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VII.4 July 2000
Page: 51
Digital Citation

Conference preview: HCI 2000: usability or else!

Marisa Campbell

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HCI 2000 is the 14th Annual Conference of the British HCI Group and will cover all main areas of HCI research and practice. However, it will focus on usability engineering for e-business.

While HCI approaches have penetrated many application areas, bringing clear benefits over the last decade, electronic business will nail down usability as an essential design goal. The HCI community will be expected to respond with ever-improved methods, techniques and design approaches that ensure that usability is taken seriously from conception through design and development to installation and operation.

The HCI conference addresses the needs of practitioners and researchers through a balance of conference activities. A day of tutorials and the doctoral consortium precede the main conference and exhibition. Industry Day begins the conference with a strong practitioner focus via keynote speakers, panels, organizational overviews and industrial presentations.

A social program offers extensive interaction among colleagues, and the remainder of the conference combines paper presentations, posters, demonstrations and further keynote speakers that cover a range of topical issues in HCI.

back to top  Tutorials

  • 1. Making World Web Interfaces Usable for Elderly and/or Visually Impaired People
    Mary Zajicek, Oxford Brookes University
    A tutotial for Web page designers, those who would like to attract elderly and/or visually impaired users to their website and those who want to know about software that makes the Web accessible to this group.
  • 2. Model-Based Design and Evaluation of Interactive Applications
    Fabio Paternò, C.N.R. Piza
    The tutorial is intended for anyone interested in understanding the possibilities given by the systematic use of task models in design and usability evaluation.
  • 3. Designing Multimedia Presentations
    Alistair Sutcliffe, UMIST Manchester
    This will involve consideration of the basic psychology required to understand multimedia interaction and the design principles based upon it.
  • 4. Cognitive Factors in Design: Basic Phenomena in Human Memory and Problem Solving
    Tom Hewett, Drexel University, Philadelphia
    This tutorial will present some theoretical underpinnings and practical aspects of how people remember and how they solve problems. It will also indicate how to take advantage of some of the capabilities of the most important interface component: the human mind.
  • 5. Software User Interface Engineering—A Structured Design Method Bridging the Gap Between Human Factors and Software Engineering
    Morten Borup Harning, Framfab
    This tutorial presents a structured method for designing user interfaces, addressing both the visual and the functional aspects of user interface design.
  • 6. Enabling Technology for Users with Special Needs
    Alistair Edwards, University of York
    This tutorial aims to provide an overview of current practice and research in the field of interfaces for enabling technology. It also outlines how the technology can be designed to make it accessible to people with disabilites.
  • 7. Information Visualisation
    Bob Spence, Imperial College, London
    This tutorial will discuss the issues involved and the techniques available by means of a wide variety of examples, and is therefore aimed at those who have data and wish to gain insight into it.
  • 8. Designing Usable Mobile Services
    Anna Kaikkonen, Nokia
    Topics covered in tutorial include:
    • How does the mobile service usage differ from using the same service built for Web
    • How should you select the right features for mobile service
    • How to develop easy-to-use services for mobile use
    • How to evaluate the mobile services
  • 9. Marketing and Electronic Commerce
    Jerry Lohse, The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania
    The tutorial provides an overview of forces shaping the digital economy; online consumer demographics; interface design features that impact traffic and sales on websites; and what makes a website sticky.

back to top  Conference Topics

In new media, usability includes dimensions that have not been central earlier. In e-business in particular, the following aspects are crucial:

  • What emotional reactions may be expected in e-business?
  • What aspects of a design affects negative versus positive emotions?
  • How do people trust electronic business?
  • What aspects of a design affects trust?
  • How do you enable people to get the feeling for the "real thing" in e-business?
  • How do you design for social recommendations without infringing on personal and ethical issues?
  • How do you meet individual preferences when it comes to design?
  • Issues may concern the balance between humor and seriousness, advertisements and plain facts, flashy pictures versus plain text.
  • How do you meet cultural differences?
  • E-business will cross frontiers; how many designers will be prepared to adapt their message and procedure to new customers, for instance in the third world?

