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You are here: Home 2004 Vol.36 No.5, September/October 2004 SIGCHI EEC Minutes for June 2004
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SIGCHI EEC Minutes for June 2004

Communications Chair Julie Jacko reports the minutes from the June 04 Executive Committee meeting.

Present: Victoria Belotti (VB) Apala Chavan (AC), Mary Czerwinski (MC), Ian McClelland (IM), Rob Jacob (RJ), Joe Konstan (JK), Marilyn Salzman (MS), Alan Wexelblat (AW), Dennis Wixon (DW), John Karat (JK)

1.Meeting with US Government Usability Representatives (JK). As introduced by Ben Shneiderman, there is an initiative by the federal government to introduce the relevant issues of usability, when it is needed in different projects across agencies. The initiative has been named “Usability University.”

1a. The US Government has proposed the need for an umbrella of all related professional societies in the field of usability.

Much direction is needed in identifying the areas where usability methods can be applied. Ideally, a collection of all professional organizations associated with software design, user interface design, and usability could come to a consensus and issue directives – that is, issue a letter signed in consensus of what usability requirements are important, or what qualifications a usability specialist should have.

Next steps:

Input is needed from both ACM and USCM in identifying what the scope of such an organization should be

A plan is needed to determine how to identify assemble the organizations.

Action Item: Tracking the organizations MC will begin identifying organizations and contacting the leaders. Initially, the organizations need to set the goals of their coordinating effort. Primary tasks could be managing conference schedules between the organizations to minimize conflict.

Other issues raised: (IM) There is a need for clear interpretation of what usability is, as the government usually interprets usability in terms of HCI, when the usability of systems and government issues could be interpreted in terms of safety, etc. This will determine which organizations should be represented.

EEC committee members were in agreement that this provides a good excuse to talk with the organizations, and even begin a dialog on the creation of standard usability measures (in which the NIST has asserted interest).

1b. The US federal government has also issued interest in the development of a SIGCHI Speakers Directory.

Usability University needs to know who is best to invite to talk about specific topics, and whose credentials lend them expertise in speaking on a specific topic. The government needs speakers who are available for engagements at government offices throughout the country.

Basic need: A directory in which everyone listed is interested in speaking, and everyone listed underwent some sort of vetting.

Generate ideas for such a database that can be useful even without the government aspect.

This will differ from the ACM lectureship series:

Speakers will be included based on more objective criteria

Support is not necessarily provided for the people to give the talks

Speakers will be any qualified expert, not just distinguished members of the community.

A directory of SIGCHI members could be the first step in a public expertise directory. SIGCHI could provide a vehicle for SIGCHI members to be considered in these areas, but should not endorse specific speakers.

The Open University, UK could provide a useful model for Usability University.

Action Item: MC will also be working to find a set of volunteers willing to put together a formal proposal including a reasonable set of objective criteria for speaker inclusion.


In consideration of the long-term (5-10 year horizon of action items): JK noted a strong sentiment from US government for value of certification in the field of usability, eventually leading to a point when the government requires certification of employees, contractors, etc. Currently there are certifications from Human Factors International – In the long term, is it better that certifications come from a professional organization or from a for-profit company

2.SIGCHI Bulletin release, feedback, future issues

Jonathan relayed a message through JK:

The next deadline this coming Monday, June 21, and the formatting guidelines will be sent out, but he can format for you if necessary.

The current format of the bulletin is sent in text and html, but there are concerns that some members cannot receive multipart messages. Options: 1) Provide text only; 2) have separate lists based on members’ mail system; or 3) Leave as is.


The group was in consensus that this is likely a small minority of individuals. It is not viable to keep separate distribution lists based on mail system capabilities.

There are still concerns with the new HTML format, some think it is still very messy and also difficult to navigate (MS), while some members felt that there were major problems the first HTML issue and the second issue fixed was an improvement.

Proposed solution: Try to send one more issue (June issue, which will be sent around the 1st week in July) in the HTML format, and then solicit from people how they received. This will give an indication of the number of people who cannot receive it (in multipart), if the HTML formatting interferes with the content and how much.

3. Electronic Communication and Discussion To be taken up at a later time: There are several competing sources that serve the same functionality in CHI/SIGCHI, such as CHI place, the reviewer database, Orca, discussion in the bulletin, and SIGHCI website. This fragments the community. For example, there are several different conference calendars available.

In the future, there will be a meeting of those people responsible for creating these sources, so that their efforts can be better coordinated.

4. Participation and Conferences When EEC members are asked by members about the status of the CHI conference in the future, JK recommends saying something to the effect that: ‘We are in the process of obtaining feedback from members on the conference, and need to determine what changes will be made, and when they will take effect.’

With respect to proceedings, processes are being established for redesign of the conference and the publications that result, so that we can have archival/non-archival work from a variety of disciplines. This will take effect in 2006.

Not usually necessary to provide more detail. EEC members are encouraged to get feedback from others before the July Meeting.

5. PCS Conference System -- Sponsored and In-Cooperation Conferences


Can Interact 2005 use PCS at the discounted rate?

(Interact has a cooperation agreement with SIGCHI & ACM)

Should the reviewer database that Interact uses be separate from the rest of the reviewer database?

Do CHI reviewers use their same account name if they review for both?

What options do we offer to what conferences?

Presently, other SIGCHI conferences can use the whole system in a way to save on cost and infrastructure. Cooperation conferences use software, but not reviewer database.

The EEC agreed that they do not want to openly share the reviewer database; ACM has a policy on reviewer anonymity – no one was actually asked to leverage the reviewer database for their conference. But list of reviewers is published.

