Opportunities and Challenges for HCI Design and Research

   Jim Hollan, Department of Cognitive Science, UCSD

Seminar on People, Computers, and Design

The miniaturization and increasing power of commodity computing devices makes possible wide-scale applications of computation. This presents enormous new challenges for design. Not only is the monolithic "computer" being unbundled into fragmentary, appliance-like components, but experience in constructing the first generation of applications reveals that we continue to have much to learn about designing systems such that they mesh with and improve real-world activities.

As with many challenges there is also opportunity. The same forces leading to ubiquitous computing are also changing the nature and richness of data we can collect about human activities. In the history of science, the appearance of new technologies for collecting or analyzing data frequently has spawned rapid scientific advancement. The human genome project, for example, would have been unfathomably complex without automatic DNA sequencing technology. In the present case, a new generation of inexpensive digital video recording devices is revolutionizing data collection for studying human activity, extending it to situations that have not typically been accessible and enabling examination of the fine detail of action captured in meaningful settings.

Drawing from current work with my students and collaborators on multiscale information visualization, personal information environments, negotiated sharing of personal information, embodied interaction and gesture, ethnography of freeway driving, paper-augmented digital documents, and vision-based tools to aid analysis of video data, as well as recent work of others, I characterize what I see as the major opportunities and challenges for HCI research.

Jim Hollan is Professor of Cognitive Science and Adjunct Professor of Computer Science at the University of California, San Diego. In collaboration with Ed Hutchins, he directs the Distributed Cognition and Human-Computer Interaction Laboratory. His early work at UCSD with Don Norman and others helped highlight the importance of User-Centered System Design (note the UCSD acronym). He left UCSD to direct the MCC Human Interface Laboratory and subsequently established the Computer Graphics and Interactive Media Research Group at Bellcore. In 1993, he moved to the University of New Mexico as Chair of the Computer Science Department. Coming full circle he returned to UCSD in 1997 to create the DCOG-HCI lab and also get back to surfing. In addition to its well established research reputation, in other communities UCSD is known as the top surf school.

View this talk on line at CS547 on Stanford OnLine

Titles and abstracts for previous years are available by year and by speaker.