Table of Contents

VOLUME XX.3 May + June 2013

  • Demo Hour
    • Demo hour

      Yoichi Takahashi, Yasushi Matoba, Hideki Koike, Alvaro Cassinelli, Jussi Angesleva, Yoshihiro Watanabe, Gonzalo Frasca, Masatoshi Ishikawa, Matthew Hirsch, Shahram Izadi, Henry Holtzman, Ramesh Raskar, Quentin Bonnard, Amanda Legge, Anna Geiduschek, Frédéric Kaplan, Pierre Dillenbourg

      Fluid Surface Information is becoming accessible everywhere in everyday life due of the spread of smartphones and portable personal computers; however, there are very few methods to access content in a bathing environment. We propose an interactive water-surface display system, which uses image-recognition techniques. The system supports intuitive interactions…

  • Confessions
    • Why it’s not damning to define the thing

      Dave Malouf

      Why it’s not damning to define the thing

      I've been known to be obsessed with defining things. I'm addicted to semantics—you might call me a semant-aholic. I believe deeply in the importance of words and get really annoyed at dual meanings and misunderstandings, ambiguities caused by rampant misuse of terms, and just lack of agreement on the…

  • Departments
    • Feedback

      INTR Staff


      Targeting the Fitts Law I enjoyed reading this article. I finally got why Harold [Thimbleby] wants to call it "the Fitts Law." If enough people write it that way I would never have to correct another submission making the embarrassing mistake of "Fitt's Law." I did not completely get…

    • SIGCHI

      Gerrit van der Veer


      In mid-2012, SIGCHI elected a new Executive Committee: Allison Druin is our new Vice President for Membership and Communication and Kristina Höök and Jofish Kaye are Vice Presidents at Large. Elizabeth Churchill, Gary Olson, and I were reelected. We reappointed Vice Presidents and Adjunct Chairs as far as available,…

    • Community calendar 2013

      INTR Staff

      Community calendar 2013

      May 2013 Pervasive Health 2013 – 7th International Conference on Pervasive Computing Technologies for Healthcare (Venice, Italy) Conference Dates: May 5–8, 2013 WWW 2013 – 22nd International World Wide Web Conference (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) Conference Dates: May 13–17, 2013 Graphics Interface 2013 – 39th Graphics Interface…

  • Columns
    • The weapons factory in the den

      Daniela Rosner, Jonathan Bean

      The weapons factory in the den

      In the summer of 2012, Cody Wilson was enjoying time off from his first year of law school at the University of Texas. Prior to that, four years of liberal arts education in college had provided him with no particular technical or design skills. But he was ready to…

    • Twenty-first century priorities

      Tiffany Jen

      Twenty-first century priorities

      Image Contributor: Tiffany Jen Genre: Reenactment; parody of engagement with mobile technologies; humor; awareness Young Woman A: Is there a fight behind us? Young Woman B: I think so ... Young Woman A: Can you check? Young Woman B: Too busy chatting with you. Young Woman A: Sounds loud.…

  • Day in the Lab
    • Austin Center for Design

      Jon Kolko How do you describe your lab to visitors? Austin Center for Design is an educational institution in Austin, Texas that teaches interaction design and social entrepreneurship. Our program offers a year of methods, theory, and practice that culminates in the development of double-bottom-line businesses: Students create new companies…

  • Forums
    • Taking a note from marketing research in sustainable HCI

      Christian Remy

      Taking a note from marketing research in sustainable HCI

      Everyday life is full of decisions that often involve choosing between a sustainable choice and an unsustainable choice. For example, consider a typical purchase in a domain with lots of diversity, such as laptops. How do we determine which brand or model is the most sustainable one? And what…

    • There is more in personal heritage than data

      Daniela Petrelli

      There is more in personal heritage than data

      Clearing out the attic of what has been a family's home for generations can reveal some surprises. In my case, it was a small pile of printed material related to my grandmother's second cousin: an 1897 copy of his patented project to send aerostats into orbit for many uses…

    • Interactive systems for health

      Gillian R. Hayes

      Interactive systems for health

      Medical computer science, information science, information theory, biomedical computing, biocomputation, systems biology, medical informatics, bioinformatics, biomedical informatics, health informatics, wellness informatics, crisis informatics, community informatics... These are just some of the many terms used to describe a set of research and practical interests that have emerged in the past…

    • Public policy issues in augmentative and alternative communication technologies a comparison of the U.K. and the U.S.

