Our paper was accepted and presented at CHI 2018:
How to Design a Digital Storytelling Authoring Tool for Developing Pre-reading and Pre-writing Skills, Elisa Rubegni, Monica Landoni

CHI 2018 “How to design a digital storytelling authoring tool for developing pre-reading and pre-writing skills


Our paper entitled “Evaluating Engagement in Reading: Comparing Children and Adult Assessors” was pubblished at IDC16.


This paper describes the findings of a study into how children engage with and enjoy reading digital stories. We considered stories created by children with an application called Fiabot! that we designed to support the creation of multimedia fairy tales in school. We asked a group of 25 volunteers, aged 9 to 12, to act as assessors and read the multimedia fairy tales with the aim of uncovering the key factors that contribute to making stories more engaging for young readers. The same stories were also previously evaluated by teachers who looked at specific quality indicators derived from the educational goals of the fairy tale making exercise. Here we report on how children and adults had very different views on what makes a story engaging. By looking at their contrasting opinions we could get a deeper understanding of the factors and dimensions of engagement that influence the overall enjoyment of a story.  This paper ends by discussing how we could use these findings to design more engaging multimedia stories and enhanced eBooks that would be both educational and fun to read.


This year the FabLearn Europe will be organised again by the Child Computer Interaction (ChiCI) Group in close conjunction with the IDC’16 Conference on Interaction Design and Children.

I am very proud to be in the Program Committee and this year I will be there with two teachers from Ticino who actively included some FabLearn-inspired activties within their secondary schools.

The program looks amazing and I can’t wait to be there!



I am organising a Workshop entitled “Roles and values of children in design”at IDC16 conference.
The Workshop will be running at IDC2016 on Tuesday 21st June 2016.

The main purpose of this one day workshop is to initiate a discussion on how to be explicit about values, assumptions and views of children in the design process, in the light of engaging children not only in ideation, but also in other stages of the design process.

For more information regarding the position papers accepted and the outcomes please visit the website: http://rolesandvaluesidc2016.inf.usi.ch/


This workshop was organised and conducted by me (Elisa Rubegni) and Yaniv Steiner at the M.S. Technology-Enhanced Communication for Cultural Heritage.

A workshop focused on “computer vision” and pattern-recognition software to control on-screen emulation of everyday devices, where students will be able to prototype a physical interface. The interface, realized as a controller for devices or services, will use pattern-recognition for implementations of physical knobs and buttons. Just like the musical tool Reactable, which incorporates pattern-recognition to control sounds and audio effects, this workshop will be directed to create substitute interfaces for devices such as: TV, Radio and Audio devices; or for services like browsing Flickr’s photos, YouTube’s videos and I-tunes on local machines. Based on “Reactivision”, students will make use of a platform created by Nastypixel as a rapid prototyping tool. This tool enables students to swiftly mold interfaces for a wide variety of purposes. As open-source methods of development become a new standard, students will literally open up the makings of interfaces to expose their mechanisms of operation. Combining both physical and conceptual interface ideas, students will learn ways to rapid prototype their ideas in the future.

reactvision Instantsoup wiring Tuio and Last.fm(360p_H.264-AAC)

The approach “learning by making” allows students to produce real hand-on prototypes and to learn how to design innovative pattern of interactions and user interfaces in context in which physical world and digital media are interconnected.


Fercu Michael
Yehia Amr
Aida Aidka
Keikha Mostafa
Hwang Yoon Nam
Stefania Lorenzi
Viviana D’Angelo
Shelley Mannion
Amalia Sabiescu
Matteo Agosti
Alberto Terragni
Ahmadi Navid


Workshop on Interactive technologies that enhance children’s creativity From design to fabrication. At IDC2013.
We are seeking for contribution on the design of tools that encourage young people to explore differently their environment, to capture their experience of the world, to crystallize and transform these occurrences in a creative way.
This full-day workshop will bring together researchers, designers, artists who share a common interest in understanding the challenges of designing technological tools and digitally-mediated environments to expand the creativity of young people.
Our motivation for organizing the workshop stems from a joint desire to identify and explore innovative research trends, within the IDC community, on the design, development, and evaluation of mediating tools and interactive technologies that enrich today’s youngsters’ creative activity.

Here the Website: http://itecc.paragraphe.info/ where you can find the call for paper.

[1]    Decortis, F., Rubegni, E., Bationo-Tillon, A., Ackermann, E., (2013) Interactive technologies that enhance children’s creativity From design to fabrication, Workshop organised at the International Conference on Interaction Design and Children (IDC ’13), NY, USA.


BoD Shapes is a novel authentication method for smartphones that uses the back of the device for input. We argue that this increases the resistance to shoul- der surfing while remaining reasonably fast and easy-to-use. We performed a user study (n = 24) comparing BoD Shapes to PIN authentication, Android grid unlock, and a front ver- sion of our system. Testing a front version allowed us to di- rectly compare performance and security measures between front and back authentication. Our results show that BoD Shapes is significantly more secure than the three other ap- proaches. While performance declined, our results show that BoD Shapes can be very fast (up to 1.5 seconds in the user study) and that learning effects have an influence on its per- formance. This indicates that speed improvements can be ex- pected in long-term use.


