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Weaving the Threads of Experience into Human Information Interaction (HII): Probing User Experience (UX)… O'Brien, Heather, 1977- 2011

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	   Threads	  of	  Experience	  in	  HII	  1	  Running Head: WEAVING THE THREADS OF EXPERIENCE INTO HUMAN INFORMATION INTERACTION       Weaving the Threads of Experience into Human Information Interaction (HII): Probing User Experience (UX) for New Directions in Information Behaviour      Heather L. O’Brien School of Library, Archival and Information Studies University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada          Please cite as:  O’Brien,	   H.L.	   	   (2011).	   	   Weaving	   the	   Threads	   of	   Experience	   into	   Human	  Information	   Interaction	   (HII):	   Probing	   User	   Experience	   (UX)	   for	   New	  Directions	   in	   Information	   Behaviour.	   	   In	   A.	   Spink	   and	   J.	   Heinström	   New	  Directions	  in	  Information	  Behaviour.	  	  Emerald	  Publishing.	  	  (pp.	  69-­‐92).	  	   Threads	  of	  Experience	  in	  HII	  2	  Abstract Information behaviour has evolved to focus on the dynamic human information interactions (HII) between systems and users, to develop models that encompass user behaviour, cognition, and affect, and to understand the ways in which context and tasks motivate information needs and shape information seeking and use.  In recent years, User Experience (UX) has gained prominence in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) and may provide further enrichment and new directions in the design and development of HII theories, methodologies, systems and services.   This chapter is to provide an overview of UX, and to explore the intersection between HII and UX, specifically with respect to the shared emphasis on context, needs, and sense making.  The overarching aim is to provide new directions for information behaviour by proposing that we view HII through a UX lens as we strive to holistically conceptualize, evaluate and design for human information experiences.  Taking a UX approach allows us to imagine information interactions as rich and varied narratives, and to explore information seeking and use as processes within, and outcomes and predictors of human experiences. Introduction User experience (UX) is  “a person's perceptions and responses that result from the use or anticipated use of a product, system or service” (International Organization for Standardization, 2008).  The term has gained increasing popularity in the Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) community.  Work in UX examines the relationships that develop between humans and technologies in situ and over time as products, systems and services become integrated into people’s lives in meaningful ways.  UX calls for a more holistic approach in the study of how people interact with technologies in unique contexts, and seeks to account for the complexities of these interactions in the design and evaluation of information-rich systems and services.   This ethos is one that we in the information science community share with UX, and thus UX may be a useful framework for probing new directions in information behaviour, seeking and use.  Indeed, the application of UX to information behaviour is timely, as Marchionini (2008) observes that, “Information researchers and practitioners are increasingly finding that they must study and manage information experiences as much as physical objects” (p. 171).  The idea of information as experience has been percolating for some time.  Almost two decades ago, Laurel (1993) proposed that we reframe interacting with information from “looking for something” to “examining or experiencing it” (p. 140).  But what does it mean to view human-information interactions (HII) as experiences?  Drawing from UX, it is the recognition that individual histories shape expectations and motivations, and that the presence of others in the environment or the interaction itself may change the trajectory of experience.   Some of these ideas are not new to information scientists and are exemplified in process models of search behaviour, user-centred theories that integrate cognition, affect, and behaviour, and studies that examine the role of contexts and tasks in information seeking and use.  However, there is a need to push information behaviour to a new level of understanding.  Taking a UX approach allows us to imagine information interactions as rich and varied narratives, and to explore information seeking and use as processes within, and outcomes and predictors of human experiences. 	   Threads	  of	  Experience	  in	  HII	  3	  The purpose of this chapter is to explore UX as a potential framework for information behaviour, seeking and use, and how it might contribute to theory building and methodology in HII.  This chapter is structured as follows: first, a general introduction to UX; second, an examination of the parallels between UX and HII around three central constructs: context, needs, and sense-making; and lastly, what it means to view HII through a UX lens, and what new directions and possibilities this may engender for how we think about, evaluate, and design for human information experiences. User Experience: An Overview The increased emphasis in HCI on user experience has incited researchers to understand how the features of systems enhance positive user engagement (O’Brien & Toms, 2008) and how to apply these findings in the design of applications (Lingaard, 2004).  This section provides an overview of UX research to date, focusing on its definition, conceptual frameworks, and evaluation.   What is User Experience? Despite the felt importance of UX, researchers continue to grapple with its definition.  Law, Roto, Hassenzahl, Vermeeren and Kort (2009) agree that the ISO (2008) definition is “promising,” but requires further unpacking (p. 728) and alternatives have been proposed.  For example, Beauregard and Corriveau (2007) stress subjective variables, describing UX as the “emotions, attitudes, thoughts, behaviours, and perceptions of users across the usage lifecycle” of a product.  The challenge to define UX as a phenomenon lies in its inherent complexity: human beings’ lived experiences are a culmination of past events, present circumstances, and future expectations (McCarthy & Wright, 2004). There are a range of user variables (e.g., age, education, personality, openness to experience), contexts (e.g., school, virtual communities), and agents (e.g., products, systems, services) that may form and inform users’ experiences.  For the purposes of this chapter, I will adopt the ISO definition of UX as “a person's perceptions and responses that result from the use or anticipated use of a product, system or service” (2008).  