This week we will hear from Nervo Verdezoto, Assistant Professor at the University of Leicester.
Taking a Practice Lens to Inform Design: Experiences from Healthcare and Sustainability
There is a growing desire to address societal challenges in healthcare and sustainability through the use of information technology such as medication reminders and smart electricity meters. Although these technologies have managed to raise awareness regarding people’s care activities or energy consumption, most of these technologies have failed to consider how people actually use and integrate these devices into their everyday practices beyond looking at the individual. As a result, people still find it difficult to adopt and embrace these technologies to improve their health or save energy. For example, an older adult with an active lifestyle might frequently be outside the home (e.g., at work, restaurant or any other social setting) when they are supposed to take their blood pressure or medication. The physical and digital infrastructures of everyday settings, socio-cultural norms and practices as well as community beliefs also challenge care practices in many ways, for example, in the case of pregnant women who often struggle to self-diagnose (distinguish between normal pregnancy changes and complications) and self-triage (decide whether to to seek help, where and how urgently). Taking a practice-based research approach, this talk presents the challenges and opportunities for designing information technologies (e.g., self-care technology, eco-feedback technology, etc.) that can better account for the material, spatial, socio-cultural and relational elements that influence people’s everyday practices. These points are presented using several examples from healthcare and sustainability e.g., investigating older adults’ medication and self-monitoring practices, pregnancy care and hospital service work practices, as well as the practices of different types of households in order to enable residents to reduce and shift energy consumption through technology.
Nervo Xavier Verdezoto is an Assistant Professor/Lecturer in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) and Digital Health at the Department of Informatics, University of Leicester, UK. He is a member of the Interaction Design and Evaluation of Socio-technical Systems (IDEAS) Group. Previously, he was a postdoctoral researcher at the Ubiquitous Computing and Interaction Group at the Department of Computer Science, Aarhus University in Denmark. He also was research assistant at the Centre for Pervasive Healthcare at Aarhus University during his PhD studies. His work combines fieldwork with user-centered and participatory design methods to further understand people’s everyday practices, different stakeholders needs, and how people appropriate technology. In particular, he has been working in various research projects related to healthcare, physical computing, and sustainable HCI.