Activity-Centered Design | MIT Press | Datenbank | sack.de
Gay / Hembrooke

Activity-Centered Design


An Ecological Approach to Designing Smart Tools and Usable Systems

MIT Press





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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Hembrooke, Helene
Helene Hembrooke is Associate Director of the Human-Computer Interaction Group at
Cornell University.


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