The everyday periphery of attention

This work was part of my PhD research at TU/e, supervised by Elise van den Hoven and Berry Eggen

This study aimed to inform peripheral interaction design for everyday routine. Peripheral interaction describes interaction with computing technology without focused attention. I therefore qualitatively studied everyday perceptions and activities that do not require focused attention. This study led to an overview of the types of perceptions and activities that take place in the background or 'periphery' of attention.

In this 'contextmapping' study, participants performed exercises at home and participated in a moderated discussion session. As a result of this study, we concluded that audio plays a major role in peripheral perception. Additionally, we found that most everyday peripheral activities are performed with the hands. Our data therefore indicate that auditory display and tangible interaction seems suitable interaction styles for peripheral interaction.

Related publications:

Bakker, S., Hoven, E. van den, and Eggen, B. (2012). Acting by hand: Informing interaction design for the periphery of people's attention. Interacting with Computers, 24(3), pp. 119-130. Access online

Bakker, S., Hoven, E. van den, and Eggen, B. (2012). Knowing by ear: leveraging human attention abilities in interaction design. Journal on Multimodal User Interfaces, 5(3), pp. 197-209. Access online