Ambiguity, uncertainty and seams


Concerns the nature of uncertainty in human-computer interaction, especially where invisible sensing systems are used, and therelated idea of exploiting ambiguity as a resource in interface design.

  • Ambiguity as a resource for design (Gaver, Beaver & Benford, Proceedings of CHI 2003) argues that, in contrast to the traditional view in HCI, ambiguity can in fact be a useful resource for the design of user interfaces, engaging and provoking users and requiring them to interpret the interface. The paper argues that there are three broad types of ambiguity to be considered – ambiguity of information, context and relationship – and proposes a set of design tactics.

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