This encapsulates the user-centred focus of UX, emphasizes users’ motivations and expectations as well as their actions, and is general enough to be applied in a variety of contexts and temporal settings.   Conceptual Frameworks of UX The HCI community has been developing a “UX Manifesto” for some time to identify a comprehensive, broad-based definition of user experience and to establish a common language for researchers and developers (Law, Vermeeren, Hassanzahl & Blythe, 2007; Law et al., 2009).  A number of frameworks have been proposed for understanding the nature and scope of UX.  Some of these paint a picture of the current UX landscape, while other models may be classified as attribute-based or process-based.  Attribute-based models seek to articulate dimensions or characteristics of UX.  In some cases, these are drawn from the general literature, while in other cases UX is a facet of a larger model of human-technology interactions.  Process-based models consist of progressive phases that illustrate the changing nature of experience. 	   Threads	  of	  Experience	  in	  HII	  4	  Blythe, Hassanzahl, Law and Vermeeren (2007) and Forlizzi and Battarbee (2004) have taken generalized approaches to characterizing UX.  Blythe, Hassanzahl et al. (2007) articulated five dimensions of UX based on a systematic review of HCI literature.  The first dimension, “Theory,” showed a range of “reductive” to “holistic” approaches inherent across research studies, while the second dimension, “Purpose” pertained to the reason why the research was conducted, e.g. to evaluate a phenomenon, to improve upon the design of a product, etc.  Dimension three, “Method” looked at whether the studies took a qualitative or quantitative approach.  “Domain” was dimension four, and this examined the context (i.e., work or leisure) of the UX.  The last dimension, “Application,” distinguished individual (personal) from group (social) experiences.   Forlizzi and Battarbee (2004) put forward different dimensions based on the design literature: product-centred, user-centred, and interaction-centered.  Product-centered strategies typically provide criteria to guide designers in the development and assessment of products, systems and services.  User-centered approaches focus on the people who use products, systems, and services – who they are, how they think and behave, and how they make decisions and judgments about technology adoption and use.  Lastly, interaction-centered views seek to “explore the role that products serve in bridging the gap between designer and user” (p. 262).   Other researchers have described proposed attributes that constitute UX.  For instance, in Mahlke’s (2007) Model of Human-Technology Interaction, UX is comprised of users’ perceptions of the “instrumental” (e.g., usability) and “non-instrumental” (e.g., aesthetic appeal) characteristics of the system, as well as users’ cognitive, affective, and behavioural reactions.  Similarly, O’Brien and Toms (2010) identified six factors of engaging user experiences that focus on users’ perceptions of the technology and their own experiences using it.  They found that 1) endurability (the perception that the experience was rewarding, successful, worth repeating, etc.) was contingent upon the perceived 2) novelty, 3) aesthetic appeal, and 4) usability of the technology, as well as users’ propensity to 5) feel involved and 6) focus their attention during the interaction.  Alternatively to attribute-based model, process-based models focus on the unfolding of experience and emphasize the dynamism and temporality of UX.  One of the most inspired process-based models is the Threads of Experience (McCarthy & Wright, 2004). McCarthy and Wright articulated four distinct threads of experience: compositional, emotional, sensual, and spatio-temporal, and these are motivated in part by John Dewey’s Model of Human Action, which states that the interaction between individuals and objects involves emotion, aesthetics, creativity, sensation and meaning-making. The compositional thread pertains to the narrative structure of the experience or how it unfolds.  The emotional thread is a “resource for understanding and communicating about what we experience” (Forlizzi & Battarbee, 2004).  During an experience, the user’s senses (e.g. sight, sound, touch) are engaged, and this is the sensual thread. Lastly, the spatio-temporal thread is the time and space in which an experience occurs.   Regardless of whether UX is viewed as a compilation of attributes or as a process comprised of threads, researchers do share some conceptual perspectives on UX.   Most notable of these is the emphasis on holism and subjectivity (Wiklund-Engblom, Hassenzahl, et al., 2009); UX is rooted in how people perceive, act upon, and feel about 	   Threads	  of	  Experience	  in	  HII	  5	  their world. UX looks beyond the features and functionalities of systems and devices to see how human technology interactions are shaped by individual, social, and cultural variables.  Secondly, time is a recurring theme in UX (Beauregard & Corriveau, 2007; Mahlke, 2007; Karapanos, Zimmerman, Forlizzi & Martens, 2009; Wright & McCarthy, 2004).  UX situates experience in a place and time (Wright & McCarthy, 2004), but also examines how perceptions of technology change over time (Karapanos, Zimmerman, et al., 2009).  A third aspect of UX is the recognition that individual differences create variations in how people experience technology, which has consequences for modeling and evaluating UX (Kallenbach, 2009).  People vary in their knowledge and abilities, physical and cognitive make-up, personality, etc., and these individual differences influence if and how they will interact with a technology, and what their expectations, attitudes, and assessments with be toward the product or system (Beauregard & Corriveau, 2007).  Lastly, emotions are central to UX research (Hassenzahl & Tractinsky, 2006), and have been associated with guiding decision- making (Beauregard & Corriveau, 2007).  Perhaps more importantly, however, emotions have been defined as both a determinant and a product of human-technology interactions (McCarthy & Wright, 2005, p. 264).  In other words, “emotion affects how we plan to interact with products, how we actually interact with products, and the perceptions and outcomes that surround those interactions” (Forlizzi & Battarbee, 2004, p. 264).  What this suggests is that emotion is a constant state of being, rather than something to be turned on and off (McCarthy & Wright, 2005).  The Nature of Experience As Battarbee and Koskinen (2005), note, “experience is something that happens all the time” (p.7).  As a result of the ubiquity of experience, some researchers have tried to place parameters around UX for the purposes of describing it and measuring it.  