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Community research

Communities today use technology in their joint activities and some even form around exploring and developing novel technologies as hobbyists. A part of the group’s research on community technologies focus on artifact ecologies and how communities negotiate and design the technologies they use in common and joint activities. This could be looking into how grass-root organizations pick their infrastructure or what happens at the intersection between informal communities formal organizations. A second perspective is studying lead-user or expert communities for insights on novel technologies and uses thereof. This could be how (online) Do-It-Yourself communities develop and share designs or as previously studied, how gamemodders collaborate and share projects.

A project within this theme would typically begin by identifying a community (see below) and then survey the literature on related work. The project will involve qualitative research (interviews and observations) and analysis thereof. The outcome will be a report or thesis outlining the community, methodology, related work, key insights and recommendations within the field of HCI. This will be a full bachelor project or preparation project for a more design oriented master thesis or a master thesis in itself.

Example publications:

Malleable Games - A Literature Review on Communities of Game Modders

'A Farmer, a Place and at least 20 Members': The Development of Artifact Ecologies in Volunteer-based Communities.

Supervisors: Susanne Bødker, Olav Bertelsen and/or Henrik Korsgaard

Open ideas

r/MechanicalKeyboards/

What motivates people to buy, use and build mechanical keyboards? What are the advantages? What role does the aesthetic experience play in interaction? What can average users learn from lead-users of mechanical keyboards?

r/functionalprint/

What kind of problems do people solve using 3D printing? What are the design process involved? How do the users share design and expertise? What motivates people to 3D print? What are the current cutting edge of 3D print within these communities? What can we learn from this community toward supporting fabrication and expertise sharing around design?