Andrew Mears MA Design Systems Thesis 2019

Can You Connect With Me?

The technology (i.e., smartphones and social media) designed to connect us all is not sufficient at making us feel socially connected. More specifically, these technologies challenge our agency to create new meaningful in-person connections because they disconnect us from the present social environment, inhibit our capacity to have meaningful in-person conversations and create social barriers between people in physical spaces. Through design research tactics, this thesis explores the question, “Are smartphones a barrier to in-person connections?” From the key findings and insights of this research, the outcome of this thesis establishes a design strategy framework and evaluation tool that may be used by designers who care about this issue. The framework asks the question, “How might we design products, services or experiences that empower individuals, groups and communities to be more mindful of their smartphone use and more likely to create in-person personal connections with the people around us?”

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MFA in Collaborative Design and MA in Design Systems Thesis Works