Publication statistics

Pub. period:1994-2012
Pub. count:36
Number of co-authors:54



Co-authors

Number of publications with 3 favourite co-authors:

Abigail Sellen:15
Sian E. Lindley:8
Tim Regan:5

 

 

Productive colleagues

Richard Harper's 3 most productive colleagues in number of publications:

Tom Rodden:106
Yvonne Rogers:99
Abigail Sellen:81
 
 
 

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Richard Harper

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Personal Homepage:
research.microsoft.com/en-us/people/r.harper/


Richard Harper is Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research in Cambridge and co-manages the Socio-Digital Systems group. Richard is concerned with how to design for 'being human' in an age when human-as-machine type metaphors, deriving from Turing and others, tend to dominate thinking in the area. Trained as a sociologist and with a strong passion for ordinary language philosophy, he has published over 120 papers and recently published his 10th book, Texture: Human expression in the age of communication overload, (MIT Press)

 

Publications by Richard Harper (bibliography)

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2012
 
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Mentis, Helena M., Lindley, Sian E., Taylor, Stuart, Dunphy, Paul, Regan, Tim and Harper, Richard (2012): Taking as an act of sharing. In: Proceedings of ACM CSCW12 Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work 2012. pp. 1091-1100. Available online

We present findings from the deployment of a mobile application, Take and Give, which allows users to place image files in a virtual folder or 'Pocket' on a mobile phone. This content can be viewed by a set of 'Buddies', who can, if they wish, attempt to take ownership of a file for themselves, following which they can keep it, delete it, or place it in the Pocket of someone else. There is only one version of each file, creating a twist on traditional sharing technologies. We report findings from a three week trial of the application in an office space, and describe how Take and Give provided a means of self-presentation and supported a sense of awareness, mutual attentiveness and connectedness. Our findings suggest that the taking of unique content can be an engaging form of sharing and can facilitate awareness and connectedness between people.

© All rights reserved Mentis et al. and/or ACM Press

 
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O'Hara, Kenton, Helmes, John, Sellen, Abigail, Harper, Richard, Bhomer, Martijn ten and Hoven, Elise van den (2012): Food for Talk: Phototalk in the Context of Sharing a Meal. In Eminds International Journal of Human Computer Interaction, 27 (1) pp. 124-150. Available online

Photographic mementos are important signifiers of our personal memories. Rather than simply passive representations of memories to "preserve" the past, these photos are actively displayed and consumed in the context of everyday behavior and social practices. Within the context of these settings, these mementos are invoked in particular ways to mobilize particular social relations in the present. Taking this perspective, we explore how photo mementos come to be used in the everyday social setting of sharing meal. Rather than a simple concern with nutritional consumption, the shared meal is a social event and important cultural site in the organization of family and social life with culturally specific rhythms, norms, rights, and responsibilities. We present a system -- 4 Photos -- that situates photo mementos within the social concerns of these settings. The system collates photo mementos from those attending the meal and displays them at the dining table to be interacted with by all. Through a real-world deployment of the system, we explore the social work performed by invoking these personal memory resources in the context of real-world settings of shared eating. We highlight particular features of the system that enable this social work to be achieved.

© All rights reserved O'Hara et al. and/or Universidad de Oviedo

 
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Lindley, Sian E., Meek, Sam, Sellen, Abigail and Harper, Richard (2012): "It's simply integral to what I do": enquiries into how the web is weaved into everyday life. In: Proceedings of the 2012 International Conference on the World Wide Web 2012. pp. 1067-1076. Available online

This paper presents findings from a field study of 24 individuals who kept diaries of their web use, across device and location, for a period of four days. Our focus was on how the web was used for non-work purposes, with a view to understanding how this is intertwined with everyday life. While our initial aim was to update existing frameworks of 'web activities', such as those described by Sellen et al. [25] and Kellar et al. [14], our data lead us to suggest that the notion of 'web activity' is only partially useful for an analytic understanding of what it is that people do when they go online. Instead, our analysis leads us to present five modes of web use, which can be used to frame and enrich interpretations of 'activity'. These are respite, orienting, opportunistic use, purposeful use and lean-back internet. We then consider two properties of the web that enable it to be tailored to these different modes, persistence and temporality, and close by suggesting ways of drawing upon these qualities in order to inform design.