Some of these distinctions have focused on experience as an activity and an event, and experience as both a process and an outcome. Forlizzi and Battarbee (2004) distinguish between UX as the “constant stream of ‘self-talk’” that occurs in real-time as we use a technology from an experience, “something meaningful that has a beginning and an end” (p. 263).  Individual experiences build over time to form “meta-experiences” that constitute our personal histories (Battarbee & Koskinen, 2005; McCarthy & Wright, 2004).  The differentiation of experience as activity and experience as event may explain why narrative has become a useful tool for understanding and evaluating UX.  Narrative has been used to examine how users interpret, situate, and recount experiences (McCarthy and Wright, 2004), but also the story told by a product “through its form, its language, its features, its aesthetic qualities, and its accessibility” (Forlizzi & Ford, 2000, p. 420).   If we accept the view of experience as something that unfolds in the moment (i.e., activity) and as something that is finite, described to others, and incorporated into our histories (i.e., event), then we must consider experience as a process and an outcome.  However, some researchers argue that experience is a process rather than an outcome.  Lin et al. (2008), for example, contend that “a single data point” cannot capture the “detailed variability of experience” (p. 50) and Isomäki (2009) states that interacting with 	   Threads	  of	  Experience	  in	  HII	  6	  technology is an investment of users as “whole human beings” where their physical, cognitive and affective states are wrapped up in their engagement (p. 201-202).   Yet, the way in which small experiences are embedded in larger ones necessitates that we look at UX as both process and outcome: we appraise our experiences according to emotional (positive, negative, neutral), cognitive (was that what I expected?), and behavioural (willingness to use the tool at a future time) evaluations, and we compare these assessments with our original and future goals and intentions.   Experience is an outcome because human beings are constantly performing these appraisals, and this produces an evaluation that becomes embedded in the overall process; this outcome is a result of the process and influences the future trajectory of the experience.   Studying User Experience Measuring UX has been described as possible, yet limited in its ability to capture experience in “its totality, in all its richness” (Blythe, Hassanzahl, Law & Vermeeren, 2007, p. 4).   UX focuses on individuals with unique emotional, cognitive, and behavioural qualities who are operating within specific and varied situations and contexts; thus, each research problem requires consideration about what will be measured, and how it will be evaluated and interpreted.  As such, the measurement challenges that UX faces are not unlike those of information science, specifically HII.   Since UX has evolved in the HCI community, its measurement has consisted of a common suite of metrics to evaluate users’ interactions with technologies, ranging from performance to user perception measures.  These include the time it takes to perform a task, degree of task completion, number of navigational errors, frequency in which “help” menus are consulted, number of commands or features used, number of interruptions, and so forth (Preece, Rogers, Sharp, Benyon, Holland, & Carey, 1994). Other evaluation techniques have included asking users about their preference for one system over another, or their levels of frustration/satisfaction after using an application (Preece, Rogers, et al., 1994).  In general, these self-report measures take users’ affect into account, but address it as a response to the system’s actions without delving into their experiential motivations and goals.  However, new metrics are emerging, such as O’Brien’s User Engagement Scale (UES), that seeks to understand the relationship between users’ perceptions of system novelty, aesthetic appeal, and usability, focused attention and felt involvement in the task, and the evaluation of the experience as a whole (O’Brien & Toms, 2010).  One drawback to self-reports, of course, is that this method relies on retrospective accounts, which may be remembered erroneously.  In addition, users may find it challenging to articulate their thoughts and emotions, or explain their behaviours.  However, user perceptions are important to gauge in UX since this field is concerned primarily with how people view and describe their own experiences.   Users’ self-reports may be used in concert with other metrics, gathered through observational, physiological, and/or eye tracking methods.  Behavioural observation may be conducted in-person or retrospectively through video analysis (Beauregard & Corriveau, 2007; Lin et al., 2008).   Physiological metrics include galvanic skin response, heart rate, electromyography, and respiration rate, and have been used to look at “fun” with video games (Mandryk, 2004) or emotional reactions to stimuli (Lang, Bradley & 	   Threads	  of	  Experience	  in	  HII	  7	  Cuthbert, 1998).  Eye tracking has been used to study how users direct their attention when interacting with a computer interface.  Specific metrics include number and length of fixations (e.g. Jacob & Karn, 2003), gaze patterns, dwell time on areas of interest (e.g. Goldberg, Stimson, Lewenstein, Scott  & Wichansky, 2002), and reaction time to visual cues (e.g., Klein, 1994).  Collectively, observational, physiological and eye tracking data are beneficial in that “they provide high-resolution, continuous representation…[of] experiential changes of subjects over time” (Lin et al., 2008, p. 53) and allow researchers to record what is taking place during a human-computer interaction.  However, these methods do not address users’ expressed cognitive or emotional state, and this necessitates triangulation of self-report and objective data.  Yet triangulation may be problematic because these different types of data do not necessarily “map on” to each other.  Thus, more efforts are required to understand how these multiple layers of data can be examined in concert to create a complete, rich picture of experience (Kelly, 2009).   Longitudinal research is advocated for in UX, though perhaps “overlooked” and “not systematically addressed” (Karapanos, Zimmerman, Forlizzi & Martens, 2009, p. 729).   The temporal thread of UX favours this methodological approach: it enables experience to be charted though the adoption and long-term use of a system, service or product, and it accounts for dynamic emotional responses to technology and changing perceptions of quality over time (Karapanos, Zimmerman et al., 2009).  Karapanos, Zimmerman et al. (2009) conducted a diary study where participants reported their daily activities using their iPhones and composed experience narratives about their “most impactful” experiences.  