Friday, May 31, 2013

Device Landscapes—A New Challenge to Interaction Design and HCI Research

Together with the PhD students Heekyoung Jung and Will Ryan, and my colleague Marty Siegel, I have for some time been working on the idea of device or artifact landscapes (ecologies). We have changed our vocabulary several times trying to capture the nature of relationships between interactive artifacts.  We have published a few papers on this research earlier and now a more overall journal article is to be published in a new Korean design research journal.

Stolterman, E. , Jung, H., Ryan, W., and Siegel, M. A. (2013) Device Landscapes: A New Challenge to Interaction Design and HCI Research. Archives of Design Research, 26(2), 7-33

You can find the article here

Below is a brief summary of the article:

Device Landscapes—A New Challenge to Interaction Design and HCI Research

Erik Stolterman, Heekyoung Jung, Will Ryan, Martin A. Siegel  

The number of interactive digital artifacts is growing surrounding personal lives, and individuals have an increasing need to describe, analyze, and interpret what it means to own, use, and live with a large number of interactive artifacts. It becomes critical from a design perspective to better understand the relational aspects among multiple artifacts beyond the use of individual ones. In this article, we examine the nature of networks of interactive artifacts and the way people understand and handle these networks. We introduce the concept of device landscapes as a conceptual tool for the analysis and examination of personal networks of interactive artifacts.

We describe previous work and discuss the theoretical underpinnings supporting our studies. In particular, we compare and contrast our concept of device landscape to other models of multi-artifact systems with an emphasis on the bottom-up perspective in which landscapes are created by users instead of a perspective given by designers. Also, we summarize and interpret several studies we have completed—including personal inventory study, mapping study, survey, and interview to examine how people perceive and manage their personal device landscapes. Based on our findings we propose a conceptual framework aimed at supporting research on these device landscapes.

From our studies we found that people perceive device landscapes in many different ways and develop their own strategies to manage multiple interactive artifacts, mostly digital devices in use. By investigating high-level patterns from device maps and verbal descriptions, properties and aspects of interactive artifacts are defined to describe the concept of device landscapes.

We also discuss how these personal networks—namely, device landscapes—present new challenges and implications to the interaction design and HCI research community by comparing it to the perspectives of ubiquitous and pervasive computing environments.

[If you are interested in reading the whole article, send me an email.]

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