Stream: Environmental Information-, Decision Support-, and Software Systems


A4. Defining interaction design for environmental information systems
Daryl H. Hepting, Steven Frysinger, Markus Wrobel

The aim of this workshop is to foster exchange of experiences on appropriate interaction design for environmental informatics (or enviromatics). The application of information and communication technology (ICT) to the environment grows in importance as the health of our planet gains priority on research agendas.
Ultimately, environmental information must be put into people's hands so that they can make decisions. The potential benefits of enviromatics as a tool for policy decisions and education will not be fully realized if people cannot meaningfully access the necessary information. How best to involve stakeholders, so that they can transform data into the information they need and put it to use in a satisfying manner, remains a topic of inquiry around which this workshop is focused.
Interaction design must be an integral part of the architectural plan for enviromatics systems. How do we best employ metaphor in educating users and influencing their mental models? What are the ethical concerns involved and how can they be addressed? How can the hurdles to usability evaluation of enviromatics systems be overcome?

Contributions are sought that explore how interaction design and human computer interaction can be put into the specific context of environmental modelling and software. When is it appropriate to draw on and apply existing knowledge to environmental informatics, and when must new approaches be developed for environmental information systems? As the field of enviromatics matures, it is important to move beyond generic statements about user-friendly interfaces to specific methods and approaches to ensure that the intended users are satisfied with their experience with software and that they can accomplish what is needed.

Topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Usability analyses
  • Decision psychology
  • Task analyses (including, for example, decision support)
  • Validation of ICT tools
  • Human-computer interface design
  • Human performance evaluation.

This workshop is linked with session A1 "Interaction design for environmental information systems".