About me

I'm currently a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Copenhagen, working in Kasper Hornbæk's Body-based User Interfaces project. Within this project, I'm focusing on how the body can be used as an input and output surface for less engaged and more subtle interactions.

Before moving to Copenhagen, I worked for four years as a research assistant in the HCI group of the University of Hannover, led by Michael Rohs.

Previously, I worked with Roderick Murray-Smith's group at the University of Glasgow during the summer of 2012 and with the Human-Computer Interaction group of the Hasso Plattner Institute for the two years before.

I hold a BSc in Digital Media / Media Informatics from the University of Bremen and a MSc in Computer Science from the Darmstadt University of Technology. During my time as a Master's student, I spent one year at the University of Florida, studying Digital Arts and Sciences on a Fulbright scholarship.

Research Interests

Most interactive systems today are designed under the assumption of focused and engaged users. However, users might want to engage less with their devices for many different reasons: e.g., because they are tired, want to signal their full attention to others, or are lazy. I'm interested in how to design and build systems for such more casual interactions. With interactive devices permeating more and more of our life and surroundings, how not to be overloaded by the respective interactions is a challenge. I see giving users a way to scale back their engagement and be more casual as a way to empower them to stay more in control of their life. This poses questions of how interactions change and adapt according to uncertainty, intend, or engagement. In my work I have approached this in areas such as whole body interaction, around device interaction, haptic and subtle feedback, text input, and natural user interfaces.

What's New

October 2019
Visited Liwei Chan's lab at the National Chiao Tung University in Hsinchu, Taiwan and gave a talk on "Empowering UIs".
October 2019
Presented a paper at MobileHCI 2019 on how the size of users' hands influences their touch accuracy. This work started as a student project in my 2018 ATHCC course and evolved into a larger collaboration of two of the students with Sebastian Boring, Joanna Bergström, and me. Great example of how teaching and research can support each other.
March 2019
Our CHI 2019 paper Charting Subtle Interaction in the HCI Literature has received an honorable mention award.
February 2019
Happy to have two full papers, one alt.chi paper, and one poster accepted to CHI 2019. We will be presenting a survey on subtle interaction, an augmented reality system for interaction with occluded objects, an investigation of how people write at CHI, and work on what impacts users' engagement with chatbots.
August 2018
Can our devices mimick how our body grabs our attention? Later this year at UIST 2018, we will present a paper on repurposing itching sensations for just that. By electrically stimulating the skin, we induce itching and compare that against vibrotactile feedback in a smartwatch. We find that itching is less comfortable and more interrupting, but was also seen as more natural and activating.
March 2017
Our article on emoji similarity is now published in the first issue of this year's TOCHI. Unfortunately, the formatting is a bit off and that version contains some editing hiccups. Be sure to grab our author version instead. It's the same great content, but, as an added bonus, also comes with higher resolution emoji 😍.
March 2017
I successfully defended my dissertation in Hannover. My dissertation on Casual Interaction: Devices and Techniques for Low-Engagement Interaction is available at the University of Hannover's library, and is also available for download here.
February 2017
At CHI 2017 we will be presenting a full paper on using compression feedback as a notification modality. In several studies, we explored how well users can perceive and distinguish compression stimuli from inflatable straps around their wrists. While this uses comparably low pressure levels, higher pressures can even be used to inhibit users' freedom of movement. We built a jogging game that shows this, which will appear as an extended abstract, also at CHI. Both publications are already available for download here.
January 2017
Started working in the Body-based User Interfaces project at the Human-Centered Computing section of the University of Copenhagen as a postdoctoral researcher.
December 2016
Our article on emoji similarity modeling was accepted to TOCHI. It will likely appear in one of the first issues in 2017.
September 2016
Presented two full papers, showed two corresponding demos, and presented one poster at MobileHCI 2016 in Florence, Italy.
April 2016
I contributed a chapter on casual interaction to a great new book that just came out: Peripheral Interaction: Challenges and Opportunities for HCI in the Periphery of Attention.


Henning Pohl
Universitetparken 1
DIKU, HCC Section
2100 Copenhagen
+45 31 71 63 21