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No.2 (June, 2008) Special Issue: Human Interface/Special Issue: Technologies for Mobile Terminals

Vol.3 No.2 (June, 2008)

Special Issue: Human Interface

Development Process


Human-centered design process is specified in ISO13407 international standard, where policies are prescribed regarding the development of systems offering high usability. The NEC Human Interface Center takes these human-centered design process policies and systemizes them as specific development procedures applicable to system development projects, integrated as SI development standards within our company. By incorporating systemized usability-enhancing activities into our SI development standards, it is possible even for non-specialists to design and develop systems that emphasize usability.

AOKI Hiroyuki ・MIURA Kazunari ・TSUKIDA Ichiro ・KASAI Hideaki ・

Improvement in “ease of use” has become one of the critical themes in the process of software development for the SI and packaged products of NEC Soft, Ltd. The Usability Engineering Office of the VALWAY Technology Center introduced usability engineering from an early stage and is currently promoting this technology for its dissemination and application in various projects.This paper is intended to introduce the usability promotion activities of NEC Soft, Ltd.

Key Technologies

ASAHI Toshiyuki

Rapid progress in IT has steadily been increasing the social need for usability, particularly in the case of the technologies designed for the continual and systematic improvement of the human interface. For this purpose, it is necessary to develop and integrate various element technologies and to systematize them as an effective engineering methodology. This paper is intended to provide an overview of existing usability engineering techniques. It also introduces technical issues that need to be solved in order to construct a more effective methodology and discusses efforts being made by NEC toward this objective.

KOMIYAMA Toshihiro

This paper is an introduction to the series of international software quality evaluation standards that have been established by ISO/IEC JTC1 SC7, which is the organization responsible for the international standardization of software engineering. One of the standards, “ISO/IEC 9126-1: Quality Model” models the structure of software quality and defines the quality characteristics and sub-characteristics that form the model. Usability is positioned as one of the six quality characteristics of the model. This paper focuses on usability and describes viewpoints on usability evaluation and the metrics of quantitative usability evaluation based on the international standards for software quality evaluation. In addition, it will also discuss the utilization of evaluation technologies that are aimed at improvements in usability.

IKEGAMI Teruya ・OKADA Hidehiko

The authors of this paper propose a method of quantitative evaluation of the ease of use (usability) of systems by using a checklist evaluation method that guides detailed procedures and thresholds and which is improving its accuracy by verification tests. In the tests, the authors conducted experimental evaluations with the participation of several persons and have confirmed that high reproducibility can be achieved by determining the results based on deliberations. This paper is intended to introduce the proposed checklist evaluation method, details of its tests and its future perspectives.

OOKUBO Ryousuke ・NODA Hisashi ・HIRAMATSU Takeshi ・FUKUZUMI Shin’ichi

The quantity as well as the importance of information exchanged between human communities is increasing as the information society progresses.This paper proposes the “focus graph” as a technique enabling visualization of the relationships between communities and associated information, so that such may be identified efficiently and comprehensively. The focus graph facilitates arrival at the desired information by linking two kinds of visualization representations; the linked display and the correlation display.


Search systems are becoming increasingly important to find desired information from a vast pool of information. We developed navigation technology enhancing search systems usability, which allows users to reach desired information. Our technology creates navigation keywords related to situations to narrow down a search efficiently. This paper introduces case examples of the “Information Navigation System” that was developed for the Customer Support Center of NEC Fielding, Ltd.

Universal Design

FUJIYAMA Toru ・KATO Katsutoshi ・MORI Ichiro ・ARUGA Megumi ・OHTA Tomomi

The NEC Group implements universal design as one of the tasks of its IT enterprise and is developing products, services and solutions that can be used by more people. In this way it aims to contribute to the creation of a society in which all may benefit by using information communication networks. This paper is intended to introduce the universal design efforts that are being made by the NEC Group together with actual examples of applications of universal design in PC products and their development processes.


We have developed the web accessibility JIS test tool “WEBJUDGE” as part of our human interface research activities. This tool tests the HTML sources of web contents automatically based on the JIS X8341-3 Standard. This paper introduces this tool and describes a consulting activity case in which the tool was applied to improve and maintain accessibility to the contents of a local governmental website.

Special Issue: Technologies for Mobile Terminals


HOSOI Toshikatsu

The platforms for mobile terminals are advancing daily in pursuit of the need to increase the number of functions and improvements in performance. The items required for the platforms are not only to support the advancement of function and performance but also include basic performance functions that are critical for the mobile phone, such as size reduction and power saving. The new platform adopted for the FOMAN905i has succeeded in meeting these requirements by adopting new technologies and achieving size and power consumption reductions at the same time as integrating a multiplicity of function and high performance improvements. This paper introduces the latest mobile terminal platform and the technologies employed by it.


NEC has adopted Linux as the OS for its mobile terminal software and has been developing Linux-based middleware for mobile devices based on MOAP(L) jointly with the NTT DoCoMo, Inc. and Panasonic Mobile Communications Co., Ltd. Meanwhile, six companies including both mobile phone carriers and manufacturers started the LiMo Foundation in 2007, defined the API specifications and published the Beta version of the specifications in February 2008. The LiMo Foundation plans to continue its efforts in promoting construction of Linux OS-based platform for mobile terminals and in building so-called “ecosystem.”

Size Reduction and Function Enhancement

OZAKI Kazuya ・KONDOU Hiroaki ・NAKAO Junichi ・YAMAMOTO Hikaru

Recently, mobile terminals have been subjected to strong pressures calling for size/thickness reductions as well as for enhancements and multiplication of functions. NEC is promoting the size/thickness reduction of its developed models by deploying size/thickness reduction technologies to all new products by releasing optimally sized early prototypes. We are tackling the development of various component technologies aimed at size/thickness reductions for use in pre-prototypes and have recently developed the world’s slimmest 3G flip-phone terminal of slightly more than 9mm thickness.This advance was achieved by deploying our technical assets to further enhance our products; NEC is promoting additional value to its entire mobile phone lineup by applying the benefits of size/thickness reduction.

KATOH Satoshi

The N905i model that was released in November 2007 features significant improvements to its camera functions. These include; a newly developed 5.2-megapixel camera, AF (autofocusing) with face detection, double image stabilization (6-axis camera shake correction + subject blur correction) and PictMagic IV (a scene categorization type picture quality improvement function). Among these new technologies aimed at the picture quality improvement of mobile phone cameras, this paper focuses on the details of the two functions in which NEC has led its competitors, namely; double image stabilization and PictMagicIV.

SHINOHARA Masahito ・ITOH Masashi ・IWATA Shinichiro ・NISHIMURA Yasunori ・ZAITSU Makoto

FOMA/wireless LAN dual terminals are dual-phone terminals that support both the 3G mobile phone and IP phone capabilities that use wireless LAN as the IP phone interface. This paper is intended to introduce the issues involved in the incorporation of wireless LAN in a mobile terminal as well as the main component technologies necessary for securing an IP phone service of satisfactory transmission quality. It will also discuss future perspectives such as the seamless service and broadband initiatives.

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