Winter School 2021

The SPP Winter School 2021 will take place between March 9th and 11th.

  09.03.2021 10.03.2021 11.03.2021
Welcome everyone    
0900-0945 Statistics for HCI, Alan Dix Sketching the User Interface, Nicolai Marquardt Creating Functional Interactive Prototypes, Albrecht Schmidt
Break Break Break
Poster Session 1 Poster Session 2 Poster Session 3
Break Break Break
Ideation Session Interaction Design, Jonna Häkkila Networking / Plenary
1200+ Ideation ctd. for those who want to stay Ideation ctd. for those who want to stay  


Alan Dix, Statistics for HCI

Alan John Dix is a British author, researcher, and university professor, specialising in human–computer interaction (HCI). He is one of the four co-authors of the university level textbook Human–Computer Interaction. Dix is the Director of the Computational Foundry at Swansea University, since May 2018. He was previously a professor at Lancaster University.

Abstract Most participants of this Winter School will have had to deal with statistics: sometimes formal statistics with tests and probabilities, sometimes informally `eyeballing data’. Even if you do not use statistics in your own work, you are likely to need to interpret the statistics in other people’s papers and reports. This tutorial is intended to help you navigate the often confusing discussions about the use and maisuse of statistics, to help you gain a ‘gut feeling’ for statistics and also know when not to trust those instincts. The tutorial builds on the instructor’s recent book “Statistics for HCI” and also extensive freely available videos and other online material.

Nicolai Marquardt, Five Lessons Learned about Sketching in HCI Research

Nicolai Marquardt is Associate Professor at the University College London. At the UCL Interaction Centre he works on projects in the research areas of cross-device interaction, interactive surfaces, sensor-based systems, prototyping toolkits, and physical user interfaces. He is co-author of Sketching User Experiences: The Workbook (Morgan Kaufmann 2011) and Proxemic Interaction: From Theory to Practice (Morgan & Claypool 2015).

Abstract: In this keynote I will guide through five lessons learned about sketching as part of HCI research and design. In particular, I will talk about the sketching is different to creating artwork, how we can more effectively sketch everything we sketch frequently, when and how to take shortcuts, how sketches have a place throughout the entire research process, and how to make sketching part of our everyday practice.

Jonna Häkkilä, Designing Interactive Technologies for Unobtrusive and Sensitive Contexts

Jonna Häkkilä is professor for Industrial Design at University of Lapland, Finland (2014-), and docent in Human Computer Interaction (HCI) at University of Oulu, Finland. Prior to this, she was Director of User Experience (UX) at Center for Internet Excellence U. Oulu (2012-2014), and research team leader at Nokia Research Center (2007-2011). She received her PhD degree in computer science at University of Oulu, Finland, in 2007, and has conducted research mobility at University of Stuttgart (Germany), Carnegie Mellon University (USA), and Griffith University (Australia). She has published 150+ peer reviewed scientific papers on HCI, focusing on mobile and ubiquitous computing and user centric design. She has received research grants as PI from Horizon 2020, Academy of Finland, Tekes/Business Finland, and Interreg. She has served as a conference chair for Augmented Humans 2021, CUMULUS 2019, MUM 2016 & 2009 and NordiCHI 2014, and her research group’s works have been exhibited in Milan Design Week ’16 & ’17, and New York Wanted Design 2018. Her current research interests include unobtrusive interaction with technology, and in utilizing design methods for creating and assessing future technology visions.

Abstract In today’s world, we are in the risk of drowning in the technology which is surrounding us (almost literally) everywhere. In my research, I am fascinated by the design challenge of hiding the technology, while still benefitting from it. The design approach, which emphasizes aesthetic and ambient information delivery, provides opportunities for unobtrusive interaction design for our technology filled future. In this talk, I will also address designing for contexts, where the presence of technology can be perceived as obtrusive. Here, I will present our recent research on graveyards, indigenous cultural heritage, and nature as a use context. The topics highlight the possibilities and challenges in combining traditional design and culture with future technology.

