HCI Research as Problem-Solving

CHI, pp. 4956-4967, 2016.

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Human–computer interactionProblem-solvingResearch problemcomputer interactionhuman useMore(7+)
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This paper has advanced the view that human–computer interaction research is about solving problems related to human use of computing

Abstract:

This essay contributes a meta-scientific account of human-computer interaction (HCI) research as problem-solving. We build on the philosophy of Larry Laudan, who develops problem and solution as the foundational concepts of science. We argue that most HCI research is about three main types of problem: empirical, conceptual, and constructi...More

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Introduction
  • The spark for writing this essay comes from feelings of confusion, and even embarrassment, arising in describing the field to students and other researchers.
  • What is human–computer interaction (HCI) as a field?
  • HCI is in intellectual debt to many other fields, few would agree that it reduces to them.
  • It has its own subject of enquiry, which is not part of the natural or social sciences.
  • Proceedings of the SIGCHI conference on Human Factors in computing systems, ACM, 541–550.
  • Retrieved August 21, 2015 from http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=1124855
Highlights
  • The spark for writing this essay comes from feelings of confusion, and even embarrassment, arising in describing our field to students and other researchers
  • We review and respond to objections collected from presentations and interactions with other human–computer interaction researchers
  • This paper has advanced the view that human–computer interaction research is about solving problems related to human use of computing
  • We have shown how the extent to which human–computer interaction does this can be used to analyse individual papers as well as entire research programmes
  • The problem-solving view should be judged as any other human–computer interaction research contribution: by looking at a) the problem it tackles and b) the increase in problem-solving capacity it offers
  • Given initial evidence, that the problem-solving view aids in addressing such problems in human–computer interaction; it helps us begin tackling some of the grand conceptual problems of current human–computer interaction, including what human–computer interaction research is, what good human–computer interaction research is, and how to move our field forward
Results
  • Image Search Results for Occupations

    Proceedings of the 33rd Annual ACM Conference on Human Factors in

    Computing Systems, ACM, 3819–3828.

    http://doi.org/10.1145/2702123.2702520

    25.Vassilis Kostakos. 2015.
  • Image Search Results for Occupations.
  • Proceedings of the 33rd Annual ACM Conference on Human Factors in.
  • 25.Vassilis Kostakos.
  • The Big Hole in HCI Research.
  • 26.Kari Kuutti and Liam J.
  • The Turn to Practice in HCI: Towards a Research Agenda.
  • Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing.
  • 27.Gierad Laput, Eric Brockmeyer, Scott E.
Conclusion
  • CONCLUDING REMARKS What the authors think

    HCI research is and is not greatly affects the conferences, journals, papers, funding applications, supervision, thesis topics, and careers.
  • The problem-solving view can generate ideas for research and provides a fresh view of longstanding debates on what HCI research is.
  • The problem-solving view should be judged as any other HCI research contribution: by looking at a) the problem it tackles and b) the increase in problem-solving capacity it offers.
  • The authors do believe it provides some great first questions for any paper or research programme in HCI: Which problems does it tackle, and how does it increase the capacity to solve them?
Summary
  • Introduction:

    The spark for writing this essay comes from feelings of confusion, and even embarrassment, arising in describing the field to students and other researchers.
  • What is human–computer interaction (HCI) as a field?
  • HCI is in intellectual debt to many other fields, few would agree that it reduces to them.
  • It has its own subject of enquiry, which is not part of the natural or social sciences.
  • Proceedings of the SIGCHI conference on Human Factors in computing systems, ACM, 541–550.
  • Retrieved August 21, 2015 from http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=1124855
  • Results:

    Image Search Results for Occupations

    Proceedings of the 33rd Annual ACM Conference on Human Factors in

    Computing Systems, ACM, 3819–3828.

    http://doi.org/10.1145/2702123.2702520

    25.Vassilis Kostakos. 2015.
  • Image Search Results for Occupations.
  • Proceedings of the 33rd Annual ACM Conference on Human Factors in.
  • 25.Vassilis Kostakos.
  • The Big Hole in HCI Research.
  • 26.Kari Kuutti and Liam J.
  • The Turn to Practice in HCI: Towards a Research Agenda.
  • Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing.
  • 27.Gierad Laput, Eric Brockmeyer, Scott E.
  • Conclusion:

    CONCLUDING REMARKS What the authors think

    HCI research is and is not greatly affects the conferences, journals, papers, funding applications, supervision, thesis topics, and careers.
  • The problem-solving view can generate ideas for research and provides a fresh view of longstanding debates on what HCI research is.
  • The problem-solving view should be judged as any other HCI research contribution: by looking at a) the problem it tackles and b) the increase in problem-solving capacity it offers.
  • The authors do believe it provides some great first questions for any paper or research programme in HCI: Which problems does it tackle, and how does it increase the capacity to solve them?
Tables
  • Table1: Some heuristics for assessing and contributing to evolution of problem-solving capacity in a research project
Download tables as Excel
Funding
  • This project has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreements 637991 and 648785)
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