For the last two / three years I’ve been increasingly vocal – and annoyed – at the lack of human factors and user interface work at WWW. I’m glad to say that in 2012 things seem to have changed – lets hope for continued change into 2013 and beyond.
Finally, the Web Conference gets a ‘real’ human factors session! After a number of years bereft of user interaction and human factors work – beyond a submissions track – UI work makes a welcomed return to WWW 2012.
Now I’m bound to be partisan as I was the session chair – however, these papers could have easily graced CHI, and focused on 3D hypertext interaction, interaction modalities of web surfers, and shared editing using hypertext shim like constructs to enact the process. But don’t take my word for it, have a look yourself:
- A Dual-Mode User Interface for Accessing 3D Content on the World Wide Web
- Exploiting Single-User Web Applications for Shared Editing – A Generic Transformation Approach
- “It’s Simply Integral to What I Do”: Enquiries into How the Web is Weaved into Everyday Life
Now getting these papers into the main programme must have taken some doing; so full credit should go to the track chairs and the track programme committee for doing such a good job. I’ve been to some of these full WWW programme committee meetings and they can really turn into a ‘bun fight’ with the loudest voices (it seems mostly like Search and IR via social network analysis) getting the biggest slices of the cake. Indeed, most of the sessions mentioning ‘users’ were mostly search as applied to social network analysis. This is understandable, but not at the exclusion of all else – indeed even ‘Web User Behavioral Analysis and Modeling’ had no HF within it!
One final thought, if you have time look through the Web Engineering sessions (WebEngOne and WebEngTwo); you’ll find some interesting technology for Web UI there!