Lancaster University at CHI 2017

CHI 2017 is approaching quickly so here are all the papers and notes from Lancaster University this year. It’s a great selection of papers ranging from technical work to design, empirical studies and digital health. With 12  13 papers, Lancaster University has done quite well [source]. If you’re attending CHI this year do check out all the talks!

  1. Implications for Adoption
  2. Design for Rituals of Letting Go: An Embodiment Perspective on Disposal Practices Informed by Grief Therapy
  3. DemYouth: Co-Designing and Enacting Tools to Support Young People’s Engagement with People with Dementia
  4. Connecting Those That Care: Designing for Transitioning, Talking, Belonging and Escaping
  5. Embedding a Crowd inside a Relay Baton: A Case Study in a Non-Competitive Sporting Activity
  6. Supporting the Use of User Generated Content in Journalistic Practice
  7. Photo Privacy Conflicts in Social Media: A Large-scale Empirical Study
  8. EagleSense: Tracking People and Devices in Interactive Spaces using Real-Time Top-View Depth-Sensing
  9. Bearing an Open “Pandora’s Box”: HCI for Reconciling Everyday Food and Sustainability
  10. Demand Around the Clock: Time Use and Data Demand of Mobile Devices in Everyday Life
  11. Design for Trust: An Exploration of the Challenges and Opportunities of Bitcoin Users
  12. HCI and environmental public policy: Opportunities for engagement
  13. Thumb + Pen Interaction on Tablets


1 – Implications for Adoption
Joseph Lindley, Imagination Lancaster Institute for Contemporary Arts, Lancaster, United Kingdom
Paul Coulton, Imagination Lancaster Institute for Contemporary Arts, Lancaster, United Kingdom
Miriam Sturdee, Highwire CDT Lancaster University, Lancaster, United Kingdom

In this paper we explore the motivations for, and practicalities of, incorporating ‘implications for adoption’ into HCI research practice. Implications for adoption are speculations which may be used in research projects to scrutinize and explore the implications and requirements associated with a technology’s potential adoption in the future. There is a rich tradition within the HCI community of implementing, demonstrating, and testing new interactions or technologies by building prototypes. User-centered design methods help us to develop prototypes to and move toward designs that are validated, efficient, and rewarding to use. However, these studies rarely shift their temporal focus to consider, in any significant detail, what it would mean for a technology to exist beyond its prototypical implementation, in other words how these prototypes might ultimately be adopted. Given the CHI community’s increasing interest in technology-related human and social effects, the lack of attention paid to adoption represents a significant and relevant gap in current practices. It is this gap that the paper addresses and in doing so offers three contributions: (1) exploring and unpacking different notions of adoption from varying disciplinary perspectives; (2) discussing why considering adoption is relevant and useful, specifically in HCI research; (3) discussing methods for addressing this need, specifically design fiction, and understanding how utilizing these methods may provide researchers with means to better understand the myriad of nuanced, situated, and technologically-mediated relationships that innovative designs facilitate.


2 – Design for Rituals of Letting Go: An Embodiment Perspective on Disposal Practices Informed by Grief Therapy
Corina Sas, Lancaster University, Lancaster, United Kingdom
Steve Whittaker, University of California at Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, USA
John Zimmerman, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, United States

People increasingly live their lives online, accruing large collections of digital possessions, which symbolically represent important relationships, events, and activities. Most HCI research on bereavement focuses on retaining these significant digital possessions to honor the departed. However recent work suggests that significant digital possessions may complicate moving on; they function as both comforting and painful reminders but currently provide inflexible methods for disposal. Little work has investigated the disposal of digital objects as a means of letting go. To better understand this we interviewed 10 psychotherapists who employ rituals of letting go to help patients overcome loss in situations such as a divorce, a breakup, or a stillbirth. Patients disposed of either natural artefacts or symbolic personal possessions through actions such as burning, burying, or placing in a body of water. Therapists noted people increasingly have digital possessions, and that the act of deletion does not offer the same cathartic sense of release as disposal of material artefacts. Based on analysis of this grief therapy, we propose a new conceptual framework for rituals of letting go that highlights temporality, visibility, and force. It provides a vocabulary to talk about disposal. We then offer design implications connecting the rituals of letting go to the disposal of digital things. Based on our interviews and analytic framework, we propose novel technologies that better connect the embodied nature of letting go rituals to the process of digital disposal.


