Table of Contents

VOLUME XXII.6 November - December 2015

  • Demo Hour
    • Demo hour

      Ellis Bots, Karst Brummelhuis, Marcel Gleeson, Noëlle Lugtenburg, Joëll Magr, Michael Probyn, Nigel Smink, Rosa Storm, Eva Zillen, Priska van Binsbergen, Ziran Chin-On, Mortiz Fieback, Sharon Koomen, Oukje van Merle, Daan Middendorp, Debbie Rouw, Iris Tol, Josine Vos, Dave Murray-Rust, Rocio von Jungenfeld, Morten Winther

      1. Atmo The spheres on the floor portray characters from the storybook with light and localized sound. Atmo is an interactive environment developed for an oncology hospital. It gives children the experience of physically entering the fantastic world of bedtime stories. Children can collect a book from the hospital…

  • What are you reading?
    • What are you reading?

      Orit Shaer

      What are you reading?

      Here Is a Human Being: At the Dawn of Personal Genomics By Misha Angrist (2010) This book has affected me both personally and professionally. In 2007 Misha Angrist, a genetics professor, became the fourth person to have his entire genome decoded and shared publicly, as part of Harvard's Personal…

  • Blog@IX
    • UX research vs. UX design

      Ashley Karr

      UX research vs. UX design

      If you get an opportunity to have a conversation with Skot Carruth, take it. He is a UX professional and principle at philosophie, a UX and product consulting firm. In addition, he is a fellow UCLA graduate, a smart man, and an all-around good person. Happily, we both stumbled…

  • How was it made?
    • EmotiveModeler

      Philippa Mothersill, V. Bove


      Describe what you made. The EmotiveModeler is a CAD tool that takes advantage of our intuitive perception of the meaning embedded in objects. It allows designers to use words to create objects whose forms communicate emotive character. Imagine, for example, the simple cylindrical bottle full of spicy chili pepper…

  • Departments
    • Feedback

      INTR Staff


      Blog/Juan Pablo Hourcade: Designing the Cognitive Future, Part VI: Communication I liked your blog very much, Juan Pablo, thanks for posting it. I am now working on an academic project in HCI that does exactly what you are talking about: helping people from different cultures communicate better. I…

  • Columns
    • We must be more wrong in HCI research

      Kasper Hornbaek

      We must be more wrong in HCI research

      The secret to being wrong isn't to avoid being wrong! The secret is being willing to be wrong. The secret is realizing that wrong isn't fatal. — Seth Godin, Tribes (2008) For the past few years I have pondered how to be wrong in HCI research. By "being wrong"…

    • Moving on from requirements

      Jon Kolko

      Moving on from requirements

      The phrase business requirements is used to describe a set of features or capabilities that have been determined to be important to substantiate a particular strategy. These elements are "required" to remain competitive, or to spur innovation, or to increase market share or any other key business driver. They…

    • Finding design’s intellectual value

      Uday Gajendar

      Finding design’s intellectual value

      Thrown into the swirling currents of digital product development—either at an agile startup or a corporation "going lean"—designers must work with a variety of commercialized concepts that typify current design practice. Yet these concepts raise doubt, if not outright suspicion, about truly cultivating design depth and forethought in that…

  • Day in the Lab
    • UNC Charlotte HCI/InDe lab

      Celine Latulipe, Heather Lipford, Mary Maher, David Wilson

      How do you describe your lab to visitors? We actually have two labs: the HCILab, where most of our grad students work, hang out, and hold meetings; and the InDe (Interaction Design) Lab, which triples as maker space, studio classroom, and research lab. In addition, we have a separate…

  • Forums
    • Places to play

      Richard Coyne

      Places to play

      Networked computer systems, tablets, and smartphones foreground the issue of interactivity among people, and between people and objects. But how interactive is architecture? Mikael Wiberg outlines some of the technologies and concepts that might contribute to an interactive architecture. The list includes virtual reality (VR), 3D worlds, video games,…

    • Designing for civic events

      Mariam Asad, Sarah Schoemann

      Designing for civic events

      The field of HCI research has been increasingly interested in civic engagement and the full spectrum of activities that entails, from hyperlocal neighborhood message boards to the Arab Spring. Across this work, researchers have focused on how we might leverage existing technologies or design new tools to better support…

    • Writing about accessibility

      Vicki Hanson, Anna Cavender, Shari Trewin

      Writing about accessibility

      Words or phrases can suggest bias or reflect negative, disparaging, or patronizing attitudes toward individuals or groups of individuals. These words and phrases can influence our impressions, attitudes, and even our actions. Choosing language that represents the preference of the groups to which it refers can convey respect and…

