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Rajanen, M., Iivari, N. (2013) Open Source and Human Computer Interaction Philosophies in Open Source Projects - Incompatible or Co-Existent? In Proceedings of the Academic MindTrek 2013. Tampere, Finland. ISBN: 978-1-4503-1992-8, DOI: 10.1145/2523429.2523463



The importance of introducing usability activities into open source software (OSS) development has been acknowledged in the research literature; however, there is a lack of research examining the compatibility and actual co-existence of the philosophies of OSS and Human Computer Interaction (HCI), guiding usability research and practice, in OSS projects. This paper fills in this gap through an empirical examination of two OSS projects into which usability activities were introduced. The results show that in these cases the usability specialists embraced aspects of both philosophies; hence, these philosophies coexisted. However, the usability specialists either 'became them' or 'were close while kept the distance'. In both cases the usability specialists aligned their work with the OSS philosophy. However, through this alignment, in the other case they become very immersed in the OSS project, encountering a risk of becoming misaligned with the core HCI philosophy. Implications for research and practice are discussed.


Human Computer Interaction, Open Source Software, Usability

BibTeX entry

 author = {Rajanen, Mikko and Iivari, Netta},
 title = {Open Source and Human Computer Interaction Philosophies in Open 
Source Projects: Incompatible or Co-Existent?},
 booktitle = {AcademicMindTrek '13: Proceedings of International 
Conference on Making Sense of Converging Media},
 year = {2013},
 isbn = {978-1-4503-1992-8},
 pages = {67--74},
 location = {Tampere, Finland},
 doi = {},
 publisher = {ACM},
 address = {New York, NY, USA},
 keywords = {Human Computer Interaction, Open source software, Usability},
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