iwc

Tobias Schwartz, Gunnar Stevens, Timo Jakobi, Sebastian Denef, Leonardo Ramirez, Dave Randall, Volker Wulf (2014)

What People Do with Consumption Feedback: A Long-Term Living Lab Study of a Home Energy Management System

Journal of Interacting with Computers (IWC), Oxford University Press (2014)

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One of the great societal challenges that we face today concerns the move to more sustainable patterns of energy consumption, reflecting the need to balance both individual consumer choice and societal demands. In order for this ‘energy turnaround’ to take place, however, reducing residential energy consumption must go beyond using energy efficient devices: More sustainable behaviour and lifestyles are essential parts of future ‘energy aware’ living. Addressing this issue from an HCI perspective, this paper presents the results of a three-year research project dealing with the co-design and appropriation of a Home Energy Management System (HEMS) that has been rolled out in a living lab setting with seven households for a period of 18 months. Our HEMS is inspired by feedback systems in Sustainable Interaction Design (SID) and allows the monitoring of energy consumption in real-time. In contrast to existing research mainly focusing on how technology can persuade people to consume less energy (‘what technology does to people’), our study focuses on the appropriation of energy feedback systems (‘what people do with technology’) and how newly developed practices can become a resource for future technology design. Therefore, we deliberately followed an open research design. In keeping with this approach, our study uncovers various responses, practices and obstacles of HEMS use. We show that HEMS use is characterized by a number of different features. Recognizing the distinctive patterns of technology use in the different households and the evolutionary character of that use within the households, we conclude with a discussion of these patterns in relation to existing research and their meaning for the design of future HEMS.

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P. Saskia Bayerl, Gabriele Jacobs, Sebastian Denef, Roelof J. van den Berg, Nico Kaptein, Kamal Birdi, Fabio Bisogni, Damien Cassan, Pietro Costanzo, Mila Gascó, Kate Horton, Theo Jochoms, Stojanka Mirceva, Katerina Krstevska, Ad van den Oord, Catalina Otoiu, Rade Rajkovchevski, Zdenko Reguli, Sofie Rogiest, Trpe Stojanovski, Michal Vit, Gabriel Vonas (2013)

The role of macro context for the link between technological and organizational change

Journal of Organizational Change Management. Volume 26 issue 5 (pp. 793 - 810)

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Purpose – Technology is an important driver of organizational change and often strategically used to facilitate adaptations in organizational processes and cultures. While the link between technological and organizational change is widely recognized, the role of macro-context for this link remains undervalued. Based on data from technology implementations in European police forces the paper aims to illustrate the importance of integrating analyses of the macro-context to understand the complexity of technology driven organizational change.

Design/methodology/approach – The authors conducted 56 interviews and five focus groups with police officers from 13 countries on two of the major technology trends in European police forces: automatic number plate recognition systems (ANPR) systems and social media. They further conducted site visits to police forces in The Netherlands and the United Kingdom to observe technology usage first hand. Comparing accounts across countries they analyzed how macro-context impacted adoption decisions and implementation processes. In this analysis they concentrated on the five macro-contextual factors in the PESTL framework, i.e. political, economic, social, technological and legal factors.

Findings – In analyses of ANPR systems and social media the paper details how the macro-context of police organizations impacted decisions to adopt a technology as well as the intra-organizational alignments of processes and structures.

Practical implications – Organizational decision makers and implementers need to be aware not only of the strong agency of technology for organizations’ structure and processes, but also of the relevance of the organizational macro-context for the process and impact of technology implementations on the organizational as well as individual level.

Originality/value – The paper illustrates the impact of the macro-context of organizations in shaping the link between technological change and organizational change.

