Eurographics UK Chapter

EG-UK'99, Cambridge

17th Annual Conference

Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge

13-15 April 1999

Abstract: First Keynote Speaker.

Steps Toward Digital Convergence: The Single Creative App

Alvy Ray Smith, Microsoft Graphics Fellow

The history of the last 50 years of computers is that of one domain after another being shown computable and then offered to the world in the form of a software application. It is no surprise to this group that the creation of pictures and sound is a set of such domains. It is further unsurprising that all the different modalities of creation could be brought together - the so-called digital convergence of media. Since it is possible, then why hasn't it happened? I will discuss the vision of The Single Creative App and a model for realizing it. Then I will explain the roadblocks barring full realization, some of which will probably surprise and dismay you. Some are technical and others, unfortunately, political in nature. I will also immodestly demonstrate a recent advance on the problem which at best highlights how far we still are from the goal.

Abstract: Second Keynote Speaker.

What's the payoff for the user?
The critical parameters of interactive performance

William Newman, Xerox Research Centre Europe

Interactive systems pay their way, ultimately, by enabling people to perform their work better and with less effort. A lot of design ingenuity goes into addressing the 'better' requirement, often with the goal of radically changing work practice. Meanwhile little attention is paid to the 'less effort' side -- to improving work performance. The main underlying reason is designers' lack of means to measure whether the performance of work has been improved. This talk will explain how this has come about, why product usability testing is not the answer, and how the identification of application-specific critical parameters could be crucial, enabling designers to deliver real performance improvements to the user.