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Panos Markopoulos <[log in to unmask]>
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Panos Markopoulos <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 21 Jul 2005 03:37:00 -0400
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Awareness Systems Design:  Theory, Methodology, and Applications

Panos Markopoulos, Eindhoven University of Technology
Boris de Ruyter, Philips Research
Wendy Mackay,  Universite Paris-Sud

Awareness systems can be defined broadly as systems that help connected
individuals or groups to maintain
awareness of the activities and the situation of each other, e.g., their
well-being, their availability for interaction or
communication, or an overview of their activities, etc.  Awareness as a
concept has been explored from varying
perspectives, giving rise to a multitude of overlapping definitions and an
even wider diversity of supporting design
concepts.  Related research concerns a range of contexts of use: at work, at
home and on the move. Sometimes
awareness can be beneficial for collaboration and in others its main purpose
is to support social interactions
between connected parties.

Awareness systems can take many forms and the various factors for the
success of awareness system seem to
reappear in different contexts.  Sometimes the key to meeting user needs is
the timeliness of communication.
Other times an "always-on" connection is essential, or at least some form of
sustained communication that will
span hours or days.  Some systems rely on high bandwidth communication and
media richness to connect
people.  In other cases a simple message 'I am home' or 'I am thinking about
you', expressed in subtle or even
decorative forms may be sufficient.

Clearly there is significant scope for innovation in this field.  Higher
bandwidth connections higher quality displays
make it easier to support sustained, media rich communication channels.  On
the other hand, an increasing range
of interactive appliances become affordable at a wider range of forms and
contexts allowing abstract and
parsimonious presentations to populate the physical space surrounding us. To
guide progress to a direction that
can have a positive impact on people's working and social lives, such
innovation should be guided by an
understanding of the needs of people and could benefit from theories that
help describe, explain and predict the
role awareness systems can play in work or leisure.

Submissions are invited that touch on one or more of the following themes:
- Theoretical accounts of awareness and the use of awareness systems.
- Empirical work addressing some of the recurring issues in the design of
awareness systems, e.g., should
awareness information be interpreted? What is the impact of awareness
information on interruption behavior? What are the interpersonal effects of
awareness? Etc.
- Methodologies for the evaluation of awareness systems.
- Investigation of communication needs of people that can be addressed
through awareness systems.
- Novel design concepts and implementations.
- Experiences from large scale deployment of awareness systems.

We welcome contributions from different disciplinary perspectives:
ethnography, social psychology, cognitive
psychology, evaluation research, design explorations, enabling technology.

Important Dates:
- August 26, 2005 -- Deadline for paper proposals
- September 16, 2005 -- Feedback to proposal authors
- November 8, 2005 -- Deadline for full paper submission
- February 1, 2006 -- Review results returned to authors
- April 1, 2006 -- Deadline for revised papers
- June 1, 2006 -- Review results returned to authors
- August 1, 2006 -- Deadline for final submission

By August 26, 2005, please submit a 300-500 word proposal for your paper via
email to the special issue editors:
Panos Markopoulos [log in to unmask]
Boris de Ruyter [log in to unmask]
Wendy Mackay [log in to unmask]

Proposals are not an absolute prerequisite for submitting a paper, but are
strongly preferred, as they will help us
in shaping the special issue. If you miss the proposal submission deadline,
please contact us to let us know you
intend to submit a paper.

Paper Submission:
By November 8, 2005, authors should submit an electronic submission
(preferably in MS Word, RTF, or PDF
format) by email attachment to the HCI Administrative Editor:

Patricia Sheehan <[log in to unmask]>.

Information about submissions to HCI can be found at the journal's web site: Note that HCI has,
for your convenience, an MS Word template that conforms to the journal's
style guidelines (

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