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Department Seminar: Leah Findlater, University of Washington - Thursday, Mar 17 @ 8:00am

Personalized Adaptation to Accommodate Diverse User Needs

Abstract: Software interfaces offer immense potential to support individual user needs through adaptation. Benefits of personalization include, for example, hiding unnecessarily complex options for only a basic task, or interpreting input specifically to accommodate a user with a severe motor impairment. However, effectively tapping into this potential is a major challenge; automatically adapting the user interface can improve performance and satisfaction, but, if not done well, it can also have the opposite effect. The overarching goal of my research is to accommodate diverse user needs through personalized adaptation, reducing information complexity, improving performance, and facilitating access for users with a range of motor and cognitive abilities. In this talk, I will first give an overview of my dissertation work on fundamental aspects of personalized interaction in the context of automatically adapting command structures (e.g., menus and toolbars) to reduce software application complexity. I will also discuss two ongoing projects where I am applying personalization to specific problem domains: (1) improving touch screen text input and (2) easing input for users with motor impairments.

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