CHI 2007 Workshop

Supple Interfaces: Designing and evaluating for richer human connections and experiences

Katherine Isbister, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, U.S.A.,
Kristina Höök, Swedish Institute of Computer Science, Sweden,


This workshop is aimed at clarifying an emerging innovation space in HCI-systems that interleave themselves gracefully with human life and activity, by supporting human interaction strategies and values that are not an integrated and coherent part of traditional usability considerations. Supple interfaces can be characterized by their focus on:
Subtle Signals
Rich human communication and interpretation strategies (e.g. emotion, social ritual, nonverbal communication, kinaesthetic engagement).
Emergent Dynamics
Taking into consideration subtle communication dynamics that require new thinking about system adaptivity and feedback. For example, increased legibility of system moves to help users actively co-construct practice and meaning and push system boundaries in interesting ways.
Moment-to-moment Experience
Privileging the quality of moment-to-moment experience both in terms of design and in terms of evaluation of success of design (e.g. a focus on engagement, pleasure, rapport).

Supple interfaces bring important challenges to designers and evaluators of interfaces, such as:

A few examples of supple interfaces in both the research and commercial worlds include:


2-4 page submissions should indicate: Submissions will be selected based upon the overall goal of bringing together a mix of researchers and practitioners who can help to elucidate key challenges and considerations in designing and evaluating supple interfaces, for the larger CHI community.
Participants will be notified by February 1. At least one author of accepted submissions will need to register for the workshop and for one day of the conference itself. Workshop fees in 2007 are estimated to be $150 for a one-day workshop.

Submit papers to Katherine Isbister ( by January 12, 2007. More information about the workshop will be posted on this website as the deadline for submissions approaches.

The workshop description as it will appear in the CHI conference proceedings: PDF