Xplain: an Editor for building Self-Explanatory User Interfaces by Model-Driven Engineering

Modern User Interfaces (UI) must deal with the increasing complexity of applications in terms of functionality as well as new properties as plasticity. The plasticity of a UI de- notes its capacity of adaptation to the context of use while preserving its quality. The efforts in plasticity have focused on the (meta) modeling of the UI, but the quality remains uncovered. This paper describes an on-going research that studies a method to develop Self-Explanatory User Inter- faces as well as an editor that implements this method. Self- explanation makes reference to the capacity of a UI to pro- vide the end-user with information about its rationale (which is the purpose of the UI), its design rationale (why is the UI structured into this set of workspaces?, what's the purpose of this button?), its current state (why is the menu disabled?) as well as the evolution of the state (how can I enable this feature?). Explanations are provided by embedded models.
ISBN: 978-1-4503-0083-4