Christopher Lueg (2001).
On context-aware artifacts and socially responsible design
Proceedings of the Conference on Human-Computer Interaction (OzCHI 2001)
20-23 November 2001, Fremantle (Perth), WA, Australia.

postscript version

pdf version

We do no longer offer Word versions as Word documents are neither fully portable nor secure (Word documents have shown to spread viruses).


Context-aware artifacts are of particular interest to HCI researchers as the user's interaction with artifacts moves from rather static desktops to less well-structured environments. Most work in developing such artifacts appears to be technology-driven by which we mean that often not much time is spent on exploring and clarifying the underlying concepts of context. In this paper, we attempt to contribute to the discussion of context by outlining an explicit distinction between the concept of context as a characterization of a situation and the situation itself which we understand as a social construct in the first place. Acknowledging this difference suggests that designers of context-aware artifacts should pay particular attention to the fact that the context determined by context-aware artifacts may differ from what the persons involved in a social setting have negotiated. In such a situation, it should be possible to overrule the context-aware artifact in such a way that the artifact's behavior does no longer interfere with the situation that has been negotiated among peers.

revised 2 December 2001