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Modeling and Designing User Assistance in Intelligent Environments with the GOAL Method

Christoph Stahl
In: Manfred Tscheligi (Hrsg.). Adjunct Proceedings of the 3rd European Conference on Ambient Intelligence. Workshop on Interaction Techniques and Metaphors in Assistive Smart Environment (INTTECH-09), located at 3rd European Conference on Ambient Intelligence (AmI 2009), November 18-21, Salzburg, Austria, ICT&S Center, 2009.


The design of smart environments remains challenging. Such a system has to provide useful support for its users in everyday situations by keeping the user interface as simple as possible. Shifting the focus from the desktop into everyday life requires a careful analysis of the users' needs with respect to the physical environment, i.e. the building structure and involved artifacts. We believe that current software engineering methods and tools are not sufficient to develop such systems, e.g. UML cannot express spatial context. In this paper, we describe a new design method for intelligent environments that is grounded on Activity Theory and a 3D model. The method suggests a structured procedure to analyze the users' needs, leading to an activity model that aids the designer to focus on useful assistance features. The 3D model supports decisions about the instrumentation of the environment with sensors and actuators.