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ozchi

Amro Al-Akkad, Leonardo Ramirez, Sebastian Denef, Alexander Boden, Lisa Wood, Monika Buescher and Andreas Zimmermann ()

“Reconstructing normality”: The use of infrastructure leftovers in crisis situations as inspiration for the design of resilient technology

OzCHI '13: Proceedings of the 25th Australian Computer-Human Interaction Conference: Augmentation, Application, Innovation, Collaboration

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In this paper, we examine challenges people face in situations of disrupted network infrastructures and how people use surviving portions of technology to cope with these challenges. We show how an important aspect in crises is the disturbance of services caused by disruptions in underlying technological structures. In such situations, people resort to all possible means to “reconstruct normality” in the sense of restoring their ability to communicate. For doing so, people often make creative use of the remains of the technological landscape. Building on the analysis of interviews with crises witnesses and first responders, external reports and scientific literature, we propose and describe three categories of mechanisms involving the creative use of surviving technology in crisis situations. We argue that studying these mechanisms can provide a key source of inspiration to define qualities of resilient architectures, and use these mechanisms as creative input to propose architectural qualities that can potentially make communication systems more resilient in the face of crises.

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Thomas Rüdiger und Sebastian Denef (2013)

Soziale Medien – Muss sich die Polizei neu ausrichten?

Deutsche Polizei 11/2013, Gewerkschaft der Polizei, Bundesvorstand, Berlin

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„Ich glaube an das Pferd. Das Automobil ist nur eine vorübergehende Er- scheinung“, prophezeite Kaiser Wilhelm II. gegen Ende des 19. Jahrhun- derts. Er lag damit erwiesenermaßen falsch. „Das Internet ist für uns al- le Neuland“, sagte Bundeskanzlerin Angela Merkel noch in diesem Jahr. Zwar billigt sie dem Internet eine längere Verweildauer zu als der Kaiser dem Auto und erscheint damit selbst zukunftsgewandter. Sie erntete jedoch mit ihrer Einlassung eine Menge Spott. In beiden Fällen kommen- tierten indes höchste deutsche Regierungsvertreter aktuelle technische Entwicklungen. Der deutsche Kaiser korrigierte bald seine Einschätzung und hatte einige Jahre später selbst mehrere Autos in seinem Fuhrpark. Ob die Bundeskanzlerin das Internet weiterhin als „Neuland“ bezeichnen wird, bleibt abzuwarten. Die öffentliche Diskussion über diesen Begriff, den Merkel in der Debatte über die angelsächsischen Abhörprogramme „Tempora“ und „Prism“ verwendete, macht aber deutlich, welche unter- schiedlichen Bedeutungen der neuen Technologie Internet in der Bevöl- kerung zugeschrieben werden.

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chi2013

Sebastian Denef, Petra Saskia Bayerl, and Nico Kaptein (2013)

Social Media and the Police—Tweeting Practices of British Police Forces during the August 2011 Riots

In Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (Paris, France, April 27–May 2, 2013). CHI’13. New York, NY: ACM Press. forthcoming

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With this paper we take a first step to understand the appropriation of social media by the police. For this purpose we analyze the twitter communication by the London Metropolitan Police (MET) and the Greater Manchester Police (GMP) during the riots in August 2011. The systematic qualitative and quantitative comparison of tweets demonstrated that the two forces developed very different practices for using twitter. While MET followed an instrumental approach in their communication, in which the police aimed to remain in a controlled position and keep a distance to the general public, GMP developed an expressive approach, in which the police actively decreased the distance to the citizens. In workshops and interviews, we asked the police officers about their perspectives, which confirmed the identified practices as strategic decisions based on past experiences. Our study identifies benefits and risks of the two approaches and the potential impact of social media on the evolution of the role of police in society.

