9am – 10.30am

Craft and Making 1


Gesture Interaction


Coffee Break
10.30am – 11am

11am – 12.30pm

Craft and making 2




12.30pm – 1.30pm

1.30pm – 3pm





Pictorials 3


Coffee Break
3pm – 3.30pm

3.30pm – 5pm

Closing Keynote


Evening Event
6pm – 9pm

DIS Closing Drinks in association with New Media Scotland

City Arts Centre :: 2 Market Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1DE

WEDNESDAY SESSION 1  ::   9am – 10.30am

Human Relationships 1 (Design)

Session Chair: Ron Wakkary

“Interview with Things”: A First-thing Perspective to Understand the Scooter’s Everyday Socio-material Network in Taiwan

Wen-Wei Chang, National Taiwan University of Science and Technology; Elisa Giaccardi, Delft University of Technology; Lin-Lin Chen, Rung-Huei Liang, National Taiwan University of Science and Technology.

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Keywords: Smart Mobility; Thing Ethnography; Scooter; Taiwan
Abstract: In the city, mobility is calling for new forms of smartness. To understand what is needed to design thoughtful forms of smart mobility, this paper combines thing ethnography and animistic research approaches to reveal the interwoven networks of personal and social relationships that develop around scooters in Taiwanese everyday life. To this end, a three-day study with six different types of scooterists was conducted in Taipei. Cameras and sensors were directly attached to the scooters themselves, to collect data from a ‘thing’ perspective. The data collected were then organized and offered to professional actors, who were invited to ‘speak’ on behalf of the scooters. Through the performance of the actors interpreting and empathizing with the scooter’s everyday life, intents, expectations and relationships between scooters and scooterists were revealed and captured. We further discussed how the socio-material networks among scooters could provoke various creative and meaningful arrangements in everyday life.

bestpaper “Against Marrying a Stranger”: Marital Matchmaking Technologies in Saudi Arabia

Adel Al-Dawood, University of Minnesota; Norah Abokhodair, University of Washington; Houda El mimouni, Drexel University; Svetlana Yarosh, University of Minnesota.

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Keywords: Culture in Computing; Saudi Arabia; Islam; Muslims; Social Computing; Matchmaking; Social Media; Arab Studies.
Abstract: Websites and applications that match and connect individuals for romantic purposes are commonly used in the Western world. However, there have not been many previous investigations focusing on cultural factors that affect the adoption of similar technologies in religiously conservative non-Western cultures. In this study, we examine the socio-technical and cultural factors that influence the perceptions and use of matchmaking technologies in Saudi Arabia. We report the methods and findings of interviews with 18 Saudi nationals (nine males and nine females) with diverse demographics and backgrounds. We provide qualitatively generated insights into the major themes reported by our participants related to the common approaches to matchmaking, the current role of technology, and concerns regarding matchmaking technologies in this cultural con-text. We relate these themes to specific implications for designing marital matchmaking technologies in Saudi Arabia and we outline opportunities for future investigations.

Navigating Media Use: Chinese Parents and Their Overseas Adolescent Children on WeChat

Rui Zhou, Zhonghe Wen, Muchao Tang, Betsy DiSalvo, Georgia Institute of Technology.

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Keywords: Media; computer-mediated communication; long-distance communication; China; WeChat; culture; parent-child relation; adolescents; young adults
Abstract: In many Chinese families, adolescent children are moving abroad to pursue higher education. Due to cultural issues and China’s One-Child Policy, parents have high expectations for their children and are willing to invest time and money to help them build a successful future. In this study, we interviewed 9 Chinese students in undergraduate or graduate programs in the US and 15 Chinese parents in China whose children are studying abroad about their family communications. Parents and students used a variety of media, and families negotiated how each medium was used. Most families eventually migrated to communicate through WeChat, the ubiquitous Chinese based cross-platform instant messaging service. The negotiation of what medium to use, how to use and when to use specific media was tied the students’ and parents’ goals to construct a positive presentation of self. Based upon these findings we offer design considerations for cross-cultural, family and intimate long-distance communication media.

Living Apart, Together: Cohousing as a Site for ICT Design

Tom Jenkins, Georgia Institute of Technology.

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Keywords: Domesticity; qualitative studies; design research; cohousing; intentional communities; values
Abstract: This paper presents qualitative studies of cohousing, a model where individual homes cluster around common space, share some meals weekly, and make community decisions together via consensus. It analyzes 80 descriptions of cohousing community websites to reveal the values common to cohousing, as well as site visits to three cohousing communities in the United States. These consist of tours, attending multiple common meals, and interviews with residents to gain insight into cohousing practices and experiences. The goal of this work is to understand how cohousing is lived and structured with an eye towards considering this model of living from an HCI perspective. Keeping that in mind, this paper concludes with a discussion of the relevance of cohousing to existing and emerging trends in HCI such as civics, technologies for building community, and how cohousing might unravel the concept of a “smart home.”

