Conceptual Modeling of User Interfaces to Workflow Information Systems

From a User Interface (UI) standpoint, there exists today a gap between the development life cycle of user interfaces for individual tasks and the development life cycle of the complete workflow. As a consequence, we have adopted the following research question:

Would it be possible to generate the user interface of a workflow information system from its specifications (provided that they address the relevant aspects) and the different constructs that link the tasks and the users together?

We argue that with a fundamental point of view, this could be achieved by reviewing some selected work, introducing the modeling concepts supporting this, defining an extension of a User Interface Description Language (UIDL) to express these concepts in
an integrated way, transferring them in a software system that supports defining the workflow and generates the corresponding code. It is possible to create a methodology for developing the user interface of a Workflow system that is explicitly based on the organization requirements.

It is assumed that the various elements of the workflow of concern already exist: user, resources, task, process, and workflow. Once these elements exist, the method could be applied. It is not the purpose of the method to design or test a workflow under construction.

Therefore, we will defend the following thesis:
In order to bring together the advance of the Information System and the workflow modeling in a co-evolutionary way, it is possible to introduce a conceptual model of the workflow information system so as to derive a potential user interface as systematically as possible.
DEA thesis
UCL, Louvain-la-Neuve, September 2006