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Showing posts from July, 2014

Some reflections on the overwhelming amount of research publishing

Recently I thought I would try to compose a list of journals that publishes HCI research. I engaged in a search. I was overwhelmed. I never finished a list. The reason is that I found several lists of journals, many journals, many of which I have never heard off and even more that I have never read.

The HCI bibliography
web site of Panayiotis Koutsabasis
http://sighci.org/index.php?page=journals
http://www.scimagojr.com/journalrank.php?category=1709
https://hci.rwth-aachen.de/isi-journals
microsoft list
and there are many more.

Some of these journals are supported by large academic organizations, some are independent. It is important to remember that ACM is not the only large academic organization that has a special focus on HCI (so are AIS, IEEE, etc).  Who reads all these journals? Add to this all the conferences where an even larger number of papers are published every year. Overwhelming.

This little search made it very clear that as researchers we are not really doing research in a d…

Is Object Oriented Ontology and Speculative Realism the answer? [and if so, what is the question?]

Over the last few years I have read some books in the new philosophical school of thought called Object Oriented Ontology or Speculative Realism. I have read Graham Harman and others, the most recent books are Levi Bryant's "Onto-Cartography: an ontology of machines and media" and Tristan Garcia's "Form and Object: a treatise on things". I am still intrigued with this new form of philosophical realism and, in some cases, materialism. In many ways it feels fresh and inspiring as an attempt to get away from philosophy that seems to have left the world of 'reality' and things behind.

The basic idea behind all these new attempts seems to be a willingness to return to reality as we experience it as humans in a very direct way, that is, as a world composed of things that make up our reality. It is also an attempt to build some form of objective approach to reality that distance itself from intricate and elaborate ideas of subjectivism and phenomenology. O…

Beautiful 50 sec video: Elements of Design

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Harold Nelson sent me this link today. It is to a short video with the name "Elements of Design" by Matt Greenwood (mattgreenwood.tv). Greenwood is an art director and motion designer.
Some of his work is displayed on his site. Very nice work!

"Field Notes" note books and the art of taking notes

A friend of mine gave me two "Field Notes"note books last week. It was a two-pack with one book for science and one for art. I suppose that Field Notes has been around for a while and are probably quite famous, but for some reason I had not seen them before. The format, the paper, and the colors are just wonderful. Take a look at their shop and all the note books, pens, and other smart devices for note taking.

The Field Notes really make we want to be better at taking notes. For many years I did good job and all my research was written down in my favorite note book. Nowadays, not so much. I try to, but I do not do it frequently enough to make it a second nature of my work habits. I have realized that these days I do most of my thinking by typing and not by taking notes. One reason for this may be that I am almost always in front of a screen and a keyboard, so it feels as an unnecessary step to first write my ideas down on paper and then later type them.

Of course, I know tha…

New book in the Design Thinking, Design Theory Series

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Yesterday I got in the mail the newest book in the MIT Press book series on Design Thinking, Design Theory that I am involved in. The book is called "Situated Design Methods" and is edited by Ole Erik Hansen, Jesper Simonsen, Connie Svabo, Sara Malou Strandvad, Kristine Samson and Morten Hertzum. The authors make the case that every design is situated and in need of different ways to approach them. They present 18 situated design methods with cases and analysis. The authors all come from Denmark and have extensive experience with these kinds of methods.


It has been exciting to work with MIT Press these last few years on this book series.  Ken Friedman and I are Book Series Editors and we work closely with Doug Sery from MIT Press. We have now published six books and more are coming. You can find a nice presentation of the books in the series here: Design Thinking, Design Theory. If you think that your book idea fits in this series, just write to me.

Reflections on Google's Material Design

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It is really interesting to read about the new initiative from Google that is labeled "Material Design". It is a new interface 'language'.  Google has released an excellent Introduction that shows and explains the principles and details of their Material Design philosophy. It is very informative to click through all the pages and to try all the examples. It takes a few minutes but it is worth it.

It is impressing how much thinking and work has gone into this new design guideline. The basic inspiration is the notion of "material". It is however not easy to understand what that means and how Google understands the notion. One interpretation that is both ambitious and informative can be read in this interview with two of Google designers. The writer and interviewer is Mark Wilson who writes for Fast Company. His article explores some quite good explanations of "Material Design".

He writes "With Material Design, Google has become a second realit…