Personal Information Ecosystems: Design Concerns for Net-Enabled Devices"

Speaker: Dr. Manuel Pérez-Quiñones
Location: 1127 VTKnowledgeworks (CRC)
Date: Friday, October 24, 2008
Time: 10:45AM
Sponsor: CHCI Student Seminar Series

Today, with the proliferation of affordable computing, people use multiple devices to fulfill their information needs. However, designers approach each device platform individually, without accounting for the other devices that users may also use. In many cases, the applications on all the user's devices are designed to be functional replicates of each other, often with an emphasis on keeping their form and function consistent with one another. We argue that this emphasis on recreating consistent clones on each platform should not be the dominant concern for designers. In this presentation, we present the idea of a personal information ecosystem, an analogy to biological ecosystems, which allows us to discuss the inter-relationships among users devices to fulfill their information needs. Using the examples of now ubiquitous web technologies on different platforms, we discuss how considering the user's ecosystem of devices as a whole as a design target lends to better user experience and encourages designers to tackle the more important concern of seamless task migration across devices.

Speaker Bio:
Manuel A. Pérez-Quiñones is Associate Dean in Residence and Director of the Office for Diversity Programs at the Graduate School, and an Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Pérez-Quiñones holds a DSc. in Computer Science from The George Washington University. His research interests include human-computer interaction, personal information management, user interface software, digital government, and educational uses of computers. He is an NSF CAREER awardee, and for 2008-2010 has been included in the IEEE Computer Society Distinguished Visitor program. He is a member of the Coalition to Diversify Computing, where he co-directs the national program Collaborative Research Experience for Undergraduates in Computer Science and Engineering. He serves on the editorial board for the Journal on Educational Resources in Computing.