Table of Contents

VOLUME XVI.2 March + April 2009

  • WELCOME
    • Interactions

      Richard Anderson, Jon Kolko

      As the articles in interactions continue to focus on experiences, people, and technology, we are beginning to find these three core concepts appearing in unexpected places and with increased resonance. While the world copes with unprecedented changes and challenges, it’s easy to slip into a sense of fear and distrust.…

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  • The importance of collaboration
    • FEATURECo-creation in service design

      Ben Fullerton

      When we look at design in all of its many forms, we find numerous examples of manifested, perceivable objects that demonstrate the vision of the designer. Sitting in an Arne Jacobsen chair, holding a William Morris fabric, or using the latest piece of technology from Tokyo, Seoul, or Cupertino, we…

    • FEATUREBridging the gaps between enterprise software and end users

      Kraig Finstad, Wei Xu, Shibani Kapoor, Sri Canakapalli, John Gladding

      End users of enterprise software are in a tough spot. While traditional desktop software and websites are increasingly designed with their needs in mind, unique challenges arise with enterprise software. Whether working with a specialized accounting system or a general-use intranet portal, users find themselves confronted with systems that are…

    • TIMELINESThe information school phenomenon

      Gary Olson, Jonathan Grudin

      The past 15 years have seen a remarkable movement in academic circles, the emergence of information schools, or iSchools for short (the moniker created by an organization of such schools). In this article we examine the iSchool movement, tracing its history, speculating on its longevity, and looking at its impact…

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  • Deep thinking
    • FEATUREProblems before patterns

      Molly Steenson

      Interaction and system designers alike gravitate to the idea of pattern languages. The notion of patterns comes from the work of architect Christopher Alexander, who with his associates Sara Ishikawa and Murray Silverstein of the Center for Environmental Structure, published A Pattern Language in 1977. The book defines a set…

    • THE WAY I SEE ITMemory is more important than actuality

      Donald Norman

      “Your discussion regarding ... the fact that memory of an event is more important than the experience made me remember my trip to Thailand a few years ago… I traveled for three weeks and lost 10 pounds because I didn’t like any food. There were insects on steroids everywhere I…

    • LIFELONG INTERACTIONSEmbodied child computer interaction

      Alissa Antle

      When I first read Paul Dourish, I was intrigued and compelled to learn more about the nature of embodied cognition. I was also interested in finding ways to apply embodied cognition to my research in child-computer interaction—where goals often involve the facilitation of engaged and playful learning rather than supporting…

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  • Who can you trust?
    • Ps and QsOn trusting your socks to find each other

      Elizabeth Churchill

      I was recently told that we are moving toward a world of “the Internet of Things.” I affectionately call this “the arrival of the IoTs” (pronounced “eeyuts”). It seems this revolution will be most helpful specifically in the creation of the “aware home.” For example, if I am traveling, I…

    • COVER STORYThe counterfeit you

      Hunter Whitney

      Imagine that some stranger in a shady corner of the Web comes across your name and a few details of your life and puts together an online presence uncomfortably reminiscent of you. Hard to know what to think at first. It could be anything from coincidence to a con or…

    • FEATUREIdentity theft and the challenges of caring for your virtual self

      Jennifer Whitson

      Several recent high-profile incidents have thrust identity theft into the media spotlight. The first to gain notoriety involved the credit-verification company ChoicePoint, which in 2004 inadvertently delivered electronic files containing the names, addresses, social security numbers, and credit reports for almost 140,000 people to identity thieves in the Los Angeles…

    • FEATUREThe ambient mirror

      Dimitris Grammenos

      Ambient intelligence envisions a future in which our environment is populated by an infinite number of interoperating, computing-embedded devices of different sizes and capabilities [1], which are interweaved into “the fabric of everyday life” and are indistinguishable from it [2]. The ultimate goal of all these devices is to serve…

    • TRUE TALESInteracting with advertising

      Steve Portigal

      There’s a famous saying (attributed to John Wanamaker, the retailing pioneer): “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is, I don’t know which half.” And while that’s still true, we propose this corollary: Half our encounters with advertising are dripping with evil; the trouble is, we…

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  • Looking ahead
    • FEATURETaking a broader view of the human experience

      Mark Vanderbeeken

      Experience design is a human-centered activity. It starts with a deep understanding of people’s needs and contexts of living or working, and the end result is a product or service that provides people with a quality experience or a culturally relevant solution. With such a clear and deliberate focus on…

    • SUSTAINABLY OURSFood, dude

      Eli Blevis, Susan Morse

      Permaculture, urban farming, and locavorism—all are newly familiar terms that we define in this month’s forum and that are implicated in sustainable lifestyles. All denote opportunities for interaction designers [1]. By opportunities, we mean not only potential applications of interactive technologies to help where no interactive technologies have been previously…

    • FEATUREResearch strategies for future planning

      Colleen Murray

      In 2005 Motorola hit the market with a new, ultra-slim, sexy cell phone: the RAZR. Almost instantly, it became one of the most sought-after phones of all time. For two years the RAZR captivated the industry. Consumers around the world couldn’t wait to get their hands on the sleek, fashionable…

    • UNDER DEVELOPMENTElectronic tablecloths and the developing world

      Gary Marsden

      Within the HCI community, many of us are working on how to create appropriate technologies for people living in developing countries. Some people are involved in deep ethnographies—studying and living with users in remote communities—while more technology-driven projects seek to establish appropriate digital infrastructure (for example, WiFi networks). Reporting on…

    • FEATURENeuroscience and the future of human-computer interaction

      Brad Minnery, Michael Fine

      If Carl Sagan had been a neuroscientist instead of an astronomer, he might have mused wondrously about the “billions and billions” of neurons that make up the human brain—approximately one hundred billion neurons with each neuron wired to communicate with thousands of neighbors. This massive mesh of computation gives rise…

    • (P)REVIEWDoing business by design

      Alex Wright

      Ever since the Harvard Business Review declared that “the MFA is the new MBA” in 2004, the business press has published a raft of articles testifying to the rise of so-called design thinking among corporate managers. So it should come as no surprise that designers are finally starting to break…

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  • Interactions Cafe
    • On the relevance of theory to practitioners…

      Richard Anderson, Jon Kolko

      Jon: Subtley embedded in this issue is Molly Wright Steenson’s article on Christopher Alexander and pattern languages. Many recognize Alexander’s work on patterns, but few are familiar with his work on design methods. He was a proponent of the methods movement, and was fundamental in positioning design as an intellectual…

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