XXVII.1 January - February 2020
Page: 6
Digital Citation

So long and thanks for the features, forums, columns, and visuals

Gilbert Cockton, Simone Barbosa

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In The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, the answer to the ultimate question of "Life, the Universe, and Everything" was 42. Our answer to the five goals that we set for Interactions in 2016 is 432. This is our 18th and final issue as co-editors-in-chief; each issue typically has 24 pieces of content. Our aim across all of these articles was to capture current trends, address current challenges, and include more HCI history, more disciplines, and more of the broad community of IxD, TJX, and HCI.

Through cover stories, special topics, and forums, we've been able to share several key trends in HCI, IxD, and UX over the past three years, including the blurring of digital and physical, AI, digital civics, expanding application areas, and new professional responsibilities. Workshop reports have been an important source of insights on current trends. Some trends bring challenges, such as digital well-being, working with diverse users, the diversification of diversity (e.g., intersectionality, refugees, postcolonialism, nonbinary gender), scaling HCI approaches in research and practice, and avoiding bad design solutions and bad design problems.

History has been less in evidence, but with broad coverage nevertheless, spanning early interactive media from the Eames Studio, the true histories of design thinking and intersectionality, and the past and future of participatory design.

Computing, design, ethnography, and psychology remain core disciplines for HCI, but there are constant new arrivals. Materials science is now at the heart of many HCI futures. Environmental sciences matter to sustainable HCI. The humanities now figure more, and fine art approaches have extended beyond our Enter and Exit sections to full-text articles. Creative writing underpins design fiction and is also a source of inspiration and insights for many of our What Are You Reading authors. Sustained design research with communities is becoming unavoidably political. It is now difficult to think of a discipline that is not involved in HCI research.

Readership surveys regularly reveal that our readers feel unfit to write for us, so we have worked to match the span of our authors to the breadth of our audience. We have specifically sourced one-third of our cover stories from researchers in the first part of their careers and invited other early-stage researchers and professionals to contribute content. We have received and invited contributions from around the world. For two of our Enter departments, What Are You Reading and Day in the Lab, we have published voices from Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Denmark, Egypt, Germany, India, Madeira, Namibia, the Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland, the U.K., and the U.S. Our visual content in Demo Hour and Exit has been even more geographically diverse in its origins. Within this issue, Community Square celebrates the diversity of the current SIGCHI EC.

This issue spans a range of disciplines and topics. Demo Hour has an arts focus. Abracadabra is a design research fiction. What Are You Reading spans fiction, music, and ecology. Consuming Tech draws on social theory. The Sustainability forum challenges neoliberal logic. Alexander Mirnig's feature moves the focus on ethics and AI away from unacceptable fail states, while the Business of UX forum celebrates alliances within organizations. Ps & Qs focuses on digital well-being. Blog@IX and How Was It Made consider designing for cross-generational interactions, and the Health Matters forum gets personal for better tracking. The Next Billion forum exports cultural probes to low-resource countries, and Exit exposes dark patterns from IxD. In Day in the Lab, the Salzburg Center for HCI spans a community: a FabLab, technology startups, a co-working space, computer science, geoinformatics, chemistry, and materials science—which is also the focus of the Interaction Technologies forum. A Special Topic on live streaming covers a diverse range of applications. The trend of blurring the digital and physical is the focus for our cover story.

It has been an honor to serve our community, supported by an excellent team of editors, assistants, columnists, authors, photographers, and ACM and ABA colleagues.

We thank all the authors, within this and our previous 17 issues, for their enthusiasm and partnership in developing content that the copy team at ACM and the art team at Andrij Borys Associates (ABA) can mold into page spreads that are a pleasure to browse and read from cover to cover. There is a long journey from first drafts to a high-quality magazine rolling off the presses. As editors in chief, we have been privileged to work with such a professional group that delivers an outstanding publication for every issue. Rachel Clarke and Anne Spaa have provided fantastic support as our assistants. At ACM, John Stanik and Diane Crawford have been a source of excellent proactive constructive support, as have Margaret Gray and Andrij Borys at ABA.

We thank our forum editors and regular columnists for interesting and provocative content. Two of the forums are new and over half of them have new editors. Every succession has been smooth, with incoming and outgoing editors working closely together to ensure continuity.

We thank our readers for their support through readership surveys and personal communications, and engagement with social media and online content. Our online audience is now well over 50 times that of our print readership. There are many ways to engage digitally with Interactions, so please do make the most of ACM's broad provision of online channels.

We are very fortunate to be passing on our responsibilities as editors-in-chief to an impressive new team: Mikael Wiberg, Daniela Rosner, and Alex Taylor. The handover here has been smooth, with Anne Spaa continuing to provide assistance for a few future issues. We welcome Alex, Daniela, and Mikael, and wish them every success as our successors.

We have had a great three years as editors-in-chief. It has been an honor to serve our community, supported by an excellent team of editors, assistants, columnists, authors, photographers, and ACM and ABA colleagues. HCI is thriving as it takes new opportunities and meets new challenges. We look forward to reading the coming issues... after they have been printed!

Gilbert Cockton and Simone Barbosa [email protected]

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