Engineering Adaptive Model-Driven User Interfaces for Enterprise Applications

Akiki, Pierre A. (2014). Engineering Adaptive Model-Driven User Interfaces for Enterprise Applications. PhD thesis The Open University.



Enterprise applications such as enterprise resource planning systems have numerous complex user interfaces (UIs). Usability problems plague these UIs because they are offered as a generic off-the-shelf solution to end-users with diverse needs in terms of their required features and layout preferences. Adaptive UIs can help in improving usability by tailoring the features and layout based on the context-of-use. The model-driven UI development approach offers the possibility of applying different types of adaptations on the various UI levels of abstraction. This approach forms the basis for many works researching the development of adaptive UIs. Yet, several gaps were identified in the state-of-the-art adaptive model-driven UI development systems. To fill these gaps, this thesis presents an approach that offers the following novel contributions:

- The Cedar Architecture serves as a reference for developing adaptive model-driven enterprise application user interfaces.
- Role-Based User Interface Simplification (RBUIS) is a mechanism for improving usability through adaptive behavior, by providing end-users with a minimal feature-set and an optimal layout based on the context-of-use.
- Cedar Studio is an integrated development environment, which provides tool support for building adaptive model-driven enterprise application UIs using RBUIS based on the Cedar Architecture.

The contributions were evaluated from the technical and human perspectives. Several metrics were established and applied to measure the technical characteristics of the proposed approach after integrating it into an open-source enterprise application. Additional insights about the approach were obtained through the opinions of industry experts and data from real-life projects. Usability studies showed the approach’s ability to significantly improve usability in terms of end-user efficiency, effectiveness and satisfaction.

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