Once again I have been involved in discussions on what is the role of a prototype or a demo system in HCI research. What is it that makes a prototype or a system valuable in itself and when do we know that it is a knowledge contribution? These are old questions in our field that for instance Jack Carroll and others discussed over a decade ago. However, I do not think we have a good answer to any of these questions.
I wrote a blog post on this earlier
where I talked about a paper I wrote with Mikael Wiberg where we tried to answer or at least approach these questions. Unfortunately, I have not seen a lot of discussions lately and would like to see more people engage in this topic. It is crucial for our field when it comes to how we evaluate papers, demos and system at conferences, etc.
[If anyone has some good references, please send them to me.]