Several ITI members are presenting their works at the 17th IFIP TC.13 International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction – INTERACT 2019, being held from September 2 – 6, in Paphos, Cyprus. INTERACT conferences are an important platform for researchers and practitioners in the field of human-computer interaction (HCI) to showcase their work.  There are 6 Papers presentations, 3 Posters, 1 Demo, 1 Workshop organization and 1 Chair of a panel. Full program here. List below.

Fostering interaction between locals and visitors by designing a community-based tourism platform on a Touristic Island by Mara Dionísio, Cláudia Silva, and Valentina Nisi;


More people are traveling than ever before. This intense and disproportionate growth in tourism may, however, generate negative environmental and social effects, especially on islands. In order to address this issue, this article presents the design and evaluation of Há-Vita, an interactive web platform, whose goal is to foster awareness of local nature and folk knowledge and create connections between locals and visitors. We explored these design goals through different research methods, such as user studies with tourists in hotel lobbies, as well as focus groups consisting of two different groups of local residents and a group of visitors. Theoretically, Há-Vita is grounded in the concept of “community-based tourism ventures,” which is concerned with environmental preservation via ecotourism practices and, at the same time, the empowerment of local communities. Furthermore, the design rationale of the platform is also inspired by the authenticity theory, which examines tourists’ pursuit of meaningful interactions with locals. Our results indicate that, despite time constraints (for visitors), locals and visitors were willing to interact with each other as they acknowledged authentic benefits in such interaction. Furthermore, our focus groups with locals have shown the potential to stimulate different levels of local empowerment based on the community-based tourism framework in the design iterations of Há-Vita.

SeaMote – Interactive Remotely Operated Apparatus for Aquatic Expeditions by Marko Radeta, Miguel Ribeiro, Dinarte Vasconcelos, Jorge Lopes, Michael Sousa, João Monteiro, and Nuno Jardim Nunes;


IoT has been widely adopted by HCI communities and citizen scientists to sense and control the surrounding environments. While their applications are mostly reported in urban settings, they remain scarce in aquatic settings. Oceans are undergoing an immense increase of human generated pollution ranging from noise to marine litter, where current USV solutions to detect its impact on environment remain at high cost. In our study, we design a first low-cost, long-range, radio controlled USV, based on IoT and LoRa, intended to be used for aquatic expeditions collecting environmental telemetry. We gather temperature, humidity, GPS position, footage and provide a mobile interface for remote controlling the USV. With this pilot study, we provide an initial study of the suitable simplistic GUI for long-range remote sensing in aquatic setting. We discuss the findings and propose future applications and Internet of Water Things as future research direction.

User Experience in an Automated World by Philippe Palanque, Pedro F. Campos, Jose Abdelnour Nocera, Torkil Clemmensen, and Virpi Roto;


The aim of this panel is to raise awareness and to foster discussions around the notions of Automation and User Experience and their interplay in the design, development, evaluation and deployment of interactive systems. User Experience is taken in its broad meaning as defined in the white paper of []. As for automation we consider here its wide perspective as proposed in [] – The Seven Deadly Myths of “Autonomous Systems”. In a time where there is strong push towards more and more automation in our daily life, the panel will question the impact of such trend on users’ experiences in multiple contexts such as work, entertainment, learning, as well as question other important emerging issues such as ethics, engagement and automation rationale.

A Digitally-Augmented Ground Space with Timed Visual Cues for Facilitating Forearm Crutches’ Mobility by Beatriz Peres, Pedro F. Campos, and Aida Azadegan;


Persuasive technologies for physical rehabilitation have been proposed in a number of different health interventions such as post-stroke gait rehabilitation. We propose a new persuasive system, called Augmented Crutches, aimed at helping people to walk with crutches. People with injuries, or with any sort of mobility problem typically use assistive devices such as crutches, walkers or canes in order to be able to walk more independently. However, walking with crutches is a learning skill that needs continuous repetition and constant attention to detail in order to walk correctly with them and without suffering negative consequences, such as falls or injuries. In close collaboration with therapists, we identify the main issues that patients face when walking with crutches. These vary from person to person, but the most common and hardest challenges are the position and coordination of the crutches. Augmented Crutches studies human behavior aspects in these situations and augments the ground space around the user with digital visual cues where timing is the most important factor, without the need for a constant therapist providing manual help. This is performed through a mini-projector connected to a smartphone, worn by the user in a portable, lightweight manner. Our system helps people to learn how to walk using crutches with increased self-confidence and motivation. Additionally, our work identifies timing, controllability and awareness as the key design dimensions for the successful creation of persuasive, interactive experiences for learning how to walk with crutches.

Analyzing Accessibility Barriers using Cost-Benefit Analysis to Design Reliable Navigation Services for Wheelchair Users by Benjamin Tannert, Reuben Kirkham, and Johannes Schöning;


This paper explores ‘A to B’ routing tools designed to chart accessible routes for wheelchair users. We develop and present a novel measurement framework based upon cost-benefit analysis in order to evaluate the real-world utility of routing systems for wheelchair users. Using this framework, we compare proposed routes generated by accessibility tools with the pedestrian routes generated by Google Maps by means of conducting expert assessments of the situation on the ground. Relative to tools aimed at pedestrians, we find that these tools are not significantly more likely to produce an accessible route, and more often than not, they present longer routes that arise from imaginary barriers that do not exist in the real world. This analysis indicates how future routing tools for wheelchair users should be designed to ensure that they genuinely ameliorate the effects of accessibility barriers in the built environment.