Discussion Points: · Volunteering to review for a SIGCHI sponsored conference should not volunteer you for others. · Cooperative conference enables using PCS, but not system used in sponsored conference. · How they use PCS needs to be determined, e.g., will they only use the front end of our system, a separate system all together, or will their inputs (reviewers) be linked into our database? · The core of material made for CHI conferences, that CHI should keep stable – like keywords – even for other sponsored conferences. · Because of the variety of conferences in cooperation it is beneficial to keep them separate, not to cloud the issues. · Treat this situation delicately; less reviewer sharing is better right now.

The EEC reached a consensus on the following: · Make the SIGCHI relationship with PCS available · Preserve the exclusively of volunteering (e.g., The system does not make people ‘pseudo-volunteers’ for all other conference) · The Logistics for in-cooperation conferences should have the flexibility of using the reviewer database (needs to be done in a smaller discussion, judged on a per-case basis) · Keywords should be carefully managed, so actions of one conference does not impact others (VB has a handle on this)

In essence, SIGCHI is sharing their discount, the login, but also receives advantages of branding in association with other conferences.

Action Items:

Interact can go forward, using the discount privileges.

A Policy statement clarification should come from VB and IM and be distributed in specialized conference material and the CMC needs to agree on the formulation for this.

6. July Summer EC Meeting

The EEC meeting is July 17 & 18, Downtown Seattle (Sheraton Hotel)

The first draft of the agenda has been distributed. The following agenda items have been identified: 1) What are the success measures for SIGCHI? 2) SIGRAPH 3) Council of chapters and better communication 4) Publicity - Updating information on chapters online, and how they do this. 5) Looking at marketing and membership 6) Organizing conferences 7) Publication awards 8) Proposal for creating better paths to journal publications 9) General updates on the CHI conference a. Eventually, we need an update on how the specialized conferences are doing – and any gaps in these specialized conferences – not in July, but IM will eventually be probed.

See notes under operations for additional July agenda items-

Action Items: Travel plans: Message from Jessica at ACM – a large number of people have not responded to Hotel needs for July meeting so far confirmation of attendance. Please respond. Everyone should stay at the Sheraton.

3 nights hotel are paid for– If you care to stay in Seattle longer, Jessica can help you secure the rate, or else you can move to a different hotel.

Status Reports and Other Issues

7. Chapters (technical issues, updates from around) Issue: should the process of charter organizations change? There is a new chapters coordinator, so the process is being updated. AC noted that it is best if all the paperwork & application for chartering chapters is sent to her, before they go to SIGCHI – This will allow her to provide improved service and efficiency (making sure applications are complete, etc.).

Issue: Chapters in Asia and South Africa don’t have clarity as to how ACM can help them – they don’t know who to contact – need some mechanism to determine how to support their needs) for chartering materials.

Action Item: AC will coordinate with AW on updates to chapter information on the SIGCHI Website. AW and AC will discuss ways to manage the changes and updates on information about chapters before the July meeting

8. Operations AW Updated that ACMIS has completed server migration with new backup system and with the caching issue resolved.



Consider whether, where and how we will go through renaming (renaming of various lists and position titles that have changed) the public information needs to reflect this.

What do we want to do with the chi conference .com and .org domains?

The long delays, never funded redesign of the SIGCHI site

Jonathan has proposed using the bulletin look and feel to update.

ACM has completed update to updated listserv manager

When and how should we migrate the newsletter to the ACM server

When should we migrate to using the internal ACM WIKI

JK proposes to resolve the LISTSERVE issues today and the rest discuss in July (except the web redesign and bulletin).

JK indicated that AW should go ahead and start working on this at whatever speed is comfortable on the LISTSERVE changes. It was agreed upon that all the correct position titles and groups should be corrected for.

Action items:

1) JK will create a list from the bylaws listing names, and link up old names to new names. AW will then:

Create and test new aliases

Update the website (broadcasting the news of new aliases via the newsletter)

Turn off old aliases.


Action Item: MS & DW will discuss before July more and have more updates on their plan for the issues to consider at the conference as related to the papers track.


There will be a meeting to discuss the 2005 program, how to start implementing the paper awards, and other logistics.

From CHI meeting – should we support an online journal?

MS voiced concern because those who proposed it as beneficial are now lacking in sufficient interest to do a viability study for an online journal. MS requested feedback of online journal proposal from the EEC.

Action Item: MS put the proposal for the online journal up on the WIKI, and everyone will read it in preparation of the July meeting.

10. Finances No news – In August we will take a serious look (RJ)

11. Conferences

Issues: Tutorial Evaluations DW has circulated a high-level statement for a policy of sharing information on tutorials, and the feedback with other SIGCHI conferences. JK and IM provided feedback that the policy should be more detailed, specifying what people would get, and the scope of the feedback. Action Item: DW will revise the policy with more granularity. That is, state who the contact points are for the conferences, and who ‘owns’ the information. All of the operational details aren’t necessary, but they need to be put into place. The breakdown in getting the CHI 2004 conference data to the CSCW chairs was because the data couldn’t be extracted in a timely fashion.

Consensus: 1. The wording of the call for proposal should disclose information about the evaluations for all conferences participating in this process. 2. The tutorial evaluation process is owned by the CMC 3. It is the discretion of the chairs to determine how to use the evaluations (e.g., how far back to look, how many, what factors to consider) 4. Instructors should always receive a copy of the evaluations

Motion: Making the tutorial evaluations available is an important role of the CMC, and the EEC delegates to the CMC the responsibility of creating policies for this, and of developing a model for tutorial conference calls and evaluation forms for conferences.

The motion was passed unanimously

12. Membership and Communications: 2006, 2005 membership needs suggestions from the EEC for chairs and co-chairs for the conferences, before the July Meeting.

Meeting adjourned at 2:34

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