      Annalu Waller

      Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) refers to strategies and techniques used by individuals who experience communication difficulties because they have little or no functional speech. AAC can support (i.e., augment) speech or it can provide a replacement (i.e., act as an alternative) for spoken communication. In addition to supporting…

    • Systemic and meta-systemic laws

      Ximena Yáñez, Humberto Romesín

      Systemic and meta-systemic laws

      This essay is the result of our reflections over the course of many recursive conversations in the space of our collaboration at the Matriztic Institute in Santiago, Chile on the interplay of biology and culture on human living. We propose these Systemic and Meta-Systemic Laws (or Laws of Conservation)…

  • Features
    • Harnessing the power of positive tension

      Matt Walsh

      Harnessing the power of positive tension

      For years, Facebook trained us all to collect friends. Every girl you met at a party, every guy you chatted with at a coffee shop, every classmate you had a study session with—we friended them all. And we did this because our culture started to place significant value on…

    • Steampunking interaction design

      Theresa Tanenbaum, Audrey Desjardins, Karen Tanenbaum

      Steampunking interaction design

      Behind the glass loomed a vast hall of towering Engines ... It was like some carnival deception, meant to trick the eye—the giant identical Engines, clock-like constructions of intricately interlocking brass, big as rail-cars set on end, each on its foot-thick padded blocks. The white-washed ceiling, 30 feet overhead,…

    • The four points of the HCI research compass

      Željko Obrenović

      The four points of the HCI research compass

      Most discussions about research in human-computer interaction (HCI) focus on research methods and skills, on the question of how research should be conducted (e.g., [1]). Research tools and methods, however, are only passive instruments in the hands of motivated researchers. But what exactly motivates and drives HCI researchers? Here…

    • Telling the story in big data

      Jeffrey Kim, Arnie Lund, Caroline Dombrowski

      Telling the story in big data

      Since as far back as at least 1995, researchers have worried about how to analyze ever-growing, overwhelming, gargantuan data. For much of big data research and analysis, computational feasibility is no longer the challenge. Peter Huber's taxonomy of dataset sizes classified "ridiculous" as 10 to the 12th power number…

    • Web science and human-computer interaction

      Clare Hooper, Alan Dix

      Web science and human-computer interaction

      HCI and Web Science are interdisciplinary fields concerned with the intersection of people and technology. So how do they relate? What defines these fields, how do they overlap, and do they tread on each other's toes? More pertinently, what strengths do they share? How might they benefit each other?…

    • Effective approaches to user-interface design with ACASI in the developing world

      Stan Mierzwa, Samir Souidi, Irene Friedland, Lauren Katzen, Sarah Littlefield

      Effective approaches to user-interface design with ACASI in the developing world

      Several years ago, the Information Technology (IT) group at the Population Council was presented with a situation where researchers had a need and knew that some solutions existed, but what was available did not meet their needs. These investigators asked if there was a technology solution to help obtain…

    • A guerrilla usability lab with free software

      José Collado, Paul Mora, Elizabeth Parham

      A guerrilla usability lab with free software

      Usability, or the quality of a user's experience when interacting with a system, is a prerequisite for new application delivery within our organization. Nevertheless, a significant percentage of the applications being developed explicitly ignore current best practices. Their authors cite lack of time, lack of qualified personnel, or lack…

  • Cover story
    • Creating the world citizen parliament

      Douglas Schuler

      We must not be afraid of dreaming the seemingly impossible if we want the seemingly impossible to become a reality.—Vaclav Havel We have witnessed amazing historic events in the past few years: the Arab Spring, the Occupy movement, and the election—and reelection—of an African-American president in the U.S., to…