Smarttention, Please! Intelligent Attention Management on Mobile Devices. Workshop in conjunction with MobileHCI 2015, Copenhagen, Denmark.

Smarttention, Please! Intelligent Attention Management on Mobile Devices — Workshop @ MobileHCI 2015

Screenshot of an Android user interface, which is cluttered with notifications.

Smart phones, smart watches, smart glasses, smart TVs and a number of other smart devices have put an abundance of online content and services into our fingertips. Today, many users of mobile devices are continuously confronted with a huge variety of information: notifications from Facebook, new application updates, won badges, or reminders. This leads to an information overload, which makes it hard to stay focused.

The goal of this workshop is to discuss how information overload through mobile notifications affect the users’ experiences, and how artificial intelligence, adaptive user interfaces or clever, multimodal interaction techniques can help users to focus on the most essential information. Further, we want to discuss meta-aspects of these smart attention management systems, for example, how they can be configured, trusted or how their dynamics can be communicated to the users. We welcome contributions for single- and multi-device environments.

This workshop is a full-day workshop, aiming to bring together people from industry and acadamia. Paper submissions should be made via email (see details below). A paper should have a length of 2 to 6 pages in MobileHCI 2015 archive format and will be reviewed by at least two workshop organisers. Successful submissions will have the potential to raise discussion, provide insights for other attendees, and illustrate open challenges and potential solutions. All accepted publications will be published on the workshop website and in the ACM Digital Library. At least one author of each accepted paper needs to register for the conference and the workshop itself. During the workshop, each paper will be given about 10 minutes for an oral presentation. In addition, there will be room for demonstrations and hands-on sessions.

Topics of Interest

The workshop invites diverse submissions that study the workshop topic from various perspectives. We welcome submissions which aim to understand users and attention-related aspects, e.g., when do users attend notifications, how do users set their ringer mode switch, or the costs of interruptions. Thereby, submissions could focus on the plain understanding of the matter or intend to contribute a first predicting model. Further, we appreciate any submissions, that propose or investigate design solutions, strategies or concepts how the above-mentioned problems can be addressed, e.g., a lock screen replacement or an anticipatory design concept. An evaluation of these concepts would be great, but is not required.

Future smart attention management systems will likely come with a complex logic, e.g., a machine learning algorithm, which will dynamically modify information flows and user experiences. Thus, we also look forward to submissions that address and study any meta-aspects, e.g., how smart systems can be configured, how their state can be communicated to users, and to what extent users are able to trust such a smart system.

Given the increasing distribution and handling of notifications on external computers or companion devices, e.g., smart watches, wearables and televisions, we explicitly invite research contributions that focus on attention management in multi-device environments. Contributions could, for example, study, how users distribute their notifications, or which multi-device interactions would enable more targeted interactions.

The following list gives an overview which topics are—among others—of relevance for the workshop.



Papers should have a length of 2 to 6 pages in the MobileHCI 2015 Extended Abstracts format. Submissions can be made by e-mailing a blinded PDF file to no later than the given submission deadline. Every paper will undergo a thorough review and feedback on your work will be provided mid of June.

Accepted Papers

We are very proud to have received so many excellent submissions. Please find a list of all accepted papers below.


The workshop is a full-day workshop. The programme looks as follows:

09:00-09:20 Interactive Welcome Session
09:20-09:40 Veljko Pejovic, Abhinav Mehrotra, Mirco Musolesi – Investigating The Role of Task Engagement in Mobile Interruptibility
09:40-10:00 Alireza Sahami Shirazi, Niels Henze – Assessment of Notifications on Smartwatches
10:00-10:20 Tilo Westermann, Ina Wechsung – Empowering Users to Make Informed Permission Request Choices
10:20-10:40 Lauren Norrie, Roderick Murray-Smith – Impact of Smartphone Notification Display Choice in a Typing Task
10:40-11:00 Thomas Eddie, Juan Ye, Graeme Stevenson – Are our mobile phones driving us apart? Divert attention from mobile phones back to physical conversation!
11:00-11:30 Morning break
11:30-11:50 Matthias Braunhofer, Béatrice Lamche, Francesco Ricci, Wolfgang Wörndl – A Context-Aware Model for Proactive Recommender Systems in the Tourism Domain
11:50-12:10 Peter Kiefer, Ioannis Giannopoulos – A Framework for Attention-Based Implicit Interaction on Mobile Screens
12:10-12:30 Martin Pielot, Linas Baltrunas, Nuria Oliver – Boredom-Triggered Proactive Recommendations
12:30-13:30 Lunch break
13:30-13:50 Dominik Weber, Alireza Sahami Shirazi, Niels Henze – Towards Smart Notifications using Research in the Large
13:50-14:10 Alexandru Dancu, Joe Marshall – Designing seamless displays for interaction in motion
14:10-15:30 Discussions
15:30-16:00 Afternoon break
16:00-17:00 Discussions (cont.), wrap-up, planning of future actions


Benjamin Poppinga is an independent researcher and entrepreneur. He is interested in mobile “in the wild” context sensing, attention and interruption management, and minimal attention user interfaces. He received a PhD in computer science from the University of Oldenburg in 2014.

Martin Pielot works as associate researcher at Telefonica I+D (Research) in Barcelona, Spain. In his current research, he explores topics around human attention, such as how the increased number of services that constantly request our attention affect our lives. The goal is to find out how to innovate these services to be less stressing & interrupting, and more enjoyable & connecting.

Niels Henze is assistant professor for Socio-Cognitive Systems in the Institute for Visualization and Interactive Systems and the SimTech Cluster for Simulation Technology at the University of Stuttgart. He is interested in large-scale human subject studies, improvement of interactive systems through models of human behavior, and smart notification management.

Nuria Oliver is currently the Scientific Director and founder of the User, Data and Media Intelligence research team in Telefonica Research (Barcelona, Spain). She is responsible for the HCI, Mobile Computing, Big and Personal Data Mining, User Modeling and Multimedia Research Areas. She is currently working in various disciplines to build human-centric intelligent systems and improve the work with technology.

Karen Church is a Research Scientist in Yahoo Labs, Sunnyvale, USA. Broadly speaking her research interests involve understanding mobile users, their online behaviors and their app usage behaviors using a range of qualitative and quantitative research methods. Her current research explores topics related to understanding and modeling mobile user behavior in the mobile, native and context-aware advertising space.

Alireza Sahami Shirazi is a Research Scientist in Yahoo! Labs, Sunnyvale, USA. His research interest is at the crossroads of ubiquitous computing (Ubicomp) and human-computer interaction (HCI). His current research focuses at mobile devices usage to understand and model user behavior in context-aware advertising space.


If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch via email: You are also invited to join our Smarttention Facebook group.