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Showing posts from January, 2013

Producing knowledge by design for design

The field of design, particularly the philosophy and theory of design, is evolving fast today. Over the last thirty years there has been a plethora of writings about the relation between science/research and design. One of the most contested questions has been to what extent design as a process of inquiry and action also is a legitimate process of knowledge production. It is not strange that the question arises. Science and design have distinct and different purposes as approaches. Jonas Löwgren says it clearly in his recent ACM Interactions article when he writes "The essence of research is to produce knowledge, and the essence of design is to produce artifacts." This is a clean and simple distinction, even though we know it is possible to find examples that makes this definition more complex, but Löwgren states that even if there are other purposes involved in research today, "the knowledge-production purpose is primary".

The same can be said about design of cours…

Searching for definitions of "interactivity"

I have for a while been working on a paper about the notion of interactivity. It has been great fun but also quite challenging. First of all, doing some search of literature it is clear that even though interactivity is a core concept in my field of human-computer interaction  few have tried to define it carefully. I have started my examination by using a simple definition from the Merriam-Webster dictionary. In the dictionary two definitions are mentioned:
“ 1. mutually or reciprocally active, and 
2: involving the actions or input of a user; especially: of, relating to, or being a two-way electronic communication system (as a telephone, cable television, or a computer) that involves a user's orders (as for information or merchandise) or responses (as to a poll)”

This is a fairly good definition but for the purpose of HCI is can be developed in many ways, and that is what I am trying to do. For instance, it is clear to me that the notion of agency needs to be included, maybe also th…

ACM Interactions again

It is exciting to see the number of invited bloggers on the ACM Interactions web site. This week, new blog posts by Jonathan Bean, Joe Sokohl, Elizabeth Churchill, Jeffrey Bardzell and Phoenix Perry! Discover new voices from the industry and follow up on the researchers you know! The combination of the printed magazine with its articles and the blog with shorter and moer personal reflections is great. I also think we have been able to find a great group of researchers and practitioners in the field to write blog posts. They have all agreed to write for Interactions on a regular basis so we are expecting the flow of good posts to continue. Please go there, read and get involved in the discussions.

ACM Interactions magazine

I have now, together with Ron Wakkary, been co-Editors-in-Chief of the ACM Interactions magazine for about two years. It has been a great experience. Reading the submissions is great fun. I have read more about our field than ever before and especially texts about topics I would never have read otherwise. I have also had the chance to work with a large number of wonderful researchers and practitioners in our field. Personally I also think that Ron and I have been fairly successful in developing the magazine in a direction that I find exciting. People may not know this but the number of submissions is growing and the acceptance rate is going down, and today it is way lower than 50 %.

Anyway, the new web site is doing well and now we have added a blog section to which we have been able to recruit a number of really interesting people in the field. We have about 25 researchers and practitioners who on a regular basis will blog. You can take a look at the first blogs already. We hope that…