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Proceedings of CHItaly '11: ACM SIGCHI Italian Chapter International Conference on Computer-Human Interaction

Fullname:Proceedings of the 9th ACM SIGCHI Italian Chapter International Conference on Computer-Human Interaction
Note:Facing Complexity
Editors:Patrizia Marti; Alessandro Soro; Luciano Gamberini; Sebastiano Bagnara
Location:Alghero, Italy
Dates:2011-Sep-13 to 2011-Sep-16
Standard No:ISBN: 978-1-4503-0876-2; ACM DL: Table of Contents hcibib: CHIItaly11
Links:Conference Website
Summary:This volume contains the proceedings of the ninth edition of the biannual conference organised by the Italian chapter of ACM SIGCHI (Association for Computer Machinery -- Special Interest Group on Computer-Human Interaction). The Italian ACM SIGCHI Chapter, called SIGCHI Italy, has been officially chartered on April 24, 1996. Its aim is to promote an increased knowledge and greater interest in the science, technology, design, development, and application of methods/tools/techniques for HCI.
    This year's conference, held on September 13--16 in Alghero (Italy), is hosted by the Department of Architecture, Design and Planning, University of Sassari.
    The theme Conference is Facing Complexity with a focus on how to face the complexity of interaction with new objects and technological systems. Following the theme of Donald A. Norman's latest book, the paradigm of simplicity will be questioned, as it often makes problems look banal and not transparent to the point of obscuring the complexity of human-computer systems. The risk is to make interaction unmanageable, in that complexity can appear suddenly, catching people by surprise.
  1. Invited papers
  2. Facing complexity
  3. Emotion and experience
  4. Education
  5. Interaction design
  6. Tools
  7. Health and safety
  8. Social networks
  9. Model based approaches

