Human guided evolution of XUL user interfaces

Juan C. Quiroz*, Sergiu M. Dascalu, Sushil J. Louis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contributionpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Graphical user interface design is a time consuming, expensive, and complex software design process. User interface design is both art and science in that we use both objective and subjective design metrics to evaluate interfaces. An automated process that relies on both subjective and objective metrics to guide the evolution of effective, personalized user interfaces could significantly change current GUI development and maintenance practice. This paper uses an interactive genetic algorithm to evolve XUL user interface layouts by combining objective and subjective metrics. The genetic algorithm encodes expert knowledge from prominent usability guidelines as objective heuristics. Further, the graphical user interface developer (or user!) biases and guides the evolution of the interfaces by subjectively evaluating and selecting and.worst. interfaces from a small set of displayed interface prototypes. We explore how the selection of individuals from the population to be displayed to the user for subjective evaluation affects the convergence of the genetic algorithm and show that our methodology can produce effective interfaces that reflect subjective user-preferred aesthetics.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCHI 2007 Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery, Inc
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)1595936424, 9781595936424
Publication statusPublished - 22 Oct 2007
Externally publishedYes
Event25th SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems 2007, CHI 2007 - San Jose, CA, United States
Duration: 28 Apr 20073 May 2007


Conference25th SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems 2007, CHI 2007
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Jose, CA


  • Interactive genetic algorithm
  • Style guidelines
  • User interface design
  • XUL


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