Craft & Making 1 (Studies)

Session Chair: Eva Hornecker

Do-It-Yourself Empowerment as Experienced by Novice Makers with Disabilities

Janis Meissner, Newcastle University; John Vines, Northumbria University; Peter Wright, Janice McLaughlin, Tom Nappey, Newcastle University; Jekaterina Maksimova, University of Dundee.

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Keywords: Making; DIY; disability; empowerment

Abstract: Recent HCI research has highlighted the potential afforded by maker technologies for supporting new forms of DIY Assistive Technology (DIY-AT) for people with disabilities. Furthermore, the popular discourse surrounding both the maker movement and disability is one of democratisation and empowerment. Despite this, critics argue that maker movement membership lacks diversity and that within DIY-AT, it is seldom the people with disabilities who are creating such designs. We conducted a qualitative study that explored how people with disabilities experience the empowering potential of making. We analysed online videos by makers with disabilities and conducted fieldwork at two makerspaces. These informed the design of DIY-Abilities, a series of workshops for people with disabilities in which participants could learn different maker technologies and complete their own maker project. Through analysis of participants’ narratives we contribute a new perspective on the specific social and material capacities of accessible maker initiatives.

Understanding Uncertainty in Measurement and Accommodating its Impact in 3D Modeling and Printing

Jeeeun Kim, University of Colorado; Anhong Guo, Carnegie Mellon University; Tom Yeh, University of Colorado; Scott Hudson, Jennifer Mankoff, Carnegie Mellon University.

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Keywords: Personal fabrication; 3D printing; measurement; uncertainty

Abstract: The growing accessibility of 3D printing to everyday users has led to the rapid adoption, sharing of 3D models on sites such as, and visions of a future in which customization is a norm and 3D printing can solve a variety of real-world problems. However, in practice, creating models is difficult and many end users simply print models created by others.

In this paper, we explore a specific area of model design that is a challenge for end users – measurement. When a model must conform to a specific real world goal once printed, it is important that that goal is precisely specified. We demonstrate that measurement errors are a significant (yet often overlooked) challenge for end users through a systematic study of the sources and types of measurement errors. We argue for a new design principle—accommodating measurement error—that designers, as well as novice modelers, should to use at design time. We offer two strategies—buffer insertion and replacement of minimal parts—to help designers, as well as novice modelers, to build models that are robust to measurement error. We argue that these strategies can reduce the need for and costs of iteration and demonstrate their use in a series of printed objects.

bestpaper Hackerspace Tropes, Identities, and Community Values

Austin Toombs, Newcastle University.

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Keywords: Hackerspace; maker space; hacker culture; email list; listserv; socio-technical communities.

Abstract: Hacking and making practices, participants, spaces, and communities have been of increasing interest to a range of fields that study the interactions between people and computing technologies. As these practices and community models are adopted into a variety of contexts, the need for a deeper understanding of the norms and values entangled in the hacker and maker movement has become clearer. In this study, I identify and analyze prominent topics discussed by hackerspace members and organizers on a popular hackerspace email list from 2008 to 2015. Through a thematic analysis, I identify common tropes—conversational shortcuts that refer to community narratives—that surface during these discussions. I then evaluate how these tropes, such as “every space is different,” “be excellent to each other,” and “hackers are critical thinkers,” are used to reinforce dominant hacker culture values. I conclude with implications for research on, and adoption of, hackerspace community models.

AnimaStage: Hands-on Animated Craft on Pin-based Shape Displays

Ken Nakagaki, Udayan Umapathi, Daniel Leithinger, Hiroshi Ishii, MIT Media Lab.

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Keywords: Animated Craft; Shape Display; Digital Puppet.

Abstract: In this paper, we present AnimaStage: a hands-on animated craft platform based on an actuated stage. Utilizing a pin-based shape changing display, users can animate their crafts made from various materials. Through this system, we intend to lower the barrier for artists and designers to create actuated objects and to contribute to interaction design using shape changing interfaces for inter-material interactions.

We introduce a three-phase design process for AnimaStage with examples of animated crafts. We implemented the system with several control modalities that allow users to manipulate the motion of the crafts so that they could easily explore their desired motion through an iterative process. To complement the animated crafts, dynamic landscapes can also be rendered. We conducted a user study to observe the subject and process by which people make crafts using AnimaStage. We invited participants with different backgrounds to design and create crafts using multiple materials and craft techniques. A variety of outcomes and application spaces were found in this study.

