Personal and Ubiquitous Computing

, Volume 11, Issue 5, pp 349–359 | Cite as

Probing user values in the home environment within a technology driven Smart Home project

  • Victoria Haines
  • Val Mitchell
  • Catherine Cooper
  • Martin Maguire
Original Article

Abstract

Smart Home technology looks set to become an increasingly common feature of domestic life. However commercial desire for technical innovation rather than explicit user needs are often the driving force behind the development of Smart Home products and services. This study adapts the Cultural Probe approach developed by Gaver et al. [2] to collect primarily visual data about what people value within their home environment. Whereas Cultural Probes are predominantly used to build empathy with users when designing product concepts, this approach attempted to provide similarly fun and engaging prompts for data collection when the design process and project context required more structured consideration of user needs. This paper presents the method developed, project findings and recommendations on how the method should be applied.

Keywords

Probes Photo study Domestic environments Values Smart homes User-centred design Technology 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Victoria Haines
    • 1
  • Val Mitchell
    • 1
  • Catherine Cooper
    • 1
  • Martin Maguire
    • 1
  1. 1.Ergonomics and Safety Research InstituteLoughborough UniversityLeicestershireUK

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