What is HCI?

In this second session we exchanged initial reflections on “what is HCI?”. This was done by first exchanging some of the papers each of you had identified in response to the following question: “find a paper that embodied HCI for you”. In the first activity of the session you worked in pairs where one person (A) told the other (B) about their paper for 5 minutes, while the other listened carefully and took notes. After this, ‘B’ had to find a ‘new’ ‘A’ to tell them about the paper they had just heard about, while again ‘A’ listened carefully and made notes. Again, after this ‘A’ had to go and find yet another ‘B’ to tell them about this same paper.

After this, we broke up into the pre-set reading groups:

In the groups, you were first invited to i) share with each other interpretations of the paper you had been given to read, and to ii) then prepare a 5 minute group poster presentation summarising the discussion around four key points:

  • Tell us something interesting about the history of HCI
  • What are the major challenges for the field?
  • Why are these significant or problematic, and why do they exist?
  • What could ‘we’ do about this in the future?

These posters were then briefly presented back to the whole group at the end of the session:

(pictures to appear here in due course!)

Tasks for Session 3:

You have been assigned new groups for next week along with new set-reading:

We have the same three tasks as last week:

(1) individually read your set paper over the coming week, again following the tips and tactics briefly discussed in the first session, and as detailed in the ‘Close and Critical Reading’ section of the Resources page.

(2) write a 300 to 500 word blog post in the form of a critical review / appraisal of the paper (again, use the materials sent around at the start of the module and on the Resources page as an initial guide to help) and upload this onto the website before we meet next week.

(3) again, identify one further paper, add this to the end of your post explaining what it is (but also this week why you chose it) and bring the paper with you in either hard copy or ‘accessible’ digital form next week. This week, I’d like you to find a paper that is a “good example of involving people in a design process”. You can search the ACM Digital Library again, or try out any of the other suggested journals listed on the resources page.

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