iHCI Conference, 17.11.2017 | University College Dublin.

Following the ISU International Conference in November, Dr Gareth Young and Liam O’Sullivan attended the 11th Annual Irish Human-Computer Interaction Conference, held at the Global Lounge, University College Dublin (UCD).




This one-day ACM SIGCHI conference featured research from the field of Human-Computer Interaction; specifically showcasing researchers based in Ireland. The symposium featured three keynote talks from international leaders in HCI research. The opening keynote, “Multitasking in Human-Computer Interaction”, was given by Dr. Duncan Brumby, from University College London (UCL) Interaction Centre, and focussed on three specific contexts in which people multitask when using computers: driving a car, working, and relaxing at home. Brumby described how in HCI different research methods and approaches can be applied to understand how people interact with technology: such as cognitive modelling, controlled lab experiments, situated observational studies, and online studies. The presentation highlighted how research of this type can assists scientists in understanding why some user types are better at multitasking than others, and how systems can be designed to help accentuate these types of behaviour in users.


Dr. Gareth Young was the first delegate presenting in the “Sound, Senses, and Speech” Presentation Track session; a section of the conference that focusses on publications by Irish researchers. The session began with the work of Dr. Gareth Young et. al, presenting his NIME evaluation work with musicians and Digital Musical Instruments: “A Qualitative Analysis of Haptic Feedback in Music Focused Exercises”. This was followed by Leigh Clark, from the School of Information & Communication Studies, UCD. Clark presented his work on driving simulators; specifically, “Steering the conversation: a linguistic exploration of natural language interactions with a digital assistant during simulated driving”. This was followed by Trevor Hogan, of the Department of Media Communications, Crawford College of Art and Design, Cork Institute of Technology. Hogan presented his paper: “Towards a Design Space for Multisensory Data Representation” that was published earlier this year.



The second keynote was given by Dr. Julie Doyle, from Dundalk Institute of Technology, and was titled “Digital Technologies to Support Healthy Ageing – End user experiences and Lessons Learned”. Doyle’s talk focussed on how the human population is currently ageing, and that there is an elevated interest in researching factors that support the maintenance of independent living and quality of life of older people. Doyle drew upon earlier findings and experiences from studies carried out by the Netwell CASALA research centre. This centre’s focus is in examining approaches to best-practice in the design, deployment, and evaluation of health and wellness technologies created specifically for older adults.


The second Presentation Track session “Experience & Education” began with a presentation from Kevin Doherty, of the School of Computer Science & Statistics, Trinity College Dublin. Doherty presented his work on “The Construal of Experience in HCI: Understanding Self-Reports” that is to be published in the International Journal of Human-Computer Studies in early 2018. Following this, Gabriela Avram, from the Interaction Design Centre, University of Limerick, presented “Supporting Cultural Heritage Professionals Adopting and Shaping Interactive Technologies in Museums” from the Proceedings of the 2017 Conference on Designing Interactive Systems, 2017. The final presentation was then given by Conor Linehan, from the People & Technology Lab, University College Cork. His work “A Mixed Method Approach for Evaluating and Improving the Design of Learning in Puzzle Games”. This paper was presented at the ACM SIGCHI Annual Symposium on Computer-Human Interaction in Play (CHIPLAY 2017), 2017, and explored the creation of an evidence based methodology through which designers and researchers can understand, assess, and improve how commercial games teach players game-specific skills and impart information.


Finally, Prof. Chris Preist, of the University of Bristol, presented his keynote on “Digital Technology and Sustainability – What is the place of HCI?”. In this talk, Professor Preist discussed and presented examples of how HCI and digital technology in general could play a key role in the transition of current society towards a low-carbon footprint culture. This was a particularly pertinent talk as digital technology is currently responsible for substantial global environmental impacts.


Another great year for Irish HCI and another great conference!