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Embedding complementarity in HCI methods.

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Disciplines
  • Design

Abstract

Differences in cultural contexts constitute differences in cognition, and research has shown that different cultures may use different cognitive tools for perception and reasoning. The cultural embeddings are significant in relation to HCI, because the cultural context is also embedded in the techniques and the tools that we apply. We lack a framework for discussing what and who we are, when we talk about a person as the user of an ICT system that has to be designed, developed and implemented. As a framework, we suggest a theory of complementary positions that insists on solid accounts from all observer posi-tions in relation to perspective, standpoint and focus. We need to develop com-plementary theories that embed complexity, and we need to reflect critically upon forty years of dominance by rationalistic, empirical understandings of the user as illustrated in the literature and practice within the HCI paradigm in system development.

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