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"ACM SIGCHI General Interest Announcements (Mailing List)" <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 11 Aug 2008 13:45:37 -0700
Mary Czerwinski <[log in to unmask]>
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Mary Czerwinski <[log in to unmask]>
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Call for Participation

CSCW 2008 Workshop (W1): Designing Future Mobile Software for Underserved Users

November 8 & 9, 2008 - San Diego, California, USA

Workshop Website:

Workshop Overview:

This 1.5 day workshop will explore using ethnographic techniques to design rich, end-user experiences for the mobile phone for end-user communities who until now may have been underserved by current mobile social software applications.  The goal is to give participants a chance to shadow targeted personas for a half-day, after which they will use their observations as a team to jointly design a useful mobile social software application.  The design of a mobile hardware device could also be a design endpoint.  The personas will be drawn from a short list that the authors have deemed relevant for the next 2-5 year timeframe and will be recruited by the authors in advance via Microsoft's usability recruiting team.  End result of the workshop should be a series of ethnographically informed mobile social software design ideas that are relevant to trends we feel will be important in the next 2-5 year timeframe.  We would like to target a group of users that have not recognized or do not believe that existing social software applications could truly benefit their lives, whether it's because they are too busy, old, poor, sick or uneducated to leverage these applications, or because the applications themselves are not useful to these populations.  In addition, we would like to specifically target designs for mobile computing, since for these personas in question it is clear that a cell phone will be a far more probable computing platform in the next few years.  Designs will then be captured on a poster and/or used to seed a follow-up journal or magazine article.


We think that a good number of personas and scenarios would be around 4, with 3-4 workshop participants on an observational/design team following one of each of the recruited personas.  The four personas we currently think would be ideal for this workshop given the next 2-5 year timeframe include:

1.    A migrant worker from Mexico or Central America currently working in the San Diego area;

2.    A senior citizen that is dislocated from his or her family and lives alone;

3.    A single mother of 2 or 3 kids in a lower to middle socio-economic class;

4.    A thirty-something year old that is trying desperately to lose weight.

Important Dates:

    * September 19, 2008: Submission of position papers

    * October 3, 2008: Notification of acceptance

    * November 9, 2008: Workshop

To participate, send a two to four page position paper describing your ongoing related work, recent results, or opinions and approaches to the problem.

Please email your position paper (CHI long paper format) to: Oscar Murillo (oscarmu [at]

Our goal is to have up to 16 workshop participants, for 3-4 participants shadowing a targeted underserved user.


Mary Czerwinski is a Research Area Manager of the Visualization and Interaction research group at Microsoft Research. The group is responsible for studying and designing advanced technology and interaction techniques that leverage human capabilities across a wide variety of input and output channels. Mary's primary research areas include spatial cognition, information visualization and task switching. Mary is active in the HCI community and has run several successful workshops at HCI conferences before. She received a Ph.D. in cognitive psychology.

Oscar E. Murillo is the User Experience Designer for Microsoft's Strategic Prototyping group. Oscar's group works closely with select Microsoft stakeholders to create presentations and prototypes that embody the company's vision and strategy for future technology and computing. Prior to joining the Strategic Prototyping group, Oscar designed the Windows Vista Speech Recognition end-user experience. Oscar has held senior design positions at AT&T Wireless, InfoSpace Mobile, and, where he produced eCommerce and marketing websites for Wallpaper Magazine, Teen People UK, Forbes, Cosmo, Renault and the band U2. He's a graduate of the Vancouver Film School's Film and New Media programs, and studied Industrial Design and Graphic Design in his hometown of Bogota, Colombia.

The workshop will be a full day event and will be open to a maximum of 15-20 participants. Participants will be selected based on position papers to be no more than 4 pages using the ACM template that address workshop goals, reviewed by workshop organizers. In addition, we also encourage video submissions (provided via a URL) that describe a working system that can be demonstrated.

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