The roots of the group are in Human-Computer Interaction, European Computer-Supported Cooperative Work, Participatory Design, and Activity Theory research communities. The research group focuses on understanding and supporting participatory design, user-centered design, value co-creation, user driven innovation and human interaction in IT (information technology based services in divergent everyday life contexts. Generally, the research group acknowledges that information technology has become intertwined and embedded in almost all parts of our everyday life, including leisure and civic activity, thereby establishing new forms of participation and design. Hence, “users” cannot be considered as passive consumers anymore, but at least as value co-creators and content producers if not even as (co-)designers and innovators. This calls for reconsidering the traditional understandings of the roles of users, service providers and designers as well as for different development approaches that place emphasis on empowerment and inclusion in designing, shaping, innovating and co-creating information technology in everyday life.
The major recent research themes of the group are the following:
- Digital transformation in various contexts, including the taxi industry
- IT support for participatory urban design
- Understanding and strengthening children’s participation and agency in issues concerning their life.
- Understanding and supporting open and democratic development approaches, such as open source software development as a specific focus of study
- ICT-enabled model of healthcare delivery, combining service thinking with modern information technology supporting people in healthy life, and healthcare ecosystems in successfull value co-creation with connected health services
- Usability and UX research (UX Lab)
- Understanding how girls and women make sense the IT field and their career choices, looking at experiences, interactions, and discourses that are shaping social action
The INTERACT research group has strong background in multi-, inter- and transdisciplinary research, combining perspectives from both humanistic and information technology oriented disciplines and has established a transdiscplinary research center to support the efforts in University of Oulu. The group relies mainly on qualitative, participatory, and constructive research approaches; in many cases developing novel pilot IT-based services and applications and experimenting with them in the field has an important role in research. In many studies we employ nexus analysis as our research strategy and are interested in further development of it.
INTERACT has close cooperation in two directions: towards humanistic and social sciences within the EveLINE (everyday life in technology-rich neo-communities) group, and towards computer engineering within the iUBI (Ubiquitous Interaction) group, (INTERACT and UBICOMP). Group is active in eCOST action ENJECT (enject.eu).
INTERACT supports the EUSSET (European Society for Socially Embedded Technology) initiative.
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