These aspects of usability will require the development of new methods, techniques and design approaches that ensure that a widened concept of usability is taken seriously from conception through design and development to installation and operations.

bullet.gif Theoretical Issues

  • Psychology of design
  • Cognition and perception
  • Emotion and interaction
  • User modelling
  • Models of interaction
  • Discourse and multi-party dialogues
  • Analytical usability measures
  • Intelligence in user and system

bullet.gif Organizational, Social and Cultural Issues

  • HCI and organizational psychology, organizational structure and the future of work
  • Cultural dependencies and adaptation

bullet.gif Interactive System Design

  • Designing for fun, formal methods, and notations
  • Ask and work analysis
  • Extending HCI methodologies
  • HCI and software engineering
  • Supporting collaboration
  • Evaluation methods
  • Information design
  • Multimedia and multimodal systems
  • Guidelines and standards

bullet.gif Interaction Tools and Techniques

  • Virtual reality, force feedback, speech synthesis, voice input, eye-tracking, information visualization, navigation, agents and multiparty systems
  • System architecture, adaptation, and end-user programming

bullet.gif User with Special Needs

  • Systems, tools, and techniques designed for disabled users

bullet.gif Dissemination and Practice

  • HCI evaluation, case studies, cost benefit analysis, extending HCI methodologies to new domains
  • Raising the profile of HCI

bullet.gif Organizational Overviews

Organizational Overviews provide summaries of HCI work taking place in organizations. Overviews may descibe HCI work in university, corporate, or government research groups or institutions; product development or consultancy organizations; countries or geographical regions; collaborative efforts involving several groups or organizations; or partnerships of different types of groups, or groups cooperating across geographical, political, or cultural boundaries.

The emphasis is on the circumstances and context within which this work is occurring, focusing on the underlying goals, policies, and organziational background, and perspectives of past, present, and future HCI efforts. Of interest is the big picture: how did a group come into being; how do the participants influence each other as well as other groups with whom they are affiliated; the group's plans and visions for the future; and the basis for these plans. Organizational Overviews provide a contrast to presentations that spotlight a restricted number of technically or scientifically interesting results.

Attendees of the presentations should be able to see the shared perspectives between groups despite different cultural, organizational, and geographical backgrounds in order to foster future collaborations and affect work within HCI in the upcoming century.

bullet.gif Social Program

September 5 (Tuesday)
The social program begins with a reception in the University's award winning Informatics Centre for delegates who have arrived and registerd by the evening of Sept. 5th.

September 6 (Wednesday)
Delegates will be taken to Ramside Hall for the conference dinner and ceilidh (Northumbrian Folk Dancing, continuing the HCI conference tradition of close interaction).

September 7 (Thursday)
The main event is an evening buffet and tour of the National Glass Centre. As an alternative, a limited number of delegates can visit the Virtual Reality Centre at the University of Teeside. Places will be allocated in order of registration.

For more information, please visit the website at:

July 13-15
Vision Plus 8
Turning Information into Corporate Knowledge
Innovative Information Management: A Design Challenge
Vienna, Austria

July 23-28
27th International Conference on Computer Graphics & Interactive Techniques Conference

Ernest N. Morial
Convention Center
New Orleans, LA

July 24-26
The Education Technology Conference
Marriott Crystal Gateway Hotel
Arlington, VA


August 14-18
UPA 2000: Usability Professionals' Association
Designing the New Millennium Today

Asheville, NC

August 21-25
16th IFIP World Computer Congress
Beijing, China

September 5-8
HCI 2000
St.Peter's Campus
University of Sunderland,
Northeast of England

September 13-15
i3 Annual Conference 2000
Building Tomorrow Today
Jönköping, Sweden


October 29-November 2
SIGS Conference for Java Development Conference
Fairmont Hotel
San Jose, CA

November 28- December 1
4th APCHI/6th SEAES Conference 2000
Contact: Associate Professor Kee Yong LIM,

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