Table of Contents

VOLUME XIX.2 March + April 2012

  • Demo Hour
    • Demo hour

      Omer Yosha, Tom Bieling, Ulrike Gollner, Gesche Joost, Connie Golsteijn, Elise van den Hoven, Nour Yunes

      Airpiano The airpiano is a MIDI/OSC controller that lets the user trigger invisible keys and faders in midair. The device can be used for playing melodies, triggering loops, and controlling effects. On-board LED feedback allows performing without the need for a computer display. Setting the 24 virtual keys and…

  • Blogpost
    • A cry for more tech at CHI!

      Kristina Höök

      A cry for more tech at CHI!

      This is a rant. And a plea. And an ad. With this rant, plea, and ad, I hope to attract more attention to the video and interactivity submissions at CHI 2012. But that is just a means to an end. The result I hope for is to make our…

  • Departments
    • Feedback

      INTR Staff


      Usability testing EHRs Correction In Art Swanson's and Scott Lind's article, "Usability Testing EHRs," from our November + December 2011 issue, the authors refer to a proposed NIST protocol as the "Usability Evaluation Protocol (UEP)." The correct name of the protocol is the EHR Usability Protocol (EUP). A draft…

    • Community calendar 2012

      INTR Staff

      Community calendar 2012

      March 2012 ICIC 2012: 4th ACM International Conference on Intercultural Collaboration (Bengaluru, India) Conference Date: March 21–23, 2012 IA Summit 2012 (New Orleans, LA) Conference Date: March 21–25, 2012 April 2012 ECIR 2012: The 34th European Conference on Information Retrieval (Barcelona, Spain) Conference Date: April 1–5,…

  • Columns
    • The Omni project

      Steve Portigal, Julie Norvaisas

      We have recently embarked on a self-funded research and innovation project called the Omni project. Working in an agency, we find the notion of a self-funded study frightening (at least financially) but also liberating. This effort emerges from our desire to work unbounded by the very necessary constraints of…

    • Changing the career outcomes of design education

      Jon Kolko

      Changing the career outcomes of design education

      There are two major decisions most design students have to make during their four years of undergraduate design school. The first Big Decision, often made after completing a freshman "foundations" year, is jokingly referred to as "Poster or Toaster?" This is the decision to choose a specialization, traditionally either…

    • Working around the system

      John Thomas

      Working around the system

      Image Contributor: John C. Thomas Genre: Documentary image of a work-around for poor interactivity design. At a workshop on ICT4D, everyone in the room was freezing but the thermostat was encased and could not be accessed by the "users" in the room. So, I went to the men's room,…

  • Day in the Lab
    • Interactive Product Design Lab (IPDL) at Georgia Tech

      Jim Budd

      Interactive Product Design Lab (IPDL) at Georgia Tech

      How do you describe your lab to visitors? The Interactive Product Design Lab (IPDL) is a purpose-built lab designed to support both teaching and research by allowing students to investigate, explore, and experiment with an extensive array of new technologies. Central to this concept, the School of Industrial Design…

  • Forums
    • Research with a hacker ethos

      Amanda Williams, Alicia Gibb, David Weekly

      Research with a hacker ethos

      Let's be honest. Much of what we do as researchers in tangible interaction design is hacking. We reappropriate game controllers; we break open toys and cannibalize their parts; we bend and flex and stuff electronics into objects they were never meant to go into. We usually mention this hackery,…

    • Time travelers, flying heads, and second lives

      Jason Lewis

      Time travelers, flying heads, and second lives

      Six years ago, my collaborator, Skawennati Fragnito, and I set out to change the world. Our strategy for achieving this modest goal has been to combine our longstanding fascination with digital media technology with the desire to work with our First Nations communities to tell old stories anew and…

    • Because deep down, we are not the same

      Minna Kamppuri

      Because deep down, we are not the same

      When I was studying the use of mobile phones among university students in Tanzania, I spent many days waiting for interviewees who failed to show up, without explanation. Many other interviewers, even local ones, reported having the same problem. Later I learned that the easiest way to meet users…

    • Personalized dynamic accessibility

      Krzysztof Gajos, Amy Hurst, Leah Findlater

      It is a cliché to point out that computers and the Internet have entered all parts of our lives. We need them at work; governments urge us to file our taxes online; students are required to use them in their classes; online businesses offer better deals than their brick-and-mortar…

    • In defense of doing it the hard way

      Leanna Gingras

      In defense of doing it the hard way

      The job of a user-research professional is undoubtedly a hard one. Understanding problems, getting the right sample of people in our labs, extracting insights from data, and evangelizing the user's needs can make for challenging work. At the same time, rewards abound in this profession: the joy of diving…

  • Features
    • Pico projectors

      Raimund Dachselt, Jonna Häkkilä, Matt Jones, Markus Löchtefeld, Michael Rohs, Enrico Rukzio

      Pico projectors

      There's something magical about light. Perhaps you can remember using a flashlight as a child to trace a space story on the bedroom ceiling, or, more exciting still, to enhance scary stories under the canvas of a camping holiday. Or, on a long, lazy summer afternoon, the school vacation…

    • Transformative user experience

      Markus Latzina, Joerg Beringer

      The term transformative has different connotations, but it usually refers to the concept of significant, irreversible change, often considered game changing due to its ability to redefine an entire value system. Recently we have observed new technologies that are deemed to be transformative, for example, by enabling us to…

    • Drawing things together

      A. Telier

      Drawing things together

      "Now, here is the challenge. In its long history, design practices has done a marvelous job at inventing the practical skills to draw objects, whether in architectural drawing, mechanic blueprints, scale models, or prototyping. But what has always been missing from those marvelous drawings (designs in the literal sense)…

    • Crafting a delightful experience

      Carmen Dukes, Katie Koch

      Crafting a delightful experience

      When did you first learn about design? Our students start learning about design in ninth grade, during their first year in high school. As members of Project: Interaction, a 10-week high school after-school program in Brooklyn, New York, they are introduced to the practice of interaction design. They learn…

    • Design and ethics

      Leslie Becker

      Designers of products and services, as well as the users of these products and services, think they know what is right. This assumption is largely tacit, which means it is also largely unexamined. Tacit implies that we have absorbed something through our daily living by observing and participating in…

    • Toward mixed-media design studios

      Florian Geyer, Harald Reiterer

      Toward mixed-media design studios

      "We are far from seeing a fully digital design studio. Unfortunately, the modern hybrid studio—straddling both digital and traditional methods—can experience new challenges along with the new tools" [1]. In many design studios, dedicated rooms with abundant display space are used for colocated design collaboration. And this is for…

    • Will your household adopt your new robot?

      Valérie Bauwens, Julia Fink

      Will your household adopt your new robot?

      Domestic robots have slowly found their way into some of our homes and onto the shelves of major stores selling technical appliances. Who hasn't already seen or heard of robots that vacuum or mow the lawn? As researchers in robotics, we feel this growing commercial success is a great…

  • Cover story
    • Socialbots

      Tim Hwang, Ian Pearce, Max Nanis

      The Social Mediator forum was created to bridge the gaps between the theory and practice of social media research and development. The articles are intended to promote greater awareness of new insights and experiences in the rapidly evolving domain of social media, some of which may influence perspectives and…