Memorial Interactivity: Planning Nostalgic UX

Proposal Title: 
Memorial Interactivity: Planning Nostalgic UX
Presenter(s): 
Abstract: 

Which rhetorical bearings lead to memorable designs? How do experience architects plan for story telling? How might designers better create objects that record personal accounts of use? What can composing students learn from such questions? In this presentation I describe the concept of memorial interactivity, how rhetorical-designers scaffold the audience memories that make texts meaningful. I divide memorial interactivity into three interactions: narratability (the ability to tell stories about meaningful interactions), connoisseurship (participating in a cult of consumerism that requires memorable protocols as badges of membership), and craft (memories associated with partially building an object).

Proposal: 

Which rhetorical bearings lead to memorable designs? How do experience architects plan for story telling? How might designers better create objects that record personal accounts of use? What can composing students learn from such questions? 

Starting from design theorist Donald Norman’s claim that the meaningful objects in our lives (from a cherished photo album to faded blue jeans to a tattered recliner) are alive with stories, in this presentation I describe three techniques by which writing students might learn to build creations that catch memories of use. If experience architects (Yves Deforge, Stephen Anderson, Lev Manovich) define interactivity as the ways in which designers create openings for users to interact with texts, then the concept I outline in this speech, memorial interactivity, is how rhetorical-designers scaffold the audience memories that make texts meaningful. 

To make this argument, I divide memorial interactivity into three interaction types: narratability (the ability to tell stories about meaningful interactions), connoisseurship (participating in a cult of consumerism that requires memorable protocols as badges of membership), and craft (memories associated with partially building an object). I argue composition students should learn that each of these interactions can be rhetorically designed into their texts. To illustrate such planning, I present a digital and analog example of each interaction type (from “memorialized” Facebook accounts, to ritualistic coffee consumption, to Betty Crocker instant cake mix) as well as a classroom activity that I use to teach each variety.

Context: 
Much of this presentation uses the concept of memory and, more specifically, nostalgia to uncover diversity and plurality in technological values. What values do different communities want to take from the past into the future? Thus, the intervention I propose is the uptake of memory in user experience design in order to democratize technological experiences. By doing so, new media composition instructors and designers can welcome a wider range of technological values and literacies (especially those that are not necessarily high-tech) that they haven't often taken up in the past.
Proposal Type: 
individual