2nd workshop on
Unobtrusive User Experiences
with Technology in Nature

About the Workshop

Being in nature is typically regarded to be calming, relaxing and purifying. When in nature, people often seek to be mobile through physical activity such as hiking. But also, nature provides an opportunity for meditative, mindful or inspiring experiences remote from the urban everyday life. Mobile Technologies such sports tracking technologies, electronic tourist guides, mobile phone integrated cameras and omnipresent social media access, have potential to both enhance and disrupt a user’s interaction with and experience of nature. This MobileHCI workshop follows on from the first successful NatureCHI workshop by focusing on the challenges associated with the design of mobile technologies that support unobtrusive interaction in nature.

Important Dates

  • Submission deadline for position papers: May 19th June 1st via EasyChair
  • Notification of acceptance: June 9th
  • Workshop Day: September 4th

Call for Papers

The ‘Unobtrusive User Experiences with Technology in Nature’ workshop addresses the overlap of technology usage and experiences with the nature. The ever-growing omnipresence of technology in our everyday life and the idea of nature with pure, meditative or adventurous experiences may create conflicts in values, cultures and user behaviour. On the other hand, technology may be used to share or intensify experiences, or for bringing a piece of nature closer (as well as more accessible).

This workshop focuses on the challenge of designing unobtrusive technology usage and user experiences in nature. We welcome researchers and practitioners working on ethnographic studies, user research, design cases, prototype development and artistic installations related to technology and nature. The one day workshop will include short presentations, exercises outside of the classroom and with design probes, and a demo session.

To apply to the workshop, submit a max. 4 page position or research paper in CHI EA format (references will not count towards page limit), through the Easy Chair submission system NatureCHI Easy Chair. The submissions do not need to be anonymised.

The papers will be reviewed by the workshop organizers and program committee. Accepted papers will be made available at the workshop webpage. Upon acceptance, at least one author of each accepted paper must attend the workshop. All participants must register for both the workshop and for at least one day of the conference.

The topics of interest for the workshop include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Design and use of unobtrusive technologies and services for interacting in nature
  • Novel UI mechanisms and metaphors for interacting with nature
  • Nature integrated UIs and technologies
  • Cultural aspects of interactions in nature
  • Social acceptance of technology use in nature
  • Non-use of technology vs. the use of enabling technologies in nature
  • Technologies that enable going into nature but do not interrupt the user’s experience in nature
  • Reliance on technology in nature, and its potential consequences
  • Value based design and respect for nature
  • Temporal design aspects and ephemeral user interfaces with nature as the use context
  • Designing for individual users vs. travelling together, and converging and diverging user group behavior in nature
  • Recommendations for being in nature in the relevant context, e.g. weather, floods, ground saturation

You can have a look at papers of our last workshop here.

The workshop organisers are currently exploring opportunities for a journal special issue that will include extended versions of suitable papers submitted to the workshop.