The researchers concluded that product familiarity, emotional attachment, and functional dependency characterized temporal shifts in experience as participants oriented to the product, and then became accustomed to it, and began to incorporate it into their routines, and ultimately, their self-identity.   Through this example, we can see how the temporal approach provides a means to observe changing relationships with technology over time.  It is also a way to dissect experience into measurable components, and to use a variety of measurement techniques to explore each of these stages independently and collectively. Inherent in the measurement of UX is the need to examine not only the functional components of human-technology interactions, but also the “non-instrumental needs of users” (Isomäki, 2009, p. 191-192).  This requires thinking beyond standard usability metrics, triangulating various measures, and taking a longitudinal approach to data collection.  Summary In summary, this section has provided some background on the UX phenomenon.  While the HCI community continues to refine the definition of user experience - a complex and loaded term - a “manifesto” of UX is emerging to facilitate communication amongst researchers and bring various approaches to theory, measurement and design together (Law, Vermeeren et al., 2007).    Meta-analyses of the HCI and design literatures have consolidated dimensions of UX, while other studies have articulated attributes or process-based “threads” of UX. Experience has been discussed as both an activity and an event, and as a process and an outcome, and these distinctions have implications for the study and measurement of UX.  It has been acknowledged that the complexity, subjectivity, and 	   Threads	  of	  Experience	  in	  HII	  8	  holism of UX lends itself best to triangulated metrics and temporal evaluations. With this background in place, this chapter will now move into connecting UX with HII. Human Information Interaction In the past fifty years, information behaviour research has moved from concentrating on the use of intermediaries to extract information for users from library systems (Taylor, 1968) to numerous studies on the needs and behaviours of users – from everyday people to scholars, from children to knowledge workers – with an emphasis on task and situational factors in the search process (Choo, 1998).  Today we view the relationship between people, systems, and information from a perspective of information interaction (Marchionini, 2008).  Human-information interaction (HII) has been defined as “how human beings interact with, relate to, and process information regardless of…the medium connecting the two” (Gershon, 1995).  HII bridges system-centered approaches, where information is looked upon “as an external, objective entity,” with user-centered approaches, which emphasize individuals’ needs and preferences (Choo, 1998), and has been felt to better encapsulate “the complexity” (Fidel, Pejtersen, Cleal & Bruce, 2004) that informs information seeking, searching, and use.  Information seeking refers to the pursuit of information to satisfy an instrumental goal, while searching includes “micro-level” behaviours (e.g. querying, examining search results, etc.) that take place when a user interacts with an information system; information use includes “the physical and mental acts involved in incorporating the information found into the person's existing knowledge base” (Wilson, 2000).   The information interaction approach positions HII as “a social science that is reacting and adapting to the changing human information condition” (Spink & Cole, 2006).  It builds upon the work of those who have contributed over time to understanding and modeling human information behaviour.  For example, Belkin’s (1980) Anomalous States of Knowledge (ASK) highlighted communication in addition to knowledge acquisition and encouraged systems to help users decipher solutions to their own problems. Dervin’s Sense-Making Methodology proposed that information encounters may be broken down into a situation that requires information, a gap in the user’s knowledge that precipitates information seeking, and a use for that information. Wilson’s (1999) General Model of Information Behaviour and Kuhlthau’s (2004) Information Search Process (ISP) Model united affect, behaviour, and cognition to explore the interactions between people, systems, and information. Most recently, Nahl has increased the information science community’s focus on affect with her Ecological Constructivist Model (2009), which underscores the role of affect in information acquisition, processing, and use.  However, if we wish to construct a “broader framework” for HII, then we might look to UX.  Marchionini stated that, “information scientists must develop ways to examine human–information interaction as a whole process that is greater than the sum of the information/people/technology parts;” he emphasized that change – to people, objects, devices, and environments – is the only constant in a society where people are physically and mentally engaged simultaneously in the physical and digital worlds (2008, p. 173).     If we turn our focus to how information is experienced, how might we understand, 	   Threads	  of	  Experience	  in	  HII	  9	  model, and design for HII differently?  What new approaches to conceptualizing and measuring HII might we adopt from UX?    UX and HII: Some Parallel Streams In identifying ways in which we can draw upon UX in HII, it is important to acknowledge the parallel streams between these two areas of study.  Based upon our knowledge of HII and the overview of UX provided above, some of these connections may be readily apparent.  For example, the product-, user-, and interaction-centered approaches of UX (Forlizzi & Battarbee, 2004) mirrors the transition from system-, to user-, to interaction-centred perspectives in HII (Choo, 1998; Marchionini, 2008).  In addition, UX emphasizes emotion, and the importance of affect has been well represented in models of HII put forward by Kuhlthau (2004), Wilson (1999), and Nahl (2009), among others. However, there are other areas worthy of exploration, namely context, needs, and sense making.  These themes are found in both HII and UX, but this section will focus on how UX takes a more holistic approach that may be useful for HII researchers. Context Beyond Setting the Stage and as Co-Experience The information science community has defined context as “the larger picture in which the potential user operates; the larger picture in which the information system is developed and operates, and potential information exists” (McCreadie & Rice, 1999, p. 58).  This “larger picture” includes not only the personal context of the user, but also the context that shapes the creation of the information (e.g., political or economic climate) and the design of the information system (e.g., organizational culture of a workplace). Context is differentiated from a situation, which is defined as “the particular set of circumstances from which a need for information arises” (McCreadie & Rice, 1999, p. 58).  