Things We've Learnt About...

"Things We've Learnt About.." is a regular publication from the Socio-Digital Systems team that summarises our work around a specific theme in a way that we hope is interesting, insightful and inspirational. And most importantly, succinct.

 

Issue 3 - Search & Web Use

Issue 3 of our magazine is focussed on the theme of Search & Web Use. We’ve tried to wrap up over 5 years of research and design work in this area to talk about the way we search online, and how we spend out time on the web. Are there ways of thinking about search beyond worries about the speed and relevancy of results? In this issue we describe 5 different ways in which people spend their time online - Purposefully, Opportunistically, to Orient themselves, as a form of Respite and finally simply to Lean-Back. With this context, we present a number of different prototypes and ideas for thinking about our lives online, that we hope will inspire your own work.

DOWNLOAD A DIGITAL VERSION

Issue 3 is available as a PDF (5MB).

PRINTED COPY

Feel free to print out the digital version, or even send it to a printer of your choice. We've also made this issue available as a glossy print-on-demand magazine at MagCloud.

 

 

Issue 2 - Memory

Issue 2 of our magazine is focussed on the theme of Memory. We’ve tried to wrap up over 5 years of research and design work in this area to talk about the role technology plays in supporting memory. We need to understand the ways in which people value looking back on their past, and the subtlety and different modes of memory. In this issue, for example, we describe the "5 R's" of memory - Recollecting, Reminiscing, Retrieving, Reflecting and Remembering Intentions - each of which implies a different relationship and goal with respect to the past, and each of which may imply quite different design goals for a product.

DOWNLOAD A DIGITAL VERSION

Issue 2 is available as a PDF (5MB).

PRINTED COPY

Feel free to print out the digital version, or even send it to a printer of your choice. We've also made this issue available as a glossy print-on-demand magazine at MagCloud.

 

 

Issue 1 - Communication

Issue 1 of our magazine is focussed on the theme of Human-to-Human Communication. We’ve tried to wrap up over 5 years of research and design work in this area to talk about why people communicate. A lot of the focus on communication technologies is on the substance of the message – getting some “data” if you like, from person A to person B. A lot of this issue of the magazine deals with the reasons and methods through which people communicate that have little to do with the message. Sometimes people send messages to remind other people that they care about them, for example. The content of the message matters less than the fact that the sender thought about sending it. The magazine is full of little insights like that, that are about the subtle underpinnings that make communication important.

DOWNLOAD A DIGITAL VERSION

Issue 1 is available as a PDF (12MB).

PRINTED COPY

Feel free to print out the digital version, or even send it to a printer of your choice. We've also made this issue available as a glossy print-on-demand magazine at MagCloud.

 

Our motivation

A lot of the written material that we produce in Socio-Digital Systems is directed very much at an academic audience. Through conferences like CHI and CSCW we add to, and build on, the research work of a broad community and find out about new efforts going on in our domain of human-computer interaction. That’s as it should be for research.

We’ve been trying to think of some ways to make our work more accessible, though. Partially this is because the busy people who work for Microsoft in the US, building products that we want to help influence, don’t have a great deal of time to read a 10 page academic treatise. They need something a little more…succinct, and to the point. In addition to a focus on Microsoft, we think the subject of our research work is generally and genuinely interesting to a broad audience. We deal with the way people live their lives, and try and gain some understanding of the appropriate way in which technology should play a part. We look for the “human values” that motivate people, particularly in their personal relationships and in the places in which they spend time, then we ask how technology can enhance, rather than undermine, them.