Madeira Usability and Software Encounters

The Madeira Usability and Software Encounters are annual events scheduled to facilitate creative interaction among Visiting Scholars as well as with members of Lab:USE and the faculty of the University. The program is intended to be a kind of mini-sabbatical, a retreat in a setting conducive to interaction, collaboration, research, and writing with time for reflection and recreation in beautiful Madeira. The purpose of the program is to encourage original contributions in design, computer science, and software engineering while also building the basis for on-going collaborations. Visiting Scholars are expected to generate at least one paper for publication as an outcome of their participation. During their stay, Visiting Scholars will have opportunities to share their work, particularly work-in-progress, with members of Lab:USE and to present a lecture or seminar to the larger University community.

MUSE 2009

MUSE 2009 happened from 6 to 14 of July. With our special guest, Donald Norman, we set out to undertake actual designs for useful and usable products or services. The application domain was chosen to support sustainable small-scale suburban and urban agriculture, everything from backyard “victory gardens” to rooftop vegetable patches to small farms sandwiched among housing developments. We studied various design methods and, with a large number of participants, we split up in three teams exploring various approaches, mostly in the domain of service design.


Click the images above to download the MUSE 2009 brochure and poster.

Click the image above to watch Don Norman's keynote speech "In favour of complexity".

Many of the Lab:USE joined MUSE 2009, with the following guests:

  • Don Norman, Northwestern University
  • Mark Gross, Carnegie Mellon University
  • John Zimmerman, Carnegie Mellon University
  • Alexandre Bernardino, Instituto Superior Tecnico
  • Rodrigo Ventura, Instituto Superior Tecnico
  • Alessio del Bue, Instituto Superior Tecnico
  • Giovanni Saponaro, Instituto Superior Tecnico
  • Lia Patricio, Universidade do Porto


MUSE 2008

MUSE 2008 took place from 24 June to 3 July 2008. This year, our intention with MUSE was to focus on preparing a competitive research proposal in the area of interactivity, based on the idea of using the island of Madeira as a lab to explore and research the many aspects related to interactivity, including technological, cultural, social, etc. The objective was to generate novel ideas that have the potential to be worked out into a feasible research proposal.

Apart from the members of Lab:USE, the following Visiting Scholars participated in MUSE 2008:

The general subject of MUSE 2008 was ‘Interaction for Sustainability’. The workshop has been very inspiring and productive, with numerous ideas emerging and four being elaborated into viable project proposals. A concise summary of the outcome of MUSE 2008 can be found in the following presentations:

MUSE 2007

The first Madeira Usability and Software Encounter was held on 18-29 June 2007. The participants in the first MUSE were:

  • Larry Constantine, Lab:USE
  • Dave Roberts, IBM Ease of Use
  • Helmut Windl, Siemens VDO Automotive
  • Elsa Golden, CMU/HCII
  • Lia Patrício, FEUP
  • Nuno Nunes, Lab:USE
  • Jos van Leeuwen, DAD/UMa
  • Eduardo Ferme, DME/UMa
  • Pedro Campos, Lab:USE
  • Leonel Nobrega, Lab:USE