Best Paper Awards for the iSchool at CHI

The Association for Computing Machinery’s CHI is the world's premiere conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, presenting a highly selective showcase of the very best advances across the disciplines of computer science, cognitive psychology, design, social science, human factors, artificial intelligence, graphics, visualization, multi-media design and other disciplines.

Only the top 1% of the 2150 papers submitted for CHI 2015 achieved a Best Paper designation and the iSchool was represented this year. 

Ph.D. student Amanda Menking and Ingrid Erickson (Rutgers University)’s won Best Paper for “The Heart Work of Wikipedia: Gendered, Emotional Labor in the World’s Largest Online Encyclopedia. Menking and Erickson explore the issue of women’s participation in Wikipedia through the lens of emotional labor. Using a grounded theory approach, they detailed the kinds of tasks women Wikipedians choose to do and explore why they choose the work they do. They also explore the emotional costs of their labor and their strategies for coping. Their analysis of 20 interviews lead them to posit that the gendered and emotional labor required of many women to participate in Wikipedia’s production renders it, problematically, a space of conflicting public and private spheres, motivated by antithetical open and closed values. In addition to other contributions, they believe this insight sheds light on some of the complex dynamics behind Wikipedia’s observed gender gap. 

iSchool alumna Pamit Chilana, Ph.D. 13 (University of Waterloo), Andy Ko, and Jake Wobbrock’s paper “From User-Centered to Adoption-Centered Design: A Case Study of an HCI Research Innovation Becoming a Product” won a Best Paper. Chilana, Ko and Wobbrock present an in-depth case study of how an HCI research innovation goes through the process of transitioning from a university project to a revenue-generating startup financed by venture capital. The innovation is a novel contextual help system for the Web, and they reflect on the different methods used to evaluate it and how research insights endure attempted dissemination as a commercial product. Although the extent to which any innovation succeeds commercially depends on a number of factors like market forces, they found that their HCI innovation with user-centered origins was in a unique position to gain traction with customers and garner buy-in from investors. However, since end users were not the buyers of our product, a strong user-centered focus obfuscated other critical needs of the startup and pushed out perspectives of non-user-centered stakeholders. To make the research-to-product transition, they had to focus on adoption-centered design, the process of understanding and designing for adopters and stakeholders of the product. Their case study raises questions about how to evaluate the novelty and research contributions of HCI innovations with respect to their potential for commercial impact.

The theme for CHI 2015 is "Crossings": crossing borders, crossing boundaries, crossing disciplines, crossing people and technology, crossing past and future, crossing physical and digital, crossing art and science. It will take place in Seoul, Korea, April 18-23.

View the Best of CHI here.