Table of Contents

VOLUME XVIII.6 November + December 2011

  • Welcome
    • WELCOME Taking stock while looking forward

      Ron Wakkary, Erik Stolterman

      The end of the year is fast approaching. Winter will be settling in, so it's time to take stock of the summer and the year past—what did we set out to do, and what have we done? I know we don't want to think too hard about it, but…

  • Demo Hour
    • Demo hour

      Frank Vetere, Martin Gibbs, Darren Edge, Stefan Agamanolis, Jennifer Sheridan, Daniel Leithinger, Dávid Lakatos, Anthony DeVincenzi, Matthew Blackshaw, Edwina Portocarrero, David Robert, Michelle Chung, Sean Follmer, Edwina Portocarrero, Ye Wang, Lina Johansson, Claes Ericson, David Karlsson

      Demo hour

      Jogging over a Distance Jogging over a Distance is a support system for social joggers who live apart or have different abilities but who want to run "together." Headsets allow both conversation and sharing of breathlessness, with the audio sounding like it is coming from ahead, beside, and behind…

  • Blogpost
    • Minority retort

      Joseph Kaye

      Minority retort

      The enormous intellectual diversity of the HCI community is at the heart of what makes this field an exciting place to work [1]. At the same time, the breadth of this diversity is not without problems. In a blog post, James Landay complained about the raw deal he felt…

  • Departments
    • Community calendar 2011

      INTR Staff

      November 2011 8th ACM Conference on Creativity and Cognition (Atlanta, GA) Conference date: November 3–6, 2011 Knowledge/Culture/Social Change International Conference (Sydney, Australia) Conference date: November 7–9, 2011 ICID 2011: International Conference on Interaction Design (Hong Kong, China) Conference date: November 9–12, 2011 ITS 2011: Interactive Tabletops…

  • Tribute
    • The magic of working with Steve Jobs

      Elizabeth Dykstra-Erickson, Peter Hoddie, Tim Wasko

      We miss Steve Jobs. We worked with him and learned a lot from him. We won't just miss seeing him on the world stage, we'll miss the human being who looked us in the eye and challenged us to do better. Working with Steve changed little since he returned…

  • Columns
    • Kilroy was here

      Steve Portigal, Julie Norvaisas

      Reviled or celebrated, graffiti is ubiquitous in even the least urban environments. With roots in the wall-scrawled slogans of ancient Greece, it is a physical yet ephemeral expression of the personality of a neighborhood. It allows us to see a colorful trail of inhabitants' interactions with public spaces. Graffiti…

    • Craftsmanship

      Jon Kolko

      Meet someone who has completed four years of design education and ask them to reflect on their education, and they'll likely tell you stories about the dreaded foundations assignments. These craft-oriented projects focus narrowly on a single "core element" of design, such as color, line, texture, or shadow. I…

    • A matter of focus and a question of resolution

      Eli Blevis

      Image Contributor: Eli Blevis Genre: Understanding what a new technology can do by taking stock of what can be done better, less well, or not at all using existing technology. The images here were created using present day digital camera and lens technologies. The newly practical emergence of plenoptic…

  • Day in the Lab
    • Human-computer interaction group University of Konstanz, Germany

      Harald Reiterer

      Human-computer interaction group University of Konstanz, Germany

      How would you describe your research group? Our research group is part of the Department of Computer and Information Science at the University of Konstanz, which is one of the nine Universities of Excellence in Germany. We are located in the southwest of Germany, an area with a strong…

  • Forums
    • Open Government 2.0

      Alex Howard

      In the 1990s, the Internet changed communication and commerce forever. A decade later, the Web 2.0 revolution enabled a new disruption in media by democratizing the tools for publishing. Citizens without specialized technical skills can now easily upload pictures, video, and text to a more interactive Web, where they…

    • The phenomenal challenge of designing transparent technologies

      Jon Bird

      The phenomenal challenge of designing transparent technologies

      Tangible and embodied interaction is a diverse research field, in terms of both the range of interaction techniques that are explored (such as tangibles, wearables, and body gestures) and the disciplines that are involved (HCI, design, psychology, physical computing, and interactive art). What is common to the majority of…

