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Designing and Embedding a Tangible Public Interface in the COVID Era

Jen Pearson Orcid Logo, Anna Carter Orcid Logo, Gavin Bailey, Jennifer Sarah Pearson Orcid Logo, Matt Jones Orcid Logo, Simon Robinson Orcid Logo, Dani Kalarikalayil Raju, Spencer Winter, Jonathon Hicks

CHI '22: CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems Proceedings

Swansea University Authors: Jen Pearson Orcid Logo, Anna Carter Orcid Logo, Gavin Bailey, Jennifer Sarah Pearson Orcid Logo, Matt Jones Orcid Logo, Simon Robinson Orcid Logo

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DOI (Published version): 10.1145/3491101.3503556

Abstract

Due to public concerns over touch-based disease transmission, tangible and embedded interfaces are perhaps the most unsuited technology during a pandemic. Even so, this case study documents the development and evaluation of such a system from early 2020 when people were told to avoid actions that mi...

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Published in: CHI '22: CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems Proceedings
ISBN: 978-1-4503-9157-3
Published: ACM
URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa59464
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Abstract: Due to public concerns over touch-based disease transmission, tangible and embedded interfaces are perhaps the most unsuited technology during a pandemic. Even so, this case study documents the development and evaluation of such a system from early 2020 when people were told to avoid actions that might spread the virus (e.g., touch). Adding to the challenge, the Lookout was installed outside in a city centre for widespread public use. Despite these challenges, a COVID-safe touchable device was embedded and extensively used. This Case Study reports the co-creation of the device noting COVID restriction adaptations over a nine-month deployment. Our contributions are twofold: the study acts as a case-point of the impact of the unique COVID design context, with lessons for future pandemic scenarios; and, given we had over 10,000 users at a time when people were cautious about using shared devices or services, we surface some design characteristics that can promote the use of public technology.
Keywords: Human-Computer Interaction, public displays, public engagement, co-creation
College: College of Science
Funders: This work was supported by Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.