Shades of Use : The Dynamics of Interaction Design for Sociable Use

Sammanfattning: Computers are used in sociable situations, for example during customer meetings. This is seldom recognized in design, which means that computers often become a hindrance in the meeting. Based on empirical studies and socio-cultural theory, this thesis provides perspectives on sociable use and identifies appropriate units of analysis that serve as critical tools for understanding and solving interaction design problems. Three sociable situations have been studied: customer meetings, design studios and domestic environments. In total, 49 informants were met with during 41 observation and interview sessions and 17 workshops; in addition, three multimedia platforms were also designed. The empirical results show that people need to perform individual actions while participating in joint action, in a spontaneous fashion and in consideration of each other. The consequence for design is that people must be able to use computers in different manners to control who has what information. Based on the empirical results, five design patterns were developed to guide interaction design for sociable use. The thesis demonstrates that field studies can be used to identify desirable use qualities that in turn can be used as design objectives and forces in design patterns. Re-considering instrumental, communicational, aesthetical, constructional and ethical aspects can furthermore enrich the understanding of identified use qualities. Witha foundation in the field studies, it is argued that the deliberation of ynamic characters and use qualities is an essential component of interaction design. Designers of interaction are required to work on three levels: the user interface, the mediating artefact and the activity of use. It is concluded that doing interaction design is to provide users with perspectives, resources and constraints on their space for actions; the complete design is not finalized until the users engage in action. This is where the fine distinctions and, what I call 'shades of use' appear.