cixd creative interaction design lab.

Value Construction with Digital Things

2012 - 2013

People develop strong attachments to a small selection of the things they encounter in their life. We live in a world increasingly filled with digital things. Some of these digital things are simply physical things that have lost their physical form, such as photos, music, video, and even money. Some are things that never had a lasting physical form, such as email, text, and IM message archives; social networking profile pages including status messages and comments; and personal behavior logs from services such as MapMyRun or FourSquare. Interestingly, digital objects seem different. Imagine a parent reading to a child on a Kindle. Years later would that parent still keep and cherish the device? Or would they cherish a specific digital file? It seems unlikely. We aimed to investigate the opportunities for new products and services to help people to better create, access, and construct value with their digital things. Specifically, we conducted field studies and technology probes with young adults in Europe, North America, and Asia. As a result, we identified the more universal and more culturally specific aspects of value construction with digital things. Based on our findings, we generated ideas for emerging service opportunities at the intersection of cloud, social, and mobile computing in the design of new products and services that help people perceive more value in their digital things.