First International Workshop on "Understanding Delight in Design: User Experience, Technologies and Tools"


Organised at HCI 2012 - People and Computers XXVI, 12-14th September 2012


Workshop Date: 10th September, 2012 (time tbc)

NB: Paper Submission Deadline Extended to June 30th 2012


Venue: University of Birmingham (building and room tbc)


We are delighted to invite you to submit a paper to the BCS HCI Workshop entitled: "Understanding Delight in Design: User Experience, Technologies and Tools", which will be held at hci2012 at the University of Birmingham on 10th September 2012.

Aim of the workshop

Drawing on the established fields of usability, user experience and interaction design, this workshop aims to bring together people to discuss the concept of 'delight' in interface, product and interaction design.


'Delight' or 'delightful' design is, we argue, an aspirational quality that the HCI community would do well to consider when designing and evaluating interfaces. Open-mindedness and designing for emotion seem critical aspects of a broader call or desire for design which is ‘delightful’; an experience which engages the user more fully, an experience which provokes ‘ensoulment’, a term coined by Nelson and Stolterman to describe an emotional response to a product which results in a deeply moving feeling of being significantly changed.


This workshop seeks to explore:


1) what constitutes a delightful interface, and how we can determine its value

2) how this can be capitalised on in interaction and interface design and

3) how successful realisation of the 'delightfulness' of interfaces might be evaluated.


'Delightful design' is an aspect of research and user experience under investigation in SerenA. SerenA is a multi-disciplinary project to design interactive systems that create opportunities for serendipitous connections.

Submission Topics

We invite contributions that address the concepts of delightful design; appropriate topics include but are not limited to:

  • - case studies and reports of positive emotion or delightful design in product and interaction design, and visual practices.
  • - theoretical or conceptual discussions around the notion of 'delight' and unexpectedness in interfaces, technologies and products
  • - papers which propose a new understanding of user experience and usability goals.
  • - evaluation techniques that consider the assessment of 'delight' or emotion.
  • - the role of 'delight' and participant engagement within the user-centred design process.
  • - the changing role of emotional design in interactive interfaces across media platforms and emergent technologies.


To participate in this workshop, please submit a position paper (4 pages max.) in any of the above or related topics. Submissions should be in eWiC format and should follow the Word template found here. Formatting instructions and LaTeX templates can be found on the BCS site.


All submissions will be peer-reviewed by the committee members and evaluated based on the quality and the originality of the paper and its relevance to the notion of 'delight' in HCI. Upon acceptance (and prior to the conference), participants will be asked to provide workshop organisers with examples of interfaces (either man-made interfaces or examples from nature) that they feel are 'delightful'. We welcome submissions from multidisciplinary researchers from academia and industry in product and interaction design, in tangible interfaces and in ergonomics and cognitive, social and design fields. At least one author of each accepted paper will be required to register for the workshop and present the paper.


The workshop proceedings will be published in the BCS e-WIC repository. Submissions should be emailed to Genovefa Kefalidou ( and Debbie Maxwell ( in both .doc and .pdf format.

Important dates

Paper Submission Deadline: June 18th 2012 DEADLINE EXTENDED: June 30th 2012


Acceptance Notification: July 13th 2012


Early-bird Registration: TBA


Camera-ready Papers Deadline: August 3rd 2012


Distribution of camera-ready papers: TBA

Workshop format

This half-day workshop will include an introduction, position paper presentations (10-minutes maximum duration) and group activities. Group activities will include mapping the delightful space by ripping affordances of delightful design exemplars, and through using a paper-based framework to break down and explore the delightful concept. We will also create and discuss reflection tools to aid evaluation of delight in interfaces.


The workshop will conclude with a group discussion of the identified themes and concepts, and possible future directions.

Organising committee

Dr. Genovefa Kefalidou, Research Fellow at Horizon Digital Economy Research Institute and Human Factors Research Group, University of Nottingham (main contact).

Dr. Deborah Maxwell, Research Assistant at DJCAD, University of Dundee., @deb_max

Mel Woods, Principal Investigator, SerenA project, DJCAD, University of Dundee., @i_serena

Prof. Sarah Sharples, Co-Investigator, SerenA project, Human Factors Research Group and Horizon Digital Economy Research Institute, University of Nottingham.

Dr. Stephann Makri, Research Associate at UCL Interaction Centre, University College London.