- Matt Jones: Mobile Search
- Luca Chittaro: Information Visualization and Visual Interfaces for Mobile Devices
- Chris Kray: Mobile Guides
- Marc Langheinrich: Mobile Privacy
- Enrico Rukzio: Mobile Interaction with the Real World
- Paul Holleis: Modelling and Developing Mobile Applications
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 , . 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 previous work in Japan  similar results – suggesting that this may be universial. Methodical I think the research approaches are not straightforward and may be disputed in parts – but the basic findings are very intuitive and should be taken more into account.
 Tractinsky, N. 1997. Aesthetics and apparent usability: empirically assessing cultural and methodological issues. In Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (Atlanta, Georgia, United States, March 22 – 27, 1997). S. Pemberton, Ed. CHI ’97. ACM, New York, NY, 115-122. DOI= http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/258549.258626
 Tractinsky, N., Shoval-Katz A. and Ikar, D. (2000) What is Beautiful is Usable. Interacting with Computers, 13(2): 127-145.
 Kurosu, M. and Kashimura, K. 1995. Apparent usability vs. inherent usability: experimental analysis on the determinants of the apparent usability. In Conference Companion on Human Factors in Computing Systems (Denver, Colorado, United States, May 07 – 11, 1995). I. Katz, R. Mack, and L. Marks, Eds. CHI ’95. ACM, New York, NY, 292-293. DOI= http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/223355.223680
- Home Shopping in 1999 (from 1967): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uO58SGiYwwo
- 1999 AD Kitchen of the Future (from 1967): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yFgVTUle_EM
- AT&T 1993 “You Will” Ads: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TZb0avfQme8
- Vision of year 2000 from year 1957: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I7XYXRKIqeY
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 always full). Have a look at the slides:
Text input for mobile devices by Scott MacKenzie
Scott gave an overview of different input means (e.g. key-based, stylus, predictive, virtual keyboard), parameters relevant for designing and assessing mobile text input (e.g., writing speed, cognitive load) and issues related to the context of use (e.g., walking/standing).
Mobile GUIs and Mobile Visualization by Patrick Baudisch
Patrick introduced input and output options for mobile devices. He will talk about the design process, prototyping and assessment of user interfaces, trade-offs related to the design of mobile GUIs and different possible interaction styles.
Understanding Mobile User Experience by Mirjana Spasojevic
Mirjana discussed different means for studying mobile user needs and evaluating the user experience. This includes explorative studies and formal evaluations (in the lab vs. in the field), including longitudinal pilot deployments. The lecture discusses traditional HCI methods of user research and how they need to be adapted for different mobile contexts and products.
Context-Aware Communication and Interaction by Albrecht Schmidt
Albrecht gave an overview of work in context-awareness and activity recognition that is related to mobile HCI. He discussed how sharing of context in communication applications can improve the user experience. The lecture explained how perception and sensing can be used to acquire context and activity information and show examples how such information can be exploited.
Haptics, audio output and sensor input in mobile HCI by Stephen Brewster
Stephen discussed the design space for haptics, audio output as well as sensor and gesture input in mobile HCI. Furthermore he assessed resulting interaction methods and implications for the interactive experience.
Camera-based interaction and interaction with public displays by Michael Rohs
Michael introduced camera based interaction with mobile devices; this included a assessment of optical markers, 2D-barcodes and optical flow as well as techniques related to augmented reality. In this context he addressed interaction with public displays, too.
You can also download the complete tutorial including all 6 chapters in a single PDF file (16MB).
Paul presented after lunch our full paper on a development approach and environment for mobile applications that supports underlying user models . 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 . The underlying technology is the embedded interaction toolkit  – have a look – perhaps it makes you applications easier, too.
 Holleis, P.; Otto, F.; Hußmann, H.; Schmidt, A.: 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.. 2007.
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 to massive disadvantages for European industries. One central issue is that we need more to communicate value of user interface research.
