Janaki Vivrekar on Transforming Social Media Interfaces with Embodied Constraints

24 Jul, 2021

Janaki Vivrekar on Transforming Social Media Interfaces with Embodied Constraints

For her Master's thesis, Janaki Vivrekar recently released Crank, Shake, and Tilt: Transforming Social Media Interfaces with Embodied Constraints, a technical report analyzing digital social media experiences and the techniques used to transform them into physically interactive experiences.

From the abstract:

Using social media is engaging, enthralling, and stimulating but simultaneously routine and habitual. In this thesis, I explore a series of critical designs that transform digital social media experiences into physically interactive experiences, to provoke users to interrogate their motivations for using social media. I present four social media intervention systems with embodied constraints requiring continuous physical participation: the Crank Box, the Cranker, the Shaker, and the Tilter. In a study with twelve social media users, I identify that exclusively accessing social media through these critical designs caused temporary or persistent decreases in social media usage for all participants. Through analysis of daily diary studies, qualitative interviews, and social media usage metrics, I uncovered how users changed their behaviors and values around social media as a result of the interventions. Users devoted their time to different social media content and activities, demonstrated novel collaborative ways to operate social media, and increased their awareness about the role of social media in their lives. Based on the intervention designs that produced these outcomes, I present seven design factors to consider for future social media interventions. I further propose design speculations about sensory, spatial, and distorted interactions for future critical exploration of social media interfaces beyond digital surfaces.

Read the report here!