The Social Role of HCI: Social and Cultural Consequences of Design

M. Bøgesgaard and M. Schmidt-Petersen (Denmark)


Interaction design, Activity Theory, social and cultural norms sphere, use context, empirical studies.


Due to the noticeable changes in our society caused by globalization and technology, we propose an extended and more social role of HCI (Human-Computer Interaction). As we will argue, design is not only the design of an artifact; it is also the design of a new social order requiring the users to internalize the properties and social characteristics of that artifact. This calls for a wider design focus encompassing not only the artifact’s impact on the use context, but also an increased awareness of the social and cultural consequences of the introduction of the artifact. This argument is supported by looking at examples of human development and activity within an Activity Theoretical context as well as our empiric studies of the implementation of a new conference system in a Danish IT-company.

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