Reflective Informatics: Conceptual Dimensions for Designing Technologies of Reflection

Baumer, E.P.S. (2015). Reflective Informatics: Conceptual Dimensions for Designing Technologies of Reflection. in Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI) (pp. 585–594). Seoul, South Korea.


Despite demonstrated interest in designing for reflection, relatively little work provides a detailed explication of what exactly is meant by reflection or how to design around it. This paper fills that gap by reviewing and engaging with conceptual and theoretical models of reflection, organized by the disciplinary and epistemological perspectives each embodies. Synthesizing across this theoretical background, the paper identifies three dimensions of reflection: breakdown, inquiry, and transformation. Together, these dimensions serve as the foundation for reflective informatics, a conceptual approach that helps bring clarity and guidance to the discussion of designing for reflection. The paper distinguishes reflective informatics by demonstrating how it both differs from and complements existing related work. Finally, the paper provides a critically reflexive consideration of its own latent assumptions, especially about the value of reflection, and how they might impact work on designing for reflection.


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