HCI-Engineering Education 2021

HCI-E2: Workshop on HCI Engineering Education – for developers, designers and more

IFIP WG 2.7/13.4 and WG 13.1 joint workshop at INTERACT 2021, Bari, Italy – August 30/31, 2021

Topics and scope | Target audience | Goals and Expected Outcomes | Submission | Organisers

This workshop aims at identifying, examining, structuring and sharing educational resources and approaches to support the process of teaching/learning Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) Engineering. The broadening of the range of available interaction technologies and their applications, many times in safety and mission critical areas, to novel and less understood application domains, brings the question of how to address this ever changing nature in University curricula usually static. Beyond, as these technologies are taught in diverse curricula (ranging from Human Factors and psychology to hardcore computer science), we are interested in what the best approaches and best practices are to integrate HCI Engineering topics in the curricula of programs in software engineering, computer science, human-computer interaction, psychology, design, etc.


Topics and scope

Engineering interactive systems is a multidisciplinary endeavour positioned at the intersection of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), software engineering, usability engineering, interaction design, visual design and other disciplines. The field of Human-Computer Interaction Engineering (HCI-E) is concerned with providing methods, techniques and tools for the systematic and effective design, development, testing, evaluation and deployment of interactive systems in a wide range of application domains.

The aim of such contributions is threefold:

  • Improve the process of designing, developing and evaluating interactive systems;
  • Improve the quality of the user interface of interactive systems, including usability and user experience properties and software properties (also known as external and internal properties, respectively);
  • Adapt these contributions to the specific requirements and needs of the various application domains.

In recent years, the range of interactive techniques and applications has broadened considerably and can be expected to grow even further in the future. While new interaction techniques offer the prospect of improving the usability and user experience of interactive systems, they pose new challenges, not only for methods and tools that can support their design development and evaluation in a systematic engineering-oriented manner, but also to the designers and developers that must use them. This is aggravated by the fact that they are increasingly being applied in safety and mission critical, novel and less understood application domains (e.g., wearable medical devices and AI-based systems).

The techniques, methods and tools mentioned above, as well as many other novel forms of interaction, involve aspects that need to be adequately addressed in the curricula of programs in software engineering, computer science and human-computer interaction. This begs the question of how best to address these topics in those curricula, and what the best approaches to address them are.

Particularly relevant in the current context are approaches that support the educational process in a online context. When considering education about HCI Engineering, we need to think about who is being educated as there is likely to be different curriculum scope and educational methods for different types of learners. There are two main distinctions that are likely to influence these methods:

  • technical vs non-technical – Computer science and similar students are likely to be the main consumers of detailed HCIE education. However, it is also important for those who are likely to have a more interface design or user research role to be able to appreciate the limits of technology and the potential impacts of architectural design choices.
  • student vs practitioner – It is likely that the primary interest of many participants will be university education. However, developers are often involved in lively online discussions about different frameworks, and even the use of monads in interactive JavaScript. Interaction Design Foundation courses attract tens of thousands of UX practitioners worldwide, evidencing the desire for on-the-job learning in both communities.

Participants may target one or other of these types of learners, have interests that cover several, or indeed may address other groups.


Target audience

Achieving the workshop’s goals means bringing together expertise both on the Engineering of HCI and on Education. Hence, we solicit contributions from the HCI-E related communities and we will be very interested to welcome members of the educational community, for a fruitful discussion.


Goals and Expected Outcomes

The workshop aims at identifying, examining and structuring educational resources and approaches to support the teaching/learning of HCI Engineering. It aims to cover a range of areas from challenges related to novel forms of interaction to emerging themes stemming from new application domains. Another goal is to consider the variety of students’ skills and experiences. For instance how to incorporate and teach HCI engineering in computer science curricula or in UI/UX design curricula? How to teach HCI engineering to students with different skills (e.g. engineers, designers)? The goal is also to consider different lecturing modalities, ranging from on site lectures, project-based pedagogy to online/remote lecturing.

An intended outcome of the workshop is a structured overview of educational resources. This shall be structured according to the topics identified in the roadmap. This overview will take the form of an online resource, built around a wiki-style system, which will be made available to the community. We expect that, through this resource, educational material (e.g. from slides and reference material, to exercises and exams) will be made available. It is expected that the workshop will result in the definition of a first instance of this resource and that this work will be continued in follow-up workshops, as well as in the context of IFIP Working Group 2.7/13.4 on User Interface Engineering, where external participants are welcome.

Depending on the quality of the submissions and the workshop results, authors will be offered the possibility of publishing revised versions of the contributions on an edited volume (the Springer’s LNCS volume dedicated to INTERACT workshops, or a volume in Springer’s HCI or SpringerBriefs on HCI series). Alternatively, we will produce a journal paper summarizing and consolidating the contributions, in the form of an HCI Engineering Education roadmap. These results shall serve as a basis for drafting a roadmap for a curriculum for the engineering of advanced interactive computing systems and for identifying quality lecturing modalities.


Submission

Position papers (6-10 pages in LNCS format) must report experiences related to HCI Engineering education. Submissions could report software engineering units including some aspects of HCI-E, curricula or teaching units dedicated to HCI-E, case studies/projects demonstrating aspects of HCI-E, evaluations of students’ skills related to HCI-E, training non-technical and mixed students in HCI-E, training appropriate aspects of HCI-E to professionals/practitioners, a new teaching modality promising for teaching HCI-E, introducing HCI-E into existing curricula, etc. Authors could also provide in their submission a short summary of their experience in the field and their motivation to participate in this workshop.

Position papers will be reviewed by the organizers, and participants will be invited to attend the workshop based on review results. The submission page will be available soon.

Tentative deadlines

  • April 9th 2021 – Submission of position papers
  • April 23rd 2021 – Notification
  • May 21st 2021 – Camera-ready workshop papers due for extended abstracts

Organisers

  • Konrad Baumann, FH Joanneum University of Applied Sciences, Austria
  • José C. Campos, University of Minho & HASLab/INESC TEC, Portugal
  • Alan Dix, Computational Foundry, Swansea Universty, Wales, UK
  • Laurence Nigay, University of Grenoble Alpes, France
  • Philippe Palanque, University of Toulouse, France
  • Jean Vanderdonckt, Université catholique de Louvain, Belgium
  • Benjamin Weyers, University of Trier, Germany