Tag Archives: Lancaster Uni

HCI 2007 @ Lancaster University

At the beginning of September, I went to the HCI 2007 conference at Lancaster University (in the North of England).

I was Chairing the HCI Practice Day (the Thursday) of the conference so it was all a little bit hectic but still, as usual, a lot of fun.

This year, in line with the times I guess, there was a fair number of papers on Second Life and other virtual environments, including one about BDSM in Second Life. In fact, there was definitely a bit of a trend this year for erotic HCI… (that, as a statement, either makes HCI cool, or it just goes to show that academics can make *anything* boring 😉 ).

There also seemed to be a fair amount about emotions – that is, how we engage with technology; eg why we happily waste an entire evening on Facebook or watching random videos on YouTube. Web2.0 was also in there, of course.

There were also some papers on bluetooth, several (as usual) on eye-tracking, and stuff about Accessibility, usability of the Web, methods of evaluating interface usability, and so on.

IBMers featured quite heavily in the HCI Practice Day (as you might imagine):

  • Mark Farmer (IBM Warwick) introduced the IBM Task Modeler tool that he develops (the link takes you to the Task Modeler page on Alphaworks where you can download a copy to try yourself).
  • Colin Bird (Master Inventor and Information Architect at IBM Hursley) followed up Mark’s introduction with a presentation about how you can (and we do) use Task Modeler to support information architecture: to model user tasks and create the navigation for information centres.
  • Ben Fletcher (Senior Inventor at IBM Hursley) did a great presentation on deafblind technologies, including the possibilities of virtual worlds in supporting deafblind (and deaf or blind) users.
  • Me (Technical Author at IBM Hursley) – I was raconteur for Alan Dix‘s panel discussing the HCI issues in Web2.0 technologies.

The keynote speaker for HCI Practice Day was Jared Spool (the usability guru who isn’t Jakob Nielsen – and is much better and more credible, IMO) who moved heaven and high water (kind-of) to get here. He did a fantastic presentation that was very very funny and entertaining while being relevant and interesting too. He also attended as many of the other conference sessions as he could and participated by asking questions and making suggestions.

In fact, all the keynote speakers were great this year. Sometimes keynotes fly in, do their thang, then collect their expenses and go. All three (the others being Stephen Payne from Manchester Uni and Elizabeth Churchill from Yahoo!) all got involved in the conference, especially Elizabeth who was able to stay for the whole conference and seemed to be on every discussion panel going!

You can get the full proceedings of HCI 2007 (and, at some point, previous HCI conferences too) from the BCS eWIC site.

As a delegate, I also got the full proceedings as pdfs on a funky little USB drive, which I like.

It’s not long now until the call for papers will go out for HCI 2008 (to be held in Liverpool, City of Culture). If this blog is still active by then, I’ll post the call here. I encourage you to get involved in HCI – it’s more than user interface design or usability; it’s also about being innovative in how to design technologies for human beings.

HCI 2007 on Flickr

Piccies here: www.flickr.com/photos/tags/hci2007/

I’m a newbie to Flickr and it took me some time to work out what exactly I wanted to do with it. I created a group for conference delegates to upload their photos to. But, having just finished uploading my photos, I think it’s easier just to stick with tagging. Happily, there seem to be several people who have used the same tag ‘hci2007’ for all their HCI 2007 conference photos on Flickr. So if you follow the link above you can find them easily.

Including pics from Elizabeth Churchill who was one of our three excellent keynotes. The others were Stephen Payne and Jared Spool (Jared outdid my hopes and expectations by being incredibly funny and entertaining while still being very relevant and interesting.). All three were excellent not only because they did great presentations but because they attended as much of the rest of the conference as they could and actively participated in sessions, in particular Elizabeth who seemed to be on every panel going!

Oh, and here’s The Purple Press blog

HCI 2007: Last chance to submit HCI Practice papers!

If you work in usability, accessibility, interaction design, technical writing, or you do exciting things with novel interfaces – or, in fact, you do anything related to human-computer interaction – consider writing about it and submitting an HCI Practice report for HCI 2007. An HCI Practice report is just two pages of your time and, if accepted, you will do a presentation at the conference in September.

HCI 2007 is a conference organised by the British HCI Group (the human-computer interaction specialist group of the British Computer Society). The conference is run annually and, this year, is hosted by Lancaster University, UK. The conference will run from 3rd-7th September, with Thursday 6th September as the day on which the HCI Practice presentations will take place.

The conference website is at www.hci2007.org, and instructions on how to submit an HCI Practice report are at http://www.bcs-hci.org.uk/hci2007/programme/practitioner.asp

So contact me on laurajcowen@yahoo.co.uk if you need any more information or if you have any questions (put HCI2007 in the subject line so that you don’t end up in my Junk folder).

I look forward to hearing from you!