Introducing the Blended Interactions Studio at RIT

Blended Interactions is a user experience (UX) design studio at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), Rochester, NY. We specialize in applied research and development for the design of innovative technologies that merge digital and physical spaces via mobile services. Our student researchers, designers and developers are funding by New York Council on the ArtsRIT and VisitRochester.

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The Blended Interaction design studio is inspired by the close integration of physical and digital spaces in room environments and collaborative spaces [1, 2, 3]. The Masters Human Computer Interaction program at RIT, created  courses to research and teach user experience design in the blended interactions and digital tourism domains [4, 5]. Our goal is to design novel, location-based interactions, with special emphasis on context, location, history, and personalization of the UX before, during and after visits [6, 7]. Our research explores how we:

  1. implement novel augmentations to supplement educational components of digital storytelling,
  2. design interactions from geo-fences or location-based events for blended interactions, and
  3. create personalized souvenirs that represent the user’s unique visit.

Our UX design studio is affiliated with other research organizations:
Edinburgh Napier University, UK – Future Interactions Network (
University of Konstanz, Germany – Human-Computer Interaction Group, Designing Collaborative Interactive Spaces (

[1]     Benyon, D. (2012) Presence in Blended Spaces. Interacting with Computers, 24, 4 (2012), 219-226.
[2]     Benyon, D., Mival, O., Ayan, S. (2012). Designing Blended Spaces. In Proc. BCHCI 2012. ACM Press (2012), 398-403.
[3]     Jetter, H-C, Geyer, F., Schwarz, T., Reiterer, H. Blended Interaction – Toward a Framework for the Design of Interactive Spaces In Proc. Designing Collaborative interactive Spaces. AVI Workshop, Capri, May.
[4]     O’Keefe, B., Benyon, D., Mival, O. Mobile Experiences for Tourism: Genesee Country Village Museum. In Extended Abstracts. CHI 2013 Blend13 Workshop. ACM Press (2013).
[5]     O’Keefe, B., Slutsky, B., Iuliucci, N., Nalbandian, A., Thanedar, A., Mokey, S., & Mival, O. Mobile Experiences for Tourism: Brick City Tours. Extended Abstracts, CHI 2013 Work-in-Progress. ACM Press (2013).
[6]     Uriely, N. The tourist experience: Conceptual Developments, Annals of Tourism Research, 32, 1 (2005), 199-216.
[7]     Quigley, A. From GUI to UUI: User Interfaces for Ubiquitous Computing, In Book Ubiquitous Computing Fundamentals: Chapman & Hall/CRC, 2009.

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