Brad A. Myers, Human Computer Interaction Institute School of Computer Science Carnegie Mellon University
More Natural User Experiences for Design and Software Development

Abstract: In the past few decades there has been considerable work on empowering end users to be able to design and develop their own programs, and as a result, users are indeed doing so. In fact, we estimate that over 12 million people in American workplaces would say that they "do programming" at work, and almost 50 million people use spreadsheets or databases (and therefore may potentially program), compared to only 3 million professional programmers. The "programming" systems used by these end users include spreadsheet systems, web authoring tools, business process authoring tools such as Visual Basic, graphical languages for demonstrating the desired behavior of educational simulations, and even professional languages such as Java. The motivation for end-user programming is to have the computer be useful for each person's specific individual needs. While the empirical study of programming has been an HCI topic since the beginning the field, it is only recently that there has been a focus on the End-User Programmer as a separate class from novices who are assumed to be working to become professional programmers. Another recent focus is on making end-user programming more reliable, using "End-User Software Engineering." My talk will give a brief summary of some current and past research in the area of End-User Programming and End-User Software Engineering. For more information, see

About the Speaker: Brad A. Myers is a Professor in the Human-Computer Interaction Institute in the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University. He is an ACM Fellow, and a member of the CHI Academy, an honor bestowed on the principal leaders of the field. He is the principal investigator for the Natural Programming Project, and the Pebbles Handheld Computer Project and previously led the Amulet and Garnet projects. He is the author or editor of over 350 publications, including the books "Creating User Interfaces by Demonstration" and "Languages for Developing User Interfaces," and he has been on the editorial board of five journals. He has been a consultant on user interface design and implementation to over 60 companies, and regularly teaches courses on user interface design and software. Myers received a PhD in computer science at the University of Toronto where he developed the Peridot UIMS. He received the MS and BSc degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology during which time he was a research intern at Xerox PARC. From 1980 until 1983, he worked at PERQ Systems Corporation. His research interests include user interface development systems, user interfaces, handheld computers, programming environments, programming language design, programming by example, visual programming, interaction techniques, and window management. He is a Senior Member of the IEEE, and also belongs to SIGCHI, ACM, the IEEE Computer Society, and Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility.

About NPUC 2009: Software development and design has evolved from an arcane art practiced with exotic, obscure tools into a multi-billion dollar industry based on even more exotic and obscure tools. Given the advances that have been made in user interface technology and design processes, shouldn't we be able to create a better user experience for design and development?

At NPUC 2009, IBM Research - Almaden brought together innovators in academia and industry who are leading the way to a more natural, accessible, and social design and software development process . They explored how to help improve the productivity of current programmers and make creating software more accessible to a larger and more diverse population than ever before.

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