Companions: objects accruing value and memories by being a part of our lives

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    Cherished utilitarian objects can provide comfort and pleasure through their associations to our personal past and the time and energy we have invested in and with them. In this paper, we present a specific type of object relationship, which we call the companion. They are mundane objects that accrued meaning over time, and evoke tiny pleasureswhen we interact with them. We then draw insights from the HCI research literature on digital possessions and attachment that could be applied to enhance digital products or processes with companion qualities. We argue the importance to design for digital companionship in everyday use products, for example by enabling the accruement of subtle marks of the owners past with the product. We wish to evoke thought and awareness of the role of companions, and how this relationship can be supported in digital products.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationOzCHI '16: Australian Computer-Human Interaction Conference, Launceston, Australia
    Place of PublicationNew York
    PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery, Inc
    ISBN (Electronic)978-1-4503-4618-4
    Publication statusPublished - 30 Nov 2016
    Event28th Australian conference on Computer-Human Interaction (OzCHI 2016) - Launceston, Australia
    Duration: 28 Nov 20162 Dec 2016
    Conference number: 28


    Conference28th Australian conference on Computer-Human Interaction (OzCHI 2016)
    Abbreviated titleOzCHI 2016
    Internet address


    • digital possessions
    • memory cues
    • product relationships
    • traces of use
    • interaction design
    • Information interfaces and presentation (e.g., HCI)
    • User-centered design


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