Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Papers,
Copenhagen Business School, Department of Informatics

No 2006-3: Embedding complementarity in HCI methods and techniques

Janni Nielsen , Carsten Yssing , Karin Levinsen , Torkil Clemmensen , Rikke ├śrngreen and Lene Nielsen
Additional contact information
Janni Nielsen: Department of Informatics, Copenhagen Business School, Postal: Department of Informatics, Copenhagen Business School, Howitzvej 60 , DK-2000 Frederiksberg, Denmark
Carsten Yssing: Department of Informatics, Copenhagen Business School, Postal: Department of Informatics, Copenhagen Business School, Howitzvej 60 , DK-2000 Frederiksberg, Denmark
Karin Levinsen: Department of Informatics, Copenhagen Business School, Postal: Department of Informatics, Copenhagen Business School, Howitzvej 60 , DK-2000 Frederiksberg, Denmark
Torkil Clemmensen: Department of Informatics, Copenhagen Business School, Postal: Department of Informatics, Copenhagen Business School, Howitzvej 60 , DK-2000 Frederiksberg, Denmark
Rikke ├śrngreen: Department of Informatics, Copenhagen Business School, Postal: Department of Informatics, Copenhagen Business School, Howitzvej 60 , DK-2000 Frederiksberg, Denmark
Lene Nielsen: Department of Informatics, Copenhagen Business School, Postal: Department of Informatics, Copenhagen Business School, Howitzvej 60 , DK-2000 Frederiksberg, Denmark

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.

Keywords: Nona

JEL-codes: H00

16 pages, September 18, 2006

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