IFIP TC13 Open Symposium 2022 – March 17th, 2022



The TC13 Open Symposium on Human Computer Interaction and User Experience is part of a series of events organized by the Technical Committee 13 (TC13) on Human Computer Interaction of the International Federation for Information Processing (IFIP).

This event is for everyone interested in human-computer interaction and user experience. A number of researchers will present highlights of their recent research. It is also an opportunity to discover the recent activities by the Human Computer Interaction Technical Committee and to meet some of the members who come from HCI communities all over the world.

IMPORTANT: This event is free of charge however, for logistic purposes, we kindly ask you to register.

If you have any questions, please contact Helen Petrie (helen.petrie@york.ac.uk)


University of York logo


The TC13 Open Symposium on Human Computer Interaction 2022 will be held at University of York and also streamed online for those who cannot attend in person (details will be provided on registration)

Department of Computer Science

Campus East, Deramore Lane, Heslington East, York YO10 5GH

Map of Campus East and the venue


The Open Symposium will run from 10:00 to approximately 16:30.

Program (Abstracts for the presentations below)

(09:30 – 10:00) Coffee

(10:00 – 10:10) Welcome from Professor Paul Cairns, Head of the Department of Computer Science, University of York
Introduction to the Open Symposium, Helen Petrie, Professor Emerita, Department of Computer Science, University of York

(10:10 – 10:30) Introduction to IFIP and Technical Committee 13, Professor Marco Winckler, Université Côte d’Azur, Secretary of the IFIP TC 13

(10:30 – 11:00) Peter Forbrig
Experiences with the System e-BRAiN to Support Post-Stroke Patients in their therapies by a humanoid robot

(11:00 – 11:30) Coffee break

(11:30 – 12:00) Barbara Rita Barricelli and Daniela Fogli.
Human Work Interaction Design and Digital Twin in Collaborative Robotics

(12:00 – 12:30)
Sanjit Samaddar
What do older people actually want from their robots?

(12:30 – 13:30)
Lunch break

(13:30 – 14:00) Fabio Paterno, Human Control in Daily Automations

(14:00 – 14:30) Ahmed Seffah, From HCI to Human-Swarm Connected Things Interaction (SCOT): Examplars Informing a Research Agenda

(14:30 – 15:00) Anna Bramwell-Dicks, Disability, Chronic and Mental Illness Representation in Past, Present and Future Stories: Responsible Storytelling, the Risks of Empathy Tourism and Unconscious Ignorance

(15:00 – 15:30) Coffee break

(15:30 – 16:00) Helen Petrie, Ethics in human computer interaction and user experience research and practice: macro and micro-ethical issues

(16:00 – 16:30) Konrad Baumann, HCI and UX education at FH Joanneum University of Applied Sciences in Graz, Austria
Disability, Chronic and Mental Illness Representation in Past, Present and Future Stories: Responsible Storytelling, the Risks of Empathy Tourism and Unconscious Ignorance Anna Bramwell-Dicks, Co-Investigator, XR Stories Research Fellow, University of York
Abstract: The representation of disabled people and those with chronic or mental illness within traditional storytelling formats, including within literature, television and film, have been known to be problematic for decades. Due to growing concerns about their harmful impact there has been a move to work with greater numbers of disabled actors and creatives to achieve better representation. However, recently released films still include serious representation issues (e.g. Cruella, 2021). Of particular note, is the 2020 film Music about a non-verbal autistic girl that led to uproar within the autistic community and their allies, despite producers working with the Autism Speaks charity and initially hiring an autistic actor to play the lead role, suggesting this is a complex issue.

In this paper I will argue that while immersive storytelling formats, including virtual reality (VR), immersive theatre, etc., provide opportunities for better representation of people from marginalised communities, there are serious risks that inappropriate representation will lead to greater stigmatisation. Researchers have already asked able-bodied people to use wheelchairs in VR, reporting participants “felt the limitation of being tied to a wheelchair” (Sørenson & Hansen, 2017). Given many wheelchair users consider their wheelchairs a device that gives them independence and freedom, the perspectives these participants were left with are misguided, at best. Here, the empathy generated within the able-bodied participants led to serious misunderstandings of the reality of being a wheelchair user. I argue this is a direct result of unconscious ignorance by both the creators and users of the VR experience.

Research has shown the embodiment VR permits can change people’s racial biases, demonstrating opportunities to use immersive technologies to help people better understand the realities of life as a disabled person. The use of VR as a mechanism for empathy tourism has potential to lead to greater understanding of people from different backgrounds and with different disabilities, but only if their stories are told well. Current discussions of ethical and responsible VR need to be expanded to consider issues of inappropriate representation, as currently they are focused on risks to the people using the VR experience, not the people the VR experience is about.