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chi2013

Tobias Schwartz, Sebastian Denef, Gunnar Stevens, Leonardo Ramirez, Volker Wulf (2013)

Cultivating Energy Literacy—Results from a Longitudinal Living Lab Study of a Home Energy Management System

In Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (Paris, France, April 27–May 2, 2013). CHI’13. New York, NY: ACM Press. forthcoming

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This paper presents results of a three-year research project focused on the emplacement of Home Energy Management Systems (HEMS) that have been rolled out in a living lab setting with seven households. The HEMS used in this study allowed householders to monitor energy consumption both in real-time and in retrospective on the TV and on mobile devices. Contrasting with existing research focused on how technology persuades people to consume less energy, our study uses a grounded approach and an open coding mechanism to analyze HEMS emplacement. As an important result of this work, we present here the issue of ‘energy literacy’. Our study reveals that, by using HEMS, participants became increasingly literate in understanding domestic electricity consumption. We discuss here the role HEMS played in that process and how the acquired literacy changed energy consumption patterns. We conclude that literacy in energy consumption has a value on its own and explain how eco feedback system designs should take this value into account and can benefit from this understanding.

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Sebastian Denef, Nico Kaptein, Petra Saskia Bayerl, Leonardo Ramirez (2012)

Best Practice in Police Social Media Adaptation

COMPOSITE, European Commission FP7 Contract No. 241918

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This document describes best practice of European police forces in adapting social media. The description of these practices stems from a workshop series and other events where police ICT experts met with academics and industry experts; and from a study of the Twitter usage of British police forces during the 2011 riots. Grouped in nine categories, we describe different uses and implementation strategies of social media by police forces. Based on these examples, we show that there have been numerous ways in which police forces benefitted from adopting social media, ranging from improved information for investigations and an improved relationship with the public to a more efficient use of resources.

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chi2012

Sebastian Denef (2012)

Design is Not about Fixing Problems: A Call for the Quality of Life

Presented at the 'Values in Design' workshop of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (Austin, TX, USA, May 5–10, 2012). CHI’12.

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This position paper discusses how we make sense of design and contrasts the idea of design as a means to address needs and to solve specific problems, with Christopher Alexander’s proposal of design as a transformation of an overall social configuration that creates the quality of life. I argue that Alexander’s design paradigm, naturally, puts values to the center of the design process and that this paradigm, therefore, supports value-sensitive design processes.

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chi2012

Sebastian Denef, and David Victor Keyson (2012)

Talking about Implications for Design in Pattern Language

In Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (Austin, TX, USA, May 5–10, 2012). CHI’12. New York, NY: ACM Press. p. 2509-2518

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In this paper we present our approach to capture and share knowledge from field studies using pattern language and thereby inform the design of ubiquitous computing.

In our case, we studied frontline firefighting by observing the existing practice, by developing empathy through participation and by introducing new technology as triggering artifacts. Applying grounded theory, we distilled our findings into pattern language describing core aspects of this practice and their interaction. In a workshop, we introduced the pattern language to developers who had no previous knowledge of this practice and, in follow-up interviews, confronted them with new technology proposals for firefighters.

Our study shows that pattern language, while not to be confused with an immutable description of the status quo or a direct path from contextual analysis to design, supports a reflective discussion of novel technology and the fit with and potential impact on existing practice.

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ijd

Sebastian Denef, Reinhard Oppermann, and David Victor Keyson (2011)

Designing for Social Configurations: Pattern Languages to Inform the Design of Ubiquitous Computing

In International Journal of Design, 5 (3). p. 49-65

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In this paper we present our approach of informing the design of ubiquitous computing by using pattern languages of human practice. By linking ethnography and design, this approach allows tackling the social dimension of ubiquitous computing in design processes.

Adding to the existing research on patterns of human practice for design, we solidify the methodology for creating pattern languages by identifying its links with grounded theory and action research and via an example of a navigation support system for frontline firefighters, show how a pattern language becomes part of the design process.

Reflecting our work, we conclude that the pattern language approach provides a framework to design for existing practice and helps to reflect the impact of novel computing artifacts.

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erscbu

Sebastian Denef, Petra Saskia Bayerl, and Nico Kaptein (2011)

Cross-European Approaches to Social Media as a Tool for Police Communication

In European Police Science and Research Bulletin 6 (2011). p. 11–14

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Based on interviews and a series of four focus group discussions, we outline systematic differences in the approaches currently adopted by European police forces in their use of social media as communication tools. We identify variations in the implementation, integration, selection and communication use. Our objective is to inform a European dialogue on social media as a tool for police communication.

