Intelligent Advisor for Multi-Modal Human-Computer Interface (HCI) Design

Period of Performance: 10/16/2003 - 11/16/2005


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Micro Analysis and Design, Inc.
4949 Pearl East Circle, Suite 300
Boulder, CO 80301
Principal Investigator


The ability of the Tactical Tomahawk Weapons Control System (TTWCS) interfaces to support operator decision-making is critical to mission success. These interfaces must support operators to gain and maintain a high degree of situation awareness, reduce overall system response time, and optimize operator workload. In order to improve system performance, the Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division has focused their attention on including multi-modal technology in future TTWCS interfaces. The primary objective for Phase I of this Small Business Innovative Research project was to develop an approach for providing multi-modal interface design support to system designers and developers. The Multi-modal Interface Design Advisor (MIDA) tool we proposed is an innovative method for providing this support across a wide variety of platforms for both government and commercial interests. MIDA represents an integrated approach to multi-modal interface design that examines the goals and characteristics of the user, the tasks the user must perform, and the environment in which the resulting interface will be used. MIDA incorporates task network modeling to help identify resource conflicts and a comprehensive library of multi-modal technologies and design guidance to generate recommendations for design. In this report, we describe the work proposed for Phase II. The initial benefit of the Multi-modal Interface Design Advisor (MIDA) will come from supporting upgrades to the interfaces of the Tactical Tomahawk Weapons Control System. However, virtually any interface from head-up displays to personal digital assistants can be designed with the help of this tool. Long-term benefits of MIDA will be its potential for increasing the awareness and use of multi-modal interface technology. It will save users time by removing the requirement of having to study design guidance and standards. MIDA can also ensure that interface design will be done right the first time, preventing the need for multiple iterations of design and testing.