Human Actions Made Tangible

Human Actions Made Tangible: Analysing the Temporal Organization of Activities

With designers increasingly moving beyond button pushing and flat-screen interaction towards tangible and embodied interaction, techniques for user studies need to develop as well. While ethnographic video studies and ethnomethodological analyses are becoming standard in many interaction design projects, it remains a challenge to investigate in detail how people interact with all of their body. Analysis of full-body movement is time consuming, notation techniques are rare, and findings are difficult to share between members of a design team. In this paper we propose tangible video analysis, a method developed to engage people from different backgrounds in collaboratively analysing videos with the help of physical objects. We will present one of these tools, Action Scrabble, for analysing temporal organization of human actions. We work with a case of skilled forklift truck driving. By backtracking our design research experiments we will unfold how and why the tangible tool succeeds in engaging designers with varied analysis experience to collaboratively focus on human action structures – and even find video analysis fun!

Author Keywords Video analysis, objects, collaboration, video, tangibles, toolkits, participatory design

Find the paper here.

Jacob Buur Mads Clausen Institute University of Southern Denmark E-Mail
Agnese Caglio Design and Communication University of Southern Denmark E-Mail
Lars Christian Jensen Design and Communication University of Southern Denmark E-Mail