UCLIC Research Seminar Series

UCLIC Research Seminar 17 May: Sylvain Malacria - Do we need to `recall` an efficient interaction?


UCLIC Research Seminar 17 May: Sylvain Malacria - Do we need to `recall` an efficient interaction?


A recording of this talk is available on the UCLIC YouTube channel: https://youtu.be/0rtndISR3iI

Graphical User Interfaces still mediate most interaction between users and interactive systems. Their success might stem from the fact that they are adapted to users of various profiles. As an example, the simple task of selecting a command on a desktop computer can be performed when not familiar with the interface by visually inspecting it and visually recognising the available commands. Inexperienced users can select the same command more rapidly by recalling a corresponding shortcut that must be learnt beforehand. It is often implied that shortcuts are recall-based "by nature", while they actually are "by design". But is there any reason to require users to have to learn this shortcut before hand? Is it really impossible to provide an efficient interaction while still allowing users to rely on visual recognition?

In this talk, I will present my work on the exploration of efficient recognition-based interaction techniques. I will reflect on why recall-based mechanisms are constraining for users, and present several interaction techniques I have designed that overcome this issue, offer a high performance ceiling and do not require recall as they predominantly rely on recognition. Overall, we will see that GUI might be simply asking too much from users, expecting them to learn and remember too many things, when this cognitive resource could be used for more important tasks.


Sylvain Malacria is a tenured researcher in the Loki research group at Inria. His research focuses on one consequence of the digital revolution: the constant need to learn how to use novel interactive devices and complex softwares. He studies the difficulties users face when they are exposed to an interactive system they are not familiar with. He is particularly interested in how users improve with interactive systems and how to assist them to reach an high performance level. He is also interested in how users may discover interactive possibilities offered by systems they use for the first time (and conversely, how these systems communicate their interaction possibilities). More details can be found on his website: www.malacria.com