Currently, a subscription to interactions is linked
to membership within ACM SIGCHI, the Special
Interest Group for Computer-Human Interaction.
Hence, to some extent, interactions is intended for
each of the “CHI communities”—design, management, usability, engineering, education, and
research. And to some extent, members of these
six communities are our primary audience.
However, an assortment of individual and institutional subscribers outside of SIGCHI also receive
interactions. Is interactions no less intended for them
and others as well?
In structuring the publication and assembling
the new interactions team, we have looked to the
definitions and boundaries of the six CHI communities and of SIGCHI as a whole for some degree of
guidance. But we have found those definitions and
boundaries to be unclear. As such and in multiple
ways, this lack of clarity has been both freeing and
undesirably limiting. Community boundaries matter and have their value, yet they also restrict and
obstruct valuable interaction.
As implied by the name and tagline of this
magazine, our focus is on “interactions”—the
dialogues and conversations, connections, and
relationships that involve experiences, people, and
technology. Such interactions often cross design,
management, usability, engineering, education,
and research-community boundaries and are of no
less relevance and importance to multiple communities outside of SIGCHI. Therefore, it is our intent
to greatly extend this publication’s reach. As we do
so, we believe we will greatly increase its value to
SIGCHI and to all.
This is our version of inclusive design—
addressing the professional community “mess we’ve gotten
ourselves into”—“crossing the threshold of indignation” that community boundaries sometimes
impose. In our view, much of the benefit of communities lies not in their exclusiveness but in the
muddy grayness between disciplines, such as where
design meets education, research informs usability,
or engineering collides with management.
For our second issue of interactions, we’ve selected
articles that discuss, embrace, or react to the messiness of inclusive design or the lack thereof. These
articles explore the interactions of design and the
interactions of importance to design, without positioning design as an exclusive community. (Our
particular thanks to Mark Baskinger, who went
above and beyond the call of duty in providing two
outstanding contributions of this nature.)
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Four special individuals are joining us to help
ensure we adequately address and bridge the
many communities of importance to interactions.
These individuals have tremendously diverse backgrounds and interests but all share a professional,
and personal, outlook on the world around us. This
shared outlook indicates an integrated, holistic,
and ultimately, human way of considering issues of
experiences, people, and technology.
Katie Minardo Scott works for The MITRE
Corporation, a nonprofit research and development
center, doing human factors and visualization
consulting for government clients. Katie has worn
a variety of hats in her career: doing field research
on tools for infantry soldiers, using agile development to build an intelligence news aggregator,
designing taskflows for logistics and collaboration
software, and authoring a case study on enterprise
engineering. Katie earned a B.F.A. and a Master of
HCI from Carnegie Mellon. She is currently training for her third marathon.
Dave Cronin is the director of interaction design
at Cooper, where he’s worked since 1999 leading
interaction design projects in domains ranging
from computer-assisted orthopedic surgery to institutional investment management to museum information systems to online shopping. He also speaks