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EXTENDING AND ENHANCING MEANINGFUL CONVERSATION

ERIN HAUBER NORTH CAROLINA STATE UNIVERSITY


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COLLEGE OF DESIGN

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Department of Graphic Design

29 APRIL 2013

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MASTER OF GRAPHIC DESIGN

CHAIR

Denise Gonzales Crisp Professor of Graphic Design

COMMITTEE MEMBERS

Meredith Davis Professor of Graphic Design Director of Graduate Programs

A CATALOG

~ of ~ PROVOCATIONS

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Scott Townsend Associate Professor of Graphic Design


I dwell in Possibility— A fairer House than Prose— More numerous of Windows— Superior—for Doors Of Chambers as the Cedars— Impregnable of Eye— And for an Everlasting Roof The Gambrels of the Sky— Of Visitors—the fairest— For Occupation—This— The spreading wide my narrow Hands To gather Paradise— Emily Dickinson


CONTENTS

ABSTRACT

BIBLIOGRAPHY ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

PROVOCATION 1.1 “APP” STANDS FOR APPLIANCE

APPENDIX A.

JUSTIFICATION 2.1 COMMUNICATION APPLIANCES SHAPE PEOPLE 2.2 COMPARING CONNECTING TO CONVERSING 2.3 MINDLESS OPERATIONS

Social Networking Audit

B. Market Review C.

Interview with one Twitter User

D. Concept Narratives E.

Survey documents

2.4 DESIGNERS SHOULD SHAPE NEW EXPERIENCES SM<3 PHONE MANDATES MY WORK: THE EMERGENCE OF SM-HEART PHONE MANDATES 3.1 THE THESIS TERRITORY: ASSUMPTIONS AND LIMITATIONS 3.2 THE APPROACH: SPECULATIVE DESIGN PROPOSALS 3.3 DEFINING WHAT IS: THE PROBLEM AREA

3.3.1 Evaluation of the Marketplace

3.3.2 Conversation Activity Analysis

3.3.3 User Survey: What Do You <3?

3.3.4 Problem Statement

3.4 IMAGINING HOW: FINDING AND APPLYING STRATEGIES THROUGH THE DESIGN OF CONCEPT SNAPSHOTS

3.4.1 Interruption

3.4.2 Meaning Through Action: Enacting Closeness with

Interpersonal Synchrony

3.4.3 From “Here” to “Not Here”: More Opportunities for Feedback

3.4.4 Making the Digital Cherishable with Metadata

3.5 SPECULATIVE DESIGN PROPOSALS ARE FOR IMAGINING WHAT COULD— OR WHAT SHOULD—BE

3.5.1 Personas

3.5.2 Storyboards for Context of Use

3.5.3 Testing Degrees of Concreteness and Making Objects

3.5.4 Applying a Values Matrix

CONCLUSION

Design for Devotion Disrupt Delightfully Embrace Seamfulness. Interactional Friction Enables Conscious Action Make Personal Actions Feel More Intimate Give Emotional Weight to Irreversible Destruction Cherish the Whole Rather than Promote the Fragment Opting out Should be a Constructive Act


ABSTRACT

meaningful conversation Not casual, a conversation where self-disclosure takes place (Przybylski and Weinstein 2012). value fictions propose practical technologies for implausible social goals. They can be valuable as criticisms of culture and technology (Gaver, Martin, and College 2000, 211).

This thesis inquires into today’s social networking experiences from a critical perspective with a hypothesis that closeness may be represented more substantially in these spaces as people engage in meaningful conversation. The proposals in this thesis are not apps for conversation. Instead, they are value fictions that introduce different ways for young women to engage with each other, as well as with the content of conversations they already share, to foster feelings of closeness. The proposals rely on social psychologists’ findings that feeling close escalates intimacy and results in more meaningful conversation (Aron, Aron, and Smollan 1992). The proposals are rhetorical. They question the means by which we connect and converse today, and provide mandates to design more affective networked experiences. The speculative proposals are presented as pages from a pamphlet with Sm<3 Phone Mandates that any designer may choose to follow. The mandates focus on the activities of constant talk, the gradient of “here” and methods for cherishing conversation. And while technology-augmented conversation may always be at odds with the “real thing,” opportunities exist to design alternative experiences for young women, interfaces and functions that create conditions where meaningful conversation is more likely to occur. What are the possibilities to extend and enhance meaningful conversation in interfaces and experiences designed for networked young women? KEYWORDS

affective design; cherishable digital object; closeness; conversation; design fiction; design for emotion; ICT; interaction design; interface design; meaningful conversation; mobile phone; networked technology; smart phone; social networks; social presence; speculative design; user experience; value fiction

ABSTRACT

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PROVOCATION

1.1 appliance Device that performs a single function (or closely related cluster of functions) (Gaver, Martin, and College 2000, 209) social network set of relations among network members—be they people, organizations, or nations (Turkle 2011, 21). humble-brag a form of self promotion where the promoter couches her statement in a humble statement or complaint (www. urbandictionary.com) selfie self portrait taken with a smartphone camera intimate a process of an escalating reciprocity of self-disclosure in which each individual feels his or her innermost self validated, understood, and cared for by the other (Aron, Aron, and Smollan 1992, 598). friendship A real friendship ought to introduce each person to unexpected weirdness in the other (Lanier 2010, 53).

“APP” STANDS FOR APPLIANCE

Communication appliances, like the array of social apps inside my smart phone, are shaping me. Like a dishwasher or an oven, these appliances are tools for helping me get things done. With each appliance I perform a singular communication task, or closely related set of tasks, to generate or respond to bits and fragments of conversation with my social network (Gaver, Martin, and College 2000, 209). Most appliances, however, don’t interact with my personhood as dramatically as Facebook or Twitter. I am in danger when I mindlessly interact with apps in the same way I do household appliances. The habits I form using them affect my relationships with the people I care about. Today, each app is its own little fiefdom of talk, with social codes and peculiarities to learn. I speak in 140 character snippets for Twitter; craft carefully worded humblebrags for Facebook; and capture selfie after selfie of my Saturday night escapades for Instagram to show the fun I’m having. Because I’m not sure who in my social network is where and when, I broadcast these messages in duplicate and triplicate across all their channels. These appliances are effective only when my communication goals match those determined by software makers. In general, appliance interface design is aimed at universally maximizing my communication potential by connecting me to more people, more quickly, and more efficiently—a value system imported from the workplace. Broadcasting content using communication appliances is “easy.” But what if I don’t want to talk to everyone in the same way? As things stand, my appliances don’t let me choose how I behave towards the different people I talk to, whether an acquaintance or a close friend. Surely there is another way. I want the experience of talking to the people that matter most to feel different: more meaningful and intimate. Designers must find alternatives to the current slate of offerings. SOCIAL APPLIANCES ARE INFLEXIBLE AND DOMINEERING.

I find myself bending toward my

communication appliances and the limited actions they allow me to take. I feed social networks quantifiable facts and snapshot content in exchange for mindless, push-button methods of connecting to everyone in the same way. I know that being friends in the digital world is not an indicator of actual friendship. MY ACTIONS DON’T RESEMBLE MY INTENTIONS.

As my devices grow “smarter” I find myself

acting dumber. I feel a growing divide between how my appliances ask me to converse with others and how I know I like to be talked to. I want to choose not to be lured

PROVOCATION: “APP” STANDS FOR APPLIANCE

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away from those I care for by the louder, bigger mob. I want my efforts, to listen to and

closeness High degree of relationship quality, trust, perceived empathy and attention (Przybylski and Weinstein 2012).

engage with the people who matter most, to be rewarded. INTERFACES OBSCURE WHO AND WHAT I CARE ABOUT. I

know for whom I care most. But tools

with so-called egalitarian principles make it hard for me to distinguish the voice of a loved one from the voice of an acquaintance. Since I have more acquaintances than real friends, their words are all I see. Appliance interfaces that don’t allow me to distinguish among voices get in the way of my most important relationships. INDIVIDUAL VOICE IS MUFFLED BY ALGORITHMS AND TEMPLATES.

I create and tend to a version

of myself that suits the model I am offered by those with technical know-how and little concern for me as an individual. My efforts to share with—and talk to—others in meaningful ways become little more than patterns in data for unknown people to decode (Lanier 2010, 70). As I attempt to reconcile the gap between who I believe myself to be and who I

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see reflected back at me after filtering through profile generating machines and pattern-seeking bots, I no longer

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recognize myself and no longer see what makes me and my friends special. There is a better way. Closeness can be represented more substantially in social spaces (whether physical or digital). But to make that happen, designers like me must imagine possibilities for bridging the emotional gaps communication appliances create. Designers must trust that people will try new things; believe they are brave and curious; and understand people want

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experiences that amplify their humanity, ||| [ not dampen it. As a replacement for the status quo, I offer Sm<3 Phone Mandates to enable heart-centric conversation. ||| [ ] ||| [

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JUSTIFICATION

2.1

COMMUNICATION APPLIANCES SHAPE PEOPLE

Recent articles in the media point to growing anxiety about how social media platforms influence users’ feelings and behaviors towards others. Headlines such as “Is Facebook Making us Lonely?” (Marche 2012) in The Atlantic, “Unfriending Someone Before Facebook” (Wadler 2012) and Sherry Turkle’s “The Flight From Conversation”

I LIVE

AN ALWAYS-CONNECTED LIFE. I FLUIDLY MOVE BETWEEN DIGITAL AND PHYSICAL WORLDS, NAVIGATING MY RELATIONSHIPS WITH INTERFACES AND FUNCTIONS. I’VE COME TO EXPECT EASE AND EFFICIENCY FROM ALL INTERACTIONS. APPS ARE CROWDING OUT THE EMOTIONAL ASPECTS OF HOW I ENGAGE WITH MY FRIENDS. I DO NOT LIKE COMPROMISE. I CAN IMAGINE A CURIOUS, MORE DELIGHTFUL PATH. I AM INSPIRED TO SPIN TALES OF “WHAT ELSE?” AND “WHAT IF?” TO ENTERTAIN WHAT COULD BE AND WHAT SHOULD BE. HERE I EXPLORE THE RANGE OF POSSIBILITIES TO AMPLIFY OUR HUMANITY; FOR BRIDGING THE FEELING GAP; AND ENABLING HEART-CENTRIC CONVERSATION.

(2012)—both editorials in The New York Times—point to social networking use as a source of growing emotional and physical isolation among people. Turkle, Professor of the Social Studies of Science at Technology at MIT, expands on these claims in Alone Together (2011), asserting that communication appliances shape the people who use them. Networked individuals—people who use Internet and communication technology (ICT)—use mobile phones and social networks to help them maintain many relationships, while paradoxically keeping the people who enter into those relationships at a distance (Turkle 2011, xi). Turkle writes, for instance, that the teenagers she interviewed prefer texting to talking on the phone because they can be more in control of the tone, pace, and duration of a conversation. Teenagers fear they “reveal too much” in telephone conversations because the person at the other end of the call hears their every hesitation or half-formed thought (Turkle 2011, 11). While it may be prudent for someone to prevent an acquaintance from sensing the immediate emotional impact of his or her words, Turkle cautions that when people allow

JUSTIFICATION: COMMUNICATION APPLIANCES SHAPE PEOPLE

5


communication devices to “engineer [their every] intimacy,” like sending texts to avoid an emotional phone call, they learn new communication attitudes and behaviors. Habits, if brought into every communication context, can reduce relationships to mere connections (Turkle 2011, 16). Turkle’s suspicion that these new communication habits change people is confirmed by Professor of Psychology Barbara L. Frederickson’s research. Frederickson describes her soon-to-be-published findings in a recent New York Times editorial “Your Phone vs. Your Heart” (2013). People’s “habits of social connection” leave a physical imprint on the body, specifically on a part of the body that controls facial expressions and the ability to “tune into” the frequency of the human voice (Fredrickson 2013). When this area is more developed, people have a greater capacity for connection, friendship and empathy, but when people do not regularly exercise their ability to connect face-to-face, they eventually “lack some of the basic biological capacity to do so” (Fredrickson 2013).

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For young adults this information is particularly alarming because they have few means for conversing without communication appliances. Participating in social media platforms and the fluidity with which conversations move from mobile to chat to in-person is an unquestioned fact of their lives (Rainie and Wellman 2012, constant talk ambient continuous contact between people (Lanier 2010).

251). Young adults live in a world of constant talk. Social media and ICTs are the places where young people gather to make plans, with soft times and soft locations (Rainie

soft time a start time that is not fixedand may change (Rainie and Wellman 2012, 99).

and Wellman 2012, 99), then exchange a rapid mixture of private messages, emails,

soft location a meeting location that is not fixed and may change (Rainie and Wellman 2012, 99)

Whether a formal event or an informal meet-up, a young person may fill in the event’s

texts, and more, in the days—and even hours—leading up to a face-to-face interaction. details, find out who is planning to go, or update a friend on her current location and

I DON’T LIKE

estimated time of arrival as the meeting nears (Rainie and Wellman 2012).

THE TERM SMARTPHONE. THERE’S NOTHING SMART ABOUT AN APPLIANCE THAT CANNOT TELL THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MY CAR MECHANIC AND MY MOM BECAUSE I HAVE THEM BOTH ON SPEED DIAL. I TALK WITH MY MECHANIC DAILY, WHILE MOM IS LUCKY TO HEAR FROM ME ONCE A WEEK. BLAME MY FAILING EXHAUST SYSTEM. I THINK “SMART” SHOULD INCLUDE MORE HEART. A “SM<3ER” PHONE COULD BE MY ALLY WHEN IT COMES TO DEVOTING MY TIME AND ATTENTION TO THE PEOPLE I LIKE BEST. AND I KNOW ITS SMARTS WON’T COME FROM RANKING MY LOVED ONES LIKE NETFLIX MOVIES.

JUSTIFICATION: COMMUNICATION APPLIANCES SHAPE PEOPLE

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Once people are together face-to-face, their communication activity does not cease. Some networked individuals describe being in a state of absent presence because managing multiple, faceted and interconnected relationships is time consuming, complex, and requires considerable attention (Rainie and Wellman 2012, 102).

absent presence someone is physically present while their social attention and communication focus is elsewhere (Rainie and Wellman 2012, 102).

Even after a face-to-face meeting the communication work does not end, because for a networked individual, reputation and privacy are considerations (Madden and Smith 2010). Young women report, for instance, spending the morning after an event untagging photos they deem unflattering or inappropriate. They feel pressure not to appear online in the same outfit. So to maintain their image, some young women rent clothes and stage photo shoots with their friends before they go out, tagging the photos they prefer (Rubin 2012). It is around these social artifacts young women engage almost immediately in reminiscing about the night they had.

Emma

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EXTENDING AND ENHANCING MEANINGFUL CONVERSATION


2.2

COMPARING CONNECTING TO CONVERSING

social identity who one is and what one does (Stets and Burke 2000, 234).

The activity-filled scenarios described in the previous section is about connecting. And

close tie someone with whom a person feels intimate, not an acquaintance (Przybylski and Weinstein 2012)

someone—in particular a young woman—the time or inclination to escape constant

the problem with connecting to more and more people is that it leaves little room for talk. Her declarations and re-declarations of where she is, what she is doing and with whom, are distractions from direct experience of her life and the presence of others.

feeling close degree of felt intimacy; care, trust, loving and affection, etc. (Aron, Aron, and Smollan 1992, 602–606).

Further, in the course of all this activity, when does a young woman have a moment

behaving close quantity and variety of interaction (Aron, Aron, and Smollan 1992, 602)

or disengagement might surface if those whose social identities are still developing

to reflect on her behavior towards those she is with? What new feelings of isolation never practice being fully present when they interact face-to-face? To what degree is young women’s capacity to build close ties and important relationships compromised when the appliances she uses to facilitate connection distract her from feeling and behaving close in the moment?

Emma

 Liz PULSE Pulse is not a push-button rating system. It is a place for the openhearted to show devotion to a few so companion apps will be more responsive to conversational intentions. Add feeling data to ensure Pulse knows a relationship is cherished by visiting a person’s page when thinking of her. It takes time, but contact with your palm virtually warms the page and opens a feeling channel between you and your friend. If that friend is practicing the same devotion towards you at the same time, then you will feel each other’s heartbeat.

Technical requirements context-aware smartphone; free time; heartbeat or voice recording Emotional requirements patience; ritualistic tendencies; empathy; open-heartedness Cognitive requirements understanding of cause and effect; impulse control; knowing who is special; belief that computers can aid in decisions of the heart 9


The appliances young women use—such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram— become distractions because they make participation and connection easy and quick. They offer few opportunities for an individual to distinguish between a close tie and someone with whom she shares a relationship, but not intimacy—a weak tie. Facebook for instance, gives users the option to privately label one person a “close friend” and

weak tie the bonds of acquaintance with people we may never meet (Turkle 2011, 13)

another an “acquaintance” but is not transparent about how the change in status redefines the users’ connection. Though an appliance offers one function (connecting to many people), it asks users to perform task after task to make it work. Therefore, the work must be “easy.” One builds a profile using a fill-in-the-blank template; becomes friends with one thumb tap; broadcasts the latest news to !¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!

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to the acceleration and intensification ¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡! of communication by trying to protect ¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡ !¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡ themselves from the people with whom !¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡ rr r rr !¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡ they are communicating because it !¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡ !¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡! takes more time to engage in meaningRRRRRRRrrrrr ful conversations than simply connect ¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡! ¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡! (Turkle 2011, 280). Regretfully, the mul-¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡! tiple and duplicate tasks people perform ¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡! to make appliances function misrep-¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡! resent engaging with people as work.¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡ !¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡ Actually, it is the user’s interaction with !¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡ the appliance that is mundane.!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡ !¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡ !¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡ !¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡ !¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡ !¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡ !¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡ !¡ !¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡ !¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡! ¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡ !¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡! ¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡! ¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡! ¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡ !¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡! ¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡ !¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡! ¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡! ¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡! ¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡! 10 ¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡ !¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡

-

*

dE light FULLY *


Even when an individual makes the conscious choice, while engaged in meaningful conversation, to opt out of a flurry of other communication tasks the face to face encounter is affected by the phone’s presence (Przybylski and Weinstein 2012). One study by social psychologists Andrew Przybylski and Netta Weinstein, shows that when a mobile phone was present, participants reported lower levels of relationship quality, trust, and empathy than those who had the same conversation without a phone present, no matter whether the participants even noticed the phone (2012). Despite these concerns, not every scholar believes communication appliance use is driving people further apart. In Networked: The New Social Operating System (2012) political scientist and Director of the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project Lee Rainie and sociologist

I SUSPECT

THAT A LITTLE PIECE OF MY HEART DIES EACH TIME I SEND A FRIEND ONE OF THOSE TEXTS THAT SAYS, “CU IN 3” OR “ALMOST THERE, PARKING...” THOSE MEANINGLESS FRAGMENTS CLOG THE ARTERIES THROUGH WHICH VOICE AND FEELING TRAVEL. YET, I OFFER CONTINUOUS UPDATES INSTEAD OF SHOWING UP WHERE AND WHEN I SAY. SO MY FRIEND WAITS. AND I CAN’T BLAME HER WHEN SHE REACHES OUT TO OTHERS WHO ARE MORE IMMEDIATELY AVAILABLE. I DESPISE THAT MOMENT WHEN I WALK UP TO FIND HER ENGAGED ELSEWHERE, FINISHING HER DIGITAL THOUGHT. SHE IS NEARLY WITHIN REACH, BUT THE DISTANCE BETWEEN US COULD NOT BE GREATER.

