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Lindley – 2015 – Making Time

Summary: Lindley’s position paper serves as an important theoretical bridge between classic sociotemporality literature and more recent interdisciplinary approaches to thinking about and designing for time. Acknowledging the contributions of Zerubavel, Orlikowski and Yates, and other works that have long informed HCI and CSCW research, the paper signposts new research that broadly explores temporality in organizational studies, HCI design, and coordination work.

Synthesis: This paper strikes me as a pretty urgent call to arms to integrate broader notions of sociotemporality into HCI research, including non-Western philosophies. That a fair number of different CSCW/CHI sub-disciplines began publishing about sociotemporal concerns in a brief period of time can’t be explained away as a happy accident. Without knowing the backstory, it does seems to hint that there was some rising concern within the qualitative HCI research community about the future direction of coordination work studies and about design implications for new SaaS/technical products that promote faster-paced lives at huge societal costs in terms of quality of life, stress, and misplaced (industrialized) values.

Foundational concepts in this study: Computer-supported coordinated work, human-computer interaction, sociotemporality, multiple expressions of time, interdisciplinary studies of time

Agreement in related work: Lindley initially cites canonical studies that are, in some degrees, at odds with one another (see Glennie and Thrift). Later, the paper holds up as examples more recent scholarship, including Mazmanian’s organizational studies focus, Pschetz’s temporal design/critical design views, and the slow technology movement more recently revisited by Odom and others. This new work along with Lindley’s paper seems to have kicked off a renewed interdisciplinary interest in sociotemporality by the overlapping CSCW, CHI, and DIS communities.

Contested areas: Lindley claims that previous HCI studies of time have tended toward moral panics and technological determinism.

Gaps/Limits in this study: This paper, and those cited in it, focus on Western perspectives on time that are generally represented as linear, directional timelines. Lindley acknowledges this limitation and points to Adam’s work on multi-cultural views and metaphors of time as a useful perspective for future work. I’d also note that the lack of concrete, real-life examples of temporality makes this paper (and frankly, most papers) harder to access for scholars/practitioners new to the topic. Note to self: Integrate a chart of examples in the next paper.

Connections to my work: Quote this for time-study paper: “Consequently, efforts to design for temporal experience must do more than simply build desirable temporal models into technologies.”

Sociotemporality, human-computer interaction, coordination work, design implications of temporal experiences/representations

Annotated paper:

Lindley – 2015 – Making Time

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