The role of design and design research in Human-Computer Interaction
The field of human-computer interaction represents collaboration between technologists,
human scientists, and designers. As a result, the scope of HCI has broadened from a
narrow focus on improving efficiency, effectiveness, and ease of use in the workplace
to new contexts of use such as the homes, the vehicle, and public spaces such as cafes,
stores, and streets. In addition, the goals of HCI have changed from increasing work
productivity to allowing for the creation of meaningful experiences in people’s lives.
New research topics are now of interest, including the relationship between experience,
design, and emotion, and how to design to evoke and support social behavior.
For these reasons, interaction design has developed a larger role within HCI.
While HCI practice and education have successfully integrated interaction design, the
HCI research community is still undergoing change. Our ongoing research with HCI and design
academics and practitioners has allowed us to identify several types of design research within HCI:
case-based research, design in the support of HCI research, critical design, and research through
design, where understanding is codified into an artifact that in turn evolves new research questions.
In addition, we have identified a new model for interaction design research within HCI. The model
describes how interaction designers make research contributions based on their strength
in addressing under-constrained problems. We have also developed a set of four lenses for
evaluating a design research contribution within HCI.
Zimmerman, J. and Forlizzi, J. (2008). The Role of Design Artifacts in Design Theory Construction.
Artifact, in press.
[local pdf, 168 KB]
Zimmerman, J., Forlizzi, J., and Evenson, S. (2007). Research
through design as a method for interaction design research in HCI.
CHI07 Proceedings. New York, NY: ACM Press, 493-502.
[local pdf, 1.1 MB]
Copyright 2008 Jodi Forlizzi.