Invited papers

The complexity of reality and human computer confluence: stemming the data deluge by empowering human creativity BIBAFull-Text 3-6
  Paul F. M. J. Verschure
Our ability to extract data from nature by far exceeds our ability to analyze let alone understand it. For good reasons this has been dubbed the data deluge [1, 2]. A standard solution is to develop computational systems that automate the analysis and storage of data in large-scale infrastructure initiatives [3]. The complexity of these petascale computational systems will practically follow that of the data they are build to analyze. On one hand, this trend in science to collect data because it is technology possible as opposed to being theoretically needed, has given rise to agnosticism towards the sources of data. Rather, the believe is that out of the accumulated mass of data, combined with an exact reconstruction of "reality" based on this data in some way knowledge and understanding will flow [4]. This leads to a science as a mechanical archival activity, where researchers accumulate data because it is possible as opposed to being contingent upon predictions and hypotheses. Borges captures the end of understanding that this entails well in his short story "On Exactitude in Science": "...and the Cartographers Guilds struck a Map of the Empire whose size was that of the Empire, and which coincided point for point with it." [5]. This raises the fundamental question of how humans can reclaim the territory from the map and can stem the data deluge. One pragmatic and epistemologically sound approach would be to stop the mad dash for data and return to a hypothesis driven form of science. The second approach is to find new ways to interface human users to complex datasets and the systems that generate and analyze them in order to advance understanding of the sources of data.
Culture centered design BIBAFull-Text 7-8
  Gerrit van der Veer
As the world comes together, culture becomes an issue
   We have been designing for each other for many centuries. Originally, we knew our clients of design, who were members of our tribe, or living in the same village. At different locations on the globe, people designed for the same functionality, sometimes in parallel without being aware. In communities far remote from each other different (often unique) ways of written communication were designed and different countries claim the invention of a variation of the printing press or gunpowder. If we look at the design of clothing, we easily discover cultural differences related to taste as well as to context of use.
   The globe is rapidly shrinking. Most new designs will be quickly discovered by strangers that live in far away locations. In fact, recent design efforts often aim at world wide adoption. But reaching new potential users does not mean it fits them all, like it did fit those that lived in the designers own village.
Designing dreams BIBAFull-Text 9-10
  Kees (C. J.) Overbeeke
The last ten years we have helped starting up a new faculty of industrial design. What is the result? Or more importantly, what is the message? The message is threefold.
   1. Start from a theoretical basis that is about action.
   We chose to work from a Gibsonian point of view, not because it is better than other points of view, but it is a theory that fits design (Gibson, 1979). It is a theory about action and design is about creating possibilities to do something. Lately, we turned more attention to phenomenology, in particular Merleau-Ponty (Merleau-Ponty, 1945). Why? Because designers are more and more designing "living entities", i.e., systems that behave, learn about us, that adapt to us. We then get to very fundamental questions about being-in-the-world. How do I perceive that a system is perceiving me and how does the system perceives me perceiving. These questions can only be answered, I believe, by designing and building the system. This leads to my second point.
   2. Integrate
   Much theoretical work in design research is foreign to design. It is about psychology, engineering, sociology, and making. We built a faculty trying to actively integrate these different approaches, Design should take the lead here, I believe: Research through Design. When I say actively, I mean, that projects, both for students and staff, are defined by a team consisting of people of different disciplines. This is not as easy as it seems. And we are not there yet. Every discipline has its own beliefs, paradigms, output and jargon: its own way of looking at the world. But we need to integrate these points of view in order to give our students a chance to become trans-disciplinary, and to give design a place in the academic world. This leads to my third point.
   3. Teaching
   From the start of the faculty, we chose for a competency based teaching method. The students start to design from day one. They are surrounded by experts that can help them if they ask. We want the students to be responsible for the their development and growth as a designer. We challenge them, they can design their own path through the curriculum (Hummels and Frens, 2008). In fact, we do not have a curriculum. A student can chose which projects ad which assignments she chooses. The programme is in English, as to attract an international audience, starting with the bachelors. Industry asks for a new kind of design engineer. We deliver youngsters that are not afraid for challenges but who do have the maturity to dare to rely on their intuition, skills and knowledge to propose innovative approaches. This can only be done by making. The western culture is based on manufacturing, i.e., thinking with your hand. This leads to my conclusion.
   The Bologna Process aims to standardize academic degrees and make them more comparable and compatible throughout Europe. I do believe the Process has an undesired side effect. All over Europe the professional schools are being "academized". To teach in a design school you need a PhD. Sure, that is important, but we run the risk of killing the profession. The people who know how to teach the design attitude are running away, or even worse, being driven out of the design schools. I do believe that there is no design research without design practice, as there is no medical research without medical practice.
   In the past I talked about "Dreaming of the impossible". I think the impossible is coming true, slowly but steadily. I think we have been designing dreams.
Colours in the web-age BIBAFull-Text 11-12
  Manlio Brusatin
We can't say what color is: but we know what happens if (after a shock to the nape) we cease to see the colors. Some neuro-scientists, like Oliver Sacks, have explained such matter, by observing a painter, suddenly turned blind to colors, who went on, living with the memory of colors that he was no longer able to see, and the people from a small atoll in Micronesia, decimated by a tsunami wave, who, after some time, had selected its population in one half capable of seeing colors and committed to agriculture and a half blind to colors, committed to (nightly) fishing.
   To seek an answer, we can say that color is not a phenomenon of light, but rather a perception and elaboration of our brain. But let's consider the first case.
   Following a car crash, an American painter bangs his head against the windscreen of his car. No visible damages, only a small disappointment, apologies from the driver of the other car. These things happen. Apparently.
   But that very evening, and still more the morning after, that painter R. became aware that he was no longer seeing colors. The world around him was suddenly empty of any chromatic stimulus. A world suddenly and completely gray, this is the first word. A world awfully dirty, this is the second sensation for something almost inconceivable, for a painter, nearly deadly. Even gray is a color, but such sudden monochrome shutoff is a dead color, the image of a world that can't be lived in.
   The painter R. is suddenly become blind to colors. He can't see other than the ghosts of a light, surrounded by blurred shadows, now nearer, now farther. Starting from a black, now present and a moment later absent, a going till a concentration of stunning light beams, almost glaring.
   An experience such as this one can't be really shared or described. Besides the sensation of an absurd and unmotivated torture, almost an experience of death, with respect to a mystery that human beings have in common with butterflies, the ability to see colors.
   We can only try to understand how it feels. The painter R. moves along a sort of fog, that comes and goes, independently from his movements in the space of a room, or outside, hesitating from time to time, for fear of stumbling or trampling on something rotten.
   The outer aspect of things and people, even those who are more familiar, is completely changed, and became dumb and hostile. The outline of the things and of the faces was vague and indefinite, and this uncertainty turned any visual interest into something unpleasant, and disappointing. Anything, and any action, becomes wrong and artificial, but most of all it becomes sort of stained, impure. The painter, for example, couldn't stand the change in the features of other people, and even the aspect of his own face in the mirror, that appeared like an empty window, with a 'person of smoke' inside.
   The complexion of the people around him, including his own and that of his wife, was horribly gray and unrecognizable. The color of the skin, in all its possible shades, appeared like dirty paper, worn-out linen lacerated by terrible dirt. The (color) TV set was an unbearable atrocity, not even comparable to the reassuring black and white of old movies.
   Food was a horrible litter. After a long abstinence from food, that almost lead him to consumption, the painter R. surrendered to eat blindfolded, relying on the memory of smell and flavor, because the pleasure of seeing a tasty dish was lost forever. All this only because of the lack of the colors.
   The painter, luckily, maintained a sort of memory of colors, that, despite a sense of absence and detachment from the world, allowed him to imagine, always blindfolded, a pleasant sensation of reunion to the colorful forms of his former chromatic life. Poor comfort, which however he didn't want, and couldn't, give up, and by contrast even conceiving to commit suicide, when facing the despair of continuing to live in such a condition.
   In his brain (and not in his eyes) something very serious had happened. He, following an injury, had lost the knowledge and sensation of color, while retaining the awareness, almost obsessive, of the lost color, which, just like any loss, became more and more the absolute meaning of vision. Not only a quality, but the truth of vision itself.
   The painter R. was victim of a rare, yet possible, event. Just like an invisible bullet had hit and damaged forever the internals of his 'two beans', causing a paralysis. The ability of seeing colors results indeed essential for human activities, much more than monochrome vision, that is typical of most of mammals.
   The reason why human beings are capable of seeing color remains a mystery, and we can only imagine what would happen when such ability is lost: our painter was prey to despair. Birds and snakes are capable of a four-color sight. Human beings had once the same capability, until (in the struggle for survival) the vision of two of the colors was lost, and later on, a third one was regained. This is how, today, human beings are capable of a three-colors perception, just like the monitor of common computers: R (red) G (green) B (blue), that the most advanced technology completes with Y (yellow).
   However, the attention and the disposition of humans for colors seems to be perfectly aligned with human evolution and intelligence. It may sound impossible, but 77.000 years ago, in Blombos Cave (South Africa) primitive people were able to manufacture and collect a huge amount of colored sticks, decorated with geometric motifs, presumably used for body painting. The aesthetic attitude towards the world becomes their ability to survive in the race to evolution. Letting at the same time their brain cortex grow. Through colors.
