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Note to Self: Stop Calling Interfaces “Natural”

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The term “natural” is employed to describe a wide range of novel interactive products and systems, ranging from gesture-based interaction to brain-computer interfaces and in marketing as well as in research. However, this terminology is problematic. It establishes an untenable dichotomy between forms of interaction that are natural and those that are not; it draws upon the positive connotations of the term and conflates the language of research with marketing lingo, often without a clear explanation of why novel interfaces can be considered natural; and it obscures the examination of the details of interaction that ought to be the concern of HCI researchers. We are primarily concerned with identifying the problem, but also propose two steps to remedy it: recognising that the terminology we employ in research has consequences, and unfolding and articulating in more detail the qualities of interfaces that we have hitherto labelled “natural”.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCritical alternatives : Proceedings of The Fifth Decennial Aarhus Conference 17- 21 August 2015, Aarhus, Denmark
EditorsShaowen Bardzell, Susanne Bødker, Ole Sejer Iversen, Clemens N. Klokmose, Henrik Korsgaard
Number of pages4
Place of publicationAarhus
PublisherDepartment of Computer Science, Aarhus University
Publication yearAug 2015
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2015
EventThe fifth decennial Aarhus conference: Critical alternatives 2015 - Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark
Duration: 17 Aug 201521 Aug 2015


ConferenceThe fifth decennial Aarhus conference
LocationAarhus University

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