Workshop Topic and Goals

Automation pervades manifold workplaces taking up an increasing part of human tasks and transforming work dramatically. It emerges in different appearances (e.g., from scripted tasks over digital agents to physical robots) with various scopes (e.g., office, production, maintenance).
This online workshop focuses on skilled workers and professionals who increasingly encounter new forms of automation in specialized and demanding workplace environments. Taking a human-centered perspective, opportunities and challenges for establishing effective forms of collaboration and for building up meaningful relationships with automated systems are explored.

In line with this overall goal, the workshop will pursue the following sub-goals:

  • Knowledge sharing about user experience and human-centered design of automation inspecific workplace contexts.
  • Understanding users' needs in collaboration with automation in different work contexts and roles.
  • Reflecting on major challenges of designing interactions and collaborations with (semi-)automated systems at different workplaces and discuss ways to address them.
  • Exchanging ideas to enable knowledge transfer regarding design strategies for automation at workplaces.
  • Identify promising future research topics in the field of automation experience at workplaces in the form of project ideas and a research agenda.
  • Forming a network of work-automation-experience researchers.
Previous Activities of the Everyday Automation Experience Initiative

Areas of Interest

The workshop is going to address the following pressing human-oriented challenges in the field of automation at workplaces:

Encountering Workplace Automation

  • How can workers obtain an initial understanding of the reasoning and the reliability of automated processes in their workplace surroundings?
  • Which styles of communication should be used to convey the automation state at specific workplaces?
  • How to enable people at the workplace with no or little programming skills to customize the behavior of a system?
  • How to adequately capture and theoretically frame automation experiences at the workplace that are encountered unobtrusively?

Collaborating with Workplace Automation

  • How should we design autonomous systems for efficient assistance of workers?
  • How to enable and support (dynamic) work task distribution between humans and machines?
  • How to support workers in automating selected work tasks themselves?
  • How can workers share their tacit work knowledge and/or train machines themselves?

Building Meaningful Relationships

  • How can meaningfulness be conceptualized, and how can it be defined as design goals for automated systems?
  • How should human-automation teaming be designed to lead to a fulfilling and meaningful work setting?
  • How can we design automated systems with an appropriate efficiency-user satisfaction trade-off?
  • What social attributes should we design in autonomous systems to create a meaningful experience at work?

Call for Participation

This workshop provides a multi-disciplinary forum for researchers and practitioners working on automated systems at the workplace and their user experience. We focus on design challenges of automation experiences for skilled workers and professionals at concrete workplaces and aim at enabling knowledge transfer across domains regarding design strategies for automation at workplaces. For a social and/or cognitive perspective, e.g., on tensions between low power workers and automated systems, and resulting 'algorithmic imaginaries, also consider the complementary CHI workshop 'This Seems to Work'.) Participants are asked to submit a position paper describing their relevant recent or future work.

  • Papers must be formatted according to the ACM Master Article Submission Template (single column) and comprise up to 6 pages (incl. references).
  • Position papers must be submitted in PDF format (non-anonymized) to
  • The submissions will be reviewed by the organizers (and additional experts, if required) based on relevance, originality, significance and quality.
  • Upon acceptance, at least one author of each accepted position paper must attend the workshop.
  • All workshop participants must register for both the workshop and for at least one day of the main conference.
Important Dates
  • Submission of position papers: February 25th 2021 (extended!)
  • Decision to authors: March 1st 2021
  • Camera-ready versions due: March 20th 2021
  • Workshop: May 7th 2021

Structure & Schedule

15:00–15:10 2:00pm–2:10pm 9:00am-9:10am Welcome and Introduction
15:10–15:25 2:10pm–2:25pm 9:10am-9:25am Participants Introduction
15:25–15:40 2:25pm–2:40pm 9:25am-9:40am Keynote "Automation, UX and the Workplace: The Truth Is out There"
Philippe Palanque
15:40–15:50 2:40pm–2:50pm 9:40am-9:50am Break
15:50–16:35 2:50pm–3:35pm 9:50am-10:35am Paper Madness, Session 1
16:35–16:40 3:35pm–3:40pm 10:35am-10:40am Break
16:40–17:25 3:40pm–4:25pm 10:40am-11:25am Paper Madness, Session 2
17:25–17:35 4:25pm–4:35pm 11:25am-11:35am Break
17:35–17:50 4:35pm–4:50pm 11:35am-11:50am Group Finding and Selection of Challenges
17:50–18:30 4:50pm–5:30pm 11:50am-12:30pm Work on Selected Challenges
18:30–19:00 5:30pm–6:00pm 12:30pm-1:00pm Group Presentation and Wrap-Up


Organizers & Contact

In case you have questions regarding the workshop, feel free to contact the organizers.


Matthias Baldauf

Eastern Switzerland University of Applied Sciences, Switzerland


Peter Fröhlich

AIT Austrian Institute of Technology, Center for Technology Experience, Austria


Shadan Sadeghian

University of Siegen, Germany


Philippe Palanque

Université Paul Sabatier - Toulouse III, France


Virpi Roto

Aalto University, Finland


Wendy Ju

Cornell University, USA


Lynne Baillie

Heriot-Watt University, United Kingdom


Manfred Tscheligi

University of Salzburg and AIT Austrian Institute of Technology, Austria

This work is in part supported by the projects CALIBRaiTE (FFG No. 878796) and MMAssist II (FFG No. 858623) as part of the programs 'IDEENLAB 4.0' and 'Produktion der Zukunft' that are operated by the Austrian Research Promotion Agency FFG. The financial support by the Austrian Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology is gratefully acknowledged. Furthermore, we would like to acknowledge the support by the project VA-PEPR (funded by the SNF Sinergia program under grant agreement No. CRSII5_189955), the project PRISM (funded by Innosuisse under grant agreement No. 37187.1 IP-ICT), and Sea4Value (funded by Business Finland, grant 81/31/2020), and AWARD (receiving funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 101006817).