- Aug 2018
In contrast, activities of invention almost always progress towards the creation of new or better things but not necessarily through refi nement. Normally we invent by combining a set of things we already understand how to create into larger, more complex, or more capable things that did not previously exist.
The purpose of HCI as invention:
• "understanding can sometimes decrease" due to complexity of making things
• "things are more capable"
Activities of discovery can have a variety of aims, including generating rich, empirically based descriptions, and creating new theoretical understandings
The purpose of HCI as discovery:
•"form framing truths"
• elaborate to "progress toward improved understandings"
• refined to "explain more phenomena or to be more predictive"
• "developing and testing competing ideas"
Another way of understanding technical HCI research is by contrasting it with other types of technical work that is not research. For our purposes, research can be seen as having the creation of reusable knowledge at its core. More specifi cally technical HCI research emphasizes knowledge about how to create something (invention) but also knowledge that might be reused to assist in the creation of a whole class of similar things or even multiple types of different things.
HCI research definition. Contrast this with the previous development-based definition.
In an interdisciplinary setting such as HCI, we often shift between disciplines that have stable and functional but potentially con-tradictory world views. In doing so, we are confronted with the need to select and use (or at least appreciate, understand, and evaluate) a wide range of methods and with them a wide range of expectations and values.
The interdiscipliinary nature of HCI provides an impetus to consider non-STEM perspectives but can also reveal frictions between approaches, practices, values, and goals.
Technical HCI focuses on the technology and improvement aspects of this task—it seeks to use technology to solve human problems and improve the world. To accom-plish this, the fundamental activity of technical HCI is one of invention —we seek to use technology to expand what can be done or to fi nd how best to do things that can already be done.