ACM Conference on Universal Usability:
Solutions, Systems, and Methods
Washington, DC Holiday Inn Capitol
November 16-17, 2000
Sponsored by ACM SIGCHI
In cooperation (pending) with The ACM United States Public Policy
Committee, The ACM Special Interest Group on Computers and
Society, the ACM Special Interest Group on Computers and the
Physically Handicapped, the ACM Special Interest Group on
Documentation, the ACM Special Interest Group on Graphics and
Interaction, the Association Francophone de l'Interaction
Homme-Machine, the Computer Professionals for Social
Responsibility, the Human Factors & Ergonomics Society, the
Society for Technical Communication, and the Usability
Call for Participation
The starting trajectory of the next millennium can be
characterized largely by the progress of computing and
communications technology. Cheaper and faster processors,
storage, and networks combined with better user interfaces, have
now spawned the incredible growth of the Internet and related
services. Too often, however, system complexity, incompatible
software versions and file formats, confusing interfaces, and
inadequate attention to diverse users lead to confusion,
frustration, and failure. It's time to address this challenge.
We invite submissions for the ACM Conference on Universal
Usability, to be held in Washington, D.C., November 16 and 17,
2000. We seek work whose aim is to enable the widest range of
users to succeed in using technology for information,
communications, entertainment, education, e-commerce, civic
systems, and government services. Challenges include the
diversity of users (experts & novices, old & young, educated &
illiterate, disabled, forgotten, those in ill health, etc.); the
wide range of technology (e.g.; 100 to 1 ratios in processor and
network speeds), and the gap between what users know and what
they need to know. We are interested in research, new systems
and technologies, empirical evaluations of systems, policy
suggestions, and systems that support community activities. A
diverse set of participants is expected including technologists,
policy makers, advocates, users, and researchers.
Specific topics include (but are not limited to) the following:
* Solutions to address the politics, policies, and economics of
universal usability and evaluations of those solutions.
- New pricing schemes and new services (911, first aid, voting,
- Methods of measuring intellectual capital and the value of
- Ethical considerations and design trade-offs involved with
- Methods to help communities with special needs articulate and
share those needs and/or create their own solutions.
* Solutions to accommodate variations in hardware, software, and
network access as well as empirical evaluations of these systems.
- Middleware translation systems to support various display and
input devices among versions and formats.
- Designs for modular software and hardware components that
- Standards and protocols that address these variations.
* Solutions to accommodate users who differ in attributes such
as skill, knowledge, age, gender, disabilities, literacies,
languages, cultures, and income and evaluations of such
- Methods for users to adapt and personalize systems according to
their expertise, reading level, learning style, etc.
- Methods to accommodate environmental and social variations.
- Software management tools to support multiple versions in
- Improved customer service, on-line help, and on-line training.
* Solution processes for better understanding users, contexts,
- Ethnographic observations to capture diversity.
- Participatory design.
- Social impact statements.
- Usability tests with stratified user groups.
- Ensuring diversity in heuristic evaluations.
- Globalization and localization processes.
- Lifecycle design issues or methods for addressing universal
Just as there are a broad range of possible approaches to
universal usability, we also seek contributions in a variety of
presentation formats including formal papers, panels, and poster
1) Papers. We solicit original, concise, and insightful papers
of work based on providing real solutions, partial solutions, or
lessons learned from failures which can be of benefit to the
field. Papers should include a description of the context of use,
the user(s) involved in the solution, a description of the
attempted solution, a description of the impact, and lessons
learned. Papers should be at most 8 ACM conference pages (about
2) Panels. Proposals for panels that synthesize and orient work
in the area, especially across disciplinary boundaries, are
encouraged. Panel proposals should define an issue, list proposed
panel members, their backgrounds, and their basic positions.
Panel proposals should be two pages long. Panels should provide
for interaction among members and with the audience and should
not consist of a series of independent mini-papers.
3) Posters. In some cases, a more appropriate means of
describing your work may be in an informal, interactive setting.
Proposals for Interactive Posters should include a two page
description of the work and one page that shows the general
outline of the poster.
All accepted submissions will be included in a (paper)
proceedings published by ACM and appear in the ACM Digital
Library as well as being presented at the conference. In
addition, Robert Kling will consider selected papers for a
special issue of The Information Society.
Please send 5 copies of your proposal to Jean Scholtz, DARPA/ITO,
3701 Fairfax Dr., Alexandria, VA 22203-1714. ([log in to unmask])
Tel: (01)-703-696-4469. together with a covering letter
indicating the primary contact person for the submission
(including name, affiliation, address, phone number, fax number,
and e-mail address). All proposals should follow the SIGCHI
conference format: (http://www.acm.org/sigchi/chipubform/).
Proposals should be received by May 1, 2000.
Authors will be notified by June 15, 2000.
Final camera ready copies will be due by July 15, 2000.
Susan Harkness Regli