Understanding Situated Social Interactions: A Case Study of Public Places in the City
Ubiquitous and mobile computer technologies are increasingly being appropriated to facilitate people’s social life outside the work domain. Designing such social and collaborative technologies requires an understanding of peoples’ physical and social context, and the interplay between these and their situated interactions. In response, this paper addresses the challenge of informing design of mobile services for fostering social connections by using the concept of place for studying and understanding peoples’ social activities in a public built environment. We present a case study of social experience of a physical place providing an understanding of peoples’ situated social interactions in public places of the city derived through a grounded analysis of small groups of friends socialising out on the town. Informed by this, we describe the design and evaluation of a mobile prototype system facilitating sociality in the city by (1) allowing people to share places, (2) indexing to places, and (3) augmenting places.