Gesture Interactions

Session Chair: Erik Grönvall

f3.js: A Parametric Design Tool for Physical Computing Devices for Both Interaction Designers and End-users

Jun Kato, Masataka Goto, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), Japan.

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Keywords: Integrated development environment; physical computing; parametric design; personal fabrication

Abstract: Although the exploration of design alternatives is crucial for interaction designers and customization is required for end-users, the current development tools for physical computing devices have focused on single versions of an artifact. We propose the parametric design of devices including their enclosure layouts and programs to address this issue. A Web-based design tool called f3.js is presented as an example implementation, which allows devices assembled from laser-cut panels with sensors and actuator modules to be parametrically created and customized. It enables interaction designers to write code with dedicated APIs, declare parameters, and interactively tune them to produce the enclosure layouts and programs. It also provides a separate user interface for end-users that allows parameter tuning and dynamically generates instructions for device assembly. The parametric design approach and the tool were evaluated through two user studies with interaction designers, university students, and end-users.

Exploring At-Your-Side Gestural Interaction for Ubiquitous Environments

Shaishav Siddhpuria, Keiko Katsuragawa, James Wallace, Edward Lank, University of Waterloo.

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Keywords: Smartwatch; Gestures; Ubiquitous Computing; Large Displays

Abstract: Free-space gestural systems are faced with two major issues: a lack of subtlety due to explicit mid-air arm movements, and the highly effortful nature of such interactions. With an ever-growing ubiquity of interactive devices, displays, and appliances with non-standard interfaces, lower-effort and more socially acceptable interaction paradigms are essential. To address these issues, we explore at-one’s-side gestural input. Within this space, we present the results of two studies that investigate the use of side-gesture input for interaction. First, we investigate end-user preference through a gesture elicitation study, present a gesture set, and validate the need for dynamic, diverse, and variable-length gestures. We then explore the feasibility of designing such a gesture recognition system, dubbed WatchTrace, which supports alphanumeric gestures of up to length three with an average accuracy of up to 82%, providing a rich, dynamic, and feasible gestural vocabulary.

Hands as a Controller: User Preferences for Hand Specific On-Skin Gestures

Idil Bostan, Oğuz Turan Buruk, Koç University; Mert Canat, KTH Royal Institute of Technology; Mustafa Tezcan,  Celalettin Yurdakul, Boston University; Tilbe Göksun, Oguzhan Ozcan, Koc University.

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Keywords: Mobile computing; on-skin input; touch input; skin gestures; elicitation study; two-hand input, free-hand interaction.

Abstract: Hand-specific on-skin (HSoS) gestures are a trending interaction modality yet there is a gap in the field regarding users’ preferences about these gestures. Thus, we conducted a user-elicitation study collecting 957 gestures from 19 participants for 26 commands. Results indicate that (1) users use one hand as a reference object, (2) load different meanings to different parts of the hand, (3) give importance to hand-properties rather than the skin properties and (4) hands can turn into self-interfaces. Moreover, according to users’ subjective evaluations, (5) exclusive gestures are less tiring than the intuitive ones. We present users’ subjective evaluations regarding these and present a 33-element taxonomy to categorize them. Furthermore, we present two user-defined gesture sets; the intuitive set including users’ first choices and natural-feeling gestures, and the exclusive set which includes more creative gestures indigenous to this modality. Our findings can inspire and guide designers and developers of HSoS.

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Keywords: Gesture Synthesis; Bootstrapping; Sigma-Lognormal Model; Gesture Path Stochastic Resampling; Rapid Prototyping

Abstract: Researchers are increasingly being concerned with the resemblance of synthetic gestures; i.e., how human-like they are, as perceived by end users. However, evaluations in this regard have been scarce and/or inconclusive. In this paper, we compared stroke gestures produced by two modern synthesizing techniques (GPSR and G3) against the same gestures produced by humans. We conducted an online study involving 623 participants, who provided binary assessments for near 6K gesture images. We found that it is difficult to tell human and synthetic gestures apart, but also that gestures synthesized with G3 are perceived as if they were human-generated more often than those synthesized with GPSR. Our results enable a deeper understanding of synthetic gestures’ production, which can inform the design of gesture interaction.

Coffee Break   ::   10.30am – 11am

WEDNESDAY SESSION 2  ::  11am – 12.30pm

Human Relationships 2 (Tech)

Session Chair: Carl DiSalvo

The Meaning of Place in Supporting Sociality

Ann Light, Kate Howland, Tom Hamilton, University of Sussex; David Harley, University of Brighton.

