Thematic Collection Understanding People: Extensions of Human Computer Interaction

Submission Deadline:  September 1, 2023

Papers submitted after the deadline will be considered for inclusion in the collection if time permits. In any case, if accepted, they will still be published as regular contributions.


Science and design are often seen as being at different ends of an academic discipline spectrum. Indeed, this is often the case. However, there are several fields that bring these two ends of the spectrum together. Human Computer Interaction (HCI) is one of these, being described as the bridge between science and design. HCI, stemming back to around 1982, involves research into the design, development and the use of computer technology, which focuses on the interfaces between people and technology. From the outset, usability – creating software that people will want to use, will be able to use, and will find effective/ satisfying to use – took a central role in HCI. In fact, there was a drive in the early days to create designs that ensured that people wouldn’t need to think too hard about the interface and how it worked (e.g., easy to use). Since then, HCI has expanded and is now a multidisciplinary community encompassing a wide range of concepts that include usability.

Observing how people interact with interfaces today, it becomes clear that people need more from an application and system than merely ‘ease of use’. In essence, people are not only interacting with technology; they are interacting through technology to achieve their goals. As such, for their own wellbeing, they need to think more about the interface and content that they are interacting with, before and as they interact with them.

From a HCI perspective, we need to design these interfaces to ensure that they afford appropriate and responsible interactions. For example, it is well known that people sometimes say and do things in cyberspace (online) that they wouldn't naturally say and/ or do in the face-to-face world. In fact, many people feel more uninhibited online and certainly, this can have both positive and negative consequences. Nonetheless, we need to start understanding what it is about the design of these virtual spaces that affords these feelings and sometimes unwise behaviours?

When we design our physical environments, lessons are drawn from many fields to plan and design environments that appropriately affect, and are affected by, human behaviour (i.e., fair, sustainable, safe etc.). As such, the physical environment can facilitate and influence certain behaviours and motivations. For example, in an inviting space with comfortable surroundings, perceived security and privacy can encourage certain feelings of safeguarding and avoiding harm. The question is, therefore, how do we design this integrally in our online spaces?

This thematic collection aims to stimulate HCI design and research that will expand further from the traditional concept of the usable interaction to include aesthetics, empathy, security, responsibility, transparency, and trust.

Theme topics

Humanization of interactive technology

New HCI design-orientated tools and creative methods

Design of new usability considerations/ features

Aesthetic interactions and creative interface design

Accessible and secure design

Ecologically-valid methodologies for validating designs

Empathic design and emotional HCI

Usability and usable security design

Interface and interaction design to minimise harm and improve safety

Design for trust, information presentation and visualisation

Ethically aligned design for interactive technologies

Design research with non-Weird populations (Weird=Western, educated, industrialized, rich and democratic)

Evaluations of new or existing interactive applications and/ or system features


Guest Editors

Kristi E.S. Bauerly, Apple, USA.

Fiona Carroll, Cardiff Met University, Wales.

Karen Renaud, Strathclyde University, Scotland.

Darina M. Slattery, University of Limerick, Ireland.

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