The user reconfigured: On subjectivities of information

Jeffrey Bardzell, Shaowen Bardzell

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Foundational to HCI is the notion of "the user." Whether a cognitive processor, social actor, consumer, or even a non-user, the user in HCI has always been as much a technical construct as actual people using systems. We explore an emerging formulation of the user-The subjectivity of information-by laying out what it means and why researchers are being drawn to it. We then use it to guide a case study of a relatively marginal use of computing-digitally mediated sexuality-To holistically explore design in relation to embodiment, tactual experience, sociability, power, ideology, selfhood, and activism. We argue that subjectivities of information clarifies the relationships between design choices and embodied experiences, ways that designers design users and not just products, and ways to cultivate and transform, rather than merely support, human agency.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages12
StatePublished - Aug 17 2015
Event5th Decennial Aarhus Conference on Critical Alternatives, CA 2015 - Aarhus, Denmark
Duration: Aug 17 2015Aug 21 2015


Conference5th Decennial Aarhus Conference on Critical Alternatives, CA 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computational Theory and Mathematics
  • Theoretical Computer Science


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