Title: Mobile aware web design

Authors:
Toni Alatalo, Harri Oinas-Kukkonen
Dept. of Information Processing Science, University of Oulu, Finland
{toni.alatalo, harri.oinas-kukkonen@oulu.fi}

About: position paper of the project OWLA for the mobility workshop/www9
Status: on-going research (years 2000-2002)

A starting point for OWLA research project is to develop methods,
techniques, tools and principles for designing mobile aware Web
information systems. For doing this, Web information systems are treated
as hypertext information systems.

The two-year project has recently been started and the research will be
carried out in the HYTEC research lab (Hypertext Information Systems and
Mobile Electronic Commerce) at the Department of Information Processing
Science at the university of Oulu, Finland, in collaboration with
companies in the industry (e.g. Satama Interactive and Nokia Mobile
Phones) as a part of VIRGIN research group, Infotech research center and
Mobile Forum Oulu research program.

OWLA research project will emphasise the design of the mobile aware Web
information systems so that they can also be utilised through mobile
phones. Mobile aware Web information systems recognise the special needs
of mobile access and use. The issue here is not the way of data transfer
itself, but for example the requirements that small handheld computers,
different user interfaces and slower transfer rates set for the design.

To a large extent, the questions about mobile use of information and
communication systems are still open in the project.

Understanding the users' needs and working solutions in the various
different situations, with different devices etc. is yet an emerging area
where more information is needed.

>From the design perspective, there are interesting problems regarding
platform independency, interoperability and scalability: e.g. it is now
possible to develop systems so that the same service is usable via
whatever interfaces (desktop PCs, mobile phones, digital TVs etc.), but
when is this feasible - is it sometimes better to separate them totally,
focusing on one kind of application only? Will the mobile world and other
Web be in the same space?

Concerning adaptivity, which besides mobility is another focus in the
project OWLA, the potential of position relevant/location-dependent
information services based on the Web is interesting. When combined with
other user, task and/or organizational information location awareness may
prove a powerful tool, but here again, real experiences are still just a
few. The problems/solutions related to this are in our interest.

One aspect to the problems of using location information is privacy: on
what conditions and to what extent will users want their whereabouts known
by outside systems? Will there be ways to control it, e.g. depending on
the current situation and with respect to who asks for the information
(e.g. a friend or some strange company). Is there anything happening in
the standardization area, related to the earlier work on OPS (Open
Profiling Standard) and P3P (Platform for Privacy Preferences) perhaps?

Besides bringing up difficult questions, the project OWLA's contribution
to the workshop could include viewpoints from Information Systems
research, IS development methodologies and the theory of hypermedia.
Concerning mobility, we have some experiences on e.g. e-commerce
applications.

Related publications of the project:

Alatalo Toni & Oinas-Kukkonen Harri (2000). OWLA - Mobile
aware web information systems. Poster in the 9th international World Wide
Web conference, to be held in Amsterdam, May 15 - 19, 2000.

Oinas-Kukkonen Harri (1999) Mobile Electronic Commerce through the Web.
Second International Conference on Telecommunications and Electronic
Commerce (ICTEC '99). Nashville, USA, October 6-8, 1999, pp. 69-74.

Oinas-Kukkonen Harri, Alatalo Toni, Kaasila Jouko, Kivel Henri & Sivunen
Sami (2000) Requirements for Web Information Systems Engineering
Methodologies. In M. Rossi & K. Siau (editors): Information Modelling in
the Next Millenium (in print).

Oinas-Kukkonen Harri (2000) Representing Metaknowledge through Rich Links.
In E. Kawaguchi et al. (editors): Information modelling and Knowledge
Bases X, IOS Press, Amsterdam, pp. 275-282.

Oinas-Kukkonen H. (1998) What is Inside a Link? Communications of the ACM,
Vol. 41, No. 7, p. 98.