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interactions Reports: Who Can You Trust in the Digital Age?

Current Issue Examines Importance of Collaboration in Interface and Interaction Design

The Association for Computing Machinery
Advancing Computing as a Science & Profession

Contact: Virginia Gold

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NEW YORK, NY, March 26, 2009 –  The March+April 2009 issue of interactions magazine investigates the central role of trust in designing interfaces and interactions for today's social technologies.  The issue also examines the burgeoning risks to online identity, the challenges of protecting your virtual self, and the potential for creating a digital self-image to foster self-trust.  The idea of trust also applies to the need for collaboration in design interaction, and several articles demonstrate the importance of cross-organizational, cross-disciplinary collaboration.  interactions, a bi-monthly publication of ACM, focuses on the interactions among experiences, people, and technology. 

            In the cover story, interaction designer Hunter Whitney reminds us that the behavior patterns of our daily lives are captured in data streams from blogging to swiping a card at the supermarket.  He warns that our personal identities may be appropriated for direct theft or for more elaborate forms of "social engineering" misdeeds, such as pretexing, which is the practice of getting personal information under false pretenses. A key to identity protection, he argues, is not just about increasing privacy, but about building a real community of people with different skills and interests who collaborate to find a solution, and about good friends and colleagues watching out for each other in this environment. 

            A forward-looking article by Elizabeth Churchill of Yahoo! Research envisions an emerging world of autonomous, "sort-of sentient" devices that communicate among themselves and are able to organize themselves automatically.  Like socks that can find each other in a drawer, the objects in this "Internet of Things" would be equipped with tiny identifying devices that can connect with other objects.  The cloud on the horizon of this fantasy world, she says, is "trust in all its forms."  She expands on the design challenges that must be addressed to ensure continuous user trust in this process. 

            In a feature story on research strategies for future planning, Colleen Murray of Jump Associates ponders how Motorola's earnings plummeted in 2007 following two years of success with the RAZR cell phone, which became one of the most sought-after phones of all time.  She observes that Motorola, which is known for being driven by design, was blindsided by the iPhone, which fundamentally changed both the market and consumer expectations for mobile phones.  To overcome the fear of not knowing what is coming, she details a five-stage "explore process" for developing new growth platforms. 

             Other articles in the March + April 2009 issue of interactions include a story on why memory is more important than actuality; a look into why modern neuroscience offers human-computer interaction researchers a way to "lift the veil" on user cognition to greatly expand the tool kit for both research and design; and what embodied cognition—which emphasizes how human bodies determine perceptual and cognitive structures—means for child-computer interaction. The digital edition includes various viewing and searching options.


About interactions
interactions, under editors-in-chief Richard Anderson and Jon Kolko, offers readers access to the leading thinkers and practitioners of a field that has the power to change the world.  Each issue features columns by renowned author Donald A. Norman, co-founder of the Nielsen Norman group and professor at Northwestern University; Elizabeth Churchill, principal research scientist at Yahoo! Research in social media; and Steve Portigal, founder of Portigal Consulting.  interactions forum editors include Timelines Editor Jonathan Grudin of Microsoft Research; On Modeling Editor Hugh Dubberly of the Dubberly Design Office, Sustainably Ours Editor Eli Blevis of Indiana University; Under Development Editor Gary Marsden of the University of Cape Town; and Lifelong Interactions Editor Alison Druin of the University of Maryland. The (P)reviews Editor is Alex Wright of The New York Times. Contributing editors are: Dave Cronin of Cooper; Katie Scott of Maya Design; Ame Elliott of IDEO; Elaine Ann of Kaizor Innovation; Lauren Serota of Lextant; Mark Vanderbeeken of Experientia; Molly Wright Steenson at Princeton; and Marc Rettig of Fit Associates.

About ACM
ACM, the Association for Computing Machinery, is the world's largest educational and scientific computing society, uniting computing educators, researchers and professionals to inspire dialogue, share resources and address the field’s challenges. ACM strengthens the computing profession’s collective voice through strong leadership, promotion of the highest standards, and recognition of technical excellence. ACM supports the professional growth of its members by providing opportunities for life-long learning, career development, and professional networking.

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