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Social Perspectives in Natural User Interfaces Workshop

This one-day workshop was held as part of the DIS 2014 Conference on Designing Interactive Systems, held in Vancouver, Canada on 21–25 June 2014.

About Social NUI

Natural User Interfaces (NUI) offer rich ways for interacting with the digital work that make innovative use of existing human capabilities. They include and often combine different input modalities such as voice, gesture, eye gaze, body interactions, touch and touchless interactions. However much of the focus of NUI research and development has been on enhancing the experience of individuals interacting with technology. Effective NUIs must also acknowledge our innately social characteristics, and support how we communicate with each other, play together, learn together and collaboratively work together. This workshop concerns the social aspects of NUI seeking to better understand the social uses and applications of these new NUI technologies — how we design these technologies for new social practices and how we understand their use in key social contexts.

Themes and Aims of the Workshop

The workshop will bring together key researchers in the field with a view to consolidating our understanding of these different aspects of Social NUI. We seek to better understand social uses and applications of NUI technology and how we design them for new social practices and contexts. The workshop will explore the social aspects of NUI across a number of key contexts: home, work, public space, education and healthcare.

Within these domains we are interested in:

  • Studies of collaborative use of NUI technologies
  • New NUI technologies for social interaction
  • Understanding of NUI in real world contexts
  • Domain specific aspects of social NUI
  • Technologies for collective NUI interaction
  • Approaches to the evaluation of social NUI

Accepted Papers

Visual Audience Moderation: Actively Shaping User Constellations to Improve Touchless Interaction with Public Displays
Gilbert Beyer, Vincent Binder, Andreas Butz

Icebreaker NUIs: Encouraging Social Conversations Around Interactive Urban Spaces
Luke Hespanhol, Martin Tomitsch, Christopher Ackad, Judy Kay

Eliciting Intuitive Actions for Whole-Body Natural User Interfaces
Aaron May, Alissa Antle

Addressing Challenges in Crowded Proxemics-Aware Installations
Jo Vermeulen, Kris Luyten, Karin Coninx, Nicolai Marquardt


Frank Vetere leads the Interaction Design Lab at the University of Melbourne and is Director of the Microsoft Research Centre for Social Natural User Interfaces. His research seeks to understand the use and design of technology for wellbeing and social benefit.

Kenton O’Hara is at Microsoft Research in Cambridge and a Visiting Professor at the University of Bristol. His research explores everyday social practices with technology to informing design and innovation.

Jeni Paay is an Associate Professor in Socio-Interactive Design Research at Aalborg University. She researches in the areas of understanding/designing for social, physical and digital aspects of public urban spaces, and interaction design supporting sociality in the kitchen.

Bernd Ploderer is a Lecturer at the University of Melbourne and Deputy Director of the Microsoft Research Centre for Social NUI. His research explores technologies for health and wellbeing.

Richard Harper is a Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research in Cambridge and co-manages the Socio-Digital Systems group. Richard is a sociologist concerned with how to design for ‘being human’.

Abigail Sellen is a Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research Cambridge in the UK and co-manager of Socio-Digital Systems, an interdisciplinary group with a focus on the human perspective in computing.