Casual Interaction—Moving Between Peripheral and High Engagement Interactions

  • Henning Pohl
Part of the Human–Computer Interaction Series book series (HCIS)


In what we call the focused-casual continuum, users pick how much control they want to have when interacting. Through offering several different ways for interaction, such interfaces can then be more appropriate for, e.g., use in some social situations, or use when exhausted. In a very basic example, an alarm clock could offer one interaction mode where an alarm can only be turned off, while in another, users can choose between different snooze responses. The first mode is more restrictive but could be controlled with one coarse gesture. Only when the user wishes to pick between several responses, more controlled and fine interaction is needed. Low control, more casual interactions can take place in the background or the periphery of the user, while focused interactions move into the foreground. Along the focused-casual continuum, a plethora of interaction techniques have their place. Currently, focused interaction techniques are often the default ones. In this chapter, we thus focus more closely on techniques for casual interaction, which offer ways to interact with lower levels of control. Presented use cases cover scenarios such as text entry, user recognition, tangibles, or steering tasks. Furthermore, in addition to potential benefits from applying casual interaction techniques during input, there is also a need for feedback which does not immediately grab our attention, but can scale from the periphery to the focus of our attention. Thus, we also cover several such feedback methods and show how the focused-casual continuum can encompass the whole interaction.


Casual interaction Engagement Control–change 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of HannoverHannoverGermany

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