9 May 2009

Design and ethnography at a ubiquitous computing conference

Be the first to share

UbiComp 2008
One of the sessions at UbiComp 2008, the Tenth International Conference on Ubiquitous computing (Seoul, Korea), was devoted to design and ethnography.

The four papers are all in the proceedings, but (except for the first one) you will need an ACM membership to download them.

The Heterogenous Home
* Ryan Aipperspach, University of California, Berkeley
* Ben Hooker, Intel Research Berkley
* Allison Woodruff, Intel Research Berkeley
Due to several recent trends, the domestic environment has become more homogeneous and undifferentiated. Drawing on concepts from environmental psychology, we critique these trends. We propose heterogeneity as a new framework for domestic design, and we present design sketches that illustrate how ubiquitous computing technologies can interact with the domestic environment to create a more varied and restorative environment. This work speaks to a number of core issues in ubiquitous computing, such as how the increased presence of devices impacts quality of life, the desirability or undesirability of ubiquitous temporal and spatial availability of devices, and the advantages and disadvantages of device convergence (“”all-in-one”” devices) versus device proliferation (single application devices).

Plastic: A Metaphor for Integrated Technologies
* Tye Rattenbury, People and Practices Research Group
* Dawn Nafus, People and Practices Research Group
* Ken Anderson, People and Practices Research Group
Ubiquitous computing research has recently focused on ‘busyness’ in American households. While these projects have generated important insights into coordination and communication, we think they overlook the more spontaneous and opportunistic activities that surround and support the scheduled ones. Using data from our mixed-methods study of notebook and ultra-mobile PC use, we argue for a different perspective based on a metaphor of ‘plastic’. ‘Plastic’ captures the way technologies, specifically computers, have integrated into the heterogeneous rhythms of daily life. Plastic technologies harmonize with and support daily life by filling opportunistic gaps, shrinking and expanding until interrupted, not demanding conscious coordination, supporting multitasking, and by deferring to external contingencies.

Getting to Green: Understanding Resource Consumption in the Home
* Marshini Chetty, Georgia Institute of Technology
* David Tran, Georgia Institute of Technology
* Rebecca E. Grinter, Georgia Institute of Technology
Rising global energy demands, increasing costs and limited natural resources mean that householders are more conscious about managing their domestic resource consumption. Yet, the question of what tools Ubicomp researchers can create for residential resource management remains open. To begin to address this omission, we present a qualitative study of 15 households and their current management practices around the water, electricity and natural gas systems in the home. We find that in-the-moment resource consumption is mostly invisible to householders and that they desire more real-time information to help them save money, keep their homes comfortable and be environmentally friendly. Designing for domestic sustainability therefore turns on improving the visibility of resource production and consumption costs as well as supporting both individuals and collectives in behavior change. Domestic sustainability also highlights the caveat of potentially creating a green divide by making resource management available only to those who can afford the technologies to support being green. Finally, we suggest that the Ubicomp community can contribute to the domestic and broader sustainability agenda by incorporating green values in designs and highlight the challenge of collecting data on being green.

Designing Sociable IT for Public Use
* Steinar Kristoffersen, Østfold University College
* Ingunn Bratteberg, Mamut ASA
Service providers increasingly use self-service systems, such as kiosk and automata that offer faster and more flexible service. Most of us are familiar with appliances for buying and validating tickets, purchasing soft drinks or getting the newspaper. We book tables in restaurants and hire cars using hotel lobby kiosks. Unfortunately, many such systems confuse and annoy their users. Thus, information technology design for the public space poses distinct challenges. Yet, it is relatively unmapped within our field. Based on an ethnographic study of the purchase and validation of ticketless travel for an airport train, this paper shows how such systems need an extended framework of usability principles, which goes beyond well-known interaction design guidelines.

