home page (where you are) | cfp | agenda

Beyond the Click: Interaction Design and the Semantic Web

First International Workshop on Interaction Design and the Semantic Web
held in conjunction with the World Wide Web Conference, 2004, NY NY
Workshop Date: May 18, 2004

Special Guests:
HCI Guru Ben Shneiderman and Semantic Web Ontologist James Hendler

News, May 6, 04:

Program and Papers

The Workshop Agenda and links to papers and posters is now available, featuring the following special session:

Special Afternoon Session

Balancing Human Control and Automation: A Tale of Two Perspectives in a Case Study and Thought Experiment of Web-based Photo Annotation.
Lead by Web Ontologist, James Hendler and HCI Guru, Ben Shneiderman

Following from the morning's presentations, Ben and Jim will situate the afternoon's discussion by presenting a communal design problem: annotating and then repurposing photos in a Semantic Web context. They'll kick of the discussion with their visions of how user interfaces for the Semantic Web might help users accomplish tasks related to photo collections. They will each present some examples of what we would like to see and then comment on each other, then invite the audience to participate.

Please take a look at the program. Our plans are to have a participant-lead, discussion-oriented day. If you have not submitted a paper or poster, you are still warmly encouraged to participate.

We will also have a drop-in poster space available for participants who wish to join the discussion and present some of their ideas to the group.


  • Through a discussion between interaction design and Semantic Web researchers, to explore the specific research issues for interaction design in the Semantic Web space.
  • To build bridges for collaboration between interaction design and Semantic Web researchers.


On the Web, we either type in keywords for searching, and then click through the list of links that result, or we click through a variety of links in a given page in order to navigate to other, discrete pages linked to that page.

The Semantic Web has been defined as " an extension of the current web in which information is given well-defined meaning, better enabling computers and people to work in cooperation." As such, this next generation Web offers the possibility to expand the kinds of interactions possible with Web-delivered information. Rather than being constrained to search for pre-existing resources, and to click through the resulting list, we can interact with information, to construct new information and build knowledge. With the Semantic Web, it becomes possible to represent knowledge domains and interact with them. How shall we interact with them?

Semantic Web researchers have been working on the enabling models and technologies for the Semantic Web. Semantic Web applications are still relatively new ideas (the first Semantic Web Challenge - to assess the best extant Semantic Web application just happened in Sept. 2003). The current model for most semantic web applications, however, is the clickable list of the Web.

The click is not yet cast in Semantic Web stone. Now is the opportunity to look at how it may be possible to leverage semantically structured information to bring interaction design principles like focus plus context to this evolution of the Web. Examples like Flamenco, Topia and CS AKTive Space are early efforts at blending specific exploration goals together with well-associated, contextual information.

Likewise, for automating the deployment of rich UIs, we may be able to derive formalisms like polyarchy visualizations or mSpaces from the structured affordances of the Semantic Web that can be designed into APIs. The Web's technology is evolving with Semantic Web; the interaction must evolve, too.

This workshop is an opportunity for Interaction Design and Semantic Web researchers to meet and explore what is interesting and what is possible, to exchange problem cases from knowledge building tools for non-specialists to application affordances for generic browsers to formal interaction models for representing semantically associated information.

The goal of the workshop is to share ideas, experiences and to chart new territory, and especially to create opportunities for collaboration among research communities. In particular, we want

  1. to begin to define what are the particular attributes of the Semantic Web that we can specify new research challenges for Interaction Designers.
  2. to create an ongoing bridge between research communities.

Target Audience:

The Interested

  • If you are a Semantic Web researcher, interested in exploring collaboration with interaction/user interface researchers, please come and bring your interaction problems, questions, ideas.
  • If you're a Interaction/UI/HCI/CSCW researcher, interseted in learning about this new domain, this is a great place to meet the people in the neighborhood.
  • if you're a software engineer or hypertext researcher, interested in new systems, your contributions to the discussions are most welcome.

The Experienced

  • interaction design interested in network-based information systems who are working in the Semantic Web space
  • Semantic Web researchers investigating applications for real users.

Workshop Organizers and Program Committee

m.c. schraefel, IAM Group, U of Southampton, and
Lynda Hardman, CWI, co-chairs
Carole Goble, U of Manchester
Jennifer Golbeck, U of Maryland
Dennis Quan, IBM

Jim Hendler and Ben Shneiderman,
executive producers