and the overall quality of products and delivered services. User-driven innovation approaches are developed and defined to reach these goals.
Within this project CURE will be especially involved in the three main contexts in which end-users interactions with technology are investigated in detail: (i) context home and extended home, (ii) context mobility, and (iii) context advanced service interactions. In order to reach these goals, tools for intelligent context measurement and a modular management platform for Living Lab research will be investigated and developed.
- Graz AG – Stadtwerke für kommunale Dienste – Verkehrsbetriebe GVB
- KEBA AG
- MOBILKOM AUSTRIA GMBH
- Ovos media consulting gmbh
- PL.O.T EDV Planungs- und HandelsgesmbH
- Skidata AG
- Musterhotel GmbH
- ICT&S Center, University of Salzburg
- FH OÖ Entwicklungs GmbH
- NOLDUS information technology BV (NL)
This project showed the potentials and drawbacks of interactive television. This relatively new medium was studied from different viewpoints. The overall goal was the analysis of its differences to other media. Especially the factors influencing its acceptance among different user groups and its user experience was explored. In addition new methods and techniques to measure and analyse the different dimensions of the concept of user experience were evaluated.
The training duties of the academy of the Austrian Airtraffic Control Agency are highly complicated. The high number and variety of courses, the combination of theoretical as well as practical courses and the required intense personal coaching form a complex context for the necessary high quality training. Seeking ways to optimize training from the quality and cost perspective, CURE carried out a cost benefit analysis on e-learning. A complex scheme and tool was developed which enabled the calculation (e.g. direct costs, human and other resources) of various e-Learning scenarios. Also further European developments of the ATC market as well as Austrian specifics (e.g. collective contracts) were considered.
In order to enhance the provided service of the Austrian search engine Austronaut, CURE carried out a tailored usability test, including intense eyetracking studies to observe the users' perception of banners and specially featured categories. The test resulted in concrete redesign requirements. After conducting the required changes the quality of the site and the satisfaction of the user increased measurably (as proofed by Austronaut's log files).
This study aimed to generate new knowledge about the effects of using photo-realistic avatars
used as part of the user interfaces for Ambient Assisted Living environments.
Within this project CURE performed a usability study using the “Wizard of Oz” technique and an evaluation of the acceptance, likability and applicability with users at the age of 60-75 with and without diagnose of Mild Cognitive Impairment, that brought qualitative and quantitative data
to make smart home environments more usable and accepted by the target group.
Results showed that faces on the graphical user interfaces were favoured by both target groups (elderly with and without cognitive impairment). However, users' performance on executing tasks did not differ much between the different presentation modes. It was observed that people with Mild Cognitive Impairment had a better performance for the avatar and the text interface. Maybe a combination of those two modalities could be a promising way of designing the user interface for assistive technology devices and services for this user group.
Austrian Research Centers GmbH (Coordinator)
Subject of this study was a user centred analysis of travelling, travellers and travel contexts. The goals of BORIS were to identify user groups and their demands for information in their specific contexts of travelling, and to evaluate different kinds of media and ways of visualisation. We achieved these goals using innovative prototyping and design methods.
As a result, four user groups were identified (e.g. business travellers, leisure travellers, commuters), detailed information requirements, categorized by user groups and means of transport, were specified and personalisation concepts for travel information systems were developed. Apart from standard travel information, security, comfort and information on the experience value was found to be of great value for the users.
For further information see the separate BORIS Website (in german)
2010 - 2012
C2G dealt with energy-feedback in households with the focus on the consumer. Within this project we dealt with the question how information about potential energy savings is best presented to the consumer in order to reduce energy consumption in a smart-grid. Additionally we were interested how, when and what kind of energy feedback residents need considering socio-demographic and cultural backgrounds. Therefore we developed energy-feedback strategies and tools and finally compared them in a one-year field trial. The aim was to detect the most resource effective energy feedback methods for the human-in-the-loop in smart grid environments.
Within C2G CURE’s role included framing human-centered requirements for energy-feedback tools, interaction and communication design for the tools and trial design as well as preparation, realization and analyzing the collected data. CURE’s main aim was to invent persuasive tools for a sustainable high living standard.
- Salzburg AG
- Salzburg Wohnbau GmbH
- Technische Universität Wien - Institut für Computertechnologie (ICT)
- Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT) – Energy Department
Goal of the project was to develop a computer vision system that not only can find things, but that can understand the relationship between the human activities and objects involved. This understanding of new information and new knowledge is the key aspect of the cognitive approach to computer vision. The techniques devised were implemented in prototype systems.