Memories of Carvalhal’s Palace: Haunted Encounters, a Museum Experience to Engage Teenagers by Vanessa Cesário, Rui Trindade, Sandra Olim, Valentina Nisi (Demo);


While museums are making great efforts in updating their communication and engagement strategies to include a wide variety of publics, teenagers (15–19) are still identified as an audience group that is often excluded from a museum’s curatorial strategies. As consequence, this audience appears to be generally disinterested in what museums might offer. Our installation, deployed at the Natural History Museum of Funchal (NHMF), in Portugal, makes use of mobile interactive technologies and gaming strategies to promote more engaging museum experiences for teenage visitors. Memories of Carvalhal’s Palace: Haunted Encounters is a location-based game that prompts teenagers to uncover the science in the museum, through investigating the site, which is presented as haunted. In order to complete the quest, the audience needs to find and collect scientific information about specific exhibits while interacting with their Augmented Reality (AR) three-dimensional (3D) models. The audience’s interactions with the museum exhibits are rewarded with pieces of a map, which when completed, will guide them to the hidden scientific library where they can finally unlock the mysteries they have been trying to solve.

SCAH!RF: a Novel Wearable as a Subconscious Approach for Mitigating Anxiety Symptoms by Laís Lopes, Pedro Campos (Poster);


Mobile and wearable interfaces have long been developed to improve mental health issues, including anxiety disorders, which represent a significant public health problem affecting more than 250 million people. However, most of the current approaches still operate in the so-called “reflective mind”, which hampers results since reflecting on your own health data can induce even more stress and anxiety. In this poster we introduce an alternative approach towards mitigating anxiety symptoms through the use of “subtle” wearable interfaces. Capitalizing on the subconscious processes of the mind is particularly attractive for anxiety disorders. We present a smart wearable in the form of a scarf that implements a subconscious, less-invasive approach in the design of assistive technologies for mental health. Preliminary results bring important implications for interaction design: combining psychological conditioning therapy (via a mobile app) with our smart scarf provides a solution that can be worn anytime anywhere to fight anxiety symptoms. But this work also raises many privacy and ethical concerns which should be discussed by the HCI community: how can designers balance the opaqueness of subconscious approaches with the necessary ethical transparency? And how can mental health technologies be conceived in such a way they do not instigate societal stigma in users?

Combating Misinformation Through Nudging by Loukas Konstantinou, Ana Caraban, Evangelos Karapanos (Poster);


Recent studies have shown that the spread and consumption of misinformation online can be attributed to errors in human decision making, facilitated by cognitive biases. The field of Behavioral Economics has contributed a repertoire of such cognitive biases that can be leveraged for the design of technological interventions. In particular, the concept of nudging refers to subtle changes in the ‘choice architecture’ that can alter people’s behaviors in predictable ways. In this paper we present our ongoing work on the design of nudging interventions in the context of misinformation, including a systematic review of the use of nudging in HCI that has led to a design framework consisting of 23 mechanisms of nudging tapping to 15 different cognitive biases, the translation of this framework into a set of design cards, the Nudge Deck, and its use in a planned workshop that aims to explore the design space of misinformation in the context of nudging.

Word Association: Engagement of Teenagers in a Co-design Process by Vanessa Cesário, António Coelho, Valentina Nisi (Poster);


This submission describes the analysis of an evaluation of 155 teenagers (15–19 years old) who took part in a co-design session centred around how mobile technology might enhance their own experiences in a natural history museum. At the end, participants were required to make a word association to evaluate the session. An analysis of how teen participants responded to the design session was conducted using thematic analysis to show the different categories of adjectives used by participants in their evaluations. The goal for the evaluation was mainly to pilot the design session process and if teens enjoyed participating in it. We believe this is of interest to designers and cultural heritage professionals.

An HCI Perspective on Distributed Ledger Technologies for Peer-to-Peer Energy Trading by Sabrina Scuri, Gergana Tasheva, Luísa Barros, and Nuno Jardim Nunes;


Distributed Ledger Technologies (DLT), such as blockchain, are gaining increasing attention in the energy sector, where they can be used to support Peer-to-Peer (P2P) energy trading. Several proof-of-concept and pilot projects are running all over the world to test this specific use case. However, despite much work addressing the technical and regulatory aspects related to DLT for P2P energy trading, our understanding of the human aspects affecting the adoption of these systems and technologies is still minimal.

The development of a decentralized energy market poses interesting challenges to the HCI community and raises important questions that need to be answered: do people trust a system which is, by definition, trust-free? How do they perceive P2P energy trading? What are their needs and motivations for engaging in energy trading? Moreover, are people willing to use cryptocurrencies as a medium of exchange for energy? And, to what extent is full-automation desirable?

To shed light on these and related questions, we developed and tested PowerShare, a decentralized, P2P energy trading platform. In this paper, we report on our findings from interviews with nine families that have used PowerShare for a month. Motivated by our empirical findings we conclude by highlighting guidelines for designing P2P energy trading platforms and elaborate directions for further research.

User Experiences and Wellbeing at Work (UX@Work) organized by ITI members Arminda Lopes, Frederica Gonçalves, José Abdelnour Nocera, Pedro Campos and others (Workshop);


As digitalization pervades diverse types of workplaces, an increasing part of employees’ work is with interactive technologies. Therefore, user experience of the technologies at work has an important influence to the job satisfaction, work motivation, and employee wellbeing. However, previous research on these topics rarely considers the digitalized work processes and the tools used at work. This workshop invites experts studying work with digital technologies to discuss the impact of these kind of tools on employee wellbeing. The UX@Work workshop aims to build a research agenda for tackling a multitude of overlooked research topics in this area.

– ‘Interaction in public spaces’ (Panel) – José Abdelnour Nocera (Chair).