This thesis describes research into the application of socially reflective, or "Slow", design principles to modern mediated systems, or "Fast" technology. The "information overload" caused by drastic changes in the nature of human communications in the last decade has become a serious problem, with many human-technology interactions creating mental confusion, personal discomfort and a sense of disconnection. Slow design principles aim to help create interactions that avoid these problems by increasing interaction richness, encouraging engagement with local communities, and promoting personal and communal reflection. Three major functional mediated systems were constructed to examine the application of Slow principles on multiple scales: KiteViz, Taskville and Your ____ Here. Each system was designed based on a survey of current research within the field and previous research results. KiteViz is a visually metaphorical display of Twitter activity within a small group, Taskville is a workplace game designed to support collaboration and group awareness in an enterprise, and Your ____ Here is a physical-digital projection system that augments built architecture with user-submitted content to promote discussion and reflection. Each system was tested with multiple users and user groups, the systems were evaluated for their effectiveness in supporting each of the tenets of Slow design, and the results were collected into a set of key findings. Each system was considered generally effective, with specific strengths varying. The thesis concludes with a framework of five major principles to be used in the design of modern, highly-mediated systems that still apply Slow design principles: design for fundamental understanding, handle complexity gracefully, Slow is a process of evolution and revelation, leverage groups and personal connections to encode value, and allow for participation across a widely distributed range of scales.
- Slow design through fast technology: the application of socially reflective design principles to modern mediated technologies
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Statement of Responsibility
by Silvan Linn