Maker culture and DIY practices are central to democratizing the design of technology; enabling non-designers (future end-users) to actively participate in the design process. However, little is known about how individuals from under-resourced communities and low socioeconomic status (SES) backgrounds, can practically leverage maker practices to design technology, creating value for themselves or their communities. To investigate this, we collaborated with an e-waste recycling centre, involving 24 participants (staff and low-SES volunteers) in two participatory maker workshop activities. Participants were provided with a generative e-waste toolkit, through which they repurposed e-waste materials and developed novel technology prototypes that created value from their perspectives and agendas. Our findings unpack three factors that influenced their making: balancing personal and community needs; incorporating convenience and productivity; and re-thinking sustainability and connection; and discuss strategies for scaffolding participation and engagement of under-resourced communities in making using an e-waste generative toolkit to democratize technology design.
Engaging end user groups with machine learning (ML) models can help align the design of predictive systems with people’s needs and expectations. We present a co-design study investigating the benefits and challenges of using computational notebooks to inform ML models with end user groups. We used a computational notebook to engage young adults, carers, and clinicians with an example ML model that predicted health risk in diabetes care. Through co-design workshops and retrospective interviews, we found that participants particularly valued using the interactive data visualisations of the computational notebook to scaffold multidisciplinary learning, anticipate benefits and harms of the example ML model, and create fictional feature importance plots to highlight care needs. Participants also reported challenges, from running code cells to managing information asymmetries and power imbalances. We discuss the potential of leveraging computational notebooks as interactive co-design tools to meet end user needs early in ML model lifecycles.
Revived interest in lunar exploration is heralding a new generation of design solutions in support of human operations on the Moon. While space system design has traditionally been guided by prototype deployments in analogue studies, the resource-intensive nature of this approach has largely precluded application of proficient user-centered design (UCD) methods from human-computer interaction (HCI). This paper explores possible use of Virtual Reality (VR) to simulate analogue studies in lab settings and thereby bring to bear UCD in this otherwise engineering-dominated field. Drawing on the ongoing development of the European Large Logistics Lander, we have recreated a prospective lunar operational scenario in VR and evaluated it with a group of astronauts and space experts (n=20). Our qualitative findings demonstrate the efficacy of VR in facilitating UCD, enabling efficient contextual inquiries and improving project team coordination. We conclude by proposing future directions to further exploit VR in lunar systems design.
Dying is a universal experience that entails uncertainty, loss, and termination. Often, people face death unprepared and miss out on opportunities to shape their fnal stage of life as well as their afterlife. To better understand how thanato-technology can support the dying and the bereaved, we performed a scoping review on the current state-of-art in Human Computer Interaction. Following the PRISMA-ScR procedure, we gathered and analyzed 107 relevant papers. We categorized theoretical and conceptual contributions into three overarching themes: digital remains, remembrance, and coping. We further highlight 18 practices, such as curation, honor-ing and letting go. We show that technology can help to capture the identity of the deceased, to validate the life lived, and to come to terms with death. However, available approaches focus more on the bereaved than on the dying. In addition, potentially impor-tant aspects of dying (e.g., balancing involvement and autonomy, spiritual meaning-making) remain largely unexplored.
Despite the central role that stories play in social movement-building, they are difficult to sustainably document for many reasons. To explore this challenge, this paper describes the design of a community-based conversational storytelling agent (CSA) to document digital stories of housing insecurity. Building on insights from an ongoing grassroots project, the Anti-Eviction Mapping Project, we share how a study initially focused on CSA-support opened an investigation of the role that artificial intelligence may play in housing justice movements. Drawing from 17 interviews with narrators of housing insecurity experiences and collectors of such stories, we find that collectors perceive opportunities to expand means of documentation with multimedia and multi-language support. Meanwhile, some narrators perceive potential for a CSA to offer therapeutic storytelling experiences and document otherwise unrecorded stories. Yet, CSA encounters also surface perils of machine bias, as well as reduced possibilities of human connections and relations.
Computational toys and apps, or coding kits, are the primary learning media for young children to engage in Computational Thinking concepts and skills. However, how coding kits are designed to welcome children of different genders remains unclear, a critical research gap given that computing is mostly a male-dominated field. Drawing on relevant literature, we develop a framework of gender-related design features in toys (i.e., boy-oriented, girl-oriented, or gender-neutral features) and employ it to examine gender-related design features in commercially available coding kits for young children aged seven and under (N=110). The findings reveal the lopsided gender representation in coding kits, e.g., their physical forms and supported coding activities are predominantly boy-oriented. We discuss design and research implications for coding kits to welcome participation from children of different genders, especially young girls whose preferred design features are underrepresented in current designs.