Gaining empathy for non-routine mobile device use hrough autoethnography

Aisling Ann O'Kane, Yvonne Rogers, Ann Blandford

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Contribution (Conference Proceeding)

48 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper, we report on autoethnography as a method to access non-routine usage of mobile devices, such as during business trips, vacations, etc. Autoethnography, a self-study method with the researcher as participant, was employed for the evaluation of a wrist blood pressure monitor used by people with conditions such as hypertension. The findings from the study were surprising, especially with respect to the environmental and social impact on the use of the technology. Although the autoethnographic method can be disruptive for the researcher, it enables them to understand and empathize with the experiences mobile device users can face in difficult to access contexts. This method allows HCI researchers to better understand user experiences with mobile devices, including mobile medical technology, especially during non-routine times that can be difficult to study in-situ with traditional user studies.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCHI 2014: One of a CHInd - Conference Proceedings, 32nd Annual ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Number of pages4
ISBN (Print)9781450324731
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Event32nd Annual CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2014: One of a CHInd - Metro Toronto Convention Centre, Toronto, ON, Canada
Duration: 26 Apr 20141 May 2014
Conference number: 32


Conference32nd Annual CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2014
Abbreviated titleCHI 2014
CityToronto, ON
OtherThe ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems is the premier international conference of Human-Computer Interaction. CHI 2014 is a celebration of the conference's one of a kind diversity; from the broad range of backgrounds of its attendees, to the diverse spectrum of communities and fields which the conference and its research have an impact on. CHI 2014 will take place at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre in Toronto, Canada, a city itself known for its one of a kind cultural diversity.
Internet address

Structured keywords

  • Digital Health


  • Autoethnography
  • Context
  • Empathy
  • Healthcare
  • Mobile
  • Digital Health


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