CHI2013: Tuesday April 30

Too bad I wasn’t in the Netherlands for the coronation of our new king! But instead, I got to go to the CHI Women’s Breakfast. There were some inspirational stories, chaired discussions and a fluffy Android animal for everyone. I see how HCI can be a man’s world, when you look at the programmer’s side of it, but in general I have the feeling that it is pretty balanced.

Today another load of entertaining, inspirational and educational events. I started the presentations at alt.chi: Experiences. Alt.chi is a part of the program for promising contributions methodologically far afield, or critical of accepted practices, so there were some entertaining performances.

Joe Marshall dutct-taped himself to a table to show how you (don’t) interact with technology when cold-water swimming.

Schmettow et al from Twente University showed the audience we were mostly geeks (there is a checklist in the paper), and en passant gave a great reason why you should do user research: most users want interaction to be smooth, easy and enjoyable. Geeks however, love to solve puzzles, and get a kick if they master really inaccessible interaction.

Marc Hassenzahl reiterated the basics of experience design: you design the opportunities to experience, from anticipation before the actual use, to the possibility for reflection and storytelling after. While I know the work of Hassenzahl quite well, it was good to get a tune-up.

experience design

Panel: UX Management, Current and Future Trends. A discussion between high-rollers from the ranks of Google etc. The necessary term-throwing: UX, Agile, Scrum, A-people.

Papers: Embodied Interaction. A variety of talks about different ways to research the balance between being and ‘being represented’. How does it effect our interaction with artifacts and each other?

Eva Deckers presented her research on perceptual crossing and how to make this happen between human and technology. Perceptual crossing is when I see you, and I know you see me; and you see me seeing you. Some attention points for designing for perception are:

  • Focus on the senses
  • Explorative behaviour
  • Subtleness of movement
  • Reaction to the external
  • Reflection of contextual noise
  • Recognizing explorative behaviour of something/one else
  • Remember and anticipate on perception


When perceptual crossing happens between an artifact and a person, the interaction becomes more meaningful, but I thought also a bit more intrusive. It is nice when you can perceive that someone or something is watching you, so you can adapt your behaviour. But what if you want to escape being seen? It really got me thinking about the future of HCI. Eva Deckers went on to receive a Cum Laude PhD at the TU/e two days later.

Unfortunately I could not attend the  session on Design Research, but here is a list of the most interesting papers from that:

And I would not want to hold back Benevolent Deception in Human Computer Interaction – Adar, Tan, Teevan !