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Peter J Wild <[log in to unmask]>
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Peter J Wild <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 11 Jan 2005 10:20:54 +0000
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Workshop Call for Papers.   Please note the extended deadline...

Quality Value(s) and Choice: Exploring Deeper Outcomes for HCI Products

To run on Sunday 4th April 2005, at CHI 2005,  Portland, Oregon


Ann Light (Usability News)
Peter J Wild (University of Bath)
Andy Dearden (Sheffield Hallam University)
Michael Muller (IBM Watson Research Center)

The Topic:

This workshop grows out of issues raised at the HCI2004 panel on
"Values in HCI".  In that panel, a tension was raised between
dispassionately providing support to the design of products and
services, regardless of the intended use, and the social
responsibility of the scientist. Consequently, both personal values
and the value that good analysis can bring to design were discussed.
The technical challenges of HCI are great. However, it is a reasonable
assertion that many members of the HCI community feel a need to do
good for the world.  But what kind of "good", and in whose definition
of "the world"?  We feel that this implicit motivation has received
too little explicit attention with HCI.  This workshop will give
centre stage to values: both the values that motivate the direction of
our work and the value that we seek to deliver.

Sometimes it seems the only driving force behind HCI work is "to make
better products", where the definitions of what "good" and "better"
come directly from the industries that will then market and sell these
products.  In turn this notion of "better" carries the burden of
commercial concerns.  "Better" implies creating more market share, and
in turn profit, for a company.  Explicitly or implicitly, many in the
HCI community work to create profit for others, but have no say in how
this profit is generated or what the wider effects of this are.  Is
this profit-as-proof-of-value philosophy the only way we have to think
about value?  How far is this aspect dominant because we operate in a
research world where funding hinges on business sense and appeal to
commercial partners?

In the last few years there has been a shift away from usability as a
purely objective property of the product to its impact on quality and
from this to investigating issues relating to value, values, and
ethical aspects of HCI.

A workshop at CHI 2004, demonstrated that the more reflective areas of
HCI theory and practice ask what underpins the projects we select to
pursue, the methods chosen to progress them, and our choice as to how
we present our findings. But HCI is a vast multi-disciplinary field.
Theory itself is often implicit, value and values can be even more
obscured.  Here we call to account a range of approaches and ask about
intrinsic and extrinsic motivations.

With regards to choice, our concern can turn to scenarios of use
generally involving two or more persons or groups of users or
interested parties, with opposing interests in a particular piece of
HCI design or technology.  For example, when we consider parental
supervision software for web surfing, do we think of this kind of
technology and design differently, if the child in question is a teen:
with an addiction risk; or a teen who is growing up lesbian or gay in
a religious fundamentalist family?  For a second example, when we
think about degrees of control in workflow systems, do we think of
this kind of technology and design differently, if the workflow
supports hospital informatics, or supports the production of
environmental impact reports?

How do we go beyond the statement "Well it all depends on context" to
be able to guide users, designers and the HCI discipline as a whole?
The workshop will offer participants the chance to reflect on the
variety of approaches that inform HCI practice, from the purported
objectivity of hard science to the more reflective thinking of
sociological and humanities based methodology.

Some of the preliminary issues we raise are:

:-  What is the role of values and value in design?
:-  What values do the interdisciplinary components involved in the
study of HCI have in common?
 :-  What techniques can be applied to enable the exploration of
values within design practice?
:-  How is true commitment to people expressed in the theory and
methods we employ?
:-  Are user centred approaches user centred enough, is focus on users
and their tasks enough to drive design for quality, value and choice?
 :-  Is there always a true concern for the people in the system?  Or
is this a means to an end, a commercially better product?
:-  Is our discussion of "user centered approaches", inclusive of
wider stakeholders?
:-  Can traditional approaches be adapted to encompass concerns raised
here and in the workshop?

Topic Relevance:

The workshop directly follows up a panel at HCI 2004 focusing on
values in HCI , and less directly follows a CHI 2004 workshop on
"reflective HCI".  It also builds on the work looking at social
responsibility, ethics, designing for a civil society, justice,
politics in participatory design, value sensitive design, value driven
software engineering and social capital.


The following are goals of the workshop:

1) to explore in more depth issues relating to quality, value, values
and ethics;
2) to bring together people from different disciplines and different
moral philosophies to discuss and address these issues;
3) to bring together researchers and practitioners to better inform
both research and practice and the exchanges between them;
4) To stimulate a wider debate and reflection about values within the
CHI community at large.

Structure and Organization:

The workshop will provide a forum for those interested in the issues
of quality, value and choice and related issues of ethics and values
to interact and discuss relevant issues.  This will be undertaken
through the following structure.   The workshop will break down into
two parts.  The morning session will be taken up by 15-minutes
presentations of submitted position papers.  Each paper will have a
follow on question and answer period.  The afternoon will be given
over to discussion.  The discussion session will draw on a number or
real scenarios which will be distributed prior to the workshop.

Expected Participants:

The workshop will provide a forum for researchers and practitioners
interested in quality, value, values and ethical aspects of HCI to
present their work and ideas.  Researchers would provide views of
their own and their respective discipline's contribution to
understanding of the workshop themes. Practitioners would provide
insights and scenarios from "real world" experiences.

Dissemination Of Results:

A poster based on the ideas generated in the workshop, in addition to
writing up a summary for the SIGCHI Bulletin.  If enough interest is
garnered from the participants, we will explore alternatives such as a
special journal issue focused on Quality, Value and Choice. Precedents
for this include the proposers previous workshop related special
issues in Interacting with Computers, TOCHI and HCI.


Position papers of between 4 and 6 pages in length should be submitted
to Peter Wild (details below)

Participant submission deadline: January 17th, 2005  ** extended
Notice of participant acceptance: January 31st, 2005

Contact Information.

The main person to contact is
Peter Wild,
[log in to unmask]
University of Bath,
United Kingdom

Workshop URL: