The results of many human-computer interaction studies are often not applicable as desired because the task environment in which they are run does not possess characteristics common to other interfaces. This paper describes a generalized task environment that contains elements appearing in several systems having human-computer interfaces. The environment is implemented through a software system called GENIE (Generic ENvironment for Interactive Experiments), and is based on controlling the motion of vehicles through three-dimensional space. Aside from providing a task with common characteristics, GENIE's implementation was designed to allow for adaptation to a variety of studies. This paper introduces and motivates the development of the GENIE software system. The software components are described at a functional level to provide the background for a discussion of how various instantiations of GENIE's human-computer interface can be created. To exemplify the generic nature of GENIE, specific changes to the user's interface are described. We show how GENIE's software must be modified to implement each of the changes and demonstrate how the use of a compiler-compiler eases the burden of doing so. The paper concludes with a discussion of GENIE as constructed for a voice-output experiment.
ASJC Scopus subject areas