3 – DemYouth: Co-Designing and Enacting Tools to Support Young People’s Engagement with People with Dementia
Roisin McNaney, School of Computing and Communications Lancaster University, Lancaster, United Kingdom
John Vines, Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
Jamie Mercer, Youth Focus North East, Newcastle Upon Tyne, United Kingdom
Leon Mexter, Youth Focus North East, Newcastle Upon Tyne, United Kingdom
Tony Young, Newcastle University, Newcastle Upon Tyne, United Kingdom

There is a growing body of research examining the role of technology in supporting the care of—and relationships surrounding—people with dementia, yet little attention has been given to how this relates to younger family members. We conducted a qualitative study based on a series of 6 co-design workshops conducted with 14 young people who had personal experience with dementia. Initially, our workshops focused on understanding the difficulties that young people face when engaging, interacting and being with people with dementia. Initial analysis of workshop data informed the design of three digital tool concepts that were used as the basis for user enactment workshops. Our findings highlight the young people’s desire to be more involved in their family discussions around dementia and a need for them to find new ways to connect with their loved ones with dementia. We offer a set of design considerations for future systems that support these needs and reflect on some of the complexities we faced around engaging young people in this difficult topic of discussion.


4 – Connecting Those That Care: Designing for Transitioning, Talking, Belonging and Escaping
Kiel S Long, Open Lab Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
Lyndsey L Bakewell, School of the Arts, English and Drama Loughborough University, Loughborough, United Kingdom
Roisin C McNaney, Lancaster University, Lancaster, United Kingdom
Konstantina Vasileiou, Department of Psychology University of Bath, Bath, United Kingdom
Mark Atkinson, Psychology University of Exeter, Exeter, United Kingdom
Manuela Barreto, Psychology University of Exeter, Exeter, United Kingdom
Julie Barnett, University of Bath, Bath, United Kingdom
Michael Wilson, School of Arts, English and Drama Loughborough University, Loughborough, United Kingdom
Shaun Lawson, Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
John Vines, Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom

Care provision in many nations increasingly relies on the work of informal, or non-professional, carers. Often these carers experience substantial disruptions and reductions to their own sociality, weakened social support networks and, ultimately, a heightened risk of social isolation. We describe a qualitative study, comprised of interviews, design workshops and probes, that investigated the social and community support practices of carers. Our findings highlight issues related to becoming and recognising being a carer, and feelings of being ignored by, and isolated from, others. We also note the benefits that sharing between carers can bring, and routes to coping and relaxing from the burdens of care. We conclude with design considerations for facilitating new forms of digitally mediated support that connect those that care, emphasising design qualities related to transitioning, talking, belonging and escaping


5 – Embedding a Crowd inside a Relay Baton: A Case Study in a Non-Competitive Sporting Activity
Franco Curmi, School of Computing and Communicaitons Lancaster University, Lancaster, United Kingdom
Maria Angela Ferrario, School of Computing and Communications Lancaster University, Lancaster, United Kingdom
Jon Whittle, School of Computing and Communications Lancaster University, Lancaster, United Kingdom

This paper presents a digital relay baton that connects long-distance runners with distributed online spectators. The baton broadcasts athletes’ live locative data to a social network and communicates back remote-crowd support through haptic and audible cheers. Our work takes an exploratory design approach to bring new insights into the design of real-time techno-mediated social support. The prototype was deployed during a 170-mile charity relay race across the UK with 13 participants, 261 on-line supporters, and gathered a total of 3,153 ‘cheers’. We report on the insights collected during the design and deployment process and identify three fundamental design considerations: the degree of spectator expression that the design affords, the context applicability, and the data flow within the social network.


