CN05 - Concepts and Tools for Multi-Device User Interfaces: How to Adapt to Devices with Varying Interaction Resources

Fabio Paterṇ, ISTI-CNR, Italy

This tutorial aims to help user interface designers and developers to understand the issues involved in multi-device interactive applications, which can be accessed through both mobile and stationary devices even exploiting different interaction modalities (graphical, vocal, …). It will also provide a discussion of the possible solutions in terms of concepts, techniques, and tools. The tutorial will deal with how to address such issues both at design time, when authoring multi-device interfaces, and at run-time, when user interfaces for different devices are dynamically adapated and can even migrate across them to support the mobile user.

This tutorial is an updated and more extended version of a tutorial given at INTERACT 2007.


  • Issues in multi-device interfaces
  • The influence of the interaction platforms on the suitability of the possible tasks and their structure
  • Strategies for adapting user interfaces to different devices
  • Model-based design of multi-device interfaces
  • Authoring multi-device interfaces
  • How to address a variety of platforms with different modalities (graphical and vocal interfaces, digital TV, …)
  • Approaches to automatic adaptation
  • Automatic transformation from desktop interfaces to different interaction platforms (how presentation, navigation and content can be transformed)
  • Distributed and migratory interfaces
  • Research agenda

The tutorial will be interesting for interactive software developers and designers who want more support than currently furnished by most commercially available tools. Likewise, user interface designers would benefit in understanding the space of the possible solutions and techniques for user interface adaptation to the device. In addition, other researchers who would like to have an update on the state of art and research results in terms of approaches, design criteria, tools in the field will find the tutorial of interest. Participants will not need to have any specific background knowledge to reap benefits. However, general familiarity with some HCI design principles or with some user interface authoring tool would be helpful.

Lectures, demonstrations, exercises, videos, group discussions Instructor background: Fabio Paterṇ is Research Director at ISTI-CNR, where his main research interests are in user interfaces for ubiquitous environments, model-based design and development, tools and methods for multi-device interactive applications, migratory interfaces. In these areas he has coordinated several projects and the development of various tools.

Further material on the course will be available from mid-January at