Corinna Kühnapfel, Joerg Fingerhut, Hanna Brinkmann, Victoria Ganster, Takumi Tanaka, Eva Specker, Jan Mikuni, Florian Güldenpfennig, Andreas Gartus, Raphael Rosenberg, Matthew Pelowski. 2022. How do we move in front of art? How does this relate to art experience? Linking movement, eye tracking, emotion, and evaluations in an ecologically-valid gallery setting. PsyArXiv

Embodied cognition claims that the way we move our body is central for experience. Exploring dimensions of bodily engagement should therefore also be central for understanding the experience of viewing and evaluating art. However, in both laboratory and in more ecologically-valid gallery studies, little attention has been paid to the actual ways viewers move in front of art—where they stand, how they approach or shift positions—and how this impacts their experiences. This paper aims to close this gap by demonstrating a new paradigm in a gallery-like setting, in which we tracked movements of participants that engaged an abstract artwork via infrared cameras. We also captured their viewing behavior via mobile eye tracking and collected self-reported art appraisals, cognitive and emotional phenomenal factors, as well as subjective awareness of their bodies and physical engagement. Via correlational analysis, based on a theoretical review of past literature and arguments regarding compelling movement aspects, we consider the relation of a broad range of objective and subjective movement aspects to reported art experiences. We also—for the first time—define basic, shared patterns of global movement that could be related to different art appraisals and emotional experiences employing a bottom-up statistical analysis using principal component and cluster analyses. As a proof-of-concept paper we identify the importance and explanatory advantages of our approach both for a more embodied, enactive understanding of art engagements, and as a practical guideline for future empirical aesthetics, art, and museum research.


Isabel Schwaninger, Florian Güldenpfennig, Astrid Weiss, Geraldine Fitzpatrick (2021). What Do You Mean by Trust? Establishing Shared Meaning in Interdisciplinary Design for Assistive Technology. International Journal of Social Robotics, Volume 13, Pages 1879–1897. 

The topic of trust has attracted increasing interest within HRI research, and is particularly relevant in the context of social robots and their assistance of older people at home. To make this abstract concept of trust more tangible for developers of robotic technologies and to connect it with older people’s living spaces and their daily practices, we propose a light-weight method drawing on elicitation cards to be used at early stages of participatory design. The cards were designed to serve as a guide for qualitative interviews at ideation phases. This was accomplished by using the cards connected to the living spaces of the participants, their daily practices, and ‘provocative’ questions to structure conversations. We developed the method with 10 inexperienced interviewers who conducted 10 qualitative interviews on the topic of trust without cards, and who tested the cards with 10 older adults. Our findings indicate that the method served as a powerful facilitator of conversations around the topic of trust and enabled interviewers to engage with everyday practices of older adults; it also facilitated a more active role for older adults during the conversations. As indicators of findings that can come from the cards, salient trust-related themes that emerged from the analysis of card usage were the desire for control, companionship, privacy, understandability, and location-specific requirements with regards to trust.


Güldenpfennig, F., Fikar, P., & Ganhör, R. (2020). Teaching Digital Fabrication to Early Intervention Specialists for Designing Their Own Tools. Paper präsentiert im Rahmen von der ACM SIGACCESS Conference on Computers and Accessibility ASSETS'20

We taught basic principles of digital fabrication to four early intervention therapists that were specialized in the training of children with cerebral visual impairment and related disabilities. Here, our intention was threefold. First, we wanted to engage in digital fabrication together with the therapists to ‘kick-off’ a co-design project and get to know them; the project was about creating therapeutic toys, and we hadn't met our participants or co-designers before. Second, we wanted to give them an impression of the tools we use and the sorts of designs that we are capable of producing in the course of such a one-year design project. Third, we aimed at generating a first set of design ideas. In this paper, we show in which ways teaching digital fabrication enabled us to accomplish these goals. Interestingly, we did not anticipate one of our most interesting findings. - As it turned out, the therapists continued creating their own designs after the project was completed, drawing on their newly developed digital fabrication skills. Hence, as a fourth outcome, we ‘accidently’ empowered the participants to address their problems independently.

Ganhör, R., Güldenpfennig, F., & Fikar, P. (2020).  Interactive Play and Modern Media Tools. Workshop Beitrag für ACM International Conference on Interactive Media Experiences.

Güldenpfennig, F., Wagner, A.,  Fikar, P., Kaindl, G., & Ganhör, R. (2020). Enabling Learning Experiences for Visually Impaired Children by Interaction Design. In Haptic Interfaces for Accessibility, Health, and Enhanced Quality of Life. Troy McDaniel, Sethuraman Panchanathan (Editors). Springer.

