I came across this article in HuffPo about a new app some students created that can help you identify your most toxic friends. They call it an art project, but I seem to recognize here a common structure for research projects in HCI. So, if you’re my student looking for thesis ideas, read on. 🙂
The recipe goes like this:
- Take a problem or issue from the social world (e.g. toxic friendships, collaboration, long-distance family relationships, etc.)
- Create a technology that mediates how people deal with that issue – ideally, the technology should improve the human condition or raise critical questions.
- Evaluate the technology.
- As a result/consequence of evaluating the technology, illuminate some aspect of and contribute knowledge to #1. And/Or, at the very least, derive design implications for this type of technology.
Some examples of papers following this structure:
- this study of online collaboration in an art community
- this study about calming technology devices for vulnerable women in a hospital setting
- this critical design study about raising awareness of digital footprints