CHI 2007: when user experience becomes religious experience

CHI 2007
Ann Light of Usability News reports on the session on ‘Home Spirituality’ at CHI 2007, one of the more unusual topics to appear there.

“Three papers had been grouped together within this session and while there was some bewilderment on the part of two of the presenters over why they had been included, a common set of user issues emerged that highlighted this less considered aspect of design and usability.”

Her article covers the following three talks:

Sabbath Day Home Automation: “It’s Like Mixing Technology and Religion”
by Allison Woodruff (Intel), Sally Augustin, Brooke Foucault
Presents a qualitative study of the use of home automation by 20 Orthodox Jewish families. Offers insights and design implications for user experience with smart home technology and religious technology.

Enhancing Ubiquitous Computing with User Interpretation: Field Testing the Home Health Horoscope
by William Gaver, Phoebe Sengers, Tobie Kerridge, Joseph “Jofish” Kaye and John Bowers
The paper illustrates how designing to encourage user interpretation may supplement sensor-based inferencing in a home environment. Offers a new approach to those interested in developing domestic ubiquitous computing applications.

Home Networking and HCI: What Hath God Wrought?
by Erika Shehan and W. Keith Edwards
We analyze why home networking is difficult, argue that the HCI community needs to be involved in resolving these problems, and discuss potential research efforts in home network usability.

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