This year Enrico Rukzio organized the tutorials at mobile HCI 2009. He got an exciting program together:

The mobile HCI 2008 tutorials slides are still online – have a look.

During the summerschool in Haifa Prof. Noam Tractinsky from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev gave a presentation about Aesthetics in Human-Computer Interaction. It was good to meet him in person and get some more insight in his work – as I refer to it typically in my HCI class.

In short his finding can be summarized by: What is Beautiful is Usable [1], [2]. In his talk he had some interesting example – you can look at a web page for one second only and you will figure out if it is a good design or not. There has been… Continue reading

Today I was teaching my class on user interface engineering and we covered a selected history of HCI and looked at the same time at a potential future. We discussed how user interface evolved and where UI revolutions have happed. To my question “What is the ultimate user interface?” I got three very interesting answers (1) a keyboard, (2) mind reading, and (3) a system that anticipates what I want.  With regard to history in HCI one of my favorite texts is the PhD dissertation of Ivan Sutherland [1]. The work described was done in 1960-1963 when the idea… Continue reading

The conference on mobile human computer interaction (MobileHCI 2008) started today in Amsterdam with the tutorial and workshop day.

I am chairing the tutorials and we tried a new approach for the tutorial, having 6 sessions/chapters that all together make up an introduction to mobile HCI. After 10 years of mobile HCI it seems important to help new members of the community to quickly learn about the field. The presentations were given by experts in the field that had 1 hour each for their topics. We had unexpected high attendence (the room with 100 seats was nearly… Continue reading

Paul presented after lunch our full paper on a development approach and environment for mobile applications that supports underlying user models [1]. In the paper he shows how you can create applications while programming by example where the development environment automatically adds a KLM model. In this way the developer becomes automatically aware of estimated usage times for the application. The paper is work that builds on our paper on KLM for physical mobile interaction which was presented last year at CHI [2]. The underlying technology is the embedded interaction toolkit [3] – have a look – perhaps it makes… Continue reading

Ina Wagner, Volker Wulf and Kjeld Schmidt organized a meeting to get together people from all over Europe that work on human centred computing. We had interesting discussions what is specific and distinct European human centred computing and how well it is represented in organizations such as the ACM.

Some years ago there has been significant support in this area of research on a European level – namely I3 and the disappearing computer initiative. Currently many of us feel that the value of user centred research is not supported enough and hence innovation happens somewhere else which can lead… Continue reading

It is often discussed whether or not the user interface in the car matters or not. The basic argument is that cars are emotional and hence the driving experience matters and everything else is secondary.

However it seems the user interface becomes more and more part of the experience. On Saturday night I travelled via Munich to Innsbruck – and had again some time on in the lounge at the railway station. In a article on the new VW concept car UP it was interesting to see that about 15% of the text (about 20 lines text of the whole… Continue reading

Heiko Drewes and Richard Atterer, collegues from university of Munich, have travelled to Interact 2007. Their emails indicate that the conference is this year at a most interesting place. The conference is in Rio de Janeiro, directly at the Copacabana. The conference was highly competitive and we are happy to have two papers we can present there.

Heiko presents a paper that shows that eye gestures can be used to interact with a computer. In his experiments he shows that users can learn gesture with eyes (basically moving the eyes in a certain pattern, e.g. following the outline of a… Continue reading

Today I finally got around visiting Jan Borchers (media computing group at RWTH Aachen). Tico Ballagas hat as part of his PhD defence a public talk and took the chance to go there.

There where new parts in the talk on the impact of the selection space resolution on Fitts’s law that I had not seen in his work before. It is published in 2006 as a technical report (Rafael Ballagas and Jan Borchers. Selexels: a Conceptual Framework for Pointing Devices with Low Expressiveness. Technical Report AIB-2006-16, RWTH Aachen, Dec 2006) which is worthwhile to have… Continue reading

My first day of the holidays I got myself into an interesting project – setting up a satellite dish that receives Astra 19.2 (German TV) and Astra 28.2 (major UK TV stations). Going back between my roof and living room I finally got it to work – thanks to many posts on the Internet. That brings me back to a question I ask myself more and more (not just for setting up TVs): how did people share technical and practical information before the Internet? It seems that the Internet really is a catalyst for implementation.

After having the hardware in… Continue reading

Not much time left to apply for the student research project. From 20.8. to 30.9.2007 we plan to design and implement a new specific search engine. The program is open to all computer science and media informatics students, primarily in Germany. We assume it will be very competitive. For accepted students we provide a HIWI-job at Fraunhofer IAIS for the 5 weeks. It will be possible to get credits for the course (IPEC lab course at the University of Bonn).

For more information please see: www.iais.fraunhofer.de/summer2007.html

It was interesting to see that smart objects / smart object services, context, NFC, and RFID become very mainstream. It seems that nearly everyone buys into these ideas now.

Dr. Mohsen Darianian (from Nokia Research, same building as Paul Holleis is at the moment) showed an NFC-advert video which reminded me on the results of an exercise we did on concept videos within an HCI-class at the University of Munich 🙂

Overall it seems that acceptance and business models are of great interest and that to create them a lot of technical insight is required. The issues related to user… Continue reading

The CDTM is a joint elite study program from LMU Munich and TU Munich (http://www.cdtm.de/). It offers a set of complementary course for students from different backgrounds including math, business studies, engineering, computer science and media informatics. In their course on multimodal HCI I gave today an introductory lecture on the motivation for and the basics of user interface engineering.

In the seminar room was a real typewrite – in fact a travel type write. It was a real good prop to discuss micro- and macro-efficiency.

One question about the sustainability of a competitive advantage based on user… Continue reading

At this years CHI – the Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems – we presented 3 contributions: a full paper, a CHI-note, and a work in progress paper. Have a look at them!

Holleis, P., Otto, F., Hussmann, H., and Schmidt, A. 2007. Keystroke-level model for advanced mobile phone interaction. In Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (San Jose, California, USA, April 28 – May 03, 2007). CHI ’07. ACM Press, New York, NY, 1505-1514. DOI= http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/1240624.1240851

Atterer, R. and Schmidt, A. 2007. Tracking the interaction of users with AJAX applications for usability testing.… Continue reading

Our Lab course on “Developing Interactive Mobile Applications” started today with 11 students (the limit was 8 – but 3 more is OK as we got some additional phones from Nokia).

Shortly after lunch everyone had there first application written and deployed to the phone. In the afternoon we looked into sending an SMS from JAVA using the messaging API…. And this is fairly easy.

For more details on the course see: http://uie.bit.uni-bonn.de/developing.php

Seeing the possibilities of JAVA ME and how quick people get applications running made me wonder how long it takes till we have massive mal-ware, viruses and… Continue reading

Together with Alexandra Reitelmann I am in St. Petersburg (Russia) to advertise our study programs at the B-IT and University of Bonn (http://www.bit.uni-bonn.de/). In particular we talk to potential students about the master programs in Media Informatics and Life Science Informatics. The educational fair is held in the centre of St. Petersburg at the Russian Museum of Ethnography, which is a truly magnificent building. Overall I was surprised by the city, the buildings, the shops and the quality of the hotel.

The discussions with potential students and in some cases with their parents were interesting. It showed that… Continue reading

Just a little more than week before the Tangible and Embedded Interaction 2007 starts in Baton Rouge (http://www.tei-conf.org/).

The program looks really exciting – a mixture of computer science, HCI, design, and art. I would expect that the conference sparks a lot of new ideas. Brygg Ullmer did the cover for the proceedings and it looks really cool.

Having seen the program of TEI’07 we have decided to put in a proposal to run the conference next year in Bonn. Hope we get it…