Chapter

Connecting Families

pp 15-36

Date:

Designing for Collocated Couples

  • Stacy BranhamAffiliated withDepartment of Computer Science and School of Visual Arts, Center for Human-Computer Interaction, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Email author 
  • , Steve HarrisonAffiliated withDepartment of Computer Science and School of Visual Arts, Center for Human-Computer Interaction, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

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Abstract

Though the design of technologies for couples has been thriving for well over a decade now, the products made for and the needs of couples examined in HCI research are surprisingly narrow. Overwhelmingly they are for partners at a distance and lightweight interactions that can best be described as abstracted presence. Towards moving couples technologies into broader waters and guiding exploration of the many other facets of couplehood, we propose an expanded couples design space that includes technologies for local partners and deep interpersonal sharing—hitherto underexplored design concerns. We then show that the creation of these new spaces can be motivated by the needs of couples as characterized by couples experts and present an example of a new technology that embodies these. Finally, we draw from experience with couples in the field to identify research and design considerations regarding gender, power, values, and ethics.