CEC: Information Society Technologies Thematic Network (Working Group) "Information Society For All"


The technical approach to be followed in IS4ALL builds on a scenario-based perspective to requirements engineering. IS4ALL scenarios are perceived as narrative descriptions of computer-mediated human activities in a Health Telematics environment. A Health Telematics environment may be bound to a clinic within the hospital, a ward within a clinic or even to the end user's business or residential environment. Working with scenarios in IS4ALL entails several steps.

Generating the scenario

Scenarios can be developed at different levels. They can range from vision-oriented statements of intended actions to concrete experiences with an implemented artifact. Since scenarios may or may not have an explicit focus on universal access, a key question is to devise suitable mechanisms or techniques for working with these scenarios to derive useful insights for the purposes of the project. This entails a reference model or a structured guide towards introducing universal access principles in the agenda of the Health Telematics practitioners (see Figure 1).

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Identifying breakdowns and envisioning new design alternatives

This is an analytical step (see shaded part of Figure 1), which involves a conscious effort to unfold, record and reflect upon implicit/explicit claims or assumptions embodied in the original scenario. For example, by inspecting (parts of) the current implementation of the user interface to the integrated electronic health record of HYGEIAnet, one can derive several implicit assumptions, such "the user interface is designed for desktop access", or "the user interface is designed for users with fine spatial control, fine eye-hand coordination, ability to pull and push targets, ability to initiate movement on demand, etc." Relaxing some of these assumptions facilitates insight into novel usage contexts. Articulating concrete proposals for these novel usage contexts is a critical step towards introducing universal access principles.

Scenario screening

Scenario screening refers to the task of articulating concrete specifications for envisioned contexts of use, thus fostering an iterative re-engineering process of the initial scenario towards universal access. A prime concern of IS4ALL is to define and document techniques, which can be used for scenario screening.



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