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Tue, 11 May 1999 18:12:21 +0100
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CALL FOR PARTICIPATION

INTERACT 99 Workshop

Representational support for user-developer communication in systems development

The workshop is being held as part of INTERACT 99, the
Seventh IFIP Conference on Human-Computer Interaction, incorporating HCI '99
Edinburgh Conference Centre, Riccarton, Edinburgh, Scotland
30th August - 3rd September 1999


WORKSHOP DESCRIPTION

This workshop brings together researchers and practitioners with
interests in processes of communication between users and developers in
software systems development and representations which may be used to
support this communication.

Topics about which users and developers may wish to communicate include:

the usersí tasks, work domain and organisation

requirements for systems to support the usersí work

envisioned system designs

usability and acceptance evaluations.

User-developer communication often relies upon external representations
of such topics.  In addition to supporting communication about these
foci of the systems development activities, the representations must
(often simultaneously) support the development activities themselves,
aiding communication amongst the participants about the ongoing
activities.  In fulfilling these roles, multiple representations are
often used in combination and in series, demanding frequent
transformations between representations.

Many forms of representation have been used or recommended for use in
systems development.  These include representations such as

sketches or storyboards

paper prototypes or mockups

diagrams using prescribed notations

diagrams with dynamically negotiated notation

text in natural, semi-formal and formal languages

video

software prototypes and simulations.

These representational forms may be combined in systems development
work, either on a dynamic, ad hoc basis or through a prescribed method.
Surveys, case studies and anecdotes all provide illustrations of
successes and, too often, failures of these diverse forms of
representation in supporting communication amongst users and developers.

Workshop participants will tackle a set of related questions.

What features of user-developer communication can or should be supported
by such representations?

What properties of a representation contribute to making it an effective
communicative aid?

Which forms of representation exhibit these properties and in which contexts?

How are representations transformed in the course of use for communication?

What relations are there between effective representational support for
communication within user-developer cooperation and for communication
outside those collaborative activities, e.g. in communicating the
results of their work to system implementors or others who may not have
participated in the creation of the representations?

The workshop shall contribute to both research and practice.  The
workshop discussions shall provide initial answers to the above
questions, identifying gaps in our current understanding of the
communicative role of representations in systems development and laying
the groundwork for a research agenda to produce further answers to these
and other questions which arise through the discussions.  The workshop
discussions should also lead to recommendations for the selection and
use of a range of representational forms to support user-developer
communication in systems development practice.  This in turn should lead
to proposals for technologies to support communication through representations.


SUBMISSION PROCEDURE

Applicants should submit a position paper of 3-5 pages.  This should
include a statement of the authorís particular interest in the theme of
the workshop, the authorís background as researcher and/or practitioner
in representations for supporting communication, especially
user-developer communication in systems development, an outline of at
least one form of representation which the author has used or researched
and the authorís experience with this form of representation.

Papers should be submitted as email attachments in RTF, PDF or MS Word
format to Eamonn OíNeill at the email address [log in to unmask]  The
deadline for submissions is 9 June 1999.


WORKSHOP COMMITTEE

Eamonn OíNeill, Hilary Johnson, Peter Johnson and Pat Healey

Department of Computer Science,
Queen Mary and Westfield College,
University of London
London E1 4NS
UK


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

INTERACT 99 website: http://www.dcs.gla.ac.uk/i99/

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