Nov 3: World Usability Day

1 Comment

World Usability Day

Today is World Usability Day. So we should think harder today (and every other day too) on how we can make things, systems, services … more useful and enjoyable to use.
For my part, I am:

  • researching on how to make wireless networking more easy and natural to use
  • searching and accessing information more efficient (especially multimedia)

What are you doing?

Interruption and Multitask oriented life

No Comments

Sunday’s story in the New York Times Meet the Life Hackers talks about interruption in the workplace and how information technology tools are now fighting for our attention.

Information is no longer a scarce resource – attention is. David Rose, a Cambridge, Mass.-based expert on computer interfaces, likes to point out that 20 years ago, an office worker had only two types of communication technology: a phone, which required an instant answer, and postal mail, which took days. “Now we have dozens of possibilities between those poles,” Rose says. How fast are you supposed to reply to an e-mail message? Or an instant message? Computer-based interruptions fall into a sort of Heisenbergian uncertainty trap: it is difficult to know whether an e-mail message is worth interrupting your work for unless you open and read it – at which point you have, of course, interrupted yourself. Our software tools were essentially designed to compete with one another for our attention, like needy toddlers.

It talks particularly of the issues surroundings notification systems and ambient displays, that I have planned to include in my design.
It features research from Victor M. Gonzalez and Gloria Mark who presented their work at ECSCW in Paris. Mary Czerwinski, a Microsoft researcher, also worked on the subject to help the NASA with managing interruptions on astronauts conducting experiment.

She also collaborated with the HIP group at Microsoft Research that presented on Thursday at Oregon State Univ for a colloquim I had to attend for my Human Computer Interaction class. While their presentation was aimed at helping programmers with learning how to deal with large amounts of code and come to speed quickly on office practice, it could as well been re-used in other environments like general information workers.

International Journal of Usability Studies

No Comments

Here is a call for submission for a new journal to be launched at the end of this year. It deals with several areas that my thesis’ research covers so I am considering submitting a paper.

The Usability Professionals’ Association (UPA) announces the launch of a new publication in the fourth quarter of 2005, the Journal of Usability Studies.
This publication will be a peer-reviewed, on-line journal dedicated to promoting and enhancing the practice, research, ethics, and education of usability engineering.


Workshop at ECSCW’05

1 Comment

Now, I have a second reason to attend ECSCW’05 (9th European Conference on
Computer-Supported Cooperative Work) in Paris.

I will be attending the workshop “Supporting Appropriation Work: Approaches for the ‘reflective’ user” in addition to presenting a poster (Poster at ECSCW).

The title of my position paper is “Design for appropriation of ubiquity in information systems”.

Poster at ECSCW

1 Comment

I will present a poster at the ECSCW’05: the 9th European Conference on
Computer-Supported Cooperative Work in Paris
(Sept 19-22).

The title of the poster is “Requirements for design of collaborative applications and systems”. I will try to post a copy here soon.