6 – Supporting the Use of User Generated Content in Journalistic Practice
Peter Tolmie, The University of Nottingham, Nottingham, United Kingdom
Rob N Procter, Department of Computer Science Warwick University, Warwick, United Kingdom
David William Randall, Institute for Information Systems University of Siegen, Germany, Siegen, Germany
Mark Rouncefield, Lancaster University, Lancaster, United Kingdom
Christian Burger, SwissInfo.ch, Bern, Switzerland
Geraldine Wong Sak Hoi, SwissInfo.ch, Bern, Switzerland
Arkaitz Zubiaga, University of Warwick, Coventry, United Kingdom
Maria Liakata, Department of Computer Science, Warwick University, Warwick, United Kingdom

Social media and user-generated content (UGC) are increasingly important features of journalistic work in a number of different ways. However, their use presents major challenges, not least because information posted on social media is not always reliable and therefore its veracity needs to be checked before it can be considered as fit for use in the reporting of news. We report on the results of a series of in-depth ethnographic studies of journalist work practices undertaken as part of the requirements gathering for a prototype of a social media verification ‘dashboard’ and its subsequent evaluation. We conclude with some reflections upon the broader implications of our findings for the design of tools to support journalistic work


7 – Photo Privacy Conflicts in Social Media: A Large-scale Empirical Study
Jose Such, Department of Informatics King’s College, London, London, United Kingdom
Joel Porter, School of Computing and Communications Lancaster University, Lancaster, United Kingdom
Sören Preibusch, Google, Inc., Mountain View, United States
Adam Joinson, University of Bath, Bath, United Kingdom

Items in social media such as photos may be co-owned by multiple users, i.e., the sharing decisions of the ones who upload them have the potential to harm the privacy of the others. Previous works uncovered coping strategies by co-owners to manage their privacy, but mainly focused on general practices and experiences. We establish an empirical base for the prevalence, context and severity of privacy conflicts over co-owned photos. To this aim, a parallel survey of pre-screened 496 uploaders and 537 co-owners collected occurrences and type of conflicts over co-owned photos, and any actions taken towards resolving them. We uncover nuances and complexities not known before, including co-ownership types, and divergences in the assessment of photo audiences. We also find that an all-or-nothing approach seems to dominate conflict resolution, even when parties actually interact and talk about the conflict. Finally, we derive key insights for designing systems to mitigate these divergences and facilitate consensus.


8 – EagleSense: Tracking People and Devices in Interactive Spaces using Real-Time Top-View Depth-Sensing
Chi-Jui Wu, UCL Interaction Centre University College London, London, United Kingdom
Steven Houben, Lancaster University, Lancaster, United Kingdom
Nicolai Marquardt, UCL Interaction Centre University College London, London, United Kingdom

Real-time tracking of people’s location, orientation and activities is increasingly important for designing novel ubiquitous computing applications. Top-view camera-based tracking avoids occlusion when tracking people while collaborating, but often requires complex tracking systems and advanced computer vision algorithms. To facilitate the prototyping of ubiquitous computing applications for interactive spaces, we developed EagleSense, a real-time human posture and activity recognition system with a single top-view depth-sensing camera. We contribute our novel algorithm and processing pipeline, including details for calculating silhouette-extremities features and applying gradient tree boosting classifiers for activity recognition optimized for top-view depth sensing. EagleSense provides easy access to the real-time tracking data and includes tools for facilitating the integration into custom applications. We report the results of a technical evaluation with 12 participants and demonstrate the capabilities of EagleSense with application case studies


9 – Bearing an Open “Pandora’s Box”: HCI for Reconciling Everyday Food and Sustainability
Adrian K Clear, Computer and Information Sciences Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
Kirstie O’Neill, Department of Geography, Environment and Earth Sciences Universtiy of Hull, Hull, United Kingdom
Adrian Friday, School of Computing and Communications Lancaster University, Lancaster, United Kingdom
Mike Hazas, School of Computing and Communications Lancaster University, Lancaster, United Kingdom

The sustainability of food is a significant global concern with drastic change required to mitigate complex social, environmental and economic issues like climate change and food security for an ever increasing population. In this paper, we set out to understand the place of food in people\’s lives, their mundane yet surprisingly complex ways of sourcing their food, and the processes of transition, past and ongoing, that shape these choices. Our goal is to understand the potential role for digital interactions in supporting the various ways that food consumption can be made more sustainable. To inform this exercise, we specifically set out to contrast the journeys of committed sustainable “food pioneers” with more conventional mainstream consumers recruited in branches of a UK supermarket. This contrast highlights for both groups the various values, and “meaningfulness” attached to foods and meals in people\’s lives; and suggests ways in which food choice and pro-sustainable practices can be supported at least in part by new digital technologies.


