System Use and Social Organisation: Observations on Human-Computer Interaction in an Architectural Practice
Paul Luff, Christian Heath
Despite its relative importance within the field of Human-Computer Interaction, there seems to be growing
scepticism of the ability of cognitive science to enrich our understanding of the use of complex technologies.
At the practical level, for example, it has been suggested that the designs and evaluation techniques used by
actual designers of computer systems owe little to the models developed within cognitive science. Moreover,
theoretically, cognitive science has been subject to wide ranging criticism concerning, for example, its
conceptualisation of social action, its approach to user modelling and its intentional models of language and
discourse. In line with these criticisms, several researchers have argued that studies should move away from
plan based, goal orientated models of system use and begin to consider the social and cultural foundations of
screen based actions and activities. In this paper we attempt to make some preliminary observations of the
social and situated organisation of human-computer interaction.
Technology in Working Order: Studies of Work, Interaction, and Technology, Graham Button (ed), Routledge, London, 1993, pp 184-210.