    • Community and conflict

      Carl DiSalvo

      We often think of communities in terms of their commonalities, defined by common interests, practices, heritage, or locale. We also talk about communities as neighborhoods, or ethnic groups and their associated beliefs and rituals, or communities of developers or researchers or users. But communities are not all about commonalities.…

    • Lessons learned in prototyping systems in developing-world contexts

      Sena Allen

      This article was written by a master's-level student reflecting on his first year of research work in a developing-world project. Captured here is what he wished he had known before starting. We hope it serves to better prepare other students in the same situation. —Gary Marsden, Editor Research in…

    • Homeless young people and technology

      Jill Woelfer, Dave Hendry

      Homelessness among young people aged 13 to 30 is a pressing problem with lasting social and economic consequences for the U.S. By one estimate, 3 million young people experience homelessness annually; that is, about 1 percent of the U.S. population is both young and homeless at some point each…

    • Measuring fun, trust, confidence, and other ethereal constructs

      Dennis Wixon

      It has become fashionable to promote the importance of creating interfaces that provide positive affective experiences. Fashionable trends often involve controversy. Self-appointed arbiters of fashion divide objects into the fashionable and the unfashionable. However, if creating positive experiences is so important, then figuring out how to do so should…

  • Features
    • Shapeshifters in the voluntary sector

      Amy Voida

      Shapeshifters in the voluntary sector

      I'd lived in Irvine, California, for six months and never realized that there was a wildlife sanctuary there, tucked in beside the freeway and the miniature golf course, less than a mile from the university. Conducting fieldwork with more than two dozen nonprofit organizations over the past two years,…

    • Understanding science

      Bonnie Nardi, Nicole Ellison, Cliff Lampe

      Understanding science

      Science is a specialized practice. In many cases, it takes years of training to be able to interpret findings and see patterns across multiple studies. Those untrained in a scientific specialty (such as members of the general public) may not understand aspects of the scientific process or the outcomes…

    • Leading global UX teams

      Daniel Rosenberg, Janaki Kumar

      In 2006, the April + May issue of interactions was dedicated to the topic of offshoring. At the time, the term "offshoring" referred to moving work to low-cost locations, despite any negative connotations. This description of offshoring no longer accurately reflects how work moves around the world from one…

    • Electronic medical records

      Harry Hochheiser, Ben Shneiderman

      Electronic Medical Records (EMRs) have begun to transform healthcare worldwide. Some small countries like Denmark, the Netherlands, and Israel have built effective systems based on national standards, while in the U.S. dozens of diverse systems are competing for market share. In developing nations local projects can have huge effects,…

    • Simplicity and usability

      Gerald Douglas, Zach Landis-Lewis, Harry Hochheiser

      When it comes to electronic medical records (EMRs), complexity is often perceived as being the enemy of usability [1]. Computer information systems that must support the range of medical specialties, disciplinary perspectives, and administrative and regulatory requirements found in many modern healthcare environments can often become unwieldy and cumbersome,…

    • Usability testing EHRs

      Art Swanson, Scott Lind

      Recently there has been a lot of discussion about the usability of electronic health record (EHR) systems, with many ongoing efforts to standardize usability practices and metrics, and even the user interfaces, of EHR systems. Specifically, the recently proposed NIST Usability Evaluation Protocol (UEP) seeks to standardize summative usability…

    • Tragic errors

      Ben Shneiderman

      The Obama administration's healthcare reform legislation and its $19 billion stimulus support for Electronic Health Records (EHRs) are beginning to have a transformative effect on U.S. healthcare. An important goal will be to use EHRs to reduce the estimated 98,000 deaths and millions of injuries per year from medical…

  • Cover story
    • What makes things cool?

      Karen Holtzblatt

      When Apple released the iPhone in 2007, it was a game-changing product in ways we had not seen for many years. Consumers were talking about it everywhere. They gathered around the phone to watch the pinch and the swivel; they were awed by the pictures, apps, and games. The…