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Best of CHI nominees and award winners

The SIGCHI "Best of CHI" Program is designed to recognize outstanding work in the field of human-computer interaction by selecting and honoring exceptional submissions to SIGCHI-sponsored conferences. This year, the Papers and Notes committees took part in this program, nominating up to 5% of their submissions as Award Nominees. A separate awards committee then chose a select group of these submissions - no more than 1% of the total submissions - to receive a "Best" designation. We are proud to congratulate the award winners and nominees for their outstanding contributions to CHI 2006 and to our field.

CHI 2006 Best Papers, awarded by SIGCHI

A Role for Haptics in Mobile Interaction: Initial Design Using a Handheld Tactile Display Prototype
Joseph Luk, University of British Columbia, Canada
Jérôme Pasquero, McGill University, Canada
Shannon Little, University of British Columbia, Canada
Karon MacLean, University of British Columbia, Canada
Vincent Lévesque, McGill University, Canada
Vincent Hayward, McGill University, Canada
This paper describes haptic technologies that can be formed into tiny skin-stretching tactile displays, enabling a handheld device to provide a range of responses through the tips of the user's fingers grasping it. This offers an alternative to relaying solely on audio or screen graphics to support interaction, and opens up exciting avenues for overcoming size limitations in mobile devices.
Embedded Phenomena: Supporting Science Learning with Classroom-sized Distributed Simulations
Tom Moher, University of Illinois at Chicago, USA
This paper features a creative set of techniques that combine ambient displays and physical artifacts to create novel classroom-based learning activities. Through a set of case studies, the author describes how persistent simulations of scientific phenomena are monitored and manipulated by students to gain a better understanding of earthquakes, planetary motion, and insect ecology.
Trackball Text Entry for People with Motor Impairments
Jacob Wobbrock, Carnegie Mellon University, USA
Brad Myers, Carnegie Mellon University, USA
This paper describes an innovative new method for entering text using a trackball, based on a non-trivial extension of the EdgeWrite method. Targeted at users with motor impairments, the paper provides a theoretical analysis of the method, a controlled laboratory study and a participatory design project with a user with a spinal cord injury, providing an excellent mix of theoretical, experimental and field studies.
CHI 2006 Award Nominees, awarded by SIGCHI:

Interweaving Mobile Games With Everyday Life
Marek Bell, University of Glasgow, UK
Matthew Chalmers, University of Glasgow, UK
Louise Barkhuus, University of Glasgow, UK
Malcolm Hall, University of Glasgow, UK
Scott Sherwood, University of Glasgow, UK
Barry Brown, University of Glasgow, UK
Duncan Rowland, University of Lincoln, UK
Steve Benford, University of Nottingham, UK
Alastair Hampshire, University of Nottingham, UK
Mauricio Capra, University of Nottingham, UK
This paper connects playing a mobile, multi-player game with helping people more accurately understand the invisible geography of wireless access across their urban landscapes. Studying how people played the game over a week demonstrated how people integrated the game into everyday life, raising designing implications for mobile and pervasive experiences.
Fast, Flexible Filtering with Phlat — Personal Search and Organization Made Easy
Edward Cutrell, Microsoft Research, USA
Daniel Robbins, Microsoft Research, USA
Susan Dumais, Microsoft Research, USA
Raman Sarin, Microsoft Research, USA
This paper shows how an end-user documentation tool based on programming by demonstration was enthusiastically received by both the individuals who used the tool to create documentation and the individuals who used that documentation. The paper shows significant improvements in speed and avoidance of critical errors for users of documentation created with the tool.
Desperately Seeking Simplicity: How Young Adults with Cognitive Disabilities and Their Families Adopt Assistive Technologies
Melissa Dawe, University of Colorado, Boulder, USA
This paper presents interviews with families with young adults with cognitive disabilities, illustrating the differences in selection and adoption of technologies between stakeholders and caregivers in the young adult's life. A deeper understanding of the competing criteria in stakeholder reasoning that lead to selection, adoption and accommodation of assistive technologies is offered.
Implications for Design
Paul Dourish, University of California, Irvine, USA
This paper explores the potential relationship between ethnography and more traditional HCI, examining how design can benefit from ethnographic studies beyond simply reacting to a set of "design recommendations". The paper argues that the CHI review criteria conflict with the more analytic tradition associated with ethnography, limiting the potential for such studies to positively influence design.
"Alone Together?" Exploring the Social Dynamics of Massively Multiplayer Online Games
Nicolas Ducheneaut, Palo Alto Research Center, USA
Nicholas Yee, Stanford University, USA
Eric Nickell, Palo Alto Research Center, USA
Robert J. Moore, Palo Alto Research Center, USA
This paper presents a longitudinal empirical study of a Massively Multiplayer Online Game (MMOG) by analyzing actual usage logs of a game. A more refined understanding of the social nature of these games (more for audience than for collaboration) is articulated, suggesting implications for the design of social interaction in these games.
