unforeseeable scenarios despite
meticulous planning, which is why it
is important to share our experiences
with one another.
In this article, we reflect on lessons
learned through our own experience of
conducting more than 20 technology
deployments in participants’ homes
within the past two years. We shed
light on challenges that we have
encountered, offering solutions where
applicable to enable researchers who
are planning to deploy technology in
participants’ homes. It has been 10
years since Interactions touched on
this topic [ 1], and the digital home has
changed a lot since then. For example,
Understanding how people interact
with technology in their homes has long
been a topic of interest for researchers.
Across HCI, researchers in digital
health, sustainability, education,
family, and privacy are fascinated
by the human routines and everyday
interactions that involve technology.
As these researchers have found,
deploying technology (e.g., technology
that monitors devices or user behavior)
in the homes of participants involves
both careful planning and nimble
adaptivity—from securing ethical
approvals, to recruiting participants,
to finally setting up in their homes.
Researchers in this space may face
UInsights → Deploying research technology in the home raises tricky and unexpected scenarios. Plan for parking, transportation, poor phone signal, allergic reactions, your safety, dodgy data, and additional stress. → If you are disrupting participants’ technology, furniture, or household relationships with your deployment, collaborate
with the household
to mitigate any risks.
in the Home
Helena Tendedez, Kelly Widdicks, and Mike Hazas,
INTERACTIONS.ACM.ORG JANUARY–FEBRUARY 2019 INTERACTIONS 53