10 – Demand Around the Clock: Time Use and Data Demand of Mobile Devices in Everyday Life
Kelly Widdicks, School of Computing and Communications Lancaster University, Lancaster, United Kingdom
Oliver Bates, School of Computing and Communications Lancaster University, Lancaster, United Kingdom
Mike Hazas, School of Computing and Communications Lancaster University, Lancaster, United Kingdom
Adrian Friday, School of Computing and Communications Lancaster University, Lancaster, United Kingdom
Alastair R. Beresford, Computer Laboratory University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom

Motivated by mobile devices’ growing demand for connectivity, and concern in HCI with the energy intensity and sustainability of networked services, in this paper we reveal the impact of applications on smartphones and tablets in terms of network demand and time use. Using a detailed mixed methods study with eight participants, we first provide an account of how data demand has meaning and utility in our participants’ social practices, and the timing and relative impacts of these. We then assess the scale of this demand by drawing comparison between our fine-grained observations and a more representative dataset of 398 devices from the Device Analyzer corpus. Our results highlight the significant categories of data demanding practice, and the identification of where changes in app time and duration of use might reduce or shift demand to reduce services’ impacts.


11 – Design for Trust: An Exploration of the Challenges and Opportunities of Bitcoin Users
Corina Sas, Lancaster University, Lancaster, United Kingdom
Irni Eliana Khairuddin, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Shah Alam, Malaysia

Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency which has received increasing interest over the last five years. Built upon a decentralized peer to peer system, it supports transparent, fast, cost effective, and irreversible transactions, without the need for trusting third party financial institutions. We know however little about people’s motivation and experience with bitcoin currency. This paper reports on interviews with 20 bitcoin users in Malaysia about their experience and trust challenges. Findings show that bitcoins are used more as store of value for speculative investment or savings’ protection. The paper advances the HCI theories on trust by identifying main bitcoin characteristics and their impact on trust, such as decentralization, unregulation, embedded expertise, and reputation, as well as transactions’ transparency, low cost, and easiness to complete. We discuss insecure transactions, the risk of dishonest traders and its mitigating strategies. The paper concludes with design implications including support for the transparency of two-way transactions, tools for materializing trust, and tools for supporting reversible transactions.


12 – HCI and environmental public policy: Opportunities for engagement
Vanessa Thomas, HighWire Centre for Doctoral Training Lancaster University, Lancaster, United Kingdom
Christian Remy, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
Mike Hazas, School of Computing and Communications Lancaster University, Lancaster, United Kingdom
Oliver Bates, School of Computing and Communications Lancaster University, Lancaster, United Kingdom

This note discusses opportunities for the HCI community to engage with environmental public policy. It draws on insights and observations made during the primary author’s recent work for a policy unit at Global Affairs Canada, which is a federal ministry of the Government of Canada. During that work, the primary author identified several domains of environmental public policy that are of direct relevance to the HCI community. This note contributes a preliminary discussion of how, why, with whom, and in what capacity HCI researchers and practitioners might engage with three types of environmental public policy: climate change, waste electrical and electronic equipment, and green ICT procurement policies. This builds on existing public policy and environmental knowledge within the HCI community and responds directly to calls from some members to engage with environmental public policy.


13 – Thumb + Pen Interaction on Tablets
Ken Pfeuffer, Lancaster University / Microsoft Research, Redmond, United States
Ken Hinckley, Microsoft Research, Redmond, United States
Michel Pahud, Microsoft Research, Redmond, United States
William A.S. Buxton, Microsoft Research, Redmond, United States

Modern tablets support simultaneous pen and touch input, but it remains unclear how to best leverage this capability for bimanual input when the nonpreferred hand holds the tablet. We explore Thumb + Pen interactions that support simultaneous pen and touch interaction, with both hands, in such situations. Our approach engages the thumb of the device-holding hand, such that the thumb interacts with the touch screen in an indirect manner, thereby complementing the direct input provided by the preferred hand. For instance, the thumb can determine how pen actions (articulated with the opposite hand) are interpreted. Alternatively, the pen can point at an object, while the thumb manipulates one or more of its parameters through indirect touch. Our techniques integrate concepts in a novel way that derive from marking menus, spring-loaded modes, indirect input, and multi-touch conventions. Our overall approach takes the form of a set of probes, each representing a meaningfully distinct class of application. They serve as an initial exploration of the design space at a level which will help determine the feasibility of supporting bimanual interaction in such contexts, and the viability of the Thumb + Pen techniques in so doing.