Process implications of a vision to transform

Posted on May 12, 2009


Caroline Hummels' presentation at CHI09We have long argued that computing needs to contribute more than reductions in its own footprint – computing is key to facilitating a wider change.   Several papers at CHI this year showed products to reduce impacts or change behaviour.  A few completed this circle and looked back to computing (or in this case interaction design) and looked at the implications of this for how we think about the design process.  Caroline Hummels and Joep Frens presented one such argument in their consideration of the implications of a different way of viewing the design process.    They describe a Reflective Transformative Design Process (ACM DL).   They  see that interaction designers should not be solution focussed, rather, be in the business of creating opportunities for people:

products so that people can shape their own world

They teach a competency-based programme where students are seen as junior employees and assessment is holistic.   The goals of the programme are that students are able to transform the world for the better.  To do this they need to realise the integration of knowledge, values, attitudes and reflection. 

As designers we should be asking what sort of society do we want, and creating opportunities for people to build that for themselves

They use a reflective, transformative design process.   The  model is aimed at 1) supporting transformation 2) supporting flexibility and individuality; 3) integrating knowledge, skills and attitudes; and 4) creating moments of reflection.

Ideating, –  integrating and realising interaction solutions  – forms the core.  This is guided by a vision (transformation from our current reality to a new one through an intelligent system, product or related service), testing the experience (bottom circle). These drives (the vertical axis) are actioned by strategies (horizontal) with action (visualisations and physicalisations, left) and analysis (right). Importantly, they promote moving freely between these activities with an opportunity for reflection at every switch.  

Hummels _reflectivedesignprocess