Most conferences happen annual. Some happen bi-annually. Well, there’s at least one conference only happens every 10 years. This is the Aarhus Decennial Critical Computing conference. I’m pleased to say that, this summer, a paper I co-authored will appear in the proceedings. You can see the camera ready version.
Khovanskaya, V., Baumer, E.P.S., and Sengers, P. (2015). Double Binds and Double Blinds: Evaluation Tactics in Critically Oriented HCI. in Proceedings of the Fifth Decennial Aarhus Conference on Critical Computing. Aarhus, Denmark.
Critically oriented researchers within Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) have fruitfully intersected design and critical analysis to engage users and designers in reflection on underlying values, assumptions and dominant practices in technology. To successfully integrate this work within the HCI community, critically oriented researchers have tactically engaged with dominant practices within HCI in the design and evaluation of their work. This paper draws attention to the ways that tactical engagement with aspects of HCI evaluation methodology shapes and bears consequences for critically oriented research. We reflect on three of our own experiences evaluating critically oriented designs and trace challenges that we faced to the ways that sensibilities about generalizable knowledge are manifested in HCI evaluation methodology. Drawing from our own experiences, as well as other influential critically oriented design projects in HCI, we articulate some of the trade-offs involved in consciously adopting or not adopting certain normative aspects of HCI evaluation. We argue that some forms of this engagement can hamstring researchers from pursuing their intended research goals and have consequences beyond specific research projects to affect the normative discourse in the field as a whole.
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.
Baumer, E.P.S., Elovic, E., Qin, Y., Polletta, F., & Gay, G.K. (2015). Testing and Comparing Computational Approaches for Identifying the Language of Framing in Political News. in Proceedings of the Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics – Human Language Technologies (NAACL – HLT) (pp. 1472–1482). Denver, CO.
The subconscious influence of framing on perceptions of political issues is well-document in political science and communication research. A related line of work suggests that drawing attention to framing may help reduce such framing effects by enabling frame reflection, critical examination of the framing underlying an issue. However, definite guidance on how to identify framing does not exist. This paper presents a technique for identifying frame-invoking language. The paper first describes a human subjects pilot study that explores how individuals identify framing and informs the design of our technique. The paper then describes our data collection and annotation approach. Results show that the best performing classifiers achieve performance comparable to that of human annotators, and they indicate which aspects of language most pertain to framing. Both technical and theoretical implications are discussed.
Data Set - This includes all 75 annotated articles, as well as descriptions of the format and instructions on use.
Baumer, E.P.S., Burrell, J., Ames, M.G., Brubaker, J.R., & Dourish, P. (2015). On the Importance and Implications of Studying Technology Non-use. interactions, 22(2), 52–56.
Quit Facebook Day. Paraguayan children indifferent to their OLPC “XO” laptop. Digitally disconnected residents of SubSaharan Africa. Facebook pages of the deceased. Each of these in some way draws attention to technology nonuse. While researchers have explored questions around nonuse for some time [1,2], the dominant discourse in HCI still focuses primarily on technology users. [...] So what do deceased Facebook users have in common with children in Paraguay who could care less about their XO laptops? To explore this question, we convened a workshop at ACM’s CHI 2014 conference. […] Here, the workshop organizers reflect on key topics, themes, and questions raised by participants, discussing how they might provide feedback to the broader HCI community. [...] this article serves two purposes. First, it provides a sense for the scope and variety of research being conducted related to nonuse, drawing in part on examples from workshop participants. Second, it draws inspiration from discussions that occurred during the workshop to suggest some possible broader implications of, as well as important future directions for, work in this area.
The current (March/April 2015) issue of interactions has an article on technology non-use I wrote with Jenna Burrell, Morgan Ames, Jed Brubaker, and Paul Dourish. This is also the crew with whom I co-organized a workshop on non-use at CHI last year. The interactions article in part summarizes and synthesizes themes from that workshop. It also in many ways presages the special issue of First Monday we’re right in the midst of co-editing.
So, while you’re waiting for the special issue to come out, go take a look at the interactions piece.
Baumer, E.P.S. (2015). Usees. in ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI). (Seoul). [23% acceptance rate]
HCI has developed a powerful vocabulary for thinking about, and methods for engaging with, users. Similarly, recent work has advanced complementary understanding of technology non-use. However, other spaces of interaction with technology may occur that sit uncomfortably between these two poles. This paper presents two case studies highlighting individuals who neither are clearly users of a system nor are clearly non-users. Based on these cases, the paper develops the concept of usee to help account for such situations that lie between existing analytic categories.
I’m pleased and excited to announce that I’ve had two submissions, one paper and one note, accepted to CHI. Titles and abstracts below.