JULY–AUGUST 2014 INTERACTIONS 69 INTERACTIONS.ACM.ORG
DOI: 10.1145/2621933 COP YRIGH T HELD B Y AU THOR.
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(Figure 3b), who reads the contents of
the announcement on demand. Mouth
movements of the Virtual Presenter are
synchronized with audio to increase the
intelligibility of spoken information in the
presence of background noise. Redundancy
also means the written text is not the only
sign for communication; content is also
audible or viewable (Figure 3c,d).
Tailoring to deal with the diversity of
skills. Certain elements of interaction
can be adjusted in VnR to help less
skillful users while not annoying
the skillful user or the same user
in a more advanced stage (Figure 3
e,f). For example, those who are not
familiar with computers usually have
trouble manipulating the scrollbar.
To facilitate these people, a feature of
navigational arrows that work with a
single click was implemented. These
same arrows may be removed from
their area of interaction.
Scaffolding mechanisms to allow
users to dive into the process of
learning to use the system. The meta-communication mechanism supports
different media formats (image, audio,
video, or sign language) to allow users
to communicate about concepts and
system functionality (Figure 3g).
These features of VnR illustrate
just some of resources co-designed by the
parties that address the diversity of users’
conditions without discriminating
against specific deficiencies.
At UNICAMP’s Nucleus of
Informatics Applied to Education,
our understanding of a socially aware
interaction design is not limited to
technology per se, but rather assumes
a broader meaning that encompasses
the social system within which this
prospective technology is constructed
and used. The basic principles that
guide a socially aware design can be
summarized as follows:
• It is situated in a socioeconomic
and cultural reality, without losing its
location in the world.
• It demands the articulation of
meanings of a social group in their
informal and formal levels for the
co-construction of the system at the
• It recognizes in the stakeholders the
power to design and allows their creative
and responsible involvement in design
• It recognizes the communication
between parties as a culturally defined
social phenomenon and proposes
artifacts to mediate this communication
to ensure their creative and collaborative
involvement in design.
• It recognizes the Other, and their
differences, as essential to a systemic
view of the design of interactive systems.
Certainly this concept has political
consequences, which are necessary for a
society that we hope to be for everyone.
I thank my collaborators, the partners
from Vila União, and my current and
former students from the Institute
of Computing for the hard work,
commitment, and creativity they all
have brought to the e-Citizenship
project and to the book Codesign de
Redes Digitais, Tecnologia e Educação a
serviço da inclusão social, Penso Editora,
Porto Alegre RS, Brazil, 2013.
1. Varian, H.R. Universal access to
information. Comm. of the ACM 48, 10
2. Baranauskas, M.C.C. e Souza, C.S. Desafio
4: Acesso participativo e universal do
cidadão brasileiro ao conhecimento.
Computação Brasil, Ano VII, No. 23
(Setembro/Outubro e Novembro 2006).
3. Source: NIC.br - February/2013
4. Ron Maceś definition—The Center for
Universal Design, North Caroline State
5. Liu, K. Semiotics in Information Systems
Engineering. Cambridge University Press,
U. K., 2000.
6. Stamper, R.K. Language and computer
in organised behaviour. In Linguistic
Instruments in Knowledge Engineering. R. P.
Riet and R. A. Meersman, eds. Elsevier
Science, Amsterdam, 1992, 143–163.
M. Cecília C. Baranauskas is a professor
at the Institute of Computing, UNICAMP, Brazil
and co-founder of the Nucleus of Informatics
Applied to Education. Her research interests
focus on designing inclusive societal systems.
In 2010 she was honored with the ACM
Rigo Award for contribution to the field of
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