Call: “HCI and the Coronavirus Pandemic” issue of Interacting with Computers

Call for Papers

Interacting with Computers Special Issue
Human Computer Interaction and the Coronavirus Pandemic

Helen Petrie, University of York
Regina Bernhaupt, Eindhoven University of Technology
Russell Beale, University of Birmingham

Deadline for extended abstracts: 27 October 2021

The coronavirus pandemic has drastically changed the lives of people across the globe. It has affected almost every aspect of our lives including work, education, entertainment, and social life.

For HCI it has had a profound effect on the way we work, in terms of practice, research and education. For many months now many of us have been unable to meet face-to-face with clients, users, and students. This has meant we have had to change the way we work, conduct research and educate the future generations of HCI and UX practitioners, researchers and educators.

But HCI also has a considerable contribution to make to adjusting to life during the pandemic and in a post-pandemic world. As many people have noted, the pandemic would have been much more difficult without digital technologies which allow many of use to work remotely, to stay in touch with family and friends, to consult our medical practitioners, to report our symptoms or lack of them and so on. A wider range of people have needed to digital technologies than ever before and new systems have needed to be created very quickly. There have been some surprises, such as the sudden usefulness of QR codes, security concerns about many platforms and the even greater explosion of disinformation and misinformation about causes and cures for Covid-19 and the safety of vaccines. Without good interactive systems we would not have achieved what we have in the last months, but perhaps good interactive systems could have helped prevent the spread of disinformation and misinformation about the pandemic.

This special issue of Interacting with Computers will address both aspects of HCI and the pandemic: how has the pandemic changed practice, research and education in HCI; and how has HCI contributed to solutions, and how can it continue to contribute to solutions as we move through the pandemic and into a post pandemic world.

Topics might include (but are certainly not limited to):

  • Innovative methods for conducting HCI research and practice remotely
  • Teaching HCI remotely, particularly practical work
  • Analysis of the effect of the pandemic on people’s behaviours and values in relation to technology
  • Understanding how technology usage has changed due to the pandemic
  • Use of applications and systems to overcome challenges due to the pandemic
  • Use of technology to support intimate relationships between partners separated by the pandemic
  • Use of technology to support isolated people during the pandemic
  • Use of technology in educating people about important practices required by the pandemic such as vaccination, social distancing
  • Countering disinformation and misinformation about the pandemic


27 October 2021: Extended abstract of 1000 words outlining the paper and its contribution
Submit through the normal paper submission system on the website (, selecting the option “Special Issue”

22 December 2021: Notification of preliminary acceptance

16 March 2022: Deadline for final submissions


Interacting with Computers journal website:

Any queries, please email Helen Petrie (

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