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Keywords: Sociality; location-based services; privacy; ticket to talk; community; ageing; aging; place, third age.

Abstract: While social isolation in an ageing population is a concern in many locations, it is greater in towns where divisive local geography and declining investment conspire against meeting places and mutual awareness. This research into the design of location-based tools to support sociality asks whether embedded digital tools that make neighbourhood activities and/or people’s movements more visible have the potential to increase serendipitous encounters and deepen a sense of community cohesion. Taking to the streets of a small town to explore if digital tools might improve the situation, we used participatory and provocation methods to inspire engagement with the theme and compare design concepts for sociality. Participants showed great passion for the town and its people, but also caution about publicly revealing even basic information, because of anticipated local consequences. They preferred an indirect approach. We use these insights to analyze “place” and discuss the specifics of designing for sociality in challenging contexts..

Designing Connections for Hearing Rehabilitation: Exploring Future Client Journeys with Elderly Hearing Aid Users, Relatives and Healthcare Providers

Anne Marie Kanstrup , Aalborg University;  Ariane Laplante-Lévesque, Sergi Rotger-Griful, Annette Cleveland Nielsen, Eriksholm Research Centre.

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Keywords: Connected Health; eHealth; Hearing Rehabilitation; Elderly People; Participatory Design

Abstract: Designing technology-mediated connections between patients, relatives and healthcare providers is a main focus of electronic healthcare (eHealth). Involving future users in the innovation and design of eHealth is important for understanding the complex socio-technical challenge of connecting key actors in health management. This paper presents the results of a research project on the design of eHealth solutions for hearing healthcare. We introduce a client journey perspective on hearing rehabilitation and present how we engaged elderly hearing aid users, relatives and healthcare providers in inventing future eHealth-assisted client journeys. Our analysis of this problem space presents a series of boundaries and barriers and possible bridges and connections for future hearing rehabilitation. We synthesise these results by developing an integrated model of the complex interplay between information, communication and learning among key actors in hearing rehabilitation and we outline four implications for design within this framework.

Creating Conditions for Patients’ Values to Emerge in Clinical Conversations: Perspectives of Health Care Team Members

Andrew Berry, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, United States; Catherine Lim, Andrea Hartzler, Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute; Tad Hirsch, University of Washington; Evette Ludman, Edward Wagner, James Ralston, Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute.

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Keywords: Values; multiple chronic conditions; patient-provider communication

Abstract: Eliciting, understanding, and honoring patients’ values—the things most important to them in daily life—is a cornerstone of patient-centered care. However, this rarely occurs explicitly as a routine part of clinical practice. This is particularly problematic for individuals with multiple chronic conditions (MCC) because they face difficult choices about how to balance competing demands for self-care in accordance with their values. In this study, we sought to inform the design of interventions to support conversations about patient values between patients with MCC and their health care providers. We conducted a field study that included observations of 21 clinic visits for patients who have MCC, and interviews with 16 care team members involved in those visits. This paper contributes a practice-based account of ways in which providers engage with patient values, and discusses how future work in interactive systems design might extend and enrich these engagements.

Digital Decoupling and Disentangling: Towards Design for Romantic Break Up

Daniel Herron, Wendy Moncur, University of Dundee; Elise van den Hoven, University of Technology Sydney.

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Keywords: Relationship break up; digital possessions; digital technologies; decoupling; disentangling; disconnecting; curation; management; technology use; guilt

Abstract: Romantic relationships are often facilitated through digital technologies, such as social networking sites and communication services. They are also facilitated through ‘digital possessions’, such as messages sent to mobile devices and photos shared through social media. When individuals break up, digitally disconnecting can be facilitated by using those digital technologies and managing or curating these digital possessions. This research explores the break up stories of 13 individuals aged between 18 and 52. The aim of this work is to inform the design of systems focused on supporting individuals to decouple and disentangle digitally in the wake of a break up. Four areas of interest emerged from the data: communication, using digital possessions, managing digital possessions, and experiences of technology. Opportunities for design were identified in decoupling and disentangling, and designing around guilt.

Craft & Making 2 (Outputs)

Session Chair: Austin Toombs

Articulating Challenges of Hybrid Crafting for the Case of Interactive Silversmith Practice

Vasiliki Tsaknaki, Ylva Fernaeus, KTH Royal Institute of Technology; Emma Rapp, Silversmith Artist, Stockholm; Jordi Solsona Belenguer, KTH – Royal Institute of Technology.

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Keywords: Hybrid crafting; interaction design; silversmith; metals.

