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2023 - A Review of the Year by Claudia Müller-Birn

Happy Holidays

Happy Holidays

News from Dec 09, 2023

The year is gradually drawing to a close; thus, I take the opportunity to reflect a bit on what we have achieved this year.

HCC Research

Our research continues to focus on incorporating human values into the design of interactions in data-driven systems.

In two articles [1] [2], we present a two-step method for participatory values elicitation through workshops, followed by a systematic analysis procedure to derive design requirements centered on human values. We apply this method in medical and mobility contexts, emphasizing the need to capture the values of diverse stakeholders to inform socio-technical system design.

Making values transparent is also critical because they shape user interface designs. A well-known example is consent interface design, which often overly mirrors the values of data collectors by exploiting users' cognitive biases to nudge them toward more data sharing. We propose a responsible approach to nudge design [3] that instead encourages reflective, deliberative choices. Our experiment suggests that encouraging reflection reduces discrepancies between users' privacy attitudes and choices.

Supporting human decision-making is particularly important in data-driven system design since AI decisions come from inscrutable "black boxes." To design appropriate user interfaces, we need to understand users' explanation needs and create transparent, understandable, data-driven systems that meet those needs. We propose extending an existing approach to capture nuanced explanation needs [4].

Our CSCW paper explored such people's explanation needs for computational art history image retrieval tools. Our interview study suggests critical reflection is necessary for meaningful human-AI interaction. User interfaces should be intentionally designed to scaffold and support critical reflection actively [5].

HCC Teaching

Beyond research, our HCC team is dedicated to education. An annual highlight is our CodingIxD project, which brings computer science and product design students together to explore tangible data interactions. How can physical data exploration be meaningful? How can people physically interact and manipulate data? How can the physicalization of data encourage reflection on personal data and its social, environmental, and economic implications? The results of the students' projects were presented in the interactive exhibition "Let's Get Physical" at CityLAB Berlin in February, including six highly innovative prototypes for emotional awareness, power consumption tracking, and more.

HCC Team

We welcomed two new team members in 2023. Ulrike Schäfer joined us to conduct research on human-centered explainable AI within the ENKIS project. Valeria Zitz recently started as a teaching assistant, continuing her master's thesis research on large language models.

We were very pleased with two events this year - our annual team retreat on the one hand and our team participation in the German HCI conference MuC on the other. We held a two-day retreat in Chorin in March, focusing on our team competencies and research goals. We will continue to discuss these important topics at future retreats. Another highlight was attending the scenic MuC conference in Rapperswil, Switzerland, where we found the discussions and the view of Lake Zurich very inspiring.

Claudia Müller-Birn


You can find a complete overview of our publications here.

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