Bristol Interaction and Graphics

Recent Seminars

Managing Attention in Ubiquitous Computing Environments

Within the Ubiquitous Computing paradigm the management of attention plays an important role, i.e. given that users have to interact with potentially many devices, that may compete for the user's attention. Designing for the capabilities and limitations of human attention seem to be crucial for effective and pleasant interfaces. Surprisingly there has not been too much work so far addressing this problem specifically. In my talk, I will report on our ongoing and increasing (and thus not so mature) activities to include issues of human attention in mobile and ubiquitous systems. I will provide examples from our research on "interruptions on mobiles", "interaction with large screens and media facades", and "managing attention in situated interaction".


InfiniFace and Largible: end-user configuration of distributed gaming interfaces and large tangible interfaces.

In this talk, two research ideas are presented. INFINIFACE is an application to create custom gaming systems by interconnecting several phones, tablets, gamepads or laptops. Games designed to run in Infiniface, define different roles; each role has associated inputs and outputs. For instance, steering, pointing or buttons are inputs whereas views or listeners are outputs.  Players can select their roles and distribute inputs and outputs across the available devices; the created custom console is greater than its constituting parts. LARGIBLES or large tangible interfaces employ an entire room as the interaction space. Furthermore, actuated levitating pieces are simulated with flying balls. Advantages of this approach are: support for dozens of tangibles, multitudinous collaboration and use of spatial memory.


Playing with representation, presentation, and perception: three ways to subvert current visualization techniques.

In this talk I present three recent projects that address different aspects of the visualisation pipeline. Fatfonts are a novel hybrid way to represent numbers, by using a special type of digit that turns tables into visualisations. Transmogrification is a technique that allows us to change the presentation of any graphic, and turn any 2D representation into an arbitrary set of other 2D representations with a very flexible touch interface. Finally, I will also present work on representing depth information through Gaze-contingent depth of field.



IPhone in vivo

Despite the widespread use of mobile devices, details of mobile technology use ‘in the wild’ have proven difficult to collect. In this talk I discuss using video data to gain new insight into the use of mobile computing devices. Our new method combines screen-capture of iPhone use with video recordings from wearable cameras. I use this data to analyse how mobile device use is threaded into other co- present activities, and how interaction with others is managed simultaneously with device use.  Close analysis reveals novel aspects of gestures on touch screens, how they serve ‘double duty” - both as interface gestures but as resources for ongoing joint action. In conclusion, I argue that mobile devices - rather than pushing us away from the world around us - are instead just another thread in the complex tapestry of everyday interaction. 


Understanding and Supporting Interface Expertise

Computer-based graphical user interfaces tend to trap users in a 'beginner mode' of operation. While user interface design guidelines advocate the provision of shortcut facilities for experts, it is known that most users persistently fail to adopt these methods, consequently
impairing their productivity for months, years, and decades of use.

I will introduce four domains for potential performance improvement: intramodal improvement within a single interface method; intermodal improvement that occurs between methods; vocabulary extension, in which the user broadens their knowledge of the range of functions available; and task mapping, which examines how users perform their tasks, including task learning and strategies. I will also review several of our research systems that demonstrate promising approaches for facilitating transitions to expert performance.