Trust: nature and dynamics BIBAFull-Text 13-14
  Cristiano Castelfranchi
Trust is a complex notion -- with various components and dimensions-, and a multi-role relation: Trust (x y t G c); x trusts y as for action/task t useful for goal G, in context c.
   It is an attitude, a disposition towards another agent (natural, technical, or social) on which our "welfare", that is, the realization of some goal of us, depends. This attitude makes us disposed to expose ourselves to failure or damage by relying on y for satisfying our goal.
   This attitude towards y can be based just on feelings of safety and perceived benevolence, or on feelings due to the analogical evocation of previous or similar positive experiences; or it is more "rational", or better "reason-based", grounded on some specific beliefs, evaluations, and expectations about y, that justify our reliance. On the basis of this positive expectation and evaluation we decide to depend on y.
   Thus, trust also is a decision and an act: the act of trusting y as for t, of exposing ourselves to dependence. And it also becomes a specific relation between x and y. Trust in y (on the basis of the strength of our beliefs or feelings) can be sufficient or insufficient for our decision to delegate; depending on the perceived risk and possible harm.
   The evaluation of y, on which the expectation is based, has two basic components: (i) y's "competence", efficacy, expertise: "Is y really able and in condition to perform the expected 'action' and produce the desired outcome?" (ii) y's "willingness": "Will y actually perform the needed action?", "Is y predictable, reliable?", "Is y really willing to do the expected action?". Clearly these two kinds of evaluation are rather independent: y can be very well disposed but not really skilled; or y can be really able but not credible.
   Moreover, trust as judgment implies the 'internal attribution' to y of skills, qualities, 'virtues'; but it also imply some evaluation about the 'external' favorable or adverse contextual conditions for y's action. This is why not necessarily y's failure entails a decreasing of y's trustworthiness; it might not be his fault, but just due to 'external' interferences.
   Trust in not only 'social', addressed towards other persons; it can be also towards some process or mechanism (I can trust or not a given elevator), and technology: how much effective and good is it as for its service; how much reliable and predictable; how much accessible and friendly;...? The opposite (but complementary) side of trust is the perceived risk and the perceived unreliability or unmanageability of the technology.
   Trust dynamics is a very important and complex issue, with many aspects.
   On the one side, there is the problem of trust transitivity: if x trust y, and y trust z, will x trust z? Not automatically: it depends on the specific object of those trust relations. If x trust y "as good evaluator of t performances" and y trust z as for t, then x will trust z as for t.
   On the other side, there is the general problem of trust transfer:
   (a) If x trust y as for t, will x trust y also for another task t'? It depends: do the qualities, skills, needed for successfully performing t overlapping with the quality needed for t'? If "Yes", the trustworthiness of y as for t is a good predictor of y's trustworthiness also for t'.
   (b) If x trusts y as for t, will x trust z for t? It depends on the similarity between y and z: does z have the same qualities of y necessary for t?
   Another important dynamics is trust as self-fulfilling prophecy. Trust is an expectation, but this expectation can affect the expected outcome, both its probability and quality. In fact, on the one side x's positive evaluation of y can increase y's commitment, effort, self-esteem, etc. and influence the quality of y's performance. On the other side, the fact that x is or becomes dependent on y can increase y's 'benevolence' or responsibility towards x. In general, it is well known that trust can induce trust and reciprocation, while diffidence elicits diffidence.
   Finally, those dynamics can be taken into account even in x's evaluation and decision to trust: perhaps x's trust in y would not be sufficient, but x predicts that his act of trusting y will increase y's reliability and performance, thus trust becomes enough and x decides to trust/rely on y.
   Trust technology. Trust is a very dialectic and dynamic phenomenon, and it should acquire the same level of quality with technology. There are two different (but not independent) perspectives on that:
   (i) A technology really able to support social trust relations and to create new trust dimensions among humans.
   (ii) A trustworthy technology deserving and eliciting trust disposition, which is not at all just a matter of "security", like engineers currently believes.
Thinking with the body: a case study from choreography BIBAFull-Text 15-16
  David Kirsh
To explore the question of physical thinking -- using the body as an instrument of cognition -- we collected extensive video and interview data on the creative process of a noted choreographer and his company as they made a new dance.
   We report here on two phenomena: 'marking' and 'riffing'. Marking refers to dancing a phrase in a less than complete manner. Dancers and theorists tend to assume that dancers mark primarily to save energy. But closer study shows that because marking behaves like a physical representation it can serve as a vehicle for thought. It lets dancers reflect on their movement in more focused ways than either dancing 'full out' or reflectively thinking entirely in their heads without moving at all.
   The second phenomenon, riffing, is a practice the choreographer has of physically trying out movement ideas before sharing them with his dancers. The obvious reason to riff is to practice a movement before teaching it. Again, though, close ethnographic study suggests that riffing serves a second function. It may be performed more as a technique for generating new ideas than for practice. When riffing, it seems that the choreographer is taking an idea that first arose in one sensory modality and mapping it into another modality. Different sorts of movement ideas are generated in our different sensory systems -- vision, kinesthetic, haptic, proprioceptic. Each system codes a movement in a slightly different way. By mapping between these modalities representational or experiential differences can be exploited for creative ends, provoking new ideas in the choreographer and giving him insight into the aesthetic possibilities of a movement.
   Both these phenomena suggest that the body can be harnessed as a thing to think with in a manner that extends the central idea of embodied cognition. The essence of embodied cognition is that cognitive processes are grounded in modality specific brain systems; that the way we originally acquired concepts through sight, sound, and touch, for instance, continues to affect our understanding of those concepts, long after they have been abstracted from specific senses. Understanding, therefore, is akin to simulation. When we grasp the meaning of a situation -- a person cutting a tomato, or the wind whipping up the sand at the beach -- we reactivate sensory traces of what it would be like to cut a tomato or to feel and observe sand being blown in the wind. Our research on dance extends the idea of embodiment because it shows how working across modalities reshapes conceptualization beyond its origins. It shows how the body can figure in extending the range of thought. It also shows how the body can carry some of the weight of thinking -- it can mediate certain forms of thought.
Re-framing HCI: from human-computer interaction to human-centred interaction design BIBAFull-Text 17-18
  Liam J. Bannon
HCI has expanded enormously since the emergence of the field in the early 1980s. Computing has changed significantly; mobile and ubiquitous communication networks span the globe, and technology has been integrated into all aspects of our daily lives. Computing is not simply for calculating, but rather is a medium through which we collaborate and interact with other people. The focus is not so much on human-computer interaction as it is on human activities mediated by computing. Thus much (though by no means all) of the focus of HCI has shifted from the desire to make better "man-machine communication" (sic) through for example building more human-like interface agents, to the creation of intuitive, simple, transparent interaction designs which allow people to easily express themselves through various computationally-enhanced tools and media. While we continue to develop new technological platforms, and investigate the use of gesture, speech and touch as interaction forms, the focus of HCI has been shifting as we realize the disappearance of the computer as the locus of interaction per se. Rather, computation is embodied within existing objects and spaces in the world. The emerging field of interaction design attempts to frame this new discourse around the design of these computationally-enhanced objects and services, and to sensitize us to new ways of thinking about human-computer interaction, distinct from our earlier engineering focus on the design of efficient tasks and activity sequences. Focus has shifted from measures of efficiency towards an understanding of the ethics and aesthetics of interaction.
   I believe that we are at a point of inflection for the HCI field. Many of our earlier assumptions about the development of technology and our interaction with computers are being questioned. New disciplines are "muscling in" -- anthropology, the design disciplines, art and media theory, to name a few, and questioning the traditional HCI reliance on the psychological and engineering/computing sciences. In this presentation I wish to explore some of the tensions between different frames for approaching HCI -- the human factors engineering tradition, the computing/AI tradition, and the interaction design tradition. Each of these traditions (I hesitate to call them 'paradigms') has developed our understanding of human-computer interaction, so it is not simply a case of one superseding the other. Rather they point to different ways of viewing the field, and lead to different questions and different methods. But this presentation is not designed to be some form of neutral view on these different approaches. Rather, I wish to highlight certain issues that have been of central concern for my own evolving approach to the HCI field. I have recently outlined some of these concerns in a paper in ACM Interactions [1] and will take up some of the themes mentioned there in this presentation.
   One of these themes relates to the general thrust of computing in human affairs. It seems that despite all we have learned about both human and machine competencies, there is still a fascination with the elimination of the "human factor" and its substitution by (supposed) machine intelligence. I would argue that even where this goal of substitution is not explicit, it is latent in very many research agendas. As an alternative to this substitution model, I wish to advocate an approach that focuses on human augmentation rather than substitution, where human capabilities are taken as a starting point, with our focus being on how we support, develop and extend people's capabilities through the latest technological developments. This leads to some discussion concerning the relation between the social and the technical, and the more recent approaches in Science and Technology studies to reframe these basic distinctions. Finally, I wish to address briefly the ethical aspects of our approaches, in terms of our value frameworks, an admittedly thorny topic, yet one with which it is necessary to engage, as we seek for adequate philosophical frameworks for our design research. The emergence of "human-centred" approaches to computing and design in this regard will be discussed.