Generating Automated Predictions of Behavior Strategically Adapted to Specific Performance Objectives
Katherine Eng, NASA Ames Research Center, USA
Richard L. Lewis, University of Michigan, USA
Irene Tollinger, NASA Ames Research Center, USA
Alina Chu, University of Michigan, USA
Andrew Howes, Manchester University, UK
Alonso Vera, NASA Ames Research Center, USA
This paper presents a new cognitive modeling approach that can generate predictions of the strategies users will adopt in order to meet objectives such as speed or accuracy in a task's performance. It therefore offers the prospect of evaluating interfaces in terms of their ability to support such objectives, avoiding the need to specify precise sequences of operation.
Finding Design Qualities in a Tangible Programming Space
Ylva Fernaeus, Stockholm University, Sweden
Jakob Tholander, Stockholm University, Sweden
This paper develops a method for children to design their own computer game system using tangible interface technology. Their experiences led to the idea of using objects as resources for activities and actions, rather than information.
The Impact of Delayed Visual Feedback on Collaborative Performance
Darren Gergle, Carnegie Mellon University, USA
Robert E. Kraut, Carnegie Mellon University, USA
Susan R. Fussell, Carnegie Mellon University, USA
This paper investigates the impact of delayed visual feedback and of task dynamics on the collaborative performance of workers and helpers in a distributed setting of puzzle solving. Designers of collaborative systems may use the results to consider tradeoffs between latency and complexity in designing solutions to distributed collaborative systems.
Providing Support for Adaptive Scripting in an On-Line Collaborative Learning Environment
Gahgene Gweon, Carnegie Mellon University, USA
Carolyn Rose, Carnegie Mellon University, USA
Zachary Zaiss, Carnegie Mellon University, USA
Carey Regan, Carnegie Mellon University, USA
This paper describes a series of three controlled experiments that explore on-line learning and the potential benefits of automatic prompting. It shows the importance of a well-structured infrastructure for supporting on-line collaborative learning and offers insights into how students can work together effectively in extended on-line discussions.
Prototyping and Sampling Experience to Evaluate Ubiquitous Computing Privacy in the Real World
Giovanni Iachello, Georgia Institute of Technology, USA
Khai Truong, Georgia Institute of Technology, USA
Gregory Abowd, Georgia Institute of Technology, USA
Gillian Hayes, Georgia Institute of Technology, USA
Molly Stevens, Logical Design Solutions, USA
The paper introduces a new formative evaluation method, called paratypes, for studying ubicomp systems that are mobile, heavily contextualized, and social. With it, people are surveyed in real-life situations in which they would have actually encountered the proposed new potentially privacy-invading technology, allowing the participants' attitudes about privacy to be collected efficiently and effectively.
The Sensual Evaluation Instrument: Developing an Affective Evaluation Tool
Katherine Isbister, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, USA
Kristina Höök, Swedish Institute for Computer Science, Sweden
Michael Sharp, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, USA
Jarmo Laaksolahti, Swedish Institute for Computer Science, Sweden
This paper describes the design of an innovative set of sculpted plastic shapes as an instrument for describing affective experiences. Their experiences in exploring the shapes' characteristics demonstrate the importance of developing non-verbal, trans-cultural methods for representing user affect.
Evaluating Interfaces for Privacy Policy Rule Authoring
Clare-Marie Karat, IBM T.J. Watson Research Center, USA
Carloyn Brodie, IBM T.J. Watson Research Center, USA
John Karat, IBM T.J. Watson Research Center, USA
Jinjuan Feng, University of Maryland Baltimore County, USA
The authors have conducted a clear and well-designed evaluation of a prototype "privacy policy workbench" application. This research shows how to develop applications that can more effectively support the development of verifiable/auditable privacy policy statements by users who are not privacy specialists.
FaThumb: A Facet-based Interface for Mobile Search
Amy Karlson, University of Maryland, USA
George Robertson, Microsoft Research, USA
Daniel Robbins, Microsoft Research, USA
Mary Czerwinski, Microsoft Research, USA
Greg Smith, Microsoft Research, USA
The paper presents a design for navigating large content collections with small devices by allowing users to define metadata-based queries for browsing. The paper then presents results from an experimental evaluation of the interface, comparing its browsing and searching modes and providing insight about tasks for which the new technique is effective.
Making Action Visible in Time-Critical Work
Jonas Landgren, Viktoria Institute, Sweden
This paper presents a clearly written, detailed account of emergency response procedures in fire crews. The observations point out the importance of in-the-moment and post-hoc accountability in this domain, and, in so doing, pose challenging questions for technology designers.
Investigating Health Management Practices of Individuals with Diabetes
Lena Mamykina, Siemens Corporate Research Inc., USA
Elizabeth D. Mynatt, Georgia Institute of Technology, USA
David R. Kaufman, Columbia University, USA
This paper used qualitative and quantitative methods to collect a rich set of data and observations around health monitoring in the home. It shows how an empirically grounded understanding of the challenges in monitoring health activities in the real world can inform the design of tools to support those activities.