The need for user interface research is undoubtedly accepted. One example is the ISTAG report of 2001 that tried to look into 2010 – a future that is now not too far anymore. Looking at the challenges stated in this report it becomes clear that most of the technical issues are solved but this does has not lead to a breakthrough with regard to the visionary scenarios. But towards the challenge “natural interfaces” we have still a long way to go. If we really want to get closer to those scenarios of ambient intelligence that are human friendly we really have to push on interaction and user interfaces – hopefully decision makers on a European level will get it 😉
I am teaching a guest course at the
At dinner I learned why you can never have enough forks in a good restaurant. In case you loose your pen for the mobile phone a fork will do… The topic of the lecture is everywhere!
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
The opening keynote at Ubicomp was given by Antonio Calvosa from Ferrari. Here two a very experienced and user interface focus could be seen. The talk touched issues of emotion and affective issues. Overall he argues that Ubicomp technologies should amplify what humans like to perceive.
Heiko Drewes and Richard Atterer, collegues from
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 dialog box). The paper is part of his PhD research on eye-tracking for interaction. More details are in:
Heiko Drewes, Albrecht Schmidt. Interacting with the Computer using Gaze Gestures. Proceedings of INTERACT 2007.
Richard’s paper is on collaboration support with a proxy based approach. Using our previous work on the UsaProxy we extended the functionality to supported synchronous communication while using the Web:
Richard Atterer, Albrecht Schmidt, and Monika Wnuk. A Proxy-Based Infrastructure for Web Application Sharing and Remote Collaboration on Web Pages. Proceedings of INTERACT 2007.
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
One part of Tico’s research was concerned with a definition of a design space for input devices. This is partly described in a paper in IEEE Pervasive magazine, see: Ballagas, R., Borchers, J., Rohs, M.,
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 place (which is more difficult than the theory of pointing it at a certain angle – especially without the right tools) I was surprised by the number of channels and the user interfaces of the digital sat receivers. It seems that much of the usage and interaction concept is still from a time where there were 3 channels – youtube is much easier to use… Perhaps satellite television could provide a much more exciting experience with new means for interaction (perhaps those devices are out there an I just got the poor ones).
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
For more information please see: www.iais.fraunhofer.de/summer2007.html
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
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 interfaces, interaction, experience become central factors for the success of products and services.
One discussion was on the motivation for people to contribute (e.g. user generated content, write open source code, answer questions in forums, blogs). Understanding this seem crucial to the prediction whether or not a application is going to fly or not.
Besides contributing for a certain currency (e.g. fame, status, money, access to information) it seems that altruism may be an interesting factor for motivating potential users. Even if it is a low percentage within our species the absolute number on a world wide scale could be still enough to drive a certain application/service. There is interesting research on altruism in the animal world (or at the researchers page http://email.eva.mpg.de/~warneken/ ) maybe we should look more into this and re-think some basic assumptions on business models?
Our break out group was in the rooms of the
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.
One question about the sustainability of a competitive advantage based on user interfaces made me really think. As the user interface is visible it is really hard to protect the competitive advantage and IPR are difficult on this topic. Desktop GUIs are a good example how quickly ideas propagate between competing systems. The only real option to maintain a competitive advantage is to continuously innovate – keeping the status quo means falling behind. The fact that one can not keep new user interface concepts secret (if one includes them in a product) is one of the most exciting aspects of user interfaces research – it is fast moving because everyone shows off their results!
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,
Atterer, R. and Schmidt, A. 2007. Tracking the interaction of users with
Holleis, P., Kern, D., and Schmidt, A. 2007. Integrating user performance time models in the design of tangible UIs. In CHI ’07 Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems (
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 spam on the phone. Secutity on phones may be one of the upcomming challenges.
Together with Alexandra Reitelmann I am in
The discussions with potential students and in some cases with their parents were interesting. It showed that there is a demand for high quality education and that