HCI Journal Special Issue on Collocated Interaction: New Challenges in ‘Same Time, Same Place’ Research

Guest editors: Joel Fischer, Barry Brown, Andrés Lucero and Stuart Reeves.

This is a tentative version of the Call for Papers for the Human-Computer Interaction Special Issue on Collocated Interaction. The definitive version is published in this Taylor & Francis Google Doc.


In the 25 years since Ellis, Gibbs, and Rein proposed the time-space taxonomy [3], ‘same time, same place’ research has diversified. This Special Issue seeks contributions from this diverse field that includes: convergent interests in tabletop, surface, mobile, and wearable technologies; spaces and spatial interaction; and the social aspects of interaction, such as conversation analysis and ethnomethodology. These research areas have matured considerably, and produced significant exemplars of systems, methods, and studies concerned with collocated interactions. Yet, new challenges abound as people wear and carry more devices than ever, creating fragmented device ecologies at work, and changing the ways we socialise with each other. This Special Issue seeks to synthesise work concerned with methodology, study, or design for collocated interaction in order to provide an overview of the field and to shape a research agenda for the future.

Since its early years of meeting room technologies [8], CSCW and HCI research into the study and design for collocated interaction has turned to manifold settings. For example, researchers have shifted their attention from workplace settings to the home [16] and public spaces [15], and developed communities within specialised conferences. We build on the success of recent workshops that are a testament to a diverse and active community, including at CSCW [4,17], ITS [1], MobileHCI [14], CHI [13], NordiCHI [11], and ECSCW [5].

Research concerned with collocated interaction charts a compelling socio-technical design space, from technical solutions to in-depth studies of social interactions around technology. Technical contributions range from cross-device interaction techniques [12] to fully integrated systems in complex, safety critical work settings [10], to the design and study of multi-device ecologies [22] and ecosystems [19].

A long-standing tradition focusing on the social in systems design complements technical work. Here, ethnographic approaches figure prominently, for example in studies of control rooms [9], air traffic control [2], and disaster response [7]. Furthermore, a range of naturalistic studies with ubiquitous technologies such as tabletops [17], and mobile phones [15] have been conducted with a goal to understand how they impact face-to-face interactions. This work often pays particular attention to the interactional resources people employ in face-to-face interaction, such as gaze, gestures, and bodily co-orientation – resources crucial for same time, same place collaboration. This Special Issue aims to document work in these diverse domains to address new and future challenges in designing for collocated interaction settings.

Collocated technology use pervades everyday life; we highlight two important areas. Firstly, the ubiquity of mobile devices raises issues at societal scale. Public commentator Sherry Turkle perhaps captures the sentiment in writing, ‘stop googling, let’s talk’ [21], and elsewhere, how phones socially isolate us from each other [20]. However, rather than sweeping generalisations, empirical research has unpacked how technology-enhanced social encounters play out, presenting a contrasting view in a multitude of settings of rich interactions taking place around technology at work, home, play, and travel. For example, in-depth ethnographic research has revealed the subtle and skilled ways in which we embed phone use in conversations in pubs [15], living rooms [16], and collaborative photo-taking [6].

Secondly, a further challenge in the field relates to Multi-Device Ecologies, which have become common as people carry and wear more and more devices, and our environments are becoming increasingly equipped with displays, projectors, and networked services, to name but a few. These ecologies can fragment both team and task awareness in collaborative work [22]. Ethnographic studies of collaborative settings have also shown that members routinely work with assemblies of physical and digital resources (e.g. [7]). A challenge for designers wishing to support collocated work is then not just to focus on the digital realm, but also to what is done manually, by hand, and with physical objects.

In summary, the overarching goal of the Special Issue is to bring together contributions that reflect on the insights of collocated interaction design research across these diverse domains. For instance, how can we leverage findings from studies of specific technologies (e.g. mobile phones, tabletops, or public displays) to understand the impact of overall technology ecology on face-to-face interactions? How can we build on these findings to design technology that stimulates and supports face-to-face interactions instead of hampering them?


We invite contributions to the HCI Journal Special Issue on Collocated Interaction: New Challenges in ‘Same Time, Same Place’ Research. Contributions should relate to the design and study of collocated interaction, including but not limited to any of the following:

  • Studies of novel collocated interaction settings (including ‘everyday’ settings and multi-device ecologies);
  • Design and study of interaction techniques and systems supporting collocated interaction (including cross-device interaction, spatial interaction, mixed-presence, and groupware systems);
  • Discussion of methodologies and theoretical approaches to study and design collocated interaction.
  • Proposals due: 1st July 2016 22 July 2016 (extended)
  • Response to authors: 31st July 2016
  • Full papers due: 31st October 2016 15th November 2016 (extended)
  • Reviews to authors: 31st January 2017
  • Revised papers due: 30th March 2017
  • Reviews to authors: 15th June 2017
  • Final papers due: 15th July 2017


