In the use of social networking services, crafting one’s identity is one of the fundamental activities that enable people to interact with others as unique individuals. The early SNSs like MySpace and Cyworld provided many visual features such as profile decoration and avatar customization so that people can expressively portrait and distinguish themselves from others. However, as a new trend of SNSs (SNS 2.0) emerge over recent several years, which needs to be visually simplistic to effectively support real time contents sharing, those visual features has been replaced by text-oriented contents, although individuals still want to express his/her characteristics without verbally articulating the details. In this new context, this study explores the potential of interactivity, the dynamic characteristics of interactive artifacts, as a new medium for self-expression in online communication. To do so, we first investigated whether people have preferences toward interactivity and how they are related to one’s personality. Then, we developed a social website where people can express themselves through interactivity and experience others through their interactivity expressions. Based on the understandings from the user study, practical design implications were discussed so that designers are able to strategically utilize interactivity for self-expression in online communication.
There have been studies about users' preferences on different physical styles of interactive products, but the exploration of interactivity preferences and the value of customizing its expressions have not been emphasized much yet. In this paper, we conducted a three-phase user study in order to investigate individual preferences to different qualities of interactivity and its relationship with individual differences. The results showed that people have diverse preferences for several attributes of interactivity, similar to the case for appearances of products, and there are close relationships between individual differences such as human personality traits. Based on these results, we discussed their implications for designing attractive interaction.
In this paper, we suggest interactivity, which defines dynamic and invisible characteristics of an interactive system, as a medium for self-expression in an online communication environment. Since existing means of self-expression are visual- or text-oriented, they cover only a part of one's real self. Interactivity, however, is invisible, but still evokes emotional experiences depending on its value. Therefore, we expected that one's interactivity expression customization would also represent the different dimensions of one's characteristics. This study aims to explore the possibility of interactivity expressions as a new way of self-expression in an online communication environment. By conducting a user study with a social website prototype, namely, iSpace, in which each user's personal site can be distinguished by their different interactivity expressions, this study provides understandings of rationales and patterns of interactivity expressions, and design implications which we expect to inspire designers to consider them strategically in their design practices.