Acting by hand : informing interaction design for the periphery of people's attention

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Interactions in and with the physical world have enabled us to perform everyday activities in the periphery of our attention. Even though digital technologies are becoming increasingly present in the everyday environment, interaction with these technologies usually requires people’s focused attention. In the realm of the vision of calm technology, we think that designing interactions with the digital world inspired by our peripheral interaction with the physical world, will enable digital technologies to better blend into our everyday lives. However, for such interactiondesign to be effective, a detailed understanding of the everyday periphery is required. In this paper, we therefore present a qualitative study on everyday activities that may take place in the periphery of the attention. We provide a broad range of examples of such everyday activities and cluster them to present the conditions under which they may be performed peripherally. Furthermore, we discuss how our findings may be relevant for the design of peripheral interactions with digital technologies, and present two conceptual designs that are based on our findings.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)119-130
Number of pages12
JournalInteracting with Computers
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2012


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