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Computer-Human Interaction conference in NZ


Thursday 23 October, 2003
School of Computing and Mathematical Sciences
Te Kura Pütaiao Pängarau, Rorohiko

The University of Waikato
Private Bag 3105
New Zealand

Maree Talmage
PR & Marketing Coordinator

Computer-Human Interaction conference comes to New Zealand

For the first time in the eight-year history of the event, the Asia Pacific Computer-Human Interaction (APCHI) 2004 conference will be held in New Zealand.

Hosted by the Waikato University Computer Science department, APCHI 2004 will run from 29 June to 2 July 2004 in Rotorua and is the sixth biennial gathering of Computer-Human Interaction (CHI) experts in the region.

CHI research focuses on the human side of computing. Researchers and practitioners look at ways to reduce frustration and confusion often associated with technology by making sure interactive systems - ranging from desktop computers to mobile phones and DVD players - support user needs.

Conference Chair and senior computer science lecturer at Waikato University, Dr Matt Jones, says previous APCHI conferences had been held in Singapore, Sydney, Beijing and Japan.

"Major international companies like Nokia, Microsoft and Intel take usability very seriously and New Zealand businesses are also starting to become quite active in this field,” says Dr Jones.

“The APCHI conference will be an excellent opportunity for the world to see Kiwi innovation as well as enabling local organisations to get a wider perspective on the opportunities”.

The Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) research group at Waikato University will be taking the opportunity to introduce overseas visitors to a bit of Kiwi creativity, with current projects including photo and map browsing tools for handheld computers and mobile phones.

APCHI is considered to be the key usability and interaction design conference in the Asia Pacific region. The four-day conference will focus on emerging new technologies such as handheld devices and wearable computers, as well as looking at designing-in ease of use.

Dr Jones also expects there to be discussion of how human creativity and emotion can be incorporated into computer system development.

Keynote speakers already confirmed include Professor Don Norman and Dr Susan Dray, both from the USA (see attached biographies). Dr Jones expects to confirm more speakers over the coming months.

For more information on the conference, please see

Professor Don Norman
Professor Norman is one of the most respected and influential figures in interaction design, and his books are widely read in both commercial and academic circles. Currently Professor of Computer Science at Northwestern University and Professor emeritus at the University of California, San Diego, he has served as Vice President of the Advanced Technology Group at Apple Computer, and as an executive at Hewlett Packard. He is now a partner in the Nielsen-Norman group – a leading user experience consulting company.
Professor Norman featured in a BBC news article last week, which is accessible through this url:

Dr Susan Dray
As President of Dray & Associates, Inc., Dr Susan Dray consults internationally on interface design and usability. She specialises in international user studies, and has conducted user research in 17 countries, including one of the largest international usability evaluations ever done - studying 120 users in 8 countries in Europe and Asia.

Dr Dray was elected a Fellow of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society and was the North American editor of the prestigious international journal Behaviour and Information Technology. She currently edits the Business column of the Association for Computing Machinery's magazine, Interactions

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