ISWC 2007 Tutorial Description

User-Centered Design for the Semantic Web

in conjunction with the 6th International Semantic Web Conference and
the 2nd Asian Semantic Web Conference, 2007

11 November 2007, Busan, Korea

Justification of the Tutorial

The past 3 years have seen an exponential increase in interest in user interaction aspects of the semantic web. This interest is reflected, for example, in the series of workshops on user interaction that have been held at the last few international semantic web conferences (e.g., SWUI 2006, the 3rd International Semantic Web User Interaction Workshop, held at ISWC 2006) and the Semantic Web User Interaction (SWUI) mailing list (see With some exceptions, however, the work in this area has been limited in two ways:

  1. Identification of general usability challenges. The focus so far in work on interaction design for the semantic web has been on usability opportunities: ways in which user interfaces can exploit the power of semantic web technologies to provide a better user experience. With a few exceptions (e.g., the first presenter’s keynote at ESWC 2006, available from there has not been much effort to formulate general usability challenges: general interaction design problems that need to be solved if systems based on semantic technologies are to be highly usable. A benefit of doing so is that design solutions worked out for one particular system can better be generalized to other systems for which the same challenge arises.
  2. Involvement of users in the design process. In the field of human-computer interaction, there exists a broad repertoire of methods for involving potential users in all phases of the process of designing interactive systems. These methods have relatively seldom been applied where semantic technologies are involved. In this area, user interaction design tends to be seen as a matter of a designing (presumably usable) interfaces on the basis of assumptions made by the system’s designer.
  3. The proposed tutorial aims to help interested participants to overcome these two limitations. We also hope that participants will pass on to colleagues and students some of what they have learned.