Meeting the Needs of Diverse User Groups: Benefits and Costs of Pluggable User Interfaces in Designing for Older People and People with Cognitive Impairments

G. Zimmermann, Jan Alexandersson, C. Buiza, E. Urdaneta, U. Diaz, E. Carrasco, M. Klima, Alexander Pfalzgraf

In: J. Soar , R. Swindell , P. Tsang . Intelligent Technologies for Bridging the Grey Digital Divide. Seiten 80-93 ISBN 978-1-61520-825-8 IGI Global 2010.


"Pluggable user interfaces" is a software concept that facilitates adaptation and substitution of user interfaces and their components due to separation of the user interface from backend devices and services. Technically, the concept derives from abstract user interfaces, mainly in the context of device and service control. Abstract user interfaces have been claimed to support benefits such as ease of implementation, support for User Centered Design, seamless user interfaces, and ease of use. This paper reports on experiences in employing pluggable user interfaces in the European project i2home, based on the Universal Remote Console framework, and the Universal Control Hub architecture. In summary, our anecdotal evidence supports the claims on the benefits, but also identifies significant costs. The experience reports also include some hints as to how to mitigate the costs.

Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz
German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence