Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Where HCI comes from (and where it might go)

New book about influential HCI developments ...

"I've been doing a lot of thinking about HCI (human-computer interaction) and my relationship to that field. I've been kinda frustrated with HCI. The name HCI implies that the field is about people's relationship with machines and the interaction paradigms and designs that enable more efficient or enjoyable connections between the two. Many argue that this is the crux of my research. I've been resistant to this because I believe that I study human-human interaction that happens to have a mediated component to it.

This week, a new book appeared in my mailbox: HCI Remixed: Reflections on Works That Have Influenced the HCI Community (eds. Thomas Erickson and David McDonald). This book helped remind me that human-human interaction was part of HCI, even if the field seems not to emphasize that these days.

This book gave me all sorts of smiles. First, I'm a sucker for books of essays where I know half of the authors and drool with respect over the other half. Second, I love books that trace histories that I read long ago while offering fresh perspective and new contextualization. Third, I like books that challenge me to rethink my position on something. Through the perspective of contemporary HCI scholars, this book examines some of the core literature that is at the foundation of HCI and reflects on its relevance today. In walking down this memory lane, I was reminded of the many facets of HCI. There's the HCI that's about interfaces. There's the HCI that's about development processes, foundational to contemporary industry practice. There's the HCI that's about taking computation into the wild while also making it ubiquitous or invisible. There's the HCI that's about supporting collaboration and groups. All of these HCIs are in the history of HCI and it's fun to read these eminent and emergent scholars reflect on the work done in all of these areas. This book made me long for the days when I felt like HCI was my home because it highlights a history that is still relevant to me. (Of course, some of what they discuss - Everett Rogers and Jane Jacobs, for example - goes beyond HCI.)"   (Continued via apophenia)   [Usability Resources]

HCI Remixed: Reflections on Works That Have Influenced the HCI Community

Recommended Book

Check-out more books at Usernomics.


Blogger Lynn V. Marentette said...


I returned to school at mid-life to take computer courses. I enjoyed studying about HCI and Ubiquitous Computing.

Looking at the rapid changes in technology over my lifetime, I realized that it is important to think "off the desktop", and approach things in an interdisciplinary manner.

I started blogging about my experiences and thoughts at Technology-Supported Human World Interaction.

5:25 PM  

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