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Using Research Methods in Human Computer Interaction to Design Technology for Resilience

Arminda Guerra Lopes


Research in human computer interaction (HCI) covers both technological and human behavioural concerns. As a consequence, the contributions made in HCI research tend to be aware to either engineering or the social sciences. In HCI the purpose of practical research contributions is to reveal unknown insights about human behaviour and its relationship to technology. Practical research methods normally used in HCI include formal experiments, field experiments, field studies, interviews, focus groups, surveys, usability tests, case studies, diary studies, ethnography, contextual inquiry, experience sampling, and automated data collection. In this paper, we report on our experience using the evaluation methods focus groups, surveys and interviews and how we adopted these methods to develop artefacts: either interface’s design or information and technological systems. Four projects are examples of the different methods application to gather information about user’s wants, habits, practices, concerns and preferences. The goal was to build an understanding of the attitudes and satisfaction of the people who might interact with a technological artefact or information system. Conversely, we intended to design for information systems and technological applications, to promote resilience in organisations (a set of routines that allow to recover from obstacles) and user’s experiences. Organisations can here also be viewed within a system approach, which means that the system perturbations even failures could be characterized and improved. The term resilience has been applied to everything from the real estate, to the economy, sports, events, business, psychology, and more. In this study, we highlight that resilience is also made up of a number of different skills and abilities (self-awareness, creating meaning from other experiences, self-efficacy, optimism, and building strong relationships) that are a few foundational ingredients, which people should use along with the process of enhancing an organisation’s resilience. Resilience enhances knowledge of resources available to people confronting existing problems.


Mixed Methods Research, Human-computer Interaction, Resilience, Resilience Strategies, Technology, Artefacts, Information Systems

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4301/S1807-17752016000300001

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