Facing complexity

Intelligence management and complexities: a case study approach BIBAFull-Text 21-26
  Gabriella Spinelli; Bobbi Sharma
Intelligence management is critical to organisations operating in non-routine and unpredictable environments such as the United Kingdom (UK) Police service. The increased number of artefacts used for the representation, access and communication of intelligence are creating complexities in intelligence management owing to the multidirectional and simultaneous information and intelligence flows. This results in a lack of coordination between, and acknowledgement of, the social and technical components participating in intelligence management. This paper considers the critical issues related to intelligence management and the complex set of information sources that partake in this activity. Multiple case studies were undertaken with 15 UK Police intelligence units to understand the people, processes and technologies participating in intelligence management and cognitive ergonomic methods led to a system analysis of its activities and artefacts. The research offers a socio-technical approach to explicitly account for the combined role and impact of awareness and artefacts on managing intelligence.
There is more in a single touch: mapping the continuous to the discrete BIBAFull-Text 27-32
  Jelle Stienstra; Kees Overbeeke; Stephan Wensveen
In this paper, we present the Sensible Alternative, a concept that enables smart-phone users to navigate between applications by accessing action-possibility-depending and personalized-associated applications. A single added touch-sensitive spot on the back-side of the smart-phone provides an alternative layer of interaction between human and machine, on top of hierarchical system architectures. We designed and prototyped this interaction layer that exploits the advantage of the continuous and the discrete powers of man and machine. In our case study, we explore several consequences of a phenomenological approach for designing complex systems, products and related services. Here we present the research-through-design case and our reflections based on qualitative expert confrontations on the heuristics and experience of the use case, the Sensible Alternative. With this work we hope to inspire design thinking to shift from hierarchical, procedural and structured design mechanisms to embodied mechanisms when addressing complexity.
Designing technologies for ageing: is simplicity always a leading criterion? BIBAFull-Text 33-36
  Alessandra Talamo; Sabina Giorgi; Barbara Mellini
In this paper, we reflect on ecological criteria for designing ICT-based tools for ageing. An ethnographic research in 150 homes of older persons has been conducted in order to better understanding their relationship with technologies. Results show that elderly people seem to develop idiosyncratic representation of technology use in connection with their stage of life, their social environment, their personal needs. The concept of simplicity, so often evoked in design for ageing, need to be complemented by more complex insights on the relationship of ageing and technology use.