© All rights reserved Lindley et al. and/or ACM Press

2011
 
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O'Hara, Kenton, Sellen, Abigail and Harper, Richard (2011): Embodiment in brain-computer interaction. In: Proceedings of ACM CHI 2011 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems 2011. pp. 353-362. Available online

With emerging opportunities for using Brain-Computer Interaction (BCI) in gaming applications, there is a need to understand the opportunities and constraints of this interaction paradigm. To complement existing laboratory-based studies, there is also a call for the study of BCI in real world contexts. In this paper we present such a real world study of a simple BCI game called MindFlex, played as a social activity in the home. In particular, drawing on the philosophical traditions of embodied interaction, we highlight the importance of considering the body in BCI and not simply what is going on in the head. The study shows how people use bodily actions to facilitate control of brain activity but also to make their actions and intentions visible to, and interpretable by, others playing and watching the game. It is the public availability of these bodily actions during BCI that allows action to be socially organised, understood and coordinated with others and through which social relationships can be played out. We discuss the implications of this perspective and findings for BCI.

© All rights reserved O'Hara et al. and/or their publisher

2010
 
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Chetty, Marshini, Banks, Richard, Harper, Richard, Regan, Tim, Sellen, Abigail, Gkantsidis, Christos, Karagiannis, Thomas and Key, Peter (2010): Who's hogging the bandwidth: the consequences of revealing the invisible in the home. In: Proceedings of ACM CHI 2010 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems 2010. pp. 659-668. Available online

As more technologies enter the home, householders are burdened with the task of digital housekeeping-managing and sharing digital resources like bandwidth. In response to this, we created and evaluated a domestic tool for bandwidth management called Home Watcher. Our field trial showed that when resource contention amongst different household members is made visible, people's understanding of bandwidth changes and household politics are revealed. In this paper, we describe the consequences of showing real time resource usage in a home, and how this varies depending on the social make up of the household.

© All rights reserved Chetty et al. and/or their publisher

 
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Odom, William, Harper, Richard, Sellen, Abigail, Kirk, David and Banks, Richard (2010): Passing on & putting to rest: understanding bereavement in the context of interactive technologies. In: Proceedings of ACM CHI 2010 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems 2010. pp. 1831-1840. Available online

While it can be a delicate and emotionally-laden topic, new technological trends compel us to confront a range of problems and issues about death and bereavement. This area presents complex challenges and the associated literature is extensive. In this paper we offer a way of slicing through several perspectives in the social sciences to see clearly a set of salient issues related to bereavement. Following this, we present a theoretical lens to provide a way of conceptualizing how the HCI community could begin to approach such issues. We then report field evidence from 11 in-depth interviews conducted with bereaved participants and apply the proposed lens to unpack key emergent problems and tensions. We conclude with a discussion on how the HCI design space might be sensitized to better support the social processes that unfold when bereavement occurs.

© All rights reserved Odom et al. and/or their publisher

 
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Lindley, Sian E., Harper, Richard and Sellen, Abigail (2010): Designing a technological playground: a field study of the emergence of play in household messaging. In: Proceedings of ACM CHI 2010 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems 2010. pp. 2351-2360. Available online

We present findings from a field study of Wayve, a situated messaging device for the home that incorporates handwriting and photography. Wayve was used by 24 households (some of whom were existing social networks of family and friends) over a three-month period. We consider the various types of playfulness that emerged during the study, both through the sending of Wayve messages and through the local display of photos and notes. The findings are explored in the context of the literature on play, with the aim of identifying aspects of Wayve's design, as well as the context in which it was used, that engendered playfulness. We also highlight the role of play in social relationships, before concluding with design implications.

© All rights reserved Lindley et al. and/or their publisher

 
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Zhang, Chunhui, Wang, Min and Harper, Richard (2010): Cloud mouse: a new way to interact with the cloud. In: Proceedings of the 2010 International Conference on Multimodal Interfaces 2010. p. 13. Available online

In this paper we present a novel input device and associated UI metaphors for Cloud computing. Cloud computing will give users access to huge amount of data in new forms as well as anywhere and anytime, with applications ranging from Web data mining to social networks. The motivation of this work is to provide users access to cloud computing by a new personal device and to make nearby displays a personal displayer. The key points of this device are direct-point operation, grasping UI and tangible feedback. A UI metaphor for cloud computing is also introduced.

