The Open UniversitySkip to content

Using while moving: HCI issues in fieldwork environments

Pascoe, Jason; Ryan, Nick and Morse, David (2000). Using while moving: HCI issues in fieldwork environments. ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction (TOCHI), 7(3) pp. 417–437.

DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link:
Google Scholar: Look up in Google Scholar


“Using while moving” is the basic ability fieldwork users require of a mobile computer system. These users come from a wide range of backgrounds but have in common an extremely mobile and dynamic workplace. We identify four specific characteristics of this class of users: dynamic user configuration, limited attention capacity, high-speed interaction, and context dependency. A prototype is then presented that was designed to assist fieldworkers in data collection tasks and to explore the HCI design issues involved. The prototype was used in an extensive field trial by a group of ecologists observing giraffe behavior in Kenya. Following this trial, improvements were made to the prototype interface which in turn was tested in a subsequent field trial with another group of ecologists. From this experience, we have formulated our resulting ideas about interface design for fieldworkers into two general principles: Minimal Attention User Interfaces (MAUIs) and context awareness. The MAUI seeks to minimize the attention, though not necessarily the number of interactions, required from the user in operating a device. Context awareness enables the mobile device to provide assistance based on a knowledge of its environment.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2000 ACM - Association for Computing Machinery
ISSN: 1557-7325
Extra Information: Special issue on human-computer interaction with mobile systems
Keywords: context; context awareness; minimal attention user interface; MAUI; small screen; fieldwork; ecology; archaeology; giraffe; palmtop; PDA
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) > Computing and Communications
Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)
Research Group: Centre for Research in Computing (CRC)
Item ID: 24235
Depositing User: David Morse
Date Deposited: 06 Apr 2011 10:07
Last Modified: 07 Dec 2018 09:42
Share this page:


Altmetrics from Altmetric

Citations from Dimensions

Actions (login may be required)

Policies | Disclaimer

© The Open University   contact the OU