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Showing posts from May, 2016

A New Exciting Design Research Organization for US and Canada

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In April this year there was the first meeting of a task force of design scholars and professionals from the US and Canada in Chicago with the purpose to discuss the need for a design organization for North America.

This work is chaired by Carlos Teixeira, IIT Institute of Design, and John Zimmerman, Carnegie Mellon University.  I am happy to be part of this initiative with these outstanding members on the steering committee (unfortunately I could not be at the workshop myself):

Carl DiSalvo, Georgia Tech, Wonjoon Chung, Carleton University, Canada, Liz Sanders, Ohio State University, US, Lara Penin from Parsons School of Design, US, Linda Wagner, University of Washington, US, Jay Melican, Intel Corporation, US, Katie Salen, DePaul University and Institute of Play, US and Erik Stolterman, Indiana University, US.


Design research societies already exist in many other continents and countries. In the US and Canada, there are already some professional design societies, but nothing that sup…

The meaning of interactivity —some proposals for definitions and measures

Lars-Erik Janlert and I just got our article with the title "The meaning of interactivity  —some proposals for definitions and measures" accepted for publication by the HCI Journal. This is very exciting since this article is an important part of the book we are working on.

Here is the abstract of the article:

Interactivity overload: hyperreality

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Take a look at this interesting video that describes one vision of what hyper-reality could look like. First of all, this is not science fiction in the sense that we do not have the technology to do this. This is quite possible already today. It is  interesting to see how our reality can become a hyper-reality when we add layer upon layer on top of it. A lot of questions arise though. Take a look!


This video works is a great example of what Lars-Erik Janlert and I are writing about in our new book about interfaces, interaction and interactivity. Especially the notion of 'interactivity clutter' that is something we develop and define in the book.

Speaking and Consulting

I have finally added a page on this site about Speaking and Consulting (see navigation bar). The reason is that I am in a situation where these kinds of activities are becoming more attractive to me than before. I have over the years realized that a lot of what I have learned have emerged as a result of speaking to people and by working together with them on their issues and challenges. So, if you are interested in working with me, check out my new page and get in touch.

Comments on Pieter Vermaas article "A logical critique of the expert position in design research: beyond expert justification of design methods and towards empirical validation"

In the latest issue of the journal "Design Science" there is a really interesting article by Pieter Vermaas. In this article Vermaas examines the idea of what he labels the "expert position" among those who study design. The expert position is hold by those who, according to Vermaas, try to extract aspects of the work of expert designers with the purpose to transform that into prescriptive design methods. The idea is of course that if expert designers are well suited to do design well, then what they do should be 'copied' or at least used as a template by non-expert designers. However, Vermaas argues that this is a highly problematic position for several reasons. First of all, he questions the idea that 'extracted' expert behavior and thinking is even possible to 'use' by non-professionals. The argument is that the process used by experts is based on extensive education, training, practice and maybe even talent. The second aspect that Vermaa…

Interaction design and virtual reality

It is obvious to anyone who follows news within the tech world but also in regular news that VR (virtual reality) is the 'big thing'. Everywhere is VR in different versions discussed with amazement and excitement. It seems as if every morning news show has to have a segment on some new VR application or technology. The same is going on in more professional contexts. For instance, at the yearly CHI (ACM Computer Human Interaction) conference last week, there were a large number of session related to VR in all forms.

This excitement is easy to share. What is possible to do today with fairly accessible devices is quite amazing, especially in relation what was possible to do a couple of decades ago. It is not only VR, it is also augmented reality, mixed reality, etc. The possibilities seem endless.

So, what does this mean for HCI and for interaction design. Well, for now it seems as if all effort is aimed at making these technologies perform good enough. In parallel with these mor…

CHI 2016: some reflections

Well, I am home after a few days at CHI 2016 in San Jose. The conference was bigger than ever and probably more diverse than ever before. CHI is an amazing 'machine'. To make this happen once a year is a major achievement!

With the growth of the conference comes some obvious issues, for instance it is difficult to find people, it is impossible to listen to all interesting sessions, etc. But at the same time, the size provides something else, maybe more important. I see CHI nowadays as providing more of an overview of the field than leading to more detailed and engaged research discussions. Very few sessions (that I attended) led to any interesting questions from the audience, and in most cases the questions were asking for clarifications or expansions, almost never any critical questions aimed at challenging the presented research. The compactness of the sessions with very short time for Q&A of course does not make it possible to have any reasonable debates or discussions …