Personal and Ubiquitous Computing

, Volume 18, Issue 7, pp 1601–1615 | Cite as

When noise becomes voice: designing interactive technology for crowd experiences through imitation and invention

  • Rune VeerasawmyEmail author
  • John McCarthy
Original Article


In this paper, we present crowd experience as a novel concept when designing interactive technology for spectator crowds in public settings. Technology-mediated experiences in groups have already been given serious attention in the field of interaction design. However, crowd experiences are distinctive because of the spontaneous, uninhibited behavior exhibited. In crowds, extreme sociality and the experience of performing identity in public emerge spontaneously. By bridging crowd theory and pragmatics of experience, we establish an understanding of crowd experience as a distinct sociality within interaction design that unfolds through imitation and invention. We deploy that understanding in an exploration of spectator experiences at three football matches in which an experimental prototype, BannerBattle, was deployed. BannerBattle is an interactive banner on which spectators can grab space in competition with their rivals. The more noise and movement they make, the more screen real estate they gain. BannerBattle therefore enabled us to explore the emergence of imitative and at times inventive behavior in enriched crowd experience, by augmenting and supporting spectator performance in this way. We discuss the value of a conceptual understanding of crowd experience for technology as an unexplored potential for designing new interactive technology at spectator venues.


Crowd experience Technology-supported spectator experiences User experience design Sporting events 



This research has been supported by Aarhus University’s interdisciplinary research center Participatory IT, PIT. BannerBattle was developed in the iSport project, under ISIS2. We would like to thank our colleagues, who have helped with the project at the Centre for Interactive Spaces. We thank Aarhus Elite for their willingness to participate in our experiment, and interviewees and workshop participants for contributing knowledge to the project.


