Posts from: September, 2010

Location-Based Games

Monday, September 27th, 2010

‘Location-based games’ is another term used in HCI research that relates to interaction from the ground up theme. In this game, players were chased through the city by runners equipped with wifi and GPS sensors.

Benford, S., Crabtree, A., Flintham, M., Drozd, A., Anastasi, R., Paxton, M., Tandavanitj, N., et al. (2006). Can you see me now? ACM Trans. Comput.-Hum. Interact., 13(1), 100-133. doi:10.1145/1143518.1143522

Exertion Games

Monday, September 27th, 2010

Lots of references to follow and makes some sensible sounding points for things you might want to consider when design such an interface.

Mueller, F. ‘., Gibbs, M. R., & Vetere, F. (2009). Design influence on social play in distributed exertion games. In Proceedings of the 27th international conference on Human factors in computing systems (pp. 1539-1548). Boston, MA, USA: ACM. doi:10.1145/1518701.1518938

UED2010 Wk3: Design Movement

Sunday, September 26th, 2010


  • Introductory lecture with Sietske Klooster.
  • Movement workshop.
  • Finding a place to design a ‘footwork’ for.
  • Presenting footworks to the class.


  • Present a designed object that trys to elicit the footwork.
  • Classmates try out first, then we discuss experiences.
  • Redesign object to refine the movment.
  • Present and try out again in the afternoon.
  • End with a little reflection session on the week.

UED2010 Wk 2: Design Research

Monday, September 20th, 2010

Again, some brief notes about the second week of the course.


  • Continued with the servo-motor activity.
  • Concentrated on refining the movement towards the two words.
  • Got to a stage where the sculptures could be left to run by themselves.
  • Set up a little exhibition at 14:00. Invited the first years and staff.
  • Placed the cards out on the table and asked people to guess what the pair for each sculpture was.


  • Lecture in class on the idea of research though design.
  • Discussion of four papers on this topic.
  • Discussion of initial ideas for a design project.
  • We decided to run a video card game as a survey of possible interesting design contexts


Fallman, D. (2007). Why Research-Oriented Design Isn’t Design-Oriented Research: On the Tensions Between Design and Research in an Implicit Design Discipline. Knowledge, Technology & Policy, 20(3), 193-200. doi:Article

Wolf, T. V., Rode, J. A., Sussman, J., & Kellogg, W. A. (2006). Dispelling “design” as the black art of CHI. In Proceedings of the SIGCHI conference on Human Factors in computing systems (pp. 521-530). Montréal, Québec, Canada: ACM. doi:10.1145/1124772.1124853

Wright, P., Blythe, M., & McCarthy, J. (2006). User Experience and the Idea of Design in HCI. In Interactive Systems (pp. 1-14). Retrieved from

Zimmerman, J., Stolterman, E., & Forlizzi, J. (2010). An analysis and critique of Research through Design: towards a formalization of a research approach. In Proceedings of the 8th ACM Conference on Designing Interactive Systems (pp. 310-319). Aarhus, Denmark: ACM. doi:10.1145/1858171.1858228

Additional references

A couple of additional references were mentioned in the lecture and discussions. These are included below.

Checkland, Mackay, Braa & Vigden, Frayling, Archer

Archer, B. (1995). The nature of research. Co-design, 6-13.

Braa, K., & Vidgen, R. (1995). Action Case: Exploring the middle kingdom in information system research methods. In Proceedings of 3rd Decennial Conference Computers in context: Joining Forces in Design (pp. 50-60). Århus, Denmark.

Checkland, P., & Holwell, S. (1998). Action Research: Its Nature and Validity. Systemic Practice and Action Research, 11(1), 9-21. doi:10.1023/A:1022908820784

Frayling, C. (1993). Research in Art and Design. Royal College of Art Research Papers, 1(1), 1-5.

Mackay, W. E., & Fayard, A. (1997). HCI, natural science and design: a framework for triangulation across disciplines. In Proceedings of the 2nd conference on Designing interactive systems: processes, practices, methods, and techniques (pp. 223-234). Amsterdam, The Netherlands: ACM. doi:10.1145/263552.263612

Power Laces

Monday, September 13th, 2010

Power Laces 2 PROTOTYPE DEMO…..juh?

