As computer system become more complex and computer based activities proliferate people find themselves alone at the computer carrying out a range of what were originally social activities, for example shopping, learning and collaborating. Group dynamics focus attention, and without them attention can be lost.
A significant challenge of human computer interaction research is the design of systems capable of reasoning about users’ attention and consequently deciding how to gain and guide user’s attention. Attention awareness has the special target of minimizing cognitive load by addressing issues such as: interruption management / notification optimization, individual versus group interaction, and just-in-time information selection. Whilst “disappearing”, i.e. minimizing cognitive load, has been a main objective of interface design, we feel that true adaptation to human cognitive abilities requires a better understanding of the reactive, deliberative, social, and aesthetic processes controlling attention allocation and of how they can be supported by technologies. Improving such understanding is the primary objective of this workshop.