This week I kicked off a module on HCI (with Daniel Rough) and a student emailed me to ask about extra activities becasue they were interested in HCI as a career. If you’re a student who is new to HCI and are looking for things to read, keep reading. This is most applicable to students at the University of Dundee, but there’s plenty for general interest.
For general HCI research, the best place to check out is the CHI conference – this is the biggest HCI conference and very highly rated. You can access the papers from this conference at the ACM digital library (https://dl.acm.org/doi/proceedings/10.1145/3313831). Some of it can be quite heavy reading if you are new to reading research work, so I suggest you start with some video presentations (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ntp3nSUglY0&list=PLqhXYFYmZ-VctgnS59-jZt13-yC4DXvGm). This is a playlist of all the presentations from the conference last year. Due to covid the authors recorded presentations – the upside is that they are now widely available. Just scan through and look for interesting titles. If the presentation is any good, then you can go and find the paper for more information.
For materials more specific to accessibility, the ASSETS conference is the place to look. This is a much smaller conference, but the main venue for accessibility related papers. The topics are more broad than the specific accessibility we cover at Dundee, which is good because you will get a wider feel for the research area. TYou can read the 2020 conference papers at: https://dl.acm.org/doi/proceedings/10.1145/3373625.
If you find any papers you are interested in, then you can do some more research into the authors (e.g., search for their Scholar profile at https://scholar.google.com/) to find out about their current stuff or previous topics.
In terms of industry, you will find that the big names in tech have a department focused on accessibility – see https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/accessibility as an example. You can search job listings to see what sorts of things are involved. More widely, you can search for roles as an accessibility consultant. In fact, the second assignment will replicate the type of work that an accessibility consultant will do day-to-day.
More generally in industry, the main terms to search for are user experience or user research. Most often, jobs involving HCI are labelled as UX in some way – industry seems more comfortable with that as a descriptor. Jobs tend to be very varied, ranging from purely interface design to usability research projects. The UX module in level 4 is a good introduction to this type of job – the book we use in that module is The Sprint Book. If you are a Dundee student you can access this as a downloadable pdf from the library website.
Finally, you can have a look at the general list of student projects offered in my lab (https://www.ux-d.co.uk/student-projects). If you find something that you want to look into more, then it might be a good thing to keep a note of to consider for your honours or MSc project. We are flexibile in the lab about what projects we supervise, but these should give you an idea about the types of things we are involved in.
That should be more than enough to get you started …😊
Let me know if you find anything interesting!