Unusual methods, marginalized people

This is a text I thought about for a long time. I hoped that I would find a nice theory that someone else suggested for the observations I made, but I was unable to find one or maybe unable to see the ones I know from a perspective that made …

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Creating a Research Question for Qualitative User Research

In most experimental quantitative research, it is essential to have a research question, or rather: an hypothesis. However, in qualitative research, a research question can be useful, too as it helps to communicate to others what you are doing and it can help to guide your research. In contrast to …

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The problem of gaps, biases and barriers

In discussions about equity in the web and in technology I often come across two terms: Gaps and Biases. Sometimes they are accompanied by barriers. It is said that, to achieve equity, we need to close gaps, correct biases and remove barriers.

a google ngram search for "Gaps and Biases". The Graph starts 1940 at 0% and raises up to 0.0000001% in 2019

“Gaps and Biases” had quite a career since …

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How I learned programming

My initial attempts to learn programming start with not starting: My father encouraged me to learn to programming when I was 14. But he suggested QBasic and TurboPascal. I think his idea was that I would start with QBasic and then "graduate" to Pascal. I tried to learn QBasic a …

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Coordination and Cards

Some days ago, I chatted with a colleague (Gabriel Birke, who writes on  Leben++) about a story telling card game in which the players develop a story based on prompt cards (based on the mechanics of “For the Queen”). He was programming a little web-based version of it. I reviewed …

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Serving Machines

Actually, my workplace only has filter coffee from a pump pot. But early in 2018 we were gifted “fully automatic coffee machine” which its previous owner no longer needs.

Since I know the person who gifted it, I feel responsible and read the instructions: The machine needs water and coffee …

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On violating the standards of one’s occupation

There are some things that you don't do in an occupation. This might be using lots of glue instead of dowels for a carpenter or nesting several windows into each other if you are an interface designer. These things might be rationally explained: The carpenter might say they want to …

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Agre’s Surveillance and Capture, 26 Years later

This is an edited text based on a talk Lisa Conrad, PhD and me gave at the EASST 2020 in the panel on classic Science and Technology Studies (STS) papers. I think the text is also interesting for computer scientists, design researchers and privacy researchers, so I post it here …

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Knowledges which are not abstract

Whether in books or Wikipedia: A lot of knowledge is presented and edited as text. One assumes this text reflects something about the world (if it is true and not wrong because of deceived senses, bad research or lying). This such text can be written by a person who has …

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