Archive for October, 2011

October 27, 2011

Possible Sources: The Future of Work

I have been reading about the work of Lynda Gratton and her investigations about the future of work. Below are some excerpts from a business magazine article. I will also be looking through her blog:

To better understand the future of work, from October 2009 to May 2010 I led a research consortium of 21 companies and over 200 executives from around the world.

My research and conversations about the future of work have led me to understand that the future will be less about general skills and more about in-depth mastery; less about working as a competitive, isolated individual and more about working collaboratively in a joined world; and less about focusing solely on a standard of living and more on the quality of experiences.

October 26, 2011

Possible Sources: Designing Futures

Stuart Candy: Experiential Scenarios

This conference: a futures-oriented public discussion process, called “Hawaii 2050” presented four examples of futurecasting scenarios. Instead of presenting videos or presentations- as we have in this studio, they created role plays of four possible futures.

All the conference attendees were broken up into four groups and participated in one of the four scenarios but were not informed as to which story they would experience.

Dunn & Raby: Design for debate

Bio notes from Innovations Forum

His work with Fiona Raby uses design as a medium to stimulate discussion and debate amongst designers, industry and the public about the social, cultural and ethical implications of existing and emerging technologies.

Blogger  notes on talks at Innovations forum: It’s not about making technologies more useful and beautiful but about trying to understand the social, cultural or ethical effects of these technologies.

Potential of design to help facilitate a debate about the kind of future we want and the kind of products and technologies we want. How are new technologies going to affect the way we live?

To engage with this, i guess design will have to evolve in different ways: new roles, new uses for design and also new methods to deal with that.

It’s not about trying to predict the future and get into forecasting but simply about trying to move upstream and not waiting for science to become technology and then products and then design at that level. It’s about trying to think about new possibilities while we are still at a scientific stage and design in a way that might facilitate a public discussion about what we want.

From Adobe Interview:
Critical design does not answer these questions, but it does provide a way for the questions to be asked.

October 21, 2011

Possible Sources: HCI Trends

HCI Trends
Contemporary Trends are juried and curated contributions that provoke, intrigue, and inspire the CHI audience. These submissions record the history of HCI practice and innovation outside of the scope of traditional archival papers.

October 18, 2011

Feedback Notes: Denise 2

Feedback Skype call from Denise

Narrowing the Research Question

  • Bringing workday into computer mediated
  • Create substitutions, use sub-questions to make long winded sentence to figure out what is good,
  • Ie: How can software interfaces online in a traditional task create an increase in peoples tolerance in interaction during the workday?
  • How can biofeedback in a traditional task create a decrease in the struggles of the workday?

Start a blog to share with everyone on the committee to show process_+_+_+_

Align with a HCI pov

  • HCI pov: You feel you have a general overview of HCI, now is the time to identify with a specific pov, which you can push against, something you find galling or empathy for, who am I arguing with or aligning myself with?
  • Take a look at bibliography of these more general philosophy texts
  • Defining a category in a playful way
  • Other HCI studies: What I have to offer: applying that humanized interaction to a specific workplace scenario (my note), Anticipating something other studies have not considered yet, seeing blind spots


Defining Human[IzIng]

  • What are the values of human interaction, from a UX pov/from an HCI pov
  • Build a pov
  • Develop a speculative social/cultural concept based to define the area you are working within
  • Frustrations: parodies of workplace


  • Intervention as Add on; Ie: calander because we all know people use it, both personal and public, tracks reserved time and establishes priorities, deals w how people perceive their workday
  • Intervention as What if; Ie: working within excel and surprise etc.* Denise will send prompts from interface studio (ie: bouncing ball)


Understanding future work
See these people:

  • Stuart Candy, Research Fellow for Longnow
  • Alan Chechonov, Is it possible to find writings/talk to at symposium?
  • Roger Martin
  • James Glick, The information, Faster: The acceleration of just about everything (,, thinks about economic drive + individual drive which can be used as reference points to understand work environment)

Could think more about what you could do rather than resolving problems


Workplace Culture Probes

  • Getting an idea of work environment ie: more refined job = less satisfaction, smaller space
  • Factors which could be grounded: Job Satisfaction, company size/work model, occupation (my note)
  • In addition or in place of observation
  • To get a sense of the kind of environment, frustrations, etc/


October 16, 2011

Reframing the Question

How can a designed intervention in a computer mediated activity create an increase in humanized interactions during the workday?

Areas/Questions for narrowing the study:

1. What is the designed intervention?

  • within the computer interface
  • within the surrounding environment
  • within a software interface/online
  • using tangible interface
  • using biofeedback
  • analog intervention
  • series of interventions which are opt in only
  • social interventions
  • self initiated/system initiated/ triggered?