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Sebastian Denef (2011)

A Pattern Language of Firefighting Frontline Practice to Inform the Design of Ubiquitous Computing

Aachen: Shaker. 294 p.

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Designing computing systems for frontline firefighting is an open challenge. As of today, little computing support exists for such hazardous environments and designers struggle to build appropriate systems that fit the complex configuration on the frontline.

Following Christopher Alexander’s understanding, design is about producing living transformations of existing configurations, it requires a thorough understanding of the situation on-site. Alexander introduces pattern languages as a means to describe existing configurations and to make them accessible for design, to link ethnography and design. This thesis therefore develops a pattern language of firefighters’ activities at the frontline to transform the existing practice into a design space for computing support.

Grounded theory, as a qualitative method to identify patterns in empirical data, and action research, as a framework that allows studying the interaction between new technologies and existing practice, solidify the methodology of pattern research and are applied to conduct and analyze workshops with French and German firefighters at professional training facilities. Workshops comprise the observation of existing practice, the active participation in firefighting exercises and the introduction of novel artifacts.

Linked up as a pattern language, 16 patterns describe the configuration of frontline firefighting. The patterns detail how firefighters organize the division of roles and tasks, how they deal with information in a dynamic environment, how they form a social binding, improvise, provide safety and prepare their work.

While similar individual patterns have been described for firefighting and other high reliability professions, the pattern language, beyond these aspects, provides an integrated perspective on the frontline work; it allows developers to reflect technological concepts and supports the participatory design process of ubiquitous computing systems.

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logo1_01

Sebastian Denef (2011)

The Second Step: Learning from Firefighters about Good Management

Global Peter Drucker Forum 2011, Vienna, Austria. (4. Prize, Essay Competition “Management what is it good for?”)

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As Peter Drucker (2008: 72) points out, management is “the specific and distinguishing organ of any and all organizations.” Its central task is “to make people capable of joint performance, to make their strengths effective and their weaknesses irrelevant.” (2008: 10) In firefighting, effective strengths are crucial; any weakness may have substantial negative implications. Not only do commanders need to prevent harm from people and buildings, a successful operation also requires a motivated crew that is willing, without high financial incentives or bonuses, to work in places from which most other people run away. In this context, good management—in all the possible meanings of the word ‘good’—is essential. This essay puts the firefighting practice described into the context of Peter Drucker’s research on management and explains what managers of other professions can learn from firefighters about management.

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chi2011

Sebastian Denef, David Victor Keyson, and Reinhard Oppermann (2011)

Rigid Structures, Independent Units, Monitoring: Organizing Patterns in Frontline Firefighting

In Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (Vancouver, BC, Canada, May 9–12, 2011). CHI’11. New York, NY: ACM Press. p. 1949–1958

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Providing firefighters working on the frontline of interventions with ubiquitous computing support remains an open challenge. Designing meaningful solutions for this complex work environment requires reflective thought and conceptual understanding of its social configuration.

This paper presents organizing patterns of firefighting frontline practice as a means to inform ubiquitous computing design processes. The patterns originate from a qualitative analysis of an extensive range of user studies conducted with French and German firefighters. As the patterns show, firefighting on the frontline is based on a rigid structure that gains its flexibility through independent units whose safety is ensured by a number of monitoring activities.

We conclude that the interaction between the presented patterns forms a balanced whole and needs to be recognized by ubiquitous computing design.

