HCII 2013!

So as you may or may not have noticed, Molly and I went to the HCII Conference we’ve been talking about… for the last 5 or so months. And what an honor it was to get to go! Not only that but to be able to everyone at the show that even though we’re undergraduates, we’re still working on projects.

We started the conference off in a series of different tutorial workshops, I went to: structuring user interfaces, optimizing survey research for HCI purposes and how to create user requirements for software.My goal with taking these particular topics was to get a deeper level of knowledge about the role of HCI designers and how they solve problems for users. The tutorial I think I got the most out of was the one on optimizing survey research because we talked at great length (it was a day long tutorial) about how to word things so that you’re not skewing the data when you survey users. My tutorial on structuring user interfaces was actually really good because it established link between what I learned in the classroom with my professor and what the HCI community finds to be valuable when making interfaces for users. I actually thanked my professor (Vesna who was with us at the conference) for teaching us what we needed to know. In my last tutorial on creating user requirements for software, we actually did a lot of role playing were we were trying to portray the users in order to see what they want to see or dislike about creating new software. It was a valuable technique that I’m glad I was able to explore.

For the next couple of days we went to various paper sessions some things I heard people were researching or talking about was:

  • RFID floors to help the blind navigate. They put a RFID receiver in the tip of a white cane and as a blind person sweeps the floor they’ll get different feedback from it letting it know if it’s coming up on an intersection or a barrier of some kind.
  • Augmented reality cycling glasses so that you can feel a connection with someone in front or behind you to help keep you motivated.
  • Research in gesture control for the elderly and the different kinds of gestures that the elderly can perform effectively.
  • Using a haptic vest for communicating and navigating. 
  • Research into facial muscle communication, this was meant as a replacement for big gestures and meant for subtly.
  • Research on life expectancy and your position in a company. Basically the higher you’re up the food ladder the less scrutiny you get from someone higher up than you so you’re less stressed and potentially live longer.
  • Research into the effects of viewing 3D movies or shows for extended periods of time. This was interesting because they found that their test subjects would start out viewing the subject as if it were 3D, but then after time they would just look at the whole picture as a screen.
  • Research on e-paper and what light conditions are best for viewing of them. This was a lot of compare and contrast of different devices.

Those were the notable paper presentations that I saw, lots of research. Here are some pictures of some of the posters I saw that were cool(I started taking pictures after I had already seen most of the posters so there are only 3):

This poster was about teaching medical students with the use of an iPad app. the hope was that being able to interact with the app would help them understand better what to do when they get to a patient. There were actually a lot of people looking into making medical apps which was interesting to see.


This poster was about interaction art and how it was combating reproduction of works and how people being able to take something away from the artwork actually helped them remember it and continue to interact with it. This paper was cool to see because our My Music Mosaic project is an interactive piece and you get to take a piece away too.


This poster was really cool to look at and you were able to leaf through some of the things on the poster, so it was an interactive poster. The people doing the research into the HUD determined that the use of a HUD needed to be determined by the game play. They also thought that HUD needed to be better designed.

Just for fun here’s Molly and Amanda my team mates looking at some of the other posters. There were a lot of them.