- ZeitschriftenartikelDigital Probes Kit(i-com: Vol. 17, No. 2, 2018) Koch, Daniel; Maaß, Susanne(Cultural) probes have been used in various software design projects and HCI contexts over the last years. With the ubiquity of smartphones today, there are new ways to design probes material as digital probes. Smartphones allow to document everyday life in situ in mobile contexts and provide a permanent channel for communication between researchers and participants. Based on an analysis of strengths and weaknesses of traditional probes, we propose a concept for a Digital Probes Kit in the form of a digital diary and describe its potential.
- ZeitschriftenartikelSensing Home: Designing an Open Tool That Lets People Collect and Interpret Simple Sensor Data from Their Homes(i-com: Vol. 17, No. 2, 2018) Berger, Arne; Kurze, Albrecht; Totzauer, Sören; Storz, Michael; Lefeuvre, Kevin; Bischof, Andreas; Freiermuth, MiraThe Internet of Things in the home is a design space with huge potential. With sensors getting smaller and cheaper, smart sensor equipped objects will become an integral, preinstalled part of the future home. With this article we will reflect on Sensing Home, a design tool to explore sensors in the home together with people. Sensing Home allows people to integrate sensors and connectivity into mundane domestic products in order to make them smart. As such, it can be used by people to experience and explore sensors in the home and daily life. They may explore possible use cases, appropriate sensor technology, and learn about this technology through use. At the same time people may also be empowered to understand the issues and implications of sensors in the home. We present the design rationale of Sensing Home, five usage examples of how Sensing Home allowed people to explore sensor technology, and the deployment of Sensing Home together with a self-developed group discussion method to empower people to understand the benefits and pitfalls of sensors in their home. The article ends with a brief reflection whether Sensing Home is a probe or a toolkit.
- ZeitschriftenartikelVirtual Prototyping of Mixed Reality Interfaces with Internet of Things (IoT) Connectivity(i-com: Vol. 17, No. 2, 2018) Pfeiffer, Thies; Pfeiffer-Leßmann, NadineOne key aspect of the Internet of Things (IoT) is, that human machine interfaces are disentangled from the physicality of the devices. This provides designers with more freedom, but also may lead to more abstract interfaces, as they lack the natural context created by the presence of the machine. Mixed Reality (MR) on the other hand, is a key technology that enables designers to create user interfaces anywhere, either linked to a physical context (augmented reality, AR) or embedded in a virtual context (virtual reality, VR). Especially today, designing MR interfaces is a challenge, as there is not yet a common design language nor a set of standard functionalities or patterns. In addition to that, neither customers nor future users have substantial experiences in using MR interfaces. Prototypes can contribute to overcome this gap, as they continuously provide user experiences of increasing realism along the design process. We present ExProtoVAR, a tool that supports quick and lightweight prototyping of MR interfaces for IoT using VR technology.
- ZeitschriftenartikelUsing Probes for Sharing (Tacit) Knowing in Participatory Design: Facilitating Perspective Making and Perspective Taking(i-com: Vol. 17, No. 2, 2018) Jarke, Juliane; Gerhard, UlrikeThe sharing of expertise and tacit knowing is one of the core objectives in participatory design projects. This paper focuses on the role of probes for sharing users’ tacit knowing. We will introduce the concept of “boundary objects” ,  to analyse how probes facilitate perspective taking and perspective making between users and between users and researchers. In so doing, we demonstrate that probes can facilitate the sharing of users’ tacit knowing and expertise (i) by making and explicating individual users’ perspectives, (ii) by enabling participants to take each other’s perspective and make a joint perspective and (iii) by subsequently enabling the making of a joint vision on the digital design outcome. The research presented in this paper is based on an EU-funded research and innovation project in which we co-created digital neighbourhood guide with older adults. We report from our fieldwork in city 1, where we used probes as part of our participatory design practice.
- ZeitschriftenartikelThe Crucial Role of Cultural Probes in Participatory Design for and with Older Adults(i-com: Vol. 17, No. 2, 2018) Maaß, Susanne; Buchmüller, SandraSoftware systems meant to support older adults often are not well accepted as they do not meet the expectations and requirements of the target group. An involvement of older adults in system design seems imperative. The project ParTec investigated and evaluated techniques for participatory software development with regard to their suitability for communication and equal cooperation with older adults. With a group of 15 retirees we developed concepts for an online neighbourhood platform. Using various participatory techniques researchers and participants developed a deep common understanding of everyday life in early retirement, determined requirements and co-created design ideas and concepts. We will show that the use of cultural probes with subsequent qualitative interviews forms an ideal starting point and a strong fundament for a participatory design process with older adults.
- ZeitschriftenartikelUsing Cultural Probes in the Sensitive Research Setting of Informal Caregiving. A Case Study(i-com: Vol. 17, No. 2, 2018) Hensely-Schickinger, Susanne; Schorch, Marén; Tellioğlu, HildaThis case study report covers our experiences in using Cultural Probes during the first phase of our European and interdisciplinary research project TOPIC (The Online Platform for Informal Caregivers). In that stage of our research, we focused on two major issues: first, describing and analyzing the characteristics of the care and coordination work of elderly informal caregivers, and second, on first implications for design for the field of informal care. Although our general methodological approach was qualitative (ethnographic) with participant observation and interviewing, we included Cultural Probes as an additional method to ethnography for gaining insight information about the care practices by the means of self-observation of and reflection by the informal caregivers. The paper describes our adaptation of the Cultural Probes approach, the similarities and differences to Gaver et al. [1999. Interactions. 6(1): 21–29], the items of our TOPIC Cultural Probes Kit in detail, and re-constructs the design process of one of the items (the actimoClock). Based on the experiences of our participants with the probes kit and our analyses of that use, we also present lessons learned, pros and cons for including that method in the sensitive setting of informal caregiving.
- ZeitschriftenartikelProbes as Participatory Design Practice(i-com: Vol. 17, No. 2, 2018) Jarke, Juliane; Maaß, Susanne