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Social Theories and ITS Workshop (SurfNet Annual Workshop, Oct 2014)

There is an increasing trend in the human-computer interaction (HCI) and interactive tabletop and surfaces (ITS) communities towards the application of social theories describing human and social behaviour into our technology designs. For example, social theories that describe how people utilize different spatial distances to engage in different types of interactions with others, called Proxemic Zones of Personal Space, have been appropriated by ITS researchers to create new forms of interactive surface interactions, called proxemic interactions. Beyond proxemics, there are a multitude of useful social theories that ITS researchers can and should utilize in their system interfaces and interaction designs to better leverage potential users’ existing social and spatial interaction practices in order to improve the effectiveness and usability of their systems. This tutorial will provide a brief overview of seminal social theories, and provide examples of how these theories can be applied to the design of interactive surfaces.