Most Awesome Diagram. Ever.

Friday, September 10th, 2010

Take that rabbit!

Calvin, W. H. “The unitary hypothesis”, in “Tools, Language and Cognition in Human Evolution”, Gibson, K. and Ingold, T. (eds), Cambridge University Press, Cambridge UK, 1993.

UED2010 Wk 1: Getting moving

Friday, September 10th, 2010

Our first week in the course. Here are some brief notes.


  • Introduced the course by going through the course profile.
  • Handed out the toolboxes with arduinos, breadboard, multimeters, servo motors, and some simple tools.
  • Pulled apart some gadgets which everyone had brought in. Looked at the components inside and discussed what the functions might be.
  • Tried to get the Arduinos hooked up and running, but we ran out of time, so I asked the students to do this before the next class.


  • Started by checking that everyone’s arduino was working. There were some problems with the drivers for the serial port for a couple of people, but we managed to get that working. Also, need to check that Nano board is selected with Atmega168 rather than Atmega328.
  • Described the pins on the nano board and showed how to attach a servo motor.
  • Played around with the example servo sweep program, tried different values in the loops to make the servo move at different speeds.
  • Went down to the e-lab and collected some components (potentiometers, hook-up wire, and resistors).
  • Added a potentiometer and pull-down resistor to the circuit and used the example servo knob program so we could control the position of the servo by turning the knob.
  • Used Serial.println commands to look at what values were being read from the potentiometer and adjust the program.
  • Used character-movement tinkering cards to choose a movement and character to design for.

Task for next Tuesday:

With the character and movement cards your group chose, try to tinker a kinetic sculpture driven by the servo motor that moves in a way that expresses those qualities. For example, if your words were ‘fierce leaping’ you need to create a sculpture that somehow leaps in a fierce way.

See Ben Hopson’s kinetic work for lots of ideas for how to create interesting movements out of very simple materials.

Wii balance board + sneakers

Wednesday, September 8th, 2010

NIKE78 – Nick Marsh | ‘NIKE Wiis’ from NIKE78 on Vimeo.

Uuum, I’m not sure about this. It looks like he’s having trouble standing up or something.

Gestural rhythmicity

Sunday, September 5th, 2010

Tony Orrico: Penwald: 2: 8 circles (2009)

“The second part of Gesture and Speech is entitled ‘Memory and Rhythms’, and it is above all in Leroi-Gourhan’s attention to the rhythmicity of technical activity, rather than its grounding in social memory, that this counter-argument appears. A great many operations, he observes, entail the regular repetition of certain manual gestures: these include hammering, sawing and scraping. And whether or not the artisan has an idea in mind of the final form of the artefact he is making, the actual form emerges from the pattern of rhythmic movement, not from the idea.” (Ingold, 2009, p.438)

Ingold, T. (1999). ‘Tools for the Hand, Language for the Face’: An Appreciation of Leroi-Gourhan’s Gesture and Speech. Studies in the History of Philosophy Biololgy and Biomedical Sciences, 30(4), 411-453. 

Materialities Influencing the Design Process Workshop

Friday, September 3rd, 2010


The week before last, I was at the Designing Interactive Systems conference. I was there as one of the organizers of a one day workshop on the topic of ‘Materialities Influencing the Design Process’. We haven’t managed to make much of a synthesis of the outcomes of the workshop yet, but I have got the documentation for the day up on line:

And here’s the abstract from the workshop website:

The use of material artefacts within the design process is a long-standing and continuing characteristic of interaction design. Established methods, such as prototyping, which have been widely adopted by educators and practitioners, are seeing renewed research interest and being reconsidered in light of the evolving needs of the field. Alongside this, the past decade has seen the introduction and adoption of a diverse range of novel design methods into interaction design, such as cultural probes, technology probes, context mapping, and provotypes.

Yet, interaction design does not have a cohesive framework for understanding this diverse range of practices. Such a framework would assist practitioners in comparing and choosing between methods across the different stages, contexts and stakeholder relations within a design process. It seems that one fruitful place to start in addressing this lack is to focus in on the common characteristic that these practices share of materialities influencing the design process. This workshop proposes to bring together practitioners, educators, and researchers to discuss and begin the development of a shared understanding around this theme.