© All rights reserved Zhang et al. and/or ACM Press

2009
 
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Taylor, Stuart, Izadi, Shahram, Kirk, David, Harper, Richard and Garcia-Mendoza, Armando (2009): Turning the tables: an interactive surface for vjing. In: Proceedings of ACM CHI 2009 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems 2009. pp. 1251-1254. Available online

In this paper we describe VPlay, a multi-touch tabletop application that allows users to mix and manipulate multiple video streams in real-time. Our aim is to explore how such an interactive surface can support and augment practices around VJing -- a form of video performance art that is becoming increasingly popular in nightclubs and other music events. We conclude with observations from a field deployment, which highlight some initial thoughts and reflections on our design rationale.

© All rights reserved Taylor et al. and/or ACM Press

 
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Brown, Lorna M., Sellen, Abigail, Krishna, Renan and Harper, Richard (2009): Exploring the potential of audio-tactile messaging for remote interpersonal communication. In: Proceedings of ACM CHI 2009 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems 2009. pp. 1527-1530. Available online

Shake2Talk is a mobile messaging system that allows users to send sounds and tactile sensations to one another via their mobile phones. Messages are created through gestures and then sent to the receiver's phone where they play upon arrival. This paper reports a study of the Shake2Talk system in use by six couples, and begins to uncover the types of messaging practices that occur, and the values and meanings that users ascribe to these messages.

© All rights reserved Brown et al. and/or ACM Press

 
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Lindley, Sian E., Harper, Richard and Sellen, Abigail (2009): Desiring to be in touch in a changing communications landscape: attitudes of older adults. In: Proceedings of ACM CHI 2009 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems 2009. pp. 1693-1702. Available online

This paper offers an exploration of the attitudes of older adults to keeping in touch with people who are important to them. We present findings from three focus groups with people from 55 to 81 years of age. Themes emerging from the findings suggest that older adults view the act of keeping in touch as being worthy of time and dedication, but also as being something that needs to be carefully managed within the context of daily life. Communication is seen as a means through which skill should be demonstrated and personality expressed, and is understood in a very different context to the lightweight interaction that is increasingly afforded by new technologies. The themes that emerged are used to elicit a number of design implications and to promote some illustrative design concepts for new communication devices.

© All rights reserved Lindley et al. and/or ACM Press

 Cited in the following chapter:

User Experience and Experience Design: [/encyclopedia/user_experience_and_experience_design.html]


 
 Cited in the following chapter:

User Experience and Experience Design: [/encyclopedia/user_experience_and_experience_design.html]


 
 
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Sellen, Abigail, Rogers, Yvonne, Harper, Richard and Rodden, Tom (2009): Reflecting human values in the digital age. In Communications of the ACM, 52 (3) pp. 58-66. Available online

 
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Lindley, Sian E., Harper, Richard, Randall, Dave, Glancy, Maxine and Smyth, Nicola (2009): Fixed in time and "time in motion": mobility of vision through a SenseCam lens. In: Proceedings of 11th Conference on Human-computer interaction with mobile devices and services 2009. p. 2. Available online

SenseCam is an automatic wearable camera, often seen as a tool for the creation of digital memories. In this paper, we report findings from a field trial in which SenseCams were worn by household members over the course of a week. In interviews with these users, it became apparent that the way in which SenseCam images were played back, the manner of which might be described as a stilted movie, affected the values that were realised within them. The time-lapse nature of the image stream led participants to romanticise the mundane and find sentimentality in unexpected places, and was particularly effective at portraying personality and play. In so doing, SenseCam images enlivened the visual recording of everyday scenes. These values influenced what the participants sought to capture and view, and have implications for technologies that might support lifelogging or the development of user-generated content.

