DIS Paper

Month after next, I’ll be presenting a paper at DIS that reviews the use of reflection in interactive systems design. Mostly, the focus is on systems designed to support reflection (as in reflective thought). Here’s the abstract:

Designers have demonstrated an increased interest in designing for reflection. However, that work currently occurs under a variety of diverse auspices. To help organize and investigate this literature, this paper present a review of research on systems designed to support reflection. Key findings include that most work in this area does not actually define the concept of reflection. We also find that most evaluations do not focus on reflection per se rather but on some other outcome arguably linked to reflection. Our review also describes the relationship between reflection and persuasion evidenced implicitly by both rhetorical motivations for and implementation details of system design. After discussing the significance of our findings, we conclude with a series of recommendations for improving research on and design for reflection.

See the publications page for a preprint.

JITP Article Out

Our field study of Reflext has now gone to press in the Journal of Information Technology and Politics, in as much as “press” is an appropriate term for primarily digital publishing. Here’s the abstract:

Vast amounts of political coverage are generated daily online. Some tools have been developed to help keep track of what is being said, but fewer efforts focus on how things are being said, i.e., how issues are framed. This article presents a study of Reflext, an interactive visualization tool that leverages computational linguistic analysis to support reflection on the framing of political issues. This system was deployed in a field study, during which the tool was used by regular readers of political news coverage during the 2012 U.S. election campaign. The results describe the tool’s support for a variety of activities related to frame reflection, how users integrated tool use with their existing reading practices, and broader issues in how participants interpreted the computational analysis and visualization. These findings contribute to our understanding of how algorithmically based interactive systems might mediate both the practical experiences of and situated interpretation of framing in political content.

See the full article.

Workshop on Technology Non-use at CHI 2014

Along with several fantastic people, I’ll be co-organizing a workshop on technology use at CHI. Here’s an excerpt from the CfP:

Most research in human-centered/social computing focuses on when and how people use technology. We argue that examining non-use – when and how people do not use technology – is an equally informative line of inquiry. This workshop will consider the theories, methods, foundational texts, and central research questions in the study of non-use. In addition to a special issue proposal, we expect the research thread brought to the fore in this workshop will speak to foundational questions of use and the user in HCI.

For more details see http://nonuse.jedbrubaker.com/

We’re especially interested in involving participants from a wide range of disciplinary backgrounds, so please help us circulate this call broadly.

Call for Abstracts – CHI 2039: Research Visions and Speculative Futures

What will be published at CHI 25 years from now?

Visions of the future profoundly influence current research. From the inspirational role of science fiction, to narratives about development and progress, to utopian as well as dystopian predictions about the impacts of technology on society, the tomorrows toward which we work, consciously or unconsciously, significantly shape what counts as an important contribution in today’s research. However, despite their importance, relatively limited discussion occurs about the details of what such futures might entail.

This call offers an opportunity to speculate about what those potential futures might hold. Submissions are invited of abstracts for fictional papers that might appear, will appear, should appear, or perhaps should not appear in the proceedings of the 2039 ACM CHI Conference. What will have changed? What will remain the same? Visionary calls, critical reflections, and prophetic warnings are all encouraged. Abstracts are welcome both from regular CHI attendees and from those at the periphery of the community and beyond. A selection of these abstracts will be curated into a submission to the CHI Conference’s alt.chi track.

Abstracts should be ~150 words long, provide a title for the fictional future paper, and may optionally include an image as well as authors’ affiliations. Abstracts will be selected for inclusion based on their ability to represent a diversity of guiding research visions, their excitatory or provocative potential, the space allotted by the CHI extended abstracts format, and the likelihood of engendering conversations about the future of HCI.

Abstracts should be submitted via email to Eric P. S. Baumer (ericpsb cornell edu) with “[CHI 2039]” in the subject line.

Important Dates:
Abstract Submission Deadline – December 8, 2013
Curatorial Decision Notification – December 16, 2013
Collection Submitted to alt.chi – December 20, 2013

See further details and dates on the alt.chi track.

