3 May 2008

CHI 2008: a selection on social context

Be the first to share

CHI 2008 proceedings
Here is my selection on papers related to social context presented at CHI 2008.

(Papers are linked to their pdf downloads, if available.)

Celebratory technology: new directions for food research in HCI [abstract]
Authors: Andrea Grimes (Georgia Institute of Technology) and Richard Harper (Microsoft Research)
Abstract: Food is a central part of our lives. Fundamentally, we need food to survive. Socially, food is something that brings people together-individuals interact through and around it. Culturally, food practices reflect our ethnicities and nationalities. Given the importance of food in our daily lives, it is important to understand what role technology currently plays and the roles it can be imagined to play in the future. In this paper we describe the existing and potential design space for HCI in the area of human-food interaction. We present ideas for future work on designing technologies in the area of human-food interaction that celebrate the positive interactions that people have with food as they eat and prepare foods in their everyday lives.

Designs on dignity: perceptions of technology among the homeless [abstract
Authors: Christopher A. Le Dantec and W. Keith Edwards (Georgia Institute of Technology)
Abstract: Technology, it is argued, has the potential to improve everyone’s life: from the workplace, to entertainment, to easing chores around the home. But what of people who have neither job nor home? We undertook a qualitative study of the homeless population in a metropolitan U.S. city to better understand what it means to be homeless and how technology–from cell phones to bus passes–affects their daily lives. The themes we identify provide an array of opportunities for technological interventions that can empower the homeless population. Our investigation also reveals the need to reexamine some of the assumptions made in HCI about the relationship people have with technology. We suggest a broader awareness of the social context of technology use as a critical component when considering design innovation for the homeless.
(See also this interview by Luca Chittaro)

It’s on my other computer!: computing with multiple devices [abstract]
Authors: David Dearman (University of Toronto) and Jeffery S. Pierce (IBM Research)
Abstract: The number of computing devices that people use is growing. To gain a better understanding of why and how people use multiple devices, we interviewed 27 people from academia and industry. From these interviews we distill four primary findings. First, associating a user’s activities with a particular device is problematic for multiple device users because many activities span multiple devices. Second, device use varies by user and circumstance; users assign different roles to devices both by choice and by constraint. Third, users in industry want to separate work and personal activities across work and personal devices, but they have difficulty doing so in practice Finally, users employ a variety of techniques for accessing information across devices, but there is room for improvement: participants reported managing information across their devices as the most challenging aspect of using multiple devices. We suggest opportunities to improve the user experience by focusing on the user rather than the applications and devices; making devices aware of their roles; and providing lighter-weight methods for transferring information, including synchronization services that engender more trust from users.

It ‘s Mine, Don’t Touch!: interactions at a large multi-touch display in a city centre [abstract]
Authors: Peter Peltonen, Esko Kurvinen, Antti Salovaara, Giulio Jacucci, Tommi Ilmonen, John Evans, Antti Oulasvirta and Petri Saarikko (Helsinki Institute for Information Technology and University of Helsinki)
Abstract: We present data from detailed observations of CityWall, a large multi-touch display installed in a central location in Helsinki, Finland. During eight days of installation, 1199 persons interacted with the system in various social configurations. Videos of these encounters were examined qualitatively as well as quantitatively based on human coding of events. The data convey phenomena that arise uniquely in public use: crowding, massively parallel interaction, teamwork, games, negotiations of transitions and handovers, conflict management, gestures and overt remarks to co-present people, and “marking” the display for others. We analyze how public availability is achieved through social learning and negotiation, why interaction becomes performative and, finally, how the display restructures the public space. The multi-touch feature, gesture-based interaction, and the physical display size contributed differentially to these uses. Our findings on the social organization of the use of public displays can be useful for designing such systems for urban environments.

Cultural theory and real world design: Dystopian and Utopian Outcomes [abstract]
Authors: Christine Satchell (The University of Melbourne)
Abstract: When exploring a topic as intangible as the construction of mobile social networks it is necessary to look at how relationships are formed and at the way users identify themselves through their interactions. The theoretically informed discourses within cultural theory make an ideal lens for understanding these subtle nuances of use in terms of design. This paper describes a case study where the application of abstract cultural theory concepts to the practical act of analysing qualitative data from a user study resulted in the development of The Swarm mobile phone prototypes. By signposting the intersection of cultural theory within HCI, the value of a philosophically grounded mobile phone design space is highlighted. To uncover reactions to the design we explored the blogs that sprung up critiquing an online version of The Swarm and in doing so, discovered the at times subversive values (such as the need to lie) that users place on their mobile mediated interactions.

