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A Design Rationale Model for Green Human Computer Interaction Design

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Curbing the global environmental threats become a worldwide issue. Over the years, significant scientific evidences emerged that highlighted the relationship between massive industrialization and global environmental threats. For this reason, all types of industrialization are undergoing radical re-engineering; the aim is to manufacture goods and services that are efficient, safer and environmental-friendly. In terms of software industry, sustainable software engineering has become a hot research topic; it spans sustainability issues in all stages of software life cycle. This paper proposes a design rationale model for human-computer interaction design. The proposed model is an adaptation of the QOC deliberation model, where green computing guidelines are used as criteria for the evaluation of interface design decisions. As part of the collaborative decision making process pertaining interactions design decisions, we believe that there is a need to provide designers with contextual guidance that help to construct a shared mental model about the design problem, and how it is influenced by the recommendations of the Green IT campaign. For this reason, we incorporated the Green computing guidelines within the elements of the proposed design rationale model. The paper is also presenting a prototypical implementation of the proposed model.
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A Design Rationale Model for Green Human
Computer Interaction Design
Abdulmajid Hissen Mohamed
Sebha University, PO Box 19778, Sebha, Libya
Email: abdulmajid.h@gmail.com
Abdulsalam Mansour Alshrief and Mabrouka Ali Jelban
Tripoli University, Alfornaj Street, Tripoli, Libya
Email: amalsharief@gmail.com
AbstractCurbing the global environmental threats become
a worldwide issue. Over the years, significant scientific
evidences emerged that highlighted the relationship between
massive industrialization and global environmental threats.
For this reason, all types of industrialization are undergoing
radical re-engineering; the aim is to manufacture goods and
services that are efficient, safer and environmental-friendly.
In terms of software industry, sustainable software
engineering has become a hot research topic; it spans
sustainability issues in all stages of software life cycle. This
paper proposes a design rationale model for human-
computer interaction design. The proposed model is an
adaptation of the QOC deliberation model, where green
computing guidelines are used as criteria for the evaluation
of interface design decisions. As part of the collaborative
decision making process pertaining interactions design
decisions, we believe that there is a need to provide
designers with contextual guidance that help to construct a
shared mental model about the design problem, and how it
is influenced by the recommendations of the Green IT
campaign. For this reason, we incorporated the Green
computing guidelines within the elements of the proposed
design rationale model. The paper is also presenting a
prototypical implementation of the proposed model.
Index Termsgreen computing, sustainable software,
design rationale, knowledge reuse, greenhouse effects
I. INTRODUCTION
Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) is a research topic
that overlaps with human, technology and environmental
issues. Though there are extensive researches on
sustainability issues in many disciplines, but there is little
written specifically about sustainability and interaction
design in the main corpus of the HCI literature [1]. Since
2010 greater attention is given to IT and software
sustainability, better known as Green computing [2]. The
primary goal of the Green computing campaign is the
manufacturing and use of computing resources more
efficiently, while maintaining the overall systems
performance. This campaign is expected to lower IT
power consumption and the IT waste, and so leading to
minimising the causes of global warming phenomena that
Manuscript received December 1, 2016; revised June 26, 2017.
endangers the universe. Contributions of the IT resources
to this phenomenon are witnessed by the increasing
demand for computing power to cater for managing the
huge global business activities. This demand for
computing power has increased during the past two
decades, causing an increase in IT-related power
consumption and resulting higher carbon emissions [3].
But the increasing use of computing power has led to
exploiting more power-hungry machines in the form of
powerful PCs, servers and huge data centers.
Unfortunately, greater part of these systems and its
consumables would be dumped later in the form of
electronic waste (e-waste) that endangers the
environment and all types of living species. In regard to
software interaction design, decisions involved in this
process have a major influence on the sustainability of the
software services and products being designed. Therefore,
design decisions related to the selection of hardware and
software artefacts has to be in line with the Green
computing guidance and recommendations.
The rest of this paper is organised as follows. In
Section 2 we highlighted motivational attributes behind
the Green computing campaign, and also presented the
likely threats of manufacturing IT services and products
in the conventional way. Section 3 briefly introduces the
design rationale models, and the proposed model is
described in Section 4. Section 5 shows a prototypical
implantation of the proposed model. Section 5 ends with
some brief concluding remarks.
