Empathy and Technology: Focus on the End User

Case Study & Paper

May 7, 2012 @ 14:30, Room: Ballroom G

Chair: Jettie Hoonhout, Philips Research Europe, Netherlands
Empathy, Participatory Design and People with Dementia - Paper
Community: design
Contribution & Benefit: We present a participatory design approach for people with dementia focusing on their experiences by developing an empathic relationship with them illustrated through the design of a safe walking aid.
Abstract » We describe the development, application and evaluation of a design method tailored for working with people with mild to moderate dementia. Our experiences with the approach highlighted areas where designers and participants held radically different views. The tenet of our approach was that to overcome these differences we needed to create an empathic relationship between participants and designers. To achieve this we modified participatory design techniques to foster respectful engagement with participants in the development of a digital aid to facilitate �safe walking‟. The process begins with broad qualitative scoping and design work then moves to developing personally tailored, individual designs to further exploration of the experiential elements of the domain while reducing the need for the participants to engage in abstract thought. Reflection highlights a number of important areas that demand consideration when undertaking research in this area and, more generally, when performing design work with people with dementia.
From Death to Final Disposition: Roles of Technology in the Post-Mortem Interval - Paper
Community: design
Contribution & Benefit: Describes technology roles in collaborative processes, in the time from user death to final disposition. Provides insights into design for end of life and repurposing of data.
Abstract » In this paper, we describe collaborative processes and stakeholders involved in the period from when a person dies until they are laid to rest: the funeral, final disposition of the body, and (in some circumstances) victim identification. The rich mixture of technologies currently deployed during this brief period are categorized and critically analyzed. We then reflect on the implications of our findings, both for the design of technology that takes the end of life into account, and for the wider HCI community.
On Saliency, Affect and Focused Attention - Paper
Community: user experience
Contribution & Benefit: Study how saliency of relevant information impacts user engagement metrics, namely, focused attention and affect. Of interest to website owner, entertainment-oriented or other, interested in understanding user engagement.
Abstract » We study how the visual catchiness (saliency) of relevant information impacts user engagement metrics such as focused attention and emotion (affect). Participants completed tasks in one of two conditions, where the task-relevant information either appeared salient or non-salient. Our analysis provides insights into relationships between saliency, focused attention, and affect. Participants reported more distraction in the non-salient condition, and non-salient information was slower to find than salient. Lack-of-saliency led to a negative impact on affect, while saliency maintained positive affect, suggesting its helpfulness. Participants reported that it was easier to focus in the salient condition, although there was no significant improvement in the focused attention scale rating. Finally, this study suggests user interest in the topic is a good predictor of focused attention, which in turn is a good predictor of positive affect. These results suggest that enhancing saliency of user-interested topics seems a good strategy for boosting user engagement.
The Way I Talk to You: Sentiment Expression in an Organizational Context - Note
Community: designCommunity: management
Contribution & Benefit: Empirically identifies the relationships between sentiment expression and the four primary dimensions of social interactions in organizations: involvement, tie strength, network size, and performance.
Abstract » Sentiment is a rich and important dimension of social interaction. However, its presence in computer-mediated communication in corporate settings is not well understood. This paper provides a preliminary study of people�s expression of sentiment in email conversations in an organizational context. The study reveals that sentiment levels evolve over time during the process of newcomers� socialization, that sentiment varies according to tie-strength with the recipient, and that sentiment patterns can be indicative of one�s position in the corporate social network as well as job performance. These findings shed light on the complex and dynamic nature of sentiment patterns, and would inspire further explorations and applications of sentiment analysis in organizations.
Eustressed or Distressed? Combining Physiology with Observation in User Studies - Short Case Study
Community: user experience
Contribution & Benefit: Case study presents method that enables quantification and disambiguation of emotional arousal states. Emotional analysis in human-centered computing can benefit from this method that efficiently combines quantitative and qualitative information.
Abstract » In this article the authors describe a novel way to conduct user studies via the combination of a physiological and an observational information channel. The method enables not only the quantification of arousing emotional states but also their disambiguation into positive or negative instances. The physiological channel targets sympathetic responses and is materialized as a perspiratory signal extracted from thermal imagery of the perinasal area. The observational channel is materialized via decoding of facial expressions. However, while such decoding is usually performed in the visible spectrum, the authors have developed an algorithm to carry this out in thermal imagery instead. Thus, thermal imaging is used for both physiological and observational analysis. The potential of this dual unobtrusive methodology is demonstrated with some examples from a stress study, where users (surgeons in this case) interact with laparoscopic training boxes.