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Human-Computer Interaction 29

Editors:Steve Whittaker
Publisher:Taylor and Francis Group
Standard No:ISSN 0737-0024
Links:Table of Contents
  1. HCI 2014-01 Volume 29 Issue 1
  2. HCI 2014-03 Volume 29 Issue 2
  3. HCI 2014-05 Volume 29 Issue 3
  4. HCI 2014-07 Volume 29 Issue 4
  5. HCI 2014-08 Volume 29 Issue 5/6

HCI 2014-01 Volume 29 Issue 1

Introduction to This Special Issue on Transnational HCI BIBAFull-Text 1-21
  Irina Shklovski; Janet Vertesi; Silvia Lindtner
It is not surprising that HCI researchers are attracted to the role of technology in global processes as many of us already live inherently transnational lives. While the notion of global connectedness is hardly new, the issues that confront us are more than specific concerns for remote migration, distributed work, or developing nations. Rather, we argue that transnational HCI is a contemporary condition of the design and use of technological systems, both at home and abroad. This special issue of Human-Computer Interaction is dedicated to exploring how and why a transnational lens matters to the study, design, and development of computational systems. We consider this theoretical perspective in terms of both present technology use to construct and manage transnational relations and processes, and the possibilities such a lens opens for future research and design. The papers in this issue contribute to the field of HCI by bringing the principles developed in anthropology, sociology, and elsewhere to bear on the conversation in HCI, retooling them for our present context, while preserving the richness of their methodological orientation.
Transnational Imagination and Social Practices: A Transnational Website in a Migrant Community BIBAFull-Text 22-52
  Luis A. Castro; Víctor M. González
In this article, we examine how collective notions of belonging and imagination become a fertile terrain upon which transnational websites can sustain certain social practices across national boundaries that would be otherwise difficult. Drawing on field work carried out in the United States and Mexico, and using transnational imagination as our analytical lens, we observed three phenomena that are closely related to the use of a transnational website by a migrant community. First, the transnational website under study was a place for a collective imaginary rather than just for the circulation of news. Also, through transnational imagination, migrants can make claims about their status in their community of origin. Moreover, the website is instrumental in harmonizing the various views of the homelands' realities. Finally, the website can inspire us to look beyond dyadic forms of communication.
Friend or Freund: Social Media and Transnational Connections in Berlin BIBAFull-Text 53-77
  Jordan Kraemer
Transnational social media have become entwined in daily life in places like Berlin, articulating and facilitating social relationships at different geographic levels. As media technologies circulate transnationally, the relationship is changing between online communication practices and everyday experiences of place. This article contributes to transnational studies of HCI by rethinking how online practices shape geographic connections in contemporary Europe, especially regional German affiliations, local friendships, and translocal communities of interest. Drawing on ethnographic research with clusters of friends in Berlin and online, I examine how users participated in multiple networks in ways that transformed the meaning and experience of the local, regional, or transnational as spatial scales. This approach to transnational HCI calls attention to the uneven ways in which social media circulate according to implicitly American notions of friendship and sociality. German and other European users contended with Facebook categories that reflected culturally specific American interaction norms, often eliding or overlooking German language distinctions and understandings. The findings highlight how social media encode dominant cultural norms and reshape the experience of the local, global, and transnational in everyday life.
Multisited Design: An Analytical Lens for Transnational HCI BIBAFull-Text 78-108
  Amanda Williams; Silvia Lindtner; Ken Anderson; Paul Dourish
In this article, we present and articulate the analytical lens of multisited design to illuminate transnational connections between sites of design, and aid in the translation of knowledge between designers and ethnographers. This position emerges from the authors' respective engagements in ethnographic research and design engagements with a slum community center in Bangkok, Thailand, and with "makers" and entrepreneurs in Shanghai and Shenzhen, China. In both cases, we found design to be a site of engagement with and interpretation of wider connections between different locales, and between local and global networks. We identify four crucial aspects of design for the purposes of this discussion: It is normative, concerned with function and the attainment of goals; it is practical, and oriented toward constraints and opportunities; it frames and defines problems concurrently with solving them; and it takes a systems approach that accounts for the broad context of the design situation. Approaching and participating in these aspects of design evolved in concert with our ethnographic fieldwork and analysis, allowing us to take design seriously without sacrificing an ethnographic commitment to nuanced description. We conclude by touching on the epistemological similarities, rather than conflicts, between ethnography and design.

