Human-Centered Computing

Department of Computer Science

About HCC

Human-Centered Computing is one of three research units at the Department of Computer Science. The research field is design, development, and use of interactive computer systems. The research approach is empirical and experimental. The types of results include:

Theoretical frameworks as contributions to understanding the field. Methodologies and techniques as contributions to guiding practical action. Changes as contributions to understanding and improving practice within the field. The perspective is human-centered and it includes software development, digitalisation, human-computer interaction, interaction design, user experience, and innovation.

Intellectual support is sought in adjacent disciplines: engineering, systems theory, organisation theory, sociology, media science, theory of research, and philosophy. The research approaches applied by the unit encompass action research, case research, laboratory experiments, and field studies and experiments.

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News

Driving on Sunshine: Aligning Electric Vehicle Charging and Household Electricity Production was presented in Oslo.

Michael, Rikke, Mikael and Jesper got their paper accepted for NordiCHI 18, and Michael made a splendid presentation of the paper in Oslo.

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Paper

Driving on Sunshine: Aligning Electric Vehicle Charging and Household Electricity Production

Michael Kvist Svangren, Rikke Hagensby Jensen, Mikael B. Skov, and Jesper Kjeldskov Abstract

Electric vehicle seems to go well together with the growing societal trend of becoming more self-supplying with renewable electricity produced in the household. However, aligning household electricity production and electric vehicle charging have received little attention in HCI although both areas have been pursued separately for a number of years. In this paper, we present findings from a qualitative study that explore the potential of aligning electric vehicle charging with times where renewable electricity is being produced in the household. We present an empirical qualitative study of 5 households (19 persons) that own electric vehicles and also produce their own renewable electricity. Our findings, described in five themes, reveal that aligning charging and electricity production can be a challenge and tension exist for aligning consumption such as motivation, roles, mobility patterns, and electricity producing technology. We further discuss our findings and possible directions for future HCI research in the field.

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News

Rikke defended her Phd Project: Interaction Design for Sustainable Energy Consumption in the Smart Home

There is little doubt that human demand for electricity has environmental consequences for the climate on earth. One response to combat increasing electricity demand and CO2 emissions is to research and develop smart home technology aiming to change how people consume electricity in their homes. This PhD project contributes with understandings of how smart home technologies can be designed to see how these are going to be sustainably beneficial for people in everyday life.

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News

HCC Retreat / Seminar at Comwell Rebild Bakker

The HCC group gathered for a two day retreat at Comwell in Rebild Bakker for a seminar with a mix of formal and informal events including presentations of research, revising HCC profile descriptions, video watching and more.

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Paper

Paper published at Behaviour & Information Technology journal

Lefteris got his paper about aesthetic questionairs published at BIT

Lefteris Papachristos Abstract

In recent years, website aesthetics has received a fair amount of attention from the HCI community. This has led to the creation of a variety of multi-item questionnaires aimed at capturing users’ aesthetic judgments. Researchers have used these questionnaires in several HCI studies to investigate the relationship between aesthetics and other evaluative constructs such as usability. However, their usefulness as evaluation tools in visual design practice remains underexplored. Lengthy multi-item questionnaires can be particularly problematic especially in studies where participants must evaluate multiple designs or when they are required to give responses repeatedly in predefined time intervals. Despite the criticism, single-item scales have been used in many past studies in which questionnaire length could be problematic. Another alternative available to practitioners/researchers are short versions of standardized multi-item questionnaires that have been created for the aesthetic evaluations of websites. In this paper, we present a study in which we compare the performance of three such condensed aesthetic questionnaires (i.e. aesthetics scale, AttrakDiff, VisAWI) during a website redesign project. The short versions of those questionnaires were used by 187 users during an evaluation of 7 alternative website designs. The questionnaires were compared on performance criteria such as reliability, validity, and predictive ability. Data analysis showed that although AttrakDiff’s overall performance was better, a considerable amount of variance in aesthetic judgment could not be accounted for by any of the questionnaires

News

The TeleHuman2 paper was presented at CHI 2018

The TeleHuman2 paper was presented by Roel Vertegaal at the CHI2018 conference in Montréal. Tim Merritt visited the Human Media Lab in the Summer of 2017 and was welcomed to work on the project. The system and study had already been developed and the collaboration focused on refining the research message and revising the paper. Future studies involving the hologrammatic telepresence system and tactile feedback is among possible future areas of exploration.