De Luca, A., von Zezschwitz, E., Huong Nguyen, N. D., Maurer, M., Rubegni, E., Scipioni, M. P., Langheinrich, M., Back-of-Device Authentication on Smartphones, Submitted at CHI2013 – Nominee for the Best paper award (forthcoming, 10 pp.)


The MDC, Tangible for Museum project aims at investigating ways to support informal learning in museums by enhancing social interaction through the use of direct manipulation of content. The resulting augmented environment offers the visitor the opportunity for learning informally while enjoying the museum visit.
The project followed a design-research oriented perspective. Thus the research issues are investigated through the design of a real working prototyping based on a three-strands co-evolutionary process: Concept design, Activity design, and Technology design. Each strand occurs in parallel and informs each other in the process.  As results three prototypes were designed and developed. The three integrated solutions were developed using different technology: two Augmented Reality applications (one of them featuring 3-D model visualization) and a multi-touch table following the reacTIVision project. We developed the prototypes and made a proof of concepts in our lab with real users.

The research issues:
- Understanding the cognitive and social effects of using tangibles for supporting social learning in museum,
- Designing technological solutions for supporting the emergence of social interactions and discussions about the museum themes thus stimulate an informal learning process.

The project was awarded with a special mention at the Lucky Strike Talented Designer Award 2012.

This research focuses on Informal Mobile Learning applied to cultural institutions’ guided tours. It investigates the use of mobile devices acting as mediators of knowledge between visitors and guides. The project purpose is to investigate whether the mediated use of mobile devices could foster visitors’ understanding of cultural content.

Elisa’s main contribution was to design an application and to conduct the study for investigating the issue of Mobile technology for enhancing informal learning on cultural sites. The case study was in Ascona at the Monte Verità. The findings of the study revealed a few interesting findings regarding how to support collaborative informal learning activities during the visit of a small cultural site.

We conducted observations during the tours and interviews both visitors and the guides, we applied a qualitative analysis of the data and we gathered interesting findings regarding: the increment of engagement in visiting the location, the improvement of the visitors understanding about the cultural location contents as well as the increment of the level of interaction of visitors.

For more details:

Sala, L., Vannini, S., Rubegni, E. (2011) Mobile Learning in Cultural Institutions through the use of an Apple iPad application prototype. A case study at Monte Verità. In proceedings of Red-conference – rethinking education in the knowledge society, Switzerland, Ascona, 7-11 March 2011

Interaction Design for children is a big umbrella that contains all the projects related to investigate the role of Narrative activity in children’s cognitive and social development in relation to the potentiality of new digital technologies. Three ongoing projects concern with this issue.

These three projects bring the Elisa’s career in the direction of consolidating the understanding of the implication of digital technology in the cognitive and social development of children as well as to refine the methodology for designing interfaces and interactions.

ANI is a project about the introduction of web-based tools (1001Stories and Mr.Edu) in formal (school) and informal (after school program) educational settings for the creation of Digital StoryTelling (DST). On one side, the project is oriented to the design of tools (Mr.Edu) for gathering media (images, music, sound, video, etc.) to allow children creating a digital story. On the other side, it is addressed to investigate the role of these tools and the practical aspects that need to be taken into account when considering the introduction of DST in educational settings.

The BNF project is born from the collaboration of the Bibliothèque National Française (Paris) and the laboratory Paragraphe – C3U of the Université de Paris 8, Paris (France). The project was running when Elisa was visiting professor at Paragraphe – C3U in Paris and it concerns with the design of new concepts for supporting children to improve their skills in reading and writing. She looks at possible solutions that are based on manipulative interactions (using Tangible Augmented Reality technology) and grounded on the framework of playful learning approach.

The third project is PADS and aims at producing novel interfaces for playing, interacting, reading and especially writing or even re-writing e-books for children as well as authoring tools to be used by children when writing and publishing their own e-books. In the project, the team will test the Interactive paper (iPaper), studied and developed by Global Information System (GlobIS) at ETH (they will collaborate in the project).

For more detail:

Rubegni, E. and Paolini, P. (2010) Comparing canonical and digital-based narrative activities in a formal educational setting. In Proceedings of the 9th international Conference on interaction Design and Children (Barcelona, Spain, June 09 – 12, 2010). IDC ’10. ACM, New York, NY, 258-261. (blind review)

Di Blas, N., Paolini,P., Rubegni, E., Sabiescu, A. (2010) Equipping Higher Education Students with Media Literacy Skills, Proceedings of IPCC 2010, The International Professional Communication Conference (the Netherlands, July 7 – 9, 2010). (blind review)

Alessandrini, A., Rizzo, A., Rubegni, E., (2009) Drama prototyping for the design of urban interactive systems for children, in Proceedings of IDC 09, pp. 198-201. June 2009, Como, Italy (blind review)