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icttrends

Sebastian Denef, Nico Kaptein, Petra Saskia Bayerl, et al. (2011)

ICT Trends in European Policing

COMPOSITE, Deliverable 4.1, European Commission FP7 Contract No. 241918

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In this report we present the results from interviews and document analyses of current and planned information and communication technology (ICT) projects with police forces from ten European countries and from interviews with technology vendors in the field of ICT for policing. Based on a cross-country, cross-organisational analysis, we present the following themes that describe major trends in ICT for European policing:

  • the integration of intelligence data systems
  • the adoption of mobile computing
  • the use of video surveillance technologies
  • the application of digital biometrics
  • the crosscutting issue of user acceptance
  • the emerging challenge of social media applications

We discuss how these issues are relevant and thereby point to open issues for future research.

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chi2010

Sebastian Denef, Leonardo Ramirez, and Tobias Dyrks (2010)

A Deep Dive into the World of Firefighters

Presented at the Bridging the Gap Workshop of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (Atlanta, GA, USA, April 10–15, 2010). CHI’10.

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In this position paper we present our approach to the design of a ubicomp navigation system to support firefighters working on the first line of intervention. Over the past three years we have conducted a broad range of workshops with firefighters and applied a number of methodological approaches. Reflecting on how the different approaches and analytical findings affected our design we conclude that the design emerges as a result of a continuous interaction with the world, of a “deep dive” into the subject matter that makes us designers sensitive to discover solutions.

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Stephan Habscheid, Jan Gerwinski, Tobias Dyrks, Sebastian Denef, and Leonardo Ramirez (2010)

Artikulationsarbeit und mediengestützte Ortserkundung.
Multimodale und multilokale Kommunikation in Notfalleinsätzen

Jahrbuch des Instituts für Deutsche Sprache 2009. De Gruyter. p. 243–270

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Im Kontext von Notfalleinsätzen (z.B. der Feuerwehr) müssen vielfältige raumbezogene Kommunikationsaufgaben bearbeitet werden. In derart komplexen medialen Konstellationen unvermeidlich technisch-kommunikative Störungen auf, die ihrerseits durch die Beteiligten „in situ“ sprachlich artikuliert und bearbeitet werden müssen. Anhand audiovisueller Daten, die im Kontext von Notfallübungen erhoben wurden, wird ein Forschungsansatz vorgestellt, der darauf zielt, den Status sprachlicher Artikulationsarbeit für eine technisierte Interaktion im Rahmen kollektiver Ortserkundung und Navigation zu spezifizieren. Unter dem Aspekt der Anwendung wird auch die Frage erörtert, welche Relevanz derartigen Erkenntnissen für die Gestaltung medientechnischer Ressourcen für kritische Situationen zukommt.

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interact2009

Sebastian Denef (2009)

Human-Computer Interaction Techniques in Firefighting

In Human-Computer Interaction—INTERACT’09. Lecture Notes in Computer Science. Berlin/Heidelberg: Springer. p. 864–867

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In this position paper, I argue that for HCI research on interaction techniques is a core concern and that tailored interaction techniques are crucial for ubiquitous computing systems supporting people who work in hazardous, safety-critical environments. Interaction techniques need to closely match on-site situation as the mixture of cognitive and physical load, protective clothing and special equipment leaves very little space for human-computer interaction. I propose a research project to investigate interaction techniques for frontline firefighting.

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Carsten Brosda, Marius Busemeyer, Sebastian Denef, Tobias Gillen, Ann-Katrin Kaufhold, Rupprecht Podszun, Stefanie Schulte, Marco Steinbach, Sascha Wagener (2009)

Demokratie braucht Differenz und Debatte: ein Konzept zur Wiederbelebung politischer Räume

Berlin: Stiftung neue Verantwortung, Policy Brief 07/09 'Moderne Demokratie'

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Die zunehmende mediale Inszenierung politischer Debatten geht paradoxerweise mit der öffentlichen Wahrnehmung einher, die Unterschiede zwischen Parteien würden zunehmend verschwinden. Dies mindert die Bedeutung der Parteiendemokratie und erschwert die Identifikation der Bürgerinnen und Bürger mit einer spezifischen Partei. Wer Begeisterung für aktive demokratische Teilhabe wecken will, muss das Verständnis für Unterschiede zwischen den Parteien schärfen und zugleich Räume für politische Debatten schaffen, in denen diese Differenzen thematisiert werden können. Diesen Zielen kann „trennscharf“ dienen, eine unabhängige partizipative Plattform. Sie kann als Initiator, Vermittler und überparteilicher Moderator den Parteien Raum geben, um ihre politische Arbeit, ihre Einstellungen, ihre Normen und Werte offenzulegen.

