Arjan Geven

zge Subasi 

Manfred Tscheligi
(HCI & Usability Unit, ICT&S Center)

John Soldatos 
(Athens Information Technology - AIT)

Mari Feli Gonzalez


Designing Ambient Interactions for older users

The 2009 Workshop has been held at the AMI 2009 conference, 18th November 2009

Designing ambient interactions for older people (full day workshop) focuses on the various interaction methods, technologies and paradigms that are useful to support the interaction of older people with ambient technology. The workshop follows last year's workshop at AmI'08 (titled "Capturing AAL Needs") on the elicitation of user needs and user requirements for older people for ambient assisted living (AAL) technologies. We aim to address the question which interface paradigms are best mapped to the cognitive and motor skills of older people, taken into account that this is a group that is in itself more heterogeneous than the group of -all- other people.

The interaction paradigms (both in concept and realisation level) will be discussed from a user centered framework with specialists from diverse disciplines like gerontology, HCI, psychology, and computer science including possible effects of these paradigms like for example societal implications that might arise as well as different needs of different members from the user group. In this context, the workshop will address ICT assisted services, as a means to better address the needs of senior citizens.

This workshop plans to draw a roadmap for researchers and practitioners for developing proper interaction paradigms effectively and interactively that fits well with the older persons needs and habits.

We strive for a design-for-all style of design which is supported by underlying, pervasive, partly multimodal, interaction mechanisms that address the heterogeneous needs of the target group. After a short introduction to the topic from different perspectives and ideas on the issue, the workshop will focus on the practical expertise in the area. The participants are expected to present their views on the design-for-all approach for interaction paradigms, multimodal interaction, interaction techniques, as well as context-aware assistive services.

After the participant presentations, we will focus on the technology creation challenges for new interaction paradigms for older users without excluding relevant criteria. Based on these discussions, we will try to build a bridge throughout the various steps in the design process from user requirements to interaction design and user evaluation and how these steps interact with each other. Furthermore, we will explore how technology advances could impact the design process.

Position Papers presented

In the morning session, the participants of the workshop presented their work related to the workshop.

Workshop Discussion

In the afternoon, the participants adressed the main questions of the workshop in smaller groups and presented the results to the plenum. The focus of these afternoon discussions were the following questions:

The results of the workshop are summarized in the following presentation that was given at the AmI main conference.

Results of the workshop



The organizers invite all researchers that focus on HCI and interaction research to participate in this workshop and to share your views on innovative methods of interaction for the very challenging task of pervasive design-for-all multimodal interaction. Position papers are invited (but not limited to) the following topics:


Submissions are expected in the form of 2-4 page position papers, describing the area of research, specific work (empirical or theoretical) on the workshop topic and the innovative character of the research at hand. At least one author of accepted papers needs to register for the workshop and for one day of the conference itself. Submissions should follow the Springer LNCS guidelines.

The workshop is partially supported by the FP7 Framework Project HERMES.