PsychNology Journal, Volume 11, Number 2, 159 – 184

Current Issues and Future Directions in Methods for Studying Technology in the Home

Tim Coughlan, Michael Brown, Sarah Martindale
University of Nottingham, United Kingdom

Kerstin Leder Mackley, Becky Mallaband, Val Mitchell
Loughborough University, United Kingdom

Stephan Schlögl
Télécom Paris Tech, France

John Arnott, Nicolas Hine
University of Dundee, United Kingdom

Jettie Hoonhout
Philips Research, The Netherlands

Dalila Szostak
Intel Labs, USA

Robin Brewer

Erika Poole
The Pennsylvania State University,USA

Antti Pirhonen
University of Jyväskylä, Finland

Sarah Pink
Loughborough University, UK and RMIT University, Australia


Homes are essential contexts in which to understand how technologies are used and experienced. At the same time they hold substantial challenges for conducting research, exploring novel designs, and building understanding. In this paper we review approaches to studying the home, including recent innovations and issues that should guide further methodological reflection. We draw on the expertise of a large number of researchers experienced in studying technology in the home, who have formed a community to map the space of methods in use and share their experiences of the key issues faced in practice. Themes include utilising new technology as a source of data as well as an object of study, creating representations of home life that support discussion and reflection, revealing details of important yet routine or mundane activities, and supporting participation to overcome the complex ethical and privacy concerns inherent in the study of the home.

KEYWORDS: Home, Research Methods, Human-Computer Interaction.

Coughlan T., Leder Mackley K., Brown M., Martindale S., Schlögl S., Mallaband B., Arnott J., Hoonhout J., Szostak D., Brewer R., Poole E., Pirhonen A., Mitchell V., Pink S. and Hine N. (2013). Current Issues and Future Directions in Methods for Studying Technology in the Home. PsychNology Journal, 11(2), 159 - 184. Retrieved [month] [day], [year], from

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PsychNology Journal Volume 11, Number 2