Designing for Co-located Couples

TitleDesigning for Co-located Couples
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsBranham, S., and S. Harrison
Book TitleConnecting Families: The Impact of New Communication Technologies on Domestic Life
Series TitleCSCW
ISBN Number978-1-4471-4191-4

 Though the design of technologies for couples has been thriving for well over a decade now, the products we make and the presumed couples needs we address are surprisingly narrow. We overwhelmingly design for partners at a distance and lightweight interactions that can best be described as abstracted presence. To- wards moving couples technologies into broader waters and helping us explore the many other facets of couplehood, I propose an expanded couples design space that includes technologies for local partners and rich reflection––hitherto underex- plored design concerns. I then show that the creation of these new spaces can be motivated by the needs of couples as characterized by couples experts and present an example of a new technology that embodies these. Finally, I draw from my experience with couples in the field to identify research and design considerations for when couples are the user regarding gender, power, values, and ethics.