Context is also central in UX, where it has been stated that, “user experiences can only be understood in context” (Battarbee & Koskinen, 2005, p. 15).  McCarthy and Wright (2005) define context as both broad (e.g., historical) and specific (e.g., an activity); they acknowledge context is always present and contributing to experience, yet also believe that micro-experiences are “felt, known, and valued in unique ways” (p. 263).  Thus, UX enables us to broaden our notion of context beyond that which sets the stage for interaction: context is being created in the unfolding of events.    HII and UX both underscore the social aspects of context.  Courtright (2007) summarizes some of the work in HII that has examined social contextual factors, including social capital and networks, norms and authority, and collaboration in everyday life and the workplace; she explains that information seeking and sharing is contingent upon the relationships formed amongst people in formal (e.g., an organization) and informal (e.g., local library) settings.  In UX, social context is viewed as embedded in experience, and influential in the dynamic creation of experience:  Social contexts play a role in how we feel, express, and modify our emotions, as well as the resulting meaning that is made. Emotional experiences change, often quickly, in the presence of other people, activities, artifacts, and environments (Forlizzi & Battarbee, 2004, p. 264). 	   Threads	  of	  Experience	  in	  HII	  10	  Battarbee and colleagues (Battarbee & Koskinen, 2005; Forlizzi & Battarbee, 2004) use the term “co-experience” to describe the social context of UX.  They distinguish two types of co-experience, both of which may occur in physical or virtual spaces.  The first pertains to how meaning is “co-constructed” when two or more individuals use a product; this use may be together in the same space or independently where the individual experiences are shared (Forlizzi & Battarbee, 2004, p. 263).  The second focuses on how personal experiences develop and change as a result of social interaction (Battarbee & Koskinen, 2005, p. 7).  The social nature of experience may either support or discourage communication and connectivity with others through “lifting up,” “reciprocating,” or “rejecting and ignoring” experiences.  Significant activities and events constitute an experience to be “lifted up” or elevated “from the stream of events in everyday life…and told to others” (p. 8).   Next, the experiences communicated by one individual are received by another, who either “reciprocates” with empathy, shares an experience in turn, or decides to “reject and ignore” it.  Incidentally, HII research has articulated information avoidance (see Case, 2008, p. 97-100), which may shed light on why people make decisions about what information will be lifted up, reciprocated or rejected.  However, UX brings together the individual and collective elements of social context, and highlights that information sharing is not always formal or deliberate, but emerges from the experiences that we find ourselves in with other people. Needs as Value  Needs research has been prevalent in HII research.  Information needs, specifically, have been viewed as instigators of the information seeking process: a need arises and the individual must embark on a quest to make sense of their situation (e.g., Dervin’s Sense-Making Methodology), reduce uncertainty (Kuhlthau’s ISP Model), or narrow the gap between their current and projected state of knowledge (Belkin’s ASK Framework).   Taylor (1968) proposed that there are four types of needs: visceral, conscious, formalized, and compromised, that a user might experience in the pursuit of an information goal as they operate within the constraints of the information environment.   Case (2008) states that the problem with needs articulated by many information science scholars is that they are challenging to observe and articulate, but, nonetheless, are seminal to HII research.  While information scholars have spent decades contemplating the complexities and impact of needs, they have been given less attention in UX (Wiklund-Engblom, et al., 2009, p. 666). However, a recent study employed Sheldon, Elliot, Kim and Kassers’ (2001) “Needs Schedule” as a means of understanding the psychological needs inherent in user experiences.  Based on an exploratory study, Wiklund-Engblom, et al., 2009 identified six needs inherent in users’ interactions with products: autonomy, relatedness (to others, to brands), competence, stimulation, influence (i.e., popularity), and security (i.e., reliability, support).  Thus, needs make up an emerging area of inquiry in UX.   In HII, needs are motivational states (Case, 2008) that instigate an information interaction.  If we consider needs more broadly, they affect users decisions to seek out specific types of experiences and create expectations that impact the evaluation of an experience.  UX researchers have equated needs with the value inherent in a product, with users’ motivation for choosing or using a technology, or with how people evaluate a 	   Threads	  of	  Experience	  in	  HII	  11	  system (Nurkka et al., 2009).  By constantly asking, “what kind of experiences involving technology [do] people value and why the user chooses to use the product” (Nurkka et al., 2009), we discover the meaning the user ascribes to a technology (McCarthy & Wright, 2004) or information.  Needs enable us to predict how systems, services and products become incorporated into people’s routines, and, in turn, how specific experiences redefine needs, and how needs change over time, not just at the beginning of an interaction.   The UX view of needs is broader than the need for information – it may constitute the need for fun or entertainment, the need to connect to others, etc. Yet, it also views needs as ongoing components of interaction; for our purposes in HII, we may look at needs beyond what motivates information seeking, to what shapes and evolves during information use.   UX and HII as Sense-Making One of the most widely cited and applied frameworks in IB research is Brenda Dervin’s Sense-Making Methodology.  The basic premise of Sense-Making is that users move through a process of “gap-bridging” to locate information or assistance.  According to Dervin (2005), Sense-Making is not necessarily about solving a problem, but an overarching “mandate of the human condition” (p. 27) where information and ideas are encountered during the Sense-Making process that alter how the user views the gap and/or the bridge (Case, 2008).  Central to Sense-Making is the quest for and interpretation of meaning.    Wright, McCarthy and colleagues have used the concept of “sense-making” to explore UX (McCarthy, Wright, et al., 2006; McCarthy & Wright, 2004).   