people at the center connecting with technology


Rapid Prototyping and User Centered Design
A unique offering of the FORUM is the opportunity to work with like minded professionals from other disciplines in a fast-paced atmosphere.

The Design Collaboration is your chance to try out techniques you may have only read about.


Cooperating Societies


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S. Joy Mountford - FORUM Keynote Speaker
What interaction designers can learn from industrial designers
The age of ever more portable and wearable digital devices, means that the need to couple industrial or product design with interface design is growing in importance. Such highly visible worn devices also have strong personal and fashionable statements associated with them. The look and feel of the best experienced products will necessitate quality product designers and interaction designers working alongside each other. Much of our past has been concerned with how to create effective relationships within engineering; but we need to extend our models to more effectively work across our associated design disciplines. Sample projects, where industrial and interaction designers have contributed to the design of consumer devices will be reviewed and critiqued. These examples will help us to appreciate their different roles and collaborations needs. Some specific suggestions will be made about how various design disciplines can more effectively work together to achieve better designed user/consumer products.



Juried Design Sketches provide a counterpoint to the small group Design Collaboration. Each Design Sketch challenges the design discipline to be explicit about its project goals, methods and lessons learned.

   EXOCOG: An Experiment in Games and Storytelling One of the new opportunities created by the Internet is a merger of games and storytelling, in which a story is presented through an evolving set of web sites. We describe how these kinds of events have been used as tools for entertainment marketing, and provide a case study of one such event. Our findings comment not only on how these events might be used as more effective marketing tools, but also on how a corporate web presence can more effectively connect to, and meet the needs of, its visitors.

   A web design method based on usability applied to an online University News Agency The method described in this Design Sketch approaches web design through respect of users' perceptions, and by optimizing communication to efficiently outreach to the public. An increase in site usability, number of unique visitors, and number of subscribers attest to the success of this methodology as applied to a University news agency.

   Designing a 3D Input Device For Interventional Radiology We describe the design of a computer input device and associated software that allows the interventional radiologist to manipulate 3D images without leaving the surgical tableside. This tableside box (comprising a 6 Degree-Of-Freedom 3D handle and mini-keyboard) allows the radiologist to perform 3D image manipulation, distance measurement and function selection providing easier and safer treatments under X-Ray guidance. The device adapts and integrates classic point-and-click mouse function into the surgical/interventional environment. Several evaluations of the product focused on validating the technology for precision and 3D orientation as well as user acceptance. The 3D/2D user interface described in the Design Sketch addresses the need for devices that can operate within the surgical environment not necessarily limited to interventional radiology.

   The Desktop in Context: It's Not about the PC How does a new personal computer become a member of the 'family', furthering everyday responsibilities, activities and relationships? Putting people at the center of design means understanding what palpable value a product brings to everyday lives. In our product placement field study of 10 U.S. households (19 adult and teen users), we learned what happened when a new Hewlett-Packard Pavilion computer arrived (boxed) in the house and how users integrated it into daily routines. Our objectives were to (1) make design recommendations for the whole user experience of new PC ownership -- recommendations that reflected the real world context and motivate team members to action, (2) secure funding for future contextual research projects in the user-centered design lifecycle, and (3) evaluate the cost-effectiveness and validity of methodologies for future studies.

   A New Educational Model for Interactive Product Design: Validating Utility, Performance and Experience We have moved into a new era that offers an unprecedented opportunity to reconcile the relationship between people and technology. In this Design Sketch we describe a new model for collaborative interdisciplinary design education that shifts the focus to validation of human experience as the central issue in the design process. There are several key issues that differentiate this course from more traditional design school offerings. Particular emphasis has been placed on the need to balance the technical and human parameters in product development through an active dialogue with prospective users. This paper examines the program pedagogy, provides an overview of the curriculum and reflects on the strengths and weaknesses of this strategic educational bridge between the fields of design, information technologies and human-computer interaction.

   Reuse for New Uses How can industrial design (ID) students in a human-computer interface (HCI) design-studio course use the material and programmatic elements of electronics and computers with the same speed, fluidity and fearlessness that are afforded by paper, clay, cardboard and other inexpensive and flexible materials? This Design Sketch describes some of the approaches the faculty developed in response to this question. Several approaches were used, including combining electronic components from discarded computer hardware, affordable sensors and switches, and models built in wood, metal, plastic, glass, textile and other workshops. Through this process students were able to conduct handson experimentation with HCI concepts and arrive at newfound ways for communication and more human-centered product concepts.

   Technology Mediation Landscape Technology Mediation Landscape was designed as a tool to introduce higher education faculty to various technology tools and options available to them for use in the classroom, with an emphasis on the pedagogic capabilities of each. The prototype tool attempts to build the users knowledge of the subject progressively in layers using a unique Pseudo 3D interface. The landscape tool was introduced as an online pre-requisite for a Summer Instructional Design Institute where the faculty participants redesigned their existing curriculum for specific courses. The Design Sketch outlines the process behind the design and building of the Landscape tool and the experience gained from it.


Design Collaboration
The intensive 2-day design collaboration forms the heart of the inaugural FORUM between industrial designers and interaction designers.

The focus of the exercise will be a real world object highly relevant to a Vienna-based user population. The objectives of the Design Collaboration are:
  • Identify methods, approaches and philosophies that are novel to CHI and/or ID professionals
  • Incorporate rapid prototype development techniques with user-centered design methods
  • Engage with creative individuals from different disciplines in a fast-paced real-world design problem
  • Have fun!
Each small group of CHI and ID collaborators will be asked to present their user-tested prototypes at the end of the second day to the rest of the group.

Prototypes will be evaluated on several criteria including, Easiest to Use, Best Presentation, Best Process, Best Use of Prototyping Materials, Best Fit, Most Whimsical and many more.

The Design Collaboration will be facilitated by two recognized practitioners in the fields of Industrial Design and CHI, Professor Ron Nabarro and Mr. Leo Frishberg.



Design Collaboration Agenda
Day 1 (Sunday, April 25)
10:45 Collaboration Session 1
Orientation, group formation, material distribution
(working groups are encouraged to continue through lunch)

14:30 Work Session 2
Rapid prototype development, user interaction off-site
(working groups invited to continue into evening)


Day 2 (Monday, April 26)
9:30 Work Session 3
Development incorporating feedback, refinement
14:00 Work Session 4
Presentation preparation
15:45 Presentation
Evaluation / Awards Presentation