ERCIM News No.36 - January 1999

4th ERCIM Workshop on User Interfaces for All

by Constantine Stephanidis

The 4th workshop of the ERCIM Working Group on User Interfaces for All (UI4ALL) took place in Sweden 19-21 October 1998, in the rather arresting settings of the Stockholm urban archipelago in the former Långholmen jailhouse. The local organiser was Dr. Annika Waern, of the Swedish Institute of Computer Science (SICS). In addition to the wide ranging topics addressed annually, this year’s workshop focused on the special theme ‘Towards an Accessible Web’, and attracted considerable interest, within, but also beyond Europe.

The Workshop featured two invited speakers, both of them working in the field of Web accessibility and affiliated with the activities of W3C-WAI (Web Accessibility Initiative): Dr Daniel Dardailler, Project Manager of W3C-WAI, and Dr Michael Paciello, from the Yuri Rubinsky Insight Foundation, Canada, and the Web Able Solutions, USA.

The paper presentations and the discussions during the workshop covered a variety of related topics, including: Design Methodologies for Universal Access, Extending the Browser Metaphor, Adaptivity and Adaptiveness, WWW Browsers for All, Design Principles and Guidelines, and Information Filtering and Presentation.

The topics addressed current and on-going activities in the broader context of universal in the emerging Information Society. Particular reference was made to the aims and current achievements of the W3C-WAI, as well as on the results of the ACTS-AC042 AVANTI project, which, amongst other things, involved the development of an adaptable and adaptive Web browser (four ERCIM member organisations, CNR-IROE, GMD-FIT, VTT and FORTH-ICS have participated in the AVANTI consortium).

Following a stringent peer review process, the Workshop’s proceedings have included three main categories of articles accepted for publication: (a) 7 long papers, (b) 4 short papers, and (c) 4 position papers. Additionally 3 posters were presented during the interactive poster session at the Workshop. The proceedings of the Workshop are electronically available via the Web site of the ERCIM Working Group on ‘User Interfaces for All’.

In the morning of 21st of October 1998, the Annual General Meeting of the ERCIM UI4ALL Working Group was held at the same location. Following a review of recent progress in the field, the group focused on the opportunities for the submission of project proposals in the 5th Framework Programme, the planning of the next WG Annual Meetings, the prospect of cooperation with the DELOS WG for drafting a joint document (White Paper), and mechanisms for more systematic collaboration between the two ERCIM Working Groups.

The WG has confirmed the dates for the 5th Annual Workshop to be held in Germany (GMD), 3-5 November 1999; local organisers will be Alfred Kobsa and Michael Pieper. The first call for the 5th Annual Workshop will be out in January 1999, the second call in April 1999, and the deadline for paper submission will be 1st of July 1999. The WG has also decided to have its 6th Annual Workshop in Florence, Italy (CNR-IROE), in October 2000, and the local organiser will be Pier Luigi Emiliani.

Please contact:

Constantine Stephanidis - FORTH
Tel: +30 81 391741

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