Barry Wellman tout the benefits of a connected life by focusing on how communication appliances easily and efficiently enable people to maintain larger and more diverse networks of weak ties. While the authors acknowledge that the pace of communication has accelerated and intensified because of the increased size and diversity of people’s social networks, they virtually ignore the toll it is has taken on people’s engagement with and feelings of closeness to others.

JUSTIFICATION: COMPARING CONNECTING TO CONVERSING

11


Instead, Rainie and Wellman describe the efficiency people achieve when they use existing appliances to search for the information or support they need from their online networks. The authors use words such as “scan” “segment” and “access” (Rainie and Wellman 2012, 265). Their word choice is disturbing. Rainie and Wellman describe people using appliances to conduct operations usually performed by machines, perhaps forgetting they refer to humans who are building relationships with other humans, and not reconciling a bank account. Rainie and Wellman equate people to things and

operation action that becomes routine through repetition; is processed less consciously than other actions (Davis 2012, 246).

imply that people’s partial attention to—and partial engagement with—each other is the progressive way to get communication done.

::f ettif ête :   SPARK : LEFES T    

TOSS AT NE ARBY Lucy S FRIEN teele DS? Caroli ne B Liz Ben ingley nett Will D arcy

::: MAKE

12

IT RA IN!::

EXTENDING AND ENHANCING MEANINGFUL CONVERSATION


Though this “splintered” attention and engagement that accompanies connecting to many—rather than conversing with a few—does cause a problem, writes Digital_ Humanities author and graphic designer Anne Burdick (2012, 97). Splintered attention, she cautions, puts the individual voice in jeopardy because “swarm behavior and collective absorption into real-time activities” shifts people’s focus to the next fragment offered by who is loudest or who is biggest, and away from more lengthy or difficult content (Burdick 2012, 81).

          On we march till we meet the dawn. We will light our way with our lanterns on.

FETTIFÊTE Fettifête is like having fairy dust in your pocket. Swing your phone wildly to send a glittery, fluttery animation of your choice to any nearby cherished friends. Fettifête casts a spell on their phones, turns their attention away from their other communication activities and tells your friends how excited you are to see them. Technical requirements

Emotional requirements

Pulse; context-aware smartphone;

Impulsivity; enthusiasm;

friends with context aware

likes to exercise her inner

smartphones

Glenda; likes being noticed; passive-aggressiveness;

Cognitive requirements

sneakiness; sensitivity

Understanding of cause and effect; decisiveness, clear conversational intentions

JUSTIFICATION: COMPARING CONNECTING TO CONVERSING

13


One conflicted social media user, interaction designer, Able Parris, echoes Burdick’s sentiment when he blogs about his desire to simplify his life and focus on what is important (Parris 2012). He describes Twitter as a distracting, street full of strangers: The social web is like that. As much as I love it, it exhausts me. I feel like I’m constantly leaving when I’ve only just arrived. Twitter (my social media of choice) is a constant stream of surprise not unlike walking down the streets of New York City. It’s excellent people watching, socializing, breaking news and entertainment.... Twitter is available for non-stop distraction (Parris 2012).

It is precisely the distraction Able describes that I take issue with. People appear to be more and more disconnected from the world around them because they are looking at their phones and being buried by fragments of talk. Harvard Business Review contributor and venture-capitalist Anthony Tjan calls for moving away from connecting and back toward conversing in the face of this constant stream of chatter, reduced and simplified for the benefit of the appliances and to the detriment of nuance and authenticity. He calls it a Slow Conversation Movement. Tjan advocates for a slow conversation movement because he believes the vast numbers of new communication channels and “smart” devices fragment and strain our conversation (Tjan 2013). Slow conversation does not prohibit using technology and the internet to be “speedy and efficient” when connecting with weak ties, but it does require applying a different set of rules when conversing with close ties. In a slow conversation people should slow down and remain mindful when engaged in meaningful conversation so as not to replace human interactions with the limited ways of connecting communication appliances provide.

14

EXTENDING AND ENHANCING MEANINGFUL CONVERSATION


2.3

MINDLESS OPERATIONS

One of the problems with the current design of communication appliances is that they were made to address the same goal: connecting. Acquiring new social ties, though, is a different activity than maintaining and deepening existing close relationships. Few fig. 1 Young women converse with close ties using their communication appliances. This thesis is concerned with the perceptions, motives and emotions that cause them to engage with communication appliances. All the outcomes in this thesis assume young women have goals other than “utility” and “efficiency” when talking with the people they feel closest to. Some outcomes seek to disrupt mindless operations.

appliances, if any today, acknowledge a wider possible range of communication goals: i.e. devoting oneself to a cohesive conversation over a lengthy period of time, being wholly present and attentive during a face-to-face conversation, or privately cherishing moments shared with a close tie. As Turkle and others contend, easy-to-use, semiautomatic interactions, move user behaviors from deliberate action to mindless and habitual operation for all communication contexts. Activity Theory offers a useful framework with which to further understand how communication appliances shape people (fig. 1). The appliances offer actions for connecting that, overtime, can become the habitual and mindless operations critics fear will cause people to converse less.

young women have past experiences   +   perceptions   +   motives  that affect

+   emotions   +   ways of reasoning

that cause them to engage with

in order to mediate their

talk with close ties

involve

communication appliances

goals that lead to actions

that under certain conditions may be converted to

operations

that cause them to engage with

social and cultural settings

JUSTIFICATION: MINDLESS OPERATIONS

15


According to the theory, people engage with objects such as communication appliances in order to mediate their activities in a specific social and cultural context. The individual’s activities involve goals that lead to conscious actions. Under certain conditions actions—if performed regularly and without friction—such as reading and responding to a text message after receiving an automatic notification, may be converted to unconscious operations (Davis 2012). Once receiving and responding to a text message becomes an unconscious habit, though, the text receiver is no longer fully aware of it. She may unintentionally create emotional distance between her and the person she is with, because she is splitting her attention between her companion and some distant other.

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EM BR AC E

seamful

ness

interactIONAL F/R/I/C/T/I/O/N

(((( enables )))) CONSCIOUS

ACTION

16


Facebook seeks to design a seamless experience for becoming friends by making the action a push-button operation. Tapping a button to become friends is less intimate and deliberate than getting to know someone over time; an action that feels authentic when connecting to a weak tie, but not when engaging with a close tie. In addition to facilitating the process of turning connecting actions into habitual operations, mammoth social networking systems like Facebook over simplify the context of use by organizing people into “multiple-choice identities” (Lanier 2010, 48). The software does not recognize nor make sense of the complexity of individuals, their perceptions, motives, and emotions, because that kind of “feeling data” is hard to capture and impossible to quantify for one-billion users.

I KNOW

MY ACTIONS DON’T ALWAYS MATCH MY INTENTIONS. WHILE I AIM TO GIVE CLOSE FRIENDS ATTENTION WHEN WE HANG OUT, THE EVER-PRESENT SOCIAL NETWORK BECKONS. ITS SIREN SONG LURES ME FROM MY BEST INTENTIONS. I WISH BEING “HERE” MEANT FRIENDS HAVE MY UNDIVIDED ATTENTION, NOT ONLY UNTIL THE NEXT PUSH NOTIFICATION. MY FEAR OF MISSING OUT IS A HARD HABIT TO BREAK. I NEED A MOMENT. I NEED THE SEAMS BETWEEN MY SOCIAL WORLDS TO BE BEAUTIFUL AND APPARENT. I WANT TO PUSH THE STREAM OF TALK ASIDE AND CONTROL ITS FLOW; TO BE FREE TO DEVOTE MYSELF TO THE PERSON I CAME TO SEE. JUSTIFICATION: MINDLESS OPERATIONS

17


2.4

DESIGNERS SHOULD SHAPE NEW EXPERIENCES

Despite the concern that communication appliances not only change peopleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s behavior and attitudes towards each other, but also alter their biology and affect their future capacity for emotional connection, the number of users of services continues to increase. Facebook, for instance, reached its one-billionth user in October 2012. With few alternatives to manage their growing social networks, appliances that encourage new, harmful habits and prioritize quick, emotionally distant forms of connection are more ubiquitous than ever before. And while Social Science advocates for people pushing technology to the periphery so they stop looking at their phones and reengage with each other, no one expects people to put down their smartphones. Perhaps designers can assist.

Technical requirements

Cognitive requirements

Pulse; context-aware smartphone

Context-awareness; lack of impulse control; understanding of cause

Emotional requirements

and effect; clear conversational

Confidence; patience; desire to

intentions; decisiveness until faced

do no harm; eagerness to please;

with temptation

straightforwardness

18

EXTENDING AND ENHANCING MEANINGFUL CONVERSATION


Since it is unlikely that people will ditch their smartphones for landlines and smoke signals, designers should create different interactions and functions for communicating. Ones that do not bring the operational and machine-like communication habits from communication appliances to every conversation context. What strategies can meaning makers employ so as not to design technology that connects people to more and more weak ties, but instead creates opportunities for meaningful conversations among people who care about each other?

MUFFLER Muffler shows a companion (and proves to you) that you are devoted to a conversation by pushing distant others to the periphery. If you forget your intent to be present, Muffler gently nudges you when it senses a cherished friend is near. Muffler demands elaborate and deliberate interaction when first engaged, but your phone demands less attention once muffled. To reactivate a muffled phone when that friend is present, you must perform the elaborate interaction in reverse. Otherwise, the smartphone eases you back into a connected state once you leave your cherished friend, carefully delivering any waiting messages according to emotional priority. 19


<3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <<33<< 33<3 <3<3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3

(

~ Make ~

personal)

feel

)))))

~ More~

(((

<3

<3

ACTIONS

intimate


MY WORK: EMERGENCE OF SM-HEART PHONE MANDATES

3.1

THE THESIS TERRITORY: ASSUMPTIONS AND LIMITATIONS

Is it possible to represent closeness more substantially in social spaces for the purposes of extending and enhancing meaningful conversation? The proposals in this thesis are not new appliances for conversation. Instead, they are value fictions that introduce different ways for young women to engage with each other, as well as with the con-

I WORRY

TOO MUCH ABOUT WHAT I WRITE. I EDIT MYSELF AS I TEXT, STOPPING SHORT OF VOICING MY FEELINGS. I FEAR BEING MISUNDERSTOOD OR REJECTED BY THE PERSON I CAN’T SEE. I DON’T HEAR MY FRIENDS’ VOICES ENOUGH. IT’S THE THINGS FRIENDS SAY—SPONTANEOUSLY AND WITHOUT THINKING TOO HARD—THAT I WANT TO REMEMBER. WHETHER BREATHLESSLY DESCRIBING THE BEST NIGHT OF HER BEACH TRIP OR DELIVERING A FANATICAL DIATRIBE ON HIS LATEST MUSIC OBSESSION, MY FRIENDS’ STORIES ARE BETTER WHEN I HEAR THEM. SOMETIMES A FRIEND SIMPLY SAYS THE RIGHT THING TO LIFT MY SPIRITS AND I WANT TO HOLD ONTO THAT GOOD FEELING A LITTLE LONGER. MY WORK: THE THESIS TERRITORY

tent of conversations they already share, to foster feelings of closeness. The proposals rely on social psychologists’ findings that feeling close escalates intimacy and results in more meaningful conversation (Aron, Aron, and Smollan 1992). The proposals are rhetorical; they open a space for new designs for connecting and conversing differently in today’s networked technologies based on the mandates they illustrate. And although the proposals are commentary on the systems of today, they do not depend on whether the social and behavioral wills exist to implement them.

21


My thesis investigation is limited to ways of feeling and behaving close in conversation with close ties—not all ties—through technological means. This decision is based on a number of factors. When conducting the literature review I focused on three key texts: You are Not a Gadget (2010) by computer scientist and culture critic Jaron Lanier;

technology anything made from available resources to make a task simpler to perform, and not limited to computation-based devices such as computers and smartphones

Networked: The New Social Operating System (2012) by Director of the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project and political scientist Lee Rainie and sociologist Barry Wellman; and Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other (2011) by professor of the Social Studies of Science at Technology at MIT, Sherry Turkle. The authors agree that generally people and their relationships benefit when they connect across time and geography. Americans are not as isolated by internet and communication technologies as once thought (K. N. Hampton, Sessions, and Her 2009). Rather in 2009, Pew Internet Personal Networks and Community survey found that people’s use of mobile phones and the internet had a positive effect on the size and diversity of their networks (K. N. Hampton, Sessions, and Her 2009).

Technical requirements Pulse; wifi-enabled, context aware locket with led display Cognitive requirements Natural mimic; quiet; deliberate; reasonable Emotional requirements Sentimentality; patience; dabbles in melancholy; private; secretiveness

22

LOCK-IT Conversation becomes memento when you wear a friend’s voice close to your heart. Lock-it works by retaining a copy of talk you collect from your phone and imprint there using your voice. Lock-it helps with voice matching by visualizing your friend’s voice. Imprinting occurs when you repeat the meaningful portion—in unison—with the recording of your friend. Hear your friend’s voice anytime by holding an open Lock-it close to your ear. Feel when your friend is near from the jewelry’s quiet pulse.

EXTENDING AND ENHANCING MEANINGFUL CONVERSATION


Rainie and Wellman are universally pro-technology and pro-social networking, no matter the context of use, but Turkle and Lanier question whether tools developed thus far—appliances that value efficiency and utility—should be applied to all contexts and to all people. They wonder about the long-term effects on people when markets and economic issues influence our personal relationships. Turkle and Lanier lament the limitations of current technologies and express a desire for the makers of these tools to imagine other ways of connecting and conversing, especially with the people that matter most. An interview I conducted with one Twitter user directed my investigation to be more nuanced and parallel, not opposed to current social networking platforms (APPENDIX C) .

Kate appreciates the emo-

tional distance Twitter affords her, and the opportunity it gives her to connect to and learn from people she will never meet or truly know. She feels enriched by her Twitter experience, not depleted by it.

Loved our chat today. It’s so nice to talk with someone who gets me like you do. I miss you Sis! MY WORK: THE THESIS TERRITORY

23


After hearing Kate articulate the benefits of Twitter as a communication tool, used for a specific purpose (to learn from people she would otherwise never know or meet) and with intention (to keep emotional distance) my thesis interests simply narrowed. Designing an alternate appliance to change Kate’s behavior towards everyone in all communication contexts would not only be unsuccessful, but unnecessary. Instead, the project goal became defining the contexts and connections on Facebook and Twitter that do not feel “right.” Social networking is not a villain to be slain, but a present and future reality—one that prompted me to imagine richer and more affective possibilities. Women are the subject of the investigation and the fiction’s audience because they are more likely than men to spend time re-describing and re-defining their relationships to others within existing online social networks. According to Pew Research, women make more status updates and are more intense contributors on Facebook than men, averaging more than three times as many updates in the same one-month period (K. Hampton and Goulet 2012, 4). In addition, being female is associated with having more close ties, whether online or in the world (K. Hampton and Goulet 2012, 23). And since many of today’s networking tools have been designed by much-maligned brogrammers, they are likely to reflect male values regarding social connections and interaction which are likely different from tool use by the most active female users. I focused on young women, rather than teens who still live at home (or middleaged mothers), because the use of social networking services and ICTs to “maintain core networks” is highest among 18–22 year-olds. Thirty percent of young adults use some kind of social networking service to maintain contact with 90 percent or more of their “core influentials” (K. N. Hampton, Sessions, and Her 2009, 9). Young women are also more likely than middle-aged women to be transitioning from the social contexts and contacts they inherited from family to new social contexts such as college or professional environments. This transition creates the opportunities for intervention by introducing new behaviors and social habits with out activating their “immune systems,” as culture worker and game designer for girls Brenda Laurel warns (2001, 17). My proposals for extending and enhancing meaningful conversation rely on creating distinctions between how young women feel and behave when using ICTs to converse with their strong ties and what information they share with their wider social network, even as Jaron Lanier warns it is a mistake to believe “…that computers can presently represent human thought or human relationships,” (2010, 69). The intention is not to provide a means for smartphones to display or interpret feelings, but to provide channels through which young women can report or demonstrate their feelings about their close ties both to machines and to other people. Furthermore, my work is not as concerned with privacy issues, or with preventing young women from sharing compromising information. My work is concerned with providing young women more choices and opportunities to engage differently with 24

EXTENDING AND ENHANCING MEANINGFUL CONVERSATION

brogrammer a mash-up of “programmer” and “bro,” the stereotypical fraternity-house salute (Gross 2012)


some people, in comparison to others. In fact, Pew Research finds young adults are already the most active and informed online reputation managers (Madden and Smith 2010, 2). And instead of focusing on the exchange of information with many weak ties, I focused on possible qualities of feeling with an interaction—from transactional to intensely personal—and explore those qualities. 3.2

THE APPROACH: SPECULATIVE DESIGN PROPOSALS

Design fictions and speculative design proposals are means for designers to tell stories to other designers, as well as everyday people, about what is possible: what could be, or even what should be. The goal is to inspire new directions for work during times of great change and complexity as when young women transition from home to new social contexts, meeting new people at work or college. Royal College of Art faculty and authors of “Exploring Information Appliances through Conceptual Design Proposals” (Gaver, Martin, and College 2000) claim a place for speculative design in research when a problem area is relatively new or its full potential remains unexplored. Conceptual design proposals do not offer solutions, but are placeholders and landmarks that ask for more—and better—design possibilities in the future (Gaver, Martin, and College 2000, 216). Specifically, Gaver, Martin, and College observe that many devices import values, such as functionality and usefulness, from the workplace into the home (2000, 209). The designers feel uncomfortable with forefronting those values through default in more personal spaces like the home. So Gaver et al. use value fictions, in their design for Worry Stone, a device that captures a user’s concerns and replays them without pause (fig. 2). This work demonstrates how digital devices may embody different values and embrace less practical social goals.

fig. 2 Worry Stone narrative and image

Each of the proposals by Gaver et al. is accompanied by an illustration and explanation. For conceptual design proposals to work, however, Gaver et al. recommend that authors balance concreteness (direct representation of the thing) with enough openness to imagine other outcomes in its place (2000, 215). The designers group their proposals according to themes that emerge as they work; the groups together “…[are]

MY WORK: SPECULATIVE DESIGN PROPOSALS

25


numerous enough to avoid undue focus on any single one of them…” giving the body of work more credibility (Gaver, Martin, and College 2000, 215). Other authors employ speculative fiction as commentary, to think through the implications of, and their responses, to large-scale culture shifts already underway (Willis 2012). Design writer, educator, and activist Anne-Marie Willis describes design fiction as a “means for having a conversation about the future in a speculative way” (Willis 2012). Design fiction is usually narratives built around fictional products that may not be fully realizable, though grounded in the real. The products are intended for real people, with real flaws that make the products more believable. Good design fiction is not judged on its plausibility, but its thinking (Willis 2012).