Emotion and experience

Embodying complexity through movement sonification: case study on empowering the speed-skater BIBAFull-Text 39-44
  Jelle Stienstra; Kees Overbeeke; Stephan Wensveen
In this paper, we describe the Augmented Speed-skate Experience (ASE), a case of movement sonification in professional speed-skating. We designed and developed a system that provides feedback on technique to a professional speed-skater through an extra sense-modality, i.e. sound. Complexity is incorporated directly by the athlete and not through an external system that would feedback representational judgments of improving speed-skating technique. This research-through-design case explores the conditions for mapping information directly to the body. This is done by an evaluation on several sets of continuous parameter mappings in a field-lab setup. Results from this qualitative evaluations show that the movement sonification mappings cause inter-modal convergence, resulting in actual improvement. We designed a movement sonification mapping of speed-skating technique that is informative, motivating, non-coercive, robust and easy to apply. Feedback designed according to existing natural acoustic conventions inherently coupled to the speed-skaters actions, allows for complex information to be assessed and embodied by the athlete thus improving his skating technique.
Designing interactions for personalized and distributed services experiences: towards a new conceptual framework BIBAFull-Text 45-49
  Leonardo Giusti; Claudio Moderini; Massimo Zancanaro
In this paper, we present an early design exploration of a mobile application aimed to support people in the orchestration of multiple service ecologies related to tourism activities; the design case will be used as a starting point to outline a number of theoretical considerations to inform a new conceptual framework for developing interactive systems mediating personalized and distributed service experiences.


Exploring the relations between physical objects and digital world with a geometric sorting board BIBAFull-Text 53-58
  Fabio Pittarello
Tangible user interfaces (TUI) have gained popularity in the last few years, at the end of a process where the computer devices -- especially in those contexts that are not related to the working activities -- have lost deputed spaces and trained operators for mixing with the everyday activities of the casual users. TUI are appealing for many users because they promise to control and to access easily the state of digital systems without requiring a specialized environment or a long training for users. In spite of that, while in the last years different implementations have been realized and a number of frameworks have been proposed for guiding the design of TUI, most of the work done so far has not completely exploited the role of the shape of physical objects. This paper is part of a research work aimed at examining the potential of the morphology of the physical artifacts, for building meaningful mappings between physical artifacts and digital functions. In particular in our research we focus on examining the relations between the different types of surfaces that define an object and the different types of digital functions, discrete and continuous. While in our previous research we introduced a set of guidelines defining a specific mapping between the physical objects and the digital functions and we asked the users to evaluate them, in this work we involved them in the design phase for defining the mapping between a predefined set of physical objects and digital functions. The aim was twofold. On one side we considered our test as an educational activity, for improving the awareness of users (i.e., in this case they were also perspective interface designers) that all the interfaces, including TUI, are not natural but are the result of a design activity that may lead to good or bad results. On the other side we wanted to verify, in a situation characterized by scarcity of physical and digital resources, which physical and digital cues were considered as stronger by the users for specifying the mapping. While the exam of the behavior of the majority of the users confirmed the findings of our previous work, the test revealed also other behaviors triggered by the exploitation of other cues.
The effect of system usability and multitasking activities in distance learning BIBAFull-Text 59-64
  Oronzo Parlangeli; Guido Mengoni; Stefano Guidi
In this paper we describe a study in which we assessed the effects of the usability of a teaching system designed for distance learning in the context of different types of multitasking activities. The learning performance of six groups of students has been compared after their individual interaction with a system that was either usable or not, and in conditions of simple learning, sequential multitasking or concurrent multitasking. Results show that learning processes are negatively affected by the use of a system that is difficult to use. In addition, learning in multitasking conditions appears to be a difficult task only when students have to acquire new information while doing something else at the same time (concurrent multitasking). The usability levels of the system do not seem to interact with the multitasking modality of learning.
Designing complexity in context: Light through Culture BIBAFull-Text 65-70
  Patrizia Marti; Kees (C. J.) Overbeeke
Light through Culture is an international design school which explores the theme of complexity in learning environments. The aim of the school is to weave the newest technologies and the rich existing culture into a new canvas for making and thinking. Learning is meant as a way to (re) incorporate culture and making into thinking. The school has been hosted by the Museum Complex Santa Maria della Scala, Siena, Italy. Being immersed in a rich historical-cultural context, the students had to design an experiential path along the Via Francigena, the ancient pilgrimage route developing in the middle age from Canterbury to Rome, passing through England, France, Switzerland and finally Italy. Traveling along the route, the pilgrims stopped at the Santa Maria della Scala, that was an hospital at that time, where they could be given shelter and care on their way. Pilgrims started a long trip toward the enlightenment, the hope, the alleviation. Are contemporary visitors new pilgrims? The design school tried to answer this question exploring history and culture by means of innovative light technologies. Learning developed while building a real path in the Museum underground crossed by the ancient Via Francigena, opening the results of the design activity to the experience of real visitors and reflecting on how people feel, perceive and make sense of their experience. Learning confronts with the whole complexity of a real environment: the results of the school were not only texts but also physical, virtual and mixed new realities consisting of new ways of presenting and adding new dimensionalities to the existing world.
Emerging informal learning 2.0 practices: a preliminary exploration BIBAFull-Text 71-75
  Alessandro Pollini; Leonardo Giusti; Linda Napoletano
This paper investigates a specific technology-enhanced learning scenario where formal and informal practices intertwine and contribute to the improvement of individual learning.
   In particular, we have explored how the students attending a distance learning higher education course (Cognitive Psychology, Uninettuno) have spontaneously started to adopt a set of Web 2.0 resources, commonly used for entertainment and socialization, to organize their learning activity.
   The wide availability of resources (people, contents, services) and their accessibility is affecting how the learning process can be managed and guided: control of the contents is shifting from the tutor to an increasingly more autonomous learner.
   Learners not only have access to these resources, they also have the possibility to create groups and negotiate with peers contents and meanings. Spontaneous Facebook groups and other self-organized learning communities are emerging as side-products of formal on-line learning courses: hybrid networks of learners exchange information, contents, resources.

Interaction design

The curse of the where-rabbit: research through design of auditory trajectories BIBAFull-Text 79-84
  Stefano Delle Monache; Davide Rocchesso
Computation can be considered a fundamental dimension of design, together with other elements like materials, colour, sound, form and function. Positioned between acoustics, computer science and design, sonic interaction design is about shaping the sonic behaviour of artefacts, by designing relevant sonic interactions. In the light of Research through Design (RtD) method of inquiry, recently emerged in HCI, we tackled the design problem of distributing short sequences of sounds in space as well in time, by exploring a non-visual illusion called auditory saltation effect. Spatially distributing auditory displays can be important for many applications, including the signaling of hidden hot spots.
User-centered design approach for interactive kiosks: evaluation and redesign of an automatic teller machine BIBAFull-Text 85-91
  Marco Camilli; Massimiliano Dibitonto; Alessandro Vona; Carlo Maria Medaglia; Francesco Di Nocera
Improvements in bandwidth and computing led towards a growth of technological solutions in services. Also, users developed expectations and skills in their interaction with technology. Despite web and mobile technology makes available a great deal of advanced and engaging apps (e.g., social and geo-localized), less-sophisticated and appealing systems (e.g., automatic teller machines, ticket machines) still represent the most widespread contact points between organizations (e.g., banks, transportation companies) and their clients. In this scenario banks are challenging a service innovation by introducing new services in their ATM. However, this increase in services does not seem to match an appropriate level of usability and user experience. The present work investigates the relation between usability and user experience in kiosk through a usability evaluation and a further redesign process for an ATM of an Italian major bank. The redesign process, centered on the users needs, was aimed to solve usability issues and enhance the effectiveness of the system and the overall user experience 1) by operating major changes in the original structure and 2) by introducing new profile-based functions. In order to test the effectiveness of design hypothesis, a prototype was developed and tested with a sample of users. Result showed an enhancement of user satisfaction and a reduction of the error rate mainly due to the introduction of profile-based functions.
A service-oriented fault monitor for digital terrestrial television broadcasting networks BIBAFull-Text 92-95
  Alessandra Bonomo; Tania Di Mascio; Laura Tarantino
In this paper, we describe an innovative approach for handling faults occurring in digital television broadcasting networks. While in traditional network management systems operators are notified about individual device's faults, the system we propose is centered around faults as perceived by the final user (e.g., absence of the audio component in a given channel), without losing the possibility of clearly identifying the corrupted device(s). The system is equipped with a notification component based on a peripheral display acting as an ambient or alerting system based on the criticalness of the alarm.
Users and households appliances: design suggestions for a better, sustainable interaction BIBAFull-Text 96-100
  Anna Zandanel
The Human Machine Interaction has a big role in the user approach with households appliances. During the main phase (the use one), users are called to manage energy choices, often without available efficient information regarding the best behavior they can adopt. At the end, people usually don't pay the attention that a sustainable behavior is supposed to need, wasting consequently energy, this both because of a bad education and an uncompleted communication around the appliance. The product informs users through its physical data and its "collateral communication" (manuals, brochures, websites...). With this paper I will analyze how appliances reach -- and don't reach -- the final user to suggest him or her the best behavior to save energy. A correct information approach helps a correct appliance use, influencing users' choices and implementing their sustainable knowledge.
   After a deep analysis of the state of the art, this paper will suggest different interaction ways, to guide people behavior in the households appliances usage, to reach the goal of a sustainable approach.
   Is it possible to increase energy saving in the appliances use phase? Should the product itself be reviewed, or just its collateral communication, or both? Which are the worst interaction elements able to confuse the user? Which are the best ones? How could designers project appliances in order to create best products and best behaviors? Can some cross interaction solution help user/appliances relationship? And which role should technology have in this challenge?