Albrecht Schmidt, Creating Functional Interactive Prototypes: Discussion of Why and How.

Albrecht Schmidt is professor for Human-Centered Ubiquitous Media in the computer science department of the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München in Germany. He studied computer science in Ulm and Manchester and received a PhD from Lancaster University, UK, in 2003. He held several prior academic positions at different universities, including Stuttgart, Cambridge, Duisburg-Essen, and Bonn and also worked as a researcher at the Fraunhofer Institute for Intelligent Analysis and Information Systems (IAIS) and at Microsoft Research in Cambridge. In his research, he investigates the inherent complexity of human-computer interaction in ubiquitous computing environments, particularly in view of increasing computer intelligence and system autonomy. Albrecht has actively contributed to the scientific discourse in human-computer interaction through the development, deployment, and study of functional prototypes of interactive systems and interface technologies in different real world domains. His early experimental work addressed the use of diverse sensors to recognize situations and interactions, influencing our understanding of context-awareness and situated computing. He proposed the concept of implicit human-computer interaction. Over the years, he worked on automotive user interfaces, tangible interaction, interactive public display systems, interaction with large high-resolution screens, and physiological interfaces.Most recently, he focuses on how information technology can provide cognitive and perceptual support to amplify the human mind. To investigate this further, he received in 2016 a ERC grant. Albrecht has co-chaired several SIGCHI conferences; he is in the editorial board of ACM TOCHI, edits a forum in ACM interactions, a column of human augmentation in IEEE Pervasive, and formerly edited a column on interaction technologies in IEEE Computer. The ACM conferences on tangible and embedded interaction in 2007 and on automotive user interfaces in 2010 were co-founded by him. In 2018, Albrecht was induced into the ACM SIGCH Academy and in 2020, he was elected into Leopoldina, the Germany academy of natural science.

Abstract Making interactive functional prototypes is greatly valuable to research in human computer interaction. Prototypes are a source of inspiration, help in understanding critical issues, provide an effective means for communication and evaluation, and enable reflections on multiple levels. Low-fidelity prototyping is also clearly valuable, but as a community we should realize that this is only a first step. We should not stop there and, instead, we should move on to making real experiences, allowing users to encounter new forms of interactions – not just imagining them. In the session we look at options of how to create prototypes, including (1) repackaged off-the-shelf devices, (2) developing systems based on combining standard devices, (3) creating custom-hardware add-on to standard computing devices, and (4) developing and implementing custom hardware. We dive a bit deeper into how to create custom hardware using the ESP32 and Raspberry Pi Pico Platforms and Micropython. We argue that implementing prototypes supports envisioning, designing, and implementing new interaction technologies.

Preparation for students

Please read “Understanding and researching through making: a plea for functional prototypes” [1], 4 pages magazine paper

Please watch (15 Minutes video, [2]

Please watch (13 Minutes video), [3]

Make and bring a paper prototype of head worn device, that provides feedback to the environment about availability of the person, similar to the necklace in [5].

Optional: Have a look at the Sketching with Hardware Wiki [4]


[1] Albrecht Schmidt. 2017. Understanding and researching through making: a plea for functional prototypes. interactions 24, 3 (May + June 2017), 78–81. DOI:

[PDF to link:]

[2] Introduction to sketching with hardware on YouTube

[3] Getting started with MicroPython and raspberry Pi Pico

[4] Sketching with Hardware Wiki

[5] Jonna Häkkilä, Romina Poguntke, Emmi Harjuniemi, Lauri Hakala, Ashley Colley, and Albrecht Schmidt. 2020. BuSiNec – Studying the Effects of a Busyness Signifying Necklace in the Wild. In Proceedings of the 2020 ACM Designing Interactive Systems Conference (DIS ’20). Association for Computing Machinery, New York, NY, USA, 2177–2188. DOI:

[PDF to link]