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Sebastian Denef, Philip Gray, Marilyn McGee-Lennon, Laurence Nigay (Eds.) (2009)

Proceedings of the Workshop on the Challenges of Engineering Multimodal Interaction: Methods, Tools, Evaluation

Sankt Augustin, Germany, May 13, 2009

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Topics addressed in the workshop include:

  • User centered methods for the design of multimodal applications
  • Methods for evaluation of multimodal applications
  • Tools to support multimodal interaction designers and developers
  • Methods and tools to bridge the gap between research and industry

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iscram2009

Tobias Dyrks, Leonardo Ramirez, Sebastian Denef, Berthold Penkert, and Daniel Meyer (2009)

Designing for Firefighters—Building Empathy through Live Action Role-Playing

In Abstracts of the International Conference on Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management (Gothenburg, Sweden, May 10–13, 2009). ISCRAM’09

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In this paper we present a role-playing workshop in a firefighting scenario conducted within the frame of a multidisciplinary consortium. Our work focuses on developing a navigation ubicomp infrastructure leveraging the cognitive skills of firefighters. Technology for navigation must understand existing navigation practices in order to provide adequate support.

To deal with the complexity of this process, we use a participatory design approach based on a strong synergy among partners. We argue that a key aspect for the creation of this synergy is the construction of a bond of empathy allowing technology experts to understand the needs of the users of technology and also allowing firefighters to understand the role and activities of technology developers in the process.

We present an account of the workshop conducted and some insights of the role that this method can play for complex, multidisciplinary teams working on developing safety-critical technology.

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chi2009

Leonardo Ramirez, Sebastian Denef, Tobias Dyrks (2009)

Towards Human-Centered Support for Indoor Navigation

In Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (Boston, MA, USA, April 4–9, 2009). CHI’09. New York, NY: ACM Press. p. 1279–1282

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This paper presents a new perspective for the design of indoor navigation support. In contrast to technology oriented approaches coming from Context Awareness research, we argue for a wider focus that complements the technical question of providing precise indoor location with the development of more effective navigation practices based on technology available today. Starting from research on indoor navigation conducted with the Paris Fire Brigade, we present two design concepts aimed at supporting firefighters in creating and finding their own paths, together with some of the design strategies that informed the creation of these concepts.

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chi2009

Sebastian Denef, Leonardo Ramirez, Tobias Dyrks (2009)

Letting Tools Talk: Interactive Technology for Firefighting

Extended Abstracts of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (Boston, MA, USA, April 4–9, 2009). CHI’09. New York, NY: ACM Press. p. 4447–4452

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In this work-in-progress report we present the results of a preliminary analysis of a set of fieldwork studies conducted in collaboration with a firefighter school and a firefighter brigade. To inspire the design of ubiquitous computing systems, we provide a description of the equipment used by firefighters, practices built upon them and a set of common properties.

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nordichi2008

Sebastian Denef, Leonardo Ramirez, Tobias Dyrks, Tobias Schwartz, and Ahmad-Amr Al-Akkad (2008)

Participatory Design Workshops to Evaluate Multimodal Applications

In Proceedings of the NordiCHI Conference (Lund, Sweden, October 20–22, 2008). NordiCHI’08. New York, NY: ACM Press. p. 459-462

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In this paper we present our approach to the evaluation of multimodal applications by using participatory design workshops. Our goal is to obtain user feedback for our design on a fundamental, conceptual level. We propose in this paper the use of design ideas coming from the users, not only by translating them one-to-one into design but also by analyzing them in order to reflect on the design concepts behind the artifacts being constructed. By providing examples of workshops conducted, we show a methodology that helps in exploring the design space and that has the potential of producing more interesting jumps inside the design space, towards more a satisfying user experience.

