User interfaces play an important role in Information Systems, particularly for their acceptance. But in Human Computer Interaction, perfect quality is an utopia. Despite all the design efforts, there are always situations the user interface is not suitable for: this claims for quality reparation. This paper explores self-explanatory user interfaces, i.e. user interfaces capable of “rephrasing” themselves so that to make them understandable by the user. The approach follows the principles of model-driven engineering. It consists of keeping design de-cisions contained in models alive at runtime so that to dynamically enrich the user interface by augmenting it with a set of possible questions and answers. Based on a problem space, this article details how to support self-explanation for free thanks to models. It also proposes a soft-ware infrastructure UsiExplain based on the UsiXML meta-models. An evaluation is conducted on a case study related to a car shopping website. It conﬁrms that the approach is relevant especially for usage questions.
user interfaces, model-driven engineering, models at runtime, self explanation
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