Call for Papers

End User Development for the Internet of Things

A Special Issue of ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction (ACM TOCHI)

Deadline for Submissions: March 22, 2016 (see author’s instructions)

Updated Timeline:

We have adjusted the deadline for this special issue slightly, with a new submissions deadline of April 05, 2016.

But to assist with our planning, please email us your title and abstract (500 words maximum) detailing your planned contribution by March 22, 2016. 

Abstracts will not be reviewed and authors are free to further revise them in the final full-manuscript submission. The abstract deadline will not be strictly enforced but is strongly encouraged so that we can marshal appropriate editorial and reviewing resources.

So to recap, the dates are:


Information for Contributors

The advent of massively interconnected objects, devices, and sensors — commonly referred to as the Internet of Things — raises equally massive challenges regarding the interfaces that will allow end-users to manage the complexity of such systems and to exploit the opportunities such technologies open up.

In such contexts, people interact — either explicitly, with clear intentions, or implicitly, through the sensed activities that they engage in — with an increasing number of computational services and devices. Such massively interconnected and sensed devices may generate and process large amounts of data to support highly contextualized and personalized user experiences in ways that are bound to expand our current understanding of the relationships amongst technologies, people, and places and current approaches for creating such technologies.

Design and development teams can only address the most common and typical needs of users to obtain a reasonable return on investment, so potentially large numbers of users are unsupported with their specific or even idiosyncratic requirements. Furthermore, the complexity of these emerging technologies and the specialized nature of their use make it increasingly problematic to foresee important user needs prior to and outside the context of actual use. As new devices appear and technologies change, new user needs emerge and existing needs evolve requiring adaptation of system functions and configurations.

A promising approach, known as End-User Development, empowers end users to define and tailor the functions of their systems in order to satisfy their personal, local, and often task-specific needs.

In this way end users assume an increasing number of responsibilities traditionally held by professional developers, which requires software technologies, engineering methods, and the evolution of supporting practices around the use, appropriation and extension of end-user development technologies. End-User Development can take many different forms, including: recording and packaging repetitive interactions into macros, building increasingly sophisticated models to predict future behavior, programming by example, or even developing infrastructure to support new devices using popular programming languages.

In the context of the Internet of Things, and the diverse tools and methodologies now available to support the design of interactive systems, the field of End-User Development finds itself at a critical juncture of growth and wide impact, as the need to support personal, context specific, and emergent needs largely exceeds what is known from more conventional interactive systems.

This special issue will publish compelling papers exploring metaphors, interfaces, and development strategies for supporting users in customization and personalization of the Internet of Things. Contributions may take the form of studies, methodologies, or system implementations that explore context-dependent or application-specific behaviors of networked objects. Likewise, contributions that reflect on or take issue with the appropriateness of End-User Development as a strategy to face these challenges are welcome.

Possible topics include:

End-user empowerment: Methods, tools to allow users to understand, configure, personalize, and control applications relating to the Internet of Things. To what extent is such user empowerment served by end-user development approaches? What are the benefits and limitations of such an approach? What alternative approaches to engaging with users can be contrasted or combined with end-user development?

Design methods and approaches specific to Internet of Things: User-centered design and participatory design approaches that empower end-users to engage in the modification, extension and creation of interactive applications able to support access to networks of objects and modify how they are connected.

Domain specific tools, architectures, and authoring environments for supporting End User Development: Appropriate authoring environments and architectural infrastructures are needed to support End-User Development in the context of the Internet of Things. Such authoring environments should enable the creation of domain-specific applications that support non-programmers with connecting Internet of Things appliances and specify behaviors and presentation of information in a highly personalized manner, tailored according to the end-user and context-of-use.

Contextual factors promoting end-user development practices: Recently it has been recognized that End User Development can benefit from the consideration of social and organizational aspects of use when supporting design of Internet of Things applications. What are possible design spaces able to identify the most relevant contextual aspects?

Social computing approaches: The emergence and success of End User Development practices for the Internet of Things may rely on peer network support and sharing of results, such that communities of users can pool resources. Internet of Things ecologies should provide support for these activities.

Evaluating emerging interactions: Internet of Things applications are pervasive, characterized by the presence of many different objects and devices, and imply different design processes. What novel evaluation methods are critical to supporting improvements to the corresponding user experience?



Final manuscripts are due March 22, 2016, but earlier submissions are encouraged.


To discuss a possible contribution please contact the special issue editors at


Special Issue Editors:

  • Panos Markopoulos (Eindhoven University of Technology)
  • Jeffrey Nichols (Google)
  • Fabio Paternò (CNR-ISTI)
  • Volkmar Pipek (University of Siegen)
  • For questions, please contact

Schedule and Submission Details

Submissions deadline: March 22, 2016

Pre-Submission Abstract Due: March 22, 2016 (email to
Full Manuscript Submission deadline: April 05, 2016 (must submit to:

Reviews Due: May 22, 2016
Author Notification: June 22, 2016
Revised Papers Due: September 15, 2016
Special Issue Published: Late 2016 (estimated)


All contributions will be rigorously peer reviewed to the usual exacting standards of TOCHI. Further information, including TOCHI submission procedures and advice on formatting and preparing manuscripts, can be found at:

Manuscripts are submitted via the ACM online manuscript system at: