Table of Contents

VOLUME XX.4 July + August 2013

  • Demo Hour
    • Demo hour

      Damien Ludi, Colin Peillex, Daan Spanjers, Andrew Cross, Ed Cutrell, Bill Thies, Mickael Boulay

      Low-tech factory: rocking-knit At Langenthal (Switzerland), factories are omnipresent. The designers experimented with simple and ingenious shaping methods such as molding, thermoforming, and knitting to obtain finished products. "Low-Tech Factory" tackles the subject of automatic production beloved by designers, bringing together six entertaining machines that throughout the exhibition produce…

  • Confessions
    • A big data confession

      Beki Grinter

      A big data confession

      Big data is being positioned as a research agenda within HCI. But I confess that I'm troubled by developments in the relationship between people (and their data, and as data) and the algorithms of big data analysis. A recent Communications article repurposed cellular telephony call detail records (CDRs) to…

  • Feedback
    • Feedback

      CACM Staff


      On Attention to Surroundings (by Malcolm McCullough November + December 2012 DOI: 10.1145/2377783.2377793) Fantastic text. I came [to the interactions website] by searching for people who quote the Stanford study on multitasking. The introduction is fantastic as it builds up an argument that attention has some features that do…

  • Departments
    • BayCHI

      Steve Williams, Fred Jacobson, Nancy Frisberg, Tuomo Kujala


      More than two decades ago, visionary SIGCHI members created a San Francisco Bay Area chapter to bring together scholars, practitioners, and users to exchange ideas about computer-human interaction. An entirely volunteer effort, BayCHI continues to serve the CHI community in the Bay Area and beyond. The Bay Area is…

    • Community Calendar 2013

      CACM Staff

      Community Calendar 2013

      July 2013 IV 2013 – 17th International Conference on Information Visualisation (London, UK) Conference Dates: July 15–18, 2013 ICALT 2013 – 13th IEEE International Conference on Advanced Learning Technologies (Beijing, China) Conference Dates: July 15–18, 2013 SIGGRAPH 2013 – 40th International Conference and Exhibition on Computer Graphics…

  • Columns
    • City spaces and spaces for design

      Rogério De Paula

      City spaces and spaces for design

      The city has become an intrinsic and indispensable construct (theoretical and otherwise) in the design of today's technologies. But how do our everyday, mundane experiences in a city affect how we experience technologies? And how do today's increasingly more pervasive information and computing technologies influence how we experience cities?…

    • The optimism of design

      Jon Kolko

      The optimism of design

      Design is optimistic. Designers dream of a future that doesn't yet exist and work to bring that future to life. They see a path of opportunity one where problems can be solved, constraints moved policies evolved, and behavior changed. For a designer, people, services, and things are malleable, and…

  • Day in the Lab
    • IxD Lab, IT University of Copenhagen

      Anna Vallgårda

      How do you describe your lab to visitors? The IxD Lab is a place where we build ideas. It is a space to work with research questions that demand physical exploration of new forms of interactions as well as new materials and computational expressions. We think of it as…

  • Forums
    • Smart societies

      Andrés Monroy-Hernández, Shelly Farnham, Emre Kiciman, Scott Counts, Munmun De Choudhury

      I am very excited to take on the role of editor for the Social Media forum, where I hope to foster forward-thinking conversations about the transformative impact social media has on people's lives as it becomes increasingly ubiquitous in personal, organizational, and public domains. Like many of us in…

    • Habituated objects

      Margot Brereton

      Habituated objects

      I recently visited an 82-year-old woman, Maria, the mother of a good friend whom I have known over the years. This visit got me thinking about tangible and embodied interaction in a different way: from the perspective of the everyday objects that inhabit and augment our lives and how…

    • Expanding our visions of citizen science

      Stacey Kuznetsov

      Expanding our visions of citizen science

      When we, as members of the interaction design community, think about citizen science, we tend to envision people collecting, sharing, and acting on local data. Some of us might recall the famous success stories: the Christmas Bird Count, the longest-running citizen-driven bird census, or Project Budburst, which tracks environmental…

    • Older-adult HCI

      Karyn Moffatt

      Older-adult HCI

      What if older adults just aren't interested in computers? It's a question I get often, though increasingly with a slight hesitation—almost as though the asker intuits, but cannot quite pinpoint, a flaw in the inquiry. Most are satisfied if I merely point out that while many might not be…

    • Taking the fast RIDE

      Jonathan Arnowitz

      Taking the fast RIDE

      While many design methods are practiced "in the wild," the most prevalent one appears to be "Design first and ask questions later"—also known as "Throw it over the wall and see if anybody salutes," "Launch first, fix later," and so on. Whatever you call them, these approaches are all…

    • Tablet photography

      Eli Blevis

      Tablet photography

      Image Contributor: Eli Blevis Genre: Documentary imagery of new practices afforded by new technologies A tablet photographer in the foreground compares and contrasts in stance with a traditional photographer in the background. Both are engaged in acts of focusing, one by pointing and selecting, the other by rotating a…

  • Features
    • Ephemeral user interfaces

      Tanja Döring, Axel Sylvester, Albrecht Schmidt

      Ephemeral user interfaces

      When we started to explore the use of unusual materials for human-computer interaction (HCI) some time ago, we came across soap bubbles as handles for interaction. We subsequently built the Soap Bubble Interface, an installation that drops soap bubbles onto a liquid surface, where the bubbles control sound and…

    • Interaction design: what we know and what we need to know

      Steve Whittaker

      Interaction design: what we know and what we need to know

      Recently I sat on a national committee to evaluate HCI research funding. As part of that process, we discussed past successes and current challenges for HCI. It's a good time to be thinking about these issues, as HCI is no longer a minority interest. The field has major conferences,…

    • Can interaction design civilize the experience economy?

      Mahnaz Yousefzadeh

      Can interaction design civilize the experience economy?

      The civilization which we are accustomed to regard as a possession that comes to us apparently ready-made, without our asking how we actually came to possess it, is a process or part of a process in which we are ourselves involved. Every particular characteristic that we attribute to it—machinery,…

    • Integrating material and digital

      Daniela Petrelli, Luigina Ciolfi, Dick van Dijk, Eva Hornecker, Elena Not, Albrecht Schmidt

      [T]he museum's preoccupation with the information and the way it is juxtaposed to objects ... immediately takes the museum visitor one step beyond the material, physical thing they see displayed before them, away from the emotional and other possibilities that may lie in their sensory interaction with it. —Sandra…

    • The history of the future

      Aaron Marcus

      The history of the future

      Movies and videos over the past century used human-computer interaction (HCI) to tell science-fiction (sci-fi) stories that envision alternate worlds. Sci-fi may have begun about 1260 AD/CE, when the philosopher Roger Bacon predicted "wagons may be built which will move with incredible speed and without the aid of beasts;…

    • Publishing open access HCI books

      Rikke Dam, Mads Soegaard

      Publishing open access HCI books

      Is it possible to publish top-grade educational materials written by leading HCI academics and designers to help readers learn to design products that are more efficient, productive, and pleasurable—and to give these materials away for free? This article is a summary of our experiences with open access publishing at…

  • Cover story
    • Does he take sugar?

      Yvonne Rogers, Gary Marsden

      "Does he take sugar in his tea?" Hello, why not ask me? I might have a disability, But to answer for myself I still have the ability. Just 'cos I'm not stood up like you: Does not mean there is very little for myself that I can do... —Michael…