HCI 2014-03 Volume 29 Issue 2

User Experience of On-Screen Interaction Techniques: An Experimental Investigation of Clicking, Sliding, Zooming, Hovering, Dragging, and Flipping BIBAFull-Text 109-152
  S. Shyam Sundar; Saraswathi Bellur; Jeeyun Oh; Qian Xu; Haiyan Jia
From scrolling and clicking to dragging, flipping, sliding, hovering, and zooming, the wide array of interaction techniques has vastly expanded the range of user actions on an interface. Each of these interaction techniques affords a distinct action. But do these techniques differ in their ability to engage users and contribute to their user experience? Furthermore, do they affect how users view the content and how much they learn from it? We address these questions via two between-subjects laboratory experiments. Study 1 (N = 128) investigated the relative effects of six on-screen interaction techniques (click-to-download, drag, mouseover, slide, zoom, and 3D carousel) on users' assessment of -- as well as their engagement with -- an informational website. The site for each condition was identical in content and design, except for the interaction technique used, so that we could isolate the effects of each technique on various cognitive, attitudinal and behavioral outcomes. Study 2 (N = 127) examined the relative effects of four combinations of interaction techniques (slide+click, slide+mouseover, drag+mouseover, and drag+zoom) on the same dependent variables. Data from Study 1 suggest that although the 3D carousel generates more user action, the slide is better at aiding memory. The zoom-in/out tool was the least favored, whereas the mouseover feature fostered greater engagement among power users. Findings from Study 2, which was conducted with a different content domain, replicated the positive effects of slide and negative effects of drag in influencing user experience. Path analyses, using structural equation modeling, revealed the importance of users' assessment of the interface (perceived levels of natural mapping, intuitiveness, and ease of use), which can have significant consequences for user engagement as well as resulting attitudes and behavioral outcomes. Design insights, theories, and techniques to test and capture user experience are discussed.
WallTop: Managing Overflowing Windows on a Large Display BIBAFull-Text 153-203
  Xiaojun Bi; Seok-Hyung Bae; Ravin Balakrishnan
With the ever increasing amount of digital information, users desire more screen real estate to process daily desktop computing work, and might well benefit from using a large high-resolution display for information management. Unfortunately, we know very little about users' behaviors when using such a display for daily computing, and current user interfaces are mainly designed for normal-sized desktop monitors, which might not well suit a large display. In this article, we first present a longitudinal study that investigates how users manage overflowing digital information on a wall-sized display in a personal desktop computing context by comparing it with single and dual desktop monitors. Results showed users' unanimous preferences of working on a large display and revealed large-display users' unique activity patterns of managing windows. Guided by the study results, we designed a set of interaction techniques that provide greater flexibility in managing multiple windows. They include facile methods for selecting, moving, and resizing multiple windows using an active window boundary called Fringe, rearranging selected windows using multi- and single-window marking menus, packing/unpacking the selected windows using easily activated icons, and freely adjusting the order of overlapping windows with a Jab-to-Lift operation. We coherently integrated these techniques with traditional operations in a large-display window management prototype called WallTop. Two rounds of usability testing showed that users can quickly and easily learn the new interaction techniques and apply them to realistic window management tasks on a large display with increased efficiency.

