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Exploring Technologies of Intimacy Minimal Intimate Objects Society for the Social Studies of Science Pasadena, CA 20 October 2005 Joseph ‘Jofish’ Kaye.

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Presentation on theme: "Exploring Technologies of Intimacy Minimal Intimate Objects Society for the Social Studies of Science Pasadena, CA 20 October 2005 Joseph ‘Jofish’ Kaye."— Presentation transcript:

1 Exploring Technologies of Intimacy Minimal Intimate Objects Society for the Social Studies of Science Pasadena, CA 20 October 2005 Joseph ‘Jofish’ Kaye Culturally Embedded Computing Cornell Information Science

2 Thanks to… Phoebe Sengers, Liz Goulding & CEmCom Collaborators Mariah K. Levitt, Jeff Nevins, Jessica Golden & Vanessa Schmidt Kirsten Boehner & Jeff Hancock Bill Arms, Richard Calvi, Aakash Jain, Vishal Desai, Shantanu Shah, Matt Feusner, Wei Guo, William Yip

3 Intimate Objects Technological devices for couples to communicate Long distance relationships: ‘lead users’ of communication technologies Focus of this talk: evaluation

4 Minimal Intimate Objects How can we build technological objects that will allow us to study the communication of intimacy?

5 Minimal Intimate Objects What is intimacy, anyway? How much bandwidth does it take to sucessfully transmit intimacy? Can we even measure it that way? How do we know when we’ve transmitted it? How can we understand when our users think they’ve transmitted it? How can we evaluate a system designed to communicate something when we can’t even measure if it’s there or not? If only it was as easy as this:

6 How much does Ariel love Eric? Count the hearts! Disney (1997) The Special Edition Little Mermaid Coloring Book. Golden Books Publishing. Answer: 19

7 Minimal Intimate Objects: VIO VIO (Virtual Intimate Object): Software device represented as a small red circle in the taskbar of Window’s screen When circle is clicked, partner’s circle glows bright red, then fades over time. Kaye, Levitt, Nevins, Golden & Schmidt. Communicating Intimacy One Bit at a Time. Proceedings of CHI 2005, ACM Press.

8 Methodology: Participants Participants –10 couples in existing long-distance relationships (n=20) 5 couples assigned to VIO (n=10) 5 couples assigned to MinIO (n=10)

9 Methodology: Procedure Procedure –Initial screening for technology –Pre-test questionnaire –Daily Survey for 7 days –Post-test questionnaire –Server logs of every use of IO

10 Daily Survey Entries Daily repeating Likkert scale questions 1.How close do you feel to your partner today? 2.How satisfied do you feel by your relationship today? 3.How connected do you feel to your partner today? 4.What impact do you think your frequency of use of VIO had on your partner’s day? 5.What is your overall attitude towards VIO today? 6.What is your overall interest level in VIO today? 7.How comfortable did you feel with VIO today? No aggregate statistically significant trends

11 Designing rich evaluation of minimal communication Subjects filled out a daily survey Designed… –to be enchanting and compelling to use –for rich feedback –to promote reflection by the user on the relationship the technology the study itself

12 Logbook Entries: Relationship Questions about relationship: –The color/song/TV show/season that currently best represents my relationship is… –If I were to do a dance about my relationship today, it would be a RumbaSambaTango WaltzSwing

13 Logbook Entries: Relationship –The color that currently best represents my relationship is… Amber/yellow --> do I proceed w/ caution or speed up to beat the red or slow down anticipating a step Purple - we have a more matured, aged relationship rather than a new, boundless one which would best be described by red. Purple is the more aged, ripened form of red. Yellow! Like a sun, like a summer. I often laugh with Sven especially in those days. Using Vio is really funny and interesting.

14 Logbook Entries: The IO Questions about the intimate object itself: –I would name my IO… my partner’s IO… –If I could change one thing about my IO it would be… –If my IO made a sound it would be… –Draw a picture of your ideal IO –I generally used my IO when I was… –If I could change one thing about my IO it would be

15 Logbook Entries: The IO If I could change one thing about my VIO it would be… –the fact that I can only use it when I'm on my computer cuz if I'm home and want to use it I have to turn it on and if I'm out I have to keep track that I want to click it –The lag time between click and reaction –Well I can see Vio only on the bar down, so I have to see it looking down. It would be nice if Vio will be something you can move around your desktop and put it where you prefer to be. –Have the red/pink color take longer to fade.

16 Logbook Entries: Study itself Questions about the study itself: –I think this research is really about… –Which of these is your favorite number? –I would name the people conducting this study –Tell us a better way to do this study –Who have you told about this study? Why?

17 Logbook Entries I think this research is really about… –Whether VIO promotes or enhances intimacy for long- distance couples –people in relationships trying to connect throughout the day without using or needing words. –It is a new way for communication. –Creating computer dependency and spreading and marketing it to the general public

18 Rich Stories from Minimal Data Did it make you feel closer to your partner? –I was surprised to see one morning that my partner had actually turned on his computer just to push VIO and then turned it off again –YES - We share this experience together, and we use VIO aware that from another part of the world someone was thinking to each other! When VIO became red I feel very happy, because I knew that my boyfriend was clicking on it. So this communication was in a instant.

19 Cross-referencing Results: Quantitative & Qualitative We can correlate their use of the software with answers to questions. If my relationship were a season, it would be… 7/10 VIO subjects pick “summer” 1/10, the most heavy user, picked “spring” 2/10, the couple with the lowest VIO use, pick “fall” and “winter”

20 Observations Clicks are situated in a deep understanding of the couples’ shared relationship The first click of the morning –I’m awake! –Call me! vs. Clickwars –No! I love you more!

21 Numerical Results 1.Participants used it: on average a total of 14 to 168 times a day (average 35, SD 27, max > 700) 2.75% reported VIO made them feel closer to their partner during the study. 3.88% stated it became a regular part of their daily routine. 4.Many participants found it was an unobtrusive way to communicate while at work.

22 Rich evaluations for rich situations Inspired by cultural probes Rich understanding of users’ experience with the device Rich opportunities for reflection Rich source of input for what to do next, both for research and for the software.

23 Back to evaluating So: how we can we evaluate? Zen Fairy Tales Audit society HCI: design, build, evaluate Iterative design Evaluation looks back and looks forward: Mateas: “A good evaluation tells me what to do next”

24 Joseph ‘Jofish’ Kaye Culturally Embedded Computing Cornell Information Science This talk at jofish.com/talks


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