Call: Workshop on HCI for Wellness: Using computers to improve mental wellness, at HCI 2010

1st Workshop on HCI for Wellness (HCI4WELL):
Using computers to improve mental wellness, at HCI 2010

International Workshop. 7th September 2010. University of Abertay, Dundee

This HCI 2010 workshop focuses on aspects of ‘wellness’, and specifically those that are related to cognitive aspects of mental well-being. Wellness is a broad term which covers a range of human conditions, including physical, intellectual, emotional, spiritual and social needs. Perhaps the most accepted definition is: “Wellness is a multidimensional state of being describing the existence of positive health in an individual as exemplified by quality of life and a sense of well-being.” The advent of computer-based technologies that we increasingly rely on to live out our everyday lives raises the question of how we can best design, evaluate and utilize those technologies to improve mental well-being. The HCI4WELL workshop will essentially explore this fundamental question.

Programme committee

Richard Picking, Glyndwr University, Wrexham, Wales
Andreas Holzinger, Medical University, Graz, Austria
Martina Ziefle, RWTH Aachen University, Aachen, Germany
Christopher Buckingham, Aston University, Birmingham, England
Stuart Cunningham, Glyndwr University, Wrexham, Wales
Ann Adams, University of Warwick, Coventry, England
Alan Newell, University of Dundee, Dundee, Scotland
Kevin Dawson, Glyndwr University, Wrexham, Wales

Workshop overview

The aim of this workshop is to bring together, in an interactive and informal forum, researchers and practitioners with a common interest in a range of related topics within the domains of using computers to improve mental health, independence and well-being of people in society.

Although there is a wide range of topics that may be appropriate for this workshop, it is hoped and expected that those who bring their experiences of working in these areas will contribute to developing a shared understanding of best practice in developing future interactive systems that aim to improve the overall wellness of everybody in society.

Topics include, but are not limited to investigating HCI issues for the following: assisted living, computer games that improve wellness, computer games that reduce wellness (cause harm), robots and other devices that aim to improve quality of life and mental wellness, computer-based therapy, system and user modelling for the design of systems to improve quality of life, and how to evaluate user interfaces for their wellness benefits.

Workshop organization and submissions

Prospective participants are asked to submit a 2-3 page paper on a topic within the HCI4WELL theme by July 30th 2010 to Dr Rich Picking ( This can be a position paper, a report of an academic research project, or of a project with a commercial/industrial context. Papers will be reviewed by the programme committee and feedback will be given by the middle of August. Up to eight successful submissions will be invited to present their papers at the workshop.

The workshop will be a full-day event, structured in three parts. Firstly, the workshop organizers will introduce the topic area, and demonstrate the related issues with examples from their experience, including the use of films. Participants will be expected to contribute at this early stage, and an ice-breaking exercise will encourage them to consider what issues ought to be covered by the prospective guidelines.

Following this, workshop participants will present their accepted papers. This will take place in two sessions – one before a lunch break, and one immediately after. Finally, an open plenary discussion will take place, with a view to drawing together and formulating an initial set of draft guidelines for developing user interfaces for wellness systems.

Subsequent to the workshop, interested participants will work collaboratively to continue to refine the guidelines. It is expected that these will then be published as a Special Issue in an appropriate peer-reviewed journal in Summer 2011.

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