Methods for Studying Technology in the Home was a workshop held as part of the ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI) in Paris, France from 27th April – 2nd May 2013.

This workshop explored the methods being used to study our interactions with technology in home contexts. We aimed to share practices, and to identify key issues and potential for innovations in this space.

Technology is becoming ever more integral to our home lives, and visions such as ubiquitous computing, smart technologies and the Internet of Things represent a further stage of this development. However studying interactions and experiences in the home, and drawing understanding from this to inform design, is a substantial challenge for many researchers in HCI and other disciplines.

In collecting data, understanding current practices, and evaluating potential designs, researchers need to consider a range of specific issues, such as domestication processes and intrusiveness. We also need to understand how varied relationships, activities, objects and physical spaces constitute our individual home lives. New technologies present opportunities for further data to be collected in home environments, but require a deep understanding of issues specific to home life.

In response to this, a range of approaches are being developed for research in the home. These include the creation and refining of techniques with sensitivity to social, physical and experiential characteristics of home life. This workshop brought together a cross-disciplinary group of researchers with experiences of researching technology in the home, in order to map the space of methods in use, identify connections, tensions and gaps, and explore the potential for further innovation to meet the challenges we face. Together we are developing a coherent understanding of this methodological space, and identifying connections and gaps, where further development of methods can occur to overcome issues specific to studying the home.

For more information about the topic and aims of the workshop, please read the Extended Abstract.

You can also read the Accepted Papers.

 CHI 2013: Changing Perspectives - Paris, France 27th April - 2nd May