CUREs role within the project was to
2010 - 2011
Project Reference: 825878 (FFG, benefit)
Personas are a design tool representing archetypical, fictitious users based on real user data in form of (narrative) user descriptions (Alan Cooper, 1999).
CURE-Elderly-Personas were designed to be applied in AAL (Ambient Assited Living) and related projects supporting researchers and practitioners by designing products and services for older users with diverse problems, concerns, needs and limitations. The set of senior Personas is based on a multidisciplinary longitudinal cross-national survey on persons aged 50 years and older including data at the micro level (SHARE). The developed CURE-Elderly-Personas are fictitious persons synthetically generated from average traits mixed across countries and represent archetypical senior persons older than 60 years, living at home, based on real data from eight European countries: Denmark, Sweden and the Netherlands (northern European countries), Austria and Germany (central European countries) and Italy, Spain and Greece (southern European countries). Data from these countries have been chosen because of their similar cultural background. CURE-Elderly-Personas are available for free (after registration) at the website.
CURE coordinated the project and contributed to the visual design, development and evaluation of the CURE-Elderly-Personas with future users.
VID (Vienna Institute of Demography) (AT)
For further information see the CURE-Elderly-Personas Website
2011 - 2013
The main focus of the DIAFIT project is to support a balanced diet as a crucial aspect of health and aging-well. A balanced diet is increasingly important for elderly people to maintain a healthy, independent, vital and long life. Age-based diet encompasses the consideration of age-related health constrictions, the prevention of malnutrition or overweight and the maintenance of quality of life and vitality. The key objective of the DIAFIT project is the development of an innovative multimodal assistant for the nutrition of elderly people in order to evaluate their nutritional behavior and to individually support them. The innovative service – the “Kitchen Terminal” – is accessed by using a natural interface, including multimedia driven communication, image based recognition of food, and “estimation of mobility”. DIAFIT enables a continuous monitoring of nutrition behavior and allows the exposure of deficits in nutrition. Based on this DIAFIT promotes an intelligent recommendation service in order to motivate appropriate behavior adjustments.
Within DIAFIT CURE’s role includes the coordination of the evaluation process of the DIAFIT assistant system with primary users. This in particular includes the definition of research questions and an appropriate selection of measurement tools to ensure valid results that contribute to further challenges and application requirements in the development process.
- FH Johanneum GmbH Graz
- Johanneum Research Forschungs-GmbH
- GEFAS Steiermark
- Date Denkwerkzeuge
- Cookina – EBK Wohndesign GmbH
For further information see the DIAFIT Website
2010 - 2012
Elvis dealt with the exploration of User Experience factors and psychosocial barriers during the usage of traffic and transport systems as well as in the area of traffic and transport information systems. Further the project aimed to define an indicator to describe user groups of traffic and transport (information) systems called “perception of traffic and transport (information) systems”. Finally another result was a set of guidelines indicating how information systems are able to diminish or overcome physical mobility barriers.
CURE was the coordinator of this project and carried out field trials with user groups equipped with self-recording tools that allowed them to record positive and negative facts occurring to them during the time of the trial. The result was a collection of positive and negative experience factors and psychosocial barriers. Relevant context factors (moment of decision) and personalization factors of traffic and transport information were also identified within the field trials.
- ÖZIV (Österreichischer Zivilinvalidenverband) (Austria)
- FLUIDTIME (Austria)
- ICT&S Center, Universität Salzburg (Austria)
On behalf of the Federal Ministry for traffic, innovation and technology (BMVIT) CURE (center for Usability Research & engineering) in co-operation with ARC Seibersdorf research, division information technologies, conducted a feasibility study on the application of multimodal interfaces. The study comprised the following aspects:
2012 - 2014
FLASH is a national research project funded under the FEMTech Call focusing on the gender-oriented development of an intelligent personal organizer with an integrated routing system (Smartphone-Application). The outcome of FLASH targets to optimize the user experience of people with complex and dynamic daily activities. Depending from sex and psychological gender and factors of diversity, such as age, ethnicity and cultural background, people have different requirements on activity scheduling. FLASH integrates these requirements and conducts user research to measure the user experience and usability of the developed application.
