Hi! Thanks for a lot of interesting response regarding "GUI-hints" and other things.
Please excuse a little left-to-right analogy below: There seems too be a scale or spectrum of detail level and use case specificity going from... Left: purely semantic (maximum data set) models = archetypes ...via the nearby... openEHR templates (still purely semantic if we skip the "hide_in_ui" to keep the template artifacts) ...further far away to... Right: actual GUI in an implemented system with specific widgets positioning etc Currently openEHR specifications describe artifacts at the "left" side of the spectrum. This discussion has interestingly been broadened further to the "right" than I was thinking of in my initial questions. If we look at a tool like the Template Designer from Ocean Informatics there is an immediate jump from templates (close to the left) to detailed GUI layout (far right), that jump could be divided into more steps (possibly with some steps persisted and reusable) as suggested by some in this discussion. On Fri, Jun 27, 2008 at 10:03, Hugh Leslie <hugh.leslie at oceaninformatics.com> wrote: > I don't think that templates should contain GUI rendering hints > as they should remain purely about the semantics. ... > Personally, I think that there should be some other artifact that details > GUI specs - if we mix up the two things, then the purpose of the template > becomes confused. Templates can be used for everything from GUI, to data > instance, persistance and query. On Fri, Jun 27, 2008 at 10:57, Andrew Patterson <andrewpatto at gmail.com> wrote: > I agree with Hugh - I would push back very strongly on the concept of > UI hints in the template definitions. On Sat, Jun 28, 2008 at 00:18, Thomas Beale <thomas.beale at oceaninformatics.com> wrote: > *I think it will be one tool that writes two artefacts, one of which is > GUI 'hints'. These comments seem very reasonable, could we then conclude that the "hide_in_ui" and similar GUI-hints should not be in the template spec and that we instead can continue discussion regarding other artifacts with GUI-related information that might be reusable between implementations. On Fri, Jun 27, 2008 at 10:57, Andrew Patterson <andrewpatto at gmail.com> wrote: > I'd make the point that everyone always thinks that given enough hints > computers will be able to intelligently lay out interface components (not > just in openehr world - I have seen this in many UI projects). Invariably, > the autogenerated interfaces are the exception rather than the rule - by > that, I mean that the autogenerated interfaces can be made useful but > most real users end up preferring an interface layout designed explicitly > by a human being. I agree (except to "everyone always"). In most cases explicitly layouted interfaces will be preferred, due to aesthetics, optimal use of screen real estate etc. That's why I wrote "automated or _semi-automated_ design". Consider a use case where you at a national level want to standardize parts of the information capture in for example yearly diabetes check-up visits in primary care in order to do statistics, data mining etc. Also consider that a couple of parts will be added or modified on approximately a yearly basis to improve the follow up process and incorporate new treatments etc. Add to this that you have five openEHR compliant vendors with hundreds of separate system installations across the nation. The openEHR approach with archetypes and templates facilitate the semantic parts of the above scenario very well and the yearly updates of archetypes and templates can be loaded into the (purely semantic part) system more or less with the push of a button. But what happens on the GUI side of things? Will that always have to wait for manual layout before the new archetypes and templates can start to be used in clinical practice? How fast will that happen? Some vendors and customers will certainly have the resources to swiftly incorporate the changes but many others will experience considerable delay and would in the meantime have to resort to either keep using the old forms and semantics (thus loosing ability to capture data using the new national standars) or use general GUIs based on templates only (probably not so nice and efficient - driving clinicians crazy). Maybe this was just a way of restating Sebastians comment... On Fri, Jun 27, 2008 at 11:30, Sebastian Garde wrote: > in my opinion it is > i) important to have some form of "GUI layout descriptions" that really enable > smart GUI generation in the long run. If not, the whole automatic process > stops just before the GUI, which is not really the best we can do in the long > run I think. When manually designing the GUIs, the designers (from every vendor) need to capture the user requirements in discussions with users, this is often done in several iterations of discussion and redesign. If we could capture at least some the common clinical GUI-related requirements in a machine readable form at an early stage we could achieve some benefits: 1. You could get a better "scaffolding" as a start in design tools than you would get from templates only, thus decreasing the manual design time needed in the scenario above. 2. You might be able to reduce the number of cycles of discussion and redesign above. 3. For cases where you would need to resort to automated GUI generation in the scenario (e.g. awaiting manual design or for very unusual things that your organisation does want to pay manual design for) you would be able to auto-generate a somewhat better GUI than using templates only (thus driving clinicians slightly less crazy). Machine readable requirements for some parts of course do not exclude usage of narrative forms GUI-requirement documents (or possibly included comments in some other artifact as suggested by Josina) coordinated at a national level and some of the listed benefits above could be achieved with narrative descriptions also. And yes some local GUI-adaptation/optimization and workflow integration will still be needed and can not all be done at a national level. Some good points regarding the risk of confusion when mixing discussions about semantics and layout were given: On Fri, Jun 27, 2008 at 12:54, Tim Cook <timothywayne.cook at gmail.com> wrote: >The clinicians > creating templates (as with archetypes) need to have training and a > special understanding of what is at stake. > > If the clinicians designing archetypes/templates do not care about the > difference between semantics and GUI stuff then they are they wrong > clinicians to be designing archetypes and templates. On Fri, Jun 27, 2008 at 14:40, Heather Leslie <heather.leslie at oceaninformatics.com> wrote: > In designing a website we know that if you want input about navigation, then > don't have any meaningful content or GUI hints available or almost certainly > all the feedback will be about the size or color of the button and the font > and position of the heading. (ES: I believe we mean different things when using the term "GUI hints".) On Fri, Jun 27, 2008 at 14:40, Heather Leslie <heather.leslie at oceaninformatics.com> wrote: > Similarly my concern in designing templates and getting the content