Technology Probes: Inspiring Design for and with Families

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2003-01-21

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We describe a new methodology for designing technologies for and with families called technology probes. Technology probes are simple, flexible, adaptable technologies introduced into families' homes with three interdisciplinary goals: the social science goal of collecting data about the use of the technology in a real-world setting, the engineering goal of field-testing the technology, and the design goal of inspiring users and designers to think about new technologies. We present the results of designing and deploying two technology probes, the MessageProbe and the VideoProbe, with families in France, Sweden, and the U.S. We conclude with our plans for creating new technologies based on our experiences. Keywords Design Methods, Computer Mediated Communication, Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW), Home, Ethnography, Participatory Design and Cooperative Design, User Studies and Fieldwork (UMIACS-TR-2002-87) (HCIL-TR-2002-16)

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