Design ethnography for screenless interaction style: Hands-on and no-hands in early morning routines

Sarah Pink, Camille Santiago Caminha, Angelica Porto C. De Souza, Renata Zilse, Alex Sandro Gomes

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Possible digital technology futures are inevitably speculative, and tend to have present configurations as their points of reference. In this paper, we present the findings of design ethnography research which aims to create new understandings how screens are used in everyday routines, and the implications of this for the design of future screen interaction styles in everyday life contexts. We focus on the question of how hands are used in interactions with screens, why it is often impossible for hands to be used, and how users improvise to use screens without hands. To demonstrate this, we draw on examples of ethnographic research into everyday early morning routines where people deal with diverse materials, liquids, objects and surfaces as they prepare for the day ahead. Our findings show that mobile screen technology use and experience is inextricable from morning routines and shaped by the messiness and creative improvisations these routines involve. This, we argue, has implications for future technology design.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIHC 2017 - Proceedings of the 16th Brazilian Symposium on Human Factors in Computing Systems
EditorsLuciana A. M. Zaina, Roberto Pereira, Isabela Gasparini, Lara S. G. Piccolo
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781450363778
Publication statusPublished - 23 Oct 2017
Externally publishedYes
EventBrazilian Symposium on Human Factors in Computing Systems (IHC 2017) - Joinville, Brazil
Duration: 23 Oct 201727 Oct 2017
Conference number: 16th


ConferenceBrazilian Symposium on Human Factors in Computing Systems (IHC 2017)
Abbreviated titleIHC 2017


  • Early morning routines
  • Ethnographic design
  • Everyday life studies
  • Smart homes

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