Ben Lafreniere


Principal Research Scientist, User Interface Research Group, Autodesk Research

About me

I am a Human-Computer Interaction researcher with expertise in the areas of interactive help systems, the design of novel interaction mechanisms, and the usability of feature-rich software.

I earned my PhD at the University of Waterloo, where I developed the idea of task-centric user interfaces, in which high-level tasks and goals are used as the central organizing principle for a user interface.

My immediate background is in computer science, but I draw on a diverse set of skills, including user-centered design, rapid prototyping of interactive systems, qualitative methods, and large-scale data analysis.

Selected publications

  • Investigating How Online Help and Learning Resources Support Children's Use of 3D Design Software
    Nathaniel Hudson, Benjamin Lafreniere, Parmit Chilana, Tovi Grossman
    CHI 2018 PDF
  • Leveraging Community-Generated Videos and Command Logs to Classify and Recommend Software Workflows
    Xu Wang, Benjamin Lafreniere, Tovi Grossman
    CHI 2018 PDF
  • Investigating the Post-Training Persistence of Expert Interaction Techniques
    Ben Lafreniere, Carl Gutwin, Andy Cockburn
    TOCHI Volume 24 Issue 4, September 2017 PDF
  • No Need to Stop What You're Doing: Exploring No-Handed Smartwatch Interaction
    Seongkook Heo, Michelle Annett, Ben Lafreniere, Tovi Grossman, George Fitzmaurice
    GI 2017 PDF Video
  • Crowdsourced Fabrication
    Benjamin Lafreniere, Tovi Grossman, Fraser Anderson, Justin Matejka, Heather Kerrick, Danil Nagy, Lauren Vasey, Evan Atherton, Nicholas Beirne, Marcelo Coelho, Nicholas Cote, Steven Li, Andy Nogueira, Long Nguyen, Tobias Schwinn, James Stoddart, David Thomasson, Ray Wang, Thomas White, David Benjamin, Maurice Conti, Achim Menges, George Fitzmaurice
    UIST 2016 PDF Video
  • Faster Command Selection on Touchscreen Watches
    Benjamin Lafreniere, Carl Gutwin, Andy Cockburn, Tovi Grossman
    CHI 2016 PDF Video
  • Peak-End Effects on Player Experience in Casual Games
    Carl Gutwin, Christianne Rooke, Andy Cockburn, Regan Mandryk, Benjamin Lafreniere
    CHI 2016  Best of CHI honorable mention PDF
  • HandMark Menus: Rapid Command Selection and Large Command Sets on Multi-Touch Displays
    Md. Sami Uddin, Carl Gutwin, Benjamin Lafreniere
    CHI 2016 PDF Video
  • These Aren't the Commands You're Looking For: Addressing False Feedforward in Feature-Rich Software
    Benjamin Lafreniere, Parmit Chilana, Adam Fourney, Michael Terry
    UIST 2015 PDF Video
  • Testing the Rehearsal Hypothesis with Two FastTap Interfaces
    Carl Gutwin, Andy Cockburn, Benjamin Lafreniere
    GI 2015 PDF
  • CheatSheet: A Contextual Interactive Memory Aid for Web Applications
    Layton Vermette, Parmit Chilana, Michael Terry, Adam Fourney, Ben Lafreniere, Travis Kerr
    GI 2015 PDF
  • Task-Centric Interfaces for Feature-Rich Software
    Benjamin Lafreniere, Andrea Bunt, and Michael Terry
    OzCHI 2014, PDF
  • Task-Centric User Interfaces
    Benjamin J. Lafreniere
    PhD dissertation, University of Waterloo, 2014 URL PDF
  • Investigating the Feasibility of Extracting Tool Demonstrations from In-Situ Video Content
    Ben Lafreniere, Tovi Grossman, Justin Matejka, and George Fitzmaurice
    CHI 2014,  Best of CHI honorable mention PDF
  • TaggedComments: Promoting and Integrating User Comments in Online Application Tutorials
    Andrea Bunt, Patrick Dubois, Ben Lafreniere, Michael Terry, and David Cormack
    CHI 2014 PDF
  • Understanding the Roles and Uses of Web Tutorials
    Ben Lafreniere, Andrea Bunt, Matthew Lount, and Michael Terry
    ICWSM 2013 PDF
  • Community Enhanced Tutorials: Improving Tutorials with Multiple Demonstrations
    Ben Lafreniere, Tovi Grossman, and George Fitzmaurice
    CHI 2013 PDF
  • “Then Click OK!” Extracting References to Interface Elements in Online Documentation
    Adam Fourney, Ben Lafreniere, Richard Mann, and Michael Terry
    CHI 2012 PDF
  • AdaptableGIMP: Designing a Socially-Adaptable Interface
    Ben Lafreniere, Andrea Bunt, Matthew Lount, Filip Krynicki, and Michael Terry
    UIST 2011 Adjunct PDF Poster PNG
  • Characterizing Large-Scale Use of a Direct Manipulation Application in the Wild
    Benjamin Lafreniere, Andrea Bunt, John Whissell, Charles Clarke, and Michael Terry
    GI 2010 PDF
  • Perceptions and Practices of Usability in the Free/Open Source Software (FOSS) Community
    Michael Terry, Matthew Kay, and Ben Lafreniere
    CHI 2010 PDF
  • A Lower Bound on the Area of a 3-Coloured Disk Packing
    Peter Brass, Ferran Hurtado, Benjamin Lafreniere, and Anna Lubiw
    International Journal of Computational Geometry and Applications (IJCGA), v.20(3), 2010
  • Packing Unit Disks
    Benjamin J. Lafreniere
    Master's thesis, University of Waterloo, 2008 URL
  • Time and Space Adaptation for Computational Grids with the ATOP-Grid Middleware
    Angela C. Sodan, Garima Gupta, Lin Han, Lun Liu, and Benjamin Lafreniere
    Journal of Future Generation Computer Systems, v.28(6), 2008
  • On the All-Farthest-Segments problem for a planar set of points
    Asish Mukhopadhyay, Samidh Chatterjee, and Benjamin Lafreniere
    Information Processing Letters, v.100, 2006
  • ScoPred – Scalable User-Directed Performance Prediction Using Complexity Modeling and Historical Data
    Benjamin J. Lafreniere and Angela C. Sodan
    11th Workshop on Job Scheduling Strategies for Parallel Processing, LNCS 3834, 2005

Contact info

ben {dot} lafreniere {at} gmail {dot} com