2. What computer mediated activity?

  • What activity or task, you can do millions of types of tasks on the computer
  • What are some traditional or reoccurring tasks which could benefit from humanizing
  • Which part of that process might you intervene?

3. What does humanized interactions mean? ***

  • Humanized might refer to voice, gesture, or other embodied communication between human and computer, what else?
  • What types of interactions are appropriate, and for which tasks?
  • What are people’s tolerances for current or new interactions
  • Are there struggles in the current workflow that these interactions might aid?
  • Identify, project, and build upon technological trends

4. Which workday or workplace am I talking about? ***

  • Find examples of workplace models: creative, corporate, small business etc.
  • What kind of job (data entry, creative, freelance etc) or job satisfaction (bored, overworked, passionate/committed, etc)
  • What is the future of work? (Can you be an advocate for a future landscape? ie Dunn & Raby)
  • Can you build on trends of future work and work environments? (Studies by Roger Martin)

*** seems like a good place to start

October 5, 2011

Feedback Notes: Denise 1

Feedback notes from Skype call:

Think more about Humanizing Technology & Interactions

Study and project trends of humanizing technology, moving from box, to voice, gesture, what is the future of that

How can we humanize these work related computer mediated activities?

How to get those people who love their work to have more humanizing balanced interactions during their workday- not by bringing them away from that, but by creating a more humanizing interaction in the tasks and the work that they already do

Study workplace models
1. Creative -Google/ad agency etc
2. Corporate – cubicle etc (those ppl are reaching out when they want to, don’t create a band-aid)
3. 5 guys (project manager, accountant and clerk in the laminante city)

Some of these models will be open or readily available to understand a different relationship with their computer or their ways of working

Consider Future Problems through Future Context

The idea of considering a future context of work and work related activity and how that offers a new context to consider how we should interact with technology, each other, information, and our work.

Look at Dunn and Raby

Think about taking a role as an advocate for that future work space or future work life, be speculative, Advocate for that future, are there monitors, projections, a tablet, collaborative work environment, Ann Burdick’s comments on what is our digital physical workspace?

What are the tolerances and possibilities?

The entry point to a lot of software is a goal directed design. That is the entry point of that software. You open the computer and what happens? How can you persuade, surprise, assuage the user in a time when things have become so codified? What is the expectation? What if I open my computer and I want to type? What happens?

What is the range of tolerance people have in that environment?

Realign the Value system you are projecting

The computer is not just a box, it is a window, a 4th dimension, etc

Interview people who have an intense relationship with their computer.

There is an assumption that being in that world or being at work or in the computer is bad. That is a subjective value set and is not always shared

October 4, 2011

Interruption as focus

How can a technological system help manage interruptions in order to create a balanced workday?

  • How can a technological system recognize, codify, reproduce, and suggest tactics for managing a positive or negative interruption?
  • How can an activity log track negative interruptions, positive interruptions and productivity?
  • What is the relationship between limiting or allowing certain types of interruptions and specific work related tasks?
  • What qualities are associated with various types of interruptions and how might a technological cue embody or mask out those qualities?
  • How can a series of sensory cues influence time management in the workplace?

The modern workplace is changing and so is the work that is produced. Many workplaces are characterized by prolonged interaction with immaterial information. As a part of the new information age, immaterial labor is increasing. This has resulted in a rise of static prolonged computer usage in academic, professional, and even leisure domains. New problems arise with the advent of this information age. There is a need to manage the constant connectivity and flow of information both during and apart from a productive work day. 

A workday that is centered around computer usage results in fixation on digital information and focus on the screen. Traditional HCI model fixates attention away from environmental interruption. In the traditional HCI model the human becomes a “user” entering into the world of computing. The user communicates with the computer through a face, an interface. This results in a fixed attention on the computer screen. The goal of these facialized interactions are utilitarian, information seeking, and task oriented. This interaction encourages attention to the digital workspace and away from the immediate external environment. I would like to create a balance of focus on both the computer screen and thoughtful attentiveness of self, others, and the surrounding environment throughout the workday. I believe managing external and internal positive interruptions can offer that balance.

