Adopting Diffractive Reading to Advance HCI Research: A Case Study on Technology for Aging

Amanda Lazar, Ben Jelen, Alisha Pradhan, Katie A. Siek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Researchers in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) have long developed technologies for older adults. Recently, researchers are engaging in critical reflections of these approaches. IoT for aging in place is one area around which these conflicting discourses have converged, likely in part driven by government and industry interest. This article introduces diffractive analysis as an approach that examines difference to yield new empirical understandings about our methods and the topics we study. We constructed three analyses of a dataset collected at an IoT design workshop and then conducted a diffractive analysis. We present themes from this analysis regarding the ways that participants are inscribed in our research, considerations related to transferability and novelty between work centered on older adults and other work, and insights about methodologies. Our discussion contributes implications for researchers to form teams and account for their roles in research, as well as recommendations how diffractive analysis can support other research agendas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number3462326
JournalACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2021
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Human-Computer Interaction


  • Diffractive reading
  • Internet of Things
  • aging
  • aging in place
  • critical HCI
  • entanglement HCI
  • older adults
  • reflexivity


Dive into the research topics of 'Adopting Diffractive Reading to Advance HCI Research: A Case Study on Technology for Aging'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this