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Showing posts from March, 2009

"The Three Paradigms of HCI"

I recently found the paper "The Three Paradigms of HCI" by Steve Harrison, Phoebe Sengers, and Deborah Tatar from CHI 2007. Strangely enough I have not seen this paper before, which is too bad. I very much like the basic idea of the paper and the way they describe three paradigms of HCI. I like it because they make definitions, categorize things, creates a conceptual map, that is, they theorize about theory in HCI. Something that needs to be done much more! And they do it in a way that makes me want to discuss the paradigms further and to continue to develop the ideas . These are signs of a good paper. There are of course arguments that I don't agree with, but that just makes the paper even more valuable :-) Find it and read it!!

Thanks to Kevin here is a link to the paper!

Good Design

The latest issue of the magazine "Metropolis" has the theme "What is good design?" with many interesting interveiws and articles. It is interesting to see what the aspects of good design they have chosen discuss, some of them are: sustainable, accessible, functional, well made, emotionally enduring, beautiful, etc. There are some essays (for instance by Bruce Sterling) and some interviews (among other of Don Norman). I have not read it all, but it looks good.

Reading news for confirmation

We are all experiencing a new world of news were we on our own, or within our communities, search for news using new interactive techologies. We are no longer fed news by some institution (commercial or public). Interactivity makes this "search and find" not only a possibility but a prefered way of getting news. It is fast, easy, and we get only the stuff we alreay know we are looking for and from sources we already trust and like. News becomes a personal confirmation system. I was reminded about this discussion by an article in an article in the New York Times today.

This is a case of a technological development where the technological development, experienced as positive small steps ahead, are seen as great and promising, but where we one day we may be asking ourselves "how did we end up here".

One of the most thoughtful books I have read about the relation between the new world of communities and news and information, is Cass Sunstein's book "the republ…

What theory in HCI is about II

My last post led to a number of really good comments and they are all helping me to sort this out. This is what I wrote in the last post

"I need to know what are the (common) categories of theories in HCI. So, this is where I need some help. I have decided that the categories should be based on what the theory is about, that is, defined by its object of study."

I also suggested three categories and have now received several proposals for other categories. First of all, to understand how I think about this, what I wrote above, that I want to "defined by its object of study" is important. There are several other ways of categorizing theories, for instance Jodi suggested that they could be categorized based on their "matureness", and Tanykim suggested that theories can be categorized along a dimension of micro-macro, or objective-subjective. These are all interesting suggestions and would probably lead to interesting and useful results, but I would like to sta…

What theory in HCI is about

I am developing a theory of interaction (!). In the process of doing that, I am trying to categorize my theory. To do that I need to know what are the (common) categories of theories in HCI. So, this is where I need some help. I have decided that the categories should be based on what the theory is about, that is, defined by its object of study. As a first draft, it is possible to distinguish three kinds of theories with three distinct objects of study.

The first category are theories that has human computer interaction as the object of study, that is, theories that say something about the interaction between humans and interactive artifacts.

The second kind of theories are those that have the design process as a core object of study. Based on intuitive statistics (!) I think this is where we find the major part of theories in the field.

The third kind are theories that address how interaction and interactive technology changes society and environments, that is, theories that have the…