the “history tablecloth,” developed by the interaction Research studio (Goldsmith’s
college, university of London), is an example of embedding computing in everyday objects.
When items are left on the cloth it begins to glow beneath them, creating a slowly expanding
halo. When the items are removed, the glow gradually fades.
in question will be designed to serve.
Depending on the values of interest,
this analysis might need to draw on
disciplines as diverse as philosophy,
psychology, art, sociology, cultural
studies, and architecture, for example.
It might also mean collaborating with
the stakeholders behind the technology to ascertain what kinds of enduring
values they expect their users to derive
from the product.
toP: PhotograPh courtesy of interaction research studio, Bottom: PhotograPh By hiroko masuike
Consider, for example, that there
might be an interest in developing
new interactive tabletop applications
for working with digital photos. The
understand stage of the work would involve clarifying what kinds of human
values might be made possible through
such interactions. Is it about supporting social connectivity around photographs? About play and creativity with
digital images? About archiving photographs and other materials in order
to preserve and honor family history?
Or is it about allowing individuals to
reflect on their personal past through
images? The list could go on.
Ultimately, this stage is about making basic choices. It requires specifying
up front the kinds of users targeted,
and in which domains of activity, environments, or cultures. In other words,
the stage involves choosing the values
being designed for. Its investigations
will then point to some fundamental
research that needs to be conducted,
relevant research that has already been
carried out, or some combination of
the two. The stage may equally well involve experts from diverse disciplines,
such as social historians, game designers, or specialists in the psychology of
memory, to cite but a few.
Further, the extended approach to
HCI is intended to enable human values to be folded into the mix not just at
the understand stage but the other four
stages as well. In the report, we give
fuller examples of how choices made
about the human values of interest can
provide guidance in the study, design,
build, and evaluate phases. Key here is
that the analysis should not just take
into account people’s interactions
with computer technology but also
with the environment, with everyday
objects, with other human beings, and
with the changing landscape that the
“new tech” brings to their world.
Forming new partnerships. Aside
from changes in methodology, HCI
also needs to develop partnerships
with other disciplines that traditionally have not been part of the field. One
reason has been outlined here—that
different human values, as expressed
in diverse contexts, point to the need
for all kinds of expertise to deeply understand and creatively design for the
relationships between those values
But other reasons have to do with
questions that are even more difficult
for the field of HCI alone to address. As
we have outlined, new computer technologies and the transformations they
are bringing about raise issues with
much broader societal, moral, and
ethical implications than HCI has had
to deal with in the past. It is not clear
that all of these concerns are within
the scope of the field, but certainly HCI
needs to be part of a wider interdisciplinary exchange. Technologies that
store personal data, that take on new
roles and responsibilities in our lives,
that alter our behavior in public places, and that track our movements and
the latest billboards (such as those by Quividi) judge the gender and approximate age of
people viewing them, with the potential of changing the nature of the advertisements they
display. technologies like these highlight the increasingly hybrid forms that interaction
takes, as well as the scope of the “data” used to authenticate such interactions.