II. GREEN COMPUTING ISSUES
The main issues of Green computing campaign are: the
increasing systems power consumption; and the ever
escalating volumes of dumped e-waste. Alarming figures
of power consumption rates is attributed to many IT
related technologies and practices. For example, over the
last decade, data centers have become a part of most
organisational IT strategies, meanwhile, enterprise-scale
data centers account for about half of corporate energy
use and resulting carbon footprint [4]. In order to lower
the impact of this problem, there are many new
technologies emerged to rationalise the power
requirements of the data centers, such as the virtualization,
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which is a technique that enables Intel to combine several
physical systems into a virtual machine that runs on a
single, powerful base system, thus significantly reducing
power consumption [5]. Nonetheless, because of the
increasing power consumption, and its wider scale of
threats to the continent, green computing methods have
become a high priority [6].
The rapid expansion of the web technology systems is
also contributing to power consumption issue. Currently
most of business transactions and social interactions are
handled through the web. This involves extensive rates of
downloads and uploading of business and social data that
consumes more power [7]. The Green interaction design
process can play a major role in this regard. In terms
power consumption of interactive systems, screen
technologies, interaction modalities and styles greatly
impacts both: the rate of power consumption, and the
volume of business data streaming. It is also contribute to
lowering risks on human users' health and wellbeing.
This includes all types of interactions scenarios that
might cause physical problems to human users such as
users’ eye problems which is usually caused by the use of
inconsistent interface colors and also the number of gaze
changes as well as traveling length of eye gaze position
on the computer screen [8].
In regard to the issue of e-waste, this problem is
escalating rapidly as a result of the swift growth of
business markets which is even crossing over to less
developed regions. This business expansion involves the
use of more IT artefacts and chemical-based consumables
which are used in the assembly and operation of ICT
systems [7]. Usually organizations and citizens practice
the frequent replacement of IT systems and devices. This
comes as a result of the rapid advancement and
innovations in IT industry. But most of the dumped IT
aretfacts is made by very poisonous materials which
endanger the living species and also the natural resources.
According to Yates (as cited in Mankoff et al. [9]), the
Forrester Research report projects the number of personal
computers in use in the most populous countries to
double to 2.25 billion by 2015 [10]. This would definitely
contribute to increasing the rates of e-waste. For this
reason, e-waste education becomes prominent issue in the
electrical engineering community [11]. The aim to equip
software and hardware engineering graduates with the
proper knowledge about these global issues that
influences their profession.
III. DESIGN RATIONALE MODELS
Modeling is a purposeful abstraction of some part of
reality [12]. And in terms of the design rationale
management, design rationale models are used to capture
an abstract view of designers' deliberations that takes
place during collaborative discussions. It is mainly used
to visually explain the rationale behind decisions taken as
part of any product design activity [13]. This takes the
form of pictorial hierarchy of designers' argumentation
details.
The most common decision rationale models are: DRL
[14], QOC [15] and IBIS [16]. They are all aimed to
codify design decisions including the decisions rationale.
This involves capturing different issues, options,
alternatives and justifications behind designers' decisions.
These models vary in their ability to accommodate the
deliberations with the adequate expressiveness power.
The aim is strike a balance between expressiveness and
computational complexity.
IV. THE PROPOSED MODEL
Basically, the proposed model is an adaptation of the
QOC design rationale model [15]. The QOC
representation consists of a number of Questions that are
each answered by a number of Options, which are judged
against a number of Criteria used to judge between the
Options available. The options (positions) demonstrate
several given choices to solve a problem. The Criteria
applicable to any particular Question is linked to all the
answering options, either positively or negatively. This
makes the options more easily judged against one another.
This representation allows the characterisation of
arguments by criteria and thus brings out influences in
decisions taken.
