The iHCI conference 2009

The series of iHCI conferences started two years ago – my colleague Luigina Ciolfi organised the 2007 event, hosted by the Interaction Design Centre at the University of Limerick.

The 2009 event is hosted by Trinity College Dublin and it was organised by Aaron Quigley and Gavin Doherty. The first day was dedicated to workshops and tutorials.

I chose to attend the IxDA industry talks this morning – and I was really impressed by the great speakers line-up! Kudos to Ben Arent for the organisation and for telling us more about the IxDA Dublin and the upcoming Design Week!

Niamh Phelan (IQ Content) spoke about Google Analytics and how to harness its power when researching usability matters. She pointed the audience to the IQContent blog for useful tips on tracking multiple domains and I was really impressed by their openness to share useful solutions.

Henry Poskitt and Frank Long from Frontend spoke about OOBE (oh, how I recognised myself in the picture of the frustrated user!) and working with personas in design.

The talk of Des Traynor (Contrast) focused on designing for mobile context and made our imagination fly by talking about e-ink and application integration!

I enjoyed the morning session a lot and I’ll do my best to convince these fantastic guys to come to Limerick and talk to the students in the near future.

The afternoon was dedicated to a tutorial on Inclusive Design for Older and Disabled Users offered by Prof.Helen Petrie from the University of York, UK. The tutorial was a real mind opener on what it means to design for and with people with various disabilities. The conclusion was that even if the needs of these groups might be very diverse, the solutions are not that diverse, and by including these concerns in the design process from the very beginning, mainstream technologies (and not only the assistive ones) could benefit a lot. Prof. Petrie mentioned quite a lot the Utopia project and the work of Alan Newell from Dundee University who is using theatre as an intermediary between users and designers.

The workshop included a practical exercise that required us to wear 3 pairs of latex gloves and glasses exemplifying various sight disabilities while trying to perform a simple task on a phone or laptop that didn’t belong to us. Here I am wearing the glasses:) (thanks to @aquigley!)

The first day ended with a social event at the Bagott Inn. More about iHCI tomorrow!

September 17 2009 | conferences and Events and iHCI and Ireland | No Comments »