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 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.

We plan a special issue based on the workshop.

Program & Accepted Papers

We are happy to announce that the following papers are accepted and will be presented at the workshop.

9:30 - 9:40Welcome & Introduction
Session 1 | Challenges with Technology use in Nature
09:40 - 10:30
  • Hiking the Appalachian Trail with Technology Timothy Stelter and Scott McCrickard
  • A Survey of Mobile Apps to Support Hiking Ashley Colley, Emma Napari and Jonna Häkkilä
  • Charging as a Focal Practise: Reflections on Digital 'Focal Things and Practises' in the Wilderness Mads Bodker
  • Investigating User Preference for Mobile Auditory Notifications in Different Contexts Frederic Kerber and Antonio Krüger
Coffee Break
10:30 - 11:00
Session 2 | Wellbeing and Nature
11:00 - 11:40
  • Persuasive Design of Outdoors Walking Meetings: Supporting Different Mindsets Aino Ahtinen and Kaisa Väänänen
  • Body Clock Awareness: Circadian Scheduling and Interventions Tilman Dingler and Tonja Machulla
  • Reconnecting with nature by design to bring the outdoors indoorsMargot Brereton, Tshering Dema, Malavika Vasudevan, Alessandro Soro, Jessica L. Cappadonna, Min Zhen Chai, Riga Anggarendra and Paul Roe. Margot Brereton and Tshering Dema
Session 3 | Applying Design Methods in Nature
11:40 - 12:30
  • Experiences with the Co-design and Evaluation of Locative Media Experiences with the National Trust Keith Cheverst
  • Characterizing User Roles in HCI Technologies for Nature Exploration Alessandro Fenicio, Gaelle Calvary and Yann Laurillau
  • Designing for sensitive encounters in nature Outi Rantala, Miia Mäkinen and Jonna Häkkilä
Lunch Break
12:30 - 13:30
Session 4 | Enhancing Nature Experiences
13:30 - 14:20
  • Mission Wildlife: An Augmented Reality Approach to Engaging People about Threats to Endangered Species at a Zoo Poseidon Ho, Gabriel Miller, Margaret Wang, Nika Haleftiras and Ethan Zuckerman
  • In search of Light: Enhancing Touristic Recommender Services with Local Weather Data Mara Dionisio, Teresa Paulino, Trisha Suri, Nicolas Autzen and Johannes Schöning
  • Water Table - Utilising Flowing Water as an Input Mechanism Tuomas Lappalainen, Ashley Colley and Jonna Häkkilä
  • How Drones Can Support Backcountry Activities Sven Mayer, Pascal Knierim, Pawel Wozniak and Markus Funk
Interactivity I
14:20 - 15:00Time for group work.
Coffee Break & demos
15:00 - 15:30
Interactivity II
15:30 - 16:30Time for group work.
16:45 - 16:55