GIVE E M O T I O N---al ~ we i g h t ~ to

i R r e ve r s i b l e

dE -

S/T/R U/C ---T I O N 26

SEC-


In Utopian Entrepreneur (2001), designer and culture-worker Brenda Laurel offers additional guidelines for values-driven work. It is central to my thesis, that all work has values, and I agree with Laurel that “the question isn’t whether [values] are there but who is taking responsibility for them, how they are being shaped, and how they are shaping us and our future” (2001, 62). The work need not be about values to influence them. Rather, successful values-driven work gives people choices about how to behave within it, even if it is to behave badly.

I REMEMBER

WHEN THERE WAS NO WORD FOR UNFRIENDING. WHEN BREAKING UP MEANT WE STOPPED TALKING, THEN I GATHERED THE REMNANTS OF HIM LITTERING MY APARTMENT TO SET ABLAZE OR SEAL IN A BOX DESTINED FOR THE ATTIC. ENDING A RELATIONSHIP IS MESSY. IT FEELS DISHONEST AND UNSATISFYING TO DISENTANGLE OUR PROFILES AND ERASE OUR HISTORY INSTANTLY. MY RELATIONSHIPS CHANGE, YET APPS CANNOT SENSE WHEN I NO LONGER WANT SOMEONE IN MY LIFE. THE DELETE BUTTON DOESN’T UNDERSTAND WHAT IT MEANS TO LOSE A PERSON. I FEEL WOUNDED AND EMPTY.

MY WORK: SPECULATIVE DESIGN PROPOSALS

27


28


3.3

DEFINING WHAT IS: THE PROBLEM AREA

At the outset of this project I set the goal to avoid designing a particular “tool” to solve some “problem.” I did not want to add another appliance to the social networking marketplace. Instead, I inquired into today’s social networking experiences from a critical perspective with a hypothesis that closeness could be represented more substantially in these spaces as people engage in meaningful conversation. I chose to focus on the activities of constant talk, the gradient of “here” to “there” and methods for cherishing conversation for the purpose of reminiscing with close ties because existing social appliances do not match every young woman’s communication goals. I designed responses to conditions observed during research I conducted: an evaluation of the marketplace; analysis of contemporary conversation activities; observation of and engagement with young female users; and review of the literature (some of which appears in the preceding JUSTIFICATION). And while technology-augmented conversation may always be at odds with the “real DISPOSSESSING The Relic makes it possible to dispossess all traces of a relationship from digital life. Resting the Relic on the surface of a formerly cherished friend’s page pulls every mark of his or her presence out of your digital life and into the object. Place the Relic in the Forgetting Box for seven days to dispossess the person forever. Though, if you change your mind, just remove the Relic from its box and keep the relationship preserved, but at a safe distance.

thing,” opportunities exist to design more intimate and affective experiences, interfaces and functions that create conditions where meaningful conversation is more likely to occur.

Technical requirements The Internet of Things; Pulse; rfid-tagged Relic; rfid-tagged Forgetting Box; smartphone; nemesis Cognitive requirements Lack of impulse control; understanding of cause and effect; awareness of tendency to overreact Emotional requirements Confidence; passion; conviction; heartbreak; tendency to overreact; outrage; patience; imagination; desire to deliberate

MY WORK: DEFINING WHAT IS

29


3.3.1 Evaluation of the Marketplace

In order to evaluate my findings in the literature about how appliances affect people’s behaviors in comparison to the “real world” I conducted an audit and comparative analysis (fig. 3). I looked at Google+ and the most used online social networks in the United States as of August 2012 (Pew 2012): Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram and Tumblr. I evaluated each platform on eight aspects (APPENDIX A): presence How do people know who is where and when? connection How do people know to whom and to what degree they belong, either through exclusive or inclusive means? locative How and when do people connect physical place to virtual space, either synchronously or asynchronously? conversation What are the ways people engage in interactive and spontaneous communication, either synchronously or asynchronously? creation What do people make and share that is their own? curation What do people share that is not their own? transaction What do people do and consume in the space with the push of a button?

presence

connection

sense of place

creation

curation

conversation

transaction

limits

facebook linked-in twitter pinterest instagram tumblr google+

facebook linked-in twitter pinterest instagram tumblr google+

facebook linked-in twitter pinterest instagram tumblr google+

facebook linked-in twitter pinterest instagram tumblr google+

facebook linked-in twitter pinterest instagram tumblr google+

facebook linked-in twitter pinterest instagram tumblr google+

facebook linked-in twitter pinterest instagram tumblr google+

facebook linked-in twitter pinterest instagram tumblr google+

limits Does the system impose any limits on the use of the software?

synchronous function asynchronous function inclusive means exclusive means text media image media general function

30

EXTENDING AND ENHANCING MEANINGFUL CONVERSATION


As a result of the audit and comparative analysis, I saw gaps in the experience online social networks offer that align with the critique of them in the literature. They do not offer many ways for users to know who is present and when. They offer few means to behave synchronously or engage in interesting and creative activities together. These behaviors became my focus because they contribute to feelings of closeness, and in turn increase the likelihood for meaningful conversation to occur. I followed the social networking audit with a market review of primarily mobile applications (APPENDIX B) . I selected 24 examples for the unique social activities, limitations imposed by the system on use, different methods for knowing when someone is near or listening, and examples of exchange and interaction that is sometimes synchronous. I looked for patterns in the functions, interactions and experiences that each offered. In looking closely at these applications, in light of the literature, I developed a set of priorities and values for my project. I translated those values into a series of semantic differentials to evaluate the examples (fig. 4). When the criteria proved to differentiate one application from another, I used them to judge the relevancy of my initial studies and narratives (APPENDIX D) .

fig. 3 An audit and comparison of the features of seven online social networks reveals gaps in the market. They do not offer many ways for users to: know who is present and when; behave synchronously; or engage in particularly interesting and creative activities together. fig. 4 Describing the quality of functions, interactions and experiences with a series of semantic differentials made it easier to evaluate the market as a whole, as well as compare and contrast the values of one application to another. The three examples pictured are (from top to bottom): Path, Pair and One Memento.

path deliberate

habitual

conversation

connection

strong ties

weak ties

whimsy

utility

sync

a-sync

intimate

transactional

pair deliberate

habitual

conversation

connection

strong ties

weak ties

whimsy

utility

sync

a-sync

intimate

transactional

one memento habitual connection weak ties utility a-sync transactional

MY WORK: DEFINING WHAT IS

deliberate conversation strong ties whimsy sync intimate

31


COMMUNICATION ACTIVITY TIMELINE make plans

confirm plans

arrive

interact

depart

reminisce

dyadic activities

Coordinate in person

Google the person

Prepare for conversation

Set phone to do not disturb / silent

Wait outside

Go off the record

either Run into each other

“Check-In”

Determine “soft” time Determine “soft” location

Add details

Look to see who is there

Reschedule

Acquire experience

Send private messages to coordinate

Change location

Perform Identity

Text to coordinate

Determine concrete details

Check SNS / messages Broadcast current location

Receive notifications from SNS

Get general agreement on activity

Ask for directions

Look for locations

Follow directions

Text with location update

Transmit/receive messages

Read reviews of places

Get ready to go

Coordinate arrival

Document experience

Seek recommendations

Text a question

Text if running late

Geotag experience

Share experience

Restrict access

Get tips from strangers

Text when home

Follow-up

Create reminder

Coordinate transportation

Flake Cancel

Prioritize interaction

Text to say it was fun

Unfriend

Double book

Document experience

Save a spot

Hide out

Change venue

Write on wall

Add to calendar

Determine location

Write review of experience

Share documentation

group activities Create “event” Include/Exclude others Spread the word

Relay messages between people

Get general agreement on activity

Text to see if anyone is there already

RSVP

Pre-Party make plans

Edit documentation

Broadcast ETD

Introductions

Curate documentation

Manage reputation

Un/tag photos

Publish documentation

Re-live the night

Broadcast your ETA

Comment

Un/tag photos

Check to see where everyone else “is”

Live tweet

Receive friend request

Comment on documentation

Accept friend request

Like documentation

confirm plans

Invite other people

Broadcast venue change

arrive

interact

depart

reminisce

arrive

interact

depart

reminisce

CONTEMPORARY CONVERSATION CONDITIONS make plans

confirm plans

constant talk degrees of presence reminiscing What is important? Who is important?

How can the gradient of presence be represented?

What makes something digital, cherishable?


fig. 5 The communication activity timeline organizes young women’s actions facilitated by ICTs before, during and after faceto-face interactions according to task and context.

3.3.2 Conversation Activity Analysis

The book Networked (2012) includes an “Interlude” consisting of a communication diary kept by a female college student with details about how she and her friends use ICTs to coordinate face-to-face get-togethers. This excerpt, along with a variety of reports from Pew Research on the Internet and American Life, provided content for the list of activities I used to understand the communication context. I plotted tasks—such as “check-in” and “text when arrive home”—on a timeline grouping them according to when they are performed: before, during or after face-to-face interaction (fig. 5). I further separated them by communication context—dyadic, group, or neutral—to call out communication tasks such as “create Facebook event” that were specific to the number of conversants. By developing this diagram, I found communication conditions expressed as clusters of tasks that aligned with social phenomenon discussed in the literature: continuum of planning; degrees of presence; documentation and performance of social identity; and constant talk. Embedded problems and questions surfaced (fig. 6) when I narrowed the focus down to the three conditions most relevant to feeling: constant talk, degrees of presence, and reminiscing. For example, to design for an instance where a young woman wants to remain focused on who and what is important to her despite the constant stream of conversation flooding her communication appliances, she must have the means to declare who and what is important compared to the rest. Or, since people can no longer assume that a companion’s physical presence signifies her full engagement with a conversation, investigating strategies to communicate and negotiate degrees of “here” is useful. Finally, my research and the literature indicated feelings of affiliation increase when people engage in reminiscing activities, but I needed to return to my research to clarify how people cherish something that exists only in the a digital realm. 3.3.3 User Survey: What Do You <3?

In addition to conducting an interview with one Twitter user

(APPENDIX C)

to better

understand one young woman’s behaviors and attitudes regarding her social networking use, I engaged in additional inquiry with young women users. I conducted a “cherishable object” survey later in the process (APPENDIX E) . What Do You <3? sought to fig. 6 Timeline of contemporary conversation conditions, paired with the underlying problems and questions they raise.

fill in gaps, specific to my project. The literature provided evidence that reminiscing reinforces social relationships and feelings of closeness among people (SECTION 3.4.4) . It also identified strategies, such as adding metadata, as means for digital objects to gain importance and memento status over time, but it did not focus on young women, their relationships, and what specific digital objects mean to them. I needed to ask my own questions in order to construct rich personas with realistic motivations and scenarios of use grounded in actual contexts and real content. Daniella Petrelli, Elise van den Hoven, and Steve Whittaker’s “Making History: Intentional Capture of Future Memories” (2009) helped structure my survey questions,

MY WORK: DEFINING WHAT IS

33


and provided the framework with which to categorize the results. The HCI design researchers’ study asked participants (family units) to construct a time capsule for 10 years in the future, describe each item in their own words, and explain why it is special to them. Although the study asked participants to include digital items, few people included them in their time capsule. This omission made it necessary for me to conduct my own inquiry. I distributed a paper survey in a Graphic Design Theory course taught by Professor Meredith Davis and duplicated the questionnaire on Facebook. The prompt was the same for both: Imagine you learn an insidious virus is attacking Facebook. All of your activity (and all of your friends’ activity) is expected to be lost within the hour. Since everyone is rushing to the site—just like you—you only have time to visit one page and it is not your own. You choose to take one last look at the friendship page you share with one of the people you feel closest to. From that friendship timeline, what things would you choose to save?

The 102 respondents chose a total of 289 digital objects from their friends’ timelines and answered the following questions: “What is it?” “Why did you select it?” And “Why is it special?” The questionnaire also asked participants to answer questions about the survey activity and to supply demographic information. The activity yielded responses from 56 women between 18 and 29, and data referencing 165 digital objects (fig. 7). I coded the results according to Petrelli and Sheffield methods (2009) and used Csikszentmihalyi and Rochberg-Halton framework as described in The Meaning of Things. For the most part, though, I disregarded the “People” category (i.e. Non-family, Kin, Self). The survey was built on the premise that participants selected objects precisely because of their connection to a person. I was interested in the meanings of these things in addition to their significance to the relationship. In a few rare instances a participant described an object’s significance only in terms her friend, which accounts for the small percentage of results in Non-Family, Kin and Self categories. The results in Motivation and Meaning encouraged me to inquire further into the area of reminiscing. The digital objects young women share in Facebook are meaningful to this group of young women. Fifty-nine percent of the objects they chose were associated with memories. For example one respondent wrote, “A lot of these photos recall memories I didn’t document or maybe even forgot about. It just helps me recall how connected we are.” Young women also anticipated that the objects would be significant to them in the future. Young women were motivated to keep nearly 25 percent of the digital objects because they planned to engage with an object in order to reminisce about the past. Most of the objects young women chose were either an image or text (predominantly as public comments one or the other’s timelines). I used this general information, as well as specific references to content, in the storyboards and scenarios I later

34

EXTENDING AND ENHANCING MEANINGFUL CONVERSATION

digital object has little to no physical presence, but exists primarily in the computer i.e. e-mails, websites, or digital photographs (Golsteijn et al. 2012, 655).

fig. 7 What Do You <3? survey results for 56 female respondents and 165 digital objects. Women accounted for 64% of all responses. fig. 8 What Do You <3? survey activity sentiments from 56 female respondents. The activity of choosing and writing about digital objects shared with a close tie made most participants feel good about their friendship and want to talk with their friend.


SURVEY FINDINGS 56 Women 18–29 + 165 Digital Objects

object purpose

object media

motivation

index 6% symbol 15%

video 3% website 4% artifact 10%

icon 79%

image 58%

meaning

memories 59% 23% personal values

text 25%

24% reminisce

compare 12% fun 8% preserve 6%

who

non-family 2% kin 1% self 1% utility 1% association 2%

record 50%

gender overall kin 4% partner or boy/girlfriend 15%

close friend 64%

men 36%

immediate family 17%

women 64%

intrinsic qualities 11%

SURVEY FINDINGS 56 Women 18–29 + Activity Sentiment

88%

}

40

}

35

84%

}

30

86%

}

95%

25 20 15 10 5 0 It was difficult to choose what things to save.

If lost, it would be hard to replace the things I saved.

The things I chose are a good representation of our friendship.

My “friend” and I share the same/ similar things in real life.

I had forgotten about some of the things I chose until I saw them.

Thinking about losing these things made them more valuable to me.

Doing this made me feel good about our friendship.

Doing this made me want to talk to my friend.


developed. In addition, one comment added to my survey echoed those of respondents to HCI design researchers Odom, Zimmerman and Forlizzi study on teenagers and virtual possessions (DISCUSSED IN SECTION 3.4.4) . The metadata objects acquire by being shared on Facebook make the objects more meaningful (2011, 1496). One male respondent added

metadata describes the content, adding information such as context and means of creation.

the following comment to the end of my What Do You <3? questionnaire: I feel that most of the picturesâ&#x20AC;ŚI save for later to look back on my computer or my phone so I wouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t mind if most of them disappeared. The comments, however, are something that would be hard to do without because I still go back and look at them and laugh.

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||| [ ] ||| [ ] ||| [ ] ||| [ ] ||| [ ] ||| [ ] ||| [ ] ||| [ ] ||| [ ] ||| [ ] ||| [ ]||| ||| [ ] ||| [ ] ||| [ ] ||| [ ] ||| [ ] ||| [ ] ||| [ ] ||| [ ] ||| [ ] ||| [ ] ||| [ ] ||| [ ] ||| [ ] ||| [ ] ||| [ ]||| ||| [ ] ||| [ ] ||| [ ] ||| [ ] ||| [ ] ||| [ ] ||| [ ] ||| [ ] ||| [ ] ||| [ ] ||| [ ] ||| [ ] ||| [ ] ||| [ ] ||| [ ]||| ||| [ ] ||| [ ] ||| [ ] ||| [ ] ||| [ ] ||| [ ] ||| [ ] ||| [ ] ||| [ ] ||| [ ] ||| [ ] ||| [ ] ||| [ ] ||| [ ] ||| [ ]||| ||| [ ] ||| [ ] ||| [ ] ||| [ ] ||| [ ] ||| [ ] ||| [ ] ||| [ ] ||| [ ] ||| [ ] ||| [ ] ||| [ ] ||| [ ] ||| [ ] ||| [ ]||| ||| [ ] ||| [ ] ||| [ ] ||| [ ] ||| [ ] ||| [ ] ||| [ ] ||| [ ] ||| [ ] ||| [ ] ||| [ ] ||| [ ] ||| [ ] ||| [ ] ||| [ ]||| ||| [ ] ||| [ ] ||| [ ] ||| [ ] ||| [ ] ||| [ ] ||| [ ] ||| [ ] ||| [ ] ||| [ ] ||| [ ] ||| [ ] ||| [ ] ||| [ ] ||| [ ]||| ||| [ ] ||| [ ] ||| [ ] ||| [ ] ||| [ ] ||| [ ] ||| [ ] ||| [ ] ||| [ ] ||| [ ] ||| [ ] ||| [ ] EX-||| [ ] ||| [ ] ||| [ ]||| ||| [ ] ||| [ ] ||| [ ] ||| [ ] ||| [ ] ||| [ ] ||| [ ] ||| [ ] ||| [ ] ||| [ ] ||| [ ] ||| [ ] ||| [ ] ||| [ ] ||| [ ]||| ||| [ ] ||| [ ] ||| [ ] ||| [ ] ||| [ ] ||| [ ] ||| [ ] ||| [ ] ||| [ ] ||| [ ] ||| [ ] ||| [ ]

CHERISH

<3 <FRAG3 MENT <3 the

whole rather than

PROMOTE the

36


Based on the literature and my findings, then, I developed some concepts to explore other kinds of metadata that could be added to digital objects to make them cherishable (SECTION 3.4.4). Finally, participants felt good about their friendship after completing the survey (fig. 8). Choosing and writing about digital objects shared with a close tie resulted in most (88%) of the young women agreeing or strongly agreeing with the statement, “Doing this made them feel good about our friendship.” Eighty-six percent also agreed or strongly agreed with the statement, “Doing this made me want to talk with my friend.” These results correspond to similar findings in the literature that engaging with cherished objects associated with people can increase feelings of affiliation.

