Removal as a Method: A Fourth Wave HCI Approach to Understanding the Experience of Self-Tracking
Research output: Conference Article in Proceeding or Book/Report chapter › Article in proceedings › Research › peer-review
This paper offers first-steps guidance towards the development of a methodology that embodies theoretical proposals for a fourth-wave, 'entanglement' approach to HCI. We propose the removal of technologies and the documenting of their absence as a method. Removal disrupts habitual relationships with our everyday technologies, revealing otherwise hidden knowledges. Removal as a method exemplifies that "you don't know what you've got till it's gone". We apply removal to the case of menstrual cycle tracking in two ways: literally through two autoethnographies, and hypothetically through semi-structured interviews. We show how this method especially facilitates emotional, embodied and cultural knowledge of the lived experience of self-tracking and we unpack some opportunities, implications and limitations in its use. Finally, we present how this method might be adopted by others and propose cases in which removal as a method might be applicable to study of a wider range of technologies beyond self-tracking.