Grounding the innovation of future technologies
Mobile and ubiquitous technologies can potentially change the role of
information and communication technology in human lives. Empirical,
human-centered approaches are emerging as an alternative to
technology-driven approaches in the innovation of these technologies.
Three necessary empirical stages, intertwined with analytical ones and
with each informing and grounding the succeeding stages, are analyzed.
First, needfinding is utilized to discover societal and individual
demands for technology. Second, observational and experimental studies
examine the social and cognitive preconditions for interaction. From
these two steps, a hypothesis is formulated regarding how technology
will change existing practices. Finally, this hypothesis, embodied in
the design of a prototype, is tested in a field trial. Four design cases
illustrate the value of empirical grounding.
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