IWIPS stands for "International Workshop on Internationalisation of Products and Systems". The seeds for this workshop were sown during HCI 98 conference coffee breaks in Sheffield. UK. Elisa del Galdo and Girish Prabhu (2002 President and Treasurer, respectively) felt that special interest groups (SIGs) and sessions on Internationalisation at major conferences such as those held by the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (HFES), the Association for Computing Machinery Special Interest Group on Human-Computer Interaction (SIGCHI), and HCI International did not provide sufficient opportunity for the exchange of ideas specific to this field (del Galdo and Prabhu had been introduced in this context by Vanessa Evers, 2002 Secretary). At the same time, del Galdo and Prabhu felt that events such as the tutorials sponsored by the Localisation Industry Standards Association (LISA) and the independent UNICODE conferences were highly inclined towards implementation rather than behavioural issues. The idea that spawned IWIPS was to provide an open forum for individuals interested in a wide variety of Internationalisation issues, such as usability, product design, user interface design, ethnographic methods, and cultural data collection methods (to name a few), when designing and developing internationally marketed products and systems.
Since 1999 was Kodak Human Factors Lab's 40th anniversary, the lab sponsored IWIPS that year. As it has each year since, IWIPS invited academics, researchers, product developers, human factors specialist, and HCI specialist with an interest in Internationalisation and localisation issues in the following areas:
- Internationalization/localisation of software products, web applications, and hardware products
- Processes for producing international products
- Methodologies for the collection of international design data
- Methodologies for the evaluation of international products
- Addressing Cultural differences in product design
- Design of products for multilingual communities
- Using metaphors for international products
- Systems for adapting products
- Cultural attitudes towards technology
- Cultural bias and adaptation-Cultural diversity and unification
- Affect of technology on culture
- Global Culture vs. Local Culture on the Internet
- Technologies that enhance/aid the design of international products
The first workshop, IWIPS 1999, was held at the Rochester Riverside Convention Center, Rochester, NY, USA, during 20/22 May 1999. This workshop provided a mix of invited talks, refereed papers, and breakout discussions. There were multiple tracks on product design, user interface design, usability testing, web design, and cultural aspects of computing. Presenters at the workshop included well known academicians as well as researchers/designers from firms such as Nokia, Honeywell, Siemens, AT&T Labs, Microsoft, Lucent Technologies, and Eastman Kodak. Presenters at the 1999 workshop represented Taiwan, India, Mexico, Germany, Finland, United Kingdom, Canada and the USA. In subsequent years (to date, 2000, 2001 and 2002), the same pattern of interests and applications prevailed.
IWIPS is small by design, to maximize interpersonal networking and to promote shared experiences among delegates. The second IWIPS was held 3-5 July 2000, in Baltimore, Maryland USA. Beginning this year, the workshop was largely single track - meaning that everyone attended most events, rather than choosing among simultaneous alternatives. This provided a solid basis for later discussions and critiques among delegates. The 2001 event was sponsored by a variety of institutions with an interest in I18N and L10N, including Sun Microsystems, Eastman Kodak, Bell Atlantic, Cambridge Technology Partners, Loyola College in Maryland, J&A Global Software Solutions, and the localisation Industry Standards Association. It featured work in a wide variety of areas by presenters, discussants, and facilitators from more than seven countries, on four continents.
The 2002 workshop was held during mid-July at The Open University, in Milton Keynes, U.K. - the first to be held outside of the U.S. Past and future IWIPS workshops have taken place or are planned to be held in a variety of locations as detailed below:
- IWIPS 1999 in Rochester, New York, USA
- IWIPS 2000 in Baltimore, Maryland, USA
- IWIPS 2001 in Milton Keynes, UK
- IWIPS 2002 in Austin, Texas, USA
- IWIPS 2003 in Berlin, Germany
- IWIPS 2004 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
- IWIPS 2005 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands
- IWIPS 2007 in Merida, Mexico
- IWIPS 2010 in London, UK
As of the 2002 workshop, IWIPS was established as a not-for-profit corporation named Product Systems Internationalisation, Inc. (P&SI) under the tax laws of the U.S. Each year that IWIPS is held overseas, local chairs build upon this not-for-profit status to secure corporate and academic sponsorship for its activities. In the U.S., sponsorship contributions are tax-deductible under 501(c)6 provisions of applicable tax statutes.
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