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HCI International News, Number 41, May 2010


HCI Community in South Korea

In the Republic of South Korea, usability analysis and product benchmarking are the foundation of every project, whether it is for college or industry.

South Korea, with its 2nd fastest broadband speed of 40Mbps (The 1st is Japan’s 60Mbps) is very advanced in Internet Applications and ecommerce. The local site Naver.com is the equivalent of Google search & maps, Yahoo locals, YouTube, and Expedia. None of the US or European sites like Facebook, Twitter, or even eBay is famous in South Korea or they have their own local sites in Korea.

Other than using HCI for Internet sites, South Korea is also focused on product user Interface design, more than on HCI for software applications. The economy driving companies like Samsung and LG have electronic products whose main driving forces are hardware, technology, and industrial design. You will find many hardware engineers and technological scientists taking a primary role, rather than software application engineers. However, HCI has now gained a lot of importance as many companies around the world are gaining similar technology. The differentiating factor is now user experience.

A few years ago most products (televisions, washing machines, mobile devices, etc.) were designed by technology engineers who were considering 'value for money' and the best technology as their competitive edge. But recently the focus has changed to hiring more HCI specialists to improve overall user experience and create 'SMART' products, the current buzz word in South Korea.

South Korea has many well-rounded Engineering Colleges like Yonsei University, POSTECH, Kookmin University, Sungkyunkwan University, with KAIST(Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology) being at the top. KAIST is famous for its high quality Science and Technology education. Because of this background, its HCI research is focused on the engineering approach. Some of their research labs include:

  • HCID Lab: planning and developing human-centered interaction through in-depth research for physical, cognitive, emotional, and socio-cultural aspects of human beings.
  • HCSD Lab: ergonomics and aesthetic engineering.

Usually, students have to learn HCI in their graduate course (Masters) as there are no colleges offering HCI degree in undergraduate course. Also for the graduate course, the certificate title is not Masters in HCI. It’s mostly other Engineering majors with a specialization in HCI. If any school has a good design program, their HCI research tends to focus on the design aspects of HCI. Otherwise, if the school has good science and technology program, their HCI research tends to focus on technology aspects such as ergonomics and industrial engineering.

HCI designers in South Korea work mainly in these four company types. Their roles depends on their companies

  • Global Electronic companies like Samsung and LG where HCI designers role includes ideation for the future product, usability evaluations, Gathering customer’s insights through field study, Creating UI designs for new product like digital TV, mobile, and healthcare products.
  • Internet companies like Naver.com, Daum, SK communications where HCI designers work on - interaction design, web page designs, and graphic designs as well as website analysis and statistics and front end UI development.
  • Telecom companies like SKT, KT, LG Telecom where HCI designers create the operator layer on base mobile designs. They create UI design for IPTV, wireless service, new mobile service, apps store, music stores, etc.
  • UX consulting ventures mainly co-work with big companies such as Samsung, LG, and SK): e.g. d’strict, Tune Interactive, Ionglobal where HCI designers help in building prototypes, animations, detail screen and page designs, benchmarking, and competitor analysis for the big vendors

Unlike USA or Europe, South Korea does not have any local chapters of HCI communities like ACM SIGCHI, UPA or IxDA, etc. However, it has "HCI Korea Society" with an annual conference where you can submit papers. South Korea also hosts many international design conference like IASDR -SEOUL Oct 2009, SEOUL DESIGN OLYMPIAD 2009 & upcoming SIGGRAPH Asia 2010. But due to the technology competition, you will hardly ever find anyone from South Korean companies presenting their HCI research in any CHI or UPA conference.

Hyorim Park and Sameer Chavan, R&D Labs, LG, South Korea

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Plan Your Participation for HCI International 2011

The HCI International 2011 jointly with the affiliated Conferences invite you to Orlando, Florida, USA, 9-14 July 2011 to participate and contribute to the international forum for the dissemination and exchange of scientific information on theoretical, generic, and applied areas of HCI. Deadlines for submissions are:

Papers 800 words, Friday, 15 October 2010
Posters 300 words, Friday, 11 February 2011
Tutorials 300 words, Friday, 15 October 2010

For more information, visit the HCII 2011 Website

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Keynote speaker for HCI International 2011

We are delighted to announce that Professor Ben Shneiderman is the keynote speaker for HCI International 2011.
Ben Shneiderman is a Professor in the Department of Computer Science, founding director of the Human Computer Interaction Lab and Member of the Institute for Advanced Computer Studies at the University of Maryland. The pioneering work of Ben Shneiderman has played a key role in the development of HCI as a new academic discipline, by bringing scientific methods to the study of human use of computers. For more than 30 years, Ben Shneiderman has promoted HCI through his prolific writing and lecturing. He has written some very influential books in the field, including "Designing the User Interface: Effective Strategies for Human-Computer Interaction", which is now in its fourth edition, and "Leonardo's Laptop: Human Needs and the New Computing Technologies". He is one of the most frequently referenced researchers in computer science.

