Culture, Playfulness, and Creativity

Case Study, Paper & ToCHI

May 9, 2012 @ 14:30, Room: 12AB

Chair: Lucian Leahu, Cornell University, USA
Uncomfortable Interactions - Paper
Community: user experience
Contribution & Benefit: Discomfort can enhance the entertainment, enlightenment and sociality of cultural experiences. We explore how four kinds of discomfort - visceral, cultural, control and intimacy - can be ethically embedded into experiences.
Abstract » We argue for deliberately and systematically creating uncomfortable interactions as part of powerful cultural experiences. We identify the potential benefits of uncomfortable interactions under the general headings of entertainment, enlightenment and sociality. We then review artworks and performances that have employed discomfort, including two complementary examples from the worlds of entertainment and performance. From this, we articulate a suite of tactics for designing four primary forms of discomfort referred to as visceral, cultural, control and intimate. We discuss how moments of discomfort need to be embedded into an overall experience which requires a further consideration of the dramatic acts of exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and d�nouement. Finally, we discuss an ethical framework for uncomfortable interactions which leads us to revisit key issues of consent, withdrawal, privacy and risk.
Appreciating plei-plei around mobiles: Playfulness in Rah Island - Paper
Community: design
Contribution & Benefit: Describes field work in Vanuatu around first time mobile phone adoption in an isolated community. Can assist designers and researchers involve playfulness in the design process of limited, inexpensive technologies.
Abstract » We set out to explore and understand the ways in which mobiles made their way into an environment—Rah Island in Vanuatu—for the first time. We were struck by their playful use, especially given the very limited infrastructure and inexpensive devices that were available. Based on our findings, we discuss tensions between playfulness and utility, in particular relating to socio-economic benefits, and conclude that playfulness in these settings needs to be taken as seriously as in any other setting. Additionally, we formulated three challenges when designing for play in similar settings: (1) engage intimately with the materials of inexpensive ICT; (2) revisit design recommendations for playfulness to ensure that they can travel/translate into other cultures; and (3) alleviate existing tensions.
Improving Performance, Perceived Usability, and Aesthetics with Culturally Adaptive User Interfaces - ToCHI
Contribution & Benefit: Beautiful? Usable? Not in my culture! We demonstrate how culturally adaptive interfaces can result in a significant improvement of performance and user experience for multicultural users.
Abstract » When we investigate the usability and aesthetics of user interfaces, we rarely take into account that what users perceive as beautiful and usable strongly depends on their cultural background. In this paper, we argue that it is not feasible to design one interface that appeals to all users of an increasingly global audience. Instead, we propose to design culturally adaptive systems, which automatically generate personalized interfaces that correspond to cultural preferences. In an evaluation of one such system, we demonstrate that a majority of international participants preferred their personalized versions over a non-adapted interface of the same web site. Results show that users were 22% faster using the culturally adapted interface, needed less clicks, and made fewer errors, in line with subjective results demonstrating that they found the adapted version significantly easier to use. Our findings show that interfaces that adapt to cultural preferences can immensely increase the user experience.
Digital Art and Interaction: Lessons in Collaboration - Long Case Study
Contribution & Benefit: We present the evolution of Digital Art and HCI collaborations via three case studies. Such collaborations need early, ongoing engagement and HCI techniques need to evolve to support future collaborations.
Abstract » This paper builds on the recent CHI2011 SIG on Digital Arts and the work of the author to examine the nature of collaboration between HCI researchers and new media (or digital) artists. We look at three particular collaborative projects spread over a number of years. We examine the lessons for future collaboration so that productive CHI Arts collaborations can flourish to sustain the community. The chief lessons are that such partnerships need; to early and ongoing collaboration between the parties in order to develop mutually agreeable goals, and that practices and techniques on both sides need to develop to support further understanding.