Guide Dog Team Interactions

Although the visually impaired have been a longstanding and well recognized user group addressed in the field of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), guide dog users have more nuanced needs that bring along new design constraints for future work. We have conducted an ethnographic study investigating the interactions of guide dog teams and uncovered insights, challenges and possibilities for design initiatives and future research to improve their lives. Specifically, in our works we have suggested harness redesign, enhanced travel aids, accessible dog toys, interventions to better support free runs, and the integration of smart phones, as design opportunities to guide future research in HCI. We have also proposed a research agenda focused on improving play-interactions of guide dog teams.