WK 6 – Reading – Aspects of thoughful interaction design – Quick reflection & questions

This week’s reading by Jonas Löwgren and Erik Stolterman Thoughtful Interaction Design includes following terms and concerns that I want to highlight:

Knowledge Construction
Material without qualities
Digital artefacts
Designers judgement
Design proces & context
and aspects the designer need to take into considerations; responsability, uncertainty, actions, choices, decisions. 

This week’s article discussed different aspects of the design process that I am in general is familiar with.

In the making of good design I reflect on how your judgement is determined both by your background and the people you interact with in the given context. This might be crucial when you are designing a new product, service og system and especially within a field you might not be familiar with before.

Design Theory can be seen as knowledge that can liberate the designer from preconceived notions and conceptions of how the design process can and should be performed – Löwgren, Jonas – p.8

As well a good design is what we always aim to succeed, our world is constantly changing throughout design and to make this happen I agree with Löwgren that you need some kind of design knowledge to liberate yourself from existing design solutions to improve certain needs. Needs which are affected both by human and non-human actors. Again, because you are inventing you need as designer to be able also to adapt the design methods in the given context to meet the design goal in the end.


1) How do we determine that a certain design is a good design – will it always be unique, ethical, aesthetical, political and ideological to be classified as a good design?

2) Can it be a problem in the future that digital artefacts is developed and launched so quickly, that it can become a restriction for the user in the every day life to always stay up to date with the technology dependancy?

WK 6 – Assigment – Use of mobile phone

Day 1  – logging of phone use 

Time period: 7.30 AM – 21.30 PM
Date: 17-9-16
Location: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Day description; vacation, sightseeing

As I was on I trip to Vietnam for the weekend I decided to keep tracking of my phone use in this situation to see how it might effect my use of phone in a different environment. The data is shown below:

Logging, Mobile use,
Logging, Mobile use,
Logging, Phone Use
Logging, Phone Use

As shown in the pie chart the 3 most common use of my phone was:

  1. Social Media
  2. Map
  3. Information

What is interesting to see through the logging is how the use of my mobile phone changes through out the day. I can see that in the morning a lot of my behavior was related to planning, later finding the way, and in the end of the day relaxing and more use of social medias.

This is also affected by the fact that I didn’t have access to data during the day in Vietnam. I believe that If I did the same kind of logging in Singapore on a week day probably will show another result of my use of phone. This outline how the context affect your behavior.

Reflection on other peoples mobile device behavior:
I chose to see and ask the 2 persons I travelled with during the day what they used their phone for and at what time – Usually it was during our breakes and again also use of social media and news.

Vietnam, Pedestrian, Break, 1 day without phone

Vietnam, Pedestrian, Break, 1 day without phone

What was interesting to see was that I found a lot of Vietnamese people during the day had breakes without using mobile devices but instead socializing with the people around them or just eat without any distractions – I am not sure if this is a fact, but a observation it was.

Day 2  – No use of mobile phone

The first thing I noticed with myself when I thought about which day to do the exercise was that I really felt that I had to plan when I had time to do it. As I am constantly using electronic devices in my every day life I could see it would be a challenge and a drag on my usual work. I decided to do the exercise in Vietnam where It did not affect my every day work life but instead could be a challenge to manoeuvre through my day without my devices.
Below are some of the observations I did after the day ended:

  1. In the breaks throughout the day I felt the time was longer when I was in company with other people who use their phones.
  2. As expected I was more aware of my surroundings on buses, at the hostel, at cafés when I did not have access to my phone
  3. When being in a travel group, suddenly some of our unspoken rutines (I was usually the person who directed the way) changed.
  4. Valuta Calculation and information needed to be found elsewhere or calculated roughly without devices.
  5. When I had access to my phone again, I suddently had a lot of people I needed to reply, mails to be deleted and etc. It could interesting to see in the future If it is actually more time consuming/ not needed to  stay in contact all the time and also checking emails frequently rather than decide specific times at day to do these activities (Think I read an article about this topic once)

In general the exercise showed how much I actually depend on my phone use, but on the same time it was a refreshing exercise to break with some of my daily rutines and do things in other ways!


WK 5 – Part 2 – Place, Location and Ubiquitous technology – Design concepts

Concept 1: DirectMe Demo

This concept involves communicating with personal devices and location sharing which your friends, which makes it easier to find each other and reduce time on texting a specific location to meet. Furthermore, it also allows the user to change position and make the meeting point more dynamic. In a way the meeting point becomes the person, rather than the specific place.

Concept 2: Sphericam 2 

This is an product idea which allows the user to interact with the recorded video by moving the view even though it is recorded. This gives a new dimension to capture your surroundings and capture experience which you later can share with others.

WK 5 – What ‘carrying your belongings’ actually tell you about people’s behavior 

This weeks chapter by Chipchase Hidden in Plain sight investigates the carrying mentality the general people have today.

The article brings up different aspects and terms including carrying behavior, range of distribution, center of gravity, point of reflection, yo yo strings and so on.

I have learnt that understanding carrying behavior can be fruitful to a designer as it affects people differently and in different arenas or places. I can see this carrying behavior in myself and also compare it to other people – in they way my schoolbag is often bigger and more packed with items I might think I will use the same day. On the same time I have friends who barely glance their items in their bags – which means in some situations – they rely on me.
think in my case, when you continuously follow these patterns, the point of reflection will thereby also change in the way you interact with people you are familiar with and how your belongings are used.

I think Chipcase brought up some good examples about the range of distribution and how it changes in public according to the physical environment and the people in the place (I like to use the terms actor-world and arenas).

Also the cultural aspect is interesting – especially the example with the Afghan Ministry and the change in payment which both had positive and negative side effects. Still, the case showed that it can be hard to change people habits or behavior which you also need to be aware of as designer (path dependency):

If you  can’t see it, you don’t own it (Chipcase, Chapter 4, p.118)

Again, I have also learnt that the carrying behavior can be seen in a more broader sence in the way we become more and more relying on digital systems and services which affect our behavior and habits. This both has an impact on our point of reflections but also how and what things you percieve as valuables.

I think it is interesting to see how digital services as Sportify, Netflix, Zipcar (In Denmark we have Drive Now https://dk.drive-now.com/en/) affect our emotional and personal attachment to items – which I believe have changed a lot through the recent 10 years.

driveNow(source: https://dk.drive-now.com/en/)

Lastly, it will be interesting to see how smart systems can predict your behavior which both can be a good and bad thing as it is hard to tell if it will be a kindly reminder or an onstacle if it can not read your mind properly.

Question 1:  With the continously digitization of items and systems how do you keep the emotional attachment to items?

Question 2: When you are relying on systems rather than personal items will you then be more vulnerable to changes?