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RE: state of the art

From: Duane Degler <ddegler@ipgems.com>
Date: Wed, 3 Sep 2008 02:47:35 -0400
To: <paola.dimaio@gmail.com>, <public-semweb-ui@w3.org>
Message-Id: <20080903064738.83A71D4001@mail.itcinternet.net>

Hi Paola,

There is a lot of substance in the space, although those of us in the SWUI
community have not yet made a concerted effort to collate (can I blame the
intrusion of the 'day job'?). Lloyd and I in particular are open for
volunteers to help with web collation activity - I have some initial designs
for restructuring existing material into a more coherent reference...

Here are some answers to your questions and some reference links, as they
may help inform your workshop. I would suggest that notes/outcomes from your
workshop are captured into the SWUI wiki, so our collective discussions are
more easily connected. Alongside the wiki is also the SWUI workshop archive:

First, SWUI/usability may or may not be 'notional.' To meet the real needs
of users with a formative technology, we have to consider the Process
challenge as much - or more - than the interaction technology or
'guidelines' challenge. Core usability and interaction design processes are
an important starting point, not yet well adopted in the relevant
communities. Do we need to re-invent that wheel? Also, you might want to
take a look at page 13 of "The Usability Imperative Inherent in the Semantic
Web" (2004),
.pdf. While now fairly old, a lot of the goals and questions remain relevant
for consideration when measuring the state of the art.

How do we understand and articulate people's goals and tasks in a way that
helps us identify the unique capabilities of the medium to respond? The
third SWUI workshop in 2006 was particularly rich in discussion of that
question. Unfortunately, we don't have a recording of the panel discussion
(a clear call-to-arms from Tim Berners-Lee, Nigel Shadbolt, Jim Hendler, and
David Karger, as well as Wendy Hall), but we do have papers from that
workshop focused on assessing usable design questions in particular.
Battle, "Preliminary Analysis of Users and Tasks for the Semantic Web,"
schraefel and Karger, "The Pathetic Fallacy of RDF,"
Heath, Domingue, Shabajee, "User Interaction and Uptake Challenges to
Successfully Deploying Semantic Web Technologies,"
Downey, "Designing Annotation Mechanisms with Users in Mind: A Paper
Prototyping Case Study from the Scientific Environment for Ecological
Knowledge (SEEK) Project,"
Wilson and schraefel, "mSpace: What do Numbers and Totals Mean in a Flexible
Semantic Browser,"

It is important to learn 'bottom up' from examples that people create to
solve real and perceived needs. I recently posted the slides for my annual
'guided tour' which has dozens of examples to explore for ideas and
In that presentation, I summarized one of the most significant outcomes from
the CHI2008 workshop and poster, the "Vision of rich context: formal,
social, personal, situational" (kudos to mc schraefel's position paper
delivery that sparked this... thanks mc!).
http://www.ipgems.com/present/swui_pres_2008.html#(11) (the 'state of the
future art' perhaps?).

The question we have asked for a few years is: "what problems might the sw
solve that existing technologies and methods struggle to solve - what's
unique?" The background paper supporting the CHI workshop (2008 in Florence)
was based on extensive discussions during and after the 2007 workshop on
just that question.
(Lloyd - help - is this link broken? http://swui.webscience.org/challenges)
also available in the ACM Digital Library:
I suspect that this can provide the basis of a short write-up on key issues.
I would also suggest the paper review criteria from the CHI workshop, which
were crafted to guide people in the things we felt were important

One other useful reference is a mindmap that grew out of a conversation of
the things we have to consider in the user interaction 'landscape' - and
where we were beginning to see research initiatives even in 2004 and 2005

I'm sorry this isn't a collated or definitive collection. I hope it helps.
There is important work to be done in:
- direction for researchers
- direction for practitioners
- understanding goals and significant contributions
- process awareness, both unique and adopted from existing practices
- communication and collaboration

Keep us posted on your workshop's progress and discussions!


> -----Original Message-----
> From: public-semweb-ui-request@w3.org 
> [mailto:public-semweb-ui-request@w3.org] On Behalf Of 
> paola.dimaio@gmail.com
> Sent: Tuesday, September 02, 2008 8:00 AM
> To: Dan Brickley
> Cc: public-semweb-ui@w3.org
> Subject: Re: state of the art
> Hi Dan
> thanks for reply
> sorry the scope of my q is not obvious (tunnel vision from my end)
> Semantic Web Usability state of the art
> Basically from what I see,  it is an  issue  - there is this 
> list, there have been events like the recent workshop in 
> Florence, people are paying attention to usability, but - 
> correct me if I am wrong - it is still notional, in the sense 
> that there are no 'guidelines' , and to some extent usability 
> of semantic technologies is still not 'defined', nor there 
> are methodologies to help developers face the challenges etc
> is it correct? can we say that the BOK in this domain is more 
> or less what is on the wiki that Max is migrating to semantic wiki?
> is there a write up anywhere that we can consider reasonably complete?
> I am asking all this, cause I am writing a paper for our 
> forthcoming workshop, and would like to start with a 'state 
> of the art' paragraph, and hoping to find something (that I 
> can agree with) to point to as reference.
> Hope its reasonably unpacked question
> cheers
> P
> On Tue, Sep 2, 2008 at 3:36 AM, Dan Brickley 
> <danbri@danbri.org> wrote:
> > paola.dimaio@gmail.com wrote:
> >>
> >> Greetings all
> >>
> >> is the a a SWUI state of the art summary anywhere? (hoping I dont 
> >> have to write it myself) :-)
> >
> > Can you describe what the art is that you'd like summarised?
> >
> > cheers,
> >
> > Dan
> >
> > ps. I'd consider http://mqlx.com/~david/parallax/ pretty 
> SOTA w.r.t. 
> > UI for RDFish data
> >
> --
> Paola Di Maio
> School of IT
> www.mfu.ac.th
> *********************************************
Received on Wednesday, 3 September 2008 06:48:22 UTC

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