Human Experience and Design

Microsoft Research

Things We've Learnt About

  • 5 Magizines
 

Our Motivation

A lot of the written material that we produce in HXD is directed very much at an academic audience. Through conferences like CHI and CSCW we add to, and build on, the research work of a broad community and find out about new efforts going on in our domain of human-computer interaction. That’s as it should be for research. We’ve been trying to think of some ways to make our work more accessible, though. Partially this is because the busy people who work for Microsoft in the US, building products that we want to help influence, don’t have a great deal of time to read a 10 page academic treatise. They need something a little more…succinct, and to the point. In addition to a focus on Microsoft, we think the subject of our research work is generally and genuinely interesting to a broad audience. We deal with the way people live their lives, and try and gain some understanding of the appropriate way in which technology should play a part. We look for the “human values” that motivate people, particularly in their personal relationships and in the places in which they spend time, then we ask how technology can enhance, rather than undermine, them.

  • Issue 5
 

Issue 5 - Home Life

Issue 5 of our magazine is focused on the theme of Home Life. We are forever crafting our homes, forever making them feel our own in ways that instill our values and hopes. Computers, tablets, cell phones, game consoles, and other digital devices are increasingly playing a role in the way we do this. How should we make sense of technology in our homes and how might we approach designing new experiences for home life? In this issue we tease apart issues around the rhythm of home life, the need for subtle technologies for connecting us with others, looking at what it means to organize our home and create a space for playful interactions. We present a number of prototypes and ideas for thinking about the design of interactive technologies for home life.

DOWNLOAD A DIGITAL VERSION
Issue 5 is available as a PDF (5MB).

  • Issue 4
 

Issue 4 - Digital Possessions

Issue 4 of our magazine is focussed on the theme of Digital Possessions. We’ve tried to wrap up over 5 years of research and design work in this area to talk about what possession means in the landscape of cloud computing, social media, and personal devices. What does it mean to possess something that is digital rather than physical? Does it make a difference if that something is hosted online or stored offline? We unpack five ways in which a sense of possession can be supported, and present a number of prototypes and ideas for thinking about how this can be realised through the design of interactive technologies.

DOWNLOAD A DIGITAL VERSION
Issue 4 is available as a PDF (5MB).

  • Issue 3
 

Issue 3 - Search & Web Use

Issue 3 of our magazine is focussed on the theme of Search & Web Use. We’ve tried to wrap up over 5 years of research and design work in this area to talk about the way we search online, and how we spend out time on the web. Are there ways of thinking about search beyond worries about the speed and relevancy of results? In this issue we describe 5 different ways in which people spend their time online - Purposefully, Opportunistically, to Orient themselves, as a form of Respite and finally simply to Lean-Back. With this context, we present a number of different prototypes and ideas for thinking about our lives online, that we hope will inspire your own work.

DOWNLOAD A DIGITAL VERSION
Issue 3 is available as a PDF (5MB).

  • Issue 2
 

Issue 2 - Memory

Issue 2 of our magazine is focussed on the theme of Memory. We’ve tried to wrap up over 5 years of research and design work in this area to talk about the role technology plays in supporting memory. We need to understand the ways in which people value looking back on their past, and the subtlety and different modes of memory. In this issue, for example, we describe the "5 R's" of memory - Recollecting, Reminiscing, Retrieving, Reflecting and Remembering Intentions - each of which implies a different relationship and goal with respect to the past, and each of which may imply quite different design goals for a product.

DOWNLOAD A DIGITAL VERSION
Issue 2 is available as a PDF (5MB).

  • Issue 1
 

Issue 1 - Communication

Issue 1 of our magazine is focussed on the theme of Human-to-Human Communication. We’ve tried to wrap up over 5 years of research and design work in this area to talk about why people communicate. A lot of the focus on communication technologies is on the substance of the message – getting some “data” if you like, from person A to person B. A lot of this issue of the magazine deals with the reasons and methods through which people communicate that have little to do with the message. Sometimes people send messages to remind other people that they care about them, for example. The content of the message matters less than the fact that the sender thought about sending it. The magazine is full of little insights like that, that are about the subtle underpinnings that make communication important.

DOWNLOAD A DIGITAL VERSION
Issue 1 is available as a PDF (12MB).