PhD Thesis (2010-2014)

The CuDe Framework: Designing Digital Souvenirs for Meaningful Remembering Experiences.

Supervisor: Prof. Geraldine Fitzpatrick

External reviewers:

Prof. Daniela Petrelli

Dr. Paul Marshall



Snapping a photo now is quick and convenient, but how many of these photos are ever revisited again and how many photos can later serve as valuable digital souvenirs? The aim of this research is to explore opportunities for employing digitally captured media content (e.g., photos, text, GPS locations, etc.) as resources for meaningful remembering. This notion of 'meaningful remembering' is defined here as enabling ‘subtle’ experiences such as moments of reminiscence and reflection. Using a mixture of design-led research and (mostly) qualitative user studies, the work explored novel approaches to capturing digital information, often involving photographs and often featuring playful or unconventional aspects. The primary facilitator of such experiences is the modern mobile phone with its affordances for capturing (multi)media data. We developed a series of prototypes and ‘augmented memory systems’, which we deployed in field studies. Each prototype varied the application of media data capture or replay and hence the handling of memory retrieval cues. Thus, these artifacts can be seen as part of an iterative process of exploring opportunities for engaging the user with past events by offering different ways in which digital content can be captured, reviewed and related to each other. The three most advanced prototype systems created in the course of the thesis were named Hearsay, 2sidez and Media Object (MEO). Hearsay explored the ‘out-of-context’ presentation of digital content, that is, the user was presented with memory retrieval cues, which invited them to reflect about the (contextual) origin of this information. While the 2sidez prototype or application was for capturing ‘two-sided photos’ (by means of mobile devices that feature two opposite-facing cameras), MEO provided the user with the opportunity to capture rich multimedia data and aggregate it into a single file structure. A mixture of in-depth (longer-term) and larger-scale studies suggested that these applications indeed were appreciated by the participants for the original way in which they made use of the digitally captured information and for their potential in providing valuable memory retrieval cues. The findings of the user studies are synthesized into the CuDe Framework (Memory Cue Design Framework) for supporting the designers of augmented memory systems in analysing, understanding and exploiting digital memory retrieval cues. More precisely, this conceptual framework provides guidance in making choices about the kind of user experience to be addressed, about what to capture and about how to present this captured information. In summary, the outcome of this research is a set of prototype systems or applications (Hearsay, 2sidez, Media Object and a set of technology probes) and derived design principles (synthesized into CuDe) that can be employed to design for evocative memory triggers and meaningful remembering experiences.

 Publications from the Thesis Work

  • Güldenpfennig, F., & Fitzpatrick, G. (2011). Getting more out of your Images: Augmenting Photos for Recollection and Reminiscence. Short Paper presented at the Proceedings of the 25th BCS Conference on Human-Computer Interaction, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, United Kingdom (pp.467-472). ACMPDFBlog.
  • Güldenpfennig, F., Reitberger, W., & Fitzpatrick, G. (2012a). Capturing rich Media through Media Objects on Smartphones. Short Paper presented at the Proceedings of the 24th Australian Computer-Human Interaction Conference, Melbourne, Australia (pp.180-183). ACMPDFBlog.
  • Güldenpfennig, F., Reitberger, W., & Fitzpatrick, G. (2012b). Of unkempt hair, dirty Shirts and smiling Faces: Capturing behind the Mobile Camera. Full Paper presented at the Proceedings of the 7th Nordic Conference on Human-Computer Interaction: Making Sense Through Design, Copenhagen, Denmark (pp.298-307). ACMPDFBlog.
  • Güldenpfennig, F., Reitberger, W., & Fitzpatrick, G. (2012c). Through two different Lenses: a Tool for new Perspectives into Context. Full Paper presented at the Proceedings of the 24th Australian Computer-Human Interaction Conference, Melbourne, Australia (pp.170-179). ACMBlog*Best Paper Award*
  • Güldenpfennig, F., Fitzpatrick, G., & Reitberger, W. (2014). Making Sense of Rich Data Collections on Mobile Devices. Paper presented at the Proceedings of the 2014 European Conference on Cognitive Ergonomics, Vienna, Austria. ACM.
  • Güldenpfennig, F., Reitberger, W., Ganglbauer, E., & Fitzpatrick, G. (2014). Duography in The Classroom: Creative Engagement with Two-sided Mobile Phone Photography. International Journal of Mobile Human Computer Interaction (IJMHCI) 6, 3 (2014), 51-67. PDFBlog.
  • Güldenpfennig, F., & Fitzpatrick, G. (2014). Personal Digital Archives on Mobile Phones with MEO. Pers Ubiquit Comput 19, 2 (2015), 445-461. PDFBlog.
  • Güldenpfennig, F., & Fitzpatrick, G. (2015). De+re: A Design Concept for Provoking Meaningful interactive Experiences. Long Paper presented at the proceedings of the International Conference of Mobile and Ubiquitous Multimedia (MUM 2015). ACMPDF.