The International Institute for Socio-Informatics (IISI) was founded to investigate into the design of computer applications in support of social systems, with particular consideration on ethical, legal and social aspects. An interdisciplinary group of researchers, who have built up expertise in the areas of user-centered technology development, participation research and ELSI over many decades, conducts research on issues at the intersection of computer science, sociology, psychology, education and economics.
The institute is mainly focused on the following topics:
- User-centered technology development,
- networked learning and knowledge management,
- Ethical, legal and social aspects of technology design,
- computer-aided group work,
- integrated organisational and technical development,
- electronic democracy and
- Human-machine interaction.
The experts working for IISI have extensive experience in the fields of CSCL (computer supported cooperative learning), PD (participatory design) and HCI (human computer interaction). In the field of CSCL, televised lectures and teleseminars via the Internet have been held so far, in which seven German universities participated over two semesters. Furthermore, IISI initiated the first German CSCL conference (D-CSCL 2000), which took place in Darmstadt on March 23 and 24, 2000. In the field of PD we have many years of experience with user-oriented system design, especially in the area of groupware. We have developed various applications according to the specific requirements of users from the industrial, public administration and service sectors. Within these projects the main focus was always on the design of human-machine interaction. We have particular experience in the areas of learnability and tailorable design of user interfaces.