Table of Contents

VOLUME XX.6 November + December 2013

  • Demo Hour
    • Demo hour

      Michal Rinott, Eran Gal-Or, Shachar Geiger, Luka Or, Stefanie Mueller, Pedro Lopes, Konstantin Kaefer, Bastian Kruck, Patrick Baudisch, Shunichi Kasahara, Ryuma Niiyama, Valentin Heun, Hiroshi Ishii, Yuichiro Katsumoto, Satoru Tokuhisa, Masa Inakage

      Cubes Cubes is a collection of 20 objects, each combining an input and an output. Shaking the Dizzy Cube makes it totter around; rotating the Homesick Cube makes it turn back to face our lab. The Knock Cube returns your knock. By fixing the form of these interactive objects…

  • Confessions
    • Practical quagmires

      Jeffrey Bardzell, Shaowen Bardzell

      Practical quagmires

      In recent years, interaction designers and researchers have shown a rising interest in practices in which designers create designs not to be sold in the marketplace, but rather to interrogate possible futures, critique the (designed) present, develop design concepts, and/or explore people's attitudes toward and needs for future designs.…

  • Departments
    • Feedback


      Blog: Canyonlands (by Jonathan Grudin; Sounds like you had a great vacation in stunning scenery and in great company. However, I'm not sure you experienced "how life once was," even if it perhaps felt like it then/feels like it now. Rather, it seems like you experienced the time…

    • HCI community in Brazil—-sweet 16!

      Raquel Prates, Simone Barbosa, Milene da Silveira, Clarisse de Souza, Cecília Baranauskas, Cristiano Maciel, Elizabeth Furtado, Junia Anacleto, Paulo Melo, Tuomo Kujala

      HCI community in Brazil—-sweet 16!

      Back in 1996, a small group of Brazilian Ph.D. students attended CHI as student volunteers and were encouraged to find out who else was working with HCI in Brazil. In 1997 the first efforts to organize the Brazilian HCI community came about, with significant contributions from Richard Anderson, then…

    • Community Calendar

      INTR Staff

      Community Calendar

      November 2013 MobiCASE – 5th International Conference on Mobile Computing, Applications, Services (Paris, France) Conference Dates: November 7–8, 2013 ACE 2013 – 10th International Conference on Advances in Computer Entertainment Technology (Enschede, Netherlands) Conference Dates: November 12–15, 2013 WI-IAT 2013 – IEEE/WIC/ACM Conferences on Web Intelligence and…

  • Columns
    • Interactions during conflicts

      Rogério de Paula

      Interactions during conflicts

      Are we faced with a proverbial brave new world? In the aftermath of a wave of protests and popular unrest in the streets of Brazil's largest cities, which came to be dubbed the Vinegar Revolution [1], I could not help but mull over the meanings (political and beyond) manifested…

    • From interaction designer to product manager

      Jon Kolko

      From interaction designer to product manager

      Interaction design is about shaping behavior—about creating a representational dialogue between a person and technology. An interaction designer thinks mostly about people and works to craft an interface on top of technology to help a person achieve his or her goals. The secret ingredient for an interaction designer is…

  • Day in the Lab
    • UCLIC

      Daniel Harrison, Yvonne Rogers How do you describe your lab to visitors? The University College London Interaction Centre (UCLIC, pronounced "you-click") is an interdisciplinary research and teaching institute situated in the heart of London in Bloomsbury. University College London (UCL) was founded in 1826 and is home to some 10,000 staff and…

  • Forums
    • Two women who pioneered user-centered design

      Jonathan Grudin, Gayna Williams

      Two women who pioneered user-centered design

      Histories of HCI emphasize Vannevar Bush and the engineers and scientists who in the 1960s envisioned what computers would make possible: J.C.R. Licklider, Douglas Engelbart, Ted Nelson, Alan Kay, and Nicholas Negroponte. Their words and the prototypes of Engelbart and Ivan Sutherland have inspired countless researchers. In two conversations,…

