Formative Research


Formative research

This week, we were given the choice to read two of five papers on formative research, as well as reading a CACM special on the forms that HCI research papers can take.

First, I read Danah Boyd’s “Why Youth (Heart) Social Media networking sites”. I am intrigued by social interactions among people, so the title kind of pulled me in. The paper was entertaining to read because it was written in 2007 and technology moves quickly, so some things were irrelevant now (like the MySpace hack to personalize profiles with HTML/CSS), but many of the concepts of online identity still seem to hold. I think the ethnographic methods used in this paper could be helpful for our class project in understanding where people most often make mistakes or are confused in classifying their waste.

The second paper I read was the paper from Paolos and Jenkins on Urban Probes. I didn’t know what a probe was before choosing this paper, and in hindsight, should have probably read Gaver et al.’s paper on “Cultural Probes” first, since it seems like the introductory probe paper. However, it worked out in my favor, because the probe they discussed and implemented is related to our project idea, in the sense that both are trash related.