Patterns of Behaviour in Public Installations

Urban HCI research

This pages is constantly under development and aims to summarize patterns of behaviour in Urban HCI.

Overview of behaviour patterns in and around public installations

The following list overview can be understood as a summary of the most important patterns of behaviour in public space. They can be used to predict behavior in media augmented public situations if similar configurations are chosen. I also listed them here to provide a basis of knowledge about which situational behaviour have been already been created through public interfaces and interaction design. We need to challenge the conventional configuration of installations to provoke new behavious. Furthermore, the patterns can be used for analysis of installations, such as behaviour mapping or counting (benchmarking):

  • Adverse Interaction
  • Break Free / Run Free
  • Chaining [4]
  • Coordinated Action
  • Cruising
  • Defend the Interaction Space (IS)
  • Dérive
  • Emergent Champion [3],[4]
  • Ephemeral Landmark (cf. Sociable Buzz)
  • Follow-Up Interaction
  • Hidden Queuing
  • Honey-Pot Effect [5]
  • Invade the Group
  • Landing Effect [6]
  • Lazy Mass
  • License to Play [3]
  • Meet and leave
  • Mimicking
  • People don't like being in the way
  • Repeated Use
  • Rocks
  • Scouting
  • Sitting
  • Slow Random Drift
  • Sociable Buzz [1]
  • Swarming [2]
  • The Child Challenge
  • Watchback


Occurs in situations with characteristics of: Group/Infividual, Interface type (Movable, Fixed, Camera)...

Picture of archtetypical example of the pattern...

Description of pattern ...

Description of effect ...



[1] Harry Brignull and Yvonne Rogers. 2003. Enticing People to Interact with Large Public Displays in Public Spaces. In Proceedings of the IFIP TC13 International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction (INTERACT '03).
[2] Luke Hespanhol and Peter Dalsgaard. 2015. "Social Interaction Design Patterns for Urban Media Architecture." In Proceedings of the IFIP TC13
[3] Imeh Akpan et al. 2013. Exploring the Effects of Space and Place on Engagement with an Interactive Installation. In Proceedings of the Conference on Human Factors (CHI '13).
[4] Mara Balestrini, Paul Marshall, Raymundo Cornejo, Monica Tentori, Jon Bird, and Yvonne Rogers. 2016. Jokebox: Coordinating Shared Encounters in Public Spaces. In Proceedings of the 19th ACM Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work & Social Computing (CSCW ’16). Association for Computing Machinery, New York, NY, USA, 38–49.
[5] Brignull, H. Rogers, Y. Enticing people to interact with large public displays in public spaces. In Proc. of INTERACT, ACM (2003). 17-24.
[6] Mueller, J., et al. Looking Glass: A Field Study on Noticing Interactivity of Shop Windows. In Proc. of CHI'12, ACM (2012). 297 - 306.