I HATE

THAT MY FRIENDS VOICES ARE FRAGMENTED. BITS AND PIECES OF CONVERSATIONS ARE SCATTERED ACROSS SO MANY DIGITAL SPACES, ORGANIZED BY DEFAULT ACCORDING TO WHICH PORTAL I USE TO ACCESS THEM. WHY NOT BY THE PERSON WHOSE VOICE I HEAR? REVISITING WHAT WE SHARE MAKES ME FEEL GOOD ABOUT MY FRIENDSHIPS. I SUSPECT THESE FRAGMENTS WOULD BE MORE MEANINGFUL IF I COULD LOOK AT THEM TOGETHER, BUT I’M AFRAID TO MOVE THEM. I DON’T WANT TO FORFEIT THE HISTORY ACQUIRED FROM THEIR HOSTS. OUR VOICES BELONG TO US. I DON’T WANT TO LOSE MY MEMORIES WHEN COLLECTING THEM STOPS BEING GOOD BUSINESS. MY WORK: DEFINING WHAT IS

37


3.3.4 Problem Statement

At the conclusion of the literature review and my analysis I saw three areas for focus: constant talk, gradient of presence, and reminiscing. I developed and refined the following questions to help identify strategies that I, and other designers, might use in the design of different experiences for young women: What are the possibilities to extend and enhance meaningful conversation in interfaces and experiences designed for networked young women? sub-question How can technological interfaces and functions that recognize one

individual is more important (in comparison to others) enhance face-toface conversation? •

wil ld arc up y to t

31 0 you :00 am

ner

?

his

13 3:0 2p m

»

Saw Rem this tol inde today dm dm .H a ea t d e of w ha. inn hat e r. F y H un. ou We aha! Y sho eah tha uld han t wa Wh jan 23 go s ut a fun. at i , 201 s th 2 2 gai n. e h :27 p om m ew tom ork f orr or ow ?

LUUM Grab elements from conversation to weave into Luum. Curate, remix and mash-up words, sound, video and voice into a tapestry for each friend, ready revisit or link back into a conversation. Each thread retains its history and continues to collect digital patina as long as its host survives. Elements within the Luum do require maintenance or they’ll degrade (but never disappear). Restore degraded content by meeting a friend face-toface or sharing a thread again. You’ll know when that friend is looking at threaded content, because that piece of the fabric comes alive. Gently turn Luum to ask it to remind you of a piece you may have forgotten.

38

EXTENDING AND ENHANCING MEANINGFUL CONVERSATION


How can the visual and interactive qualities of a device establish

sub-question

social presence in order to enhance feelings of closeness between people engaged in conversation? sub-question

How can a system incorporate nonverbal communication and feedback

as people negotiate and share their levels of engagement with face-to-face interaction? sub-question

How can the visual and interactive qualities of an experience reward

sustained engagement and attention between people?

luum luum Best concert EVER. (with Emma, George,

  The lovely Emma is turning 21 this week, and we should celebrate! In honor of this milestone and the bright future ahead of her (so bright… we gotta wear shades) the theme of the party is Sparkles • and Sunglasses.

and Brandon)

Hey what are you up to this weekend? Dinner? •   jan 17, 2012 

Party starts at 8:30 this Saturday 10/13 at 1208 Park Drive (Claire’s place). Dancing to follow around 10:30 or 11.

Light snacks and a fancy cocktail will be provided at Claire’s, but it’s BYOB besides that. Dress nice and don’t forget

  mar 12, 2012 • some sparkles or sunglasses to celebrate

Marysol’s bright future and sparkling luum thirtyness.

luum luum

If you have any questions, feel free to contact Claire, Erin or myself.   The lovely Emma is turning 21 this week, and we should celebrate! In honor of this milestone and the bright future ahead of her (so bright… we gotta wear shades) the theme of the party is Sparkles and Sunglasses.

luum luum JANUARY 17 2012 luum

Party starts 8:30 We are young. So let’sat10/13 set Saturday the world onthis fire. We can atbrighter 1208 Park Drive (Claire’s burn than theplace). sun Dancing to follow around 10:30 or 11.

Watching The Notebook and munching on vicodin always makes me think of you. You have small hands•

Light snacks and a fancy cocktail will be provided at Claire’s, but it’s BYOB besides that. Dress nice and don’t forget some sparkles or sunglasses to celebrate Marysol’s bright future and sparkling twenty-oneness. If you have any questions, feel free to contact Claire, Erin or myself.

MONOchrome PARTY 2012

Technical requirements Context-aware smartphone; social networking system memberships; Pulse Cognitive requirements Decisiveness Emotional requirements Sentimentality; patience; dabbles in melancholy; private; openheartedness; ritualistic tendencies

MY WORK: DEFINING WHAT IS

39


3.4

IMAGINING HOW: FINDING AND APPLYING STRATEGIES THROUGH THE DESIGN OF CONCEPT SNAPSHOTS

My research uncovered four strategies to address conditions of contemporary conversation: interruption, interpersonal synchrony, feedback and adding metadata. With this information I developed 40 concept studies

(APPENDIX D) .

Each study included a

snapshot of use and narrative description. I further refined and edited the narrative if a sketch moved into a scenario storyboard. 3.4.1 Interruption

Through my early research and review of the literature, I saw an opportunity to design interruptions for the machine-like operations people perform out of habit in connecting with their close ties. Interruptions have the potential to influence and affect people’s behavior by returning their attention to their actions. The literature provides many examples of things and behaviors to consider when

user

designing interruptions into interactive experiences to influence user behavior. In “Design With Intent: How Designers Can Influence Behavior” (2009), for instance, Frog role they play in User-Centered Design. He offers Mouna Andraos’ charging station cart as an example that interrupts mobile phone users’ usual behavior. The cart she wheels around her neighborhood invites mobile users to put away their remote conversation and plug into face-to-face interaction as they charge their phones. Andrao’s design disrupts the bubble behavior mobile phones introduce into public space by supplying an alternative activity that gathers people together (Fabricant 2009). My proposal for Auto Reminisce (APPENDIX D) works on a similar premise, muffling users’ phones from distractions by distant others while displaying content relevant to the conversation at hand. Androa’s charging station is a good example of a designer influencing—rather than imposing—a change in people’s behavior. Her design engages people’s communication appliances in a different activity. Debra Lilley presents further principles to consider in “Design for Sustainable Behavior” (2009). The Lecturer in Design for Sustainable Behaviour at Loughborough University asserts that people are less likely to change their behavior in the long-term if their technology forces them to behave differently. Instead, designers must carefully consider what kind of influence is most ethical and effective as support for long term behavior change. For example if a designer’s intention is to interrupt unconscious behaviors such as talking loudly on one’s mobile

power in decision-making

Design partner Robert Fabricant suggests designers should think beyond the neutral

ecofeedback

provides tangible aural, visual, or tactile signs as reminders to inform users of resource use

behavior steering

encourages users to behave in ways prescribed by the designer through the embedded affordances and constraints

persuasive employs persuasive technology methods to change what people think or do, sometimes without their knowledge or consent

product fig. 9 Lilley’s diagram shows a gradient of power in decision-making from putting the product in control at the bottom, to putting the user in control at the top.

phone in public, Lilley names three tiers at which one can stage the intervention: ecofeedback, behavior steering, and persuasive technology (fig. 9). She presents the strategies along a gradient of control. Strategies that put the user in control are at the top, and those with lesser or no degree of user control are at the bottom. Following a general discussion of current mobile phone behaviors and these general methods for intervention, the bulk of Lilley’s text describes a collaborative group project by Master of Industrial Design students at her university. The students chose

40

EXTENDING AND ENHANCING MEANINGFUL CONVERSATION

fig. 10 Sketches are early studies for experiences that use interruption as a strategy for creating conditions for meaningful conversation.


jewlery obscura


one method, persuasive design, then envisioned and discussed the merits of their conceptual proposal. The students’ personified the product and assigned emotions to the mobile phone’s response towards the user when engaged in anti-social behavior: annoyed, bored, and embarrassed (Lilley 2009). The students further sub-divided each of these emotional states into a three-tiered intervention strategy: passive, assertive, and aggressive. When a caller initially speaks too loudly on her phone in a public place, the phone reacts passively, quietly and briefly feeding her voice back to her through the earpiece. If the talker does not take the technology’s hint, however, the length and volume of the feedback increases, until she can no longer carry on her call. Later in the discussion the group said they would add a fourth tier (the least interventionist) called nudging, to initially give more benefit of<o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” the doubt to the talker rather than begin<o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” immediately with public punishments.<o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>” <o>”

OPTING

out should be A

CONSTR UC T I VE ~

/A C T

42


Ultimately, the group of students decided that their proposed product suffered from too much negative reinforcement directed at the user. This finding led me to dismiss some early studies because I did not want to shame or punish users. People are unlikely to subject themselves to the public humiliation resulting from an authoritative voice. Yet, the group’s conceptual exercise did prompt me to imagine scenarios such as the design of Jewelry Obscura and Muffler (APPENDIX D), speculative interventions that put the individual in charge of her conversational decision-making; a system that makes her choices and their ramifications clear. In addition, the student-designers agreed it would be hard for ever-changing social norms to be learned by the technology (Lilley 2009). In reading their findings, I concluded that if social norms are in a

I DON’T LIKE

MANAGING MY REPUTATION ONLINE. I SHOULD BE ABLE TO BE SOMEWHERE IN PERSON WITHOUT HAVING TO BE “THERE”—FOREVER—ONLINE. YET OPTING OUT OF EVER-PRESENT SOCIAL MEDIA IS HARD TO DO AND JUSTIFY. I SEE THE FILTERING THAT’S POSSIBLE ONCE I’M ONLINE, BUT I DON’T WANT TO RETROACTIVELY UNTAG MYSELF FROM EVERY PHOTO OR CHECK-IN. MY PRESENCE IS MY CHOICE, NOT SOMEONE ELSE’S. I’VE SEEN THOSE PEOPLE WHO WEAR PIXELATED MASKS TO AVOID CCTV CAMERAS. I ADMIRE THEIR SPIRIT, THOUGH I WOULD PREFER SOMETHING LESS ATTENTION GRABBING AND MORE WEARABLE.

MY WORK: IMAGINING HOW

constant state of flux, it is best for users to determine their level of attention to a conversation on a case-by-case basis. The system might then involve user input and control at the key decision-making moments in each conversation.

43


Snapchat

(APPENDIX B)

is an interesting example culled from my market review.

The software puts the interruption to normal operations in the control of the user. Snapchat users share images via text message, but set a time limit for how long the photo can be viewed by the intended recipient after it is shared. When the userdesignated amount of time runs out, the photo disappears. The app’s primary function is to protect privacy and challenge the general rule that everything digital is forever. The app safeguards the sender’s reputation in an unknowable future by interrupting the usual task flow of texting an image: user takes picture; user texts picture; receiver views picture; receiver decides whether or not to respond; receiver decides whether or not to keep the image.

JEWELRY OBSCURA Jewelry Obscura is for a punk who wants to interrupt the functions of the machine, but not kill the party. You know the difference between being a sm<3 phone user and being used, so you assert your presence when it feels right to you. Jewelry Obscura does not prevent a friend from taking your picture, but it does prevent that friend from broadcasting your face to people who weren’t there, or who you don’t know. Your friend retains the original photo—duck lips and all—though the jewelry constructs an alternate version for public sharing with the charm or message you choose. 44


Designing to raise a person’s awareness of her unconscious behavior, or counteract the way things are usually done, need not merely feel helpful or reactionary. Interruptions can also be delightful. People sometimes want to be surprised or distracted from their usual activity just for fun (Gaver, Martin, and College 2000, 211). The way-finding application Serendipitor (APPENDIX B) is one of those user-invited disruptions. Inspired by the Situationist and Fluxus movements, Serendipitor marries poetry to technology. The navigation application introduces chance and performance into a person’s usual route according to her tolerance and amount of available time for disruption in her usual activity. Seredipitor provides accurate directions to a user’s destination, but also includes prompts that interrupt her travels such as: “Walk on the sunny side of the street” or “Take a photograph.” What I learned from reviewing the literature and the market is that designers must keep a user-centered focus when designing interruptions for the machine-like operations they perform out of habit. Interruptions have the potential to influence and affect people’s behavior by returning their attention to their actions, but work best if those interruptions allow the user to be in control of her decision-making.

Technical requirements

Cognitive requirements

rfid tag with unique signal

Intent to assert degrees of

(attached to jewelry); rfid

presence; context-awareness;

tag-reading camera or

personal style

smartphone; subject’s head dimensions; context-awareness

Emotional requirements Counter-culture attitude; confidence; hacker mentality; desire to do no harm

MY WORK: IMAGINING HOW

45


3.4.2 Meaning Through Action: Enacting Closeness with Interpersonal Synchrony

When designing for meaningful conversation it was helpful for me to consider how meaning arises among people through action. The study “It’s All in the Timing: Interpersonal Synchrony Increases Affiliation” conducted by human cognition and brain scientists finds that interpersonal synchrony counteracts feelings of isolation, and promotes greater feelings of togetherness and connection (Hove, Risen, and Sciences 2009, 958). Specifically, the researchers determine that when action occurs at the same time through behavioral synchrony the participants’ feelings of affiliation to each other increase (Hove, Risen, and Sciences 2009, 949). In addition, interactional synchrony produces similar feelings of affiliation and closeness between two people as behavioral synchrony, even when they are physically separated (Hove, Risen, and Sciences 2009, 949). Research participants who tapped closer in time and more consistently with the experimenter liked her more (Hove, Risen, and Sciences 2009, 954). Therefore, a very particular meaning arises between people through their synchronized action, “...evidence of a close relationship, which in turn, could promote closeness,” (Hove, Risen, and Sciences 2009, 951). Or Hove et al. speculate, “...it is possible that people infer closeness when they notice synchrony,” (2009, 958). No matter the specifics of their findings, the results opened up an array of new possibilities to engage people in ways that feel meaningful and focus their attention on who is present, here, at any given moment (fig. 12). The market review uncovered two mobile applications that incorporate interactional synchrony into the experience, Pair and Feel Me. Both apps acted as benchmarks for the concepts I developed. Pair, (fig. 11) a smartphone app for couples, includes “thumb-kiss” and sketch together activities. The “thumb-kiss” feature requires the dual and synchronous presence of each user to work. Couples touch and align their thumbprints on the smart-phone screen and receive a vibration in response, while sketching together is just as it sounds. A person uses her finger to draw on her touch screen, but sees both the result of her touch as well as her partner’s. Marco Triverio’s Feel Me (fig. 13) communicates the synchronous presence of sender and receiver of text in a typically asynchronous space, by representing the touch of a finger to screen as small dot. Through visual feedback, the sender knows when her words are being read and engaged with. If she further engages with the dot by touching it—and behaving in synchrony with the person on the other end of the exchange—the phone delivers a small reaction, such as a vibration or a sound. Pair and Feel Me scratch the surface—literally—of the possibilities for interactional synchrony. Situating interactional synchrony on the face of the phone is a step forward. I intended to take the possibilities further by exploring how objects might become interfaces, specifically for young women. In Utopian Entrepreneur Brenda Laurel discusses research findings that girls “…tend to prefer more body-centric navigational methods than boys” in gaming environments (2001, 40). To capitalize on that preference, I developed some studies (i.e. Dispossessing) to incorporate embodied means of 46

EXTENDING AND ENHANCING MEANINGFUL CONVERSATION

behavioral synchrony mimicry interactional synchrony movement matched in time (Hove, Risen, and Sciences 2009, 951). embodied interaction happens in the world, and that world (a physical world and a social world) lends form, substance and meaning to the interaction (Dourish 2001).

fig. 11 Screenshots of Pair’s thumb-kiss and Sketch with Me activities.


fig. 12 Sketches of early studies that use interpersonal synchrony.

fig. 13 Video still of Feel Me in use.

interacting with digital information. Computer scientist Paul Dourish discusses the


potential of incorporating gesture and Tangible User Interfaces (TUI) in Where the Action is: the Foundations of Embodied Interaction (2001), concentrating on how objects take on meaning through their use. Dourish describes how people “encounter, interpret and sustain meaning through [their] embodied interactions with the world and with each other” (Dourish 2001, 127). He explains that elements of an interactive system take on meaning for users through the course of an activity. A direct, physical experience with information a user usually encounters via virtual representation helps them to better understand the meaning of information, and its relationship with the user. For instance, Dourish describes the interface Illuminating Light, which is comprised of objects sharing the physical properties and associated uses of real-world mirrors and lenses. In this interface, objects linked to software behave as if they are real, and for the users, the objects are the real-world mirrors and lenses they represent. In his example, I saw an opportunity to create more deliberate and unique communication experiences by tethering conversation to a wider Internet of Things via an object through which a user might enact and better understand her feelings. 3.4.3 From “Here” to “Not Here”: More Opportunities for Feedback

Although a person may be physically “here” during a conversation, one can no longer presume to have her full social attention and engagement. A new gradient in states of presence, from absent to connected to present absence to fully present, leaves a young woman with few indications of what to expect from in-person interactions and whether her companion is truly “here.” Clear and immediate feedback about presence and engagement with conversation favors good emotional design (Duval and Hashizume 2007, 76) and is growing in importance because the boundaries between the digital and real worlds are increasingly blurred. According to Pew Research social norms from the online world impact offline norms (Anderson and Rainie 2010, 18). It would not be unusual, for instance, for someone to take a break from a conversation she is having in person about her new haircut, in order to respond to Likes and comments on a photo of her posted to Instagram. A young woman in that scenario is not fully present in either world. The full presence of individuals is important. One study by computer scientists at the University of Ulm correlated high levels of social presence felt within an online community to a greater sense of belonging and motivation to participate among young women in that community (Schimke, Stoeger, and Ziegler 2007). As discussed earlier, interactional synchrony is one particularly effective and specific kind of direct feedback for knowing whether a person has someone else’s attention, but there are other feedback strategies designers can use to communicate engagement in meaningful conversation. The market and literature reviews showed a gap in the area of general feedback regarding presence. Few applications or communication appliances provide a means

48

EXTENDING AND ENHANCING MEANINGFUL CONVERSATION

tangible user interface A kind of interface that combines physical objects and digital interfaces (Dourish 2001). internet of things refers to uniquely identifiable objects and their virtual representations in an Internet-like structure (wikipedia.org). connected presence having the ability to update distant others on aspects of life without having to see them in person (Rainie and Wellman 2012, 102). present absence sitting in among friends via real-time mobile chat or video (Rainie and Wellman 2012, 103).


to demonstrate one’s presence in face-to-face meaningful conversation, while the work on remote conversation is extensive. PeopleGarden (1999) (fig. 14) by Rebecca Xiong and Judith Donath of MIT MediaLab, and ConnectDots by computer scientists Deidra Morrison and Bruce Gooch are just two of many web and mobile applications designed to give feedback to users about their degree of engagement with remote conversation. The applications operate on a principle for designing ubiquitous systems articulated by Adam Greenfield author of Everyware, “…you cannot seek to steer some process [such as a person’s communication behaviors], that is, until [they] become conscious of [them],” (Greenfield 2006, 260). I employed this principle in my own studies: Text Cuff and Constellation (APPENDIX D). Also, rather than visualizing to what degree a person is engaged in a particular communication context, most mobile applications utilize locative technology to report where and when someone is available to connect. Highlight (fig. 15), for example, is a location-aware friend finder. It alerts a user to the presence of a friend who is near, what that individual likes, and who else they know. A user of Highlight has only the binary options of being visible or invisible to all other Highlight users. It does not acknowledge a case where a young woman wants to be “here” for some friends but not others. In reviewing the literature for the means used by current communication tools to bring awareness to and describe people’s gradient of presence during conversation, I identified a design opportunity. Seeing few offerings in which people non-verbally indicate levels of presence at the outset and during a particular conversation, I developed the studies Muffler and Polite Phone (fig. 16). The concepts illustrate a means for a person to declare their full presence in real-time and without discussion.

fig. 14 Image of PeopleGarden. Individual user activity depicted in flower form is: time since posting, response to posting, and initial post versus reply (whether the post starts a new conversation). fig. 15 Screenshot from Highlight that shows two users in proximity to each other.

