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Clip, connect, clone: Combining application elements to build custom interfaces for information access

: Fujima, J.; Lunzer, A.; Hornbæk, K.; Tanaka, Y.


Cypher, A.:
No Code Required : Giving users tools to transform the web
Amsterdam: Morgan Kaufmann/Elsevier, 2010
ISBN: 0-12-381541-X
ISBN: 978-0-12-381541-5
Book Article
Fraunhofer IDMT ()

This chapter introduces C3W, a prototype that supports users in creating custom interfaces for accessing information through Web applications. Many applications provide a form-like interface for requesting information: the user fills in some fields, submits the form, and the application presents corresponding results. Such a procedure becomes burdensome if the user must submit many different requests, for example, in pursuing a trial-and-error search; results from one application are to be used as inputs for another, requiring the user to transfer them by hand, or the user wants to compare results, but only the results from one request can be seen at a time. We describe how users can reduce this burden by creating custom interfaces using three mechanisms: clipping of input and result elements from existing applications to form cells on a spreadsheet; connecting these cells using formulas, thus enabling result transfer between applications; and cloning cells so that mult iple requests can be handled side by side. Discussion also demonstrates a prototype of these mechanisms, initially specialized for handling Web applications, and show how it lets users to build new interfaces to suit their individual needs. All the previously mentioned development directions will naturally need to be backed up with user evaluations.