reviewed > appropriately is that as soon as you add interface/GUI features to make it > more 'intuitive' to the clinicians their focus goes immediately to that > which is more familiar. That is, the feedback tends to be related to their > user interface experience (naturally gained from their day-to-day use of > their current clinical system) rather than actually critiquing which > archetypes have been used, which data fields are presented, and all their > associated attributes, cardinality, constraints and related metadata etc > etc. > > So my preferred response (and from positive experience) is to spend a > relatively small amount of time to educate the clinicians on how to feedback > appropriately and meaningfully on the pure archetypes and templates - we > have done this successfully, but I suggest it is probably optimal if a > clinician involved in the design (perhaps a health informatician with a leg > in 'both camps') to walk them thru the models and to make it a sensible > conversation. It is my opinion that the GUI design and review should be > completely separate to the content design and review - mixing the two gets > very confusing. Interesting observations. Is this the same when working with templates as with archetypes? When trying to capture the essential semantics of a maximum dataset during archetype design I fully understand the above reasoning and experiences. Thoughts about GUIs are just distracting then. I obviously did not explain clearly what I meant by GUI-hints. What I was thinking of was a bit more towards the "left" side of the spectrum trying to capture some some of the "semantics" of the human-computer-interaction when entering the things described by templates. I was not thinking of colors, fonts, detailed component placement etc. Instead I'm thinking of things like: - Greg's suggestion that one could specify whether a text node in a template will likely be short (e.g. a name) or if it is more likely to be a paragraph that would benefit from a multiline-type of text entry widget. - In a long template that also includes a section about "tobacco use" you might want to specify that the detailed parts regarding amount of consumption don't need to be shown if the person has been documented with the status "Never used". (I.e. implemented using simple conditional statements). - In the a particular use case in mind you might want to assign the the subtree "Consumption, Amount of substance" a higher priority in GUIs than the "Previous attempts to quit smoking" subtree so that the latter gets pushed to a normally hidden collapsed/hidden subform if there is a lack of space. (I.e. using a detail level mechanism) - Mechanisms like "hide_in_ui" to skip intermediate things that are meaningful in information modelling but are distracting or unnecessary in a GUI. As you can see these things have a bit of a semantic touch also, but maybe a different kind of semantics than we usually refer to as semantics in this community. When it comes to template design it would be interesting to know if the clinicians always are comfortable only having the on/off (set zero occurrence) of templates (or are there more restrictions available)? Don't you get a lot of "it depends"-answers whether to include something in a template or not? Do you believe that answers what to "kill" from (for the use case) overly detailed archetypes templates would be different if the clinicians are aware of the possibilities to change priorities, set conditional statements etc? I don't suggest that these hints necessarily should be created simultaneously with the template editing, but I guess that the very same clinical experts that design the template would be also good candidates to give some GUI-hints after the template creation. Thoughts? When it comes to what I call GUI-hints above I believe it would be useful to specify a model (like the with the AM) and one or many serialization formats of it rather than going straight for a markup language. Artifacts built using that model could then be used for auto generation of GUIs (whenever that is necessary) and as input to other steps specifying things more to the "right" in the spectrum like dealing with specific widgets, component positioning etc. for example as more intelligent scaffolding in manual editing environments than pure templates would be. More towards that right side one of the ways could be to go for markup-things such as xforms. To dig deper into such a more specific layer at the same time as researching a more general GUI-hint-layer might be a good idea. (I guess the interrelated AM and RM have been researched simultaneously for example in order to find good boundaries...) On Fri, Jun 27, 2008 at 11:30, Sebastian Garde <sebastian.garde at oceaninformatics.com> wrote: > ii) However, it is important to keep this separate from templates. For > example, to be able to display what is in a template on different devices > ranging from normal to computers via PDAs to potentially your mobile phone, > different GUI principles may apply. So essentially to me this sound like it is > 1 template to n "GUI layout descriptions". The 1 template to n GUI-hint-artifacts principle seems reasonable. (A side note regarding different GUI principles: it would be interesting to see if/how the GUI-"semantic" hints like the ones above could map to different principles/paradigms) On Sat, Jun 28, 2008 at 13:38, Thilo Schuler <thilo.schuler at gmail.com> wrote: > I am with you on that layers are important and keep the approach more > simple in the long time. Yes. On Sat, Jun 28, 2008 at 13:38, Thilo Schuler <thilo.schuler at gmail.com> wrote: > Regarding Greg's comment on problems with the visibility of a certain > field: IMHO openEHR should not try to standardise GUIs (meaning > sharing GUI hints or presentation artefacts). This is a huge task and > we have enough problems solving what we are working on right now. The value of what to start experiments regarding how to "standardise" right now depends on what one happens to be working on right now :-) I don't suggest that for example Ocean Informatics would need to be pioneering everything if they have other important things to focus on. I do believe that there right now might be an interesting time for some of us in the community to start investigating the possibilities to share some kind(s) of artifacts assisting in GUI creation and maintenance across system implementations. Something that makes this task less "huge" than it would be in a general software setting is that we're dealing with a fixed AM and RM and a specific application area. One last thing... On Sat, Jun 28, 2008 at 00:18, Thomas Beale <thomas.beale at oceaninformatics.com> wrote: > ... there are more semantic indicators being built > into the template designer, some based on the NHS CUI project, that will > provide good hints on GUI generation, including some temporal workflow > aspects. Are these things or the principles behind them something you can and would like to like detail a bit more or share with the community when time permits? Best regards, Erik Sundvall Link?ping University, Sweden erisu at imt.liu.se http://www.imt.liu.se/~erisu/ Tel: +46-13-227579