Table of Contents

VOLUME XXI.1 January - February 2014

  • Demo Hour
    • Demo hour


      Marsui MARSUI (Malleable Audio-Reactive Shape-retaining User Interface) is a deformable hardware prototype exhibiting shape-retaining behavior. It can track the shape the user creates when deforming it. We envision that a set of predefined shapes could be mapped onto particular applications or functions. In its current implementation, we present three shapes…

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  • What are you reading?
    • Christopher Le Dantec

      Christopher Le Dantec

      Christopher Le Dantec

      ‘Raw Data’ Is an Oxymoron By Lisa Gitelman I am currently involved in a project called Cycle Atlanta where cyclists in the city are recording their rides in order to provide city planners with better data for use in developing new cycling facilities. One of the interesting questions that has…

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  • How was it made?
    • How was it made? Thermobooth


      How was it made? Thermobooth

      Describe what you made. The Thermobooth features a new shutter release system in which skin contact between two people triggers a set of processes that result in a glorious, lo-fi, instant thermal-printed picture. Yes, it takes a picture when you touch each other! We are opening a stage for playfulness…

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  • Departments
    • Improving over time…

      Ron Wakkary, Erik Stolterman

      Interactions magazine is celebrating: We are 20 years old! The first issue was published in January 1994. Beginning as a quarterly and then moving to a bimonthly publication schedule in 1996 means 116 issues in total! That’s more than 1,900 articles over the years. As editors-in-chief, we are also celebrating…

    • Redesigning Interactions

      Luke Hayman

      Luke Hayman, the award-winning graphic designer whose work has transformed such titles as Time, The Atlantic, Consumer Reports, Cosmo, Travel + Leisure, New York, Folio, and even Communications of the ACM, was presented with a formidable task: Revitalize the look and presentation of a well-established 20-year-old magazine written by and…

    • New vision by design

      Scott Delman

      As you have no doubt already noticed from the cover of this issue and the introductions from Editors-in-Chief Ron Wakkary and Erik Stolterman, and our designer at Pentagram, Luke Hayman, you are now reading a very new Interactions magazine indeed. Less than a year ago, Ron and Erik approached ACM…

    • To whom are we talking?

      Gerrit van der Veer

      To whom are we talking?

      As the major worldwide professional organization in the domain of human-computer interaction, SIGCHI has a diverse audience and a large portfolio of questions and messages. Our main goal is to support the international community of HCI experts in its professional life. Consequently, the foremost activities of our organization consist of…

    • Community Calendar

      INTR Staff

      Community Calendar

      January VISIGRAPP 2014 - 9th International Joint Conference on Computer Vision, Imaging and Computer Graphics Theory and Applications (Lisbon, Portugal) Conference Dates: January 5–8, 2014 http://www.visigrapp.org/ PhyCS 2014 - International Conference on Physiological Computing Systems (Lisbon, Portugal) Conference Dates: January 7–9, 2014 http://www.phycs.org/ APCCM 2013 - 10th Asian-Pacific Conference on…

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  • Columns
    • What’s in a word?

      Lone Hansen

      What’s in a word?

      My smarter students have figured it out: If in class they casually include the words natural or objective in a sentence that also includes research and/or technology and if they manage to look as if they mean it, the following five minutes will be action-packed. I will begin a rant—about…

    • The currencies of paper currency

      Elizabeth Churchill

      The currencies of paper currency

      Currency is a medium of exchange, a unit of account that is portable, durable, divisible, and fungible. But it’s more than that. It is also part of a nation’s identity. Take the U.S.‘s paper currency, the “greenback,” for example. The greenback is recognized worldwide. It is symbolic, iconic–standing for, representing,…

    • Making: Movement or brand?

      Daniela Rosner, Jonathan Bean

      Making: Movement or brand?

      At the most recent Consumer Culture Theory conference in June 2013, a session on making was packed with marketing professors—many anthropologists or sociologists by training—and their Ph.D. students. Most of the presentations followed the typical format of papers and PowerPoint, but the last one felt more like a show-and-tell, complete…

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  • Day in the Lab
    • Interactivation Studio, University of Technology, Sydney


      How do you describe your lab to visitors? A multifunctional space—a place where we research, design, teach, learn, play, and experiment with interaction. It is a very hands-on and active space that can be reconfigured quickly to support different activities. I like the word active, and interactivation means “making things…

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  • Forums
    • Persuasive technology for sustainable workplaces

