Monthly Online Seminars on

Human Computer Interaction and User Experience 

Presented by

British Computer Society Interaction Group

and  Interacting with Computers

A monthly series of online seminars about human computer interaction (HCI) and user experience (UX). Hosted by the British Computer Society (BCS) Interaction Group and the BCS journal “Interacting with Computers”

Everyone who is interested in HCI and UX is welcome to join, whether you are a student, practitioner, researcher, teacher or just interested.

Seminars will be a mix of presentations by authors of papers recently (or soon to be) published in Interacting with Computers and other topics of wide interest to the research and practitioner community of people involved in HCI and UX.

If you have questions, comments or would like to give a seminar, please email Professor Helen Petrie (, Editor of Interacting with Computers and seminar convenor.


The inaugural seminar was on Monday 23rd May 2022

Professor Alan Dix, Computational Foundry, Swansea University

What Next for UX Tools:  from screens to smells, from sketch to code, supporting design for rich interactions

Watch the recording of this session on our YouTube channel

Every interaction with a digital device is set in some form of physical and human context, and yet the most commonly used tools for UX design are focused purely on the screen.  Rather than being a scaffold to build better interfaces, wireframes can feel like the barriers in a cattle ranch, herding us towards a small range of design options, looking inwards towards the device rather than outwards towards our users.  The situation is even more difficult when we want to design interactions that involve other senses, such as sound, smells, and touch; or new forms of interaction, such as flexible displays, autonomous cars, smart buildings, and digital fabrication.  In this talk I’ll describe both some of my own personal journey and the InContext project that is thinking about more wholistic tools for design that incorporate rich context, multiple modalities, and end-to-end connections between design and development.  The talk will outline both our own thinking and outcomes from a series of InContext workshops, most recently at CHI 2022.  We do not have answers to all the open questions, but I will also demonstrate several early prototypes addressing different facets of design that are underrepresented in current generation design tools.  Most important, I hope that this will open up a roadmap of ideas that others may also follow to create better tools for the next generation of UX designers and developers.

Monday 27th June, 2022

Professor Pei-Luen (Patrick) Rau, Tsinghua University, China

Watch the recording of this session on our YouTube Channel

The paper associated with this seminar is now available on the Interacting with Computers website 

Talking with an Internet of Things conversational agent

Internet of things conversational agents (IoT-CAs) are making human– computer interactions ubiquitous. In this study, we experimentally examined the effects of IoT-CA use on face-to-face conversations between close partners. One hundred and thirty-six participants (68 close relationship dyads) participated in the experiment. We prepared an IoT chat environment and provided chat topics for each dyad. The dyads were randomly assigned into one of two IoT-CA use pattern groups (joint use: two persons using an IoT-CA together; individual use: one person using an IoT-CA alone) and three interaction conditions (no IoT-CA use; conversation content-relevant IoT-CA use; conversation content-irrelevant IoT-CA use). The results showed that compared with no IoT-CA use, IoT-CA use did not have negative effects on conversation experiences but produced feelings of greater closeness to the IoT-CA in the partners. Furthermore, joint IoT-CA use in the content-relevant condition (IoT-CA made comments relevant to interpersonal interactions) helped increase interpersonal self-disclosure.


Monday 25th July, 2022

Dr Sione Paea  and Mr Gabiriele Bulivou, University of the South Pacific, Fiji

Watch the recording of this session on our YouTube Channel

The paper associated with this seminar is now available on the Interacting with Computers website 

Information Architecture: Using Open Card Sorting Data Analysis

Open card sorting is a well-established method for discovering how people understand and categorize information. This paper addresses the problem of quantitatively analyzing open card sorting data using the K-means algorithm. Although the K-means algorithm is effective, its results are too sensitive to initial category centers. Therefore, many approaches in the literature have focused on determining suitable initial centers. However, this is not always possible, especially when the number of categories is increased. This paper proposes an approach to improve the quality of the solution produced by the K-means for open card sort data analysis. Results show that the proposed initialization approach for K-means outperforms existing initialization methods, such as MaxMin, random initialization and K-means++.


August – Summer break (for those in the northern hemisphere)


Monday 26th September: 13:00 BST (i.e. UTC + 1)

Gilbert Cockton, Emeritus Professor, University of Sunderland and Northumbria University

“What I learned when I moved to a Design School”


Monday 31st October: 13:00  UTC/GMT (UK will be back on winter time!)

Professor Marian Ursu, University of York

“Object-Based Media: Foundations of Interactive Storytelling with Audio and Video”


Monday 28th November: 13:00  UTC/GMT (UK will be back on winter time!)

Grace Eden, Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology, New Delhi, India

Applying Speculative Design to Enhance UX Practice
Speculative Design is increasingly being used as a tool to facilitate thinking outside the box. It engages imagination as a resource and uses it to envisage how technologies might transform our world in the future. Through a combination of what-if scenarios, prototypes, and alternative world building; palpable objects and interactions are embedded into future situations.These imagined worlds are used to guide critical reflection about the choices we might make for how technologies are integrated into society, implications, and possible trajectories. Fundamentally, speculative design invites us to engage in a dialogue about the future before it happens. This talk will introduce concepts and techniques used in speculative design and provide suggestions for how it can be used to enhance UX practice.


Monday 19th December

 A symposium based around the upcoming special issue in Interacting with Computers on “HCI and the Coronavirus Pandemic”.  Details to follow, this will be longer than one hour.