Learning outdoor sports entails acquiring physical skills, managing gear, and coordinating with others. We investigated how speleologists are trained to explore underground caves. We interviewed 15 instructors and 10 trainees to understand the main problems that may occur during training cave trips. Our findings show that stressful situations are linked to beginners’ difficulties applying new gestures and procedures - on which their progression and safety depend - and coordinating with others when they are out of sight. It emerged that group awareness and communication are pivotal for their tranquility. Yet, the underground environment makes communicating very hard. This study led to the elaboration of design implications for technology supporting awareness, communication, and coordination in speleology training, which draw from and enrich previous literature on coordination in the wild, as it may happen while performing outdoor sports or during search-and-rescue operations.
Climate services are systems that provide climate and climate-related information to inform decision making around the world. Despite these systems featuring diverse interactions between technologies and a variety of user groups, and frequent calls in the literature for more a more user-centred focus, HCI researchers do not appear to have engaged much with this active research area. In this paper, we demonstrate this lack of interaction via a systematic literature search and offer possible explanations for this. We also map out opportunities for how HCI researchers can use their highly relevant skillsets to contribute to this research and aid climate change adaptation, notably around the user-facing elements of climate services. Finally, we offer some reasons why HCI researchers might want to engage, such as furthering existing HCI research avenues, and creating new ones through collaborations with researchers in disciplines such as climate science, development, and policy.
Ocean scientists studying diverse organisms and phenomena increasingly rely on imaging devices for their research. These scientists have many tools to collect their data, but few resources for automated analysis. In this paper, we report on discussions with diverse stakeholders to identify community needs and develop a set of functional requirements for the ongoing development of ocean science-specific analysis tools. We conducted 36 in-depth interviews with individuals working in the Blue Economy space, revealing four central issues inhibiting the development of effective imaging analysis monitoring tools for marine science. We also identified twelve user archetypes that will engage with these services. Additionally, we held a workshop with 246 participants from 35 countries centered around FathomNet, a web-based open-source annotated image database for marine research. Findings from these discussions are being used to define the feature set and interface design of Ocean Vision AI, a suite of tools and services to advance observational capabilities of life in the ocean.
Robots are entering our lives and workplaces as companions and teammates. Though much research has been done on how to interact with robots, teach robots and improve task performance, an open frontier for HCI/HRI research is how to establish a working relationship with a robot in the first place. Studies that explore the early stages of human-robot interaction are an emerging area of research. Simultaneously, there is resurging interest in how human-animal interaction could inform human-robot interaction. We present a first examination of early stage human-horse interaction through the lens of human-robot interaction, thus connecting these two areas. Following Strauss’ approach, we conduct a thematic analysis of data from three sources gathered over a year of field work: observations, interviews and journal entries. We contribute design guidelines based on our analyses and findings.
Over 20 million parrots are kept as pets in the US, often lacking appropriate stimuli to meet their high social, cognitive, and emotional needs. After reviewing bird perception and agency literature, we developed an approach to allow parrots to engage in video-calling other parrots. Following a pilot experiment and expert survey, we ran a three-month study with 18 pet birds to evaluate the potential value and usability of a parrot-parrot video-calling system. We assessed the system in terms of perception, agency, engagement, and overall perceived benefits. With 147 bird-triggered calls, our results show that 1) every bird used the system, 2) most birds exhibited high motivation and intentionality, and 3) all caretakers reported perceived benefits, some arguably life-transformative, such as learning to forage or even to fly by watching others. We report on individual insights and propose considerations regarding ethics and the potential of parrot video-calling for enrichment.
Multi-day music festivals have a waste problem with much of it centred around patron campgrounds. Interviews and co-design workshops were conducted with festival patrons (N = 19) and professionals (N = 9). The interviews indicated the factors impacting festival campground waste including the proliferation of cheap items, the continuity of management decisions, highly social camping practices, the land, and interactions between these. Co-design workshops explored these to produce sociotechnical strategies using the festival timeline as a frame, with one of these, a patron planning tool chosen for further development. This paper contributes new insights on how information and communication technologies might enhance sustainable practices by facilitating relational change through better organisation, evaluation, and feedback. It concludes with examination of the challenges and opportunities for Sustainable HCI, including how to carve out a design response to a wicked problem by situating relations, meaning making, telling invisible stories, and finding leverage points.