Supporting Social Presence through Lightweight Photo Sharing On and Off the Desktop

Lightweight photo sharing, particularly via mobile devices, is fast becoming a common communication medium used for maintaining a presence in the lives of friends and family. How should such systems be designed to maximize this social presence while maintaining simplicity? An experimental photo sharing system was developed and tested that, compared to current systems, offers highly simplified, group-centric sharing, automatic and persistent people-centric organization, and tightly integrated desktop and mobile sharing and viewing. In an experimental field study, the photo sharing behaviors of groups of family or friends were studied using their normal photo sharing methods and with the prototype sharing system. Results showed that users found photo sharing easier and more fun, shared more photos, and had an enhanced sense of social presence when sharing with the experimental system. Results are discussed in the context of design principles for the rapidly increasing number of lightweight photo sharing systems.

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Publisher  Association for Computing Machinery, Inc.
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