Table of Contents

VOLUME XII.4 July + August 2005

  • In this issue
    • In this issue

      Jonathan Arnowitz, Elizabeth Dykstra-Erickson

      This issue's special section on Ambient Intelligence explores the current state of the art and trends in ambient technologies. If you haven't heard of ambient intelligence, here is your chance to read about an emergent theme in computing. Manfred Tscheligi, Guest Editor, states in his opening editorial that real…

  • Fresh: rant
    • CHI and the practitioner dilemma

      Jonathan Arnowitz, Elizabeth Dykstra-Erickson

      This year's CHI conference was much like any other: the parade of papers, panels, exhibits; entertaining plenary speakers; an overcrowded invigorating reception; and a micro-Design Expo. There were a few new things (like the march to get to the reception) and many of the same traditional things (a second…

  • Fresh: ok/cancel
    • HAT9000

      Tom Chi, Kevin Cheng

      ©2005 ACM1072-5220/05/0700$5.00 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…

  • Fresh: ask Doctor Usability
    • Seeing is believing

      Dr. Usability

      Dear Doctor Usability, I am having trouble with my product team: They just don't get it. I am trying to be the champion for the user; I try to make sure technology is accessible and usable. I try to capitalize on the user's existing skills to use technology to…

  • Fresh: food for thought
    • Why doesn’t SIGCHI eat its own dog food?

      John Morris

      Investopedia says a company that "eats its own dog food" sends a message that it considers its own products the best on the market. This slang was popularized during the dot-com craze when companies did not use their own software and thus could not even "eat their own dog…

  • Fresh: pushing the envelope
    • Brand UX

      Fred Sampson

      In the old American West, ranchers branded their cattle to identify their owners. Today, Apple Macintosh faithful tattoo the Apple logo on themselves as a sign of loyalty rather than ownership. Branding is everywhere: It's part of the user experience. Branding is an experience, according to AIGA. Brand experience…

  • Fresh: mailbag
    • Letters to the editor

      Jonathan Arnowitz, Elizabeth Dykstra-Erickson

      Invasive Technology? Ubiquitous or pervasive (invasive), "in your face," human-gadget interaction, as presently designed, presents a bleak vision of things to come in "ambient intelligence." While our vision of what may be is indeed futuristic, the vision of how it will get there is based on the way systems…

  • Practice: connections
    • Ambient intelligence drives open innovation

      Emile Aarts

      Although originally developed by Philips as a novel paradigm for consumer electronics, the vision of Ambient Intelligence should by no means be regarded as a proprietary, industrially owned concept. As a result of a major effort by the European Commission, and through the support of numerous industries and academia,…

  • Fresh
    • Human-centered design considered harmful

      Donald Norman

      Human-centered design has become such a dominant theme in design that it is now accepted by interface and application designers automatically, without thought, let alone criticism. That's a dangerous state—when things are treated as accepted wisdom. The purpose of this essay is to provoke thought, discussion, and reconsideration of…

  • Practice: whiteboard
    • Designers don’t hurt people; designs do

      Douglas Anderson

      Interaction design reaches deep into a product. It explicates system constraints, supports user goals and tasks, facilitates cognition, enables perception, and requires human action. The resulting user experience also extends beyond skin deep: It directly involves human musculoskeletal and nervous systems. As such, it can do them damage. We…

  • Ambient intelligence: the next generation of user centeredness
    • Introduction

      Manfred Tscheligi

      We have started leaving our desktops to think about the future of interaction design. More than ten years ago Mark Weiser (in his January 1994 <interactions> article) argued that the world is not a desktop—computers are not bound to a fixed location; they are integrated into the environment where…

    • From information design to experience design

      Norbert Streitz, Carsten Magerkurth, Thorsten Prante, Carsten Röcker

      It seems like a paradox but it will soon become reality: The rate at which computers disappear will be matched by the rate at which information technology will increasingly permeate our environment and determine our lives. This notion of the "disappearing computer" [5] is one of the starting points…

    • Exploring feedback and persuasive techniques at the sink

      Leonardo Bonanni, Ernesto Arroyo, Chia-Hsun Lee, Ted Selker

      The physical world is full of interactions that at first don't seem to need or be able to benefit from a computer interface; what scenarios should we expect for computers in physical world? How can we sense what is needed and what are appropriate ways to communicate to a…

    • Living in metamorphosis

      Jukka Vanhala, Frans Mäyrä, Ilpo Koskinen

      The Finnish Academy of Sciences is funding a three-year research program on proactive computing [1]. The program integrates technological innovations in hardware and software with psychological and social-science research. The 14 funded projects span the wide field of proactive computing ranging from modelling the user's behavior to proactive healthcare…

    • Information as a cultural category

      P. Dourish, Johanna Brewer, Genevieve Bell

      One of the questions that invariably arises in discussions of "Ambient Intelligence" is the thorny problem of just what the term means. Certainly it's "catchy" and "provocative," but, while terms of this sort can productively inspire, they frequently offer little by way of a crisp definition. However, it is…

    • New technologies for human connectedness

      Stefan Agamanolis

      Humans have a basic need for contact with other humans. Authors like Lewis, Amini & Landon discuss the important regulating effects that social contact and healthy relationships have on human mental and physical well-being, and the consequences that arise from a lack of these requirements [2]. House, Landis, and…

