Focused and Casual Interactions: Allowing Users to Vary Their Level of Engagement

Pohl, H. and Murray-Smith, R. (2013) Focused and Casual Interactions: Allowing Users to Vary Their Level of Engagement. In: ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, Paris, France, 27 Apr - 2 May 2013, pp. 2223-2232. ISBN 9781450318990 (doi: 10.1145/2470654.2481307)

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We describe the focused–casual continuum, a framework for describing interaction techniques according to the degree to which they allow users to adapt how much attention and effort they choose to invest in an interaction conditioned on their current situation. Casual interactions are particularly appropriate in scenarios where full engagement with devices is frowned upon socially, is unsafe, physically challenging or too mentally taxing. Novel sensing approaches which go beyond direct touch enable wider use of casual interactions, which will often be ‘around device’ interactions. We consider the degree to which previous commercial products and research prototypes can be considered as fitting the focused–casual framework, and describe the properties using control theoretic concepts. In an experimental study we observe that users naturally apply more precise and more highly engaged interaction techniques when faced with a more challenging task and use more relaxed gestures in easier tasks.

Item Type:Conference Proceedings
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Murray-Smith, Professor Roderick
Authors: Pohl, H., and Murray-Smith, R.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Computing Science
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