  1. 1.
    Rogers Y, Lindley S (2004) Collaborating around vertical and horizontal large interactive displays: which way is best? Interact Comput 16:1133–1152. doi: 10.1016/j.intcom.2004.07.008 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Grudin J (1994) Groupware and social dynamics: eight challenges for developers. Commun ACM 10(1145/175222):175230Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Stewart J, Bederson BB, Druin A (1999) Single display groupware: a model for co-present collaboration. In: Proceedings of the CHI ‘99. ACM Press, New York, pp 286–293Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Carroll JM (2012) The neighborhood in the internet: design research projects in community informatics, 1st edn. Routledge, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Kaye J’ (2006) I just clicked to say I love you. In: Proceedings of the CHI EA ‘06. ACM Press, New York, pp 363–368Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Go K, Carroll J, Imamiya A (2000) Familyware. In: IFIP ‘00. Springer, Boston, pp 125–140Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Reeves S, Sherwood S, Brown B (2010) Designing for crowds. In: Proceedings of the NordiCHI ‘10. ACM Press, New York, pp 393–402Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Benford S, Crabtree A, Reeves S et al (2006) The frame of the game: blurring the boundary between fiction and reality in mobile experiences. In: Proceedings of the CHI ‘06. ACM Press, New York, pp 427–436Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Dalsgaard P, Dindler C, Eriksson E (2008) Designing for participation in public knowledge institutions. In: Proceedings of the NordiCHI ‘08. ACM Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Sheridan JG, Dix A, Lock S, Bayliss A (2005) Understanding interaction in ubiquitous guerrilla performances in playful arenas. In: Fincher S, Markpolulos P, Moore D, Ruddle R (eds) People and computers XVIII—design for Life. Springer, London, pp 3–17CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Paulos E, Goodman E (2004) The familiar stranger. In: Proceedings of the CHI (EA) ‘04. ACM Press, New York, pp 223–230Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Fisher K, Counts S, Kittur A (2012) Distributed sensemaking: improving sense making by leveraging the efforts of previous users. In: Proceedings of the CHI ‘12. ACM Press, New York, pp 247–256Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Massung E, Coyle D, Cater KF, et al (2013) Using crowdsourcing to support pro-environmental community activism. In: Proceedings of the CHI ‘13. ACM Press, New York, pp 371–380Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Greenberg MD, Hui J, Gerber E (2013) Crowdfunding. In: Proceedings of the CHI EA ‘13. ACM Press, New York, pp 883–888Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    McCarthy J, Wright P (2004) Technology as experience. MIT Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Wright P, McCarthy J (2010) Experience-centered design: designers, users, and communities in dialogue. Morgan & ClaypoolGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Petersen MG, Iversen OS, Krogh PG, Ludvigsen M (2004) Aesthetic interaction: a pragmatist’s aesthetics of interactive systems. In: Proceedings of the DIS ‘04. ACM Press, New York, pp 269–276Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Forlizzi J, Ford S (2000) The building blocks of experience: an early framework for interaction designers. In: Proceedings of the DIS ‘00. ACM Press, New York, pp 419–423Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Forlizzi J, Battarbee K (2004) Understanding experience in interactive systems. In: Proceedings of the DIS ‘04. ACM Press, New York, pp 261–268Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Bødker S (2006) When second wave HCI meets third wave challenges. In: Proceedings of the NordiCHI ‘06. ACM Press, New York, pp 1–8Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Dewey J (1997) Experience and education. Touchstone, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Shedroff N (2001) Experience design. New Riders pub., IndianapolisGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Battarbee K (2003) Co-Experience: the social user experience. In: Proceedings of the CHI (EA) ‘03. ACM Press, New York, pp 730–731Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Battarbee K, Koskinen I (2005) Co-experience: user experience as interaction. CoDesign 1:5–18CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Battarbee K (2003) Defining co-experience. In: Proceedings of the DPPI ‘03. ACM Press, New York, pp 109–113Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Battarbee K (2007) Co-experience: product experience as social interaction. In: Schifferstein HNJ, Hekker P (eds) Product experience. Elsevier, Amsterdam, pp 461–477Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Guttmann A (2006) Sports crowds. In: Schnapp JT, Tiews M (eds) Crowds. Stanford University Press, Stanford, pp 111–132Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Rinehart RE (1998) Players all: performance in contemporary sport. Indiana University Press, BloomingtonGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Ludvigsen M, Veerasawmy R (2010) Designing technology for active spectator experiences at sporting events. In: Proceedings of the OZCHI ‘10. ACM Press, New York, pp 96–103Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Esbjörnsson M, Brown B, Juhlin O et al (2006) Watching the cars go round and round: designing for active spectating. In: Proceedings of the CHI ‘06. ACM Press, New York, pp 1221–1224Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Jacucci G, Oulasvirta A, Salovaara A (2006) Active construction of experience through mobile media: a field study with implications for recording and sharing. Pers Ubiquit Comput 11:215–234. doi: 10.1007/s00779-006-0084-5 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Jacucci G, Oulasvirta A, Ilmonen T, et al (2007) Comedia: mobile group media for active spectatorship. In: Proceedings of the CHI ‘07. ACM Press, New York, pp 1273–1282Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Bentley F, Groble M (2009) TuVista: meeting the multimedia needs of mobile sports fans. In: Proceedings of the MM ‘09. ACM Press, New York, pp 471–480Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    Giulianotti R (1999) Football: a sociology of the global game. Polity Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Kratzmüller B (2010) Show yourself to the people! In: Frank S, Steets S (eds) Stadium worlds. Routledge, New York, pp 36–55Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    Clarke J (1978) Football and working class fans: tradition and change. In: Ingham R, Hall S, Clarke J et al (eds) Football hooliganism: the wider context. Inter-Action Inprint, London, pp 37–60Google Scholar
