Monday, March 28, 2016

Book note: Humanistic HCI

Two of my colleagues, Jeff Bardzell and Shaowen Bardzell, have published a new book "Humanistic HCI". This book is a great contribution to the field of HCI. It is no surprise that humanistic theories and approaches have been incorporated in HCI research during the last decade. Why this has happened is probably because HCI researchers have started to address issues and aspects of HCI that require other means and tools. And it seems as if the humanities can provide a set of useful approaches.

The major purpose of the book is to establish an understanding of humanistic HCI, what it is, what it can do, and how to do it. The book makes it clear that to engage in humanistic approaches is not just a 'simple' shift of research tools, it involves more fundamental epistemological aspects. I anticipate that this book will 'push' HCI researchers that are already involved with  humanistic approaches to become more aware of what humanistic research means. I also think that the book will entice researchers who has been curious about the potential usefulness of more humanistic approaches to actually engage with them.

The book is very well written and suitable for anyone in the field of HCI who either just need to get some basic understanding of what a humanistic perspective might mean to those who are already engaged with humanistic approaches.