McCarthy and Wright (2004) propose tools for making sense in and of an experience and these include: 1) Anticipation, our expectations of an experience and how it compares to the actual, lived event; 2) Connecting, or discerning the “immediate sense of a situation;” 3) Interpreting, or building a story to explain and situate the experience; 4) Reflection of what is occurring; 5) Recounting the experience to others; and 6) Appropriating, or making an experience “our own” by incorporating it into our “our sense of self, our personal history, and our hoped for future” (Chapter 5).  These tools break the sense-making process down into individual units that may be used to examine experience (or information seeking and use) at a micro level.  Yet these tools are connected through their emphasis on the dynamics of the situation – experience is being constructed, deconstructed and reconstructed as it happens – but is also being shaped by the past and informing the future. Summary In summary, HII and UX share a common focus on context, particularly social context, recognize the significance of needs, and use sense making as an approach to guide and understand human technology interactions.  UX complements and expands upon these three aspects of HII.  UX sees context beyond setting the stage for interaction by recognizing the reciprocal relationship between specific experiences and context, and it contributes the idea of co-experience to understand the social elements of context; UX expands upon the idea of needs as motivational states to examine the psychological needs inherent in users’ experiences with technology and to suggest that needs not only initiate 	   Threads	  of	  Experience	  in	  HII	  12	  interactions, but inform all aspects of experience; lastly, UX is inspired by Sense-Making Methodology, and provides a broad framework and tools that deconstruct the sense-making process.  Overall, UX and HII have parallel streams of inquiry, but UX encourages HII to see information experiences as more globally embedded in human experiences. Looking at HII through an UX lens Thus far, we have explored the definition and nature of UX, and how it has been studied.  We have also made some connections between UX and HII by exploring the parallel streams of context, needs, and sense making that run through the discourse of each discipline.  Next we ask, “What does it mean to view human-information interactions through a UX lens?”  In the following section, we will explore this question by focusing on what UX might contribute to measurement and theory in HII, and to the design of information-rich systems.  The Contribution of UX to HII Measurement As previously discussed, common methods used in UX research include self-report questionnaires and interviews, behavioural observation, eye tracking and physiological metrics.  The latter two are used less often in HII studies, but there may be some merit to incorporating them.  Both eye tracking and physiological metrics capture changes in individuals that are not always perceptible through observation or self-report, and they permit the researcher to mark changes or “phasic shifts in attention and emotion” over the course of a human-information interaction (Ravaja, 2004, p. 195).   Ravaja (2004) cautions that physiological measures must be looked at in concert and there is not a “one-to-one” mapping between one physiological and one psychological variable.  However, the amount of data generated from physiological studies increases the statistical power of observations, and also allows researchers to establish “differential response patterns” (Ravaja, 2004, p. 195) within and between people.   Since individual differences make the study and measurement of UX and HII complex, these profiles may be useful for establishing more generalized approaches to information system evaluation and design.  For example, are their differences in how people respond affectively to positive and negative information, as demonstrated by their heart rate or skin conductance?  How might we design informational websites that are sensitive to the needs of users and remove content should the user not wish to view it?  Alternatively, could we correlate personality traits, such as openness to experience, with navigational patterns within a digital library, as determined by eye tracking?  If so, how might we support different levels of this trait in the design of such a system? Another way in which we can look at measurement and evaluation through an UX lens is by asking different questions.  McCarthy and Wright (2005) point out that we have been looking at people’s experiences with technology through a limited cognitive viewpoint.  They illustrate their overarching concern with efficiency and effectiveness by using a list of questions, which we in HII might also typically use to evaluate an information system.  For example, “With what accuracy will an expert user perform Task A using System X?” and “What kinds of errors can we expect to happen in a particular situation?” (p. 265).  	   Threads	  of	  Experience	  in	  HII	  13	  They contrast this with their “felt-life” approach to UX where they might instead ask, “Do you feel a sense of ongoing engagement?” and “Do you like shopping on the Internet?”  The contrast in the language is striking: we move from terms such as “accuracy,” “errors,” and “performance” and concerns over the length of time to complete a task, to words such as “feelings,” “sense,” “meaning,” “values,” “fulfillment,” and “likability.”  This shift from the impersonal to the personal, from performance to feeling, and from efficiency to meaning-making allows users to construct their “own story of an experience” (p. 266).  This is not to say that we should discount collecting metrics that guide the first set of questions, nor that we should discontinue to evaluate the usability of information systems.  Rather, we should go beyond usability in order to elicit users’ perceptions of their information experiences and better understand how to support experience in information system design. We must also consider other methods of data collection.  These may include, for example, applying qualitative methods in situations where they have not previously been considered viable options.  We may also need to change our approach to analysis, moving beyond merely “eliciting and documenting” experiences to  “engaging [emphasis added] with people’s accounts and stories” (McCarthy & Wright, 2005, p. 266).   Moving beyond usability will also enable us to become more knowledgeable about how to isolate, evaluate and design for the processes and outcomes of information experiences.  UX supports the idea that there are micro- and macro events that coalesce into personal histories with technologies.  