HCL, Natural Science and Design: A Framework for Triangulation Across Disciplines

  • Mackay W
  • Fayard A
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Human-computer interaction is multidisciplinary, drawing paradigms and techniques from both the natural sciences and the design disciplines. HCI cannot be considered a pure natural science because it studies the interaction between people and artificially-created artifacts, rather than naturally-occurring phenomena, which violates several basic assumptions of natural science. Similarly, HCI cannot be considered a pure design discipline because it strives to independently verify design decisions and processes, and borrows many values from scientists. The purpose of this paper is to provide a simple framework that describes how the research and design models underlying HCI can be integrated. We explore the relationships among these approaches in the context of a particular research site, CENA, the Centre d' Études de la Navigation Aérienne, and illustrate how the various disciplines can contribute to a complex design problem: improving the interface to the French air traffic control system. The framework provides one perspective for understanding the various research approaches, and, more importantly, suggests new research directions. The resulting cross- disciplinary triangulation can increase the effectiveness of the individual research and design approaches. KEYWORDS:

Author-supplied keywords

  • CSCW
  • augumented reality
  • design
  • theory

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  • Wendy Mackay

  • Anne-Laure Fayard

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