      Dan Lockton, Luke Nicholson, Rebecca Cain, David Harrison

      Persuasive technology for sustainable workplaces

      In persuasive technology and the wider field of behavior change—in academia, industry, and government policy—sustainability is a major focus. The usual aim is to design systems that influence users’ actions to reduce environmental impact, for example, reducing CO2 emissions through energy use and transport choices. This can be about influencing…

    • The place we call home


      The place we call home

      The Album People [1] is a London-based service specializing in digital archiving and the preservation of domestic memories. My partner, Alicia Weekes, and I founded it in the hope of helping people build a bridge between their pre-digital and post-digital memories. Our main objectives are to encourage centralization of memories…

    • Managing health with mobile technology

      Predrag Klasnja, Wanda Pratt

      Managing health with mobile technology

      Nearly two-thirds of all U.S. adults now have smartphones—powerful personal computers that are always with their owners, are continuously connected to the Internet, are capable of running sophisticated applications, can know where their owners are and what they are doing, and can connect to a wide range of other devices,…

    • Sharing data while protecting privacy in citizen science

      Anne Bowser, Andrea Wiggins, Lea Shanley, Jennifer Preece, Sandra Henderson

      Sharing data while protecting privacy in citizen science

      Imagine finding a flower you haven’t seen before, or watching the first swallows arrive in your garden each spring. How would you record and share this data with those who can advance science or shape public policy? Every day, millions of “citizen scientists” participate in research to support real-world goals…

    • Introducing the business of UX

      Daniel Rosenberg

      Introducing the business of UX

      Welcome to The Business of UX, a new forum launching this issue in conjunction with the design update of Interactions magazine itself. This forum will focus on UX leadership challenges in the product and service design industries. While the forum is not intended to be industry specific, it will initially…

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  • Features
    • Are you sure your software is gender-neutral?

      Gayna Williams

      Are you sure your software is gender-neutral?

      Women account for 50 percent of people on payroll [1] and account for even greater purchasing power. Some products (all too often pink) are deliberately built for a female audience, and some are built for a male audience. However, many products are intended to be gender-neutral. Here, I address the…

    • Designing people


      Designing people

      As HCI progresses from information design to experience design, from inelegant artifacts to ambient intelligence, we must strive to understand the interaction of technology with the body, affect, and social cognition. A major current task of experience design is to identify the relevant parameters for particular types of experiences, such…

    • Special topic: Designing for and with vulnerable people

      John Vines, Róisín McNaney, Stephen Lindsay, Jayne Wallace, John McCarthy

      Special topic: Designing for and with vulnerable people

      HCI has started to explore the positive roles that technology can play in improving the lives of people facing cognitive, emotional, physical, and socioeconomic challenges. Despite this encompassing a large percentage of the population, an overarching characteristic that people facing such challenges likely share is that society considers them vulnerable…

    • Stories from my thanatosensitive design process

      Michael Massimi

      Stories from my thanatosensitive design process

      The death of a loved one is a difficult experience we all face in our lives. Those who have experienced such loss are often referred to as bereaved, and are faced with many challenges: transitioning to new societal roles, handling financial matters, arranging services, and so on. Grief—the complex cognitive…

    • Fieldwork with vulnerable populations

      Cosmin Munteanu, Heather Molyneaux, Susan O'Donnell

      Fieldwork with vulnerable populations

      For many HCI researchers, validating their experiment or study protocols from an ethics point of view is a routine operation, an essential step when planning their research. While this formal process varies by country, the underlying principles are universal. For a large amount of HCI research—controlled lab-based usability evaluations of…

    • Engaging homeless young people in HCI research

      Jill Woelfer

      Engaging homeless young people in HCI research

      As HCI researchers, what do we mean when we describe a group of people as vulnerable? And, furthermore, how should we proceed? In an effort to make progress on these questions, here I discuss vulnerability, susceptibility, and more than six years of research with homeless young people. Vulnerability has been…

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  • Cover story
    • Slow change interaction design

      Martin Siegel, Jordan Beck

      As we begin the New Year, gyms around the globe will enjoy a predictable spike in membership. For days—perhaps even a few short weeks—rows of treadmills will be clogged with neophyte runners adamant in their belief that this year is the year for change. This year I will transform myself.…

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  • Visual thinking gallery
    • Ultrabark lapdog bag

      Eli Blevis

      Ultrabark lapdog bag

      ©2014 ACM1072-5220/14/01$15.00 Permission to make digital or hard copies of all or part of this work for personal or classroom use is granted without fee provided that copies are not made or distributed for profit or commercial advantage and that copies bear this notice and the full citation on the…

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