The Seventh IASTED International Conference on
Human-Computer Interaction
HCI 2012

May 14 – 16, 2012
Baltimore, USA


Design of Interactive Digital Information Interfaces: A Pattern-Based Approach

Dr. Kamran Sedig
The University of Western Ontario, Canada


4 to 5 hours


Every day, people from all kinds of professions and disciplines need to use information to make decisions, plan a course of action, discover patterns, solve problems, analyze situations, make sense of phenomena, learn new concepts, make forecasts about future trends, and so on. These are all activities that involve knowing; in other words, they are knowledge activities. People whose jobs constantly involve knowledge activities include scientists, health-care specialists, medical researchers, librarians, journalists, learners, engineers, stock brokers, archeologists, educators, social scientists, and others—i.e., the so-called knowledge workers. As the amount and complexity of information is on the rise, computer tools are used to support knowledge workers in their everyday knowledge activities.
The component of these tools that allows knowledge workers to think and reason with information is the interface, where information is displayed in a digital form and can be manipulated. Historically, we are used to static, paper-based representations of information. But computers now provide novel ways in which we can engage with information. Interaction with digital displays can bring information to life and allow us to hold dialogue with information. In order to perform knowledge activities effectively, we need to know the different forms in which information can be represented and displayed as well as how we can interact with this information. In a knowledge-based economy, where most people are knowledge workers, it is imperative that we know how through conversation with information we can carry out knowledge activities. This course is intended to address this need.
This tutorial will focus of on three main issues: 1) how information can and should be represented and displayed, 2) how computers can allow us to interact and communicate with displayed information, and 3) how interactive information supports knowledge activities.


* To learn the fundamentals of how people can use interactive digital information to perform analytical reasoning and knowledge activities
* To be able to identify and distinguish core concepts, issues, and frameworks involved in the creation and evaluation of interactive digital information interfaces

Background Knowledge Expected of the Participants

This tutorial is intended for an interdisciplinary audience and is open to people from different backgrounds interested in the design and analysis of digital information interfaces. This tutorial is has applications in the design of visualization tools, computer-based learning, digital games, decision-support tools, and knowledge discovery tools, to name a few.

Qualifications of the Instructor(s)

Kamran Sedig is an Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science and the Faculty of Information and Media Studies at the University of Western Ontario in Canada. He has taught undergraduate and graduate courses to people from different backgrounds such as computer science, library and information science, and media studies. Some courses he has taught include: human-computer interaction, design of digital cognitive games, information visualization, educational technology, knowledge management, and interacting with digital information. His main research interest is: How to design the digital information interface of computer-based tools to support users’ information-intensive knowledge activities. He has over 80 publications in international journals and conferences in the areas of human-information interaction, information visualization, interface design, educational games, advanced learning technologies, digital libraries, and computer-supported knowledge activities.


Fast, K & Sedig, K (2011). Interaction and the epistemic potential of digital libraries. International Journal on Digital Libraries, 11(3), 169-207.
[2] Liang, H & Sedig, K (2010). Role of interaction in enhancing the epistemic utility of 3D mathematical visualizations. International Journal of Computers for Mathematical Learning, 15(3), 191-224.
[3] Haworth, R, Bostani, S, & Sedig, K (2010). Visualizing decision trees in digital games to support children’s analytic reasoning: Any negative effects on gameplay? International Journal of Computer Games Technology. Article 578784, 11 pages.
[4] Liang, H, Parsons, P, Wu, H, & Sedig, K (2010). An exploratory study of interactivity in visualization tools: ‘Flow’ of interaction. Journal of Interactive Learning Research, 19(1), 103-120.
[5] Sedig, K (2007). Toward operationalization of ‘flow’ in mathematics learnware. Journal of Computers in Human Behavior, 23, 2064-2092.
[6] Sedig, K & Sumner, M (2006). Characterizing interaction with visual mathematical representations. International Journal of Computers for Mathematical Learning, 11(1), 1-55.
[7] Sedig, K, Rowhani, S & Liang, H (2005). Designing interfaces that support formation of cognitive maps of transitional processes: An empirical study. Interacting with Computers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Human-Computer Interaction, 17(4), 419-452.
[8] Morey, J, & Sedig, K (2004). Adjusting degree of visual complexity: An interactive approach for exploring four-dimensional polytopes. The Visual Computer: International Journal of Computer Graphics, 20, 1-21.
[9] Sedig, K, Rowhani, S, Morey, J, Liang, H (2003). Application of information visualization techniques to the design of a mathematical mindtool: A usability study. Journal of Information Visualization 2(3), 142-160.
[10] Sedig, K, Klawe, M, & Westrom, M (2001). Role of interface manipulation style and scaffolding on cognition and concept learning in learnware. ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction, 1(8), 34-59.