Abstract: As interactive objects get embedded into different cultural contexts and take on more varied material forms, the relationship between interaction design and crafting practices in the physical domain is becoming increasingly interwoven. In this paper, we present an explorative project that involved intense collaborations between the areas of interaction design and silversmith practice. A main focus of the investigation concerned ways of surfacing conductive metals in interactive artefacts through the making of small, three-dimensional, and close-to-skin sensors. We reflect on insights made during this process, focusing on the challenges of combining the two knowledge areas on a level of materials, tools and techniques. In particular, we discuss qualities that silversmith crafting brings forth that can inform future directions of interaction design in terms of interaction gestalts, design values and hybrid crafting practices, more broadly.

Community Inventor Days: Scaffolding Grassroots Innovation with Maker Events

Nick Taylor, Loraine Clarke, Katerina Gorkovenko, University of Dundee.

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Keywords: Community; innovation; civic technology; hackathon; co-design; participatory design

Abstract: This paper describes a series of Inventor Days designed to catalyse sustainable relationships between communities and makers to support grassroots innovation. By appropriating core properties of hackathons, the Inventor Days brought together residents in a community and makers from across the city. Over three events, makers and community members worked together to learn about the local area, design novel ideas that addressed local issues and build prototypes. We show evidence that these events created enthusiasm around use of technology to support the community, while developing ongoing relationships that enabled members of the community to continue building on their experiences beyond the events. We propose this as a new means of enabling innovation in communities..

Machine Learning for Makers: Interactive Sensor Data Classification Based on Augmented Code Examples

David Mellis, Ben Zhang, UC Berkeley; Audrey Leung, Bjoern Hartmann, University of California.

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Keywords: machine learning, making

Abstract: Although many software libraries and hardware modules support reading data from sensors, makers of interactive systems often struggle to extract higher-level information from raw sensor data. Available general-purpose machine learning (ML) libraries remain difficult to use for non-experts. Prior research has sought to bridge this gap through domain-specific user interfaces for particular types of sensors or algorithms. Our ESP (Example-based Sensor Prediction) system introduces a more general approach in which interactive visualizations and control interfaces are dynamically generated from augmented code examples written by experts. ESP’s augmented examples allow experts to write logic that guides makers through important steps such as sensor calibration, parameter tuning, and assessing signal quality and classification performance. Writing augmented examples requires additional effort. ESP leverages a fundamental dynamic of online communities: experts are often willing to invest such effort to teach and train novices. Thus support for particular sensing domains does not have to be hard-wired a priori by system authors, but can be provided later by its community of users. We illustrate ESP’s flexibility by detailing pipelines for four distinct sensors and classification algorithms. We validated the usability and flexibility of our example-based approach through a one-day workshop with 11 participants.

Enabling Hand-Crafted Visual Markers at Scale

William Preston, Steve Benford, Emily-Clare Thorn, Boriana Koleva, Stefan Rennick-Egglestone, The University of Nottingham; Richard Mortier,  Cambridge University; Anthony Quinn, Central Saint Martins, London;John Stell,  University of Leeds; Michael Worboys, University of Greenwich.

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Keywords: Visual markers; topological markers; fiducial markers; patterns; computer vision; image recognition

Abstract: As locative media and augmented reality spread into the everyday world so it becomes important to create aesthetic visual markers at scale. We explore a designer-centred approach in which skilled designers handcraft seed designs that are automatically recombined to create many markers as subtle variants of a common theme. First, we extend the d-touch topological approach to creating visual markers that has previously been shown to support creative design with two new techniques: area order codes and visual checksums. We then show how the topological structure of such markers provides the basis for recombining designs to generate many variations. We demonstrate our approach through the creation of beautiful, personalized and interactive wallpaper. We reflect on how technologies must enable designers to balance goals of scalability, aesthetics and reliability in creating beautiful interactive decoration.


Session Chair: David Benyon

TASC: Combining Virtual Reality with Tangible and Embodied Interactions to Support Spatial Cognition

Jack Shen-Kuen Chang, Purdue University; Georgina Yeboah, Alison Doucette, Paul Clifton, Ryerson University; Michael Nitsche, Georgia Institute of Technology; Timothy Welsh, University of Toronto; Ali Mazalek, Ryerson University.

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Keywords: Tangible interaction; embodied cognition; virtual reality; virtual environments; spatial cognition; games

Abstract: A growing body of empirical evidence from the cognitive sciences shows that physical experience can enhance cognition in areas that involve spatial thinking. At the same time, virtual environments provide opportunities to engage learners with novel spatial tasks that cannot be achieved in the real world. Yet combining virtual worlds with tangible interfaces to engage spatial cognition is still not a well-explored area. This paper describes the TASC (Tangibles for Augmenting Spatial Cognition) system, which combines movement tracking and tangible objects in order to create a strong sense of embodiment in a virtual environment for spatial puzzle solving, designed to engage perspective taking ability. We describe the motivation, design process, and development of TASC. We also report the results from our user study, showing the participants’ positive experiences, linking to future research opportunities.

