Historically, information, internet and communication technology design has looked to human information processing models from cognitive psychology. Centered on the individual “user” who is making rational decisions based on available information, these models address only a small part of internet experience and behavior. We need generative social science models that help us understand how social context, physical setting, and aesthetics affect people’s intentions, their emotional orientation to technologies and to others—and how these factors affect their information processing, their decision-making, and their actions.
In this talk, Elizabeth Churchill will illustrate how both cognitive and social interaction theories underpinned the design of interactive community displays that were installed in a number of public places—displays that reflected online social network activity into physical public places. While the underlying technology remained the same for each installation, social and cultural aspects of settings inspired the provision of different interactive interface elements – and in turn led to a deeper understanding of the interplay between physical, social and individual factors in the design, adoption and adaptation of a social technology.
Through description of this work, Churchill will illustrate how socially oriented experience and activity-based theories of interaction can further our understanding of interactive media sharing in physical and digital public places. She will end with discussion of how these grounding theories and principles are being drawn on to frame the emerging research area of media experience.
Churchill is a Principal Research Scientist at Yahoo! Research in Santa Clara, CA. She works in the area of Media Experience Research, her area of interest being social media. She is interested in thinking about the emerging digital media “ethnoscapes” (the fluid, shifting landscape of people and groups – passersby, tourists, immigrants, exiles) that make Internet life. Formerly, she worked at PARC, the Palo Alto Research Center, California in the Computing Science Lab (CSL). Prior to that she was the project lead of the Social Computing Group at FX Palo Laboratory, Fuji Xerox’s research lab in Palo Alto.