The Effect of Speech Recognition Accuracy Rates on the Usefulness and Usability of Webcast Archives
Cosmin Munteanu, University of Toronto, Canada
Ronald Baecker, University of Toronto, Canada
Gerald Penn, University of Toronto, Canada
Elaine Toms, Dalhousie University, Canada
David James, University of Toronto, Canada
The authors have conducted an important experiment that establishes minimum levels of accuracy that will make automatic speech recognition useful for navigating transcriptions of webcasts. This result is particularly timely given the growing availability and use of webcasts in research and education.
"LINC-ing" the Family: The Participatory Design of an Inkable Family Calendar
Carman Neustaedter, University of Calgary, Canada
A.J. Bernheim Brush, Microsoft Research, USA
The authors describe a family calendar application whose design is based on a careful literature review, interface mock-ups and prototypes. It makes well- grounded contributions to the existing literature on family calendaring, and is a valuable case study in how to develop design guidelines from ethnographic work.
Remote Usability Evaluations With Disabled People
Helen Petrie, University of York, UK
Fraser Hamilton, Designed for All, UK
Neil King, Designed for All, UK
Pete Pavan, Designed for All, UK
Remote usability evaluation is becoming increasingly commonplace. This paper offers a clear description of remote evaluation techniques with disabled participants, reminding us to be cautious about what can and cannot be claimed from such studies.
An Evaluation of Using Programming by Demonstration and Guided Walkthrough Techniques for Authoring and Utilizing Documentation
Madhu Prabaker, Carnegie-Mellon University, USA
Lawrence Bergman, IBM TJ Watson Research Center, USA
Vittorio Castelli, IBM TJ Watson Research Center, USA
This paper presents a user study which shows significant benefits to using an end-user documentation system based on programming by demonstration and guided walkthrough, as opposed to simple word-processing documentation. In addition, the results are of interest to anyone creating programming by demonstration systems, even if they are not used for documentation.
Routine Patterns of Internet Use and Psychological Well-being: Coping With a Residential Move
Irina Shklovski, Carnegie Mellon University, USA
Robert Kraut, Carnegie Mellon University, USA
Jonathon Cummings, Duke University, USA
A study was conducted of internet use by people experiencing a particular form of major life event -- a change of residence. Among those who reported high levels of depression after the event, women decreased their communication-related internet use, and men increased their use for entertainment.
Time is of the Essence: An Evaluation of Temporal Compression Algorithms
Simon Tucker, Sheffield University, UK
Steve Whittaker, Sheffield University, UK
This paper contributes to the existing data on comprehensibility of temporal compression algorithms. Based on previous work, the authors follow an exemplary analytic and empirical process and demonstrate that excision techniques are more comprehensible than standard compression techniques.
Improving Accessibility of the Web with a Computer Game
Luis von Ahn, Carnegie Mellon University, USA
Shiry Ginosar, Carnegie Mellon University, USA
Mihir Kedia, Carnegie Mellon University, USA
Manuel Blum, Carnegie Mellon University, USA
The paper describes a computer game that encourages players to enter descriptions of online images, by awarding points to the describer whose sentence is the first to guide a seeker to that particular image. The game has the potential to add textual annotations to images on websites, and thus enable the visually impaired to hear the descriptions with the aid of a speech synthesizer.
Verbosity: A Game for Collecting Common-Sense Facts
Luis von Ahn, Carnegie Mellon University, USA
Mihir Kedia, Carnegie Mellon University, USA
Manuel Blum, Carnegie Mellon University, USA
This work takes the tedious process of collecting common-sense facts for an AI system and transforms it into an internet-based computer game. It taps into the knowledge and mental energy that is available on the internet to help solve the problem. Preliminary evaluation suggests that the game is fun and the resulting facts are accurate.
Synchronous Broadcast Messaging: The Use of ICT
Justin D. Weisz, Carnegie Mellon University, USA
Thomas Erickson, IBM T. J. Watson Research Center, USA
Wendy A. Kellogg, IBM T. J. Watson Research Center, USA
This paper provides an in-depth look at the use of the ICT broadcast messaging system within a large organization. The paper provides a compelling adoption story supported with interesting descriptions of users' activities and motivations, the costs and benefits of its use, and clear, actionable insights about the design and deployment of such systems.
Dispelling "Design" as the Black Art of CHI
Tracee Vetting Wolf, IBM Research Watson, USA
Jennifer A. Rode, University of California, Irvine, USA
Jeremy Sussman, IBM Research Watson, USA
Wendy A. Kellogg, IBM Research Watson, USA
This paper offers insights into the debate about "design" within the CHI community, delving into what is often considered a "black art" by researchers and engineers. The authors argue that creative design is an intellectually rigorous process with a long respected history and must be better understood and actively incorporated into a multi-disciplinary user-centered design process.
Do Security Toolbars Actually Prevent Phishing Attacks?
Min Wu, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA
Robert Miller, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA
Simson Garfinkel, Harvard University, USA
The authors have conducted some cleverly-designed experiments to test the effectiveness of security toolbars and other techniques for countering 'phishing' attacks. Users were found to rely more on web content than on toolbar warnings to judge authenticity, and spoofing attacks succeeded in more than 30 percent of cases, leading the authors to question the techniques' effectiveness and suggest a number of useful guidelines for preventing attacks.