HCI 2014-05 Volume 29 Issue 3

A Situated Approach of Roles and Participation in Open Source Software Communities BIBAFull-Text 205-255
  Flore Barcellini; Françoise Détienne; Jean-Marie Burkhardt
Our research aims at understanding the various forms of participation in Open Source Software (OSS) design, seen as distributed design in online spaces of actions-discussion, implementation, and boundary between these spaces. We propose a methodology -- based on situated analyses of a formal design process used in the Python project -- to identify the distribution of actual roles (implementation, interactive, group, and design oriented) performed by participants into and between the spaces (defining boundary spaces). This notion of roles is grounded in collaborative design activities performed online by participants. This way, our findings complete the core-periphery model of participation in OSS. Concerning the distribution of roles between spaces, we reveal a map of participation in OSS: The majority of participants are pure discussants, but all participants in the implementation spaces do also act in the discussion space, and few participants act at boundary spaces. Concerning the distribution of roles between participants in the discussion space, we reveal that interactions are structured by a central hub (occupied by key participants) and that, whereas design-oriented roles are spread among all participants, group-oriented roles are performed by one or two participants in the respective spaces and at their boundary. Finally, combination of roles reveals five individual profiles performed by participants. Our approach could be extended to other design situations to explore relationships between forms of participation -- in particular, those revealing use-oriented contributions -- performance, and quality of the design product. Finally, it could be a basis for specifying tools to monitor and manage community activity for both research issues and support of online community.
Providing Adaptive Health Updates Across the Personal Social Network BIBAFull-Text 256-309
  Wendy Moncur; Judith Masthoff; Ehud Reiter; Yvonne Freer; Hien Nguyen
This article presents research conducted to establish how information is shared across the personal social network in the sensitive context of a health crisis. We worked with parents of very sick babies who were cared for in a hospital's Neonatal Unit (NNU). Through a combination of interviews, a focus group, and surveys, we developed a user model of the information that parents wanted to share, and how they adapted this information to individual recipients. We then developed a prototype software tool which created adaptive updates for members of the parents' social network. The updates contained summaries of large volumes of complex medical data about the baby, nonmedical information about the parents, and practical information about the hospital. Updates were automatically adapted to individual members of parents' social networks, based on our user model. The tool was evaluated in a large NNU in the United Kingdom with parents of babies who were currently being cared for in the unit. We found that parents adapted the information that they shared about themselves and their babies based on the emotional proximity of their network members. They gave most detail to those who were emotionally closest to them and least to those who were less close. Parents also adapted information content to the recipient's tendency to worry and empathize. Two adaptive strategies were deployed by parents, (a) benign deceit -- not telling the whole truth -- and (b) promotion of empathetic members of the social network to a higher level of emotional proximity, so that they were given more information. We generated a number of directions for future work, and issues to consider around designing adaptive mediated communications systems for sensitive contexts. These include the potential to generalize our model to other medical contexts and considerations to apply when deliberately designing deceit into adaptive systems.