Be the first to share
22 July 2016
[Book] Overcomplicated (or when systems go feral)
Overcomplicated: Technology at the Limits of Comprehension by Samuel Arbesman Current (Penguin Randomhouse), July 2016 256 pages Abstract Why did the New York Stock Exchange suspend trading without warning on July 8, 2015? Why did certain Toyota vehicles accelerate uncontrollably …
22 July 2016
A nudge toward participation: Improving clinical trial enrollment with behavioral economics
A nudge toward participation: Improving clinical trial enrollment with behavioral economics Eric M. VanEpps, Kevin G. Volpp and Scott D. Halpern (University of Pennsylvania) Science Translational Medicine - 20 Jul 2016 Vol. 8, Issue 348, pp. 348fs13 Interventions informed …
18 July 2016
Ethnographic research to improve the City of New York’s digital services
A team including the Public Policy Lab (a New York City non-profit) worked with New York City's Chief Digital Officer and her staff to use ethnographic research to develop the New York City Digital Playbook …
18 July 2016
Design research at the New York Times
The pressure to anticipate an audience’s needs and desires is intense—no longer only of concern to business sides of media organizations but a part of the editorial mission, writes Heather Chaplin in the Columbia Journalism …
11 July 2016
[Book] LEAP Dialogues: Career Pathways in Design for Social Innovation
LEAP Dialogues: Career Pathways in Design for Social Innovation Edited by Mariana Amatullo, with Bryan Boyer, Liz Danzico and Andrew Shea Published by Designmatters at ArtCenter College of Design July 2016, 360 pages The professional landscape for design in …
28 June 2016
Politicians need to commit to ethnographic research if they want to understand people
Business anthropologist Simon Roberts has campaigned hard for the "Remain" side in the UK referendum and is deeply disappointed. He now explores a topic that I too have been arguing for some time now: Politicians, …
22 June 2016
A united energy economy: Experientia helps wrap up the CITYOPT Nice pilot project
Can behavioral change address local energy issues, raise people’s awareness energy consumption issues, and directly support non-profit organizations at the same time? With the Nice pilot of the CITYOPT project, we have seen strong suggestions …
17 June 2016
Remember the people: The foundation for success in 21st C infrastructure
Infrastructure providers are used to focusing on issues of project selection, funding, and regulation. The most successful firms are learning to provide great consumer experiences too. "The consumer experience matters. Infrastructure providers therefore need to …

We are an international experience design consultancy helping companies and organisations to innovate their products, services and processes by putting people and their experiences first.

22 June 2016
A united energy economy: Experientia helps wrap up the CITYOPT Nice pilot project

Can behavioral change address local energy issues, raise people’s awareness energy consumption issues, and directly support non-profit organizations at the same time? With the Nice pilot of the CITYOPT project, we have seen strong suggestions that it can. It also suggests that the sense of belonging to a local community is a strong motivation for […]

23 May 2016
Experientia white paper: “Conducting clinical trials is about working with patients”

Patient-centricity is one of the defining issues facing clinical trials in the pharma industry. The past few years have seen a growing awareness by pharmaceutical companies of the importance of patient-centricity – but they have also illustrated that not everyone is clear on just what patient-centricity is, or how to achieve it. After using UX […]

12 April 2016
The latest on innovation in Energy Efficient Buildings: annual round-up of EU Commission projects

Every year, the Energy-efficient Buildings (EeB) Public Private Partnership (PPP) publishes the EeB PPP project review – a round-up of energy-efficiency projects that have been co-funded by two European Commission schemes. This year, the print and digital booklet design was done by Experientia, in particular by our talented visual and interaction designer Dohun Jang. Experientia […]

8 March 2016
Behavioral modeling – Shaping cultural change and behavioral evolution

One of the things we do here at Experientia that really sets us apart from other UX agencies is behavioral modeling. Our cognitive and behavioral models go beyond the standard customer journeys and personas (both useful tools, and often preliminary steps to behavioral modeling) to create frameworks that can be used to make people more […]

1 March 2016
Singapore’s main newspaper on Experientia’s design with the elderly

Arti Mulchand reports in the Straits Times, Singapore’s main newspaper, on Experientia’s “Design for Ageing Gracefully” project: Putting faces to end-users early in the design process is changing the way designers and organisations are approaching products aimed at Singapore’s growing elderly demographic. Experientia’s ethnographic study, which was commissioned by DesignSingapore Council in a collaboration with […]

18 January 2016
Experientia website completely reshaped

Experientia is pleased to announce that we’ve started 2016 with a brand new website. Experientia’s now officially 10 years old, and we decided that the best way to celebrate is by building a new website that showcases our growth – with new projects, new people in the staff, and two new locations in Lausanne and […]

See all articles