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Congratulations to Luigi De Russis, who has been appointed as an Adjunct Chair (AC) in the ACM SIGCHI Executive Committee.

He has been selected after an open call and will serve in the Executive Committee of the group, which is the premier international society for professionals and academics interested in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI). SIGCHI is, indeed, the ACM Special Interest Group on Computer-Human Interaction, and supports different conferences, journals, and other services that advance HCI through events and outreach.

In a blog post, SIGCHI President introduces six recently appointed adjunct chairs, including Luigi, and describes the selection process. To our knowledge, Luigi is the first member of Politecnico di Torino to join the committee.

Front-page of the article

The Fall 2021 issue of the ACM XRDS magazine is dedicated to the topic "Is Computing Toxic?". For that issue, Alberto and Luigi were entitled "Designing technology that promotes users' digital wellbeing". In the paper, they reflect on the current state of digital wellbeing and related technologies, strategies, and tools. Existing tools for digital wellbeing, indeed, strongly rely on users' self-regulation strategies and capabilities. Recent work, however, highlights the importance of proactively assisting users in learning how to use technology through customizable and adaptable interventions, which are further discussed in the paper.

The e-Lite group will participate at the IEEE Symposium on Visual Languages and Human-Centric Computing (VL/HCC) with a short research paper entitled "TextCode: A Tool to Support Problem Solving Among Novice Programmers." VL/HCC 2021 will be held virtually due to Covid-19 from 10-13 October 2021.

In this paper, TextCode is presented; an IDE specifically designed to support problem solving among novice programmers in an introductory university course. In TextCode, the graphical interface arrangement and the interaction design encourage the developers to follow a set of steps to reach the final solution. Namely, these steps refer to reading and understanding the programming problem statement before start coding, decomposing it down into subproblems, exploring alternative implementations for each subproblem, and arranging these implementations to build a general solution. We consider that providing a tool whose design emphasizes the problem-solving steps can raise metacognitive awareness among novices and help them implement a working solution.

Juan Pablo Sáenz will present the work on Wednesday, October 13, from 13:40 to 13:50 (Central Time [US & Canada]).

The presentation video can be found here.

INTERACT 2021 logo

The e-Lite group will participate at the 18th International Conference on Human–Computer Interaction (INTERACT 2021). The conference will be held in Bari, Italy, in an hybrid format from August 30 to September 3, 2021.

Luigi and Alberto will be at the conference. Luigi will join the EMPATHY workshop on Monday, August 30, where he will present a paper on the vocal composition of trigger-action rules in the smart home. In particular, the paper describes a study aimed at understanding whether and how end users would converse with a conversational assistant to personalize their domestic Internet-of-Things ecosystem. The underlying hypothesis is that users are willing to create personalization rules vocally and that conversational assistants could facilitate the composition process, given their knowledge of the IoT ecosystem. The preliminary study was conducted as a semi-structured interview with 7 non-programmers and provided some evidence in support of this hypothesis. This work is part of the research activities on End-User Development in the IoT.

Alberto, instead, will present a paper entitled "Towards Multi-Device Digital Self-Control Tools" on Wednesday, September 1 during the "Interaction modalities and techniques 1" session (11:15-12:30 CEST). The paper introduces FeelHabits, a DSCT that allows users to set up, through a novel approach, multi-device intentions, i.e., contextual time and launch limits for the simultaneous and/or alternating use of the PC and the smartphone. A preliminary study on 7 participants suggests that FeelHabits might be effective for reducing some multi-device behaviors, and opens the way for further research.

L'Area Information Technology del Politecnico di Torino gestisce centinaia di procedure applicative web-based, realizzate nel corso dei decenni, ed aventi diversi livelli di usabilità. Nel periodo giugno-luglio 2021, è stato organizzato un corso di aggiornamento professionale, rivolto al personale tecnico dell'Area IT dell'ateneo, sull'introduzione alla Usabilità delle interfacce web, particolarmente mirato agli accorgimenti pratici per attuare una rapida progettazione e valutazione dell'usabilità delle diverse applicazioni interne sviluppate ed in fase di sviluppo.

Due ragazzi guardano il proprio smartphone davanti a un BBQ, ma lo smartphone è stato rimosso dalla foto.

Gli smartphone sono diventati parte integrante della nostra vita quotidiana e il loro utilizzo è così cresciuto che non possiamo uscire di casa senza di loro. Grazie a essi, possiamo leggere le notizie mentre scriviamo a un amico su WhatsApp, possiamo vedere film, controllare le nostre e-mail e navigare sui social per passare il tempo. Nonostante i molti vantaggi e le opportunità che tali disposibiti possono fornire per un "supporto sociale", gli ultimi anni hanno visto un'attenzione crescente sugli aspetti negativi legati all'abuso del loro utilizzo.

Questo è il punto di partenza e la premessa di un nuovo corso offerto a tutti gli studenti al secondo anno delle lauree in Ingegneria. Il corso fa parte della rosa dei corsi a scelta (per la precisione, dei crediti liberi del catalogo di Ateneo Grandi Sfide Globali) dall'anno accademico 2021/2022.