What are we Doing and Why are we Doing It: The Relationship Between Digital Civics and HCI

Introduction

The relationship between Digital Civics research and Human Computer Interaction (HCI) research can be tricky to pin down. Digital Civics research can be classed as an aspect, or sub-set of HCI research but I feel that the nature of Digital Civics means it includes elements that takes it far beyond a pure HCI agenda [1].

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Tangible Intangibles

How tangible does something have to be to be classed as an example of tangible computing? If we were to be very literal about it we could argue that nearly all modern computing is tangible as we interact through the physical objects of (often) a keyboard and mouse, however things are a little more complex than that.

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A Paradigm Shift?

Human Computer Interaction (HCI) is a discipline at the intersection of many fields, incorporating ideas from disciplines including computer science, psychology and design to name a few. This can make defining what counts as ‘good’ HCI research difficult as each field has its own ways of doing research and doesn’t always accept other methods as being equally applicable.

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'Cause we are Living in a Ubicomp World*

*with apologies to Madonna!

 

The field of ubiquitous computing (ubicomp) is an odd one. Ever since Weiser published his seminal article The Computer for the 21st Century [1] (widely regarded as the paper which launched the ubicomp research agenda) researchers have been chasing a world of ever more integrated and seamless technologies which are always in the tantalisingly close,

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