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Rick Kazman <[log in to unmask]>
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Rick Kazman <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 9 Jul 2003 15:38:17 -0400
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Special Issue of Software Process Improvement and Practice

Bridging the Process and Practice Gaps Between
Software Engineering and Human Computer Interaction

Special Issue Editors

Rick Kazman ([log in to unmask])
Len Bass ([log in to unmask])


Usability is an important quality attribute for many computer systems.
Everyone involved in the development and use of interactive systems agree
on this. Yet we continue to see interactive systems that are less usable
than they should be. This is partially the result of gaps between software
engineers and human computer interaction engineers.

The causes for the gaps are multiple but they include: a mismatch between
the usability life cycle and software engineering life cycles; a lack of
tools, notations, and methods for infusing usability concerns into portions
of the software engineering life cycle; different names for essentially
identical techniques; and the cost of building interfaces designed by human
computer interaction engineers.

Cost affects the as-built interface both because of the cost of iteration
(an essential element of interface design) and because the as-designed
interface may make technological assumptions about how easy certain
features are to implement. For example, making tabs in a tabbed display a
specialized shape, as proposed by the interface designers, might add two
weeks to the development schedule.

Technical issues affect the as-built interface because the changes
suggested during the iterative design process may be difficult to implement
since the software engineers did not provide system facilities to support
proposed changes. For example, an appliance might be placed into an
unusable state with a particular combination of button presses.  Fixing the
problem might involve a major re-design of the software.

The purpose of this special issue is to identify root causes of the gaps
between software engineering and human computer interaction and to identify
solutions to these gaps. We are soliciting papers that identify one or more
root causes and describe validated solutions.

Topics of interest include:
 o Software architectures and architecture analysis for interactive systems
 o Joint development processes
 o Methods, tools, and notations that address both software engineering and
HCI concerns
 o Portability, consistency, and integrability with respect to the user
 o Case studies of joint software engineering and HCI design


Submissions will all be done electronically.  Papers may be up to 12,000
words and may be submitted in pdf or Word format.

Important dates

August 10, 2003:  Initial submission

September 15, 2003:  Accept/reject/revise decision

October 31, 2003:  Revisions due

Jan 1, 2004:  Final drafts due