© All rights reserved Lindley et al. and/or their publisher

 Cited in the following chapter:

Mobile Computing: [/encyclopedia/mobile_computing.html]


 
 Cited in the following chapter:

Mobile Computing: [/encyclopedia/mobile_computing.html]


 
 
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Harper, Richard and Taylor, Stuart (2009): Glancephone: an exploration of human expression. In: Proceedings of 11th Conference on Human-computer interaction with mobile devices and services 2009. p. 24. Available online

In this paper, we describe the design and ethnographic study of a phone developed so as to allow people to glance at each other, rather than simply message or voice call. Glancephones work through having a form factor that allows them to be placed upright when a user wants to be available for glancing, and support a web-based application that allows glances, bitmap images, to be taken and sent to a remote viewer on request, via GPRS connections. Glancephones were originally invented to allow callers to see if it is appropriate to call or interrupt and thus act like normal glances in face-to-face situations. Ethnographic studies of the use indicate that people prefer using the devices not to support greeting sequences, however, but to enable others to glance at them. It was found that Glacephones were used to draw attention to oneself, not to encourage better control of interruption and greeting sequences. The paper uses this data to remark on the concepts of human expression that underscore much of the research reported in Mobile HCI, and it proposes Bourdieu's concepts of habitus and relatedly, distinction, as explanatory tools for this and other evidence about expression enabled by mobile and other technologies of communication.

© All rights reserved Harper and Taylor and/or their publisher

 
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Lindley, Sian E., Randall, Dave, Sharrock, Wes, Glancy, Maxine, Smyth, Nicola and Harper, Richard (2009): Narrative, memory and practice: tensions and choices in the use of a digital artefact. In: Proceedings of the HCI09 Conference on People and Computers XXIII 2009. pp. 1-9. Available online

This paper reports on research into the use of SenseCam, a wearable automatic camera. Household members were given multiple SenseCams to enable an exploration of how the device would be used in the context of everyday life. We argue that understanding the 'small stories' created by household members based around SenseCam images requires us to pay attention to a complex amalgam of issues. These pertain to narrative, memory and practice in and through both the 'sites of expression' of such work -- the topics that are selected for recall -- and performativity -- the occasions upon which narratives are constructed and the elaborations of identity that are entailed. Finally, we consider how the varied uses of SenseCam that emerged have implications for technologies relating to lifelogging and user-generated content.

© All rights reserved Lindley et al. and/or their publisher

 
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Lindley, Sian E., Banks, Richard, Harper, Richard, Jain, Anab, Regan, Tim, Sellen, Abigail and Taylor, Alex S. (2009): Resilience in the face of innovation: Household trials with BubbleBoard. In International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, 67 (2) pp. 154-164. Available online

We present the results of a field trial in which a visual answer machine, the BubbleBoard, was deployed in five households. The aims of the trial were to create an improved answer machine, but also, and more interestingly, to encourage family members to appropriate it through the inclusion of open and playful design elements. Through making aspects of audio messages visible, BubbleBoard offered a number of improvements over existing answer machines. However, the new affordances associated with this were not appropriated by family members in the ways we had expected. We discuss possible reasons for this, and conclude that attempting to encourage appropriation through 'openness' in design may not be sufficient in the face of well-established social practices.

© All rights reserved Lindley et al. and/or Academic Press

2008
 
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Grimes, Andrea and Harper, Richard (2008): Celebratory technology: new directions for food research in HCI. In: Proceedings of ACM CHI 2008 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems April 5-10, 2008. pp. 467-476. Available online

Food is a central part of our lives. Fundamentally, we need food to survive. Socially, food is something that brings people together-individuals interact through and around it. Culturally, food practices reflect our ethnicities and nationalities. Given the importance of food in our daily lives, it is important to understand what role technology currently plays and the roles it can be imagined to play in the future. In this paper we describe the existing and potential design space for HCI in the area of human-food interaction. We present ideas for future work on designing technologies in the area of human-food interaction that celebrate the positive interactions that people have with food as they eat and prepare foods in their everyday lives.

© All rights reserved Grimes and Harper and/or ACM Press

 
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Maunder, Andrew J., Marsden, Gary and Harper, Richard (2008): SnapAndGrab: accessing and sharing contextual multi-media content using bluetooth enabled camera phones and large situated displays. In: Proceedings of ACM CHI 2008 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems April 5-10, 2008. pp. 2319-2324. Available online

In this paper we describe a novel interaction technique that allows users to access and share rich multi-media content via a large, situated public display and their own Bluetooth enabled camera phone. The proposed system differs from other solutions in that it does not require any client software to be installed on the user's device. We believe that our solution provides a practical and holistic approach for device-based interactions with a public multi-media information system.