Driving the family: empowering the family technology lead [abstract]
Authors: Matthew D. Forrest, Jr., Jodi Forlizzi and John Zimmerman (Carnegie Mellon University)
Abstract: Advances in technology continually increase the ability, but also the complexity of consumer electronics. This is especially true when several devices must be configured to work together, such as a digital TV and satellite box. Manufacturers of consumer electronics attempt to remedy this by designing interfaces that consolidate multiple, complex user interfaces into a single, simple interface. However, the problem remains that end-users are still expected to configure and learn to operate these new interfaces on their own.
This paper addresses the problem by proposing a radically new goal in terms of user interfaces for in-home, networked consumer electronics. Instead of trying and failing to make interfaces simple enough for everyone to use, we propose making interfaces that allow a “technology lead”–the person in the family responsible for supporting the technology—to more easily administer devices in his or her own home and in the homes of other family members. In Japan, where this study is taking place, user-centered research methods show that families usually have a single technology lead who is challenged with supporting people remotely in several homes. By enabling the technology lead to remotely support family members at a distance, the natural family dynamic can be used to support users who either find the new breed of consumer electronics too difficult to learn or do not wish to invest the time to learn how they work.

Be the first to share
2 September 2015
What do people really do at airports?
A few days ago researcher Ben Kraal gave a talk at UX Australia 2015 describing four years of research done by him and his colleagues on what people do in airports and what airport …
2 September 2015
Anthropologists addressing burning issues on a hot planet
Our planet is becoming increasingly hot. We are facing climate change, social turmoil on local and global scales, and changing political and economic systems. The symposium "Why the World Needs Anthropologists" (27 September, Ljubljana, Slovenia) …
15 August 2015
What is the ‘sharing economy’? A perspective from Seoul
As a Fulbright grantee, Emily Hong spent part of the last year researching the sharing economy in Seoul. One of her main findings? Korea actually has two. The first is small-scale, hyper local and socialist in …
14 August 2015
Jon Kolko: Design thinking comes of age
How should companies think about design centricity? For Jon Kolko, vice president of design at Blackboard, an education software company, design thinking can define the way an organization functions at the most basic levels—how it …
11 August 2015
Thingclash: putting human values in the IoT
The Internet of Things (IoT) is forecast to be one of the most far reaching and fundamental shifts in how people interact with technology and their environment since the advent of the Internet. But, the rush …
8 August 2015
Stanford: taking back control of an autonomous car takes five to eight seconds
Autonomous cars are based on the premise - similar to airplanes - that the human driver can take back control of the vehicle in case of emergency. But that takes quite a bit of time. Two …
1 August 2015
Nissan’s place-based design process
Megan Neese is a senior manager in the Future Lab at Nissan Motor Ltd., a cross-functional team tasked with uncovering new business opportunities for the future of automotive. In an article for EPIC, she explains how …
31 July 2015
[Book] Excited to announce the new book by John Thackara
How to thrive in the next economy by John Thackara Thames & Hudson August 2015, 192pp Abstract Drawing on a lifetime of travel in search of real-world alternatives that work, I describe how communities the world over are creating a …

We are an international experience design consultancy helping companies and organisations to innovate their products, services and processes by putting people and their experiences first.

2 July 2015
Getting citizens involved in protecting fragile energy environments

A new project funded under the FP7 European Commission framework is getting citizens involved in testing new tools for reducing energy consumption during peak loads, in the hope that its pilot program will set the new state of the art for protecting locations with fragile electricity supplies. One of France’s most fragile regions The Provence-Alpes-Côte […]

5 May 2015
Experientia designer Dohun YuLuck Jang 유록 in Design 4 Disaster

Design 4 Disaster features an engaging illustrated safety manual for ship passengers, a personal project by Experientia designer Dohun YuLuck Jang 유록. After the Korean ferry accident last year, Yuluck (who is Korean) wanted to find a way to make safety manuals more interesting to read. He spent one year designing an interactive safety guide […]

16 March 2015
Better Health and Wellbeing: Giving the elderly in Singapore sparkling golden years

Invitation: sharing session, Singapore, 30 March 2015   What are the hopes and fears of the elderly in Singapore? How can designers offer solutions that support the elderly in managing their health and wellness? What can healthcare professionals do to help them keep active? What role can technology play in the elderly’s daily lives? Design consultants […]

1 January 2015
Happy Playful New Year
21 December 2014
Experientia’s Twitter feed live

Experientia has now its own Twitter feed. Four months of Putting People First posts and other links have already been uploaded. If you followed Experientia on Twitter through the feed of its CEO, Mark Vanderbeeken, make sure to now also follow the company (but don’t unfollow Mark, who will keep on tweeting away). And while […]

19 December 2014
Putting People First blog redesigned

Experientia’s Putting People First blog has been redesigned. It is now entirely responsive, allows for easier browsing, searching, and filtering, and features larger images on the posts. The entire history of posts remains accessible as before. We are still tweaking things and welcome any feedback.

See all articles