Rogers, Y. HCI Theory: Classical, Modern and Contemporary. Part V


In the discussion, Rogers identifies most and least successful theories in the history of HCI as well as the main changes that have happened in theories. According to her, the most successful theories in HCI have been conceptual frameworks such as context-aware framework, interactional trajectories, and ambiguity framework. In addition ethnographic approaches have proved to be useful for researchers and designers.

The least successful theories have been those that have been adapted from other fields of research as generalizable methods. Rogers identifies four main problems with these theories:

  • assuming that theories do the design
  • forgetting that designers already have established methods and techniques
  • not allowing enough time for the theory to mature and show impact
  • being too difficult and laborious to master

In addition the contribution of these theories has been unclear. One additional problem has risen during recent years. The increasing number of theoretical approaches has made it difficult for the designers and researchers to select the most useful ones for them.

The main changes in HCI theories have been:

  • shifting of the focus from the user to context
  • replacing of the scientific-interaction design duality in methods and theories with multiple and hybrid methodology
  • transition from interdisciplinarity to transdisciplinarity
  • change in the outputs from design implications, models of the user and the user experience, and tools for analysis to creating new ways of experiencing and take into account human values.

Rogers, Y. HCI Theory: Classical, Modern, and Contemporary.Synthesis Lectures on Human-Centered Informatics, May 2012, Vol. 5, No. 2

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