Tangible VR: Diegetic Tangible Objects for Virtual Reality Narratives

Daniel Harley, York University, Canada;  Aneesh Tarun, Daniel Germinario, Ali Mazalek, Ryerson University.

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Keywords: Tangible interaction; virtual reality; interactive narratives; tangible diegetic objects; narrative design; tangible design.

Abstract: We present a system for diegetic tangible objects in virtual reality (VR) narratives. The system integrates a custom-designed sensor unit, built with low-cost off-the-shelf hardware, to track objects in VR and to support a variety of custom-made and found tangibles. In its current form, the sensor unit tracks the objects’ orientation and supports the authoring of specifically designed interactions for each tangible object. We contribute our design rationale, sensor unit, and four proof of concept prototypes, including a cube, a stuffed animal, a treasure chest, and a wooden boat, demonstrating how we leverage passive and active haptics to create a closer link between real and virtual worlds. For developers and users of VR, we expand interaction possibilities to include the physical characteristics of tangible objects. For the field of tangible narratives, we expand the current use of diegetic objects.

The Challenges of Visual-Kinaesthetic Experience

Paul Tennent, Joe Marshall, Brendan Walker, Patrick Brundell, Steve Benford, The University of Nottingham.

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Keywords: Visual-Kinaesthetic Experience; Virtual Reality; Motion; Vertigo; Swings

Abstract: Virtual reality experiences typically isolate the user from the real world. Notions of immersion are conventionally associated with the idea of convincing users that they are in another place, disassociated from physical reality. Given the user is however situated in that physical reality, kinesthetic bodily sensations often conflict with the virtual reality. In this paper we seek to elucidate the challenges associated with developing Visual-Kinaesthetic Experiences – experiences which provide related visual and kinaesthetic spectacle. Rather than use complex motion platforms, we submit here that physical reality is replete with interesting kinaesthetic experiences, which may be repurposed by the application of new visuals to create engaging hybrid experiences. We approach this by describing the development and deployment of Oscillate – a virtual reality experience that takes place on a swing, using it as an example to draw out what makes such experiences intrinsically interesting, and to construct three design challenges for this space.

Examining Low-Cost Virtual Reality for Learning in Low-Resource Environments

Aditya Vishwanath, Georgia Institute of Technology; Matthew Kam, Google; Neha Kumar, Georgia Institute of Technology.

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Keywords: Virtual Reality; Learning; Google Expeditions; HCI4D

Abstract: We describe our experiences co-designing low-cost Virtual Reality-augmented learning experiences with and for an after-school learning center in Mumbai, India that caters to low-income children from neighboring communities. In partnership with 5 staff members and 16 students at the center, we spent 7 weeks co-designing, piloting, and iterating on VR lessons targeting 28 academic topics over a total of 15 classroom sessions. We found that VR was used to demonstrate real-world phenomena, illustrate abstract concepts, compare and contrast places in the curriculum against virtual landmarks, and motivate students. Most importantly, VR’s representational fidelity appeared to arouse students’ curiosity, leading them to ask more questions that reflected deeper engagement with the topic.

Lunch Break   ::   12.30pm – 1.30pm

WEDNESDAY SESSION 3  ::  1.30pm – 3pm


Session Chair: Martin Murer
Read Abstract

Keywords: Interactive Shape-Changing Displays; Fabrication Approach; Data Physicalization;

Abstract: We present a design approach for rapid fabrication of high fidelity interactive shape-changing displays using bespoke semi-solid surfaces. This is achieved by segmenting virtual representations of the given data and mapping it to a dynamic physical polygonal surface. First, we establish the design and fabrication approach for generating semi-solid reconfigurable surfaces. Secondly, we demonstrate the generalizability of this approach by presenting design sessions using datasets provided by experts from a diverse range of domains. Thirdly, we evaluate user engagement with the prototype hardware systems that are built. We learned that all participants, all of whom had no previous interaction with shape-changing displays, were able to successfully design interactive hardware systems that physically represent data specific to their work. Finally, we reflect on the content generated to understand if our approach is effective at representing intended output based on a set of user defined functionality requirements.

Critiquing Physical Prototypes for a Remote Audience

Terrance Mok, Lora Oehlberg,  University of Calgary.

