Author(s): Carolien E Postma, Pieter Jan Stappers
This paper presents a case study in which social interactions in groups of adolescents were mapped in order to define a product interaction that suited the adolescents. A school class of 18 students, 13 – 15 years old, participated in this project. In the first phase of the study, cultural probing was used to identify the social groups in the school class. In the second phase, the students worked in these groups on a sensitizing package, after which each group participated in a generative session. By means of the probes and sessions, insights were obtained into the interactions, relationships, roles and personalities within each social group. Based on the insights, we formulated a design vision for a museum visit for school groups. This vision was made tangible in a concept design for a museum visit for the Netherlands Architecture institute.
In this case study, social interactions were used as motivator and mechanism for creating a museum experience. But a similar approach may be valuable for the design of products that mediate in social activities. In the conclusions we suggest the development of tools and methods to support designers in designing products and services that fit within people's social lives.