Forthcoming HCI Paper

My co-authors and I recently had a paper accepted to a special issue of the journal Human-Computer Interaction on Design Thinking. It describes our lab’s use of various visual approaches to HCI design, as well as both the potential and the challenges posed to HCI by such visual approaches. I’ll post a pre-print copy soon, but for now here’s the partial citation and abstract.

Snyder, J., Baumer, E.P.S., Voida, S., Adams, P., Halpern, M., Choudhury, T., and Gay, G. (to appear). Making Things Visible: Opportunities and Tensions in Visual Approaches for Design Research. Human-Computer Interaction.

Visual approaches for conducting research during the design process often give voice to people and ideas that might otherwise remain obscured. Recent and increasing interest in visual research techniques has coincided with technological advances such as camera phones and visually oriented mobile applications. As a result of this close association between digital technologies and image-based research techniques, there are multiple opportunities and challenges within HCI design practice to employ these strategies to improve user experiences. This paper provides an overview of current visual approaches to research highlighting the role technology has played in facilitating and inspiring these techniques. A series of case studies are presented that provide a basis for understanding a breadth of visual approaches in HCI design practices, as well as serve as a point of entry to a critical and reflective discussion about the use of these approaches in different circumstances. Based on these reflections, three value statements are offered as a means to encourage the use of these visual approaches more broadly and critically in HCI design studies.

Update (2013-12-13): Our article is now available here.

At CHI (and not at CHI)

I’m really excited that I’ll have two papers being presented this week at CHI.

The first is a study exploring both the prevalence of, and motivations for, not using Facebook.

Baumer, E.P.S., Adams, P., Khovanskya, V., Liao, T., Smith, M.E., Sosik, V.S., Williams, K. (2013). Limiting, Leaving, and (re)Lapsing: A Survey of Facebook Non-use Practices and Experiences. in ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI). (Paris, France).

The second represents a portion of an honors thesis I supervised.

Khovanskaya, V., Baumer, E.P.S., Cosley, D., Voida, S., and Gay, G.K. (2013). “Everybody Knows What You’re Doing”: A Critical Design Approach to Personal Informatics. in ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI). (Paris, France).

While you’ll find my papers in Paris this week, you won’t find me. For personal reasons, I decided not to attend CHI this year, so both of these will be presented by my fantastic co-authors. For those who are interested, I’ve written a short blurb about this decision, which was difficult to say the least.

I’d still love to hear from anyone who’s interested in chatting about either of these papers–feel free to drop me a note.

iConference Paper Accepted

I’m pleased to announce that my collaborators and I have just received notification that a paper we submitted has been accepted to the iConference.

Baumer, E.P.S., Polletta, F., Pierski, N., Celaya, C., Rosenblatt, K., and Gay, G.K. (to appear 2013). Developing Computational Supports for Frame Reflection. in Proceedings of the iConference. (Fort Worth, TX).

This paper presents a controlled study of a tool designed to support critical thinking and reflection about framing in political coverage, that is, a Computational Support for Frame Reflection.

Call for Study Participants

I’m running a field study with a tool our group has built. If you or anyone you know might be interested, please drop me an email.

Are you a political junkie? Addicted to the news? Is your browser’s homepage the New York Times or Wall Street Journal? Or maybe it’s the National Review Online or the Huffington Post? Ever wanted a deeper look at what’s being said between the lines?

Or does the news bother you? Does politics turn you off? Do you find yourself ignoring any kind of discussion of political issues or news coverage? Do you feel like there’s a level of depth that is lacking in most political discussions?

If you fit either of these descriptions, this study is for you. We’ve developed an online tool that helps you understand political news and discussions by visualizing patterns of language in them. We’re currently looking for people who want to try out the tool and wouldn’t mind talking with us about it. Plus, you’ll be entered in a drawing for a $200 Amazon gift card.

If you’re interested, please contact Eric Baumer: ericpsb [at] cornell [dot] edu