Things that make us reminisce: Everyday memory cues as opportunities for interaction design

Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Proceedings, 2015, 2015-April pp. 3443 - 3452
Issue Date:
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© Copyright 2015 ACM. Interactive devices can support personal remembering to benefit well-being. These designs require insight into what brings the past to mind, and how people relate to such cues. Prior work focused on mementos in the home; instead, this paper presents a diary and interview study of involuntary memory cueing in everyday life. Data was collected from fifteen adult individuals, using sentence completion diaries, combined with debriefing interviews. Qualitative analysis of the data showed that these participants were relying on everyday physical objects like food items for cueing memories during everyday life, locations and (repeated) activities, while digital items and photos were shown to be less frequent stimulants. Meaningful relations to memory cues can be partially explained from a memory cueing perspective. We discuss how design for remembering can benefit from our insights, through careful trade-offs in timing, exposure to cues, and supporting a process of personal attachment with items invoking memories.
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