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We devise and implement new and innovative interaction design solutions in extreme environments, for instance within industrial settings, outdoor environments, and public spaces. While substantial resources are being invested into interaction design intended to support office work, mobile office users, and more recently into design for home settings and leisure users, these more unusual application domains have been largely overlooked even though they provide very interesting challenges and opportunities from a research perspective as well as a business perspective.
For instance, how should we design an oil rig service technician’s support system to provide the right information at the right time? When riding their bikes fast downhill a mountain, is there a way to convey information to the riders in a safe but yet informative manner? Is it possible to design interactive public displays so that many users can interact with them and each other simultaneously?
These three examples show that the problems with interaction design today is concerned, in developing technology behaviors and understanding the interaction between these technologies and people within different environments, have grown considerably in complexity. Such complexity has shifted the kinds of problems interaction researchers and designers are involved from relatively well-defined, controlled problems with the overall aim to improve usability of a product or service to more ill-structured and open problem situations; so-called ‘wicked problems’.
In order to be able to take on and tackle such wicked problems together with our partners, we at RISE Interactive (formerly called Interactive Institute) combine leading academic research in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) with practical knowledge and skills in design and information technology. For us, the context of use itself and our situated users’ problems and concerns are the center of attention, not the actual technology being applied. Our contextual, user-centered approach in combination with strong technology knowhow leads to new insights and help us shape innovative solutions for our partners. In all our projects, we use working prototypes to quickly explore, test, and verify our novel interaction design concepts.