    • Case study

      Panos Markopoulos, Boris de Ruyter, Saini Privender, Albert van Breemen

      Ambient Intelligence. Since the early visionary articles and white papers that introduced Ambient Intelligence, [1] for example, this vision has been associated with a widely prophesized proliferation of devices and applications populating our physical environment. Increasingly we are lead to anticipate that ambient intelligent technology will mediate, permeate, and…

    • Interactive spaces

      Marianne Petersen

      The vision of ambient intelligence holds promise of a new and changed everyday life of people. There is a range of scenarios depicting how, in the future, our environments will react "intelligently" upon our presence and behavior. Our home will greet uswhen we come home, recipes will automatically be…

    • Attentive objects

      Pattie Maes

      What if the everyday objects around us came to life? What if they could sense our presence, our focus of attention, and our actions, and could respond with relevant information, suggestions, and actions? This is the central question addressed by the Ambient Intelligence research group at the MIT Media…

    • A simple secret for design

      Ingelise Nielsen, Graham Pullin

      "People come first" is the commitment to design environments that are user-oriented. The absolute priority is the experiences people have interacting with spaces, products, and services. Experiences can be designed with high technology, low technology, or no technology, but if it is appropriate to use technology, it must be…

    • Interaction contextualized in space

      Marco Susani

      "Architecture has to be an object of our memory, and that memory is a form of architecture."—Louise Bourgeois, artist and sculptor Original interactions with personal computers focused on doing (writing a document, making calculations on a spread sheet...), and its physical context was a single individual user sitting in…

    • Projections into the world

      Mike Kuniavsky

      I'm a user experience designer and researcher. When I look at a technology, or an idea about technology, my first thought is of the end-user's perspective: Why would they want to buy this? How would they use it? Why would it be interesting to them? For a while, Ambient…

    • Pushing the boundaries of interaction in public

      Steve Benford

      Since 2001, the Mixed Reality Laboratory at the University of Nottingham and the artists group Blast Theory, supported by the Equator project, have created and toured a series of location-based artistic performances. These have used mobile technologies to create interactive live performances for the city streets that combine digital…

  • Practice: business
    • An alternative business model for addressing usability

      Scott Weiss

      This column discusses two barriers to usability evaluation in the telecommunications industry, and a possible solution. The first problem is that carriers expect manufacturers to develop and market usable handsets, but manufacturers have little incentive to do user testing: It is carriers who provide the technical support and earn…

  • People: the way I see it
    • Do companies fail because their technology is unusable?

      Donald Norman

      In a recent posting on the CHI Consultants discussion list, Kay Aubrey quoted a company CEO as saying: "No company has ever failed because their technology doesn't work; they failed because they had no sales." Aubrey reports that when she heard this a light went off in her head.…

  • People: fast forward
    • Usability grows up

      Aaron Marcus

      Stepping into the Ring At CHI 2005, Eric Schaeffer, president of Human Factors International (HFI) who works from Mumbai, India, and Jared Spool, president of User Interface Engineering (UIE) in Middleton, Massachusetts, invited me to moderate their debate about usability. Approximately 700 people witnessed a "wrestling match" between the…

  • People: on the enterprise
    • Compromising positions

      Dustin Beltram

      As usability practitioners, we have embraced the philosophy of user-centered design and strive to devise systems that adapt to the user's needs rather than forcing users to accommodate the system. Enterprise software designers are no different; most of us profess to follow a methodology grounded in the principles of…

  • Books
    • Book review

      J. McNeill

      The Mobile Connection: The Cell Phone's Impact on Society Rich Ling Morgan Kaufmann ISBN 1558609369 $34.95 Rich Ling's recent book, The Mobile Connection, has been written in response to the relatively recent large-scale adoption of mobile technology. As he puts it, mobile technology is "becoming a taken-for-granted…

    • New & upcoming titles

      Gerard Torenvliet

      Web Engineering: Principles and Techniques Woojong Suh (editor) Idea Group Publishing, April 2005 ISBN: 1591404339 $74.95 Managing E-learning Strategies: Design, Delivery, Implementation and Evaluation Badrul Huda Khan Information Science Publishing, May 2005 ISBN: 1591406358 $59.95 Exploring the Art and Technology of Web Design Ruth Ann…

  • Event planner
    • Event planner

      interactions Staff

      July 12 - 14 swissnex Women's WorkshopManaging Equity in Swiss and U.S. Universities San Francisco, CA, USA August 15-17 ISD 2005 14th International Conference on Information Systems Development Karlstad, Sweden August 20-24 The 4th Decennial Aarhus Conference: Critical Computing between Sense and Sensibility Aarhus, Denmark…

  • People: on the edge
    • Ubiquitous music

      Lars Holmquist

      As I write this, I am a guest researcher at Nottingham University in the U.K., staying at a grungy teacher's flat. In such circumstances, having access to your own music makes life a lot more agreeable, but of course I could not bring my CD collection with me. Fortunately,…

  • Rave
    • The case for case studies

      Jonathan Arnowitz, Elizabeth Dykstra-Erickson

      Google it, we dare you. We tried several different search terms relating to case studies and design, and what consistently came up was AIGA's Case Study Archive and the CHI 2004 and CHI 2005 Design Expo. We even found a promising guide to writing case studies at: At…

  • Postcards from the future
    • Postcards from the future

      Atticus Wolrab

      ©2005 ACM1072-5220/05/0700$5.00 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…