Hello everyone! After a while, I am back to write some words in this small space I created with the goal of disseminating (and also organize for myself) the deeds of my Ph.D. research journey.
I am starting now my last year of Ph.D. (yes, this is the last year!) and after the challenge of completely resetting my topic a year and some months ago, I finally see the light at the end of the tunnel for this year. 2012 was a great year of a lot of work (what’s up, the laboratory of ICT, participatory design workshops, reminiscens and many other things) which at the beginning didn’t seem to have a clear line but that later took the shape of an interesting project of participatory design (PD) and ICT for social interactions. Through all the year, we held a Laboratory of ICT where elderly themselves selected the topics to learn while we were “appropriating the ethnographers gaze” to learn from them about their relationship with technology.
The lab went on until the end of the year and it will still continue through the first part of this one. Its realization allowed us not only to apply ethnography and learn through observation about the needs of elderly with respect to ICT, but also to build with them a relationship of trust that later made it easy for us to involve them in a process of Participatory design for building a digital reminiscence application we call Reminiscens (the new kid in town of Lifeparticipation 🙂 ). Below is a video showing how we are working with them, plus an early mockup demonstration video we prepared.
Based on this experience and the preliminary results we have obtained (including the prototypes like this one and insights for design), I have recently submitted a short paper for the track of “Work-In-Progress” of CHI2013. We have found the PD methodology to be a powerful methodology for getting insights and inspiration in the design process stages, while at the same time has the potential of serving for evaluation purposes. The use of early prototypes some times was a drawback because of the high expectations the group had about what they would be able to do with the tool. This however, the whole process proved to be highly insightful and inclusive. Remains to see what attitudes will a person who did not participated have toward the tool once it is finished.
The plan for this year is to finalize the PD process and the the tool sometime in spring (around may) and later run a longitudinal evaluation study where we will measure how much this tool motivates elderly and younger people to interact in a face to face interaction scenario. Once that’s done, there is a thesis to be finally written!.
I will try to update this blog weekly during this year. It will be a sort of repository of notes, observations, preliminary results and maybe even chapter pieces for my dissertation. I leave you with a last video where we have summarized the work we did at Lifeparticipation during 2012 (I am the second guy 😉 ).
I wish all a great 2013! Stay tune and feel free to cheer me up from time to time so that I can focus more and more on the work and less and less on procrastination 😉