This paper proposes discomfort as a new material for HCI researchers and designers to consider in any application that helps a person develop a new skill, practice or state. Discomfort is a fundamental precursor of adaptation and adaptation leads to new skill, practice or state. The way in which discomfort is perceived, and when it is experienced, is also often part of a rationale for rejecting or adopting a practice. Engaging effectively with discomfort may lead to increased personal development. We propose incorporating discomfort-as-material into our designs explicitly as a mechanism to make desired adaptations available to more of us, more effectively and more of the time. To explore this possibility, we offer an overview of the physiology and neurology of discomfort in adaptation and propose 3 issues related to incorporating discomfort into design: preparation for discomfort, need for recovery, and value of the practice. We look forward in the Workshop to exploring and developing ideas for specific Discomfortable Designs to insource discomfort as part of positive, resilient adaptation.
- Pub Date:
- May 2021
- Computer Science - Human-Computer Interaction;
- 8 pages of text + 2 pages refs, 36 references. Accepted paper, 4th Body as Starting Point Workshop, part of ACM CHI2021 conference (https://dl.acm.org/doi/10.1145/3411763.3441335)