Personal Interaction Design


Laura Varisco

Phd Research supported by TIM S.p.A.

From the discussion on the consequences of the use of personal information, to design issues

In a context where the development of data-based technologies and systems opens new domain for the design of interactive and responsive solutions, the management of personal information has become a significant issue. It’s a critical task for both the user’s management, and the designed system’s one.

What kind of knowledge, tools and design actions can we introduce in the design processes so to support design choices with respect to awareness on possible consequences of the use of personal information?

Data can be collected from conscious providing by the users as well as passively gathered from user’s action in digital and real world. They can then be processed to create information that is valuable [Boyd & Crawford, 2011]. Information derived from processing is not neutral as the raw data are, so the users are less willing in giving data away when they realize they are providing opportunities to extract information. Biodata can be collected to identify patterns helping to detect anomalies and illness, as well as presences and actions help to identify behaviors useful to provide reactive and proactive services. All these aspects related to the identity, behaviors, and relations and connections that the systems analyze to provide services, can modify and perturb the perception of the self, how the action are performed, and the interpersonal relationships. The research aims to investigate on the signifiers that contributes to the creation of the meaning, focusing on the less consciously generated ones that perturb the interaction paradigms.

Different design processes involve different methods, teams, actors and stakeholders, and designers can loose control of both the design choices and the consequences of the designed solutions. Design processes are fluid and complex. Data can largely contribute in the creation of value in many fields and for human wellbeing, but their use can bring into dangers and lead to unwanted problems. In a constantly in progress situation, we have a moral obligation in fostering the right and convenient design both through the identification of the problems that emerge from the use of personal information and providing solutions for designers to help them in dealing with the related uncertainties. Designers have instruments and tools to play an active role in defending a holistic and user/human centered approach in design, creating resilient solutions in terms of creation of values and defense of personal and societal rights.