CFP: Special Issue and Symposium on Usability and Web

Brian Gaines (
Thu, 7 Dec 1995 21:09:35 -0500

Call for Papers

A Symposium in Association with The British HCI Group, &
Special Issue of the International Journal of Human-Computer Studies

"The Missing Link: Hypermedia Usability Research & The Web"

Knowledge Media Institute
The Open University
1st May, 1996



Since the early 1980s when the concepts of hypertext and hypermedia became
buzzwords, researchers have been investigating the usability and usefulness
of hypermedia across a wide spectrum of domains. Specialist conferences and
journals were launched, and countless research papers published the results
of theoretical analyses and empirical evaluations of hypermedia systems in

Then the World-Wide Web arrived. Hypermedia has gone global.
Suddenly everyone is a hypermedia designer, making assumptions and
decisions about non-linear structuring, users' needs, and the use of
different media to communicate.

- Do the preceding years of hypermedia usability research have any
lessons for authoring, browsing and retrieving material on the Web?

- Are there important differences between the Web and the earlier
systems which invalidate past findings?

- Is this another case of academic research missing the boat, or have
a lot of lessons in fact been learned and disseminated, so that we
now see much better browsers and hypertexts than in the early days?

Submission Themes

The prime goal of the symposium is to reflect on the state of the
hypermedia design/science base after a decade's work - how powerful is it
for informing global hypermedia design? Thus, submissions are sought which
present analyses or case studies of:

- The perceived relevance/irrelevance of hypermedia research to
the design of Web hypermedia structures and browsers.
Is the link missing, or in fact firmly in place?

However, in order to ensure that past/current research can now make the
maximum contribution to future Web design, other relevant topics include:

- Strategies for contextualising and delivering the results of
hypermedia research to Web designers

- Methods and tools for evaluating or predicting Web usability

- User-centred methods and tools for designing Web structures
and browsers

- User-centred requirements for next generation Web authoring/

Demonstrations of hypermedia and Web authoring/browsing tools which are
based on user analysis are also welcomed, as are descriptions of relevant
resources on the Web.


Papers (max. 6000 words) should be received by 16th Feb'96.
These will be reviewed by the program committee, with notification of
acceptance by 15th March'96.

Descriptions of demonstrations (1-2 pages) may be submitted up to
5th April'96.


All accepted papers will be immediately published on the Web, and will also
be considered for a Special Issue of the International Journal of
Human-Computer Studies on the theme of usability and the Web.

NOTE: Papers may be submitted directly for the Special Issue if you are not
able to attend the symposium.

Symposium Location

The symposium will be held at The Open University's Knowledge Media
Institute. KMI is investigating theoretical, pedagogical and technological
issues underlying use of the net and interactive media for intellectual
work including learning, software design and knowledge engineering. Further
info at:

Program Committee

Dr Simon Buckingham Shum (Open University)
Prof Marc Eisenstadt (Open University)
Dr Nick Hammond (University of York)
Dr Lynda Hardman (CWI, Amsterdam)
Dr Jean McKendree (Heriot-Watt University)
Dr Cliff McKnight (Loughborough University of Technology)

All submissions and queries should be sent to:

Dr Simon Buckingham Shum
Knowledge Media Institute
The Open University
Milton Keynes

Tel: +44(0) 1908-655723
Fax: +44(0) 1908-653169