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Activity-Centered Design:An Ecological Approach to Designing Smart Tools and Usable Systems

Cover Image Copyright Year: 2004
Author(s): Gay, G.; Hembrooke, H.
Publisher: MIT Press
Content Type : Books & eBooks
Topics: Computing & Processing (Hardware/Software)
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Abstract

The shift in the practice of human-computer interaction (HCI) Design from user-centered to context-based design marks a significant change in focus. With context-based design, designers start not with a preconceived idea of what users should do, but with an understanding of what users actually do. Context-based design focuses on the situation in which the technology will be used -- the activities relating to it and their social contexts. Designers must also realize that introduction of the technology itself changes the situation; in order to design workable systems, the design process must become flexible and adaptive. In Activity-Centered Design, Geri Gay and Helene Hembrooke argue that it is time to develop new models for HCI design that support not only research and development but also investigations into the context and motivation of user behavior.Gay and Hembrooke examine the ongoing interaction of computer systems use, design practice, and design evaluation, using the concepts of activity theory and related methods as a theoretical framework. Among the topics they discuss are the reciprocal relationship between the tool and the task, how activities shape the requirements of particular tools and how the application of the tools begins to reshape the activity; differing needs and expectations of participants when new technology is introduced, examining in particular the integration of wireless handheld devices into museums and learning environments; and the effect of the layout of the computing space on movement, function, and social interaction. Gay and Hembrooke then apply their findings on the use of technology in everyday contexts to inform future HCI design practice.

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      Front Matter

      Gay, G. ; Hembrooke, H.
      Activity-Centered Design:An Ecological Approach to Designing Smart Tools and Usable Systems

      Page(s): i - xxi
      Copyright Year: 2004

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      This chapter contains sections titled: Half Title, Title, Copyright, Dedication, Contents, Foreword, Preface View full abstract»

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      Activity Theory and Context-Based Design

      Gay, G. ; Hembrooke, H.
      Activity-Centered Design:An Ecological Approach to Designing Smart Tools and Usable Systems

      Page(s): 1 - 14
      Copyright Year: 2004

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      This chapter contains sections titled: Introduction, Activity Theory: An Overview, Activity Theory and HCI, Adding to Activity Theory: An Ecological Perspective, Integration of Activity Theory and Ecological Principles, Toward Reflection in Action View full abstract»

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      Understanding Perspectives: Social Construction of Technology

      Gay, G. ; Hembrooke, H.
      Activity-Centered Design:An Ecological Approach to Designing Smart Tools and Usable Systems

      Page(s): 15 - 30
      Copyright Year: 2004

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      This chapter contains sections titled: Introduction, SCOT Concpets, The Handscape Study: Using Mobile Technologies to Enhance the Museum Experience, Web-Based Concept Mapping, A Social Contructivist Approach to Design and Evaluation, Conclusion View full abstract»

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      Creating a Sense of Place: Designing for Online Learning Conversations

      Gay, G. ; Hembrooke, H.
      Activity-Centered Design:An Ecological Approach to Designing Smart Tools and Usable Systems

      Page(s): 31 - 52
      Copyright Year: 2004

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      This chapter contains sections titled: Introduction, Designing Systems for Conversing: A Research Setting, Learning Conversations, Museum Ecologies: An Overview, Tensions, Constraints, and Barriers, The ArtView Study: Spatial Metaphors and Coversational Props, Replicating the Museum's Role as Social Place, Lack of Social Conventions and Cues, Authority, Crowding, Sources of Information, Loss of Aesthetic Presence, Conclusion View full abstract»

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      Blurring Boundaries: A Study of Ubiquitous Computing

      Gay, G. ; Hembrooke, H.
      Activity-Centered Design:An Ecological Approach to Designing Smart Tools and Usable Systems