© All rights reserved Maunder et al. and/or ACM Press

 
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Swan, Laurel, Taylor, Alex S. and Harper, Richard (2008): Making place for clutter and other ideas of home. In ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction, 15 (2) p. 9. Available online

In this article, we examine the containment of clutter in family homes and, from this, outline considerations for design. Selected materials from an ethnographically informed study of home life are used to detail the ways in which families contain their clutter in bowls and drawers. Clutter, within these containers, is found to be made up of a heterogeneous collection of things that, for all manner of reasons, hold an ambiguous status in the home. It is shown that bowls and drawers provide a "safe" site of containment for clutter, giving the miscellany of content the "space" to be properly dealt with and classified, or to be left unresolved. The shared but idiosyncratic practices families use to contain their clutter are seen to be one of the ways in which the home, or at least the idea of home, is collectively produced. It is also part of the means by which families come to make their homes distinct and unique. These findings are used to consider what it might mean to design for the home, and to do so in ways that are sensitive to the idiosyncratic systems of household organization. In conclusion, thought is given to how we design for people's ideas of home, and how we might build sites of uncertainty into homes, where physical as well as digital things might coalesce.

© All rights reserved Swan et al. and/or ACM Press

 
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Lindley, Sian E., Harper, Richard and Sellen, Abigail (2008): Designing for Elders: Exploring the Complexity of Relationships in Later Life. In: Proceedings of the HCI08 Conference on People and Computers XXII 2008. pp. 77-86. Available online

We present a review of literature from the fields of gerontology, HCI and human factors, which focus on the nature of family and peer relationships in old age. We find both simplistic, prevailing models of what it means to be old, as well as deeper insights which often belie these models. In addition, we discover that new technologies are often also based on quite simple assumptions, but that their deployment points to a more complex reality. This paper considers a number of perspectives on relationships in later life, critiques the assumptions underscoring them, and presents an alternative view which we believe is more in line with the perspective of elderly people themselves. We end by discussing what this means in terms of designing new technologies for older people.

© All rights reserved Lindley et al. and/or their publisher

 
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Harper, Richard, Rodden, Tom, Rogers, Yvonne and Sellen, Abigail (2008): Being Human: Human Computer Interaction in 2020. Microsoft Research Ltd

2007
 
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Kirk, David, Sellen, Abigail, Harper, Richard and Wood, Kenneth R. (2007): Understanding videowork. In: Proceedings of ACM CHI 2007 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems 2007. pp. 61-70. Available online

In this paper we elucidate the patterns of behavior of home movie makers through a study of 12 families and a separate focus group of 7 teenagers. Analogous to a similar study of photowork [13], the goal is to provide a deeper understanding of what people currently do with video technologies, balancing the preponderance of techno-centric work in the area with appropriate user-centric insight. From our analysis, we derive a videowork lifecycle to frame the practices users engage in when working with video technologies in the home, and uncover two broad types of video usage therein. This has implications for how we conceive of and devise tools to support these practices, as we discuss.

© All rights reserved Kirk et al. and/or ACM Press

 
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Jones, Matt, Buchanan, George, Harper, Richard and Xech, Pierre-Louis (2007): Questions not answers: a novel mobile search technique. In: Proceedings of ACM CHI 2007 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems 2007. pp. 155-158. Available online

Mobile search is becoming an increasingly important user activity. In this paper, instead of investigating the most efficient and effective ways of providing search results, the answers, we consider the value of giving access to previous queries, the questions, relating to a user's location. By exposing what other people have searched for, the aim is to provide useful insights into a location's character. To consider the value of the approach we deployed two mobile probes in a large-scale field study involving 391 participants. Our experiences suggest that presenting users with other people's in situ queries influences their information seeking interactions positively.

© All rights reserved Jones et al. and/or ACM Press

 
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Arter, David, Buchanan, George, Jones, Matt and Harper, Richard (2007): Incidental information and mobile search. In: Cheok, Adrian David and Chittaro, Luca (eds.) Proceedings of the 9th Conference on Human-Computer Interaction with Mobile Devices and Services - Mobile HCI 2007 September 9-12, 2007, Singapore. pp. 413-420. Available online

 
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Maunder, Andrew J., Marsden, Gary and Harper, Richard (2007): Creating and sharing multi-media packages using large situated public displays and mobile phones. In: Cheok, Adrian David and Chittaro, Luca (eds.) Proceedings of the 9th Conference on Human-Computer Interaction with Mobile Devices and Services - Mobile HCI 2007 September 9-12, 2007, Singapore. pp. 222-225. Available online

 
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Randall, David, Harper, Richard and Rouncefield, Mark (2007): Fieldwork for Design. Berlin,Germany, Springer

This book looks at why ethnographic approaches are popular in the design of computing devices for the workplace, for the home and elsewhere. It presents a history of ethnography, both as it was practiced before computer science picked it up and since, most especially in the CSCW and HCI domains. The focus of the book is on the practical relationship between theory and practice, a relationship that is fundamental to successful design.