- AIT – Austrian Institute of Technology
- Fluidtime Data Services GmbH
- Herry Consult GmbH
For more information visit the FLASH Website
The aim of this project was to make the systems (user interfaces) of the Frequentis unique, identifiable and highly usable. Another intention was to decrease user interface design resources through co-operative (world-wide) usage of an electronic style guide (intranet solution). The styleguide also supports the reuse of already developed and designed applications. The guidelines covered classical GUIs, web-based applications and touch panels. The look & feel and the style guide had to be highly flexible in order to enable individual designs for each client, while still keeping Frequentis' corporate identity. To fulfil all these requirements, CURE developed a highly adaptable style guide and intranet solution.
The goal of IANUS was to better understand information reception and information usage under stress. The results were used to improve existing guidelines of control systems in the area of public transportation to reduce the stress of the passengers and increase information perception. In the project, the influence of stress was investigated in relation to public transportation. As part of the project consortium, CURE´s role was to track eye-movement behavior as well as psychophysiological measures in laboratory experiments and field trials in order to analyze the stress level of the participants. The data was evaluated in collaboration with our project partners with respect to correlations between stress level and information reception.
The goal of INFLOW was to reveal barriers and breaks in the continuity of the information chain during the use of Austrian railways. This was achieved by following activities:
INFLOW evaluated the usability of the information provided and of the information-channels and -media. These information channels included WAP- and web-portals but also ticket machines.
The systems’ usability was analysed both user- and expert-based. The project also investigated the systems’ accessibility for persons with special needs.
An expert based workshop was conducted to close the project. At this workshop the project’s results were discussed with national and international experts. The results of this workshop were the final input for the package of measures, which was the main result of INFLOW.
The package of measures was provided with the project’s final deliverable. This deliverable summarised the project’s results and provided a weighting of the identified problems. The catalogue of measures and guidelines considered also the suggestions’ applicability and the costs of their implementation.
2012 - 2014
KIT-Aktiv (Community-based individual training for promoting activity) is a national research project funded under the FFG benefit initiative focusing on ICT-based active and healthy ageing. The project aims to develop and evaluate a flexible infrastructure for promoting physical activity in the living environment of elderly people. Together with end users and stakeholders of the local community and the local senior center (local residental home Senecura) specific application scenarios will be developed, implemented and evaluated on the basis of the planned infrastructure.
Important components of the KIT-Aktiv system will be so called fitness poles, which provide a flexible infrastructure for recording activity data on predefined running and walking trails. The system uses low-cost passive ID tags to identify the users. In order to provide access to the system for elderly people who don't have a personal computer or a smartphone, public terminals are developed within the project. These terminals not only provide information on the user’s activity, but also integrate sensors to measure vital data like body weight or blood pressure. The KIT-Active system is transferable to a variety of additional usage scenarios.
CURE’s role within the project includes the investigation of user requirements of elderly people with partly limited capabilities, as well as the iterative testing and evaluation of KIT-Aktive’s prototypes. Further more CURE conducts user research to measure the user experience and usability of the developed system.
- AIT Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH
- TAGnology RFID GmbH
- SimpliFlow GmbH
- SeneCura Sozialzentrum Grafenwörth
- Community Grafenwörth
Developments in the car-sector led to an increase of devices that all aim to reduce the driver workload, e.g. advanced cruise control, and to warn the driver for potential dangers. When these devices are combined in one car, this might cause unexpected situations and actually increase the workload of the driver instead of decrease it and might lead to dangerous situations. It is therefore important to seek a solution for the increasing amount of information that these systems convey to the driver. This was the goal of the LIVES project: to develop guidelines for optimizing the (combined) interfaces of advanced in-car devices. In simulator experiments, the optimal communication with drivers was empirically tested in the visual, auditory and haptic modalities to find out when and how information from advanced in-car systems should be presented to the driver.
For further information see the separate LIVES Website (in german)
A key issue in Human-Computer Interfaces is to model the situated awareness of the user and to estimate the semantic information captured from the immediate environment. Determining the human focus of attention is crucial by pointing to the information of interest, associating user activity to a spatial and task based context. The objective of LOOKAT was to develop towards a computational model of human attention from credible data that was received directly from human selective capture of multi-sensory information. Basic research focused on the outline of a novel framework on extraction of the focus of attention by (i) determining the exact viewing direction and (ii) capturing the semantic content of pedestrians while performing their task in urban environment scenarios. Two pilot studies towards the implementation of application specific prototypes were performed using mobile eye trackers that extract human awareness about the urban environment. Semantic mapping was achieved from the developed technologies of automated object detection and recogniton from eye gaze on video, and by mobile sensing about user location and head direction for content selection from georeferenced map features.
