From UX to Engagement: Connecting Theory and Practice, Addressing Ethics and Diversity

Ole Goethe
Kavous Salehzadeh Niksirat
Ilyena Hirskyj-Douglas
Huatong Sun, University of Washington Tacoma
Effie L.-C. Law
Xiangshi Ren


In the field of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), engagement bears critical significance, not just for informing a design and implementation of the interface, but also for creating improved and advanced interfaces that can adapt to users. While the idea of user engagement is passively being researched in a range of domains, it has been used to various related but diverse concepts. For instance, engagement is the vital element of an effective HCI design. The primary goal of this paper is to introduce relevant research questions related to the engagement domain. The paper studies engagement from four different perspectives: (i) Theory: identifying key issues that aid in building a pluralism of engagement frameworks, (ii) Practice: developing novel methodologies for user engagement and reliable assessment tools, (iii) Ethics: discussing the ethical aspects of engagement especially for designers and developers of humane technologies, (iv) Diversity: investigating individual differences to develop personalized engaging designs and understanding user diversities to provide equal opportunities for user engagement. The discussion will lead to opportunities for the potential researchers to acquire relevant knowledge, assess the mechanisms of engagement and evaluate the current design frameworks.