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designing for a frictionless mobile lifestyle

Hoefnagels, Stephan


Keyword(s): planning; scheduling; coordinating

Abstract: This project was conducted during 2002 and 2003 in the User Studies and Design Group at Hewlett-Packard Laboratories in Bristol, UK and at Delft University of Technology, the Netherlands. The goal of this project was firstly to take a fresh look at mobility through the critical exploration of the theme of a "frictionless mobile lifestyle" and secondly to express the insights from this exploration through product and interaction design. This exploration started by defining the concept of a mobile lifestyle and by identifying families with working parents as a relevant example population. User studies in this population led to a rich picture of their lifestyles. Examination and definition of the concept of friction, using mechanical friction as a metaphor, provided the tools to interpret these user studies. Scheduling and coordination activities, with a focus on the usage situations of scheduling a new appointment and staying synchronized in a changing reality, emerged from the user studies as resonating most clearly with the concepts of friction. This report presents two products that embody this resonance through their design. The "long-term planner" is a large dynamic display that visualizes entangled family schedules and provides shared tangible interaction when scheduling a new appointment. The "coordination watch" is a mobile device that provides awareness of and distributed haptic interaction with changes in routines. This project shows how a metaphorical interpretation of a real-world concept such as friction can be used throughout the design process to provide fresh ways of looking at usage situations and to provide direction in product and interaction design.

106 Pages

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