CHI 2008 Cherry Picks

17 Apr 2008 - 6:39am
8 years ago
1 reply
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Claude Knaus

Hi all,

"Mind blowing" was the praising comment I heard most at this
conference. So it was: set up in Florence, you can't help but feel the
spirit of Leonardo da Vinci and the age of a new Renaissance.
Below is a selection of presentations which made a lasting impression on me.

- Claude

Usability Evaluation Considered Harmful (Some of the Time)

Saul Greenberg's presentation (the paper was co-authored by Bill
Buxton) was a call for a reorientation of CHI. CHI is mostly concerned
with "what is" (user evaluation); 90% of all papers include user
evaluation and it has become an unwritten rule for paper acceptance.
According to the presenters, CHI should become more broad and be
concerned about "what will be". My interpretation is that CHI will try
to grow further into the direction of interaction design.,

Dragon: A Direct Manipulation Interface for Frame-Accurate In-Scene
Video Navigation

This was a "cool" presentation which would equally well fit at
SIGGRAPH. They use image processing to find the flow of pixels in a
movie, forming a 3D vector field. The user can pick a moving object in
a frame and start pulling it into a direction. Following the flow
vectors, the movie plays forward or backwards, as if the user was
steering the object. The direct interaction with the objects gives a
"God" like feeling. Check out the videos.

Do I Live in a Flood Basin? Synthesizing Ten Thousand Maps

MapCruncher is a seemingly ambitious project by Microsoft to
overlay every map ever drawn in the world on top of Microsoft's
Virtual Earth. It provides an intuitive interface that allows
importing an existing map to be overlaid precisely on top of the world
map. The overlaying map can be any image, providing auxiliary data
like weather forecast or detailed floor plans of a building. Layers
can be reordered and visibility of every layer can be controlled by
levels of transparency. Will somebody provide high-resolution maps of
Area 51?

Feasibility and Pragmatics of Classifying Working Memory Load with an

This new method will be cheered by the HCI community. Next to eye
tracking, it will provide the HCI researcher with another tool for
quantifying user interaction. The used device, an
electroencephalograph (EEG), uses electrodes to measure brain
activity. The experiment shows random symbols in a sequence, in which
the test subject has to recognize duplicates from history. Depending
on how far back in history (0-3 steps) the same symbol was presented,
the cognitive load of recalling from memory increases. By measuring
the brain activity, the method allows distinction of the different
cognitive loads with high accuracy, even with just one or two
electrodes. It makes one curious what other types of cognitive loads
could be measured.

Lifting the Veil: Improving Accountability and Social Transparency in
Wikipedia with WikiDashboard

The work tries to make Wikipedia more accountable by showing the
history and source of changes. The presenters have setup a proxy which
includes a chart at the top of every Wikipedia entry, displaying who
made what changes over time. After clicking on the contributing
author, another chart displays what other content the same user has
been editing. With this tool, the user has a better chance to judge
the credibility of a Wikipedia entry. Hopefully, Wikipedia will
consider integration of useful features like this., Wikipedia entry of Interaction Design:

Topobo in the Wild: Longitudinal Evaluations of Educators
Appropriating a Tangible Interface

A toy which can be assembled like LEGO Mindstorms but is
programmed by example. In particular, the motion is recorded by
actually performing the desired motion by hand. A motion can be
replicated to other actuators with optional shift in time. The
recorded motion can then be played back and the toy starts to take a
life of its own... Check out the video.

LiveRac: Interactive Visual Exploration of System Management Time-Series Data

This was a presentation of a tool to manage large networks through
visualization of server logs. The unique interface allows many logs of
servers to be selected, sorted, and compared for correlations.
Somebody aptly commented the user interface was any system
administrator's dream. Edward Tufte would be delighted about the
abundant use of sparklines. Check out the video.

Picbreeder: Evolving Pictures Collaboratively Online

This is a nice artistic community web application which allows to
evolve images. Images are randomly generated and mutated based on some
pre-defined mathematical formulas. For every generation, the user can
select the impact of the mutation; 15 mutated images are generated
from which the user selects the image which survives. By performing 20
or more iterations, surprisingly artistic and recognizable images
emerge. It is also possible to start from images created by other
people to further evolve them. A color version will follow soon. Try
it out, but beware of addiction.

Bill Buxton's Closing Plenary

A very thought provoking presentation; the most elaborate notes
are here:


2 Jun 2008 - 5:15pm

Thank you very much, Claude, for sharing your notes from CHI with us. Especially Bill Buxton's closing keynote was for me worth the trip to Florence.

For the UX Roundtable Hamburg I have just created a reconstructed version of his slides. They might support the memory (if you were lucky to be there) or convey the gist of Bill's presentation.


some notes and links_


At 13:39 Uhr +0200 17.04.2008, Claude Knaus wrote:
>Hi all,
>"Mind blowing" was the praising comment I heard most at this
>conference. So it was: ...

User Experience and Interaction Design

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