© All rights reserved Randall et al. and/or Springer

2006
 
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Sellen, Abigail, Harper, Richard, Eardley, Rachel, Izadi, Shahram, Regan, Tim, Taylor, Alex S. and Wood, Kenneth R. (2006): HomeNote: supporting situated messaging in the home. In: Proceedings of ACM CSCW06 Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work 2006. pp. 383-392. Available online

In this paper we describe a field trial designed to investigate the potential of remote, situated messaging within the home. Five households used our "HomeNote" device for approximately a month. The results show a diversity of types of communication which highlight the role of messaging both to a household and to a place. It also shows the ways in which these kinds of messages enable subtle ways of requesting action, expressing affection, and marking identity in a household -- communication types which have received little attention in the research literature. These in turn point to new concepts for technology which we describe.

© All rights reserved Sellen et al. and/or ACM Press

 
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Harper, Richard, Regan, Tim and Rouncefield, Mark (2006): Taking hold of TV: learning from the literature. In: Kjeldskov, Jesper and Paay, Jane (eds.) Proceedings of OZCHI06, the CHISIG Annual Conference on Human-Computer Interaction 2006. pp. 79-86. Available online

In this paper, we report the findings of a literature review into the experience of and the prospects for mobile TV, in particular multimedia experiences enabled over mobile phone-type devices and networks. The review shows that there will be a niche market for broadcast 'TV content' but that, more interestingly, 'mobile TV' might consist of a new content genre, affording new forms of shared, coproximate experiences.

© All rights reserved Harper et al. and/or their publisher

2005
 
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O'Hara, Kenton, Harper, Richard, Unger, Axel, Wilkes, James, Sharpe, Bill and Jansen, Marcel (2005): TxtBoard: from text-to-person to text-to-home. In: Proceedings of ACM CHI 2005 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems 2005. pp. 1705-1708. Available online

The design of existing mobile phone technology has emphasised the primacy of person-to-person communication for voice, SMS and image-based communication. It may be contrasted with place-to-place communication, the key property of fixed line telephony. However, other forms of communication may mix these two approaches: these include place-to-person or person-to place for example. These patterns may afford different values to users. This reports a field study of a prototype person-to-place SMS communications device, 'TxtBoard'. This is a small, fixed display appliance for home settings. It displays text messages sent to it from any standard mobile phone. The study highlights how the person-to-place character of the device, combined with the 'public' or situated characteristics of its placement within home settings in particular, create new opportunities for use of SMS.

© All rights reserved O'Hara et al. and/or ACM Press

 
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Harper, Richard (2005): Toward a New Communications Genre. In IEEE Computer, 38 (8) pp. 89-91. Available online

 
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Randall, Dave, Harper, Richard and Rouncefield, Mark (2005): Fieldwork and Ethnography: A Perspective From CSCW. In: Proceedings of the 1st International Ethnographic Praxis in Industry and Commerce Epic Conference 2005, Redmond, USA. pp. 81-99. Available online

2001
 
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Perry, Mark, O'Hara, Kenton P., Sellen, Abigail, Brown, Barry and Harper, Richard (2001): Dealing with mobility: understanding access anytime, anywhere. In ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction, 8 (4) pp. 323-347. Available online

The rapid and accelerating move towards use of mobile technologies has increasingly provided people and organizations with the ability to work away from the office and on the move. The new ways of working afforded by these technologies are often characterized in terms of access to information and people anytime, anywhere. This article presents a study of mobile workers that highlights different facets of access to remote people and information, and different facets of anytime, anywhere. Four key factors in mobile work are identified: the role of planning, working in "dead time," accessing remote technological and informational resources, and monitoring the activities of remote colleagues. By reflecting on these issues, we can better understand the role of technology and artifacts in mobile work and identify the opportunities for the development of appropriate technological solutions to support mobile workers.

