CHI 2021


Designing Interactions for the Ageing Populations – Addressing Global Challenges

Sayan Sarcar, Cosmin Munteanu, Neil Charness, Jussi Jokinen, Xiangshi Ren, and Emma Nicol

We are concurrently witnessing two significant shifts: digital devices are becoming ubiquitous, and older people are becoming a very large demographic group. However, despite the recent increase in related CHI publications, older adults continue to be underrepresented in HCI research as well as commercially. Therefore, the overarching aim of this workshop is to increase the momentum for such research within CHI and related fields such as gerontechnology. For this, we plan to continue developing a space to discuss and share principles and strategies to design interactions and evaluate user interfaces (UI) for the ageing population. We thus welcome contributions of proposing improved empirical studies, theories, design and evaluation of UIs for older adults. Building on the success of last three year’s workshops, we aim to grow the community of CHI researchers across borders interested in this topic by fostering a space to exchange results, methods, approaches, and ideas from research on interactive applications in support of older adults that are reflective of international diversity that is representative of CHI. In this year’s workshop, we specifically focus on discussing two aspects along with previous workshop topics: (1) revisiting methodological approaches for a meaningful engagement of older adults in design and (2) same age, many cultures – designing for diversity in aging.

Call for Participation

Submission Deadline: February 21, 2021 *****extended to March 07, 2021******

One day workshop held online at CHI 2021, Sunday, May 9, 2021

Workshop Highlights:

-Invited speakers from Gerontology and Accessibility

-Thematic discussions (using Miro discussion board)

-Madness session

-Opportunities to collaborate

This virtual workshop discusses the principles and strategies for designing and evaluating UIs of digital devices for the ageing population. The topic is timely, as the Internet-of-Things device has become the most widely used computer terminal and ,at the same time ,the number of older people will soon exceed the number of children worldwide. However, most HCI research addresses younger adults and has had little impact on older adults. This workshop welcomes contributions to empirical studies, theories, design, and evaluation of UIs for older adults. The workshop has three goals:

  • to map the state-of-art,
  • to build a community gathering experts from related areas, and
  • to raise awareness within the SIGCHI community.

We invite contributions in one or more of four threads: empirical (e.g., evaluation), theoretical (e.g. theoretical insights from accessibility, gerontology, etc.), design (e.g., interface design), and evaluation. The contributions are expected to align with the overall workshop theme of “Ageing Across Borders” by particularly reflecting on what is specific to the regional/cultural context of the research described in the position paper (and where possible, contextualizing it through comparison to other regions/cultures).

We welcome all HCI topics related to older adults and digital devices. The topics include, but are not limited to:
–  Effects of decline in perceptual, cognitive, and motor performance on digital devices use
–  Models of user performance
–  Understanding device ecology and leveraging it to design suitable interfaces
–  UI design patterns and metaphors
–  Opportunities to sustain older adults’ current activities and practices through digital technologies
–  Societal implications, including the digital divide and social exclusion.
–  Bridging Social Computing and senior-centred HCI4D
–  Evaluation methodologies
–  Ethical concerns

Several key questions will be discussed in the workshop, e.g.,

  • How does user behavior for performing tasks with several digital devices (e.g., mobile device, TV remote, home appliances) change across age?
  • How well can psychological theory capture individual differences in older adult task behavior?
  • What is the basis for proposing application design guidelines for older adults in digital devices?
  • Can mathematical and simulation models automatically design a UI adaptive to older user behavior?

At the workshop, we intend to showcase some topic-related research works through short presentations of authors as well as plenary discussions and birds of a feather group, focusing on areas of interest that are important to the greater older adult community.


We are looking for papers that either present a) some original research, OR b) that present a position relevant to the topic of the workshop grounded in some prior research. The former would be similar to the Poster or LBW track at CHI. The latter can be based on research published elsewhere where the authors present an argument/position/proposal.

We are also open to personal position statements, although of course acceptances based on such statements depend highly on how many research-based submissions we receive. We are keen to  attract submissions that come from outside the SIGCHI community such as from those working in e.g. Gerontology, Accessibility, Healthcare or Psychology related research.

If you have any further questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to send an email to


A max 6-page (excluding references) paper in the CHI Master Article Submission Template ( (PDF file) should be sent to Position papers will be reviewed based on relevance to the workshop and the potential for contributing to discussions on methods and the research agenda to be developed during the workshop.


At least one author of each accepted position paper must attend the workshop and all workshop participants must register for both the workshop and for at least one day of the conference.

Important Dates

20 December, 2021: CFP released
21 February, 2021: Participant submission due**** extended to 07 March 2021*****
14 March, 2021: Acceptance Notification
9 May, 2021: Workshop

First Session: 9 May JST 0600-1000 / 8 May EDT 1700-2100 / 8 May CEST 2300 – 9 May CET 0300
Second Session: 9 May JST 2200 – 10 May JST 0200 / 9 May EDT 0900-1300 / 9 May CEST 1500-1900


Sayan Sarcar is an Assistant Professor at the University of Tsukuba, Japan.  His research area includes Computational UI Design, Ageing & Accessibility, Input and Interaction.

Cosmin Munteanu is an Assistant Professor at the Institute for Communication, Culture, Information, and Technology (University of Toronto at Mississauga), and Co-Director of the Technologies for Ageing Gracefully lab. Cosmin’s multidisciplinary research activities include developing applications that improve access to information and support learning, such as for elders whose enjoyment of life and participation in society could be better supported by advances in interactive assistive technologies (URL:

Neil Charness is the William G Chase Professor of Psychology and Director of the Institute for Successful Longevity at Florida State University.  His research with CREATE group focuses on human factors approaches to design and use of technology by older adults.

Jussi Jokinen is a research fellow at University of Helsinki and Finnish Center for Artificial Intelligence. He received his PhD in cognitive science in 2015 from University of Jyväskylä, Finland. His work deals with computational cognitive models, reinforcement learning, and emotion.

Xiangshi Ren is Professor and Director of the Center for Human-Engaged Computing at Kochi University of Technology.  Prof. Ren has been working on fundamental studies in the field of HCI for over twenty years. His research interests include all aspects of HCI. He is founding president of the International Chinese Association of Computer Human Interaction (ICACHI).

Emma Nicol is a Research Associate in the Strathclyde iSchool Research Group (SiSRG) at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK. Her research encompasses many aspects of HCI and Information Behaviour. Her work on the EPSRC-funded OATS project investigated novel mobile phone keyboards for older adults.