New perspectives to improve quality, efficacy and appeal of HCI courses

Workshop at CHItaly 2015

Biannual Conference of the Italian SIGCHI Chapter

September 28 2015, Rome 


Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) is a socio-technological discipline concerned with the design, evaluation and implementation of interactive computing systems for human use and with the study of major phenomena surrounding them. Nowadays, the HCI has a greater relevance since the technology is pervasive and has a profound effect on the lives of all people in all areas, from work to leisure. For example, the HCI is essential in areas where it is important to prevent human errors in the use of technological tools in order to avoid catastrophic consequences: e.g., on -board computer of aircraft and vehicles, hospital equipment. However, today even if persons do not directly use a computer, their lives are affected in some way by the technology. ATM machines, train ticket vending machines, and hot drinks dispensing machines are just a few examples of computer interfaces a person uses in their daily activities. The HCI becomes an essential factor when designing any types of systems or interfaces and HCI principles should be considered in order to create intuitive, efficient and satisfying interfaces, from which it can strongly depend the success of that product on the market.

Although introductory courses in the disciplines of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) and Interaction Design are available in almost all degree courses in Computer Science, the training that in our country the designers of interactive systems traditionally receive is highly inappropriate, because it completely ignores the study of the use of the systems. Another issue is represented by the gap between what academia proposes and what industry actually applies. Practitioners, working in software development companies know the importance of usability and UX; however the integration of usability engineering methods into software development life cycles is seldom realized in industrial settings. This makes HCI skills unattractive to industry and little spendable by graduates. HCI researchers and practitioners are urged to deeply consider how to change this situation, devoting more attention on how to transfer academic work into practical value for industry.

HCI teachers are welcome at the workshop to report on their personal experience concerning HCI Education and to highlight the main challenges they deal with in teaching this discipline, in order to cope with the technology evolution and the difficulties of introducing HCI techniques in the real context of software companies developing interactive systems.

Workshop participants are expected to bring in their different perspectives from the areas of interaction design, mobile computing, museology, learning sciences, learning technologies, cultural heritage, creating an epistemically fluent ecology.

The participation of people teaching HCI and Interaction Design in degree courses different from Computer Science and Engineering is greatly appreciated.

Practitioners are warmly invited to provide hints on these issues from their point of view.


The workshop will last one day. The first part of the workshop will be dedicated to presentations contributed by participants; the second part will provide time for group discussions and activities on relevant issues raised by the presentations.


In order to attend the workshop, participants are invited to submit a document (max 2 pages) reporting: 
- contact information 
- a short description about their experience in the area of teaching and/or practicing HCI 
- the three grand challenges about teaching HCI

Contributions must be sent to: carmelo.ardito@uniba.it

- Deadline for submission: 14th July 2015
- Acceptance notification: 20th July 2015 
- Registration: [according to CHITALY 2015 registration] 
- Workshop date: September 28th 2015, Rome, Italy


Carmelo Ardito, University of Bari Aldo Moro, Italy 
Rosa Lanzilotti, University of Bari Aldo Moro, Italy 
Roberto Polillo, Università di Milano Bicocca, Italy
Lucio Davide Spano, Università di Cagliari, Italy
Massimo Zancanaro, Fondazione Bruno Kessler, Italy


The workshop will be hosted in the frame of the CHItaly 2015 conference, September 28-30, 2015. 

Look at the main conference web site for further information (http://www.sapienzaapps.it/chitaly2015/).