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Rikke's paper received Honourable mention award at CHI 2018

Paper: Rikke Hagensby Jensen, Yolande Strengers, Jesper Kjeldskov, Larissa Nicholls, and Mikael B Skov. 2018. Designing the Desirable Smart Home: A Study of Household Experiences and Energy Consumption Impacts. In Proceedings of the 2018 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 18). Abstract: Research has shown that desirable designs shape the use and experiences people have when interacting with technology. Nevertheless, how desirability influences energy consumption is often overlooked, particularly in HCI studies evaluating the sustainability benefits of smart home technology. In this paper, we present a qualitative study with 23 Australian households who reflect on their experiences of living with smart home devices. Drawing on Nelson and Stolterman’s concept of desiderata we develop a typology of householders’ desires for the smart home and their energy implications. We structure these desires as three smart home personas: the helper, optimiser and hedonist, which align with desiderata’s three approaches to desire (reason, ethics and aesthetics). We use these insights to discuss how desirability can be used within HCI for steering design of the smart home towards sustainability

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Rikke presented her paper at CHI 2018

At CHI 2018 in Montreal, Rikke presented her paper “Designing the Desirable Smart Home: A Study of Household Experiences and Energy Consumption Impacts”. This was Rikke’s first CHI experience. The paper received an honourable mention award and is one result of Rikke’s collaboration with Yolande Strengers at RMIT

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News

GridDrones paper was presented at CHI 2018

At CHI 2018 in Montreal, the Human Media Lab from Queen’s University and Tim Merritt from the Human Centered Computing group at Aalborg University shared the GridDrones system with the CHI community in the form of an interactive demo. Visitors were able to manipulate the swarm of drones by physically grabbing and moving each drone, which would deform the swarm as if they had programmatic surface relationships. This system enables the physical exploration of information and supports social play experiences.

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News

Maria presented her poster at CHI 2018

At CHI 2018 in Montreal, Maria’s contribution “Diagnostic Agents: Collaborative Interpretation for Cardiac Patients at Home” was accepted and is published as part of extended abstracts. Per requirements, a poster was created and proudly presented at the conference by Maria.

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News

Grand Challenges in Shape-Changing Interface Research was presented at CHI 2018

In 2017, Tim Merritt participated in the Dagstuhl on Shape-Changing interfaces to discuss with other experts about the state of the emerging field. An outcome of the workshop was this paper presented at CHI 2018 in Montreal. Jason Alexander and Anne Roudaut were the main organisers and driving force behind the paper—the other five authors are listed in alphabetical order by first name.

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Paper

Michael, Mikael and Jesper got their paper on the use of ride-sharing platforms accepted at CHI2018.

Passenger Trip Planning using Ride-Sharing Services

Abstract

Ride-sharing can potentially address transportation challenges such as traffic congestion and air pollution by letting drivers share their cars unused capacity with a number of passengers. However, even though multiple ride-sharing services exist and HCI research has investigated various aspects of their use, we still have limited knowledge on how passengers use ride-sharing services to plan their trips. In this paper, we study how passengers use existing services to support the activity of planning a trip. We report from a qualitative study where we participated in 5 rides and conducted interviews with 19 passengers about their use and opinions towards ride-sharing services. We found that planning a ride involves comparing individual preferences across a number of services which enabled participants to support finding a trip and handle challenges such as privacy and trust. Further, we discuss these findings and their implications for future HCI research in ride-sharing

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News

Celebrating three years of MobileHCI Lasting Impact Awards

On Saturday 4. March we were joined by our old friend and colleague Connor Graham from Singapore National University for a one-off opportunity to celebrate three consecutive years of MobileHCH Lasting Impact Awards! In 2013 the award went to Connor and Jesper for their 2003 paper on research methods. In 2014 it went to Mikael and Jesper for the “is it worth the hassle” paper from 2004 (it was). In 2015 the award went to Dimitrios for his 2005 paper on mobile museum guides. Together these three papers have almost 1000 citations. For the first time all authors were together in the same place, so we brought out the bottle of 2003 Dom Perignon that has been kept in the cellar for this day since Mobile HCI in Munich in 2013.

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Research seminar

Shape-Changing Interface Research: Small Steps To Address Grand Challenges.

Abstract: In this seminar, I will review the topic of “Shape-Changing Interfaces,” taking departure in our recent paper identifying “grand challenges” for the research community (Alexander et al 2018). Shape-changing interfaces have emerged as a new method for interacting with computers, using dynamic changes in a device’s physical shape for input and output. Roots of this research begin with Ivan Sutherland’s Ultimate Display (Sutherland 1965), which was a concept proposing a future in which a computer can “control the existence of matter.” Shape-changing interfaces change our fundamental approach to interaction design, expanding interactive systems to include our perceptual motor skills to support the same direct interaction our body has with the everyday world. They take advantage of our haptic and kinaesthetic senses, our instinctive perception of physical 3D forms, and provide inherent support for multi-user interaction. In this talk, I will show various examples from recent research that has made progress exploring and addressing the grand challenges. A critical perspective is adopted in the end of the seminar to temper the enthusiasm and to present possible “dark patterns” for shape-changing interfaces to show how things might go wrong in the future. I invite discussion to explore dark patterns and to help map out opportunities for addressing the grand challenges.

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