JUSTIFICATION: COMMUNICATION APPLIANCES SHAPE PEOPLE

49


constellation

polite phone muffler


fig. 16 Sketches of early concepts for experiences that use feedback of all kinds as a strategy for creating conditions for meaningful conversation.

3.4.4 Making the Digital Cherishable with Metadata

My thesis posits that adding “feeling data” should become just another aspect of media organization that people contribute to their communication appliances, but that is enabled through more creative and personal practices than sorting and labeling (Golsteijn et al. 2012, 663). I have already established that designers can design for the decision-making activities immediately preceding meaningful conversation to influence behaviors that have become habits, and they also should design means for demonstrating presence and growing feelings of closeness between people during meaningful conversation. Furthermore, designers would be remiss to ignore the reminiscing activities that follow meaningful conversation. If thoughtfully considered, reminiscing can be an activity that reinforces social relationships and feelings of closeness that help distinguish weak ties from close ties (Peesapati and Schwanda 2010). Designers must create experiences in which people can pay attention to, and even cherish, their most meaningful conversations with the people they feel closest to. The digital objects people make or simply augment are more cherishable than readymade things. (Golsteijn et al. 2012, 656). Mobile applications such as SoundCloud, Quilt, and Narr8r (APPENDIX

B)

have entered the marketplace in response to the increasing

creator (46 percent of adult internet users) posts original photo, video or other content online that they themselves have created (Pew, 2012).

number of creators and curators who want to share what they make, but the sharing

curator (41 percent of adult internet users) takes photos, videos or other content that they have found online and repost them on sites designed for sharing images with many people (Pew, 2012).

increasing din of constant talk. Makers can create and store unlimited numbers of

tends to be motivated by a desire to broadcast to an audience. This broadcast behavior is due, in part, to the appliances’ few limitations on use and contribute to the everimages or pages of content, then share their efforts quickly, easily and without pause with their growing audience of followers and friends. The message is “More is more is more,” making it harder for those followers and friends to discern what information is the most important and the most meaningful. Many social scientists are working to understand what makes people feel attached to one digital object, like a fragment of text conversation, over another. Perceived uniqueness—like a photo made with One Memento (an appliance for making and sharing only one digital photo, ever)—is a factor in making a digital object worth cherishing. However, while a physical memento may gain its sense of rarity from being the only one of its kind, there are few limits to how many times a digital artifact can be copied and with whom it can be shared. In one study, participants had more difficulty identifying cherished digital objects compared to cherished physical ones, partly because developments in technology have made it possible, and unavoidable, to accumulate large collections of them (Golsteijn et al. 2012, 655). In “Teenagers and Their Virtual Possessions: Design Opportunities and Issues” (Odom, Zimmerman, and Forlizzi 2011), the HCI design researchers believe designing for accumulation and archiving every aspect of a person’s digital life offers little merit. Instead they find “…more meaningful experiences will likely arise from collating and contextualizing smaller groups of content…” (Odom, Zimmerman, and Forlizzi 2011, 1498). As for individual items within those smaller groups, some of the literature MY WORK: IMAGINING HOW

51


suggests placing limits on how many copies can be made or shared and designing means to personalize them or designate them for a specific person (Golsteijn et al. 2012, 662). Early studies (fig. 17)—like Limited Edition in which users add a view limit to a photo and Long Play that captures and attaches ambient sound recorded immediately following a first listen of a song—reflect these recommendations. But what distinguishes a cherished virtual possession from an everyday digital object, Odom et al. argue, is not only that it is more difficult to copy or access compared to another. Rather, social metadata—i.e. comments made about an Instagram—can be a crucial part of virtual possessions (Odom, Zimmerman, and Forlizzi 2011, 1493). A design should preserve the conversation around a cherished object and across multiple communication channels. The cherished digital object gains further value from markers acquired from its history of use such as upload dates or geo-locations (Odom, Zimmerman, and Forlizzi 2011). Ultimately, Odom et al. find that metadata increases a person’s attachment to a digital object, no matter whether that metadata is produced by a machine or through social sharing by people (2011, 1496). Knowing metadata is a “defining aspect” of a virtual possession (Odom, Zimmerman, and Forlizzi 2011, 1495) created an opportunity: “…how to make sure that people perceive or can develop a sense of rarity in order to [make the decision to] preserve things” (Jung et al. 2011, 68). In Daniela Petrelli and Steve Whittaker’s study, “Family Memories in the Home: Contrasting Physical and Digital Mementos” (2010), the HCI design researchers see the potential for digital mementos—and digital conversations in particular—to be separated from the original tool through which they were created. Instead of being captives of software such as Facebook that enabled the digital object to become a memento, people must be given the means to organize their virtual possessions by the people, events or time period they signify, more easily, and unbound from proprietary software or desktop computers (Petrelli and Whittaker 2010). Cabinet of Conversation is an example of a proposal that does this work (fig. 17). What the literature does not yet seem to recognize is that the versions of self that people craft for each other are, in themselves, digital possessions they share and come to cherish. It is not just the fragments of talk around a particular subject or photos that people treasure, but the relationships they signify. As my survey What Do You <3? showed me, a stream of comments on a graduation photo of two friends is evidence of their attention and engagement with each other, and a tangible demonstration of behaving and feeling close. Communication appliances are good at quantifying the ways individuals behave close. The number, frequency, variety and duration of a person’s engagement with another can be counted and compared against similar data collected for other acquaintances. Through computation, devices can rank to whom a person is closest by their behavior. But those same tools cannot account for the less tangible closeness a young woman feels for one person or another. Appliances might mistake a despised co-worker with whom they share an office and daily work tasks for a special

52

EXTENDING AND ENHANCING MEANINGFUL CONVERSATION

fig. 17 Sketches of early studies for experiences where adding metadata to digital objects is a strategy for encouraging meaningful conversation


cabinet of conversation

longplay

limited edition


someone, or a beloved sibling who lives overseas for a stranger. I created Cherishing a Close Tie (fig. 19) based on this observation. Cherishing virtual possessions, however, not only presents a problem to solve at the saving end. “Erasure and forgetting will become as important…as preservation and remembering,” Anne Burdick predicts (2012, 115). Yet, as the literature indicates, how a person might not just forget, but actively dispossess a digital thing is unclear (Odom, Zimmerman, and Forlizzi 2011, 1499). Digital records, though vast and sometimes diffi-

dispossess permanently ridding oneself of a certain virtual possession by deleting it (Odom, Zimmerman, and Forlizzi 2011, 1495).

cult to penetrate, are persistent. Erasing a digital memento or collection of mementos shared among people and across multiple communication channels is complex and requires hours of dedication. People need a way to safely forget while still honoring the work and time they invested in caring for an object (Jung et al. 2011, 66). Because virtual possessions come to mean more through our engagement with them, the activity of deleting should take on a similar importance as it does in Dispossessing.

fig. 18 The illustrations of each persona (from left to right): Emma Woodhouse, Liz Bennett, Lucy Steele and Caroline Bingley. The young women appear throughout the storyboards and design proposal illustrations.

54

EXTENDING AND ENHANCING MEANINGFUL CONVERSATION


3.5

SPECULATIVE DESIGN PROPOSALS ARE FOR IMAGINING WHAT COULD—OR WHAT SHOULD BE

With the belief that speculative design proposals were the means for me to explore the thesis territory, I created each study and narrative with the sub-questions, general scenarios, and goals and values I developed through the course of the project in mind. Yet, I suspected not all of the concepts could or should be refined. To determine which concepts would move forward I needed more specific criteria through which to evaluate potential speculations such as those in “Exploring Information Appliances through Conceptual Design Proposals” (Gaver, Martin, and College 2000). To better ground fictions in the behavior of real young women I created four distinct personas. The personas starred in scenarios and were explored through storyboarding to build a context of use around each study. I brought some concepts forward as high fidelity mock-ups or prototypes that real people could interact with and experience to test the affect of different degrees of concreteness on a concept’s credibility. Finally, referring back to the literature for evaluation techniques, I created a values matrix (SECTION 3.5.4) on which I located each concept, to determine whether it fit the goals of the thesis: to explore a whether it was possible to design different behaviors and experiences for young women to interact with close ties that create conditions for meaningful conversation. 3.5.1 Personas

Writing personas below based on information pulled directly from my research, such as the survey, ensured that the value fictions I designed were based on real people in real situations as the literature advised. Persona Liz Bennett (fig. 18) was based on the Twitter user I interviewed, as well as my teenage self. I developed Lucy Steele after reading the responses to the What Do You <3? survey. She is a reflection of the many responses from NC State young women (as opposed to those who responded to my remote inquiry) who expressed simple, sentimental attachment to Facebook content. One respondent added, “This [activity] made me giddy,” at the end of her survey. Another described why the first thing she chose was special this way: Memories. I love to look back at how things were in the past and reflect on it. When I look back on relationships in general, it makes me realize to appreciate everything in life, even people and friendship.

Imagining Lucy, and how she would (and would want to) behave towards her friends and the digital artifacts and conversations they share, led me to create one proposal in particular. Lock-it is for Lucy and her quiet and twee tendencies. EMMA WOODHOUSE

Emma is a 21-year old college student. Being socially active

is important to her. She is the ringleader of her group and usually the one to initiate plans. She belongs to several different social circles and is the bridge between those different groups. Emma is in a relationship with Will Darcy; they’ve been dating for over a year. Their relationship is important to her, but

MY WORK: PROPOSING WHAT SHOULD BE

55


not at the cost of her friendships with her girlfriends: Caroline, Lucy and her best friend Liz. She’s heard about women who start to ignore their friends once they have a boyfriend, and she doesn’t want to be one of those. LIZ BENNETT

Liz seems to know what is cool before any of her other friends. She

is always trying out some new app, listening to some new band no one else has heard of, and seeking opinions about something she has read online. Liz likes to question the status quo and seeks out new experiences, which means she sometimes acts impulsively and emotionally. She does not like gossip, tires of people wanting to know “her business,” and values her individualism. LUCY STEELE

Lucy is sweet, quiet and close to her family. With Liz, Emma and

Caroline, Lucy is often the voice of reason that weighs what sounds fun now, with an activity’s future implications. This level-headedness and understanding of cause and effect makes others seek advice from Lucy. Secretly, Lucy is more sentimental than her friends. She attaches great meaning to heirlooms and objects, wanting to preserve moments that she will be able to look back on with fondness. CAROLINE BINGLEY

Caroline is 19, younger than her other friends. They describe

her as a girly girl and love her optimistic attitude. She feels lucky to be hanging out with Liz and Emma and looks up to them, following their lead on nearly every aspect of being a college-aged woman. 3.5.2 Storyboards for Context of Use

Placing certain personas in scenarios of use helped me understand what would motivate a young woman to use a product and how she and others would behave during its use. At this stage, I tabled some studies because they had no story. Setting aside some concepts meant they went through no additional rounds of refinement. Others, like Voice Clip became interactions or functions in other proposals. Voice Clip’s interaction was based on the literature review findings that behavioral synchrony (mimicking another’s behavior) results in increased empathy and feelings of closeness. The concept adopted mimicry to make prints of audio and capture snippets of voice. The concept was sound, however Voice Clip lacked a reason for young women to use it. Cherishing a close tie and Lock-it gave Voice Clip its purpose. Once I built that context of use around the studies that did have potentially rich and engaging stories, I also iterated around the central behavior in each scenario. For instance, in the storyboard for the behavior Cherishing a Close Tie (fig. 19) the initial scenario required its user to collect her friend Liz’s heartbeat in person (fig. 19.2). No heartbeat, meant no cherishable status for Liz because Emma would not receive the haptic reward (fig. 19.5) designed to make her feel more connected to her friend, and

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EXTENDING AND ENHANCING MEANINGFUL CONVERSATION

fig. 19 Cherishing a Close Tie can be experienced two ways: devoting time with touch for close ties with whom a user meets fact-to-face, and devoting time with voice for close ties whose heartbeat a young woman cannot (or would not) collect.


Emma

feedback

interpersonal synchrony

6

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Watching The Notebook and munching on vicodin always makes me think of you. Your hands are small...

Watching The Notebook and munching on vicodin always makes me think of you. Your hands are small...


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2

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3

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1

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fig. 20 The Muffler (Fog) storyboard demonstrates how an interruption from another close tie might affect the muffled state of the phone. Fig. 21 The Muffler (Knit) proposes a touch-based interaction pattern, different from, and more private, than the breath-based interaction used in Muffler (Fog).

MY WORK: PROPOSING WHAT SHOULD BE

59


interpersonal synchrony

2

feedback

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1

Fig. 22 Like Cherishing a close tie, and The Muffler examples, the Text Cuff storyboard includes a variation that is less public called Text Ring. The storyboard also showed me Text Cuff could easily be made and tested for feasibility and credibility.

interpersonal synchrony

3

Fig. 23 The Cabinet of Conversation storyboard was rich with new interactions and behaviors, but lacked a compelling visual story. The people were represented by screen names, rather narrative, which illustrates the challenge in telling a good story about remote conversation behaviors.

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MONOchrome PARTY 2012

6 via Facebook

Willie D CABINETS LABORATORY ATTIC (3) SEARCH Best concert EVER. (with Emma, George, and Brandon)

GEORGE WICKHAM self portrait? MAY 26, 2012 AT 2:17AM WILL DARCY Emma and me on my

birthday in Charleston. MAY 26, 2012 AT 10:13AM LUCY STEELE i love this.

MONOchrome PARTY 2012


be more likely to devote additional time to Liz’s Pulse profile. Upon seeing this barrier to use, I developed an alternate interaction pulled from Voice Clip. Now, if Emma could not, or would not, collect a close tie’s heartbeat, she could still practice her devotion and add feeling data to Caroline’s Pulse profile (fig. 19.6). In addition to illustrating the context of use and user motivations and behaviors, individual frames of the storyboards call out the particular strategies “products” employ for creating meaningful conversation. As already mentioned, while each concept relied on a primary strategy for use, it often included others as well. Labeling each called attention to richer proposals that were less likely to be one-liners. Later, for the oral presentation, I also added where each proposal fell on the values matrix (discussed next), in order to identify proposals that were more topical to my thesis. Engaging in categorization and analysis at the storyboard stage and being specific about how and why a “product” was used was crucial to Jewelry Obscura’s (fig. 24) development from storyboard to final proposal. I initially conceived the Jewelry as protecting the wearer from constant management of her online reputation by disrupting the capture, and likely sharing, of her image by smart phone cameras. But when I fleshed out a scenario in which Liz’s friends were likely to be taking many pictures— a birthday party—I saw a barrier to use. I suspected Liz would feel tension between wanting to protect her privacy and saving time from untagging herself in resulting photos, and having fun with her friends. I saw an opportunity for Jewelry Obsura to be less domineering and to give Liz more control over how it worked. I presumed that if a confident young woman such as Liz did not want to appear in any photographs, she would refuse to pose. For Liz the problem is not that her friend would have a picture of her, the problem is not knowing who else might see it if it is shared via social media. Instead of blocking the capture of Liz’s image by the camera, then, I imagined the Jewelry would embed code to “corrupt” the image when it was shared with people Liz did not know. Her friend, to whom she gave tacit permission to take her picture, retains her copy unadulterated. In addition, the storyboards helped me imagine increasing degrees for Liz to control and customize the interruption, so if someone shared the image her privacy protection embellished, but did not destroy, the picture (fig. 24.4 and fig. 24.5). Lastly, creating the storyboards raised questions about how best to present final scenarios. The illustrations have a default, wireframe quality to them that contrasts with the irrational and emotion-laden behaviors they describe, but the captions had an explanatory tone that worked against the alternate reality I was persuading others to imagine. Dispossessing was bogged down by descriptions of what Liz does (touch an object to a phone, then store it in a box on a shelf), rather than why she would, and should be able to, do it (deleting something personal and meaningful, when heartbroken, merits a different kind of interaction than deleting a Word document at school). The concepts did not explicitly advocate for a different set of values or criteria when designing for interactions between close ties; they were not working as value fictions on 62

EXTENDING AND ENHANCING MEANINGFUL CONVERSATION


4

interruption

feedback

2

â&#x20AC;˘ fig. 24 The three variations in Jewelry Obscura photo interruptions, while rough in visual articulation, developed as increasing degrees of user control and customization, from destructive glitch, to decorative charm, to customizable message.

5

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1

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guy? Anyone know?

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Loved our chat today. It’s so nice to talk with someone who gets me like you do. I miss you Sis!

