Users@home: Implications from studying itv

Marianna Obrist, R Bernhaupt, M Tscheligi
in 20th International Symposium on Human Factors in Telecommunication, HFT 2006, Conference paper (text)


In this paper, we present the results of two studies, one concerning usability issues and another concerning the analysis of the context of the home environment. We focus on the various methods used in these two studies and how interactive TV (iTV) design can be informed based on the results achieved by these methods. What we have learned is that the standard evaluation methods are well equipped for the user-centered design process, but they provide no insights about what is really going on in the home context. To overcome this limitation an ethnographic study was conducted using qualitative and self-reporting methods as well as cultural probes. This paper will discuss how cultural probes can be used as an appropriate method to investigate the context of use and user needs. When studying the home environment, an area of private activities and social relationships, we need to go beyond usability and extend it into the broad social context of the user. The concepts of sociability and social interaction are becoming more important and can be seen as core parameters when designing technologies for the home environment. Moreover, this paper will further explore emotional and social factors during a three month field study which will commence in March 2006. One of the goals of this study is to identify patterns and to support the design of user experience of iTV and domestic technologies in general.