The convergence of social, cloud and mobile computing has created a world in which people generate, access, manipulate, and share personal digital data at larger scales and faster rates than ever before. From digital photo albums to online music streaming services, these new technologies have enabled people to create vast archives of virtual possessions that capture their life experiences. While these technological trends have created many opportunities, they also raise complex questions for the HCI community as we critically look to the future and consider their longer-term implications. As archives continue to grow, how will people live with their virtual possessions in ways that support their evolving practices, values, and understandings of self? How might people’s relations to digital data and the technologies that manifest them change over time? What kinds of qualities should designers consider in crafting a longer-term place for computational things in everyday life? In this talk I will draw on examples from my research to motivate these questions as a crucial research space for the HCI community. I will then give an overview of my recent and ongoing research-through-design projects themed around the concept of slow interaction design that demonstrate productive ways of grappling with these complex and emerging questions.
William Odom is an Assistant Professor in the School of Interactive Arts and Technology at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada. He co-directs the Everyday Design Studio and leads a range of projects themed within slow interaction design, the growing digitization of people’s possessions, and methods for nurturing and developing the practice of Research-through-Design. His work has received numerous best paper and honorable mention awards at ACM conferences including CHI, DIS, and Ubicomp, as well as a silver international design excellence award (IDEA) from the Industrial Designers Society of America. He holds a Ph.D. in Human-Computer Interaction from Carnegie Mellon University, and was previously a Fulbright Scholar and Banting Fellow.