HCI 2014-07 Volume 29 Issue 4

Heuristics for Evaluating IT Security Management Tools BIBAFull-Text 311-350
  Pooya Jaferian; Kirstie Hawkey; Andreas Sotirakopoulos; Maria Velez-Rojas; Konstantin Beznosov
The usability of IT security management (ITSM) tools is hard to evaluate by regular methods, making heuristic evaluation attractive. In this article, we explore how domain specific heuristics are created by examining prior research in the area of heuristic and guideline creation. We then describe our approach of creating usability heuristics for ITSM tools, which is based on guidelines for ITSM tools that are interpreted and abstracted with activity theory. With a between-subjects study, we compared the employment of the ITSM and Nielsen's heuristics for evaluation of a commercial identity management system. Participants who used the ITSM set found more problems categorized as severe than those who used Nielsen's. We analyzed several aspects of our heuristics including the performance of individual participants using the heuristic, the performance of individual heuristics, the similarity of our heuristics to Nielsen's, and the participants' opinion about the use of heuristics for evaluation of IT security tools. We then discuss the implications of our results on the use of ITSM and Nielsen's heuristics for usability evaluation of ITSM tools.
Agent-Based Modeling to Inform Online Community Design: Impact of Topical Breadth, Message Volume, and Discussion Moderation on Member Commitment and Contribution BIBAFull-Text 351-389
  Yuqing Ren; Robert E. Kraut
The design of complex social systems, such as online communities, requires the consideration of many parameters, a practice at odds with social science research that focuses on the effects of a small set of variables. In this article, we show how synthesizing insights from multiple, narrowly focused social science theories in an agent-based model helps us understand factors that lead to the success of online communities. The agent-based model combines insights from theories related to collective effort, information overload, social identity, and interpersonal attraction to predict motivations for online community participation. We conducted virtual experiments to develop hypotheses around three design decisions about how to orchestrate an online community -- topical breadth, message volume, and discussion moderation -- and the trade-offs involved in making these decisions. The simulation experiments suggest that broad topics and high message volume can lead to higher member commitment. Personalized moderation outperforms other types of moderation in increasing members' commitment and contribution, especially in topically broad communities and those with high message volume. In comparison, community-level moderation increases commitment but not contribution, and only in topically narrow communities. These simulation results suggest a critical trade-off between informational and relational benefits. This research illustrates that there are many interactions among the design decisions that are important to consider; the particulars of the community's goals often determine the effectiveness of some decisions. It also demonstrates the value of agent-based modeling in synthesizing simple social science theories to describe and prescribe behaviors in a complex system, generating novel insights that inform the design of online communities.
Using Task-Induced Pupil Diameter and Blink Rate to Infer Cognitive Load BIBAFull-Text 390-413
  Siyuan Chen; Julien Epps
Minimizing user cognitive load is suggested as an integral part of human-centered design, where a more intuitive, easy to learn, and adaptive interface is desired. In this context, it is difficult to develop optimal strategies to improve the design without first knowing how user cognitive load fluctuates during interaction. In this study, we investigate how cognitive load measurement is affected by different task types from the perspective of the load theory of attention, using pupil diameter and blink measures. We induced five levels of cognitive load during low and high perceptual load tasks and found that although pupil diameter showed significant effects on cognitive load when the perceptual load was low, neither blink rate nor pupil diameter showed significant effects on cognitive load when the perceptual load was high. The results indicate that pupil diameter can index cognitive load only in the situation of low perceptual load and are the first to provide empirical support for the cognitive control aspect of the load theory of attention, in the context of cognitive load measurement. Meanwhile, blink is a better indicator of perceptual load than cognitive load. This study also implies that perceptual load should be considered in cognitive load measurement using pupil diameter and blink measures. Automatic detection of the type and level of load in this manner helps pave the way for better reasoning about user internal processes for human-centered interface design.