2010 - 2012
MARIA aimed to develop a mobile service assisting people with deficiencies in reading and understanding written text in German. MARIA enables elderly people, illiterates and immigrants without language knowledge to use public transport more efficiently and increases their subjective feeling of self-efficacy on their journeys. The main technical innovations of Maria include image based text recognition and translation, location awareness and mobile speech recognition.
CURE’s main focus lay on the investigation of user requirements in everyday mobility of social groups with reduced abilities, as well as the design and iterative testing of MARIA’s prototypes. In particular CURE investigated innovative prototype methods such as “Wizard of Oz Prototyping” for the early evaluation of MARIA’s services and tools.
- JOANNEUM RESEARCH Forschungsges.mbH (Coordinator)
- c.c.com Andersen & Moser
- Grazer Stadtwerke
- GEFAS Steiermark
- Verein Danaida
- Mentz Datenverarbeitung Austria GmbH
2012 - 2014
How do people interact with their surrounding environment? How do new media and information sources influence orientation and navigation behaviour? These are the kinds of questions addressed by MOVING. The project aims at developing a method for the evaluation of guiding systems and navigation solutions in public infrastructures, with particular attention to persons unaccustomed to the infrastructure.
To understand people’s navigation behaviour in public spaces and to identify gaps and problems in current guiding systems, MOVING combines a virtual environment (DAVE) as well as eye-tracking technology with simulation models of pedestrian behaviour.
Within the project, CURE investigates individuals’ information perception and visual attention allocation in large public spaces. A newly developed attention model serves as basis to analyse wayfinding strategies in unknown environments. As an expert in evaluating the usability of mobile and guiding systems, CURE contributes to effective navigation systems in public spaces.
- Austrian Institute of Technology, Mobility Department (AIT)
- Fraunhofer Austria Research GmbH
- is-design GmbH
- NOUS Wissensmanagement GmbH
- Architekt DI Alfred Ritter
- ÖBB Infrastruktur AG
NETZWERK ZIELLEITUNG developed a prototype that enabled travellers to find their way at airports, railway stations and other frequently visited junctions. The system is completely handsfree. It is speech operated and provides spoken guidance. The system was based on the analysis of travellers’ traffic flows. CURE conducted the user analysis including eye tracking studies and other user driven methods. In addition CURE ensured that the system was developed in iterative circles including prototyping, test and redesign phases. The tests of the prototypes were conducted at CURE’s user experience labs and in the field.
The Austrian railway company (section "Traktion") internally develops numerous applications, which support their daily work. CURE developed an user interface styleguide that increased the overall quality of these programmes and that minimized the documentation and communication needs. The style guide includes all necessary features, logic, visualizations and guidelines to develop consistent, platform conform and usable applications. A prior usability test on a representative application served as valuable input for the style guide.
For the Arbeiterkammer, Abteilung Konsumentenschutz (Austrian Chamber of Labour, Department of Consumer Policy) CURE assessed numerous well known Austrian Online Supermarkets. Usability reviews were conducted following an objective rating scheme. Together with other criteria this assessment lead to an overall quality judgement of the sites.
2010 - 2012
The PEEM project carried out research on new strategies and tools providing energy related feedback to the costumer in a persuasive and unobtrusive way in the home context. CURE aimed to detect, if those tools have the potential to reduce energy consumption without loss of comfort for the users. Tailored persuasive approaches overcoming limitations of existing solutions were developed, prototyped and experimentally validated in realistic long-term settings.
CURE contributed to the project in the field of human-computer interaction in defining requirements for the prototype. Furthermore CURE’s goal was to develop persuasive ambient strategies for energy efficiency. Those strategies were applied in a persuasive home display, where CURE was also included in the designing process. CURE evaluated the developed prototype by designing and preparing a three month experiment.
- ICT&S Information and Communication Technologies and Society, University of Salzburg
- Salzburg AG
Persuasive Computing or Captology is a new field of research exploring how technology can change attitudes and behaviours. The goal of PERSEUD project was to integrate findings of two research disciplines: social psychology and persuasive computing. In the framework of PERSEUD, persuasive software components were developed according to specific needs of programmers as well as implemented and tested in a programming environment. The aim was to enhance programmer’s awareness on the users and usability issues both in short and long term. In addition CURE developed and evaluated a new method of measuring persuasion.
