Ambiguity as a resource to inform proto-practices : The case of skin conductance

Sanches, Pedro and Hook, Kristina and Sas, Corina and Stahl, Anna (2019) Ambiguity as a resource to inform proto-practices : The case of skin conductance. ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction (TOCHI), 26 (4): 21. ISSN 1073-0516

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Skin conductance is an interesting measure of arousal level, largely unfamiliar to most end-users. We designed a mobile application mirroring end-users’ skin conductance in evocative visualizations, purposefully made ambiguous to invite rich interpretations. Twenty-three participants used the system for a month. Through the lens of a practice-based analysis of weekly interviews and the logged data, several quite different—sometimes even mutually exclusive—interpretations or proto-practices arose: as stress management; sports performance; emotion tracking; general life logging; personality representation; or behavior change practices. This suggests the value of a purposefully open initial design to allow for the emergence of broader proto-practices to be followed by a second step of tailored design for each identified goal to facilitate the transition from proto-practice to practice. We contribute to the HCI discourse on ambiguity in design, arguing for balancing openness and ambiguity with scaffolding to better support the emergence of practices around biodata.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction (TOCHI)
Uncontrolled Keywords:
?? skin conductancedatapractice theoryproto-practiceswearablesstresssportsemotionopen-ended designambiguitybiofeedbackhuman-computer interaction ??
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Deposited On:
08 Mar 2019 15:20
Last Modified:
15 Jul 2024 19:01