Clouds and SurfacesMain Theme
There are two corresponding halves to this project; studying interactive screen use “in vivo” – and matching this up with understanding cloud computing and how it is perceived. This project attempts to understand the adoption of “surface” interactions on mobiles, iPads and tablets, TV-screens and surface computing, alongside the greater dependence on “cloud services”. Understanding the future of mobile is to a big extent understanding clouds and services.
This part has been investigating user reactions to cloud computing. We produced a paper based on interviews with spotify and dropbox users, alongside presenting the tangible interface to Spotify we developed. This paper is in collaboration with Microsoft, and included discussion of some of the concepts produced for Ikea earlier in the year. This paper presents findings from an interview study that explores users’ relationships with their physical, digital and cloud media. Based on these interviews we discuss the differing experiences of media based upon the affordances of these formats. We then describe three designs that build on these findings, with the aim of bridging gaps in practices of gifting, self-presentation and collaborative control of media. We go on to the ‘pick up and play’ tangible Spotify functional prototype of one of the designs via a video presentation.
The second half of this project examines the roles of screens. The longstanding project this has been involved in is recording phone screens and studying interaction around those screens. Two papers are in submission from this work - one looking at how search is arranged around device use, and the second on our study of a 'hundred days of iPhone use'. This project has collected over 176 hours of video recordings of iPhone use. This data gives us a uniquely detailed view on how messages, social media and internet use are integrated and threaded into daily life, our interaction with others, and everyday events such as transport, communication, delays and entertainment. We address the when, what and who of mobile phone use – starting with understanding how it is occasioned by context. We characterising three key modes of use: micro-breaks, digital knitting and reading. Lastly we analyse the multi-party and shared nature of phone use. The data here reveals for analysis the moment-by-moment use of contemporary mobile phones.
Project leader: Barry Brown