Recent studies in HCI have explored how we might reduce the spread of online misinformation by helping people learn how to evaluate information in more skillful ways. Unfortunately, it isn't clear that such interventions have been meaningfully integrated into communities. To better understand why this is the case, this paper engages over thirty information professionals (educators, librarians, and journalists) who promote digital literacy in BIPOC and rural communities. Our participants describe a temporal mismatch, whereby digital literacy requires time-consuming processes that cannot be accelerated, but institutional and societal pressures demand speed. We also describe strategies that participants envisaged to cope with this mismatch. This leads us to discuss how the HCI community can better engage with the temporal aspects of digital literacy work, with a view toward expanding the range of solutions we can design to address the misinformation crisis.
User interfaces typically feature tools to act on objects and rely on the ability of users to discover or learn how to interact with them. Previous work in HCI has used the Theory of Affordances to explain how users understand the possibilities for action in digital environments. A complementary theory from cognitive neuroscience, Technical Reasoning, posits that users accumulate abstract knowledge of object properties and technical principles known as mechanical knowledge, essential in tool use. Drawing from this theory, we introduce interaction knowledge as the ``mechanical'' knowledge of digital environments. We provide evidence of its relevance by reporting on an experiment where participants performed tasks in a digital environment with ambiguous possibilities for interaction. We analyze how interaction knowledge was transferred across two digital domains, text editing and graphical editing, and conclude that interaction knowledge models an essential type of knowledge for interacting in the digital world.
When users reach their arms to different locations in physical space, they often adapt how they move (i.e., kinematic properties of their reaches) depending on the: (1) direction they move, (2) hand they use, and (3) side of the body where the movement occurs. However, it is not yet clear if and how these three properties of reaching tasks may interact to influence users’ behavior when they reach to objects in VR. To address this question, we had users perform virtual hand reaches in five different directions, on both sides of their bodies, using both their dominant and non-dominant hands. The results revealed that users adapted their virtual hand reaching movements in response to changes in all three properties. The findings provide practitioners insights on how to measure and interpret users’ movements, which has applicability in emerging contexts that include detecting VR usability issues and using VR for stroke rehabilitation.
Sound zone technology enables multiple people to have personal and shared listening experiences without disturbing each other. Methods for constructing sound zones have now matured enough to allow installations outside of experimental laboratories, making it essential for further development to conduct empirical studies about how people adopt, use, and interact with sound zones in, e.g., domestic settings. To that end, we conducted a four-week field study with a sound zone system in five households. Through an inductive reflexive thematic analysis, we identify three themes relating to 1) experiencing sound zones in everyday life, 2) sound zone usage patterns in households, and 3) interacting with sound zones. Based on these themes, we discuss how sound zones can be used to manage sound in homes in new ways to allow for better social coexistence and listening experiences. We present four directions for future HCI research and interaction design to comply with user needs and considerations when using this novel technology.
Variable font file technology enables adjusting fonts on scaled axes that can include weight, and grade. While making text bold increases the character width, grade achieves boldness without increasing character width or causing text reflow. Through two studies with a total of 459 participants, we examined the effect of varying grade levels on both glancing and paragraph reading tasks in light and dark modes. We show that dark text on a light background (Light Mode) is read reliably faster than its polar opposite (Dark Mode). We found an effect of mode for both glance and paragraph reading and an effect of grade for LM with heavier, increased grade levels. Paragraph readers are not choosing, or preferring, LM over DM despite fluency benefits and reported visual clarity. Software designers can vary grade across the tested font formats to influence design aesthetics and user preferences without worrying about reducing reading fluency.
In this paper we develop approaches to automatic speech recognition (ASR) development that suit the needs and functions of under-heard language speakers. Our novel contribution to HCI is to show how community-engagement can surface key technical and social issues and opportunities for more effective speech-based systems. We introduce a bespoke toolkit of technologies and showcase how we utilised the toolkit to engage communities of under-heard language speakers; and, through that engagement process, situate key aspects of ASR development in community contexts. The toolkit consists of (1) an information appliance to facilitate spoken-data collection on topics of community interest, (2) a mobile app to create crowdsourced transcripts of collected data, and (3) demonstrator systems to showcase ASR capabilities and to feed back research results to community members. Drawing on the sensibilities we cultivated through this research, we present a series of challenges to the orthodoxy of state-of-the-art approaches to ASR development.