Colloquium Cognitive Systems

Who are we virtually? User Representations in Human-Computer Interaction

Jun.-Prof. Dr. Tiare Feuchtner (University of Konstanz)


Abstract: The wide variety of modern user interfaces has brought forth an abundance of control mappings and feedback modalities that provide us access to the virtual world beyond the screen. In our daily interactions with computer systems, we may shapeshift from a simple arrow-shaped pointer on our laptop screen to a text caret, we spend hours dodging bullets or climbing crumbling towers in video games, or teleport across great spaces and shoot rays from our fingers in virtual reality. Without much effort and reflection, we adjust to the new set of abilities provided by well-designed user interfaces and easily accept the presence of (remote) collaborators in shared digital environments. But why and how does this to work? Aiming for a holistic view across heterogeneous computer systems, we propose the concept of "User Representations" to describe our digital proxies in the virtual world. In my talk I will discuss the main parameters of such User Representations, and how their characteristics can impact our experience of what we can (or can't) do where and how, and even who we are.

Bio: Tiare Feuchtner is Assistant Professor at the Human-Computer Interaction group of the University of Konstanz and associated researcher at Aarhus University. As a computer scientist, her main interests are deeply embedded in the study of human-computer interaction (HCI), with a focus on embodiment and novel user interfaces for mixed reality technologies [LongArm, Ownershift, XRgonomics, UR], as well as multi-user interaction and asymmetric collaboration in AR and VR [xDeviceCollab]. Tiare completed her studies of Computer Science at TU Wien (BSc, 2011), TU Berlin (MSc, 2015) and Aarhus University (PhD 2018). Before her current appointment, she was visiting researcher at Mel Slater's EventLab in Barcelona, junior researcher at the Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT), and postdoctoral researcher at both TU Wien and Aarhus University.

[LongArm] Feuchtner, Tiare, and Jörg Müller. "Extending the body for interaction with reality." Proceedings of the 2017 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. 2017. [Ownershift] Feuchtner, Tiare, and Jörg Müller. "Ownershift: Facilitating overhead interaction in virtual reality with an ownership-preserving hand space shift." Proceedings of the 31st Annual ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology. 2018. [Xrgonomics] Evangelista Belo, João Marcelo, et al. "XRgonomics: Facilitating the Creation of Ergonomic 3D Interfaces." Proceedings of the 2021 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. 2021. [UR] Seinfeld, S., Feuchtner, T., Maselli, A., & Müller, J. (2020). User representations in human-computer interaction. Human–Computer Interaction, 1-39. [xDeviceCollab] Olin, Patrick Aggergaard, et al. "Designing for Heterogeneous Cross-Device Collaboration and Social Interaction in Virtual Reality." 32nd Australian Conference on Human-Computer Interaction. 2020