Socio-Technical HCI for Ethical Value Exchange: Lessons from India

  • José Abdelnour-NoceraEmail author
  • Torkil Clemmensen
  • Morten Hertzum
  • Dineshkumar Singh
  • Veerendra Veer Singh
Conference paper
Part of the IFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology book series (IFIPAICT, volume 552)


Ethical value exchange is moving to the forefront of the global challenges that HCI will have to address in the coming years. We argue that applying a context-sensitive, socio-technical approach to HCI can help meet this challenge. The background is that the life of marginalized people in contemporary society is challenging and uncertain. The marginalized can face health and cognitive issues as well as a lack of stability in social structures such as family, work and social inclusion. Three questions are of concern when innovating together with people ‘at the margins’: how can we describe users without stereotyping badly, what socio-technical HCI methods fit the local context, and how to make the design sustainable in the face of current planetary challenges (e.g., climate change)? We discuss a socio-technical HCI approach called human work interaction design (HWID) to meet the challenges of designing for ethical value exchange where value extraction is not dominated by one party but equally shared across all stakeholders. We introduce an ongoing case of a digital service to support fishers in Alibaug, India. As a multidisciplinary team of researchers we evaluate the socio-technical infrastructure surrounding a mobile app to support sustainable fishing. This is done through the lens of HWID by highlighting inwardly and outwardly socio-technical relations between human work and interaction design. We conclude by highlighting the value of a context sensitive, ethical socio-technical framework for HCI.