      Page(s): 53 - 72
      Copyright Year: 2004

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      This chapter contains sections titled: Nomad: Research on Wireless Computing, Freedom from the Constraints of Space and Time, Pervasive Access, Temptation, and Addiction, Diverting Attention from Classroom Activities and Relations, Mediating Community Participation and Classroom Interactions, Conclusion View full abstract»

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      Designing for Context-Aware Computing

      Gay, G. ; Hembrooke, H.
      Activity-Centered Design:An Ecological Approach to Designing Smart Tools and Usable Systems

      Page(s): 73 - 88
      Copyright Year: 2004

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      This chapter contains sections titled: Context-Aware Computing, Putting the Context in Context-Aware Computing, MUSE: Designing Context-Aware Computing Systems, Semaphore: A Context-Aware Collaborative Application, E-Graffiti, CampusAware, MUSE: An Application, Conclusion View full abstract»

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      Configural Analysis of Spaces and Places

      Gay, G. ; Hembrooke, H.
      Activity-Centered Design:An Ecological Approach to Designing Smart Tools and Usable Systems

      Page(s): 89 - 100
      Copyright Year: 2004

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      This chapter contains sections titled: Spaces as Physical Objects, Why Configuration Theory?, Nondiscursive Techniques for Evaluating Space View full abstract»

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      References

      Gay, G. ; Hembrooke, H.
      Activity-Centered Design:An Ecological Approach to Designing Smart Tools and Usable Systems

      Page(s): 101 - 108
      Copyright Year: 2004

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      The shift in the practice of human-computer interaction (HCI) Design from user-centered to context-based design marks a significant change in focus. With context-based design, designers start not with a preconceived idea of what users should do, but with an understanding of what users actually do. Context-based design focuses on the situation in which the technology will be used -- the activities relating to it and their social contexts. Designers must also realize that introduction of the technology itself changes the situation; in order to design workable systems, the design process must become flexible and adaptive. In Activity-Centered Design, Geri Gay and Helene Hembrooke argue that it is time to develop new models for HCI design that support not only research and development but also investigations into the context and motivation of user behavior.Gay and Hembrooke examine the ongoing interaction of computer systems use, design practice, and design evaluation, using the concepts of activity theory and related methods as a theoretical framework. Among the topics they discuss are the reciprocal relationship between the tool and the task, how activities shape the requirements of particular tools and how the application of the tools begins to reshape the activity; differing needs and expectations of participants when new technology is introduced, examining in particular the integration of wireless handheld devices into museums and learning environments; and the effect of the layout of the computing space on movement, function, and social interaction. Gay and Hembrooke then apply their findings on the use of technology in everyday contexts to inform future HCI design practice. View full abstract»

    • Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.

      Index

      Gay, G. ; Hembrooke, H.
      Activity-Centered Design:An Ecological Approach to Designing Smart Tools and Usable Systems

      Page(s): 109 - 111
      Copyright Year: 2004

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      The shift in the practice of human-computer interaction (HCI) Design from user-centered to context-based design marks a significant change in focus. With context-based design, designers start not with a preconceived idea of what users should do, but with an understanding of what users actually do. Context-based design focuses on the situation in which the technology will be used -- the activities relating to it and their social contexts. Designers must also realize that introduction of the technology itself changes the situation; in order to design workable systems, the design process must become flexible and adaptive. In Activity-Centered Design, Geri Gay and Helene Hembrooke argue that it is time to develop new models for HCI design that support not only research and development but also investigations into the context and motivation of user behavior.Gay and Hembrooke examine the ongoing interaction of computer systems use, design practice, and design evaluation, using the concepts of activity theory and related methods as a theoretical framework. Among the topics they discuss are the reciprocal relationship between the tool and the task, how activities shape the requirements of particular tools and how the application of the tools begins to reshape the activity; differing needs and expectations of participants when new technology is introduced, examining in particular the integration of wireless handheld devices into museums and learning environments; and the effect of the layout of the computing space on movement, function, and social interaction. Gay and Hembrooke then apply their findings on the use of technology in everyday contexts to inform future HCI design practice. View full abstract»




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