CHI WORKSHOP: Call For Participation

Cognitive and Software Solutions to Computer-related Anxiety
                     March 23-24th 1997
                     Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Despite important moves towards better user interface usability, greater user
participation in the software development process, and a deeper understanding
of the psychology of various types of user groups, there still exists a
number of "special needs" or "minority" groups within the Chi user community.
One of these is a section of the community that experiences extreme
discomfort, stress and anxiety when interacting with computers. Resistance
based on lack of knowledge can be overcome through education whereas
computer-related anxiety represents a more challenging problem. It is
estimated to affect up to 30% of the U.S. workforce, causing substantial loss
of revenue.

This workshop aims to draw upon evidence from both research in cognition and
emotion, and principles of good software design. The goal is to use this as
the basis for a dialogue about how to design methods for the management of
computer anxiety. Research efforts to date have concentrated upon the
development of measures of computer anxiety and the search for correlates.
Formal research, however, has been sparse. What we do know however, is that
computer anxiety can lead to serious performance problems such as declines in
motivation, work quality and morale, increases in mistakes, absenteeism,
reported physiological arousal and debilitating thoughts.

* to discuss ways of designing inexpensive but effective  techniques
  to alleviate computer-related anxiety;
* to identify important and relevant research on  cognition and
  emotion and initiate discussion as tohow research findings might be
  embodied in practical intervention techniques;
* to ultimately narrow the gap between this minority user group and
  the rest of the Chi user community;
* to deliver a framework of options for both developers and trainers
  alike to assist them in designing interfaces for this particular type of

The focus of this workshop is on productive discussion, rather than on
individual presentations.

Up to ten participants are sought. The workshop is open to anyone who is:

a) researching cognition and emotion in human-computer interaction and is
interested in a practical application of such research;

b) already involved in the design of applied intervention programs in this

c) interested in developing design guidelines for the design of user
interfaces which cater for a special needs group.

In the true interdiscipliniary spirit of Chi, proposals are especially
encouraged from clinical researchers outside the immediate area of
human-computer interaction, to encourage them to attend their first Chi

The Participant Solicitation and Selection Process
Proposals will be expected to cover a series of points and answer a set of
questions including the following:

* background descriptions of the proposed participants;
* information about their relevant research activities;
* have they developed a technique for computer-related anxiety
-  if so, has the technique been used in practice?;
-  what are the costs/training needs involved in using the proposed
-  is the technique directed towards any specific type of
   stress-related problem?;
-  how easily can the technique be integrated with other training

* have they attempted to design a user interface with this special
  user group in mind?
-  if so, they should describe the design project;

* details of any significant relevant publications.

Dissemination of results
The results of the workshop will be published through a report in the SIGCHI

Participation in the workshop will be based on the submission of a two page
position paper. Attendance is limited to ten participants. Send your position
papers to Judith Ramsay, preferably electronically
([log in to unmask]), by January 30th, 1997.
Authors of accepted papers will be notified by Febuary 15 1997.

Dr. Judith Ramsay
Centre for People and Systems Interaction
South Bank University
103 Borough Rd
London SE1 OAA

Tel. +171 815 7421/7414
Fax. +171 815 7499