Designing interfaces in public settings

Reeves, Stuart (2009) Designing interfaces in public settings. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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The rapidly increasing reach of computation into our everyday public settings presents new and significant challenges for the design of interfaces. One key feature of these settings is the increased presence of third parties to interaction, watching or passing-by as conduct with an interface takes place.

This thesis assumes a performative perspective on interaction in public, presenting a framework derived from four empirical studies of interaction in a diverse series of public places---museums and galleries, city streets and funfairs---as well as observations on a variety of computer science, art and sociological literatures.

As these settings are explored, a number of basic framework concepts are built up:

* The first study chapter presents a deployment of an interactive exhibit within an artistic installation, introducing a basic division of roles and the ways in which visitors may be seen as `audience' to manipulations of interactive devices by `participants'. It also examines how visitors in an audience role may transition to active participant and vice versa.

* The second study chapter describes a storytelling event that employed a torch-based interface. This chapter makes a distinction between non-professional and professional members of settings, contrasting the role of `actor' with that of participants.

* The third study chapter examines a series of scientific and artistic performance events that broadcast live telemetry data from a fairground ride to a watching audience. The study expands the roles introduced in previous chapters through making a further distinction between `behind-the-scenes'---in which `orchestrators' operate---and `centre-stage' settings---in which actors present the rider's experience to the audience.

* The final study chapter presents a performance art game conducted on city streets, in which participants follow a series of often ambiguous clues in order to lead them to their goal. This chapter introduces a further `front-of-house' setting, the notion of a circumscribing performance `frame' in which the various roles are situated, and the additional role of the `bystander' as part of this.

These observations are brought together into a design framework which analyses other literature to complement the earlier studies. This framework seeks to provide a new perspective on and language for human-computer interaction (HCI), introducing a series of sensitising concepts, constraints and strategies for design that may be employed in order to approach the various challenges presented by interaction in public settings.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Benford, S.D.
O'Malley, C.E.
Keywords: hci, human computer interaction, cscw, computer supported cooperative work, performance, public settings
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA 75 Electronic computers. Computer science
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Science > School of Computer Science
Item ID: 10652
Depositing User: EP, Services
Date Deposited: 17 Feb 2009 09:46
Last Modified: 06 May 2020 14:03

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