Computer aided design of man-machine dialogues : towards an interactive system design methodology
With the very rapid increase in the availability of interactive computer systems emphasis has turned from algorithm and data structure design to man-machine interface design, in an attempt to produce interactive software that is acceptable to a user population with wide experience and ability levels. Considerable research has already been undertaken to obtain guidelines for man-machine dialogue design. However little has been done to integrate dialogue design methods and techniques into the traditional life cycle and methodologies of systems development, an area in which the author carried out earlier research. This thesis describes research undertaken to develop computer aids to assist with man-machine dialogue design, thus enabling dialogue representation techniques to be thoroughly proven. These techniques have been integrated with those of structured analysis to enable early specification of the dynamic aspects of a proposed interactive system, rather than their being left to the programming stage where there may be little user involvement. Additionally of interest is the ability of users to enter and modify dialogues using one of the developed computer aids, the Dialogue Prototyper. This system exhibits a novel approach to the provision of user adaptable interfaces.