  37. 37.
    Bakhtin M (1984) Rabelais and his world. Indiana University Press, BloomingtonGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Crabbe T, Brown A (2004) ‘You‘re not welcome anymore’: the football crowd, class and social exclusion. In: Wagg S (ed) British football and social exclusion. Routledge, Abingdon, pp 26–46Google Scholar
  39. 39.
    Bale J (1993) Sport, space and the city. Blackburn Press, NJGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    Crawford G (2004) Consuming sport: fans, sport and culture. Routledge, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    Raitz KB (1995) The theater of sport. John Hopkins University Press, LondonGoogle Scholar
  42. 42.
    Oriard M (1981) Professional football as cultural myth. J Am Cult 4:27–41. doi: 10.1111/j.1542-734X.1981.0403_27.x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. 43.
    Bale J (2000) The changing face of football: stadiums and communities. Soccer Soc 1:91–101. doi: 10.1080/14660970008721251 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. 44.
    Ault A, Krogmeier JV, Dunlop SR, Coyle EDJ (2008) eStadium: the mobile wireless football experience. In: Proceedings of the ICIW ‘08. IEEE, pp 644–649Google Scholar
  45. 45.
    Storm RK, Brandt HH (2008) Idræt og Sport I Den Danske Oplevelsesøkonomi—Mellem Forening og Forretning. Imagine.. og Samfundslitteratur, Gylling, DenmarkGoogle Scholar
  46. 46.
    King A (1998) The end of the terraces: the transformation of English football in the 1990s. Leicester University Press, LondonGoogle Scholar
  47. 47.
    Brown A (1998) United we stand—some problems with fan democracy. In: Brown A (ed) Fanatics! Power, identity, and fandom in football. Routledge, New York, pp 50–67Google Scholar
  48. 48.
    Taylor J (1989) Hillsborough stadium disaster inquiry—interim report. Secretary of State for the Home Department, LondonGoogle Scholar
  49. 49.
    Relph E (1981) Rational landscapes and humanistic geography. Croom Helm, LondonGoogle Scholar
  50. 50.
    King A (2010) The new European stadium. In: Frank S, Steets S (eds) Stadium worlds. Routledge, New York, pp 19–35Google Scholar
  51. 51.
    de Tarde G (1962) The laws of imitation, 2nd edn. Henry Holt, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  52. 52.
    de Tarde G (1899) Social laws—an outline of sociology. Macmillan, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  53. 53.
    de Tarde G (1968) Penal philosophy. William Heinemann, LondonGoogle Scholar
  54. 54.
    Le Bon G (2001) The crowd—a study of the poplar mind. Batoche Books, KitchenerGoogle Scholar
  55. 55.
    Canetti E (1984) Crowds and power, 1st edn. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  56. 56.
    Borch C (2009) Out of sight, out of mind: on the power/knowledge of crowds and atmospheres. In: Strategic unknowns: the usefulness of ambiguity and ignorance in organizational life 2009. Oxford, pp 1–22Google Scholar
  57. 57.
    Borch C (2005) Urban imitations: Tarde’s sociology revisited. Theory Cult Soc 22:81–100. doi: 10.1177/0263276405053722 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. 58.
    Sloterdijk P (2008) Foam city. Distinkt Scand J Social Theory 9:47–59. doi: 10.1080/1600910X.2008.9672955 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. 59.
    Sampson TD (2012) Virality: contagion theory in the age of networks. University of Minnesota Press, MinneapolisGoogle Scholar
  60. 60.
    Veerasawmy R, Iversen OS (2012) BannerBattle—introducing crowd experience to interaction design. In: Proceedings of the NordiCHI ‘12. ACM Press, New York, pp 228–237Google Scholar
  61. 61.
    Flick U (2005) An introduction to qualitiative research, 2nd edn. Sage, LondonGoogle Scholar
  62. 62.
    Blomberg J, Giacomi J, Mocher A, Swenton-Wall P (1993) Etnographic field methods and their relation to design. In: Schuler D, Namioka A (eds) Participatory design: principles and practices. Lawrence Erlbaum, Hillsdale, pp 123–155Google Scholar
  63. 63.
    Bødker S, Christiansen E (1997) Scenarios as springboards in CSCW design. In: Bowker GC, Star SL, Turner W, Gasser L (eds) Social science, technical systems, and cooperative work: beyond the great divide. Lawrence Erlbaum, Mahwah, pp 217–233Google Scholar
  64. 64.
    Ehn P, Kyng M (1991) Cardboard computers: mocking-it-up or hands-on the future. In: Greenbaum J, Kyng M (eds) Design at work: cooperative design of computer systems. Lawrence Erlbaum, Hillsdale, pp 169–195Google Scholar
  65. 65.
    Zimmerman J, Forlizzi J, Evenson S (2007) Research through design as a method for interaction design research in HCI. In: Proceedings of the CHI ‘07. ACM Press, New York, pp 483–502Google Scholar
  66. 66.
    Jensen B (2009) BannerBattle til AGF-BIF. Accessed 30 Aug 2013
  67. 67.
    Giulianotti R (2002) Supporters, followers, fans, and flaneurs: a taxonomy of spectator identities in football. J Sport Soc Issues 26:25–46. doi: 10.1177/0193723502261003 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. 68.
    Stone C (2007) The role of football in everyday life. Soccer Soc 8:169–184. doi: 10.1080/14660970701224319 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. 69.
    Fiske J (1992) The cultural economy of fandom. In: Lewis LA (ed) The adoring audience: fan culture and popular media. Routledge, London, pp 30–49Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Aesthetics and Communication, PIT and CAVIAarhus UniversityÅrhusDenmark
  2. 2.Department of Applied PsychologyUniversity College CorkCorkIreland

Personalised recommendations