Sanjay Prasad, Andy Smith, Anirudha Joshi, Iqbal Ahmed
The First All India Human Computer Interaction Conference (IHCI 2004) was held in Bangalore on December 6 and 7, 2004 under the aegis of the Indo-European Systems Usability Partnership (IESUP), a non-profit EU Asia IT&C initiative. This event was organized in cooperation/association with the Computer Society of India, the British Computer Society/HCI Group, ACM/SIGCHI, and the International Federation for Information Processing (IFIP). This was the first pan-Indian meet of all stakeholders from academia and industry with a true international presence to discuss the issues related to HCI, Systems Usability, and User-Centered Design. Approximately 150 delegates from various organizations from all over India and abroad attended the conference. [Figure]
The first keynote address was given by Dr. John Karat of IBM TJ Watson Research Center, New York. He shared a case study on user-centered design approaches in organizational privacy technology on the basis of understanding of organizational requirements for privacy management.
The second keynote was given by Steve Howard, Department of Information Systems at the University of Melbourne. He talked about designing innovations and drew comparisons between current user-centered design practice and future desires.
The Program Committee (PC) had representation from India, Europe, the UK, the US and Australia. Papers were invited on a wide range of themes such as HCI in the Indian industry, Culture, context and society, Institutionalizing HCI, Global products/applications, local development, interaction design, user-centered design, and HCI Education.
PC members did a soft-review of submissions in the first review round, providing feedback to the authors. This round was specifically conducted to encourage new researchers and practitioners, considering that IHCI 2004 was the first peer-reviewed conference related to HCI in India.
The 17 papers accepted for the main conference were broadly classified under the themes: Culture, Context and Society, HCI in Indian Industry, Interaction Design, HCI in Indian Curriculum, HCI in Text and Speech Systems, and New Directions in HCI. Another six papers were accepted for a conference workshop on developing HCI research in India.
Among the invited speakers, V. Durgaprasad (SAP Labs India) and Kaladhar Bapu (Cordys India) provided perspective on the current trends in the usability and HCI design processes in their companies. Dr. Jan Gulliksen (University of Uppsala, Sweden) talked about the strategic importance of user-centered-systems design in moving organizations through the maturity curve. Professor Liam Bannon (University of Limerick, Ireland) talked about extending the design boundaries of HCI by bringing interaction design into the context. Janni Nielsen (Copenhagen Business School, Denmark) discussed retrospective verbalizations during a usability test and its benefits. Torkil Clemmensen (Copenhagen Business School) shared experiences about conducting usability tests where users and evaluators come from different cultures.
The first day of the conference ended with a sponsored session from Human Factors International, during which Dr. Eric Schaffer and Apala L. Chavan talked about life in a mature usability company. The second day ended with a panel discussion about the future of HCI in India. The panel and all participants agreed to continue organizing such conferences. A need was felt for forming an inclusive, all-India representative society of user experience professionals and several suggestions were given about the nature and affiliations of such a body.
Kaushik Ghosh, secretary of IHCI 2004, welcomed the dignitaries and members for the valedictory session. Dr. Anirudha Joshi, co-chair of the program committee, gave a brief report on the two-day conference, highlighting the international participation that the conference had drawn, both from the point of view of the invited speakers and the presented papers.
Martin Prinze, managing director of SAP Labs (India), one of the event's sponsors, lauded the efforts of IESUP in organizing an international conference. Dr. Balaveera Reddy, vice chancellor of Visvesvaraya Technological University in Bangalore, India, who was the guest of honor at the valediction, reiterated the value of online and networked programs to reach a larger audience simultaneously. Iqbal Ahmed concluded by thanking all organizers, speakers, sponsors, and participants for making program a grand success.
This conference would not have been successful without the untiring and relentless efforts of the IESUP steering group, the event general chairs, its PC and OC teams, and CSI's HQ and Bangalore Chapter office and other cooperating/participating organizations. These initiatives mark the beginning of a new period of consciousness and global osmosis towards research, education, and practice in the user experience community in India.
Sanjay Prasad and Dr. Andy Smith, General Chairs
Dr. Anirudha Joshi, Program Chair
Iqbal Ahmed, Organizing Chair
Figure. L to R: Dr. Andy Smith and Sanjay Prasad, general chairs, IHCI-2004 and co-convenors IESUP; chief guest Dr. Shankar Linge Gowda, honorable IT Secretary, Government of Karnataka; ML Ravi, president of CSI; Ms. Sudha Raju; Iqbal Ahmed, India operations head, IESUP and OC chair, IHCI2004; and Dr. S. Rao at the inaugural session
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