Theoretical Assumptions:
There are alternative ways to create a balanced workday. However, my approach is to embrace and control the interruptions which already exist during the workday. This approach is based on a recent study of the role of interruptions in the workplace. I will be working from the four types of interruptions as defined by Q.R. Jett and J. M. George in their study reviewing the positive and negative aspects of work interruptions. These definitions include the following:

  •  Intrusions: unexpected encounters initiated by another person
  • Break: self-Initiated time away from performing tasks
  • Distractions: competing stimulus or activity that is irrelevant to the task at hand
  • Discrepancies: perceived inconsistencies between ones knowledge and expectations and ones immediate observations of what is important to the immediate task at hand or personal well-being

Technological Assumptions:
Work environments incorporating non-traditional HCI interactions
Much advancement has been made in embodied human-computer interaction. Including gestural interface, biofeedback, physical computing, ambient intelligent environments, and other similar fields of study. While the technology has been developed its use in the traditional workday is not common. My interventions would introduce alternative human-computer-interactions in the workplace.



  • Certain work environments do not support or encourage interruptions regardless of their positive or negative affects. 
  • Some interruptions cannot be prevented or predicted.
  • Not all workdays include interactivity with technological systems. I would like to limit my study
  • Incorporating a new technological system within a workday could become a new negative interruption.
  • Sensory cues must be applied appropriately to the workplace without distracting from the overall work environment.


October 4, 2011

Interruption as focus – Bibliography 1

Keywords: HCI, Tangible Computing, Smart Objects, Bio-feedback, Analog, Interface, New Media, Embodiment, Ambient Intelligence, Sensory cues: visual cues, auditory cues, tactile cues, haptic cues, olfactory cues

Bohn, J., Coroama, V., Langheinrich, M., Mattern, F., & Rohs, M. (2004). Living in a World of Smart Everyday Objects. Journal of Human and Ecological Risk Assessment10(5), 763-786.         

Dourish, P. (2001). Where the action is : the foundations of embodied interaction. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press. Retrieved from

Hallnäs, L., & Redström, J. (2001). Slow Technology – Designing for Reflection. Personal and Ubiquitous Computing5(3), 201-212. Springer-Verlag. doi:10.1007/PL00000019

Hansen  1965-, M. B. N. (Mark B. N. (2004). New philosophy for new media. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press. Retrieved from

Munster, A. (2006). Materializing new media : embodiment in information aesthetics. Dartmouth, N.H.: Dartmouth College Press : Published by University Press of New England. Retrieved from

Stephanidis, C. (2009). Designing for All in Ambient Intelligence Environments: The Interplay of User, Context, and Technology.International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction25(5), 441-454. Taylor & Francis Group. doi:10.1080/10447310902865032

Work Management/Balance
Keywords: Interruption, Work Environment, Creativity, Time Management, Internal and External Interruption, Holistic Workday, Work-Life Balance, Work related stress, Cognitive Overload, Reflection

Baddeley, A. D. (1992). Working memory. (M. S. Gazzaniga, Ed.)Science255(5044), 556-559. Oxford University Press. doi:10.1126/science.1736359

Csikszentmihalyi, M., & LeFevre, J. (1989). Optimal experience in work and leisure. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology,56(5), 815-822. American Psychological Association. Retrieved from

Elsbach, K. D. (2003). Relating Physical Environment to Self-Categorizations: Identity Threat and Affirmation in a Non-Territorial Office Space. Administrative Science Quarterly48(4), 622. Johnson Graduate School of Management, Cornell University. doi:10.2307/3556639

Feldman, M. S., & Pentland, B. T. (2003). Reconceptualizing Organizational Routines as a Source of Flexibility and Change.Administrative Science Quarterly48(1), 94-118. Cornell University, Johnson Graduate School. doi:10.2307/3556620

Jett, Q. R., & George, J. M. (2003). Work interrupted: A closer look at the role of interruptions in organizational life. ACADEMY OF MANAGEMENT REVIEW28(3), 494-507. PACE UNIV, PO BOX 3020, 235 ELM RD, BRIARCLIFF MANOR, NY 10510-8020 USA: ACAD MANAGEMENT.

Kirsh, D. (2000). A Few Thoughts on Cognitive Overload. Intellectica1(30), 19-51. Citeseer. Retrieved from

Knight, C., & Haslam, S. A. (2010). Your Place or Mine? Organizational Identification and Comfort as Mediators of Relationships Between the Managerial Control of Workspace and Employees’ Satisfaction and Well-being. British Journal of Management21(3), 717-735. Wiley-Blackwell. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8551.2009.00683.x

Kreiner, G. E., Hollensbe, E. C., & Sheep, M. L. (2009). Balancing borders and bridges: Negotiating the work-home interface via boundary work tactics. Academy of Management Journal52(4), 704-730. Academy of Management. Retrieved from

Vrijkotte, T. G., Van Doornen, L. J., & De Geus, E. J. (2000). Effects of work stress on ambulatory blood pressure, heart rate, and heart rate variability. Hypertension35(4), 880-886. Am Heart Assoc. Retrieved from