TABLE I. GREEN COMPUTING ISSUES FOR HCI DESIGN
Icon ةنوقيا
Issue
safer on eyes
harmful to eyes
Finger pain
Harmful to health
Environment friendly
Power saving
Contribute e-waste
Higher power consumption
Because the design process is a cognitive process in
which the designer generates a design concept, makes
design decisions and solves design problem using
expertise, knowledge and situational information to
satisfy design intents [17]. Therefore, we believe that
there is a need to provide the designers with a contextual
guidance that help to construct a shared mental model of
the design problems being solved. This can further
strengthen the design rationale model to become
contextually rich, in terms of green computing context. A
shared mental model of a problem is the combination of
individual designers’ knowledge about the task being
performed, tools available to execute that task, other team
members’ skills and abilities, and the procedures for
interacting with other team members [18]. Because of the
importance of Green IT campaign, we believe that the
incorporation of the Green computing factors within the
rationale models used to capture the deliberations of HCI
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decisions would provide a proper contextual framework
for HCI designers. For this reason, and as shown in Fig. 1,
we expanded the Criteria element of the QOC model to
be contexualised by the characteristics of the Green
campaign. This includes, lower power consumption;
minimal e-waste, less harmful to users’ health and well-
being (See Table I). In addition to any other technical or
business factors, the Green computing factors would give
extra weight to relevant Options in the design space.
Eventually this would have greater impact on the
emergence green software and hardware industry.
Figure 1. The enhanced QOC model
V. PROTOTYPICAL IMPLEMENTATION
This section shows part of our implementation of the
proposed model in capturing HCI designers' deliberation
as part of an asynchronous HCI design sessions. The
screenshot represented by Fig. 2 shows a sample of
design space where two issues (i.e. design questions) are
deliberated to formulate design decisions related to tackle
these issues. Fig. 2 shows two questions which are
deliberated namely: the forms of the software application
outputs; and the colors used for the information
presentation over the screen. Based on the design
questions raised, few options are proposed together with
criteria that support the validity of each option. In
addition to any subjective criteria, a set of Green IT
factors are proposed as shown in Table I. The weight of
the validity and relevance of each proposed option is
determined according to the availability or the lacking of
respective green computing factors. Labeling the design
alternatives (options) accordingly would help to reach
rapid agreement among HCI designers, where
sustainability issues are taken in consideration in all
aspects of HCI design. We believe that the outcome this
process is going to be huge in terms of its reflection upon
the quality of software design. In addition to its positive
reflection on the reduction of environmental threats
caused by powers consumption and e-waste, the
adherence to Green best practices in interaction design
would also help to maintain the physical health and
wellbeing of users of IT resources. This is realised by
reducing physical and psychological fatigues of human
users [8].
VI. CONCLUSION
Sustainability has become a very essential
characteristic in the engineering of all types of products
including hardware and software technologies. The aim is
to design and develop IT artefacts and resources which
can be used very efficiently with less harmful
implications on humans and the natural resources. This
paper proposes an adapted version of the QOC
deliberation representation model which is traditionally
used to capture details of any collaborative decision
making sessions. The modified version of the QOC is
designed in such way that caters to take in consideration
the green computing guidelines as evaluation criteria. The
paper also presented a prototypical scenario for the
exploitation of the proposed model in a typical HCI
design session. As a future work, we plan to extend this
model further to include other comprehensive
components, in the form of multimedia and hyper linked
references that support the selection of Green-centered
design decisions.
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Figure 2. An implementation of the proposed model as part of HCI designers’ discussion
REFERENCES
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Dr. Abdulmajid Hissen Mohamed received
the MSc in Information systems from Leeds
University, Leeds, UK in 1993 and the PhD
degree in software engineering from the
University of Malaya, Malaysia, in 2004. In
2005, he joined the faculty of information and
communication technology, IIUM University,
Malaysia, as an Assistant professor, and in
2007 he become an academic staff in the
department of computer science, the faculty of
science, Sebha university. Since 2013 he is on leave from Sebha
University to work in the Libyan Scholarships Bureau, Malaysia. His
research interests include software knowledge management, human-
computer interaction, ICT & Islam and requirements engineering.
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Proc. IEEE
Engineering
Dr. Abdulsalam Mansour Alshrief received a
PhD degree in software agents the from
UMIST University, UK. He is currently
working as an academic staff in the department
of software engineering, faculty of IT, Tripoli
University. His research interests include
databases, natural language processing, and
software agent technology and software
estimation.
Ms. Mabrouka Ali Jelban is an MSc student
in computer science at the department of
computer science, Tripoli University. After
graduating from same department with a BSc
in computer science, she joined the
Automation department in the same university
to work as a software engineer. Her research
interests include knowledge management,
human-computer interaction and CASE tools.
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