    • Why widget design is giving us Fitts

      Randolph Bias, Doug Gillan

      Why widget design is giving us Fitts

      Someone once said, "Gravity—it's not just a good idea, it's the law." In the art-and-science world of user interface (UI) design, the first law we consider—almost the only "law" that gets invoked in our still-too-subjective practice—is Fitts's Law: The time to acquire a physical target is a function of…

    • Educating ourselves on HCI education

      Sukeshini Grandhi

      Educating ourselves on HCI education

      It gives me great pleasure to welcome you to this new forum on HCI education. Human-computer interaction (HCI) as a field continually evolves to embrace the changing landscapes of technology and infrastructure, as well as the expanding capacities and contexts of technology use seen over the past several decades…

    • Sewing as a design method

      Kat Jungnickel

      Sewing as a design method

      What might sewing and wearing your research bring to an understanding of mobility, gendered citizenship, and the changing nature of public space? This is one of the questions at the core of my research about Victorian women's cycle wear. For the past two years I have been literally getting…

  • Community square
    • SIGCHI’s support for HCI in developing worlds

      Zhengjie Liu, John Karat, Gerrit van der Veer, Tuomo Kujala

      SIGCHI’s support for HCI in developing worlds

      With a mission to become a geographically inclusive global community, SIGCHI has since 2009 been strengthening its efforts in the developing worlds to promote HCI. These initiatives usually begin with a SIGCHI-organized regional meeting between delegates from local HCI communities and SIGCHI officers, with the goal of enabling mutual…

  • Features
    • Framing IxD knowledge

      Kristina Höök, Jeffrey Bardzell, Simon Bowen, Peter Dalsgaard, Stuart Reeves, Annika Waern

      Framing IxD knowledge

      Interaction design (IxD) research cuts through many domains of HCI (work, leisure, games, health applications, ubiquitous computing) yet remains distinctive. There are convincing arguments that Research through Design (RtD) is a valid research method in our field. Important to these arguments is how RtD allows IxD researchers to actually…

    • Filling the big hole in HCI research

      Alan Blackwell

      Filling the big hole in HCI research

      Recent issues of Interactions have laid the groundwork for a debate about the disciplinary status of HCI. This was initially perceived as a "big hole" in HCI research—the concern that HCI does not seem to have a solid intellectual or methodological core [1]. That article by Vassilis Kostakos drew…

    • Design as a political activity

      Željko Obrenović

      Design as a political activity

      Several design scholars have suggested that design is a political activity. Jonas Löwgren and Erik Stolterman, for instance, claimed that all designs are manifestations of political and ideological ideas because design outcomes influence our lives [1]. Björn Franke argued that a design is a political decision about how people…

    • The political economy of computing

      Hamid Ekbia, Bonnie Nardi

      The political economy of computing

      Is there a relationship between computing and economy? Most of us, if asked, will answer this question in the affirmative, thinking probably of such things as jobs lost to automation, big money made with technological innovations, and smartphone apps that enable novel business transactions, communication, and entertainment. These are…

    • What if HCI became a fashion-driven discipline?

      Yue Pan, Erik Stolterman

      What if HCI became a fashion-driven discipline?

      Today HCI research is quite established as an academic field, with its own conferences and journals. It is still a young research field that during its evolution has been strongly influenced by science-driven disciplines such as psychology, cognitive science, and computer science. At the same time, aspects that can…

  • Community calendar
    • Community calendar

      INTR Staff

      Community calendar

      November UIST 2015 – 28th ACM User Interface Software and Technology Symposium (Charlotte, NC, USA) Conference Dates: November 8–11, 2015 ICMI 2015 – 17th ACM International Conference on Multimodal Interaction (Seattle, WA, USA) Conference Dates: November 9–13, 2015 ITS 2015 – ACM International Conference on Interactive Tabletops…

  • Cover story
    • The politics and aesthetics of participatory HCI

      Peter Wright, John McCarthy

      Involving users in the design of systems has been a byword in HCI since its inception. The nature and depth of this involvement has varied from identifying needs and requirements to imagining solutions and evaluating outcomes. As different disciplinary perspectives and values have been brought to bear on the…

  • Visual thinking gallery
    • Not in use, energy saving

      Eli Blevis

      Not in use, energy saving

      Genre: Design by removal (acts of elimination, undesigning), sustainability, energy use ©2015 ACM1072-5220/15/11$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…