HCI 2014-08 Volume 29 Issue 5/6

Introduction to This Special Issue on Understanding Design Thinking BIBFull-Text 415-419
  Scott R. Klemmer; John M. Carroll
What Designers Talk About When They Talk About Context BIBAFull-Text 420-450
  Jared S. Bauer; Mark W. Newman; Julie A. Kientz
Context has long been considered an important component of design, but as technology becomes more capable of inferring the user's behavior and environment, what constitutes context has become an increasingly pressing concern to designers. Although design frameworks and models have been proposed for context-aware computing systems, there has not yet been research that focuses on understanding context empirically from the perspective of the designer. To address this, we present an analysis of 11 in-depth interviews we conducted with designers of a variety of context-aware systems. Our analysis of the artifacts and interviews reveal five concerns designers address in their work. Furthermore, we present a process model that illustrates how context-aware system designers address these concerns. Our findings demonstrate the central role that designers' views of context plays in (a) framing a design space, (b) encoding the relevant features of context, (c) unifying possible solutions within that design space, and (d) evaluating designs. These findings suggest that context is a dynamic concept that evolves over the course of a design project, generally from a more phenomenological perspective toward a positivist interpretation. This, and the process by which it occurs, contributes insight into context-aware design with implications for both academics and practitioners.
Making Things Visible: Opportunities and Tensions in Visual Approaches for Design Research and Practice BIBAFull-Text 451-486
  Jaime Snyder; Eric P. S. Baumer; Stephen Voida; Phil Adams; Megan Halpern; Tanzeem Choudhury; Geri Gay
Visual approaches for conducting research during the design process often give voice to people and ideas that might otherwise remain obscured. Recent and increasing interest in visual research techniques has coincided with technological advances such as camera phones and visually oriented mobile applications. As a result of this close association between digital technologies and image-based research techniques, there are multiple opportunities and challenges within human-computer interaction (HCI) design practice to employ these strategies to improve user experiences. This article provides an overview of current visual approaches to research highlighting the role technology has played in facilitating and inspiring these techniques. A series of case studies are presented that provide a basis for understanding a breadth of visual approaches in HCI design practices as well as serve as a point of entry to a critical and reflective discussion about the use of these approaches in different circumstances. Based on these reflections, three value statements are offered as a means to encourage the use of these visual approaches more broadly and critically in HCI design studies.
Exploring the Utility of Bayesian Truth Serum for Assessing Design Knowledge BIBAFull-Text 487-515
  Scarlett R. Miller; Brian P. Bailey; Alex Kirlik
Expanding and improving design knowledge is a vital part of higher education due to the growing demand for employees who can think both critically and creatively. However, developing effective methods for assessing what students have learned in design courses is one of the most elusive challenges of design education due to the subjective nature of design. For example, evaluating design outcomes is problematic due to the common pattern of increasing enrollments and reduced resources for design instruction. In this article, we propose and evaluate a new assessment method that uses a novel application of Bayesian Truth Serum (BTS), a scoring algorithm, in order to provide a scalable and reliable measure of design knowledge. This method requires no subjective input from the design instructor, nor does it require answers to questions that have distinct right or wrong answers. We tested this method over a 4-week period with 71 design students in an upper-level design course. For the study, participants were asked to provide responses to multiple-choice BTS survey questions, generate ideas for a design problem, and provide feedback on other participants' ideas. The survey data were used to calculate BTS indices of expertise and statistical tests were performed to determine how the indices correlated with participant ideation and critique proficiency. The results from this study show a modest correlation between the BTS indices of expertise and later performance on generative design tasks and a correlation between the students' ability to critique designs and their BTS scores. These findings suggest that the BTS assessment method can be used to supplement existing evaluation practices for individual design assessment, particularly in courses where group projects are used as the primary means of evaluation. In addition, the results show promise for using the BTS method in classes where design projects or design critiques are not feasible due to time constraints or large class sizes.
A Design Thinking Rationality Framework: Framing and Solving Design Problems in Early Concept Generation BIBAFull-Text 516-553
  Jieun Kim; Hokyoung Ryu
The concept of "Design Thinking" opens up debate regarding the prevalent human-computer interaction design practice. This article focuses specifically on the cognitive processes of designers during their early design activities. Two groups of designers -- experts and novices -- were asked to develop a fictitious vacuum cleaner. We then examined the different ways in which these groups manage their design thinking processes and how the groups choose design concepts. The empirical study revealed that expert designers are effective at framing design problems. They make quick decisions (through the use of the affect heuristic) but are more wedded to their own previously developed design concepts, which they do not change in subsequent design stages. In contrast, novice designers are less skilled in framing new design problems but better able to renounce their initial design concepts. These diverse design thinking approaches are linked to potential problems. We then discuss how to address these concerns in conjunction with empathy for the artifact (i.e., artifact empathy via the mediated self) or user (i.e., user empathy via the simulated self), problem framing with second-order semantic connotations, and irrationality when analyzing design solutions. Finally, we propose a design thinking rationality framework that can establish a designer's view of design activities and thereby assist designers educated in both creative and rational design decisions.