Luciole, lighting up the design process BIBAFull-Text 103-107
  Pierre Lévy; Josje Wijnen; Caroline Hummels; Diana Vinke
The Industrial Design Department of Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) is continuously developing and putting in practice a holistic and integrative educational approach, focusing on designing intelligent systems, products, and related services for societal transformation. This approach requires students to continuously reflect upon their design process and their results. Therefore, we are exploring how to support them in documenting and reflecting on their design projects.
   This paper introduces the first design iterations of Luciole, a design process visualisation tool based on and integrated in the educational model of TU/e.ID. These first iterations show clearly the students' benefit of using Luciole. This tool supports students in their design processes and in their reflection upon them. It is viewed as a tool to assist reflection upon designing, communication with coaches, and assessment.
   Finally, a first functional prototype of Luciole is introduced, as a means for further research. A long term user-test is currently conducted in order to validate the actual relevancy of Luciole as a tool to support education at TU/e.ID, and to evaluate the students' appreciation and use of the tool.
Going beyond BIBAFull-Text 108-113
  Francesca Chessa; Gavin Brelstaff
We motivate and describe the design and implementation of a web-based system for the alignment of parallel texts. It builds on the interactive color-highlight interface now deployed at Google Translate. By a series of simple point and click operations translators can mark up equivalent text-ranges in their own translation and in the original. When successful, the visual cues created by this activity should benefit the understanding of readers of limited degrees of bilingualism -- and may also capture aspects of semantic context not readily available to algorithmic statistical machine translation. We provide a working demonstration that treats poetic texts.
Spatial attention orienting to improve the efficacy of a brain-computer interface for communication BIBAFull-Text 114-117
  Marchetti Mauro; Piccione Francesco; Silvoni Stefano; Gamberini Luciano; Priftis Konstantinos
Brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) are systems which allow users to control devices, by means of their brain signals, without the involvement of the users' muscles. BCIs represent a potential solution for completely paralyzed patients who cannot communicate. We designed two new visual interfaces for controlling the movement of a virtual cursor on a monitor, implementing the cognitive principles of exogenous and endogenous attention orienting in a BCI driven by the P300. A group of patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and a matched group of healthy controls were tested. Results show that ALS patients can use both interfaces for controlling the cursor, although they reached a better performance with the endogenous attention orienting interface. We propose that the implementation of cognitive principles can play a key role in the development of new and more efficient BCIs.
Natural exploration of 3D models BIBAFull-Text 118-121
  Samuel A. Iacolina; Alessandro Soro; Riccardo Scateni
We report on two interactive systems for natural exploration of 3d models. Manipulation and navigation of 3d virtual objects can be a difficult task for a novel user, specially with a common 2D display. With traditional input devices such as 3d mice, trackballs, etc. the interaction doesn't insist directly on the models, but is mediated and not intuitive. Our user interface allows casual users to inspect 3D objects at various scales, panning, rotating, and zooming, all through hand manipulations analogous to the way people interact with the real world. We show the design and compare the tests on two alternative natural interfaces: multitouch and free-hand gestures. Both provide a natural dual-handed interaction and at the same time free the user from the need of adopting a separate device.

Health and safety

Children and YouTube: access to safe content BIBAFull-Text 125-131
  Marina Buzzi
Watching cartoons is part of a child's daily routine. Today the Internet and social video repositories such as YouTube encourage exploration for new online videos, but pornography is dramatically pervasive on the Internet and children may accidently access inappropriate content. In this paper, we first introduce the problem by showing a real example in which audio porno content was substituted for the original audio of a famous Disney cartoon. Next, we discuss the effectiveness of the YouTube user interface for signaling inappropriate content and propose some suggestions, such as delivering the nature of the retrieved content before accessing it, that could be adopted to improve its safety for children.
SAFERIDER: results from Yamaha test site on advanced rider assistance system BIBAFull-Text 132-138
  Roberto Montanari; Andrea Borin; Andrea Spadoni
The enormous impact that road fatalities have in our society has attracted the attention of various official entities and policy makers in the last 15 years. Among motor vehicle accidents, which represent the second most frequent cause of death for people aged from 5-29 (2), motorcycle and moped fatalities account for 17,7% of the total number of road accident fatalities in Europe. It's clear that the social impact of this phenomenon is dramatically negative from the social point of view (9). SAFERIDER is a research project aimed at studying the potential of Advanced Riding Assistance System and On Bike Information System integration on motorcycle and develop a rider-friendly interaction elements with riders. The functionalities have been evaluated Europewide in simulators and motorcycle demonstrators, testing them on functional, usability and acceptance point of views. SAFERIDER outcomes prove that Intelligent Technology System in motorcycle might contribute to the significant enhancement of riders' safety and comfort.
Serious games in social intervention: designing technologies to promote safe and healthy behaviors BIBAFull-Text 139-142
  Luca Zamboni; Luciano Gamberini; Anna Spagnolli; Sabrina Cipolletta; Gianni De Giuli; Isabella Tion
In this paper, we outline a specific application domain for serious games, i.e. the social intervention for the promotion of safe and healthy behavior in the nightlife. The potential of serious games in this domain are synthesized and a set of design guidelines, derived from interviewing stakeholders and operators, is provided.
Searching digital audio broadcasting radio stations: usability and safety issues for in-vehicle devices BIBAFull-Text 143-147
  Marco Camilli; Massimiliano Dibitonto; Alessandro Vona; Roberta Grimaldi; Francesco Di Nocera; Carlo Maria Medaglia
Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) changes analogical radio in a new media where images, video and hypertext contents are added to the "traditional" audio services. The shift to the digital broadcasting technology has shown several advantages such as an enhancement in the audio quality, an increased number of available stations and availability of brand new services. At the same time, this transformation (or remediation) implies new modalities and a higher complexity of user interaction with the innovative services. The current study focused on the evaluation of new modalities of station search by a categorization of the program type. A specific design proposal was prototyped and tested with users. A simulation of an in-vehicle context of use was used as experimental scenario in this study. Participants' ocular activity was recorded with the aim at monitoring users interaction with the radio system while driving. Also, participants' user experience of DAB was compared to the users of the analogical car radio. Generally, results showed an improved user experience of DAB system and an overall suitability of the program type categorization as search modality in digital radio. Finally, implications for hands-free radio system in automotive are discussed.