The title of his keynote address is "Technology-Mediated Social Participation: The Next 25 Years of HCI Challenges".

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A new conference in the context of HCI International 2011

A new conference will take place in the context of HCI International 2011, in Orlando, Florida, USA, 9-14 July 2011:

1st International Conference on Design, User Experience, and Usability (DUXU 2011)

Aaron Marcus (USA) is the Program Chair of this thematic area, the topics of which are available though the Conference website

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3rd Applied Human Factors and Ergonomics International Conference 2010

You are cordially invited to participate in the 3rd Applied Human Factors and Ergonomics (AHFE) International Conference 2010 and Exhibition.

The Advance Program is available through the Conference website

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In recent years, the field of Universal Access has made significant progress towards consolidating theoretical approaches, scientific methods and technologies, as well as exploring new application domains. Universal Access refers to the conscious and systematic effort to proactively apply principles, methods and tools of universal design, in order to develop Information Society Technologies which are accessible and usable by all citizens, including the very young and the elderly, as well as people with different types of disabilities, thus avoiding the need for a posteriori adaptations or specialized design. The requirement for Universal Access emerged in the early ‘90s from the growing impact of the fusion of the emerging technologies, and from the different dimensions of diversity, which are intrinsic to the emergence of the Information Society. These dimensions become evident when, for example, considering the broad range of user characteristics, the changing nature of human activities, the variety of contexts of use, the increasing availability and diversification of information and knowledge sources and services, and the proliferation of technological platforms. Since then, the scope of investigation in the field of Universal Access has broadened, more systematic investigations of users, contexts and technology diversity in the Information Society have been carried out, new methodological approaches have been elaborated, existing approaches have been embedded in the development of support tools, a wide variety of novel interaction techniques have emerged for supporting users diversity, and a plethora of applications and case studies putting to practice all the above have become available. Additionally, awareness and policy have also progressed to the point that now accessibility to the basic technological infrastructure is recognized by many as a fundamental human right.
The "Universal Access Handbook" reflects all these recent developments in an effort to consolidate present knowledge in the field of Universal Access and open new perspectives for the future. It is a collection of 61 Chapters, structured into nine parts, written by leading international authorities, affiliated to academic, research and industrial organizations.

Edited by: Constantine Stephanidis (ICS-FORTH, Greece)
A Volume in the Human Factors and Ergonomics Series (Gavriel Salvendy, Series Editor)
Publisher: CRC Press Taylor & Francis Group
ISBN: 978-0-8058-6280-5, June 2009

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Recent Interesting News and Articles

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Upcoming Conferences and Events

May 2010

June 2010

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29 - 31 July 2010: IADIS Int Conf ICT, Society and Human Beings 2010, Freiburg, Germany.
Extended submission deadline: 15 March 2010

12-15 September 2010: IEEE International Symposium on Robots and Human Interactive Communication (IEEE RO-MAN), Viareggio, Italy.
The theme of the conference is "Thinking and acting together: cognitive and cooperative interaction between human and robots"

13-16 October 2010: ISMAR2010, The Ninth IEEE International Symposium on Mixed and Augmented Reality, Seoul, Korea. Papers and Posters submission deadline: May 1, 2010

3-5 November 2010: HCI-Aero 2010, International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction in Aerospace, Cape Canaveral, Florida, USA.

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Previous Issues of HCI International NEWS are available online.


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Contribute to HCI International NEWS

We welcome your contribution to the HCI International News. Please send to us interesting news, short articles, interesting websites, etc. We will consider your comments and contributions for upcoming issues. Please send your contribution to the Editor, Dr. Abbas Moallem.

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About HCI International NEWS

The HCI International NEWS is a newsletter that contains information about the HCI International 2011 Conference, book reviews, news from the field of HCI, as well as links to interesting articles and conferences. If you have any questions or comments, or if you would like to make a contribution, please contact the Editor, Dr. Abbas Moallem. The opinions that are expressed in this Newsletter are the sole responsibility of its authors and do not represent any institution or company.

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