Loved our chat today. It’s so nice to talk with someone who gets me like you do. I miss you Sis!

feedback

2

interruption

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FEB 17, 2013 AT 2:17PM

Loved our chat today. It’s so nice to talk with someone who gets me like you do. I miss you Sis!


fig. 25 Auto Reminisce relies on the Cheers behavior (Appendix D) to tether phones. Tethering muffles the phones while users view and interact with content as it arises in conversation. fig. 26 Digital Watermark embeds what content, and what parts of content, a user views into the content itself. The embedded visualization can be viewed on its own or as a layer of information on top of the original content. fig. 27 Lock-it relies on Voice Clip for creating its content and Near-Heart for proximity feedback, to make the jewelry function as a container for a precious voice recording.

their own. I narrowed the scope further and chose only the best as examples to illustrate larger principles for change to show it is possible to design different behaviors and experiences for meaningful conversation. 3.5.3 Testing Degrees of Concreteness and Making Objects

The literature on speculative design and value fictions expresses the importance of striking the right balance between communicating an array of concepts concretely enough that they are understandable and credible as a group, but not so specifically in their form and content that readers mistake individual objects for the only, and proper, solution to a particular problem. In “Exploring Information Appliances through Conceptual Design Proposals” (2000) Gaver et al. write about their struggles with balancing concreteness with openness and express doubt about their success. Following their lead, I conducted my own tests on the affects of varying degrees of fidelity and concreteness on the credibility of my proposals as value fictions. The tests varied according to the proposal itself: whether it involved an object I could make as with Polite Phone, Text Cuff, and Dispossessing; or a piece of software I could only “fake” with high fidelity mock-ups like Muffler, Constellation, and Luum. In nearly all cases, increasing the fidelity of the work compromised its credibility as a speculative proposal or piece of commentary. Instead, I began to judge each on its own merits as an object created to solve a problem. These fidelity tests increased my resolve to find means other than creating many shoddy, laughable prototypes to make clear I was presenting commentary rather than solutions.

fig. 28 Stills from a video of a working Polite Phone prototype. The video demonstrates that a light structure attached to the back of a phone could employ gravity to flip the phone on its face, and create an audible slap.

MY WORK: PROPOSING WHAT SHOULD BE

65


fig. 29 Stills from a video where I tested a variation of Dispossessing as an interface that deletes data as the user destroys it.

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fig. 30 Stills from a video of Text Cuff in use. The Cuff did look like jewelry. As intended, the classmates who used the Cuff had difficulty removing their hands unless they worked together. They also reported wearing the jewelry caused them to maintain hand contact throughout the interaction.

MY WORK: PROPOSING WHAT SHOULD BE

67


fig. 31 A stop motion animation of Muffler in use included the ambient noise of a busy coffee shop and the sound of a user blowing across the microphone of her phone.

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EXTENDING AND ENHANCING MEANINGFUL CONVERSATION


fig. 32 I designed Constellation screens that corresponded to two conversation tasks—continuing a text-based conversation where it left off, and reviving a forgotten conversation by shaking the galaxy—at pixelperfect size to view in the iPhone.

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69


luum luum

luum luum

Best concert EVER. Best concert EVER. (with Emma, George, (with Emma, George, and Brandon) and Brandon) • jan 17, 2012 Hey what jan 17, 2012 Hey what are you up to are you up to this weekend? this weekend? Dinner? • Dinner? • luum luum

The lovely Emma is turning 21 this week, and we should celebrate! In honor of this milestone and the bright future ahead of her (so bright… we gotta wear shades) the theme of the party is • Sparkles and Sunglasses.

The lovely Emma is turning 21 this week, and we should celebrate! In honor of this milestone and the bright future ahead of her (so bright… we gotta wear shades) the theme of the party is Sparkles and Sunglasses.

Party starts at 8:30 this Saturday 10/13 at 1208 Park Drive (Claire’s place). Dancing to follow around 10:30 or 11.

Party starts at 8:30 this Saturday 10/13 at 1208 Park Drive (Claire’s place). Dancing to follow around 10:30 or 11.

Light snacks and a fancy cocktail will be provided at Claire’s, but it’s BYOB besides that. Dress nice and don’t forget mar 12, 2012 • some sparkles or sunglasses to celebrate Marysol’s bright future and sparkling luum thirtyness.

mar 12, 2012 some sparkles or• sunglasses to celebrate

If you have any questions, feel free to contact Claire, Erin or myself. The lovely Emma is turning 21 this week, and we should celebrate! In honor of this milestone and the bright future ahead of her (so bright… we gotta wear shades) the theme of the party is Sparkles and Sunglasses.

Light snacks and a fancy cocktail will be provided at Claire’s, but it’s BYOB besides that. Dress nice and don’t forget

Marysol’s bright future and sparkling luum thirtyness.

luum luum

luum luum JANUARY 17 2012 luum

Watching The Notebook and munching on vicodin always makes me think of you. You have small hands•

Light snacks and a fancy cocktail will be provided at Claire’s, but it’s BYOB besides that. Dress nice and don’t forget some sparkles or sunglasses to celebrate Marysol’s bright future and sparkling twenty-oneness. If you have any questions, feel free to contact Claire, Erin or myself.

The lovely Emma is turning 21 this week, and we should celebrate! In honor of this milestone and the bright future ahead of her (so bright… we gotta wear shades) the theme of the party is Sparkles and Sunglasses.

luum luum JANUARY 17 2012

Party starts 8:30 We are young. So let’sat10/13 set Saturday the world onthis fire. We can atbrighter 1208 Park Drive (Claire’s burn than theplace). sun Dancing to follow around 10:30 or 11.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact Claire, Erin or myself.

Party starts 8:30 We are young. So let’sat10/13 set Saturday the world onthis fire. We can atbrighter 1208 Park Drive (Claire’s burn than theplace). sun Dancing to follow around 10:30 or 11.

luum

Watching The Notebook via Instagram and munching on vicodin LIZ BENNETTmakes roygbiv always me think of may 27, 2012 have small hands• you. You

Light snacks and a fancy cocktail will be provided at Claire’s, but it’s BYOB besides that. Dress nice and don’t forget some sparkles or sunglasses to celebrate Marysol’s bright future and sparkling twenty-oneness.

CAROLINE BINGLEY

If you have any questions, feel free to contact Claire, Erin or myself.

Great photo. Great

caption!

may 27, 2012 at 9:22pm WILL DARCY Beautiuk may 27, 2012 at 9:25pm

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EXTENDING AND ENHANCING MEANINGFUL CONVERSATION

fig. 33 Luum designed at pixelperfect size. Luum is a variation in form and metaphor on the concept for curating talk, Cabinet of Conversation.


3.5.4 Applying a Values Matrix

Finally, referring back to the literature for evaluation techniques I located each concept on a values matrix to determine whether any proposals fit the values and goals of the project (fig. 34). During the literature review I learned how to tier behavioral interruptions from Deborah Lilley’s article “Design for Sustainable Behaviour: Strategies and Perceptions” (2009) and found I agree with the sentiments of interaction design experts and authors of Socio-Technical System Design (2013) Brian Whitworth and Adnan Ahmad that, “If people direct technology it may go wrong, but if technology directs people it will go wrong.” Their findings formed my opinion: the best way to engage young women users in new experiences is to put them in charge of their communication appliances at the point of decision-making, rather than propose examples where their experiences were primarily controlled by their devices. The matrix’s vertical axis expresses a spectrum of possibilities, much like Lilley’s diagram, from the user being in total control at the top, to the technology being in control at the bottom. Any proposals that landed in quadrants where the technology was more in charge at the point of decision-making (such as Polite Phone and Text Cuff) I dismissed as not desirable. In addition, my goal was to design experiences that were more commentary than useful tool. Yet, as the project progressed my designerly tendency to provide solutions to problems and create delightful things people need seeped into many of the concepts. To find which proposals fit the commentary criteria, I placed them along a horizontal gradient of from commentary to tool. Any proposals that did not land firmly in the upper left-hand quandrant of the matrix, as being user controlled and commentary, did not make it to the final round.  dispossessing 

 cheers gesture 

 user

 lockit  

 fettifête 

 jewelry obscura 

 limited edition 

text filter 

 capsule 

 airmail   content for here

 luum   constellation   loose ends 

 pulse 

 memory box 

 voice clip   long play 

 video addition 

 muffler 

 commentary

 devotion decline 

tool   

 digital watermark

text cloud 

 expression catchers   text ring 

near heart  

auto reminisce   crossing paths   text volley 

 text cuff   content erosion 

steering towards close tie

 polite phone 

 face-to-face enforcer 

 attention earrings 

 neglected close tie 

 slow down 

 awkward pause 

interpersonal synchrony

adding metadata

MY WORK: PROPOSING WHAT SHOULD BE

 mini-meme 

shake-up  tech

fig. 34 All 40 studies plotted on the values matrix. They retain the marker color of primary behavior strategy. Only proposals in the pink upper left quadrant meet the goals of the thesis.

context-aware prompt 

feedback

interruption

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CONCLUSION

It is possible to design different experiences for young women to interact with their close ties that create conditions where meaningful conversation is more likely to occur. My proposals appear throughout this document, presented as pages from a pamphlet with Sm<3 Phone Mandates that any designer could choose to follow. I focused on the activities of constant talk, the gradient of “here” and methods for cherishing conversation for the purpose of reminiscing with close ties because I believe the existing tools people use for these purposes do not match all of their communication goals. And while technology-augmented conversation may never compare to the “real thing” I propose possibilities for young women that are more intimate and meaningful than what currently exists.

CONCLUSION

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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I have benefited from the guidance and support of many wonderful people as I made my decision to return to school and throughout my pursuit of this Master Degree: MY FELLOW GRADUATES

Josh, Hayley, Claire, Hao and Marysol: why stop now?

On we march till we meet the dawn. We will light our way with our lanterns on. MY ADVISORS AND MENTORS

Denise Gonzales Crisp, Meredith Davis, Scott Townsend,

and Kali Nikitas. THE FACES OF THE PROJECT MY FRIENDS

MY FEARLESS STUDENTS MY FAMILY DEVIN

Kezra, Ryan, Sean, Tina, Marysol, Gianna, Meridel, and Will

Nicole, Rachael, Yasmin, Cynthia, Deana and Coach Vaglio. You were my model for being a student.

Mom, Dad, and Ryanâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;Masters in your fields.

You have sustained me for two years with patience, steadfast support and

delicious home-cooked meals. THANK YOU ALL.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

85


APPENDIX A

SOCIAL NETWORKING PLATFORMS: SOCIAL PRESENCE, CONNECTION AND MEANING-MAKING AUDIT

FACEBOOK www.facebook.com PRESENCE

Synchronous When Chat is activated, a user can

see a green dot next to any of her friends who are currently logged in and logged onto Chat. Less explicit, the Activity Sidebar cascades a steady stream of posts, comments and app activity (such as listening to songs on Spotify) with the most recent activity displayed towards the top. In addition, the Status Update feed refreshes in real time, if a friend posts then the user knows she is present. Similarly, the zone in the far upper left of the site notifies a user in real time when she has a new friend request, new message and/ or new activity linked with her own. Asynchronous Event RSVPs, private messaging, date stamp on comments and posts, Activity Log, Liking TRANSACTION Likes, Friending, Tagging, advice, support, infor-

mation, Unfriending CREATION Photos, Albums, videos, Status Updates, comments,

private messages, Chats, profile description CURATION External links, photos, Albums, memes, quotations,

Sharing another post, LOCATIVE

Synchronous Checking In to Places, geotagging media,

captioning media, geotagging Status Update Asynchronous Marking Places lived and/or visited, geotagging Albums, captioning media CONNECTION

Inclusion Friending, Tagging in media and Places,

groups, events, Follow Post, quantity of Likes, Friend suggestions (via system or other Friends), Sharing posts , quantity of friends, quantity of comments Exclusion Blocking, Unfriending, Lists, privacy settings, Hide Post, Limit posts,

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conversation Synchronous Chat Asynchronous One-to-one

hashtag as literary device (emotion, sarcasm, irony, imagery

private messages, sharing posts, tagging/mentioning, pho-

or metaphor)

tos, reply, wall post, RSVP message LIMITS

CURATION

Nudity, hate speech, one account per email address.

Users cannot access other users’ information without their permission

External links to other media, photos, memes,

Retweet LOCATIVE Synchronous A user can embed a geotag in her tweet.

Linked SNS or external media maybe contain geotagging that does not originate in Twitter. The user can include her location in the body of her tweet. Live Tweeting and

TWITTER www.twitter.com PRESENCE

Synchronous There is no visual representation of

who is present within the Twitter interface at any given time. However, Twitter gives its users real-time feedback as new Tweets are published by others a user follows, new interactions between a user and other users occurs (such as acquiring a new follower, having a user’s tweet favorited, being retweeted, being tweeted at, someone joining a user in conversation, being mentioned in another user’s tweet). The Tweets feed refreshes in real time and keeps count of new tweets yet to be read by a user from those she follows. In addition, Tweet, Following and Follower counts update in real time, so a change in those numbers on a user or other’s page reflects the presence of others. Direct message notifications may also appear while a user is checking her

hashtagging are both methods users employ to connect their physical location and experience to the Twitterverse. Asynchronous Mentioning location in Profile CONNECTION

Inclusion Following, making Lists public, using

someone else’s hashtag, reply to a tweet, ‘Who to Follow suggestions, retweet, number of Followers, being Followed, quantity of favorited tweets Exclusion Blocking, Unfollow, Lists, private accounts, waiting for approval CONVERSATION

Synchronous Live tweet events Asynchronous

Using another’s hashtag, One-to-one private messages, sharing posts, tagging/mentioning, functional tags, connotation hashtags, photos, reply LIMITS

140 characters per Tweet

Twitter feed, giving her a sense that someone is present in the virtual space with her. Some users choose to live Tweet culturally important events. Live tweeting can be objective reporting or subjective commentary regarding: events as they happen from a physical location, live or recorded telecasts viewed from home, among others. Asynchronous (#) Hashtags allow people to tag their tweets in a manner that groups them with others on the same topic. Private messaging. Tweeting at All the functions in Twitter allow users to experience the thoughts and content shared with them at their own pace and on their own terms. Date stamps on tweets. TRANSACTION

LINKED IN www.linkedin.com PRESENCE

Synchronous Recent activity displayed towards the

top. In addition, the Status Update feed refreshes in real time, if a contact posts then the user knows she is present. Similarly, the zone in the far upper left of the site notifies a user in real time when she has a new friend request, new message and/or new activity linked with her own. Asynchronous Who has viewed your profile, Notifications,

activity feed, updates, date and time stamps, new people in your network count

Follow Retweet Favorite, check-in, hashtag, infor-

mation, external links, media, recommendations CREATION Photos, Tweets, tweet ats, replies, direct messages,

TRANSACTION Introductions, Add contact, share a profile,

organize profiles, follow, view, Endorse, find job, seek recommendation, Post job, accept invitation, Share,

modified tweets, profile description, functional hashtags 88

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CREATION Profile, updates, discussions, Recommendation,

Comment, Message,

view, Original Pinner, source link, Email, mention a pin to another user, add contributors to collaborate on a board,

CURATION Information, Organizing profiles, profile photos,

media, Share LOCATIVE Synchronous Location on profile Asynchronous

Location on profile, locations of former jobs,

Exclusion Unfollow Pin or Pinner, Report a Pin, ignore an

invitation CONVERSATION

Synchronous None Asynchronous Comments,

One-to-one private messages, sharing posts, tagging/mentioning, reply

CONNECTION Inclusion Groups, companies, viewers of this pro-

file also viewed, Industry, Education, Recommendations, Follow, quantity of contacts, quantity of connections,

TUMBLR www.tumblr.com

People you may know, Groups you may like, +1, +2, etc,

PRESENCE

quantity of contacts in your network, recommended

which cannot be automated Asynchronous Asks, Messages,

content, Exclusion Professional account, Blocking, Report Inappropriate profiles, ignore invitation, ignore message CONVERSATION

Synchronous Group discussion Asynchronous

One-to-one private messages, reply

Synchronous Real-time notifications for Messages

alerts for new content, date and time stamp to a post (although people can pre-schedule a post so you never know if someone was actually “there” when they authored it TRANSACTION Like, Follow, Reblog, Tagging, Track visitors,

LIMITS A user must allow other people to see if she has

viewed their profile, in order to see what specific people have viewed hers.

acquire followers, connect to FB, invite other administrators, ask for feedback (with question mark) CREATION Ask a question, create a Theme, customize a theme,

author post, profile, PINTEREST www.pinterest.com PRESENCE

CURATION Reblog post, Share links to various media, interests

Synchronous None Asynchronous Comments on a

and things, Submissions,

user’s Pin, Follower count, Following count, Likes, Repins,

LOCATIVE

Date stamp on Pin, Activity view of user’s Pins, Email a

within content, but no explicit connection to location.

Pinner

Synchronous None. Asynchronous Possible to include

CONNECTION

TRANSACTION Pin, Repin, Follow, Like,

Inclusion Tagging, Following, source link, quan-

tity of notes, likes from FB. No one can see who you are

CREATION A Board (category of pins), Pin description, com-

ment, profile CURATION All forms of visual media, interests and things,

Boards, Pins, LOCATIVE Synchronous None. Asynchronous Captions,

following however. Exclusion Unfollow, Blocking, password protection CONVERSATION

Synchronous Group discussion Asynchronous

One-to-one private messages, reply LIMITS 500 messages per day, no native commenting

content of image CONNECTION

Inclusion Tagging, Repinning, Follow, attribu-

tion, captioning, quantity of Followers, Followed by, Likes

APPENDIX A

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photos, edit photos for content, collection of con-

INSTAGRAM www.instagram.com

CREATION

PRESENCE Synchronous Photo from another user appears

comments, one-to-one messages, profile description,

in user’s stream, notification of Like Asynchronous Date stamp on photos, Like notifications, content of image

tent, descriptions of content, broadcasted content, reply, event CURATION

TRANSACTION

follow acquire followers tag, mark location,

delete, unfollow, invite friends, login, logout, like, share elsewhere, flag as inappropriate, refresh, add filter CREATION Make picture (choose/take, crop, filter, focus,

publish), captions, comments, profile

content, memes, quotations, other users’ content, group LOCATIVE Synchronous Check-in, geotag media, geotag update

Asynchronous content within media, caption media, marking

places lived, geotagging groups of media, event, location in profile

CURATION Share other users’ images, a user’s stream LOCATIVE

media, images, organizing profiles, collections of

Synchronous Geotagging, captions, photo content,

tag Asynchronous Geotagging, captions, photo content, tag

CONNECTION

Inclusion Google+ is special because a user can

segment their connections into easy-to-create circles that can be named and customized according to various affiliations. One connection can occupy more than one circle.

