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Help Me Help You: Shared Reflection for Personal Data

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Association for Computing Machinery


Dramatic advances in sensor and computing miniaturization for personal data collection are making Personal Informatics (PI) tools a reality. Yet, advances in data collection have not been matched with similar advances in tools to promote, support, and facilitate reflection on this data. This gap leaves people with large swaths of data, but very little understanding of how to make sense of the data or to derive actionable insights. In this work, we explore a process called shared reflection, where individuals are paired with other data collectors, and asked (through prompts) to reflect on one another?s data. Based on a six-week study where 15 participants collected different kinds of personal data and engaged in a shared reflection process, we show that participants gained transformative insights from others' reflections on their data. While this was promising, we discuss practical challenges in deploying this idea into real world personal informatics tools. In particular, while shared reflection can be appropriated to effectively bootstrap reflection on one's data, this needs to be balanced against privacy and control concerns.


Graham, Lisa; Tang, Anthony; Neustaedter, Carman (2016): Help Me Help You: Shared Reflection for Personal Data. Proceedings of the 2016 ACM International Conference on Supporting Group Work. DOI: 10.1145/2957276.2957293. Association for Computing Machinery. pp. 99–109. Sanibel Island, Florida, USA