Interaction design and tangible computing offer rich opportunities for supporting children with impairments by means of enhanced therapeutic toys and educational materials. In order to explore how technology can be utilized to meet special requirements in the education of visually impaired children (and teenagers), we set up a practice-based research project at a special health center and school for the blind. Drawing on a number of design experiments involving educators and affected children, we came up with design proposals that enabled instructive (sensory) experiences despite their impairments in the sensory system. We describe two interactive prototypes in detail – a tangible color-picker toy, that we named The Cuebe, and an Audio-Tactile Map designed for e-learning – and show how they can support children in building new skills by augmenting physical properties and affordances. In both prototypes, tactility, haptics, and interactivity were crucial features, since all experiences originated at the fingertips and then unfolded higher-level sensory and cognitive processes. Moreover, the prototypes were also characterized by a high degree of open-endedness and customizability in their design, allowing educators to incorporate them in flexible ways to meet the needs of the children.


Güldenpfennig, F., Mayer, P., Panek, P., & Fitzpatrick, G. (2019). An Autonomy-Perspective on the Design of Assistive Technology: Experiences of People with Multiple Sclerosis. Paper präsentiert im Rahmen von der Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems ACM CHI’19. 

In HCI and Assistive Technology design, autonomy is regularly equated with independence. This is a shortcut and leaves out design opportunities by omitting a more nuanced idea of autonomy. To improve our understanding of how people with severe physical disabilities experience autonomy, particularly in the context of Assistive Technologies, we engaged in in-depth fieldwork with 15 people with Multiple Sclerosis who were used to assistive devices. We constructed a grounded theory from a series of interviews, focus groups and observations, pointing to strategies in which participants sought autonomy either in the short-term (managing their daily energy reserve) or in the long-term (making future plans). The theory shows how factors like enabling technologies, capital (human, social, psychological resources), and compatibility with daily practices facilitated a sense of being in control for our participants. Moreover, we show how over-ambitious or bad design (e.g., paternalism) can lead to opposite results and restrict autonomy.

Güldenpfennig, F., Dudo, D., & Purgathofer, P. (2019). The 'Magic Paradigm' for Programming Smart Connected Devices. Paper präsentiert im Rahmen von der Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems ACM CHI’19.

We are surrounded by an increasing number of smart and networked devices. Today much of this technology is enjoyed by gadget enthusiasts and early adaptors, but in the foreseeable future many people will become dependent on smart devices and Internet of Things (IoT) applications, desired or not. To support people with various levels of computer skills in mastering smart appliances as found, e.g., in smart homes, we propose the 'magic paradigm' for programming networked devices. Our work can be regarded as a playful 'experiment' towards democratizing IoT technology. It explores how we can program interactive behavior by simple pointing gestures using a tangible 'magic wand'. While the 'magic paradigm' removes barriers in programming by waiving conventional coding, it simultaneously raises questions about complexity: what kind of tasks can be addressed by this kind of 'tangible programming', and can people handle it as tasks become complex? We report the design rationale of a prototypical instantiation of the 'magic paradigm' including preliminary findings of a first user trial.

Urbanek, M., & Güldenpfennig, F. (2019). Celebrating 20 Years of Computer-based Audio Gaming. Paper präsentiert im Rahmen von Audio Mostly 2019, ACM. 

We look back on two decades of academic research on audio games. During this time, a substantial amount of research has explored many facets of this special genre of computer games. However, despite many publications, there is a lack of review papers, which help delineate this growing research eld. For this reason, we take one step back and investigate 20 years of audio game research by synthesizing a literature review adopting grounded theory methods. The resulting research map provides an overview of eorts into audio games with a special focus on how to design for audio games. We observed three important trends or tensions in audio game research. Firstly, audio games research depended heavily on technological advancements during the last two decades. Secondly, most studies about audio games were conducted with novices to audio games in lab situations, that is, based on articial situations and not on real gamers and their genuine experience. Thirdly, the audio game design process per se has been greatly neglected in the literature so far. We conclude the paper by discussing design or research implications. 

Urbanek, M., Habiger, M., & Güldenpfennig, F. (2019). Creating Audio Games Online with a Browser-Based Editor. Paper präsentiert im Rahmen von Audio Mostly 2019, ACM. 

Play has been identified as a fundamental human desire (see, e.g., Huizinga's seminal work on ''Homo Ludens''). To little surprise then, people have also used sound in play and to create games. Since the advent of the personal computer, the genre of audio games invites sighted and visually impaired people alike to play interactive computer games solely based on sound renderings. While audio games are popular, especially among blind people, there is a lack of development tools to support audio game design and to foster further growth of this genre. For this reason, we demonstrate a browser-based audio game editor that we have developed over the last year or so, drawing on the experience and needs of seven long-term audio gamers. To the best of our knowledge, it is the first application or tool of its kind. Its key features are easy usage (including instant game play and sound rendering) and open source development to increase sustainability and possible impact.

Urbanek, M., & Güldenpfennig, F. (2019). Unpacking the Audio Game Experience: Lessons Learned from Game Veterans. Paper präsentiert im Rahmen von Annual Symposium on Computer-Human Interaction in Play (CHI PLAY'19), ACM. 

