The members of Onomy Labs have distinguished profiles as researchers in the fields of human-computer interaction, design studies, cultural studies of science/technology, new media genres, and education. Together they hold more than a dozen patents. They have been pioneers in the creation of such new media genres as: online curricula, multimedia documentaries, large-scale public (digital interactive) performances, multimedia conferencing, and distributed design collaboration.
When embarking upon the development of a new technology, we engage in "genre-based design." This methodology begins by analyzing the genre of the design situation to determine the relevant cultural conventions that (1) govern the social situation of use and deployment, (2) shape user/visitor expectations, and (3) ultimately influence the symbolic meaning of the new technology.
A genre defines not only the technological form, but also the social framework for the experience of the technology. We methodically analyze both the formal and informal conventions that influence the meaning of technology. Based on this analysis, we augment the scope and objectives of the design problem, and proceed to create a genre-sensitive design for the form and interaction of the new technology.
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