Abstract

There is a gap between understanding the needs of couples who are in long-distance relationships in research and designing technologies for them in practice. The aim of this study was to understand how design can act as a catalyst in bridging the gap. Taking a user-centered approach, the study engaged with ten participants, i.e. five remote couples who had remained committed to each other in serious long-distance relationships. The goal was to build empathy with them, explore their experiences and skills for coping with long-distance relationships, identify their main challenges and needs, and understand their perspectives on existing artifacts that mediate intimacy between remote partners. As design considerations for future technology development, the findings reveal there is a need to take the strategy of customization into account when designing technologies for long-distance relationships, where customization can serve as an aid to empower remote couples as skilled practitioners to creatively use technologies so as to meet their diverse needs.

Keywords:

user-centered design, long-distance relationship, customization

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License

Share

COinS
 
Jun 25th, 12:00 AM

Understanding Design as a Catalyst to Engage Remote Couples in Designing for Long-Distance Relationships

There is a gap between understanding the needs of couples who are in long-distance relationships in research and designing technologies for them in practice. The aim of this study was to understand how design can act as a catalyst in bridging the gap. Taking a user-centered approach, the study engaged with ten participants, i.e. five remote couples who had remained committed to each other in serious long-distance relationships. The goal was to build empathy with them, explore their experiences and skills for coping with long-distance relationships, identify their main challenges and needs, and understand their perspectives on existing artifacts that mediate intimacy between remote partners. As design considerations for future technology development, the findings reveal there is a need to take the strategy of customization into account when designing technologies for long-distance relationships, where customization can serve as an aid to empower remote couples as skilled practitioners to creatively use technologies so as to meet their diverse needs.

 

To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.