Beyond Gadgetry: Reflections on Tech- and User-Driven Research in Human-Computer Interaction

Sammanfattning: This compilation thesis builds on a number of research projects within the domain of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI). Firstly, the thesis includes papers in the area of multi-device spatially-aware interactions. Prototypes of future interaction environments were built and evaluated in anticipation of technical developments in mobile sensing. The thesis shows that spatially-aware mobile devices can be effective in supporting information retrieval from information visualisations and facilitating sensemaking. Secondly, an accurate account of an industrial case study on designing interfaces for big data in the automotive domain is presented. The work contributes a proposed process for building user-oriented big data applications. Finally, the thesis undertakes efforts in supporting sports activities with interactive technology in order to explore the design space of HCI and sports. The papers explore the needs of amateur sportsmen and show examples of technology that fits into the social setting of running and group exercise. All of the activities were conducted using design-based research. The theoretical part of this thesis focuses on a structured reflection on past research work. Based on the appended papers and a literature review, the Contribution Type Family (CTF) model is presented. The model characterises the different types of intermediate-level knowledge that design-based research may generate. The published papers contained in this thesis serve as examples of contribution types. A distinction between user- and technology-driven research emerges from the analysis. The thesis also features a set of lessons learnt aimed at researchers with an engineering background who endeavour to practice design-based research. These lessons showcase the pragmatic differences between user- and technology-driven inquiry and explicate the necessary choices that a researcher needs to make. Together, the CTF model and the presented lessons serve as a tool for reflection and may help planning future design-based research inquiries and inform research strategy.