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Title: An embodied approach to the analysis and design of interactive ambient media
Authors: Tan, Liang
Degree: Ph.D.
Issue Date: 2019
Abstract: As digital computing and embedded technologies are increasingly pervasive and accessible in public spaces, interactions with technology-mediated physical environments become the focus of a growing amount of research in human-computer interaction (HCI). The paradigm of interaction design continually shifts from usability-oriented design to experience-centered design. Much research suggests that it is important to develop new knowledge that supports understanding and designing quality experiences in interacting with everyday environments. Moreover, embodiment is widely accepted as a theoretical foundation in HCI and emphasizes that human cognition is largely shaped by the body's interactions with the world. Influenced by the theory of embodied cognition, cognitive linguistics believes that languages reflect the way of how people think, and that thought is grounded in people's bodily experiences with physical environments. The embodied nature of the mind, experience and language underlie the foundation of this research's theoretical and empirical explorations. Despite the increase in scholarly interest in hedonic, meaningful, and embodied experiences in HCI, there exists less work investigating the relationship between bodily interaction and meaning making in the context of ambient media. This research aims to explore how embodied thinking may support developing new design methodologies that aim at facilitating the experiences of audiences who actively participate in interactions with ambient media. Building on the theories of embodied cognition and cognitive semantics, this PhD research concentrates on developing an embodied approach to analyzing and designing ambient media through a series of studies. With the aim of understanding audience experiences with ambient media and developing an approach to embodied interaction design, this research mainly comprises three progressive studies: a case study on ambient media works, an empirical study on audience experiences, and a study on designing ambient media. After a comprehensive literature review on ambient media, embodiment and audience experiences, a theoretical framework is built to lay the research foundation (Chapter 2). Subsequently, the methodological considerations and research design are discussed according to the research questions and objectives (Chapter 3). In the next chapter, 10 cases of ambient media are analyzed based on an analytical model that is devised from the theoretical framework (Chapter 4). Based on the preliminary findings from the case analyses, an in-depth empirical study on embodied interactions is conducted to understand key factors that define audience experiences with ambient media, as well as the mechanism reflecting bodily engagement and meaningful experience (Chapter 5). Next, the findings from the case study and the empirical study are synthesized as design strategies and models, which are subsequently applied to develop a range of ambient media designs. The design ideas are analyzed based on two analytical models derived from the previous findings. Experience tests on a physical prototype of a design idea are conducted for evaluation (Chapter 6). The design experiments indicate that the approach offers promising and applicable guidancein designing ambient media based on the idea of embodied interaction. Furthermore, based on two main aspects of this research: understanding audience experiences and designing embodied interactions, an in-depth discussion clarifies and synthesizes the findings from the three studies. The implications are summarized in view of informing further research and design practice. Three combinations of various perspectives offer new theoretical and methodological insights for research on embodied interactions. A set of guidelines for designing ambient media is proposed, which provide methodological insights and strengthen the proposed approach (Chapter 7). Finally, the limitations of this research and suggestions for future research are discussed (Chapter 8).
Subjects: Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Ambient intelligence
Human-computer interaction
Pages: xvii, 261 pages : color illustrations
Appears in Collections:Thesis

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