More than a Moment

Alan Dix

Computational Foundry, Swansea University, Wales

Talk at UCL Interaction Centre, London, 10th October 2018

In understanding and designing effective and engaging interaction, we often focus on the moments of interaction the periods of minutes or hours while keystrokes, mouse clicks or finger movements across the screen elicit changing patterns of pixels and bits on computer memory.  Yet these moments of actual interaction are part of a larger matrix of days, weeks and years, where periods of direct interaction string together to create larger patterns.   This is the territory where user experience design meets service design, and HCI research meets IS.  It is familiar to those working in CSCW where asynchronous interactions and workflows naturally take you beyond the system itself into the apparent interstices, that are, in fact, often the activities that interaction is about.  The failures at this timescale are often errors of omission rather than commission, the things tardy, forgotten and undone.  This is an area beyond the twenty minute user test; where motivation, opportunity and prompts to action, are more important than consistency, feedback and direct usability; where novelty may lie in the assembly of off-the-shelf applications; and success lies in life beyond the screen.

In my personal work with various colleagues I have myself encountered and studied these long-term interactions over many years including trigger analysis for understanding cross-organisational processes, and extended episodic experience.  For this talk I'll illustrate with more recent examples including using spreadsheets as interaction elements with musicologists, island community communication and an onion skin model of social and technology experience developed as part of the analysis of my 1000 mile round Wales walk.

Keywords: long-term interaction, extended episodic experience, workflow, service design

More than a Moment. from Alan Dix



Spheres of social connections and technology use.














Alan Dix 1/10/2018