Katharina Reinecke Harvard University
David Flatla University of Saskatchewan
Erin Solovey MIT
Carl Gutwin University of Saskatchewan
Krzysztof Gajos Harvard University
Jeffrey Heer Stanford

Important Dates

Deadline: January 11, 2013
Notification: February 8, 2013
Day of the Workshop: April 28, 2013
All workshop participants must register for both the workshop and for at least one day of the main conference.

For some early indication on prices, please refer to last year's workshop & conference pricing.

Program Committee

Mike Bennett, USA
Remco Chang
Tufts University, USA
Dianne Cyr
Simon Fraser University, Canada
Indrani Medhi
Microsoft Research, India
Ruth Rosenholtz
Christian Sturm
Hamm-Lippstadt University of Applied Sciences, Germany
Noam Tractinsky
Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel
Alexandre Tuch
University of Copenhagen, Denmark

Tentative Schedule

9:00am: Human tag cloud & welcome
9:30am: Formation of tag clusters
10:00am: Keynote by Jeffrey Heer
10:30am: Coffee break
11:00am: Expert group discussions
11:30pm: Presentation of expert group findings to others, creation of a visual perception factors network
12:30pm: Lunch
2:00pm: Keynote by Cristina Conati
2:30pm: Discussion
3:00pm: Coffee break
3:30pm: Generation of design guidelines
4:30pm: Future work discussion
6pm: Supper


Have a look at our participants page for a list of participants and further information about activities before, during, and after the workshop.

Workshop Overview

There are many differences in how we see the world. Native Welsh speakers, for example, lose their ability to differentiate between green and blue as they acquire the language (4-month old babies can visually differentiate, adults cannot). Colorblindness affects around 8% of men and 0.4% of women. Gender modulates which designs we perceive as appealing and trustworthy. North Americans are relatively better at ignoring the context surrounding a focal object, whereas East Asians perceive such contextual information first.
These differences affect our perception of interface designs and other visualizations, yet two substantial questions remain: (1) How can we provide visual designs that are equally usable by everyone? (2) How can we create personalized designs that cater to an individual's perceptual abilities and preferences?


This workshop is aimed at defining common ground between the different strands of visual perception research in order to promote synergy and a shared understanding of how people perceive today's designs, and how their perception might differ. To accomplish this, we will begin the process of combining the broad range of visual perception knowledge to create a holistic approach to understanding users' visual perception. The resulting combined pool of knowledge will be used to provide design guidelines for generating interfaces better suited to the individual visual perception abilities of the users.
As a tangible output, we will develop a visual perception network, which describes the known effects of certain factors on user interface design, as well as their interaction with each other. After the workshop, we will make the visualized network accessible on this website. As the goal of this workshop is to aggregate knowledge, we also plan to disseminate the results in a shared article; either on a public website, or in a special journal issue.

Further details can be found in the extended abstract.


Some of the areas that workshop participants may have experience with include the following:

Factors that influence the visual perception of designs:
- Visual impairments and its effect on design
- Situational impairments (e.g., lighting conditions)
- Influences of cultural exposure on perception
- Elderly users and the effect of age on perception

Effects of these factors on HCI:
- Aesthetic preferences as a decisive factor for user engagement
- Visual cues that lead to more trust
- Usability issues arising because of visual perception difficulties

Adapting to perception abilities and visual preferences:
- Measuring and modeling perception abilities
- Automatic adaptation of designs to perception abilities and/or visual preferences

We invite technical contributions and position papers from anyone interested in how people differ in their perception of designs.
Technical contributions should focus on the influence of one or more factors of visual perception, such as age, culture, gender, impairments, or other influences that change how humans perceive design.
Position papers should focus on a discussion of possible interactions between different factors, and how user interfaces can cater for users' holistic visual perception. We also invite designers to show examples of their work and discuss where knowledge and improvement is needed.

Papers should be 2-4 pages in length and submitted in the CHI extended abstracts format.
Please submit papers to The deadline is January 11, 6pm EST.

Papers will be peer-reviewed by the programming and organizing committee (see left column) in order to select up to 20 participants according to relevance, quality of results, research diversity, and likelihood for stimulating and contributing to the discussion. If accepted, at least one author must register for the workshop and for one or more days of the conference.