In this presentation, I will explore the issues of inappropriate representation of this specific marginalised group in past, present and future storytelling formats. The first important question to consider is – what does better representation of these communities look like? At present, there is a tendency to lean into tropes and stereotypes. Do we need to counteract this with more positive demonstrations to balance this out? Or by presenting more well-rounded representations? Ultimately, I argue that creators must be aiming for appropriate and authentic representation that covers the whole nuanced human experience. The second important question is – how can we support creators and audiences/users to overcome their unconscious ignorance? I contend that while more people from within these communities need to be working as creatives, it is not their responsibility to make stories about being disabled. Therefore, alternative approaches are needed, some of which are considered within this paper.

Ethics in human computer interaction and user experience research and practice: macro and micro-ethical issues

Helen Petrie, Professor Emerita, Department of Computer Science, University of York
Abstract: As the scope and ambition of human computer interaction and user experience research and practice extends, the ethics issues faced by researchers and practitioners increases. In this talk I will consider what I term the “macro-ethical” issues: to what extent can we and should we be responsible for the consequences of the work we do. At the very least, how can we participate more actively in the consequences of our work once it is produced. I will also consider the “micro-ethical” issues: how can we respect the needs for privacy, confidentiality anonymity and dignity of all stakeholders involved in our work, in a post-pandemic world in which much work is done remotely and considerable amounts of data are hardly traceable.

What do older people actually want from their robots?
Sanjit Samaddar, Associate Lecturer in Interactive Media, Department of Theatre, Film, Television and Interactive Media (TFTI), University of York
Abstract: There has been a lot of research concerning robots to support older people. However, there may be some areas of robots for older people that have not been as heavily researched or that is being missed. This study aimed to reassess if existing research is addressing the needs of 22 older people and asked them “without being concerned about any limitations, what would you want from a robot?” The study also showed them pictures of different robot types and asked them which type, if any, they would prefer. It was found that the older people have a lot of daily tasks and needs that are not addressed by current research. It was also found that older people were generally intimated by humanoid robots and are concerned about their privacy with voice agents but do not have a specific preference otherwise.

Human Control in Daily Automations, Fabio Paternò, CNR-ISTI, Pisa, Italy
Abstract: This talk presents a proposal for how to address transparency of automations in daily environments, such as smart homes. The trigger-action programming paradigm has been used to describe and implement such automations in both commercial and research tools. Such automations can be generated through machine learning techniques or directly by the end users. When they are executed the resulting behaviour sometimes is not what end users desire for several reasons, and users have difficulties in understanding and controlling them. Thus, there is a need for proposing design criteria and tools that help people to understand and control what happens with the automations active in the environments where they live, and explain how they work and can be modified to better meet their needs. The talk will also review some relevant experiences and projects at the Human Interfaces and Information Systems Laboratory at CNR-ISTI, and discuss possible future developments.

From HCI to Human-Swarm Connected Things Interaction (SCOT): Exemplars Informing a Research Agenda,
Ahmed Seffah, Human-Oriented Technology Living Lab, College of Technological Innovation, Zayed University, Abu Dhabi Campus United Arab Emirates
Abstract: Swarm-connected objects – that can be called also smart physical objects or smart connected things (SCOT) – refer to a set of things (physical things) that are connected to an interactive system while supporting interaction with not only people but also between the physical objects including the ones that form the Swarm. As an HCI concept, they are emerging from the seamless integration between the physical and digital worlds, mainly cyber-physical systems. Swarm supports three forms of interaction and data exchange data from physical things embedded with sensors and connectivity. SCOT is being deployed and can applied in houses (furniture, appliances, plants, etc, all together form a Swarm Connected Things, they can interact with others, with the family and even with another SCOT in another house, house of friends for example), hospitals, factories, public agencies, critical infrastructures, or transportation. Humans can interact, monitor, and control the physical processes and physical things are being a source of data that be used in the decision-making. What are connected objects as an HCI artifact? How are they being defined used and how the human-Scot interaction can be characterized? Via the study of three exemplars (Joseph Trash, Connected HairBrush, Cherry Tree Twin), this paper answers these questions and similar ones. It highlights some HCI design challenges awaiting further research and actionable tasks by HCI designers.