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Keywords: Open hardware; design review; remote collaboration; video conferencing; material experience; prototype critique

Abstract: We present an observational study of physical prototype critique that highlights some of the challenges of communicating physical behaviors and materiality at a distance. Geographically distributed open hardware communities often conduct user feedback and peer critique sessions via video conference. However, people have difficulty using current video conferencing tools to demonstrate and critique physical designs. To examine the challenges of remote critique, we conducted an observational lab study in which participants critiqued pairs of physical prototypes (prosthetic hands) for a face-to-face or remote collaborator. In both conditions, participants’ material experiences were an important part of their critique, however their attention was divided between interacting with the prototype and finding strategies to communicate `invisible’ features. Based on our findings, we propose design implications for remote collaboration tools that support the sharing of material experiences and prototype critique.

Being, Bringing and Bridging: Three Aspects of Sketching with Nature

Anna Stahl, Jakob Tholander, Elsa Vaara, Jarmo Laaksolahti, Stockholm University.

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Keywords: design research; design knowledge transfer; sketching; nature

Abstract: We articulate and reflect on the use of nature as a sketching material. We have closely documented explorations of various organic and non-organic materials found during excursions in a local forest and how we used them as resources in sketching. This serves as an exemplar case of how sketching in interaction design can be grounded in empirical explorations of nature. We discuss three examples of sketching based on explorations and experiences with elements and objects from a forest. Processes and characteristics of phenomena in nature such falling leaves, melting and freezing of snow, and perennial growth allowed us to expand our design repertoire and sketching skills, especially as new forms of representations and interactions. Based on this we outline three aspects of how nature can be included in sketching processes: being in nature, bringing nature to the lab, and bridging nature and interaction design.

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Keywords: In-the-wild study; prototyping; research product; replication study; public display.

Abstract: The in-the-wild methodology involves the evaluation of a functioning prototype in an everyday context, during which the participants are typically left unaware of the actual study context. As the material dimensions of such a prototype imply a preliminary status, the apparent difference between prototype and the final end product might affect the actual ecological validity of the evaluation results. By replicating an in-the-wild study of an identical yet progressed high fidelity prototype versus its research product one year apart, we aim to investigate the impact of material dimensions on user behavior. Our results demonstrate how impermanent material dimensions tend to increase the participation rate and augments reflection on ownership; imperfect dimensions reduce the expectations and contextual appropriation of an installation; and incomplete dimensions imply a relationship with the investigator. We thus claim that material dimensions affect the evaluation outcomes of in-the-wild evaluation studies.


Session Chair: Laura Devendorf

Collaboration with 360° Videochat: Challenges and Opportunities

Anthony Tang, Omid Fakourfar, University of Calgary; Carman Neustaedter, Simon Fraser University; Scott Bateman, University of New Brunswick.

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Keywords: 360 video; video chat; video conferencing

Abstract: We designed a videochat experience where one participant can experience a remote environment from a 360° camera. This allows the remote user to view and explore the environment without necessitating interaction from the local participant. We designed and conducted an observational study to understand the experience, and the challenges that people might encounter. In a study with 32 participants (16 pairs), we found that remote participants could actively participate in the experience with the environment in ways that are not possible with current mobile video chat. However, we also found that participants had challenges in communicating location and orientation information because many of common communication resources we rely on in collocated chat are not available. Based on these findings, we discuss how future mobile video chat systems need to balance immersion with interaction ease.

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Keywords: Multi-Device; Single Display Groupware; SDG; Mobile; Collaborative Game; Inter-device interaction;

Abstract: Nowadays, it is easy to find concepts for connecting mobile devices and looking at photos together. Despite the increasing interest in multi-device single display groupware (multi-device SDG), most of the existing research is limited to using a rectangular form array to enlarge the display. In this paper, we suggest a new way of assembling mobile devices to create unique forms, such as ring, bar, rectangle and radial shape displays, and investigate their inter-device interaction characteristics. We conducted generative workshops on a game domain to understand the characteristics of those interfaces. Directionality, inter-device space, and tangible interactions were extracted. By applying the derived characteristics, we have developed three different collaborative games using different types of interfaces. Through user studies of the developed games, we refined the characteristics and found additional design issues. The inter-device interaction characteristics and issues of multi-device SDG obtained from this study could be generally applied to collocated multi-mobile interactions.

Collaboration, Awareness, and Communication in Real-Life Escape Rooms

Rui Pan, Henry Lo, Carman Neustaedter, Simon Fraser University.

