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Thanatosensitively designed technologies for bereavement support

Michael Massimi


Computing supports a number of activities across the lifespan, from interactive games for children to smart homes for seniors. However, one part of the lifespan which is often overlooked by application designers is the end of life - a period marked by issues of mortality, dying, and death. My thesis takes up this area as its object of study, and does so specifically by examining the bereaved as a target population. I argue that most modern technologies are not designed with proper acknowledgement of the eventual death of their users, and that this oversight results in a series of circumstances which complicate affairs for bereaved family members. Based on evidence from a survey and interview study, I identify opportunities for technology designers to support bereavement activities through a process called "thanatosensitive design." My thesis seeks to contribute methodological insights for designing for the end of the lifespan, a novel system which connects bereaved individuals together, and account of how this system mediates social support.


Publication typeInproceedings
Published inProceedings of the 28th of the international conference extended abstracts on Human factors in computing systems
AddressAtlanta, Georgia, USA
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