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Assignment 15, Jun Chen

1. what did you find

1.1. interesting about the article?

The topic of this article is very interesting. Today¡¯s technology looks very fancy in many places. However, it is still a question ¡°do they actually work well in real life for everybody?¡± There are too many assumptions under the design of the technology, such as people will love to use the technology and the technology design fits real situations. Are they really true? At least not 100 percent yes. While technology is making people more connected, technology is also making people more isolated at the same time. Humans are social animals. Living in a social environment is a critical piece of human life. This is what the paper is claiming, paying attention to the social part.

1.2. not interesting about the article?


2. what do you consider the main message of the article?

The main message is that social factors are important pieces of work. In order for people to be able to work alone, technology may have to reinforce their access to social network.

3. what does the following quote mean to you: "design needs to attend not simply to the frailty of technological systems and the robustness of social systems, but to ways in which social systems often play a key part in making even frail technology robust"

3.1. why are social systems robust?

In the social systems, different people have different knowledge. It is a collective effort to solve a problem. Therefore, social systems are robust.

3.2. why are technological system frail?

The design of a technological system is based on designers¡¯ understanding to the problem. However, problems are always very complex and designers can never get a complete understanding of it. Moreover, problems evolve over the time. Therefore, there are perfect technological systems. In other words, technological systems are frail.

3.3. or do you disagree with the authors about his?


4. think of a couple of persons (maybe family members or friends) who are in a position to use computer by being "home alone"! Characterize the major problems that these persons have!

My mother is an example. She is learning how to use computers by herself. The main problem is that she does not get much help from outside. So her knowledge of computer is quite limited. Since she has no experience of using computers before, it has been very difficult for her to learn new functions.

5. Describe briefly some new innovative technologies that you can think of which would address these problems!

Technology for developing social network, such as virtual community.

6. in case of problems with computer systems ?how often to you look for help/advice

6.1. from humans?

Not often. I only ask for help from humans if I cannot solve the problem by myself. But this happens quite often when I start working in a new environment. I often have many questions for people who are already working in that environment.

6.2. from written documentation?

Quite often. I use this way if I can not get answers from online resources.

6.3. from online resources?

This is often my first way to look for help. I use it very often.

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