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“Just whack it on until it gets hot”: working with IoT data in the home

Fischer, Joel E.; Crabtree, Andy; Rodden, Tom; Colley, James A.; Costanza, Enrico; Jewell, Michael O.; Ramchurn, Sarvapali D.

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Professor of Human-Computer Interaction

Pro-Vice-Chancellor of Research & Knowledge Exchange

James A. Colley

Enrico Costanza

Michael O. Jewell

Sarvapali D. Ramchurn


This paper presents findings from a co-design project that aims to augment the practices of professional energy advisors with environmental data from sensors deployed in clients’ homes. Premised on prior ethnographic observations we prototyped a sensor platform to support the work of tailoring advice-giving to particular homes. We report on the deployment process and the findings to emerge, particularly the work involved in making sense of or accounting for the data in the course of advice-giving. Our ethnomethodological analysis focuses on the ways in which data is drawn upon as a resource in the home visit, and how understanding and advice-giving turns upon unpacking the indexical relationship of the data to the situated goings-on in the home. This insight, coupled with further design workshops with the advisors, shaped requirements for an interactive system that makes the sensor data available for visual inspection and annotation to support the situated sense-making that is key to giving energy advice.


Fischer, J. E., Crabtree, A., Rodden, T., Colley, J. A., Costanza, E., Jewell, M. O., & Ramchurn, S. D. (2016). “Just whack it on until it gets hot”: working with IoT data in the home.

Conference Name CHI 2016: SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
End Date May 12, 2016
Acceptance Date Jan 27, 2016
Publication Date May 12, 2016
Deposit Date Jan 28, 2016
Publicly Available Date May 12, 2016
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Keywords Internet of Things, sensor data; energy advice; non-profit;
ethnomethodology; data work
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Published in: CHI '16 : Proceedings of the 2016 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. New York : ACM, c2016, p. 5933-5944. ISBN: 9781450333627.


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