New approaches for participation in digital society in distant times of COVID-19: sharing challenges and opportunities from the professional field in support of physical closeness and digital engagement for public wellbeing

Marije Kanis, Joey van der Bie, Berber Nauta, Manon den Dunnen, Somaya Ben Allouch

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperAcademic

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Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed many aspects of people’s lives, and seems to have affected people’s wellbeing and relation to technology now, and in the future. Not only has it changed people’s lives and the way citizens live, work, exercise, craft and stay connected, the pandemic has also altered the way Human Computer Interaction (HCI) professionals can engage in face-to-face interactions and consequently participatory, human-centered design and research. Limitations in being close to others and having physical, visible and shared interactions pose a challenge as these aspects are typically considered critical for the accomplishment of a transparent, attractive and critical understanding of technology and respective civic and digital engagement for wellbeing. Consequently, the risk now observed is that citizens in the new ‘normal’ digital society, particularly vulnerable groups, are being
even less connected, supported or heard. Drawing from a study with an expert panel of 20 selected HCI related professionals in The Netherlands that participated on-line (through focus groups, questionnaires and/or interviews) discussing co-creation for wellbeing in times of COVID-19 (N=20), and civic values for conditional data sharing (N=11), this paper presents issues encountered and potential new approaches to overcome participatory challenges in the ‘new’ digital society. This study further draws on project reporting and a ‘one week in the life of’ study in times of COVID-19 with a physical toolkit for remote data collection that was used with older adults (65+, N=13) and evaluated with professionals (N=6). Drawing on such projects and professional experiences, the paper discusses some opportunities of participatory approaches for the new ‘distant’ normal.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 7 May 2021
EventCHI 2021 conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Yokohama, Yokohama, Japan
Duration: 7 May 202116 May 2021

Conference

ConferenceCHI 2021 conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
Abbreviated titleCHI'21
Country/TerritoryJapan
CityYokohama
Period7/05/2116/05/21

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