Understanding HCI

Activity Theory Example

A football match

11 people in each team, no referee & no spectators

Define the subject, the object, and the artefacts/tools

  1. the subject - footballers
  2. the object: playing to win (at this time, against this team); this is what gives some purpose to the various actions, such as running around, kicking or heading the ball, etc.
  3. the artifacts: – ball, goalposts, markings on ground subject object artifacts/tools

But a few points of interest arise

  1. what about the rules, the tactics employed, the other teams in the league, the roles etc.
  2. the object of the activity is defined by the players - i.e. the subject (what if they've placed a bet that they will lose!)
  3. activities are local (to those involved), and situated (at a particular point in time, and place)
  4. hence, 'the object' can not necessarilybe inferred nor assumed by onlookers - the object is what the participants think it is