    • LinguaBytes

      Bart Hengeveld


      Over the past few years, I have been working on LinguaBytes [1], a project aimed at developing a play-and-learning system that would stimulate the language development of non- or hardly speaking children between one and four years old. The project resulted in a modular tangible interface that allows children…

    • Empowerment through community crime-prevention technologies

      Sheena Erete

      Empowerment through community crime-prevention technologies

      Statistics suggest that crime is steadily decreasing across the U.S. However, we have recently witnessed some of the most horrific acts of violence in American history. These incidents have led to various conversations about violence prevention. On the national level, the focus is on policy, particularly laws regarding gun…

    • Reflections on HCI for development

      Kentaro Toyama

      Reflections on HCI for development

      In a small village outside of Madurai in South India, a young woman dressed in a bright blue sari sat cross-legged on the floor, holding a bulky mobile phone above a sheet of paper. She looked a little nervous at first, but as she settled into her task the…

    • Anatomy of a design session

      Greg Walsh

      Anatomy of a design session

      You have probably read or heard about designing with children in any number of ACM publications or conferences. Whether we researchers and designers ask the opinions of children about technology or work with them in the design of new technologies, the literature is ripe with discussions of methods used…

    • Clothing the naked emperor

      Randolph Bias, Philip Kortum, Jeff Sauro, Doug Gillan

      Clothing the naked emperor

      Here are two scenarios with which all usability professionals, be they in-house staff or external consultants, will be familiar: Scenario A Development VP: "Usability support? We don't have the time or the money for that on this release." Usability professional: "Thank you for your time and consideration." Scenario B…

    • Meaning of life elevator

      Eli Blevis

      Meaning of life elevator

      Image Contributor: Eli Blevis Genre: Found interactivity, serendipitous reference, humor ©2013 ACM1072-5220/13/11$15.00 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…

  • Features
    • Reaching hard-to-reach users using online media to get a glimpse of work in marine contexts

      Sigrun Lurås, Henry Mainsah

      Reaching hard-to-reach users using online media to get a glimpse of work in marine contexts

      The wind was 75kts give or take and I was on watch at the time but had just been relieved by the other DP operator. Suddenly the wind shifted just enough to push the bow from the required heading. This is fairly common during these extreme conditions but at…

    • Making the office catch up

      Wei Liu, Pieter Stappers, Gert Pasman, Jenneke Taal-Fokker

      Making the office catch up

      The rapid development of information technology (IT) in the past decade has enabled the introduction of a number of highly engaging tools into everyday life, such as instant messaging, podcasting, blogging, and social networking. These tools offer people new ways of interacting, enabling them to create, retrieve, and broadcast…

    • User stories don’t help users: Introducing persona stories

      William Hudson

      User stories don’t help users: Introducing persona stories

      User stories are one of the most popular alternatives to traditional user requirement specifications. But despite their promising name, user stories are not about—and don't necessarily help—users at all. In most cases, user stories are written about roles that users adopt and take no account of the needs and…

    • Open source communities of competitors

      Matt Germonprez, J. Allen, Brian Warner, Jamie Hill, Glenn McClements

      Open source communities of competitors

      Throughout the 1990s, corporations involved in the design of software services viewed open source participation with skepticism. However, over the past 15 years, corporate participation in open source communities has expanded rapidly. It is no longer unusual for Fortune 500 companies to have full-time staff dedicated to leveraging open…

    • Understanding the connection between HCI and freedom of information and access laws

      Jonathan Lazar, Timothy Elder, Michael Stein

      Understanding the connection between HCI and freedom of information and access laws

      Articles in the Interacting with Public Policy forum in this magazine address the intersection of interaction design and public policy. Some of these connections are obvious, for instance, when the Brazilian government ranks human-computer interaction research publications as low priority. Another aspect, although sometimes less obvious, is the relationship…

  • Cover story
    • Matter of transformation

      Caroline Hummels, Pierre Lévy

      Fluenci is a breast pump that draws from the experience of breastfeeding a baby at home, operating as naturally as possible to reduce stress and discomfort. The shape and temperature invite a more intimate way of holding; recorded baby sounds trigger lactation; and the pump starts, stops, and adjusts…