The conditions of peak empiricism in big data and interaction design

Michael Marcinkowski, Fred Fonseca

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

An influx of mechanisms for the collection of large sets of data has prompted widespread consideration of the impact that data analytic methods can have on a number of disciplines. Having an established record of the use of a unique mixture of empirical methods, the work of understanding and designing for user behavior is well situated to take advantage of the advances claimed by "big data" methods. Beyond any straightforward benefit of the use of large sets of data, such an increase in the scale of empirical evidence has far-reaching implications for the work of empirically guided design. We develop the concept of "peak empiricism" to explain the new role that large-scale data comes to play in design, one in which data become more than a simple empirical tool. In providing such an expansive empirical setting for design, big data weakens the subjective conditions necessary for empirical insight, pointing to a more performative approach to the relationship between a designer and his or her work. In this, the work of design is characterized as "thinking with" the data in a partnership that weakens not only any sense of empiricism but also the agentive foundations of a classical view of design work.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1279-1288
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of the Association for Information Science and Technology
Volume67
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2016

Fingerprint

empiricism
interaction
empirical method
Interaction
Empiricism
Big data

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Information Systems
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Information Systems and Management
  • Library and Information Sciences

Cite this

@article{b07e6b7c090747039f3a877c4379ed47,
title = "The conditions of peak empiricism in big data and interaction design",
abstract = "An influx of mechanisms for the collection of large sets of data has prompted widespread consideration of the impact that data analytic methods can have on a number of disciplines. Having an established record of the use of a unique mixture of empirical methods, the work of understanding and designing for user behavior is well situated to take advantage of the advances claimed by {"}big data{"} methods. Beyond any straightforward benefit of the use of large sets of data, such an increase in the scale of empirical evidence has far-reaching implications for the work of empirically guided design. We develop the concept of {"}peak empiricism{"} to explain the new role that large-scale data comes to play in design, one in which data become more than a simple empirical tool. In providing such an expansive empirical setting for design, big data weakens the subjective conditions necessary for empirical insight, pointing to a more performative approach to the relationship between a designer and his or her work. In this, the work of design is characterized as {"}thinking with{"} the data in a partnership that weakens not only any sense of empiricism but also the agentive foundations of a classical view of design work.",
author = "Michael Marcinkowski and Fred Fonseca",
year = "2016",
month = "6",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1002/asi.23497",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "67",
pages = "1279--1288",
journal = "Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology",
issn = "2330-1635",
publisher = "John Wiley and Sons Ltd",
number = "6",

}

The conditions of peak empiricism in big data and interaction design. / Marcinkowski, Michael; Fonseca, Fred.

In: Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology, Vol. 67, No. 6, 01.06.2016, p. 1279-1288.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - The conditions of peak empiricism in big data and interaction design

AU - Marcinkowski, Michael

AU - Fonseca, Fred

PY - 2016/6/1

Y1 - 2016/6/1

N2 - An influx of mechanisms for the collection of large sets of data has prompted widespread consideration of the impact that data analytic methods can have on a number of disciplines. Having an established record of the use of a unique mixture of empirical methods, the work of understanding and designing for user behavior is well situated to take advantage of the advances claimed by "big data" methods. Beyond any straightforward benefit of the use of large sets of data, such an increase in the scale of empirical evidence has far-reaching implications for the work of empirically guided design. We develop the concept of "peak empiricism" to explain the new role that large-scale data comes to play in design, one in which data become more than a simple empirical tool. In providing such an expansive empirical setting for design, big data weakens the subjective conditions necessary for empirical insight, pointing to a more performative approach to the relationship between a designer and his or her work. In this, the work of design is characterized as "thinking with" the data in a partnership that weakens not only any sense of empiricism but also the agentive foundations of a classical view of design work.

AB - An influx of mechanisms for the collection of large sets of data has prompted widespread consideration of the impact that data analytic methods can have on a number of disciplines. Having an established record of the use of a unique mixture of empirical methods, the work of understanding and designing for user behavior is well situated to take advantage of the advances claimed by "big data" methods. Beyond any straightforward benefit of the use of large sets of data, such an increase in the scale of empirical evidence has far-reaching implications for the work of empirically guided design. We develop the concept of "peak empiricism" to explain the new role that large-scale data comes to play in design, one in which data become more than a simple empirical tool. In providing such an expansive empirical setting for design, big data weakens the subjective conditions necessary for empirical insight, pointing to a more performative approach to the relationship between a designer and his or her work. In this, the work of design is characterized as "thinking with" the data in a partnership that weakens not only any sense of empiricism but also the agentive foundations of a classical view of design work.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84965141708&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84965141708&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1002/asi.23497

DO - 10.1002/asi.23497

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:84965141708

VL - 67

SP - 1279

EP - 1288

JO - Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology

JF - Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology

SN - 2330-1635

IS - 6

ER -