CONNECTION Inclusion Follow, quantity of likes, quantity of

Connecting, tagging/mentioning, events, liking, quantity

comments, comments, mention someone else, people

of likes, connecting suggestions, sharing posts, quantity of

appear in image Exclusion Unfollow, block, report an image,

shares, attribution, degree of connection, quantity of con-

cropping image

nections, comments, quantity of comments, video hangout,

CONVERSATION Synchronous None Asynchronous Comments,

using another’s hashtag, One-to-one private messages, sharing posts, tagging/mentioning, functional tags, connotation hashtags, photos, reply

chat, public lists Exclusion blocking, unconnecting, private lists, hide posts, limit posts, ignore message, ignore invite, crop someone out of image CONVERSATION

LIMITS Impose convention of square image

Synchronous video hangout, events with

instant image sharing, chat Asynchronous comments, one-to-one messages, sharing posts, tagging/mentioning, photos, reply, wall post, RSVP

GOOGLE+ www.plus.google.com

LIMITS one account per email

PRESENCE Synchronous Green light when people are in chat,

real-time stream of user created info, events with instant image sharing, real-time interaction notifications, group video chat, real-time counts of activity Asynchronous profile page, visual representation of network, events with photo sharing, see people in content, one-to-one messages, comments, date & time stamp, tagging people TRANSACTION Like, log-in, connect (mutual), invite friends to

join, tagging people, tagging content, unconnecting, organize profiles, follow, view a profile, search for content, mark a location, flag 90

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APPENDIX B

MARKET REVIEW

AVOCADO avocado.io

Avocado is a private app designed for couples. It focuses primarily on translating everyday interactions between couples into seamless transactions. For instance, within the app a couple can collaborate on a list, message each other, and share photos. This aspect of the app is meant to help pull your partner’s communications with you outside of other, more general spaces you share with all your contacts. In addition there are a few attempts at whimsical features, such as sending hugs and kisses, learning often uses phrases or feelings and making those faster to share, and translating emoticons into photographs that you have designated for each.

CIRCLE discovercircle.com

Circle notifies you when people you know are nearby.

DIRECTIONS TO LAST VISITOR directionstolastvisitor.com

Directions to Last Visitor is a web-based installation by Charles Broskoski. If you choose to share your location, the website maps you, then gives you driving directions to the previous visitor to the site. The installation raises questions for me about privacy and the creepiness of locative data if misapplied or misused, without actually “talking” about those issues. Through the simple display of what is possible, one asks whether what’s possible is good or bad.

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FEEL ME www.cs.uic.edu/~mtriveri/Marco_Triverio/Feel_me_app.html

HIGHLIGHT highlig.ht

Marco Triverio’s explorations in interaction take a tangible

Highlight is a location-aware friend finder. It lets you know

form in the prototypes he designed. I find the explorations

who is nearby and what they like and who they know.

inspiring because he manages to communicate the ideas he

Highlight depends on people being willing to share their

is exploring without using screen renderings. He made vid-

location as well as details about themselves with strangers,

eos of working paper prototypes that convey the movement

otherwise the functionality of the app is relatively limited

and user interaction required to perform a task (usually

and uninteresting. Its purpose is to expand your network,

tied to communicating one’s synchronous presence in an

but how it would do that is unconvincing.

typically asynchronous space or one’s feelings during conversation). The “paper prototypes” he records himself using directly inspired and informed his final project Feel Me. Feel Me explores the gap between synchronous and asynchronous communication using our mobile device in attempt to “connect differently” and enrich digital communications.

MIXER www.getmixer.com

Mixer embeds threaded discussions to a particular location. People are removed from local mixes after a period of inactivity to make sure the conversation stays local. One does not have to be at the location to join a conversation, however, because you can search for mixes on the map. The

FIND MY FRIENDS itunes.apple.com/us/app/find-my-friends/id466122094?mt=8

app encourages open conversations that can be viewed by

This application utilizes the location awareness technology

everyone. The app instantly shows people both currently

on smartphones to allow people to share their current loca-

and recently in the area.

tion with each other. A temporary location share setting allows users to set a time limit for sharing their location. The app requires reciprocal permission, and at any time either sharing party can disconnect the reciprocal sharing. A person can also choose to turn off their location for a time, so no one can see where they are. In addition, the app allows users to set up location based alerts for when someone leaves or arrives at a particular location on the map. The interface is horrifyingly ugly with fake leather and fake stitching, skewmorphism at its worst.

NARR8R www.narr8r.com

Narr8r creates a web and mobile space for people to collaborate on “stories” and connect them to a place. Each story is organized along a timeline and displayed as annotated images. Those images can be annotated with audio, video or the written word, but it does not appear that many media can be included in one “spot”. From each point along the timeline, another user can enter the story and add their content (a linkage). One exciting feature

FOURSQUARE itunes.apple.com/us/app/id306934924/id306934924?mt=8

Foursquare allows users to share and record the places that

is the “autoplay” mode, which means that you can listen to the content connected to a place without taking your phone out of your pocket as you walk. Furthermore there

they visit by “Check-in” action. After they check in they can

is an augmented reality mode to share with your friends

get tips and deals specific to their location. Users can also

what you see in the spot you see it.

accumulate points and badges for checking in to the same place multiple times and earn titles like “Mayor” of a particular location.

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PAIR tenthbit.com

QUILT www.qui.lt

Pair is a private app designed for couples. Compared to

This application is being directly marketed to college-age

Avocado, it seems to focus on a wider range of couple-

women. It utilizes aggregation to capture content, and dis-

specific interactions beyond just transactions. It contains

playing only the content that users have asked for accord-

all the collaborative list-making, messaging and sharing

ing to who they feel closest to. That said, the app seems to

photo features of Avocado but also includes more touch

focus on the obsessive documentarian behaviors that have

and feeling oriented features. While sickeningly sweet,

emerged from Facebook and Instagram, that something

the “thumb-kiss” feature requires dual and synchronous

isn’t real if it isn’t preserved forever and shared. Since so

presence of each user to work. Couples touch and align

much of the process is automated, the sharing feels more

their thumbprints on the smart-phone screen and receive

transactional than meaningful.

a vibration in response. Also synchronous is the sketching feature within the app.

SAGA www.getsaga.com

Mark Wilson’s review of Saga, a passive social network-

PATH path.com

ing app, is not glowing. To Wilson the app feels soulless,

Path seems to replicate many of the same functionalities

despite its promise of capturing and documenting a user’s

as Facebook, but keeps the scale of your network smaller

activity with very little required attention. The soulless-

(150 contacts or fewer). In addition, there are more meaning

ness comes from the UI design (very chrome-y and techy

making functionalities such as connecting people to

looking) as well as from the commercial overtones. The

a physical place, a wider range of emotions for the transac-

app is organized around time and location: presenting

tion that is normally simply ‘liking’, and more controls

where you have spent your time in the Past, where you are

over images and video within the application. Language

now (Present) and in the Future where you might want to

is important to Path and amplifies the feelings of intimacy

go based on the preferences the app has learned through

it creates. Updates are called ‘moments’ and the Timeline

your use.

is called a ‘path’. Most interesting, Path—like the long-lost Friendster—tells you who among your network has viewed your ‘moment’ or ‘path’.

SERENDIPITOR serendipitor.net/site/?page_id=2

The Serendipitor is exciting to me because it is the technology married to poetry. Inspired by the Situationist and

PINCH IMESSENGER itunes.apple.com/us/app/pinch-imessenger/ id386963924?mt=8

Fluxus movements, Serendipitor is a navigation application

Pinch iMessenger is a group chat platform that includes

according to the user’s available time and tolerance for

location-based messaging as one of its features. A user can locate nearby friends on maps, get directions to meet them, register places they have traveled and share social updates while they are in transit.

that introduces chance and performance into your route disruption. In addition to literal directions to your destination, the directions include instructions such as “Walk on the sunny side of the street” or “Take a photograph” similar to Yoko Ono’s “compositions”.

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it disappears. In addition, the app has safeguards to prevent

SHOUTPLANS www.shoutplans.com

Shoutout is an application that helps users “gauge real-

the image-receiver from taking a screenshot of the image.

time social intent among friends and local connections.” It creates a separate space, outside of social networking sites, to declare what activities you are interested in and ask for people to join you. The app seems more focused on decreasing the friction around making plans—fewer emails, shorter email chains, allow for spontaneity—than on bringing an emotional component or presence component to the table.

SWARMLY www.swarmly.co

This app is all about finding things to do in the moment and tapping the mood of those places before a user arrives. Once there, a user can broadcast her location and add feedback about the event (whether she thinks the place is “good” “bad” or “meh”). Capturing the collective mood of a place is the same idea as the app I prototyped last year called “Moodring”. Certainly, I think it is a great idea, however the Good, Bad and Meh seem rather general. I think

SONAR www.sonar.me/welcome

Sonar is like Grindr, but not for hooking up. The applica-

more nuanced feeling could be captured.

tion allows you to connect and share with people who are nearby. Check-ins happen in the background, so you don’t have to officially check in to a place to share you location.

TROVER www.trover.com

This image driven service gives people the opportunity to find and share places to visit and experiences to enjoy.

SOUND CLOUD soundcloud.com

Trover allows users to create aspirational lists of activities

Sound Cloud is a web and mobile based application

presence.

designed mostly for musicians who are seeking to share

that other people have posted. Trover has a mobile and web

their music across multiple online social networks. The Sound Cloud community is also a community of critique. Users can embed comments into shared audio to offer tips, praise, or criticism. Sound Cloud has also reached out to journalists and educators, people who regularly use speaking and recording other’s thoughts as part of their professional practice. Sound Cloud has a locative component. If recording or uploading audio using one’s smart phone, then the user can choose to include a geotag for the sound’s exact location and view it on a map later.

WHISPER blog.whisper.sh

The Whisper app allows users to post confessions (in the form of typography, 4–6 sentences and filtered image) anonymously to the app. Other users can comment on the secrets or share them with others. The “nearby” function reveals which posts were uploaded within 1 mile of the user, which creates an opportunity for community and/or conversation to form around some confessions. The motivation for creating the application was to create more genuine and authentic interactions and conversa-

SNAPCHAT itunes.apple.com/us/app/snapchat/id447188370?mt=8

Snapchat is a mobile app for sharing photos via text.

tions within the social web. The creators of this app believe anonymity is key to this.

Snapchat allows users to set a time limit for how long the photo they have shared over text can be viewed. After that

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APPENDIX C

AN INTERVIEW WITH ONE TWITTER USER

Early in the thesis narrowing process, I considered designing a device or service that delivers visual, real-time feedback to a user about how and with whom she interacts most. What was missing from the literature review at that point was the perspective of the everyday person. Thus, I sought to speak with a young womanâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;active in and facile with multiple social networking platforms, who was a relative newcomer to her current social environment. I wanted to learn more about her attitude towards, and goals for, her social networking use and the relationships she has developed there, while she transitioned into a new community. Prior to the interview, I brainstormed areas of inquiry and related the list to the intended audience for the design outcome. I hoped the interview would shine a light on my biases and assumptions about young womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s use of social networking. For instance, I assumed that the interview might reveal confusion or stress related to forming, maintaining or redefining relationships in social networks. I assumed there is something missing from the experience, a degree of emotional distance or dissonance, or a lack of feedback and transparency that my interviewee would want to change. I knew, in advance, I was bringing my own values to the research and I wanted to expand my understanding beyond personal experience and engage with at least one person I would be designing for. Ultimately, I chose my participant based on her age, gender, active use of social networking, and status as a recent transplant to Raleigh and the College of Design. I believed that a recent change to her social and professional environment would guarantee she had made changes in her online social networks and result in an increased attention to her social relationships. I would have preferred to interview someone I did not already know, nor engage with online, but finding a willing participant outside my own social circle proved more difficult than I expected. Despite our personal relationship, Kateâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s responses to each question seemed genuine and generally uninhibited. Kate paused often to consider the question, though I did not get the sense she was hesitating in order to form a less-than-true answer. However, there were a couple of moments during the interview when Kate interrupted herself. I took these moments to mean she was not happy with how she was describing her behavior or representing herself to me in part because we know each other already. For instance, when I probed her about her relationship with what she described as her Twitter news feed and asked whether she sees that stream of content more as a reflection of herself or the people she has chosen to follow, she paused, then answered: APPENDIX C

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I think it is a little bit of both. I think it is a reflection of what I’m interested in and what I want to learn about and stay connected with. But then, I also feel like what those people are saying or doing, might—I don’t want to say influence—but I guess that’s the only word to use. The content that they are sending me might change—I don’t want to say change—I guess because I’m getting that content it affects how I see things.

I did not address this moment when Kate did not want to admit she is altered by the content of people she follows directly. Instead, I shied away from saying “Tell me more about that” because I knew the interviewee personally. If she had been a stranger, I would have probed lightly into what seemed like sensitive territory for a woman I know takes pride in her individualism. I was concerned, however, about violating Kate’s privacy, and did not follow up on the concepts of influence and change she articulated. At one point, Kate compared her experience on Facebook to Twitter, revealing her idea of what those spaces are good for and what they mean: On Facebook, you show so much. It’s your scrapbook. I feel like that is intrusive. People are looking at my personal scrapbook that I might keep at home on my shelf. Twitter is more surface level….more showing your interests, than personal photos of yourself.

Kate’s insertion of a comparison between two social networks she actively uses points to a weakness in my line of questioning. I could have asked more specific questions throughout. Also the phrasing of the questions may have contributed to the emotionally distant answers Kate gave. If I had oriented the questions more towards feeling, rather than transaction, the answers would have been more informative for my purposes. That said, this interview helped me understand that my interest is in how people converse with their close ties as compared to everyone else. Asking “Tell me about a time when you decided to change the status of a relationship within Twitter…” led Kate to describe a transaction “I unfollowed her,” rather than something more rich. If I had asked, instead, “Tell me about a time when you realized you didn’t want to hear from someone in Twitter anymore. How did that feel? What did you do?” I may have gotten a more in depth response. The interview results were also hindered by my fuzzy definition of “relationships.” I did not uncover as much information about relationships and how they are expressed within social networking tools as I expected. However, the interview did reveal how complex and different from my own, one person’s reasons are for using social networks like Twitter. I expected Kate to describe more personal aspects to her Twitter use. Instead, I learned that it is the emotional distance that Twitter offers—by lack of notifications when someone decides to stop following you or hiding of images from the news feed, unless the reader chooses to reveal

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them—that attracts her to the platform. I wish I had asked her if she has always used Twitter this way. I was not surprised that Kate had a clear sense of what she is sharing and how choosing to share information about herself or her interests affects her privacy—that one lives publically online, and that there are aspects of our lives that we can consciously decide not to share. She confirmed her attention to privacy in her statements about Facebook, calling it “high risk.” To her, Facebook is a space that draws out the personal from its users and she does not want that intrusion. She argued that in Facebook a user lays out her life—represented by pictures and words—forcing others to look, whereas Twitter represents a person’s interests, not her self. It was during this portion of the interview, where I gained the most insight into Kate’s social networking attitudes. I was able to confirm my assumption that the language we attach to behaviors does affect how we understand them. Kate described unfollowing on Twitter in comparison to unfriending in Facebook this way: I almost feel like it is less hurtful [unfollowing in Twitter] than if you unfriend them on Facebook. I see that because they [Facebook] use that word, ‘Friends’ and ‘Friending.’ It’s more of a concrete relationship. On Twitter I either follow you or I don’t. It just seems like a less constrictive relationship.

In addition to learning what these connections mean to Kate, I learned how often she revises those connections within Twitter after asking her to tell me more about her news feed. In addition to describing what her news feed does—keeps her informed about the latest trends in design and culture in advance of most people she knows— she described how she tailors her feed to who and what she cares about at a particular moment in time. I feel like every few months, my news feed might shift a little bit into new areas. I’ll go through and stop following people because I know I’m not reading their tweets and not interested in them anymore. And I’ll look for new people to follow. Or I’ll find one person through maybe another follower, thus—I guess—resituating my news feed. I don’t know if it’s because all of a sudden I’m interested in this one thing and it will come into my news feed or maybe there’s just a change in my lifestyle, like moving here; that’s a change so my news feed is going to change.

Conducting the interview did give me the perspective of the potential user of a device or service that reveals visual, real-time feedback to her about how and with whom she interacts most. I gained insight into Kate’s attitude towards her social networking use and the relationships she has developed there. I think interviewing more young women, like Kate, would generate more qualitative data to code and seek patterns within. More data would give me a better sense of what aspects of the connections described by women are related to how social networking spaces structure interaction versus driven by each individual’s way of being.

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APPENDIX D

CONCEPT NARRATIVES

AIRMAIL

Elaborate, multi-media messages are “released into the wild” at specific geographic locations. If the intended receiver nears or crosses its path, then she receives an alert. She uses her phone surface to capture the message. The Airmail recipient receives haptic feedback to drive her closer to the message location. ADDING METADATA / FEEDBACK

ATTENTION EARRINGS

Eye contact between two people who are conversing establishes trust and acts as feedback to the speaker that she is being listened to. Attention Earrings track a listener’s gaze and send her haptic feedback as a reminder to keep her eyes on the speaker. FEEDBACK / INTERRUPTION / ADDING METADATA

AUTO REMINISCE

When two or more users place their phones next to one another, they become tethered and unified as one screen. Doing so muffles a phone’s connection to distant others and focuses its attention on the conversation at hand. The phones listen for topics of conversation that relate to previously discussed content and display that content across the shared screens. The users can dismiss the content as irrelevant, or dig deeper to supplement their face-to-face conversation. Users may decide to add to the content by annotating it with drawings, comments or audio. Each phone retains a copy of the memento the users created together. In addition, a person may wear earbuds that privately whisper reminders to her about past conversations with her friend, coaching her to not tell the same story again, but to cover new territory or dig deeper into a previously successful topic. INTERRUPTION / INTERPERSONAL SYNCHRONY / FEEDBACK

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AWKWARD PAUSE

maintained or cared for in the same way. A Capsule acts as

Taking a page from improvosational comedy, when the

a snapshot of a moment in time. ADDING METADATA

phone senses a lull in a remote conversation or when the user is typing and retyping and revising what to say next, the phone steps in and displays (at both ends) “Yes, and…” to lighten the mood. Either user can dismiss the prompt or engage with the game. INTERPERSONAL SYNCHRONY / FEEDBACK

CHEERS GESTURE

Bringing two or more phones together yields a shared experience or visualization (like when preteens in the Eighties wore pieces of lockets that could only be completed by chosen friends). Doing so alters how the phone

CABINET OF CONVERSATON

behaves and people’s ability to interact with the phone.