This speaks to the scalability of experience, which Forlizzi and Battarbee (2004) define as “the infinite amount of smaller user-product interactions and emotional responses (relating to contexts, people, goals and actions at a particular moment) that build up to yield larger and larger experiences over time” (p. 264-265).  They point out that scalability “can help to build an overall picture ranging from details of product interactions to the stories and meanings that people use to articulate their experiences” (p. 265).  Accepting the notion of scalability supports both process and outcome approaches to evaluating information experiences and the development of more longitudinal studies for understanding the meaningfulness and utility of information in people’s lives.  Viewing information interactions as “scalable” means that we do not look at a single search session, but the cumulative searchers of a scholar over the course of his or her research project, probing how one experience with a search engine or database relates to subsequent searches, or to the activities conducted with other information systems and activities, such as note taking, citation management, and writing.  By seeing experience as a combination of both process and outcome, we are able to examine the relationship between processes and outcomes: How do measures of process and outcome triangulate with each other?  How do users make sense of their process in relations to its outcomes?  Lastly, how might we use process data to predict outcomes? Theoretical Approaches for Human Information Experiences UX emphasizes the scalability of experiences, meaning that we must maintain an awareness of both the “bird’s eye” and magnified views of human activities, and the uniqueness of experience for each person.  Bringing these ideas to human-information experiences helps us to broaden existing theoretical approaches to information seeking, 	   Threads	  of	  Experience	  in	  HII	  14	  behaviour and use.   Specifically we might employ process models, such as ISP (Kuhlthau, 2004) or the General Model of Information Behaviour (Wilson, 1999) over an extended time period with user groups of interest to connect experiential episodes together and to understand the integration of information seeking with use; we might also look to amalgamate process models with the development of information retrieval systems (Kelly, Dumais & Pederson, 2009).  We may also look beyond formal search and retrieval sessions and take a macro view of activities occurring in daily life.  How does our adeptness with our cell phones transfer to the systems we use in our workplaces?  Lastly, we might incorporate individual differences into current paradigms.   Individual differences have been studied in psychology and management information systems for some time.  They contribute the idea that emotions are not static, but “experiential states that vary meaningfully within individuals over time” (Beale, Weiss, Barros & MacDermid, 2005, p. 1054), and people vary according to their cognitive capabilities, knowledge, and skills; these individual differences and affective states contribute to differences in how people perform compared to others, and to themselves in a different time and place.  Individual differences research encourages us to conduct more within-subjects studies in HII and to collect multiple measures of affect, cognition and behaviour over time to demonstrate how we are shaped by our experiences with information. In addition to these general approaches, we might explore the application of UX ideas and theoretical frameworks to information-rich environments and systems.  This has been the endeavour of O’Brien (2008), who tested and refined as a holistic means of conceptualizing users’ experiences with technology.  User engagement is a quality of UX, and it was derived from Flow theory (psychology), Aesthetics (humanities), play (education, HCI) and information-interaction (information science).  The attributes of these frameworks were explored in terms of their application to engaging interactions with technology; each highlights user, system and contextual variables that impact user experiences with technologies.  O’Brien envisioned engagement as both an outcome (“That was an engaging experience”) and a process, where attributes of engagement vary in intensity over the course of the interaction.  For example, attention or interest may be piqued and then recede, only to be heightened again later in the interaction in response to novel content or an interface feature.  She proposed that engaging experiences consisted of a point of engagement, a period of sustained engagement, disengagement and re-engagement. These cyclical phases may be experienced over the course of a single session of interacting with one or more information systems, or over multiple sessions.   O’Brien and Toms (2008) drew out the temporal, sensual, emotional, and spatiotemporal aspects of each phase by mapping them with McCarthy and Wright’s (2004) Threads of Experience.  Subsequent work to establish a measure of user engagement and refine its attributes demonstrated that perceived usability predicted users’ overall evaluation of the endurability (e.g., success) of the experience and mediated other factors of focused attention, felt involvement, novelty and aesthetic appeal.  User engagement postulates that users expect more than usability from their interactions with technology, and that the combination of users, systems, and task variables creates a unique experience that “…push[es] the boundaries of user experience from merely perfunctory to pleasurable and memorable” (O’Brien & Toms, 2008, p. 940).    	   Threads	  of	  Experience	  in	  HII	  15	  The Design of Information Rich Systems HII research has recognized the role that affective and cognitive forces play in moving users through the information search process as they attempt to satisfy an information need.  However, human beings interact with their bodies in the world (Isomäki, 2009), in addition to their heads and hearts, and this physicality is important to the ways in which we acquire skills and knowledge (Klemmer, Hartmann & Takayama, 2006).  Klemmer et al. (2006) note that systems which offer, “less constraining interaction styles are likely to help users think and communicate” (p. 2).  The number of personal small-screen devices, such as cell phones and tablets, and large-screen displays for public use (e.g., in museums, sports venues), continues to increase in prevalence.  As a result, the nature of the interfaces delivering information are prompting changes in the ways in which we seek and use information, and in our expectations of information systems.  McCarthy and Wright (2005) associate this shift with users’ ability to “express and feel their agency” (p. 268) in an interactive space, or to see the technology as an extension of themselves, rather than merely a tool, over which they may or may not have control. Overall, these platforms will offer new challenges for evaluating human-information interactions and designing interactive systems to be accessed in diverse contexts.  