User or something else?

I heard just now and interesting report on the radio from the conference Interact in Uppsala. The conference is about Human Computer Interaction and one of the keynote speakers, Kristina Höök, problematised the user concept. Can we talk about a user in the new digital development where we see people are as much producing as consuming? User feels to passive she says and suggets instead actors, players, creators or constructors. Her reflection was that we make it harder to be innovative if we think of a user rather than a creator when we design new digital tools.

I thought that was rather intriguing at the same time I have sometimes been thinking of my own project in terms of understanding a special user group. When I study why and how researchers use blogs I see that as part of being more aware of how to meet their needs in other situations of their scholarly process (and by we here I mean librarians or the research libraries for example), but maybe I should rather think of actors actually…

2 comments

  1. Hej! Hur gar det for dig??

    Sag du detta: http://www.rin.ac.uk/communicating-knowledge
    Just kommit ut. Sjalv tycker jag rapporten ar hastigt gjord och det ar mycket repetition rakt igenom texten. Jag har en kansla av att de inte forskat ordentligt i amnet. Undrar hur deras sammanfattning passar ihop med din forskning? Jag vet att med det jag hittat sa ar det mycket som inte riktigt passar vad de sager. Jag kanner dem pa RIN lite, sa jag kan tanka mig att de fatt stod fran publishers och sager da att journals ar mer och mer viktiga. Det har jag uppfattat som precis tvartom…

  2. Her problem is active/passive description…
    Yet for more important is to question this very anthropocentric duality she postulates. For instance, we should contemplate whether it is the computers (as singular tools and as systems of machines) that use man passively or actively. We should also ask if this view is no skewed and whether both the computer and the user (or whatever euphemism you’d like to replace it with) are in fact only pieces in a larger machinery; that to grasp this requires less focus on man making, meeting, using, machine… and more on complex network of material and ideology.

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