  1. Craig Anslow, Laurent Grisoni, Pedro Campos, and Andrés Lucero. Collaboration Meets Interactive Surfaces (CMIS): Walls, Tables, Mobiles, and Wearables. To appear in Proceedings of the Tength ACM International Conference on Interactive Tabletops and Surfaces (ITS ’15).
  2. Richard Bentley, John A. Hughes, Dave William Randall, Tom Rodden, Pete Sawyer, Daniel Goodman Shapiro, and Ian Sommerville. 1992. Ethnographically-informed systems design for air traffic control. In Proceedings of the 1992 ACM conference on Computer-supported cooperative work (CSCW ’92). ACM, 123-129. http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/143457.143470
  3. Clarence A. Ellis, Simon J. Gibbs, and Gail Rein. 1991. Groupware: some issues and experiences. Communications of the ACM 34, 1 (January 1991), 39-58. http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/99977.99987
  4. Joel Fischer, Martin Porcheron, Andrés Lucero, Aaron Quigley, Stacey Scott, Luigina Ciolfi, John Rooksby, and Nemanja Memarovic. 2016. Collocated Interaction: New Challenges in ‘Same Time, Same Place’ Research. In Proceedings of the 19th ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing Companion(CSCW ’16 Companion). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 465-472. http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/2818052.2855522
  5. Joel E. Fischer, Stuart Reeves, Steve Benford, and Chris Greenhalgh. 2013. First International Workshop on Designing Mobile Face-to-Face Group Interactions. In ECSCW 2013 Adjunct Proceedings. Aarhus University Press, 104–111.
  6. Joel E. Fischer, Stuart Reeves, Stuart Moran, Chris Greenhalgh, Steve Benford, and Stefan Rennick-Egglestone. 2013. Understanding Mobile Notification Management in Collocated Groups. In Proceedings of the 13th European Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work (ECSCW ’13). Springer, 21–44. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4471-5346-7_2
  7. Joel E. Fischer, Stuart Reeves, Tom Rodden, Steve Reece, Sarvapali D. Ramchurn, and David Jones. 2015. Building a Birds Eye View: Collaborative Work in Disaster Response. In Proceedings of the 33rd Annual ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI ’15). ACM, 4103-4112. http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/2702123.2702313
  8. Jonathan Grudin. 1994. Computer-supported cooperative work: History and focus. Computer 5: 19-26. http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/2.291294
  9. Christian Heath and Paul Luff. 1992. Collaboration and control: Crisis management and multimedia technology in London Underground Line Control Rooms. Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW) 1, 1: 69-94. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/BF00752451
  10. Christophe Hurter, Rémi Lesbordes, Catherine Letondal, Jean-Luc Vinot, and Stéphane Conversy. 2012. Strip’TIC: exploring augmented paper strips for air traffic controllers. In Proceedings of the International Working Conference on Advanced Visual Interfaces (AVI ’12), Genny Tortora, Stefano Levialdi, and Maurizio Tucci (Eds.). ACM, 225-232. http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/2254556.2254598
  11. Pradthana Jarusriboonchai, Sus Lundgren, Thomas Olsson, Joel Fischer, Nemanja Memarovic, Stuart Reeves, Paweł Woźniak, and Olof Torgersson. 2014. Personal or social?: designing mobile interactions for co-located interaction. In Proceedings of the 8th Nordic Conference on Human-Computer Interaction: Fun, Fast, Foundational (NordiCHI ’14). ACM, 829-832. http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/2639189.2654840
  12. Tero Jokela and Andrés Lucero. 2014. FlexiGroups: binding mobile devices for collaborative interactions in medium-sized groups with device touch. In Proceedings of the 16th international conference on Human-computer interaction with mobile devices & services (MobileHCI ’14). ACM, 369-378. http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/2628363.2628376
  13. Andrés Lucero, James Clawson, Kent Lyons, Joel E. Fischer, Daniel Ashbrook, and Simon Robinson. 2015. Mobile Collocated Interactions: From Smartphones to Wearables. In Proceedings of the 33rd Annual ACM Conference Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI EA ’15). ACM, 2437-2440. http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/2702613.2702649
  14. Andrés Lucero, Danielle Wilde, Simon Robinson, Joel E. Fischer, James Clawson, and Oscar Tomico. 2015. Mobile Collocated Interactions With Wearables. In Proceedings of the 17th International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction with Mobile Devices and Services Adjunct (MobileHCI ’15). ACM, 1138-1141. http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/2786567.2795401
  15. Martin Porcheron, Joel E. Fischer, and Sarah Sharples. 2016. Using Mobile Phones in Pub Talk. In Proceedings of the 19th ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work & Social Computing (CSCW ’16). http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/2818048.2820014
  16. John Rooksby, Timothy E. Smith, Alistair Morrison, Mattias Rost, and Matthew Chalmers. 2015. Configuring Attention in the Multiscreen Living Room. In Proceedings of the 14th European Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work (ECSCW ’15). Springer, 243–261. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-20499-4_13
  17. Stacey D. Scott, M. Sheelagh T. Carpendale, and Kori M. Inkpen. 2004. Territoriality in collaborative tabletop workspaces. In Proceedings of the 2004 ACM conference on Computer supported cooperative work (CSCW ’04). ACM, 294-303. http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/1031607.1031655
  18. Stacey D. Scott, T. C. Nicholas Graham, James R. Wallace, Mark Hancock, and Miguel Nacenta. 2015. “Local Remote” Collaboration: Applying Remote Group AwarenessTechniques to Co-located Settings. In Proceedings of the 18th ACM Conference Companion on Computer Supported Cooperative Work & Social Computing (CSCW’15 Companion). ACM, 319-324. http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/2685553.2685564
  19. Lucia Terrenghi, Aaron Quigley, and Alan Dix. 2009. A taxonomy for and analysis of multi-person-display ecosystems. Personal Ubiquitous Comput. 13, 8 (November 2009), 583-598. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00779-009-0244-5
  20. Sherry Turkle. 2011. Alone Together. Basic Books.
  21. Sherry Turkle. 2015. Stop Googling. Let’s Talk. Retrieved September 27, 2015 from http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/27/opinion/sunday/stop-googling-lets-talk.html
  22. James R. Wallace, Stacey D. Scott, Eugene Lai, and Deon Jajalla. 2011. Investigating the Role of a Large, Shared Display in Multi-Display Environments. Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW) 20, 6: 529–561. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10606-011-9149-8

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