Call: HCI Special Issue: Designing for Personal Memories

HCI Special Issue: Designing for Personal Memories

Special issue editors

Elise van den Hoven
Eindhoven University of Technology, NL

Corina Sas
Lancaster University, UK

Steve Whittaker
IBM Research, USA

Where would we be without our personal memories? We use them to maintain our personal identities, to start and mediate relationships, to shape our likes, dislikes, to regulate our moods and solve problems. They allow us to share rich life experiences and tell our stories to our family and friends. There is no question about the importance of autobiographical and episodic memory – the memories of the events that happen in our lives.

As more and more media become digital (whether these be photos, videos/audio snippets, or even olfactory or haptic cues), new ways of cueing our memory are emerging. These will support, enhance, or possibly even undermine the way we remember our experiences. The growing importance of this research area is indicated by “Memories for Life”, one of the seven grand challenges identified by the UK Computing Research Committee, and by ambitious research programs at Microsoft Research, supporting “Digital Memories (Memex)”, and projects such as MyLifeBits and SenseCam.

The focus of this special issue, Designing for Personal Memories, is on ordinary people using digital media to help them remember in everyday situations. This could mean developing interactive systems or services for supporting, enhancing or extending personal memories, but also studies that inform the design of these systems. Contributions could come from diverse fields, such as HCI, psychology, sociology, interaction design, engineering, computer science, design, material culture, etc.

We welcome papers on the following topics:

  • Designing and evaluating new technologies for triggering, capturing, storing and sharing memories;
  • Psychological and sociological aspects related to memory applications, including: privacy, ownership, anonymity;
  • Studies of how people capture, organize and use personal digital archives, e.g. digital photo and video collections, personal email collections;
  • Methods for evaluating memory technologies;
  • The social construction of memories in different kinds of conversations and interactions;
  • Designing for engagement/enrichment of emotional aspects associated with accessing and sharing memories.

This special issue follows upon three successful workshops: the CHI 2006 workshop “Designing for collective remembering” organized by Sas and Dix, the HCI 2007 workshop “Supporting Human Memory with Interactive Systems ” by Lalanne and Hoven, and the CHI 2009 workshop “Designing for reflection on experience” organized by Sas and Dix.

The aim of this special issue is to present high quality, original and mature work related to the topic of Designing for Personal Memories.


Invitation for proposals: March 15, 2010
Deadline for proposals: June 25, 2010
Response to authors: August 2, 2010
Full papers due: November 22, 2010
Reviews to authors: April 18, 2011
Revised papers due: June 20, 2011
Reviews to authors: October 12, 2011
Final papers due: November 30, 2011 

Submission of proposals

Proposals should be at least 1000 words and provide a clear indication of what the paper will be about. Proposals and papers should be submitted by email to the HCI Administrative Editor, Patricia Sheehan ( Mention explicitly in the email that your submission is intended for this special issue. Further information, including manuscript formatting, can be found at under the Instructions for Authors tab. All contributions will be peer reviewed to the usual standards of HCI.

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