The ACM SIGDOC 2011 conference ( was held in Pisa, Italy, this past October. The Proceedings of the 29th ACM International conference on Design of Communication are now available via the ACM-DL (Digital Library) at I’d like to extend my sincere thanks and appreciation to our conference organizers, in particular Aristidis Protopsaltis and Nicola Spyratos (Conference Co-Chairs), Carlos Costa and Carlo Meghini (Program Co-Chairs), and Francesca Borri (Local Arrangements). The arrangements provided by the Hotel Continental in Tirrenia were first rate and comfortable, the weather was perfect, and the conference large enough to invite a broad range of papers and small enough to encourage lively conversations and collaborations.

Our conference team brought together two excellent guest speakers for the conference. Dr. Pamela M. Kato (University Medical Center Utrecht, the Netherlands) presented on serious games and how they can be used for education and training. Dr. Kato played a critical role in the design, development, and evaluation of the Re-Mission video game for young cancer patients ( and is currently serving as an Advisory Board Member for the European “Games for Health Europe” Commission. Dr. Constantine Stephanidis, Professor of Computer Science at the University of Crete, Director of the Institute of Computer Science, Head of the Human-Computer Interaction Laboratory, and of the Center for Universal Access and Assistive Technologies, and Head of the Ambient Intelligence Programme at ICS-FORTH. spoke about natural interaction in ambient intelligent environments. Ambient Intelligence (AmI) environments emphasize the diversity of user needs, the dynamic nature of context, and the multifaceted characteristics of interactive technologies. AmI environments highlight the importance of important issues such as privacy, accessibility, security, and safety.

SAP was the 2011 recipient of the prestigious Association for Computing Machinery Special Interest Group on Design of Communication (ACM SIGDOC) Diana Award. The Diana Award is named after Diana Patterson, past President of ACM SIGDOC. Every two years, the ACM SIGDOC gives the Diana Award to an organization, institution, or business that has made an outstanding life-time contribution to the field of communication design. Previous Diana Award winners include Adobe, IBM, RPI, W3C, Carnegie Mellon’s Communication Design Center, Apple, MIT Press, and Xerox Parc. The contributions that single SAP out for the award were numerous. SAP’s history of providing creative support for users of their enterprise software applications includes, for example, offering comprehensive training for its customers and improved user interfaces back in the 1980s, expanding and collaborating to meet the localized needs of different countries and corporations in the 1990s, taking the lead on e-business solutions and tailored company portals at the turn of the century and, up to the present, winning numerous awards as best place to work while developing 360 customer environments that continue to engage their growing customer base.

We were honored, at ACM SIGDOC 2011, to have two representatives from SAP, Dr. Anja Kellerman and Dr. Sven Leukert, receive the Diana Award and to talk about communication design challenges and opportunities for the future. Dr. Anja Kellerman has a background in language training and linguistics and holds a PhD in sociolinguistics. She joined SAP in 1997 as a technical writer documenting financial business applications and has since moved into managing documentation projects and teams of technical writers and translators in various development areas of SAP. Today she is head of the knowledge management team in the development of areas that drive innovation and standardization for SAP. Dr. Sven Leukert has been with SAP since 1998, after completing his PhD in mathematics at UNC Chapel Hill in North Caroline (USA). At SAP, he started out in a product management role and, since, has moved into a management role, focusing on knowledge management, documentation, and translation. He is currently responsible for the technical documentation in the Technology and Innovation Platform board area, leading team around the globe.

For a more detailed view of the ACM SIGDOC 2011 conference schedule, seeĀ We had an excellent blend of professionals and academics and a wide range of international topics and projects were shared and discussed.

Recap from Pisa, Italy!
Tagged on: