- Sep 2021
A mental model is what the user believes about the system at hand.
“Mental models are one of the most important concepts in human–computer interaction (HCI).”
— Nielsen Norman Group
- Oct 2020
This piece makes a fascinating point about people and interactions. It's the sort of thing that many in the design and IndieWeb communities should read and think about as they work.
I came to it via an episode of the podcast The Happiness Lab.
Most of the tech news we get barraged with is about algorithms, AI, robots, and self-driving cars, all of which fit this pattern. I am not saying that such developments are not efficient and convenient; this is not a judgment. I am simply noticing a pattern and wondering if, in recognizing that pattern, we might realize that it is only one trajectory of many. There are other possible roads we could be going down, and the one we’re on is not inevitable or the only one; it has been (possibly unconsciously) chosen.
- Mar 2019
Shneiderman's eight golden rules of interface design This is a simple page that lists and briefly explains the eight golden rules of interface design. The rules are quite useful when designing interfaces and the explanation provided here is sufficient to enable the visitor to use the principles. Rating 5/5
- Jan 2019
Reflective Design Strategies In addition shaping our principles or objectives, our foundational influences and case studies have also helped us articulate strategies for reflective design. The first three strategies identified here speak to characteristics of designs that encourage reflection by users. The second group of strategies provides ways for reflecting on the process of design.
verbatim from subheads in this section
1.Provide for interpretive flexibility.
2.Give users license to participate.
3.Provide dynamic feedback to users.
4.Inspire rich feedback from users.
5.Build technology as a probe.
6.Invert metaphors and cross boundaries.
Some Reflective Design Challenges
The reflective design strategies offer potential design interventions but lack advice on how to evaluate them against each other.
"Designing for appropriation requires recognizing that users already interact with technology not just on a superficial, task-centered level, but with an awareness of the larger social and cultural embeddedness of the activity."
Principles of Reflective Design
verbatim from subheads in this section
Designers should use reflection to uncover and alter the limitations of design practice
Designers should use reflection to re-understand their own role in the technology design process.
Designers should support users in reflecting on their lives.
Technology should support skepticism about and reinterpretation of its own working.
Reflection is not a separate activity from action but is folded into it as an integral part of experience
Dialogic engagement between designers and users through technology can enhance reflection.
Reflective design, like reflection-in-action, advocates practicing research and design concomitantly, and not only as separate disciplines. We also subscribe to a view of reflection as a fully engaged interaction and not a detached assessment. Finally, we draw from the observation that reflection is often triggered by an element of surprise, where someone moves from knowing-in-action, operating within the status quo, to reflection-in-action, puzzling out what to do next or why the status quo has been disrupted
Influences from reflection-in-action for reflective design values/methods.
In this effort, reflection-in-action provides a ground for uniting theory and practice; whereas theory presents a view of the world in general principles and abstract problem spaces, practice involves both building within these generalities and breaking them down.
A more improvisational, intuitive and visceral process of rethinking/challenging the initial design frame.
Popular with HCI and CSCW designers
CTP is a key method for reflective design, since it offers strategies to bring unconscious values to the fore by creating technical alternatives. In our work, we extend CTP in several ways that make it particularly appropriate for HCI and critical computing.
Ways in which Senger, et al., describe how to extend CTP for HCI needs:
• incorporate both designer/user reflection on technology use and its design
• integrate reflection into design even when there is no specific "technical impasse" or metaphor breakdown
• driven by critical concerns, not simply technical problems
CTP synthesizes critical reflection with technology production as a way of highlighting and altering unconsciously-held assumptions that are hindering progress in a technical field.
Definition of critical technical practice.
This approach is grounded in AI rather than HCI
(verbatim from the paper) "CTP consists of the following moves:
• identifying the core metaphors of the field
• noticing what, when working with those metaphors, remains marginalized
• inverting the dominant metaphors to bring that margin to the center
• embodying the alternative as a new technology
Ludic design promotes engagement in the exploration and production of meaning, providing for curiosity, exploration and reflection as key values. In other words, ludic design focuses on reflection and engagement through the experience of using the designed object.
Definition of ludic design.
Offers a more playful approach than critical design.
goal is to push design research beyond an agenda of reinforcing values of consumer culture and to instead embody cultural critique in designed artifacts. A critical designer designs objects not to do what users want and value, but to introduce both designers and users to new ways of looking at the world and the role that designed objects can play for them in it.
Definition of critical design.
This approach tends to be more art-based and intentionally provocative than a practical design method to inculcate a certain sensibility into the technology design process.
value-sensitive design method (VSD). VSD provides techniques to elucidate and answer values questions during the course of a system's design.
Definition of value-sensitive design.
(verbatim from the paper)
*"VSD employs three methods :
• conceptual investigations drawing on moral philosophy, which identify stakeholders, fundamental values, and trade-offs among values pertinent to the design
• empirical investigations using social-science methods to uncover how stakeholders think about and act with respect to the values involved in the system
• technical investigations which explore the links between specific technical decisions and the values and practices they aid and hinder" *
From participatory design, we draw several core principles, most notably the reflexive recognition of the politics of design practice and a desire to speak to the needs of multiple constituencies in the design process.
Description of participatory design which has a more political angle than user-centered design, with which it is often equated in HCI
PD strategies tend to be used to support existing practices identified collaboratively by users and designers as a design-worthy project. While values clashes between designers and different users can be elucidated in this collaboration, the values which users and designers share do not necessarily go examined. For reflective design to function as a design practice that opens new cultural possibilities, however, we need to question values which we may unconsciously hold in common. In addition, designers may need to introduce values issues which initially do not interest users or make them uncomfortabl
Differences between participatory design practices and reflective design
We define 'reflection' as referring tocritical reflection, orbringing unconscious aspects of experience to conscious awareness, thereby making them available for conscious choice. This critical reflection is crucial to both individual freedom and our quality of life in society as a whole, since without it, we unthinkingly adopt attitudes, practices, values, and identities we might not consciously espouse. Additionally, reflection is not a purely cognitive activity, but is folded into all our ways of seeing and experiencing the world.
Definition of critical reflection
Our perspective on reflection is grounded in critical theory, a Western tradition of critical reflection embodied in various intellectual strands including Marxism, feminism, racial and ethnic studies, media studies and psychoanalysis.
Definition of critical theory
ritical theory argues that our everyday values, practices, perspectives, and sense of agency and self are strongly shaped by forces and agendas of which we are normally unaware, such as the politics of race, gender, and economics. Critical reflection provides a means to gain some awareness of such forces as a first step toward possible change.
Critical theory in practice
We believe that, for those concerned about the social implications of the technologies we build, reflection itself should be a core technology design outcome for HCI. That is to say, technology design practices should support both designers and users in ongoing critical reflection about technology and its relationship to human life.
Critical reflection can/should support designers and users.
- human-computer interaction
- reflective design
- ludic design
- critical theory
- value-sensitive design
- artificial intelligence
- critical technical practice
- critical design
- participatory design
- Jun 2017
Technologists are not noted for learning from the errors of the past. They look forward, not behind, so they repeat the same problems over and over again.”
History of computational thinking.
- Feb 2017
When dealing with technology, there are two dominant discourses that permeate research and practice: determinism and non-determinism. For the former discourse, ethics is only an issue for the designers of technology, because they determine what users should do; for the latter, ethics is only an issue for users, because they ultimately define what to do with technology. Both
So determinism makes the designer responsible/hold accountable assuming they "determine" what users "should" do,
while non-determinism absolves the designer leaving the burden of responsibility of the consequence of interactions, on the user. So non determinism assums that the embedded characteristics don't work on the user, or that he is able to resist their encouragement or discouragement. That he can shape the aspects of those certain characteristics than the other way around, thereby ultimately defining what to do with the technology.
We argue that artifacts support human behavior by providing adaptations, but these adaptations can expand or restrict human actions.
Those adaptations are also framed under the guise of fulfilling the prime objective of fulfilling the business needs, i.e to compete for market share, increase profit margins or simply, "Will this make "them" give "us" more money?. This objective is constrained to view humans in the identity of consumer. It is through this identity we derive the canvas of needs which our bosses and their bosses let us create adaptations.
Many designers are limited to designing a set of adaptations in their artifacts by what markets signals as profitable. Those who are fortunate enough to work in non-profits or worker coops may have more freedom to resist the unethical demands of the market forces.
- Mar 2016
What kinds of objects and subjects do interaction design practices make, and how do those practices produce them?
The question could also be re-framed as what experiences of our lives do the objects of interaction design encapsulate?