Psychology of Design (PoD) Laboratory

CHI: Student Design Competition 2012

Our graduate students in the Master of Applied Science in Human Factors and Usability Testing program are representing Missouri Western at a premier international conference for the second year in a row!

Tyler Davis, Camie Steinhoff, and Mari Telan Vela were selected for the second round of the Computer-Human Interaction (CHI) student design competition. Their manuscript was chosen as one of the top 12 papers from around the world.

Camie Mari Tyler

CHI is the premier international conference of Human Factors in computing systems (established in 1982). It is attended by thousands of international attendees every year. According to Dr. Jeremiah Still, “The CHI student design competition has become an opportunity for companies to identify talented students.” Last year’s qualifying teams: University of Michigan, University of Washington, Iowa State University, Missouri Western State University, Indiana University, German University in Cairo, and Universidad Tecnologica de la Mixteca. It is clear by the academic participation and industry sponsors (e.g., Google, Microsoft, eBay, SAP, Bloomberg, Autodesk, etc) this is the place to shine!

This year’s design challenge was to create an object, interface, system, or service intended to help us develop our domestic experience as it relates to space, place, and threshold. Tyler, Camie, and Mari’s six page manuscript, MeCasa: A family virtual space, introduces a web site that encourages communication between displaced family members. Key design objectives were to: 1. Increase emotional connection, 2. Mimic privacy provided by an actual home, 3. Make the interaction fun and interesting to use. According to Tyler, “our web site could help family members that are separated geography feel more connected.” Mari, an international student, is personally motivated to find a solution to this year’s CHI design challenge. She claims, from personal experience, that current technology solutions (e.g., telephone or Skype) lack privacy, which is problematic. Her goal is to design a virtual family space, which affords real conversations.

In the second round our students will present posters at the conference in Austin, Texas. If they are selected as a final four team, they will have the opportunity to give a talk about their design. Their manuscript will be archived within the Association of Computing Machines (ACM) Digital Library.


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