Assignment for 05-830, User Interface
Software, Spring, 1997.
Multimedia Interactive Navigation and Information Program
- The benchmark described in this paper is an interactive navigation and
information program, using multimedia to convey information to the user.
The style is that of multimedia interfaces in which the user asks to see
information. In this benchmark the user is also able to store information
in the form of notes as a way of tracking progress or reminders. It is
representative of almost any multimedia-based content program such as
encyclopedias and dictionaries ("Encarta", "Bookshelf") and some games. The
interface this benchmark more closely represents is that of publicly accessible
Kiosks that transmit information of an exhibit, personnel, and even
location/navigation in museums, corporate offices, and malls, to name a few.
Specifically, the benchmark described below is a Kiosk for a commercial
establishment that provides navigation and store information to the public.
- Incorporating the various types of media and designing the interface
in such a way as to be the opposite of intimidating to a novice user is what
programs of this style attempt to do. Sometimes even gratuitous eye-candy
has to be added to entice a user who would normally not require the use of
this kind of program. This benchmark tries to incorporate all these components
to some degree and to put the various toolkits to the test to see if they
can handle it.
- 2.1 Login Window
- The login window will be the only visible window when no one is using
- It should contain a picture the logo of the commercial establishment
at the top, text reading "Please enter your name", a text box to enter data
in, a "Cancel" button, and an "OK" button.
- The text box should accept standard forms of selecting and editing, but
cut/copy/paste functions should not apply.
- The "Cancel" button should erase the contents of the text box.
- The "OK" button will only work when the text box is not empty and it
will work by hiding the Login Window and showing the Main Window in the same
state it was when the user last used it.
- 2.2 Main Window
The main window should take up the whole screen (at a standard 640x480
resolution). If the screen is set to a larger resolution then the program
should attempt to switch resolutions, warn the user, or finally just run
in a window with no title bar (because it already has text close to the top
with a title). If the resolution is larger than 640x480 a tiled bitmap of
the logo of the store will serve as the background that shows through.
- The main window will have a palette on the right where most menus/buttons
the user can interact with will be. The palette is described further below.
- The rest of the window will be divided into 3 horizontal rows.
- The first row which need only be one line high, will contain the name
entered in the Login Window concatenated with " 's Visit to [Name of
Establishment]" to denote a difference when different people interact with
- The second row which will be the biggest of the three will contain a
picture of the map of the establishment. This section is described further
- The last row which need only be 3 lines high, will be a text box in which
the user can enter notes for each object/store selected in the map.
- 2.2.1 Function Palette
- The function palette located at the right of the window/screen contains
5 objects. A language pop-up menu, a sound button, a mark toggle button,
a movie button, and a "Quit" button.
- The language pop-up should contain the list of languages supported by
the system. When a new language is selected the screen refreshes and the
text on row 1 on the Main Window reflects changes. Error messages that may
pop up also need to adhere to this language setting.
- The sound button switches sounud off and on depending which icon has
been depressed. The implementation of these buttons is like that of a pair
of radio buttons. Instead of a filled circle, the button will appear "depressed"
using grays to simulate 3 dimensions.
- The mark toggle button works only when an object/store is selected in
the map. In fact when an object/store is not selected in the map, this icon
will appear grayed out/unavailable. If that object/store is unmarked, then
a check will appear in the center of that object. If it was already marked
(it had a check) then the check will disappear. If a user clicks on the checkmark
while it is gray, then an error will appear telling the user that a store
need be selected first befor it can be marked/unmarked.
- The movie button works only when an object/store is selected in the map.
As above, it nothing is selected it will appear grayed out/unavailable. When
an object/store is selected and the movie button is clicked, a video describing
that object/store will play in the foreground in the center of the map.
The video will have a text-track and audio track in the language selected
from the pop-up. If sound has been turned off from the palette, then the
audio track will not be played.
- The "Quit" button saves any changes to the user's personal data file,
closes the Main Window and displays the Login Window.
- 2.2.2 Map
- The map will contain an floor layout plan of the commercial establishment
being served. See picture for example. The position of the Kiosk machine
will be denoted by a picture of a monitor with text below reading "You are
Here". The stores (referred to as objects also) will be scattered around
in the form of boxes with the store name centered inside the box, near the
- The user is able to select a store/object by clicking within its rectangle
in the map. To show it is selected a thicker border will be drawn around
the box. When another store is selected, the previous box's border will revert
to its previous weight and the selected box will have the thicker border.
Also the notes pertaining to the de-selected store will disappear while the
notes about the selected store will appear in the Notes box below the map.
- Selection of a store/object enables one to use the mark toggle button,
the movie button, and to enter notes in the Notes box below the map.
- 2.2.3 Notes Box
- The Notes box located below the map is a place where the user can
enter casual notes about each store/object in the map that is selectable.
- ach store/object has its own notes, no information is shared.