For further information see the separate Perseud Website (in german)
This research project was conducted in co-operation with the VRVis Research Center (Vienna) and with the Vienna University of Technology. Semantic Depth of Fields (SDOF) - a focus & context technique that uses selective blur to make less important objects less prominent and thus point out the more relevant parts of the display to the user - has been explored. The project is based on the depth of field (DOF) effect known from photography and cinematography, which depicts objects sharply or blurred depending on their distance from the lens. The experiments dealt with preattentative reception within the first 200 ms.
SESUN enabled Europe and China to collaborate in the design of usable IT and communication systems. In addition to large-scale information systems, SESUN addressed mobile applications, consumer products, and personal and ubiquitous technologies.
CURE's role within SESUN was to co-ordinate the co-operation with UsabilityNet, a project funded by the European Union, to promote usability and user centered design, provide usability resources and networking support.
2012 - 2015
HiT-Begleitforschung optimizes and evaluates a smart grids optimized housing area, which is situated in Salzburg.
Currently smart grid friendly concepts related to building technology are intensively researched and tested. Additionally there are efforts to involve the perspective of energy consumers, usually by the development of energy-related feedback technologies. These two approaches are normally investigated separately in different contexts. Furthermore there are only little efforts to consider these concepts in a realistic context.
In contrast, a realistic implementation of smart grid friendly concepts is currently realized in terms of a housing area within the project HiT Planung&Bau (HiT- houses as interactive participants in the smart grid) in the context of the Smart Grids Modellregion Salzburg (SGMS). The housing area will be evaluated from the perspective of the power supplier, the building technology, and the residents in a one-year field study. The results should enable to gain an integrative understanding about the realization of smart grid friendly concepts. Besides the detailed evaluation of these concepts, it will also be possible to highlight their potentials.
Within the project, CURE investigates human-centered requirements for energy-feedback tools, provides interaction design for these tools, designs and carries out evaluation trials and collects, analyses and interprets the gained data. By this, CURE aims at securing a high living standard and well-being in smart grids optimized buildings.
- Salzburg AG für Energie, Verkehr und Telekommunikation
- Austrian Institute of Technology, Energy Department
- Salzburg Wohnbau GmbH
- Siemens AG Österreich
Softnet is a competence network which aims for the close co-operation between industry and science in software development projects. Softnet discovered and established synergies for the benefit of the Austrian software producing industry and for its standing within the European and worldwide competition.
CURE was involved in two of Softnet’s subprojects:
1. Mobile Multimedia Replayer: Agile software development methods were applied for the development of a mobile multimedia replayer for mobile content. The system enables the user to search for and to play multimedia content inside a mobile context. The main research question was the integration of usability engineering and agile software development.
2. Industrial User Interfaces: The goal of this subproject was the analysis of the user interface development processes in very different domains (mobile applications, content management, exhaust gas measuring). Among other outcomes this subproject developed a framework for the measurement of the usability-maturity of an organisation, a prototyping environment for mobile application and devices and a styleguide for knowledge management systems.
2008 - 2010
The "ticket4all” (T4A) project focused on the improvement and universal design of information services and communications components. The project concentrated on creating and designing web and online services for the Internet ticketing sector. T4A addressed people with special needs (cognitively and physically impaired) as well as the elderly target group. The user groups have different physical and cognitive abilities that impede their use of modern media (Internet technologies) and can hinder their access to relevant information. An interdisciplinary approach and consideration of their needs from a user point of view was a new approach to finding solutions for the improvement of user handling.
CURE reflected the concentrated user-focus in an iterative process in which user and access problems were identified and corrected during field and laboratory tests. The identified problems were adapted within the framework of the project.
- ÖBB Personenverkehr AG
- Create - Mediadesign GmbH
- PL.O.T EDV - Planungs- und Handels GesmbH
- verkehrspuls -Technisches Büro für Verkehrsplanung
2011 - 2012
Project Reference: 830167 (FFG, benefit)
The training2go 60+ project created a mobile learning system (m-learning) for generation 60+ users that supports the management of everyday life tasks as well as lifelong learning activities. The concept of knowledge transfer through small (and smallest) learning sessions and the system's mobility and resultant availability at any time improve the autonomy and independence of senior citizens.
Within the project, CURE's focus was set on user requirements specification, interface conception and evaluation of the system prototypes during lab and field studies focusing on usability and technology acceptance aspects.
create-mediadesign GmbH (AT)