© All rights reserved Perry et al. and/or ACM Press

 Cited in the following chapter:

Mobile Computing: [/encyclopedia/mobile_computing.html]


 
 Cited in the following chapter:

Mobile Computing: [/encyclopedia/mobile_computing.html]


 
 
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Harper, Richard, Procter, Rob, Randall, David and Rouncefield, Mark (2001): 'Safety in numbers': calculation and document re-use in knowledge work. In: Ellis, Clarence and Zigurs, Ilze (eds.) Proceedings of the International ACM SIGGROUP Conference on Supporting Group Work 2001 September 30 - October 3, 2001, Boulder, Colorado, USA. pp. 242-251. Available online

This paper presents detailed examples of document use and re-use, through an ethnographic study of the knowledge work associated with road safety audit in a civil engineering consultancy The paper incorporates some detailed observation of practices, conversations, and other activities occurring around document re-use in everyday work. It outlines some aspects of the everyday use and re-use of engineering documents in the practical accomplishment of everyday knowledge work as the first stage in considering how these activities can be technologically supported.

© All rights reserved Harper et al. and/or ACM Press

1995
 
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Button, Graham and Harper, Richard (1995): The relevance of 'work-practice' for design. In Computer Supported Cooperative Work, 4 (4) pp. 263-280. Available online

Designers are increasingly being urged to take account of the situated and contingent organisation of the work that their systems are to support or automate. Within CSCW the concept of work-practice is a much used token for the organisation of work. This paper develops the debate about the position of work-practice in design by recognising that it is an ambiguous concept in sociology that is used to refer to different orders to work organisation. It is argued that as such it is as likely to mask the situated and contingent organisation of work as it is to make it visible. In order to fully realise the radicalisation of design portended by the deployment of the concept of work-practice and in order to make visible the in situ organisation of work it is argued that full and due weight has to be placed upon grounding the concept in analytic explications of the interactional ordering of work. This stands in contrast to grounding work-practice in the formalisms of work emanating from theoretical debates about work in a capitalist economic/social structure; documentations of work; the narratives of workers, managers, and purchasers; dialogues with users, and mere observations of work. Two studies are invoked to substantiate this argument, one involving a sales ordering and invoicing system, the other a crime reporting system.

© All rights reserved Button and Harper and/or Kluwer Academic Publishers

 
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Harper, Richard (1995): Why people do and don't wear active badges: A case study. In Computer Supported Cooperative Work, 4 (4) pp. 297-318. Available online

This paper reports findings from an analysis of attitudes toward and use of active badges and associated applications in a large corporate research laboratory. The evidence will show that there were two distinct sets of views about active badges, leading one group within the institution to be strongly opposed to their introduction and use, and another very supportive. Analysis of these views will show that they were the manifestation of two different morally cohered communities. The demonstrable existence of these communities was in part achieved through and displayed by the avowal of these distinct sets of attitudes and views. Further, analysis of the particular communities will suggest that some of these views and attitudes had the character of being sacred or semi-sacred; in this sense they were beliefs. On the basis of these materials, the paper will conclude with discussion of how beliefs can form the bedrock of any and all communities, and how it is necessary to respect those beliefs if one wishes to introduce technologies to support group activities. Failure to do so can lead to the rejection of systems on grounds well removed from the purported purpose of those systems.

© All rights reserved Harper and/or Kluwer Academic Publishers

1994
 
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Harper, Richard and Carter, Kathleen (1994): Keeping people apart. In Computer Supported Cooperative Work, 2 (3) pp. 199-207. Available online

This paper reports findings of research into the nature of collaboration in a design company. Observations of the shared work of two groups, architects and building services engineers, are discussed and the role of meetings considered. It will be argued that the achievement of ultimate ends in this organisation is through a division of labour involving discrete working practices. Consequently, technology that brings people together is inappropriate and could unsettle working harmony. This finding is not offered as a discovery but as a reminder: CSCW is in part about sensitivity to social and organisational issues in system design and evaluation. However, in the pursuit innovative technology, those sensitivities can often be lost.

© All rights reserved Harper and Carter and/or Kluwer Academic Publishers

 
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URL: http://www.interaction-design.org/references/authors/richard_harper.html