Karapanos, Zimmerman et al. (2009) suggest that we need to think about design differently in three respects.  Specifically, we must design for meaningful mediation, whereby the utility of a product cannot be truly assessed until it is actually used - limiting what can be learned through usability testing - and that users may find uses for products that are beyond designers’ expectations or imaginations.  Secondly, if products are to be incorporated into people’s lives, we must understand how this is likely to occur, and the impact that changing or discontinuing a product will have on daily rituals.  Lastly, these authors ask us to move beyond the tasks that products have been designed to facilitate and to look at “the social meanings that users communicate through the possession of products” (Karapanos, Zimmerman, et al., 2009, p. 737).   Conclusion As this chapter has demonstrated, the relationship between UX and HII is present, although researchers may not have articulated the connections between these areas of study, nor the reasons why we might wish to do so.  Both UX and HII emphasize the role of context in shaping the interactions people have with technology and/or information, the salience of affect and needs in shaping individual’s experiences and information behaviours, and the role of sense making in the probing of experience.  While the concepts of process and outcome in HII research are not new, we can see how UX is using these to inform measurement, theory, design, and to predict and model both immediate and long-term interactions with products, systems and services.    Adopting a more holistic, experiential approach to understanding and crafting users’ experiences with information systems does not mean that we should discontinue the employment of standard performance metrics to assess effectiveness and efficiency, nor should we stop designing functional information interfaces that satisfy instrumental, utilitarian needs.  Rather, we must consider that “how an individual makes sense of a situation, interaction, episode, or artefact is as much about what the individual brings to 	   Threads	  of	  Experience	  in	  HII	  16	  the experience as it is about what the designer puts there” (Wright & McCarthy, 2005, p. 11).  The variability and complexity of human experiences encourages us to think about what users’ value (e.g., aesthetic, fun, utility) and are motivated by in the context of a specific interaction, but also the long-term relationships between people and technology and the influence of overarching human experiences on information experiences.  We must understand how to evaluate these different experiences for what they are, rather than applying the same strategies to each and every study, how to draw upon different theoretical frameworks to explore and explain them, and how to design for them with flexibility and temporality in mind.  It is beneficial to consider UX when casting our net for new directions in HII because UX invites us to view information as that which is experienced uniquely by the user, and to see how “extraordinary the everyday and familiar can be” (McCarthy, Wright, Wallace & Dearden, 2006, p. 370), but also how frustrating, confusing, and disengaging our interactions with information and technology can be.  UX postulates that individual histories shape expectations, and that the trajectory of experience is constantly changing through continuous feedback that is both internal and external to the individual.  It invites us to see information interactions as rich and varied narratives, thus enabling us to explore information seeking and use processes and outcomes simultaneously and more deeply as we attempt to keep pace with the “changing human information condition” (Spink & Cole, 2006).   Wright and McCarthy (2004) concluded that experience cannot be designed, but it can be designed for.  This statement illustrates the limitless possibilities of UX, and delineates a challenging role for HII in designing information systems that build upon and invite experiences.  Hull and Reid (2003) concur by stating that we must not only design the object of interaction, but “what we imagine we can do with it.”  Wright and McCarthy have drawn upon film and literature as examples of how to understand experience.  It is not about describing, “how the world is,” they say, but reaching audiences by “creat[ing] an understanding of the way we might want the world to be” (p. 12-13).  Pine and Gilmour (1999), like Laurel (1993) use drama as a metaphor and advocate that businesses and service providers become “stagers of events,” which involves “design activity for the sets and the props as well as dialogue scripting.”  Some suggestions about how to accomplish this staging have been to involve users in the design process (Hull & Reid, 2003). Alternatively, some researches have proposed that users need to be encouraged to “construct interaction,” and this may be accomplished by providing them with immediate feedback, transparency in what is taking place, and clear goals (Said, 2004).  Forlizzi and Battarbee (2004) remind us not to forget the “scalability” of experience, meaning that small events contribute to larger ones; mapping these smaller user-information interactions is an effective approach to understanding the longitudinal aspects human information experiences.   In conclusion, this chapter has explored the composition and measurement of UX, and how it relates to and may enhance HII.  It is hoped that this will foster greater use of UX ideologies and approaches in HII, and vice versa.  HII and UX involve human(s) and artefacts, and they are both illustrated through a process that will result, it is hoped, in a positive outcome for users – be it informational, social, or entertaining.  In addition, both 	   Threads	  of	  Experience	  in	  HII	  17	  operate along a continuum.  For HII, this continuum may be from passive to active information searching, or goal-directed versus serendipitous discovery (Choo, 1998); for UX, the continuum may consist of smaller experiences that make up a larger, overarching experience with a product, service, or system (Forlizzi & Battarbee, 2004). Understanding the nested relationship between HII and UX will enable us to develop and apply more comprehensive, holistic frameworks for the study and measurement of HII, consider both processes and outcomes in interaction, and paint a broader overall picture of human-information experiences. Acknowledgements This work is supported by a Social Science and Humanities Council of Canada (SSHRC) Standard Research Grant and the Network Centres of Excellence Graphics, Animation and New Media (NCE GRAND) Project.  Special thanks to S. Westman, M. Lebow, J. Bullard, and K. 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