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HCI International News, Number 15, March 2006


The HCI Community in the USA

The introduction of computers in our daily activities and the massive daily use of the Internet by millions of people around the world require user-interfaces that are very easy to use. Consequently, building any application, ranging from a cell phone or a remote control to a complex computer system, requires the involvement of professionals with knowledge and expertise in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI). The market demand to hire more professionals with expertise in this field has expanded the HCI community around the world.

In a series of short articles, we are going to review the HCI community around the world. In this issue we will explore the composition of the HCI community in the United States of America.

The HCI community in the US is organized around two major organizations: the Association for Computing Machinery – ACM and its Special Interest Groups, particularly the Computer-Human Interaction SIG, and the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society – HFES. During the last two decades, several newly formed organizations were also founded and represent a variety of professionals in this field. These organizations include the Usability Professionals' Association, the Association for Information Systems, the Interaction Design Association, and the Information Architecture Institute.

ACM, one of the major associations for people working in this field, was founded in 1947, and has around 80,000 members. It has 34 Special Interest Groups (SIGs) which address the varied needs of today's IT professionals. The ACM's Special Interest Group on Computer-Human Interaction brings together people working on the design, evaluation, implementation, and study of interactive computing systems for human use. It seems that, although ACM and its SIGs are international organizations, the majority of their members are from the US.

Another major organization representing professionals in the HCI community is HFES, which was founded in 1957 and has over 4300 members. HFES defines its mission as a society "to promote the discovery and exchange of knowledge concerning the characteristics of human beings that are applicable to the design of systems and devices of all kinds". HFES has 22 technical groups and numerous local and student chapters.

The Usability Professionals' Association – UPA was founded in 1991 and has more than 1800 members worldwide. UPA promotes usability concepts and techniques through its publications, conferences, and its local chapters. The Association for Information Systems, founded in 1994, is a professional organization whose purpose is to serve the academics specializing in Information Systems and has around 4000 members. Of those members, 55% are affiliated with universities in the US. The Interaction Design Association was founded in 2003. They do not have paid membership but have around 3000 subscribers with the great majority coming from the US. The Information Architecture Institute, which was founded in 2002, has over 800 members.

In addition organizations such as the Industrial Designers Society of America, the American Institute of Graphic Arts and a number of smaller groups, local chapters, and virtual groups in the US create an impressive and growing network of professionals in the HCI field.

Abbas Moallem

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Brief Book Review: The Semantic Turn: A New Foundation for Design

An important contribution of philosophical discussion about design, the meaning of artifacts, and interesting topics concerning the "science of design" and design methods are offered by Klaus Krippendroff in this 349 page book.

After providing a brief history of product semantics (Chapter 1), the author focuses on concepts of human-centered design from a philosophical perspective (Chapter 2) followed by the meaning of artifacts in use (Chapter 3), artifacts in language (Chapter 4), meaning in the lives of artifacts (chapter 5) and meaning in an ecology of artifacts (Chapter 6). Then chapter seven reviews a variety of design methods: methods for creating spaces of possible futures, methods for inquiring into stakeholders' concepts and motivations, and human-centered design methods. Chapters 8 and 9 define several concepts, terms and schools of thought in design.

I recommended this book to all professionals and students involved in design and evaluation of interfaces despite its sometimes long and convoluted sentences and the complex organization of its chapters. By not limiting himself to tips and techniques or a simplification of the design philosophy, the author provides a foundation for a more in–depth understanding of user–centered design, especially artifacts.


The Semantic Turn: A New Foundation for Design, Klaus Krippendroff, CRC- Taylor & Francis, 2005. 349 pages. ISBN 0-415-32220-0

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HCII Conference Web Site Survey

In an effort to improve conference registration sites, we would appreciate your response to a very brief survey at http://FreeOnlineSurveys.com/rendersurvey.asp?sid=jtoxr1jy9301pr5169277.

When answering, please consider conference registration in general, and not just your experience with the HCII site.

Thank you very much in advance for your cooperation.

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Call for Papers: HCI International 2007

The HCI International 2007 jointly with the affiliated Conferences, which are held under one management and one Registration, invite you to Beijing, P.R. China, to participate and contribute to the international forum for the dissemination and exchange of up-to-date scientific information on theoretical, generic and applied areas of HCI through the following modes of
communication: Plenary / Keynote Presentation(s), Parallel Sessions, Poster Sessions and Tutorials. You are invited to submit your proposal on all related topics.

Summary of Submission Requirements & Deadlines:

Summary of Submission Requirements & Deadlines
Abstract Length Deadline for Abstract Receipt Notification of Review Outcome Deadline for Receipt of Accepted Proposal
Paper Presentations 800 words 30 October 2006 15 December 2006 16 February 2007
Posters 300 words 12 March 2007 30 March 2007 30 April 2007
Tutorials 300 words 30 October 2006 15 December 2006 30 April 2007
Submit through the Conference Management System (CMS): not yet available
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Sponsorship of HCI International 2007

Organizations wishing to sponsor a special event or to be a general sponsor of the Conference are welcome to contact the Sponsorship Administration.

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Recent Interesting Articles

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Upcoming Conferences and Events in the HCI Area

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Previous Issues of HCI International News are available online

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Contribute to HCI International News

We welcome your contribution to the HCI International News. Please send us
interesting news, short articles, interesting websites, etc. We will consider
your comments and contributions for upcoming issues. Please send your
contribution to the Editor, Dr. Abbas Moallem.

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About HCI International News

The HCI International News is a newsletter about Human - Computer Interaction topics, the HCII 2007 Conference deadlines and activities,
the HCII 2007 Exhibition, news in the area of Human - Computer Interaction, and more. If you have any questions or comments, or if you would
like to contribute, please contact the Editor, Dr. Abbas Moallem.
The opinions that are expressed in this Newsletter are the sole responsibility of its authors and do not represent any institution or company.

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