[Accessforall] [Profiles] "User preference key" instead of "User ID"

Denis Anson danson at misericordia.edu
Fri Jul 6 12:27:40 UTC 2012

Is it possible that we are getting into trouble by shaking the wrong end of the stick?  Our language is suggesting that GPII is the locus of control: the user says "here I am," and GPII matches the user to their set of preferences and sends that set to the device in question.  This depends on identifying a person.

Consider placing the person as the locus of control.  During enrollment, the user creates a set of preferences, which is given a unique identifier (the preference set, not the person) and uploaded to the cloud.  In use, the user calls the identified preference set to the target device for use.  When  phrased this way, the identity of the person is never required.  Instead, what GPII is processing is the identity of the preference set.

If this cognitive model works, then the language we use becomes more anonymous.

While there can, in theory, be generic preference sets, this is like the difference between buying clothing off the rack and buying custom tailored.  Off the rack might fit, but it will never be quite as good a fit as tailored, and tailored will generally be preferred.


Denis Anson, MS, OTR
Director of Research and Development
Assistive Technology Research Institute
Misericordia University
301 Lake St.
Dallas, PA 18636

voice: 570-674-6413
fax: 570-674-8054

danson at misericordia.edu<mailto:danson at misericordia.edu>

On Jul 6, 2012, at 4:00 AM, Clark, Colin wrote:

I also like the term "key." But I think I prefer "preference statements" to "preference sets," as it seems a little clearer and in line with the notion of the user interacting with the system under their own terms.


On 2012-07-06, at 1:46 AM, Gregg Vanderheiden wrote:

How about we use the word  KEY and  SET

The KEY is what you pass up to the server so that it can figure out what preference SET to look up / use.

You can have many SETS that you might use.   One for when in private.  one while in public.  One that is Silent.

There can be keys to GENERIC SETS.
- for example - an older person doesn’t have a set of preferences yet and they go up to a kiosk to buy a phone.  The user says 'do you have one with large print".  The person at the phone kiosk (a little shop in the aisle of a big shopping market)   doesn’t really know what features there are or how to set them up.  But they do have a set of tags behind the counter and one says "for people low vision".   They touch it to the phone and it turns on all the low vision features.   If the phones have more than a simple set then there might be several "low vision 1" 2, 3 etc so the older person can try different sets easily.

- another example -- a person is traveling and doesn’t want to expose their whole SET of preferences to this unknown machine (that might data mine them).  They only need basic setting on this ticket machine  so they use a GENERIC SET that matches them pretty well and they get it set up but leave only a Generic footprint behind.  (anything of course leaves some info -- but if they don't log in -- there is just a note that someone with that generic profile used that kiosk) .

On Jul 6, 2012, at 12:52 AM, Andy Heath wrote:

What is the relationship between the keys and sets of preferences ?
Is it that one key can be associated with more than one set of preferences ?  Is one set of preferences associated with more than one key ?


instead of saying "user is identified"

how about  we say "user’spreferencekeyis read (or obtained)"

In general

We talk about the user "identifying themselves"  and that info being
used to fetch their preferences all over the place as the first step

In fact they don't have to identify themselves - they just need to
provide a key that can be used to look up a set of preferences.  They
don't even have to be their preferences. they could be a generic preference.

This has privacy implications and implies that users identify themselves
in order to use GPII when they don't.

OK to change our language?

Someone have a better phrase to use than     "User preference key"  ?

Colin Clark
Lead Software Architect,
Inclusive Design Research Centre, OCAD University

Profiles mailing list
Profiles at lists.gpii.net

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