The International Symposium on End-User Development (IS-EUD) took place between June 7th and June 10th in Torre Canne, Italy. A definition of EUD can be found on the official EUD website:
End-User Development (EUD) offers lightweight, use-time support which allows end users to configure, adapt and evolve software themselves. Traditional Software Engineering approaches reach their limits whenever the full spectrum of user requirements cannot be anticipated or the frequency of changes cannot be accommodated by traditional processes. EUD refers to a set of methods, techniques, and tools that allow users acting as non-professional software developers to create, modify or extend a software artifact.
In a nutshell, end-users are enabled to program or configure their software according to their own needsÂ (more than just changing options or adding plugins). As end-users are not experienced programmers they need user-friendly interfaces to adapt their software (think of visual programming languages, macro’s, etc.).
Given the focus on end-users and software development, I submitted a short paper (about Sub Project B) to the doctoral consortium (DC) of this symposium. The DC is an opportunity for PhD students to present and discuss their work in progress with peers. In the short paper, the general research approach and the results of the first VR case study were outlined. The first day of the symposium was reserved for the DC (and workshops), so I had to present and discuss my work at the first day. The presentation and discussion were quite useful and inspiring, but mainly on a research level. In the current stage of my research EUD is not really relevant yet (it is more towards User Centred Design and Participatory Design, which was also pointed out during the discussion afterwards) because the focus is not on developing actual software tools (yet). Nevertheless, EUD principles are good to keep in mind when developing future VR tools, because it could potentially help with creating generic tools that can be customised by the end-users (product designers) to match their specific applications.
I spent the remaining days on visiting the paper presentation sessions where I came across various other interesting projects. Some were quite similar to our own Sketchify, so it would be good for Sub Project A to at least go through the proceedings.