People with or without visual impairments play and enjoy audio games. While this genre of computer games has attracted a strong fan base and some attention in HCI, little research has been dedicated to the people who actually play audio games in their daily life. There is a pressing need to capture the viewpoints of authentic or expert players, designers and developers to advance audio game design. Thus, we give voice to seven game veterans of sound-based gaming, i.e., people who each have more than a decade of profound experience in playing or designing audio games. We conducted a total of 14 interviews and employed grounded theory methods to unpack their experiences. We found that audio games enriched their life through creativity, play, and social exchange. Those core concepts were influenced by peripheral concepts like, inter alia, aesthetics & enjoyability, accessibility, or the availability of audio games. We show how they relate to each other and discuss design implications.

Urbanek, M., Habiger, M., & Güldenpfennig, F. (2019). Drag 'n' Hear: Creating, Playing, and Understanding Audio Games Online. Paper präsentiert im Rahmen von Annual Symposium on Computer-Human Interaction in Play (CHI PLAY'19), ACM. 

Since the last couple of years, we have been aiming to advance our understanding of the audio games design process. As audio games are computer games that rely on sound only, they demand or invite the players to 'build the game world in their mind'. Hence, compared to video games, missing visual information is filled in and created by mental imaginary. This makes the genre exciting and simultaneously open to both players with or without visual impairments. In terms of game design, audio games, however, bring additional challenges to the process. How does a designer sketch games that he or she cannot see? To explore such issues, we created an open-sourced online audio game editor that can function as a sketchbook for audio games. By studying how people use the editor to create audio games, we hope to better understand audio game design and foster the growth of this interesting game genre.

Mayer, P., Güldenpfennig, F., & Panek, P. 2019. Towards Smart Adaptive Care Toilets. Studies in Health Technology and Informatics, 260, p.9-16. IOS Press.

Standard toilets in Western countries often do not meet the needs of elderly and disabled people with physical limitations. While the existing concept of barrier-free toilets and the emerging "changing places" concept offer more space and support, the fixed height of the toilet seat still imposes a major problem during all phases of toilet use and can limit the users' autonomy by requiring personal assistance. Thus, in the EU project iToilet an innovative ICT-based modular height adjustable toilet system was designed to support the autonomy, dignity and safety of older people living at home by digital technology enhancements adapting the toilet to their needs and preferences. The main requirements were: double foldable handrails, height and tilt adjustment, emergency detection and call, and ease of use. The ICT component in this approach serves a double purpose of enhancing usability of the base assistive technology while at the same time providing safety for independent use. A field test of a prototype system in real environments of a day care center and a rehabilitation clinic has been successfully finished. The application of the iToilet concept also in semi-public settings is currently studied in the Toilet4me project.

Fikar, P., Güldenpfennig, F., & Ganhör, R. (2019). Reflections on Mobility in the Design of Therapeutic Toys. Workshop Beitrag für Communities & Technologies (C&T'19), Vienna, Austria.

Designing technology for developmental support of children with impairments is a complex endeavor dealing with challenges ranging from medical diagnoses, to therapeutic exercises, to psychological factors of play. Mobility poses a determining variable in design solutions impacting how sustainable they are performing in daily practice. Mobility challenges pervade therapeutic efforts in a vast variety of ways and manifest throughout different layers of intervention. Logistical needs of the therapists are as important as the bodily interaction needs of the children. In this work, we add to the discussion of mobility related design issues, comparing two design proposals which resulted from a project concerned with (co-)designing digital toys for developmental intervention for children with Cerebral Visual Impairment.

Urbanek, M., Güldenpfennig, F., & Habiger, M. (2019). A Toolkit for creating Audio Games: Balancing Ease of Use and Power of Features. Workshop Beitrag für Communities & Technologies (C&T'19), Vienna, Austria.


Güldenpfennig, F. (2019). Creating Accessible Computers with Infobricks. Workshop Beitrag für Communities & Technologies (C&T'19), Vienna, Austria.

Güldenpfennig, F., Fikar, P., & Ganhör, R. (2019). A Tangible Color-Picker Toy Designed for Young Children: Balancing Physical Properties and Play Elements Through Design. Workshop Beitrag für CHI'19, Glasgow, Scotland.

We present a tangible color-picker toy, designed for children aged approximately up to six years. Since the purpose of this interactive toy is to support visually impaired children during therapeutic exercises, we employed a practice-based design process for balancing its physical properties and play elements. Appropriate stimuli (both visual and haptical), play affordances, interactive behavior, and additional device properties (e.g., product safety) were explored together with therapists and children drawing on a series of (interactive) prototypes. Hence, the artifact embodies shared knowledge about how exercising can be supported with therapeutic toys from the perspective of children, therapists, and interaction design researchers. In practice, the toy amplifies color by means of LEDs to provide strong and active visual stimuli when pushed against a colored surface. Its physical design is minimalistic, allowing young children to safely grip it and therapists to flexibly integrate it into exercises, made-up stories or motivating games for therapy: 
demo video showing latest prototype versions.

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