Socio-technical Human work interaction design Ethical value exchange 


  1. 1.
    Gardien, P., Djajadiningrat, T., Hummels, C., Brombacher, A.: Changing your hammer: the implications of paradigmatic innovation for design practice. Int. J. Des. 8, 119–139 (2014)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Abdelnour-Nocera, J., Nielsen, L., Christensen, L.R., Clemmensen, T.: Socio-technical HCI for ethical value exchange: a case of service design and innovation ‘at the Margins’ in resource constrained environments. In: The 16th IFIP TC13 International Conference on Human–Computer Interaction, pp. 254–262. Springer (2017)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Cabrero, D.G., Winschiers-Theophilus, H., Abdelnour-Nocera, J.: Reconceptualising personas across cultures: archetypes, stereotypes & collective personas in Pastoral Namibia. In: Abdelnour-Nocera, J., Strano, M., Ess, C., Van der Velden, M., Hrachovec, H. (eds.) CaTaC 2016. IFIP AICT, vol. 490, pp. 96–109. Springer, Cham (2016). Scholar
  4. 4.
    Abdelnour-Nocera, J., Clemmensen, T.: Socio-technical HCI for ethical value exchange. In: Clemmensen, T., Rajamanickam, V., Dannenmann, P., Petrie, H., Winckler, M. (eds.) INTERACT 2017. LNCS, vol. 10774, pp. 148–159. Springer, Cham (2018). Scholar
  5. 5.
    Clemmensen, T.: A human work interaction design (HWID) case study in e-government and public information systems. Int. J. Public Inf. Syst. 2011, 105–113 (2011)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Hertzum, M., et al.: A mobile app for supporting sustainable fishing practices in Alibaug. Interactions 25, 40–45 (2018)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Bannon, L., Bodker, S.: Beyond the interface: encountering artifacts. In: Designing interaction: Psychology at the Human-Computer Interface, pp. 227–253. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge (1991)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Bannon, L.: From human factors to human actors. In: Greenbaum, J., Kyng, M. (eds.) Design at Work: Cooperative Design of Computer Systems, pp. 25–44. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Hillsdale (1991)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Suchman, L.: Plans and Situated Actions. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge (1987)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Winograd, T., Flores, F.: Understanding Computers and Cognition. Ablex Publishing, Norwood (1986)zbMATHGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Mumford, E.: Systems Design: Ethical Tools for Ethical Change. Macmillan, London (1996)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Mumford, E., Weir, M.: Computer Systems in Work Design: The ETHICS Method. Wiley, New York (1979)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Cherns, A.B.: The principles of socio-technical design. Hum. Relat. 29, 783–792 (1976)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Dillon, A.: Group dynamics meet cognition: applying socio-technical concepts in the design of information systems. In: Coakes, E., Willis, D., Lloyd-Jones, R. (eds.) The New SocioTech: Graffiti on the Long Wall. Computer Supported Cooperative Work, pp. 119–125. Springer, Cham (2000). Scholar
  15. 15.
    Bjørn-Andersen, N., Clemmensen, T.: The shaping of the scandinavian socio-technical IS research tradition. Scand. J. Inf. Syst. 29, 79–118 (2017)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Rasmussen, J., Pejtersen, A.M., Goodstein, L.P.: Cognitive Systems Engineering. Wiley, New York (1994)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Clemmensen, T., Orngreen, R., Pejtersen, A.M.: Describing users in contexts: perspectives on human-work interaction design. In: Workshop Proceedings of Interact. Citeseer (2005)Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Hirschheim, R., Klein, H.K.: Four paradigms of information systems development. Commun. ACM 32, 1199–1216 (1989)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Annett, J., Duncan, K.D.: Task analysis and training design (1967)Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Salmon, P., Jenkins, D., Stanton, N., Walker, G.: Hierarchical task analysis vs. cognitive work analysis: comparison of theory, methodology and contribution to system design. Theor. Issues Ergon. Sci. 11, 504–531 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Button, G., Sharrock, W.: Studies of work and the workplace in HCI: concepts and techniques. Synth. Lect. Hum. Centered Inform. 2, 1–96 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Abdelnour-Nocera, J., Dunckley, L., Sharp, H.: An approach to the evaluation of usefulness as a social construct using technological frames. Int. J. Hum. Comput. Interact. 22, 153–172 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Cooper, A., Reimann, R., Cronin, D.: About Face 3: The Essentials of Interaction Design. Wiley, New York (2007)Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Rogers, Y., Sharp, H., Preece, J.: Interaction Design: Beyond Human-Computer Interaction. Wiley, Chichester (2011)Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Oh, Y., Do, E.Y.-L., Gross, M.D.: Intelligent critiquing of design sketches. In: Randall Davis, J.L., Stahovich, T., Miller, R., Saund, E. (eds.) Making Pen-Based Interaction Intelligent and Natural, pp. 127–133. AAAI Press, Arlington (2004)Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Lahiri Chavan, A., Arora, S., Kumar, A., Koppula, P.: How mobile money can drive financial inclusion for women at the Bottom of the Pyramid (BOP) in Indian urban centers. In: Aykin, N. (ed.) IDGD 2009. LNCS, vol. 5623, pp. 475–484. Springer, Heidelberg (2009). Scholar
  27. 27.
    Subrahmanyan, S., Tomas Gomez-Arias, J.: Integrated approach to understanding consumer behavior at bottom of pyramid. J. Consum. Mark. 25, 402–412 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Celestino, J.E.M., de Souza Bispo, C., Saldanha, M.C.W., da Costa Mattos, K.M.: Ergonomics and environmental sustainability: a case study of raft fisherman activity at Ponta Negra Beach, Natal-RN. Work 41, 648–655 (2012)Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Saldanha, M.C.W., Matos de Carvalho, R.J., de Oliveira, L.P., Celestino, J.E.M., de Barros Macêdo Veloso, I.T., Jaeschke, A.: The construction of ergonomic demands: application on artisan fishing using Jangada fishing rafts in the beach of Ponta Negra. Work 41, 628–635 (2012)Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Brynjarsdóttir, H., Sengers, P.: Ubicomp from the edge of the North Atlantic: lessons from fishing villages in Iceland and Newfoundland. In: Ubicomp 2009 Workshop. Citeseer (2009)Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Fox, S.: Communities of practice, foucault and actor-network theory. Manag. Stud. 37, 853–868 (2000)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Fulton, E.A., Smith, A.D., Smith, D.C., van Putten, I.E.: Human behaviour: the key source of uncertainty in fisheries management. Fish Fish. 12, 2–17 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Abbott, J.K., Haynie, A.C.: What are we protecting? Fisher behavior and the unintended consequences of spatial closures as a fishery management tool. Ecol. Appl. 22, 762–777 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Valtolina, S., Barricelli, B.R., Rizzi, A., Menghini, S., Ciriaci, A.: Socio-technical design of an app for migrants rescue operations. In: Clemmensen, T., Rajamanickam, V., Dannenmann, P., Petrie, H., Winckler, M. (eds.) INTERACT 2017. LNCS, vol. 10774, pp. 140–147. Springer, Cham (2018). Scholar
  35. 35.
    Singh, D., Piplani, D., Srinivasan, K., Shinde, S.: Visual design for blue ocean services: mKRISHI® fisheries. In: Proceedings of the 8th Indian Conference on Human Computer Interaction, pp. 96–101. ACM (2016)Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    Hinman, R., Matovu, J.: Opportunities and challenges for mobile-based financial services in rural Uganda. In: CHI 2010 Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems, pp. 3925–3930. ACM (2010)Google Scholar
  37. 37.
    Van der Velden, M., Mörtberg, C.: Between need and desire: exploring strategies for gendering design. Sci. Technol. Hum. Values 37, 663–683 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    á Torkilsheyggi, A.M., Hertzum, M.: Incomplete by design: a study of a design-in-use approach to systems implementation. Scand. J. Inf. Syst. 29, 35–60 (2017)Google Scholar
  39. 39.
    Bratteteig, T., Wagner, I.: Disentangling Participation: Power and Decision-making in Participatory Design. CSCW. Springer, Cham (2014). Scholar

Copyright information

© IFIP International Federation for Information Processing 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • José Abdelnour-Nocera
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Torkil Clemmensen
    • 3
  • Morten Hertzum
    • 4
  • Dineshkumar Singh
    • 5
  • Veerendra Veer Singh
    • 6
  1. 1.School of Computing and EngineeringUniversity of West LondonLondonEngland
  2. 2.M-ITIFunchalPortugal
  3. 3.Department of DigitalizationCopenhagen Business SchoolFrederiksbergDenmark
  4. 4.Department of Information StudiesUniversity of CopenhagenCopenhagenDenmark
  5. 5.Digital Farming Initiative, TATA Consultancy ServicesThaneIndia
  6. 6.ICAR-CMFRI Mumbai Research CentreAndheriIndia

Personalised recommendations