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chi2008

Marcos Serrano, Laurence Nigay, Jean-Yves L. Lawson, Andrew Ramsay, Roderick Murray-Smith, and Sebastian Denef (2008)

The OpenInterface Framework: A Tool for Multimodal Interaction

In Extended Abstracts of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (Florence, Italy, April 5–10, 2008) CHI’08. New York, NY: ACM Press. p. 3501-3506

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The area of multimodal interaction has expanded rapidly. However, the implementation of multimodal systems still remains a difficult task. Addressing this problem, we describe the OpenInterface (OI) framework, a component-based tool for rapidly developing multimodal input interfaces.

The OI underlying conceptual component model includes both generic and tailored components. In addition, to enable the rapid exploration of the multimodal design space for a given system, we need to capitalize on past experiences and include a large set of multimodal interaction techniques, their specifications and documentations. In this work-in-progress report, we present the current state of the OI framework and the two exploratory test-beds developed using the OpenInterface Interaction Development Environment.

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chi2008

Tobias Dyrks, Sebastian Denef, and Leonardo Ramirez (2008)

An Empirical Study of Firefighting Sensemaking Practices to Inform the Design of Ubicomp Technology

Presented at the Sensemaking Workshop of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (Florence, Italy, April 5–10, 2008). CHI’08

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In this paper we present an ethnographic study conducted with the Paris Firefighting Brigade to understand the sensemaking practices of firefighters on the first line of intervention and explore ideas for the design of supporting ubicomp technologies.

We argue that sensemaking is a core element of firefighting practices particularly when firefighters work on creating a shared understanding of unknown spaces. After exploring a building under very limited visual conditions, firefighters draw ad hoc maps and representations of the environment, which play a crucial role in collaborative sensemaking processes.

We conclude on the importance of the central role that sensemaking should play in ubicomp solutions supporting firefighters on ad hoc mapping.

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dis2008

Sebastian Denef, Leonardo Ramirez, Tobias Dyrks, and Gunnar Stevens (2008)

Handy Navigation in Ever-Changing Spaces—An Ethnographic Study of Firefighting Practices

In Proceedings of the SIGCHI Symposium on Designing Interactive Systems (Cape Town, South Africa, February 25–27, 2008). DIS’08. New York, NY: ACM Press. p. 184-192

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This paper presents an ethnographic study, conducted to gain an insight of the practices around navigation of firefighters on the first line of intervention.

We argue that the common approach of looking only at the technical aspects is incomplete. We show instead, that navigation of firefighters in ever-changing spaces is a collective craft or art, where technology is only one of the relevant pieces, but not the only one. Therefore design should take a deep look at existing navigation practices of firefighters.

In order to identify relevant work practices, we conducted our ethnographic study to find out patterns of navigation work and based on our findings, we provide an outline of how the navigation practices can be supported by ubiquitous computing.

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cg

Sebastian Denef (2007)

Between China and Germany; grok: Concept and Groupware for International Project-Based Learning

Saarbrücken: VDM Verlag Dr. Müller, 108 p.

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International project-based learning is a promising educational method to overcome the challenges of the 21st century for the higher education of students in the field of information and communication technologies. Focusing on the needs of the University of Applied Sciences in Darmstadt, Germany and the Xi’an Institute of Post and Telecommunications in Xi’an, China the mission of this work is to design a solution how the advantages of this educational method can be leveraged. Analyzing the tight relationship between education, communication and communities identifies the essential need for grokking—a holistic way of learning. The author presents a concept for the twelve months of the introduction of international project-based learning and reveals a novel approach to groupware systems supporting the work in global projects. Combining scientific results with empathy through local experiences was the strategy to ensure sustainability and cultural awareness.

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