Human Work Interaction Design and Digital Twin in Collaborative Robotics
Barbara Rita Barricelli, Daniela Fogli, Università degli Studi di Brescia (Italy)
Abstract: The concept of digital twin (DT) has become extremely popular thanks to the success of its implementation in a wide variety of application domains: manufacturing, medicine, aerospace, construction, and smart homes and smart cities. One of the most interesting applications of DT technology is aimed at defining, monitoring, and simulating the behavior of a collaborative robot (cobot). Cobots are designed to work together with humans, to help and support them in the activities they are dedicated to, in a safe and usable way. Our research interest is framed in Human Work Interaction Design (HWID) and focuses on how to involve domain experts in the design of the interaction with DTs. Specifically, we are interested in studying the application of End-User Development (EUD) methods and techniques to allow experienced professionals, expert in their field of work but not necessarily IT experts, to change and extend the behaviour of the collaborative robots they work with, without having to learn any programming language.

Experiences with the System E-BRAiN to Support Post-Stroke Patients in their Therapies by a Humanoid Robot,
Peter Forbrig, University of Rostock, Germany
Abstract: Stroke is a leading cause of disability. Brain lesions caused by stroke affect various body functions and lead to activity limitations. Frequently, intensive specific training schedules are necessary to promote the recovery of body functions. The specified group of exercises for mild to moderate arm paresis are called Arm Ability Training (AAT). Similarly, impairment-oriented training therapies grouped as Arm Basis Training (ABT) and as Mirror Therapy (MT) were designed for stroke survivors with severe arm paresis. Patients suffering from neglect, a kind of visual impairment can undergo a neglect therapy. While therapeutic training is clinically effective there is a lack of therapists for post-stroke patients in many health care systems. Within our project E-BRAiN (Evidence-based Robot-Assistance in Neurorehabilitation; www.ebrain-science.de) we study whether humanoid robots can support therapists, if they were designed to be a socially interactive companion that supports daily repetitive training schedules. Therefore, we developed software that allows a humanoid robot to give instructions for carefully selected training exercises, provide feedback and motivation. The talk will discuss the digitalisation of training tasks and the architecture of the E-BRAiN software, that uses the humanoid robot Pepper as a kind of thin client. It is used as a nice input and output device only. The main algorithms run on a server. Dialogs are specified state-based in Python. A tool was developed to interpret those scripts. Additionally, two versions of domain-specific language are under development. They are specified with Xtext and Xtend and are able to generate the Python scripts. One language is an extension of the DSL for state machines by Fowler. The other one is task-based and an extension of the DSL-CoTaL. One role Pepper is used to specify the behaviour of the robot. Specific commands were implemented as tasks.

HCI and UX education at FH Joanneum University of Applied Sciences in Graz, Austria
Konrad Baumann, FH Joanneum University of Applied Sciences in Graz, Austria
In my talk I will present an overview of the 22 years I have been working as a researcher and senior lecturer at universities in Graz, Linz, Krems, and Hagenberg, all in Austria.

I became an academic only after having graduated in engineering and started a career as a product manager in the electronics industry (NXP, Philips). At my main university, FH Joanneum in Graz, I teach hands-on courses about usability testing, user-centred design, user experience design, and research. The study programmes I have been involved in include Information Design, Interaction Design, Exhibition Design, eHealth, Content Strategy, and Technical Documentation. I have supervised more than 100 theses, many of them in collaboration with industry partners or research projects. I will give examples of several funded research projects I was able to participate in, like www.ic-ic.eu, dedicated to the proposal of an integrated information platform for travellers, but also rather exotic ones like the design and development of a novel musical instrument, the www.concheridoo.com

In the last two decades Graz became a permanent member of the UNESCO Cities of Design network, as well as a cultural capital of Europe in 2003. Our Institute of Design and Communication played an active role in this ongoing process that involves e. g. a series of public events offered every year in May in the framework of a “design month”. Other HCI and UX related study programmes are offered at several other universities like the ones I am an alumnus of (TU Graz, TU Vienna) as well as an external lecturer (Danube University Krems, JKU Linz, Hagenberg UoAS).

Besides teaching full-time I am involved in the acquisition, promotion, and support of international contacts and exchange activities, as a board member of the IDJ Information Design Journal, and as the IFIP 13.1 working group chair. One of my beliefs is that I cannot separate work from life, since my work needs to be heavily related to the life of individuals, and therefore is a holistic activity. While I definitely would not compare my work with the one of a fine artist, a musician, a writer, or an actor, I see some parallels to the attitude of a craftsperson in the sense of Donald Schön’s “reflective practitioner”. Other researchers or authors whom I consider as influential for my work include Donald A. Norman, Horst Rittel and Melvin M. Webber, Bill Buxton, and Brenda Laurel.