Curating and archiving elements from conversation—

Non-essential communication is slowed or muffled.

whether snippets of chat, photos, audio files and more—

INTERPERSONAL SYNCHRONY / FEEDBACK / ADDING METADATA

with a particular person provides feeling data to our communication appliances. The Cabinet’s lamp glows when the user’s friend is looking at Cabinet content or visiting a location they have been together. Conversational items not preserved within the Cabinet decay over time. Within the Cabinet, elements not revisited, remixed or referred to in future conversations also degrade, but never disappear. When the user and individual meet face-to-face, or engage in a remote “Remember when…” around specific content, degraded elements are restored. ADDING METADATA / FEEDBACK / INTERPERSONAL SYNCHRONY

CHERISHING CLOSE TIE

(Not a rating system) People need a method to show devotion to a few, as a way to add “feeling” data to our quantified relationships. Address book can be smart, compiling data on those we talk to and meet face to face with most often into one group of “favorites,” however some of those matches do not qualify as people we feel closest to. Visiting a person’s contact page when we are thinking of them ensures the address book knows they are “special.” Contact with palm warms the contact page. If the contact

VARIATIONS

Conversation Board Elements from conversation with a particular individual are posted to the bulletin space. Each item can be easily shared, hidden, shrunk or covered by other conversation elements. Much like tactile bulletin boards, content gets buried as new content is added.

is practicing the same devotion towards the user at the same time, then each will get haptic feedback of the presence of the other. They will feel their contact’s heartbeat, recorded using their phone’s camera during a previous face-to-face meeting. INTERPERSONAL SYNCHRONY / ADDING METADATA / FEEDBACK

Conversation Collage Elements from conversation with a

VARIATIONS:

particular individual are embedded into a collage created

Turning the phone “winds up” the contact to “power” it;

by the user. The collage may contain snippets of chat, pho-

tracing and retracing her signature or picture, the user

tographs, audio files, video and more. New content can be

matches her voice to her cherished friend’s and repeats

added or can replace existing content over time. Only items

what she says like a mantra.

selected by the user would be displayed. CONSTELLATION CAPSULE

Staying on topic is one way to show we are “listening”,

Seal a version of the conversation cabinet to preserve the

even when conversing remotely. Yet, current communi-

moment in time. The conversation no longer needs to be

cation channels organize our talk by tool first, then by people. This structure makes cohesive conversation with

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the people that matter most more difficult and less likely.

DEVOTION DECLINE

Constellation subverts this tool-oriented model, aggregating

Some people deserve more information. When a user has

a user’s conversation and organizing it by people and topic

muffled her phone in order to participate in meaningful

rather than delivery method. Moving a friend’s planet back

conversation, she may want to communicate why she

into a topic revives the conversation with them where it left

is unavailable to other cherished friends. Therefore her

off. Shaking up the galaxy brings dangling conversations

lack of response takes on a new, more nuanced meaning

back into sight. FEEDBACK / ADDING METADATA

and is less likely to be misunderstood. She is not “there” for everyone in social network because of a conscious choice to give her attention to one person in particular.

CONTENT EROSION

How can forgetting some conversations help make us closer? What if software behaved more like our memories, remembering only the digital objects we revisit, share or take pains to preserve? FEEDBACK / ADDING METADATA

The cherished friend receives a short, personalized message from the user such as: “Hi Caroline, I’d love to talk, but it will have to be later. I’m devoted to another person right now. xo Liz.” The receiver is given the choice to interrupt, but knowing that the user would prefer not to be. Acquaintances or other “normal” status contacts receive

CONTENT FOR HERE

no message at all. The user’s lack of response is an appro-

Evites are lame, but efficient. People see who is coming,

priate result for those weak tie relationships. FEEDBACK /

who is not, but RSVPs to electronic event invitations are not

INTERRUPTION / ADDING METADATA

always accurate. People say they will be “there” more to say “I support you,” than to make a commitment to show up. Imagine the host could create a special reward. Those who show up get it, and get to keep it. It is something they can share with anyone who was there whenever they see them in person again. Attendees can add to the reward if they choose. INTERPERSONAL SYNCHRONY / FEEDBACK

DIGITAL WATERMARK

Instead of metadata (tags, comments, shares, locations, viewers) being attached to and isolated within a specific communication channel (such as Facebook or Instagram) rather than the digital images they describe, each person involved in the conversation around a digital memento applies their Mark or “impression of their gaze and engage-

CONTEXT AWARE PROMPTS

ment” on the item itself. Those marks belong to, and move

Certain locations prompt the user to revisit conversations

with, the item across communication channels and retain

or moments with her close contacts. INTERRUPTION / ADDING METADATA

their privacy settings. The user chooses with whom to share her Mark, and who will never see the evidence of her gaze. When a user and cherished friend are looking at the same thing at the same time, their Mark becomes more vis-

CROSSING PATHS

When one crosses the path of someone they feel close to, a thread of conversation the user let fall away pops up to inspire reminiscing or conversational cohesion between

ible. Swiping through the metadata strata shows how the digital object has changed over time and the history of use it has acquired. FEEDBACK / ADDING METADATA

the two. INTERRUPTION / ADDING METADATA DISPOSSESSING

People’s relationships change, yet our communication appliances have difficulty sensing when we no longer want something or someone in our lives. What does it look like APPENDIX D

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and feel like to dispossess a close contact or digital object

JEWELRY OBSCURA

with a great history? Perhaps, violently shaking the phone

An individual should be in charge of her presence. Because

or holding the phone while winding up and virtually hurl-

she is “there” for a moment, does not mean she must per-

ing the data across the room erases the contact. People

petually be “there.” This jewelry protects the wearer from

may need more time to take such a drastic action. Perhaps

constant management of her online reputation by disrupt-

a user can pull the data from her phone into an object,

ing the capture and sharing of her image by digital cameras.

hide it in a special box for a lengthy period of time in order

INTERRUPTION / FEEDBACK

to create a space for deliberation around her feelings for the data and the relationship it represents. ADDING METADATA

LIMITED EDITION

It is difficult to know the intentions with which a digital EXPRESSION CATCHERS

object is shared. Was it carefully selected (or made) to share

This all-seeing eye captures the user’s physical expressions,

with a few, or is it one more piece in someone’s identity

eye movements and gestures and reports as feedback to

performance to her social networking audience. Limited

the message sender. The sender learns whether she has

Edition shares allow users to apply a filter to the photos,

the receiver’s attention and interest, and what the receiver

albums, videos and sound files they share with friends so

really thinks of what she is saying. FEEDBACK / INTERPERSONAL

they know they are seeing something unique and just for

SYNCHRONY

them. After the item reaches its maximum views it fades from public view, but the original viewers retain their copy

VARIATIONS:

Audio Catcher This Audio Catcher grabs the user’s audible

ADDING METADATA / FEEDBACK

reaction to chat and other close ambient noise. The sender’s voice is delivered in front of—but tethered to—the written

LOCKIT

text. The ear glows green when it is active and in use.

Conversation becomes memento when snippets of talk are collected, edited and worn close to the receiver’s heart. The jewelry works by retaining a copy of talk collected

FACE-TO-FACE ENFORCER

Some conversations are better had face-to-face. A user’s phone recognizes when a friend is nearby and prevents her from contacting her friend via other channels to

from the wearer’s phone, printed there with her voice. The jewelry pulses when the original speaker is near. ADDING METADATA / INTERPERSONAL SYNCHRONY / FEEDBACK / INTERRUPTION

ensure they talk face to face. INTERRUPTION / ADDING METADATA LONG PLAY

Digital objects become mementos or more valuable

FETTIFETE

Fettifête is a micro celebration to be shared across phones at the start of a face-to-face meeting. A user can greet her friends by swinging her phone wildly. The gesture sends a glittery, fluttery animation of falling confetti to all her friends. Fettifête acknowledges the ubiquitous presence of individual’s smart phones, and creates a moment where

through the metadata they acquire. Here, audio files capture seven seconds of ambient sound the first time they are listened to on a particular device, and “note” who else is there. This sound file becomes the property of those who heard it and preserves their first reactions. ADDING METADATA / FEEDBACK

each phone owner can decide to what degree their phone will participate in the conversation. INTERRUPTION / ADDING METADATA

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LOOSE ENDS

network can distract her from those best of intentions.

A data visualization for close ties that shows the user

When a user meets face-to-face with one of her closest

how long it has been since she reached out to that person

contacts her phone reminds her she can put on its Muffler.

through any of her communication channels. The visual-

The Muffler functions as the “Do not Disturb” for the phone.

ization acts as a reality check on whether or not the indi-

Both user and companion(s) know her phone is not in use.

vidual continues to be a cherished friend. FEEDBACK / ADDING METADATA

The Muffler demands elaborate interactions from the user creating space for reflection and deliberation on future behavior. For instance, the action of swiping back and forth

MEMORY BOX

to stitch up the phone takes time and requires a commit-

The people who are present at a gathering each take a

ment on the part of the person who is silencing her phone.

photo of an object that comes to hold their documentation of the conversation. When the phones are together the object, and embedded conversation (video, photos, audio, etc.), is accessible. The object is a vessel for capturing this moment with these people. ADDING METADATA / INTERPERSONAL SYNCHRONY

The phone demands less attention when it is muffled. The user determines what features of her phone will be silenced, muffled or unaffected. Different coverage of the screen results in different degrees of muffling. To reactivate the full functions of the user’s phone, she must unravel the Muffler while remaining in the presence of

VARIATION:

Place-based vessel The people who are present at a gathering augment their reality by annotating the location with their conversation, documentation and self-made digital objects. Each person takes a piece of the annotation with her, that they can revisit remotely. In addition, a user can revisit the location and access all the private digital annotations through the window of her phone.

her close contact. Otherwise the muffler is contextaware, so as the user leaves the presence of her friend for more than a few moments, the muffler unravels automatically and delivers any waiting messages. FEEDBACK / INTERRUPTION / ADDING METADATA VARIATIONS:

The Wall: Similar interaction to the Muffler, the user lays rows of brick to mute her phone. However, to open up the phone’s functionality again, the user double taps each brick to break down the wall.

MINI-MEME

Mini-meme is a conversation that focuses on fun and making something that friends can enjoy and continue talk about. The phone senses what digital objects have become digital mementos by looking for content that has acquired a significant amount of metadata. The phone brings that memento to a user’s attention and includes a prompt for conversation that can be shared with the user’s closest contacts. INTERRUPTION / ADDING METADATA

Zipper This zipping function extends beyond what is viewable on screen, and works like a long scroll. The user receives visual feedback about what functions she is zipping up. A finger slide down the screen unlocks the phone’s functionality. The Fog The user blows across her phone’s microphone to slowly fog up the phone. She receives feedback regarding how many of the phone’s functions she is blocking. A brushing aside, multi-touch gesture clears away the fog

MUFFLER

Our intentions don’t always match our behaviors. While a

to revive the phone’s functionality.

person may intend to give her close friends more attention and special consideration, the many demands of her social APPENDIX D

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Singing to Sleep: Putting the phone to be occurs with a

reprioritizes the conversation. The phone finds a conversa-

swipe followed by multi-finger swipe on the home screen.

tion thread the user let die and resuscitates it by prompting

OR what if you had to sing it to sleep and give a rooster

her to look again. INTERRUPTION / FEEDBACK

crow to wake it up. SLOW DOWN NEAR HEART

A user’s smart phone does not work as well to commu-

A user collects her cherished friend’s heartbeat. When he

nicate with the “outside world” when a close contact is

or she is nearby, the user’s phone alerts her by sending

nearby. Texting is interrupted with a visual reminder of

the heartbeat via haptic feedback. FEEDBACK / INTERRUPTION

the nearby companion when she is designated as “special.” and her name appears in the user’s calendar. In addition, the responsiveness of the interactions lags slightly to

NEGLECTED CLOSE TIE

When a user repeatedly neglects to respond to one of her cherished friends after being contacted by that friend mul-

make participating in a remote conversation less appealing. INTERRUPTION / FEEDBACK

tiple times and across multiple channels of communication, she faces negative consequences. Her access to that contact

STEERING TOWARDS A CLOSE TIE

freezes up. The cherished friend may report the “abuse” to

As the user approaches a location where she is meeting a

the address book application and actively request certain

cherished friend, the phone prepares her for the conversa-

modes of contact become less available. Ways of contacting

tion and primes her to use any muffling devices she may

this person gradually diminish until one can only contact

have on her phone. The phone vibrates and talks to the user,

them if seen face-to-face or the contact is answered imme-

telling her that her cherished friend is nearby. INTERRUPTION

diately. FEEDBACK / INTERRUPTION

/ FEEDBACK

POLITE PHONE

TEXT CLOUD

The Polite Phone shares the functionality of the Muffler (put-

Most-said words pop up when a user is near a close contact.

ting phone on “do not disturb” and customized for cher-

This space could incorporate images and voice as well

ished friends), but takes a physical form. The Polite Phone

resulting in serendipitous juxtapositions. Maybe works

device attaches to the back of the user’s phone, and forces

like magnetic poetry and users can move results around.

the phone into a face down position when it is set on a flat

Words can be dismissed and others bubble up to replace

surface. The phone makes an audible slap on most table-

them. FEEDBACK / ADDING METADATA

tops, and shows the user’s companion that she has committed her attention to their meeting. FEEDBACK / ADDING METADATA / INTERRUPTION

TEXT CUFF

An accessory for the user, the Text Cuff is for the person who finds she is always getting interrupted when talking

SHAKE-UP

face to face with her friend—either by her own compulsion

Some threads in texts never get a follow up, either because

to check what everyone else is up to and to respond to

they don’t require them or because they are forgotten

texts, or by being approached by strangers. The user and

or something else grabs a persona’s attention before she

her friend share the arm cuff, which doubles as a tex-

can reply. Shaking up the text stream with a close friend

ting hand trap. It prevents each person from habitually

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EXTENDING AND ENHANCING MEANINGFUL CONVERSATION


checking their phones and shows other people on site,

contribution of a particular person. The piece retains

that they do not want to be interrupted. To release their

the marks of each author. ADDING METADATA / FEEDBACK

hands, users must work together. INTERPERSONAL SYNCHRONY / FEEDBACK / INTERRUPTION

VOICE CLIP

VARIATION:

Text Ring A more subtle option but requiring no less physical contact, the Text Ring deters the users from habitually checking their phones or texting others while together. The Thumb Ring has very little public impact, making it a more socially acceptable choice for young women.

Behavioral synchrony (mimicking another’s behavior) results in increased empathy and feelings of closeness. Voice Clip adopts the behavior to make prints of audio and capture snippets of voice. A user selects a “window” of seven seconds of audio to clip from the visualization of a sound file. In order to truly capture the voice and embed the clip, she must trace the audio’s path with her own voice. Aspects of the audio she is able to mimic with her voice are

TEXT FILTER

Emotion and feeling are applied to text messages like

preserved. INTERPERSONAL SYNCHRONY / ADDING METADATA

Instagram filters but these change type color and size. The “styles” for the emotion are chosen by the sender and are particular to the sender’s customizations. However, once the message is sent, what it retains is the emotive tags, rather than the sender’s applied style. When the receiver reads the message, she sees the message according to her own settings for that feeling. FEEDBACK

TEXT VOLLEY

Sustained text conversation that stays on topic (is cohesive) feels like a long volley in a great game of ping-pong. The reward for talking to the same person, in the same space (not moving between applications within one’s smart phone), about the same thing, is a leveling up of audio, visual and haptic feedback that informs both participants of their shared engagement. FEEDBACK / ADDING METADATA / INTERPERSONAL SYNCHRONY

VIDEO ADDITION

The Video Addition offers subscribers a prompt of the day such as an exquisite corpse people make with their friends around a particular topic. The resulting video has limited shares and can only be viewed when the makers get together. The video acknowledges the makers, and the makers are in the timeline stream...you can jump to the

APPENDIX D

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APPENDIX E

APPENDIX E

107


THANK YOU for participating in my thesis research on extending and enhancing contemporary conversation. — Erin

INSTRUCTIONS Thank you for your participation! This should only take 10–15 minutes. The information you provide will be made anonymous. The specific contents will remain private. If you have any questions or concerns, you can contact me (Erin Hauber): ekhauber@ncsu.edu or my thesis chair who is supervising my research: Denise Gonzales Crisp: dmcrisp@ncsu.edu. 1. CHOOSE one of the people you feel closest to, and with whom you are also Facebook Friends.

ImagIne you learn an insidious virus is attacking Facebook. All of your activity (and all of your friends’ activity) is expected to be lost within the hour. Since everyone is rushing to the site—just like you—you only have time to visit one page and it is not your own. You choose to take one last look at the friendship page you share with one of the people you feel closest to. From that friendship timeline, what things would you choose to save? I WOULD SAVE THESE THINGS (What constitutes a thing is open to your interpretation): #1

What is it? Please describe

Why did you select it?

Why is it special?

#2

2. VIEW your Friendship Timeline. (Visit their Facebook page and choose “See Friendship” from the dropdown menu near the “Message” button on the right side of the screen.)

What is it? Please describe

Why did you select it?

Why is it special?

3. REVIEW your shared timeline and select the three (3) most important things (what constitutes a “thing” is open to your interpretation). 4. FILL IN THE BLANKS to the right and ANSWER the questions here and on the back.

#3

What is it? Please describe

Why did you select it?

Why is it special?

CIRCLE THE NUMBER that corresponds to your feelings for each statement: 1= Completely Disagree

ABOUT THE ACTIVITY 1 2 3 4 5 It was difficult to choose which things to save. 1 2 3 4 5 If lost, it would be hard to replace the things I chose.

2= Somewhat Disagree 3= No Opinion 4= Somewhat Agree 5= Completely Agree

1 2 3 4 5 The things I chose are a good representation of our friendship. 1 2 3 4 5 My Friend and I share the same/similar things in real life. 1 2 3 4 5 I had forgotten about some of the things I chose, until I saw them. 1 2 3 4 5 Thinking about losing these things made them more valuable to me. 1 2 3 4 5 Doing this made me feel good about our friendship.

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1 2 3 4 5 Doing this made me want to talk to my Friend.

EXTENDING AND ENHANCING MEANINGFUL CONVERSATION

TURN OVER, you’re almost done...


ABOUT YOU Gender:

❍ Male

❍ Female

❍ Other

Age:

❍ 18–22

❍ 23–29

❍ 30–49

ABOUT YOUR RELATIONSHIP TO YOUR “FRIEND” ❍ close friend

❍ immediate family

❍ extended family

❍ partner or boy/girlfriend

❍ other (please describe)

I have known this person for _____ year(s) Our Facebook timeline extended back: ❍ less than 1 year

❍ 1–3 years

❍ 4–5 years

❍ 5+ years

I talk with this person:

❍ daily

❍ weekly

❍ monthly

❍ every few months

❍ yearly

I see this person:

❍ daily

❍ weekly

❍ monthly

❍ every few months

❍ yearly

❍ other ____________________

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS? THANK YOU!

Extending and Enhancing Meaningful Conversation  

Master of Graphic Design Thesis by Erin Hauber

Extending and Enhancing Meaningful Conversation  

Master of Graphic Design Thesis by Erin Hauber

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