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Keywords: Escape rooms; collocated collaboration; communication; team building; relationship building

Abstract: Real-life escape rooms involve players being locked in a room where they have to solve puzzles in order to escape. We conducted an observational and interview study with 38 escape room players to understand how groups of people collaborate in escape rooms, what opportunities escape rooms present as learning environments for improving collaboration, and how the design of escape rooms affects collaboration. Our results show that escape rooms provide people with opportunities to practice a range of collaboration skills, yet not all generalize to real world collaborative situations outside of the escape room. Thus, people may have an opportunity to practice communicating and maintaining an awareness of others, but the design of the room restricts such behaviors. These findings raise design opportunities for future escape rooms related to team dynamics and roles, the acquisition of situational and workspace awareness, and the teaching of conflict resolution techniques.

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Keywords: Audiovisuals; digital media; performance; collaboration; expression.

Abstract: This paper presents an interface designed for an interdisciplinary collaboration between a visual artist (known within this paper as a “visualist”) and electronic musician. With the specific goal of enabling expressive real-time visual performance in conjunction with live electronic music, the interface draws from methodologies and design practices informing interaction design, HCI, and experimental music practices [7, 16, 20]. The affordances and general design techniques of the interface are described, and an initial reflection on the performative experience is presented, considering both the visualist’s and musician’s perspectives. What begins to emerge from this design experience is a core set of issues and values for performers working with media technology; the Distaff suggests ways we might approach such issues with expressivity, collaboration, and physical engagement in mind.

Pictorials 3

Session Chair: Brian O’Keefe

Time and Space in Broken Panorama

Vygandas Simbelis, Royal Institute of Technology KTH

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Keywords: Digital photography; panoramic image; panorama camera; glitch aesthetics; fault aesthetics.

Abstract: This pictorial intends to show a usage-hacking case of everyday technology for creating visual narratives. Storytelling through visual appearance could be significantly relevant and inspirational to design and HCI. This technique is also a design approach in itself; by deliberate navigation and control, the user breaks the panorama view. In this pictorial, we demonstrate examples and show the process of creating our digital photography art project “Panorama Time”. In this project, a mobile phone camera’s panorama mode is used to tweak time and space. By showing how we hacked the digital artefact, we also discuss insights from several experiments, thereby considering possibilities of establishing such digital experiments in their own right. A presented technique could also be a method for sketching ideas through the photographic medium.

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Keywords: speculative design, IoT, internet of things, Internet metaphors, design, design research

Abstract: This design inquiry engages concerns set within the frame of network anxieties. Our work projects and engages negative affective dimensions of digital networks including anxiety, exhaustion, overstimulation, overload, paranoia, unease, distrust, fear, and creepiness. We do this by designing alternative Internet metaphors and then applying these metaphors to the design of IoT (Internet of Things) technologies to generate speculative design proposals.

Exploring Active Perception in Disseminating Design Research

Jeroen Peeters, RISE Interactive; Marlies Peeters,VU University; Ambra Trotto, RISE Interactive.

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Keywords: active perception; embodiment; embodied interaction; dissemination; design research; research through design

Abstract: The pictorial track exemplifies how the field of interaction design research explores more designerly ways of communicating knowledge in an academic context. In this pictorial, we present the Interactive Dissertation project that explores how the design of a Ph.D. dissertation may embody the experiential qualities of interactive systems that are presented in its (textual) content by leveraging active perception. We report on the research-through-design process and present results from the project’s first iteration. We conclude with a visual reflection on the potential of active perception in communicating interactive experiences in print as well as wider implications for the field.

Let’s Get Physical: Promoting Data Physicalization in Workshop Formats

Samuel Huron, Université Paris-Saclay; Pauline Gourlet, Université Paris 8; Uta Hinrichs, St Andrews; Trevor Hogan, Cork Institute of Technology; Yvonne Jansen, Sorbonne Universités.

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Keywords: Data Physicalization, Information Visualization, Creative Workshop

Abstract: In this pictorial, we present a method to facilitate hands-on physicalization processes during workshops. Data physicalization – encoding data in physical artefacts – allows for new ways to represent and communicate data and, as a process, can make the principles of data representation more “graspable”. In order to (1) engage different research communities to discuss data physicalization from a social and technology point of view, (2) promote data-driven prototyping, and (3) teach physicalization as a creative process in educational settings we have run hands-on data physicalization workshops within Human Computer Interaction, Information visualization and Design communities. Based on these workshops, we identified three main pitfalls that can cause participants to get stuck in the data preparation, ideation and construction phases. To address these, we designed a workshop to facilitate a rapid engagement in physicalization activities. Testing this method as part of another physicalization workshop shows its potential for participant engagement, prototyping and design reflection.

Coffee Break   ::   3pm – 3.30pm

WEDNESDAY SESSION 4  ::  3.30pm – 5pm

Closing Keynote – Di Mainstone


EVENING EVENT  ::   6pm – 9pm

Closing drinks in association with New Media Scotland