Theoretical perspectives in Human Computer Interaction

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Theoretical perspectives in Human Computer Interaction Powered By Docstoc
					 Theoretical perspectives in
Human Computer Interaction

   Tessy Cerratto & Henrik Artman
             IPLab, KTH
        Tessy@nada.kth.se;
        Artman@nada.kth.se
                  Course

• problematize the concept of users and usage
• overview of theoretical frameworks
• emphasis on how each perspective frame the
  concept of the user
• Who is a user? Who is not a user? How do we
  become users? What are the transitions from
  being a user to be entertained?
                Prerequisite

• text presenting briefly their own research
  projects, as well as their motivation and
  expectations from the course
• active participation; discussion; questions
• present one article and discuss it from a
  particular perspective
                     Form

• Lecture on specific theory
• Critical discussion of the concept of user and
  relation ship to artifacts and design
• Design implications
      Literature & examination

• Selected articles
• Present article
• Essay
             Outline for today

•   Introduction
•   Presentation
•   Perspectives on information system
•   Perspectives on HCI
•   Summary
•   Questions
   Riddles for the information Age
 Cooper, A. (1999) The inmates are running the asylum

• Presentation of accidents and ”misunderstandings”
  between users and computer systems

• Analysis of user-computer dialogue
   – Errors
   – Feedback
   – Context of use
   – Type of user

• Critique of the development process of software-based
  products
  Looking at the dialogue/interaction
  between the pilot and the computer


• The navigation aid was valid but not for the
  landing procedure at Cali
• Communication was precise and exact even
  though it was completely wrong
• The navigation aid did not tell the pilot that the
  radio station chosen was wrong
     Looking at the navigation aid


  ”Software-based products are not inherently
  hard to use, they are that way because we use
  the wrong process for creating them”

• How to change this process ?
• How to do in order software-based products
  become friendly, powerful and desirable ?
       Programmers and users have
             different goals

   The programmer wants the construction process
  to be smooth and easy

   The user wants the interaction with the program
  to be smooth and easy

• Can programmers create interaction?
   Introduce interaction design in the
         development process


Programmers


               Software                  user




                     Interaction designers
         Different perspectives on
        the use and development of
            information systems



System theoretical                     Humanistic

                     Socio-technical
          Concept of perspective
• It refers to scientific paradigm (cf. T. Kuhn, 1962)
   – Paradigm is a frame of reference that define the rules,
     the criteria of what constitutes “ science”
   – Scientific development occurs by revolutions
   – Paradigm is not related to praxis

• It can be regarded as a social institution (cf.
  Berger and Luckman, 1966)
   – As a bridge between theory and practice
   – Assumptions and rules governing a phenomenon are
     social constructs

• It is operationalized as ideal type (cf. Weber, 1968)
   – Ideal types are a theoretical tool, pure forms

    • Perspectives do not apply as design methods
Characterizing perspectives

    •   Notion   of   knowledge
    •   Notion   of   person
    •   Notion   of   communication
    •   Notion   of   system development
            System theoretical
               perspective

• System Theory refers to General Systems Theory
  (cf. Bertallanffy, 1968)
  – It emphasizes the integrality of the phenomenon as a
    whole, i.e. idea of a total system, an integrated system


• The term mathematical machine -- data machine
  – Storage – processing- transmission of information


• Ideal type is the integration of information systems
          System theoretical
             perspective
• Emphasis on the information system

• Knowledge is information stored, is objectivistic

• Person is excluded from the system or is within the
  system. A rational and passive view of the user or a
  feature of the system

• Communication is between the user and the system

• System development is regarded as complete once and
  for all. Based on problem-solving ideology
     Humanistic perspective

• Two meanings of humanism
   – Humanistic as an academic discipline
   – Humanist as a more ideological orientation (cf. Humans
     right)

• The user, her expertise and her job have the
  highest priority while technology serves as a tool
  for this purpose

• The ideal type is that all the functions performed
  by a system are carried out by humans beings
         Humanistic perspective
• Emphasis on individuals

• Knowledge is constructed by the person
   – Formal and intuitive knowledge


• Person is an intentional, situated, psycho-social,biological
  and historical actor. Individual view of the autonomous user

• Communication takes only place between human beings

• System development is focused on the use of the system,
  on the users’ jobs, is evolutionary
  Socio-technical perspective

• What’s the place of the individual in relation to the
  system ? What’s the relationship between human
  beings and the information systems ?

• Distinction between data and information

• Technical system and a social system

• Ideal type intermediate link in the development towards
  the theoretically more purified humanistic vision
  Socio-technical perspective

• Emphasis on interaction between person and information
  systems (IS)

• Knowledge is instrumental, useful

• Person as an active component of the technical system and
  as a member of the social system. The user’s job is
  distributed between the person and the IS.

• Communication with a machine-partner or machine-tool

• System development is participative. Participation of the
  users and specifications of their needs
         Perspectives on interaction

         Preunderstanding and background (H)
            User interface /I-O devices (C)    Stable
                   Functionality (C)




              Operative cognitions (H)
Change     Media structure/presentation (C)
             Domain representation (C)
           System
Human




Computer
                   System

•   General perspective for all components
•   Information transfer between components
•   System goal
•   Technology focused
•   Information objective

• Constrained to technology?
• Meaning?
Dialogue
            Dialogue-partner

•   Mimic human behaviour
•   Structural aspects of interaction
•   Interface
•   Not focused on background knowledge
•   System self contained

• Mainly linguistic interaction?
Actor-tool
                      Tool

•   Action-focused
•   The user is an expert
•   Tools are for accomplishing tasks
•   Domain specific
•   Learning is part of design objective
•   Learning is part of becoming/being an expert
•   New design based on tacit-knowledge
•   Readiness-at-hand, present-at-hand
Media
                   Media

• Communication between people
• Technology is a medium
• Each medium needs a structure to encode
• Change operative cognitions, by media
  structure
• Domain representation is relevant for the
  sender

• Conduit-metafor of communication?
Discussing the tool perspective
                                   (cf. P. Ehn, 1988)

• How is the user’s work seen ?
  – Not formalization of qualifications but development
    of professional education based on the skills of
    professionals
  – Not information flows analysis and systems
    descriptions but specification of tools and materials

• How is the machine seen ?
  - as a craft tool

• How is the user seen ?
  – As a person possessing skills relevant for the task to
    be accomplished
Discussing the tool perspective
                               (cf. P. Ehn, 1988)

• How is design seen ?
  – As a process, “design-by-doing”
  – Influenced by way the design of traditional crafts
    tools was done
  – Designers have to learn from the graphic workers
  – Users have to learn from designers


• What is the user’s model ?
  – Is the user’s mental model developed through the
    interaction with the information system
  Regarding computers as tools
                              (cf. P. Ehn, 1988)

• Computers are tools proper, they are
  designed as means to and end

• Computers are machines and differ from
  hand tools

• Machines can be designed as reminders of
  traditional craft tools for a specific craft
  profession

• Is the computer “only” a tool ?
         Questions to have in mind
• What’s the unit of analysis presented by this approach ?
  – activity; actions; operations; mediated activity ?

• What’s the aim of this theoretical approach ?
  – Prediction, description, explanation, understanding

• What’s the relation between artifact and person
  presented by this approach ?
   – Development, determinism?

• What’s the relation with design ?
  – Informing design, evaluating design ?