Social networks

Web 2.0: Twitter and the blind BIBAFull-Text 151-156
  Maria Claudia Buzzi; Marina Buzzi; Barbara Leporini
The latest Internet phenomenon is Twitter, a micro-blogging platform that in just a few years has attracted millions of users. With short messages (tweets), following and followers, Twitter is reshaping ways of interacting online. Thus, its accessibility is very important for social interaction as well as for work. In this paper we discuss the accessibility of Twitter for blind users interacting via screen reader and voice synthesizer. First, basic functions such as registration, login, posting and reading tweets have been analyzed highlighting accessibility issues, then a discussion is based on the analyzed case study, offering suggestions for designers.
Involving end users to create software supporting visits to cultural heritage sites BIBAFull-Text 157-162
  Carmelo Ardito; Paolo Buono; Maria F. Costabile
Cultural heritage provides a great legacy that more and more people should experience and appreciate. Information and communication technologies may contribute to increasing awareness in cultural heritage. In the last few years we have developed several applications aimed at supporting visits to cultural heritage sites. Such applications depends very much on the visitors they address, the devices they are implemented on, etc. In this paper, we illustrate the design approach we have adopted, which takes into account an end-user development perspective in order to allow different stakeholders to contribute to the design. The Cultural Heritage Resources (CHeR) model, encompassing all the entities involved in the design process, including the stakeholders, the digital resources to be shown, the different types of visitors, the relationships between these entities is described. It is at the basis of a software framework that has been developed to allow different stakeholders to contribute in the design of the final application. It is shown how this framework is used to create engaging applications in cultural heritage.
Accessibility of rich internet applications for blind people: a study to identify the main problems and solutions BIBAFull-Text 163-166
  Stéphanie Giraud; Teresa Colombi; Aurore Russo; Pierre Thérouanne
In this paper, we describe the accessibility problems experienced by blind people using Rich Internet Applications (RIA). RIA are dynamic interfaces where information sharing is done in real time. Due to their greater information density and diversity, making these interfaces accessible for blind people is difficult as the content changes constantly. Our study with blind and sighted people identified the main problems encountered by blind people and the magnitude of the difference of execution time of tasks among these two populations. Analyses also took into account users' expertise. From these results, we suggest recommendations for each problem.
frestyl: simplifying the process of promoting and discovering local live music BIBAFull-Text 167-170
  Arianna Bassoli; Johanna Brewer
In this paper, we present a new service for web and iPhone for promoting and discovering live music, frestyl. We will show how frestyl addresses and attempts to solve the problem that emerging musicians, local promoters and small/medium venues face when publicizing their events, both on a local and global level, and the problem that music fans face when trying to gather a complete but not overwhelming understanding of local and global live music events.
A design approach to socially adaptive lighting environments BIBAFull-Text 171-176
  Remco Magielse; Philip R. Ross
Historically light has been a catalyst for social life to emerge. In recent years of lighting research the social effect of light has been underexposed. The environments we occupy on a daily basis are used for a wider variety of activities. Consequently, lighting conditions need to become sensitive to adapt to the variety of activities being performed. We argue that the effect of light on the social relations between people needs to be considered in order to make adaptive lighting environments viable. To design a socially adaptive lighting environment an approach needs to be used that is iterative, experiential and involves multiple users in an actual context. The design process is described in three stages (Interactive Sketching, a Design Experiment and Socially Situated Adaptive Experience); for each stage the aims, the setup, results and lessons learned are provided. In this process an experimental environment is used, named Incubation environment, which is set up as a dining environment and equipped with computer controllable lighting armatures. In the final design stage the Socially Situated Adaptive Experience technique is described and is found a suitable technique to design socially adaptive lighting environments.
Exploring limits and opportunities for public displays in dementia care centers BIBAFull-Text 178-181
  Chiara Leonardi; Massimo Zancanaro
An initial investigation on the use of "encrypted" public displays as a way of interfacing an ambient intelligent infrastructure in dementia care centers is presented. Ambient intelligence promises new opportunities for daily human life that will be simplified by making people's environments supportive, flexible and adaptive. Yet, a crucial aspect of these technologies is the acceptability of user interfaces: the move of computing from a localized tool to a constant companion imposes to reconsider the relationship between humans and computers. We investigated the acceptability of public displays as a way of representing monitoring information with contextual inquiries and scenario-based design with the operators of three dementia care centers.

Model based approaches

A dynamic framework for multi-view task modeling BIBAFull-Text 185-190
  Shah Rukh Humayoun; Tiziana Catarci; Yael Dubinsky
We propose a dynamic way to model task structures from multi viewpoints at different abstraction levels. For this, we provide a multi-view task modeling framework that defines a two-layered approach: at conceptual-level specific framework concepts for providing a conceptual foundation to model and structure tasks at different abstraction levels; and at representation-level through a formal task modeling language. The motivation behind this is decoupling the complexity of the underlying system behavior and business logic, and giving a comprehensive picture from all perspectives. The framework concepts and the language are customizable and extendible, thus enabling the framework to be used for creating task models for different purposes, from system analysis to performing usability evaluation. We provide details of a case study in which we successfully used the framework for conducting task model-based usability evaluation.
Flexible support for distributing user interfaces across multiple devices BIBAFull-Text 191-195
  Marco Manca; Fabio Paternò
In this paper, we describe a solution to obtain flexible user interface distribution across multiple devices, even supporting different modalities. For this purpose we extend a model-based user interface language in order to address the specification of distribution at various user interface granularities. We also introduce how this solution works at run-time in order to support dynamic distribution of user interface elements across various devices.