From Pragmatism to Interaction Design: A Sociotechnical Design Space

From Pragmatism to Interaction Design: A Sociotechnical Design Space

Anders I. Mørch (University of Oslo, Norway)
DOI: 10.4018/jskd.2009040102


This article presents an approach to interaction design that is inspired by sociotechnical systems (STS) and grounded in sociocultural theory. The focus is on the early phases of the design process and in particular how theoretical ideas can stimulate design. It starts by surveying key works in theory-based design in HCI and CSCW. The notion of ‘externalized design’ of buildings has been adopted as a framework for how to incorporate conceptual (non-computational) artifacts in user interfaces. The framework is applied to the retrospective analysis of an interactive system developed by the author (Janus). The system was stimulated by the notion of reflection-in-action. A three-staged process provides gradual steps for translating reflection-in-action into a concrete user interface: 1) selection, 2) appropriation, and 3) translation. The article ends by discussing strengths and limitations of the approach, and identifies directions for further work.

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