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Designing Documentary Informatics

Lookup NU author(s): Christopher Elsden, Professor Abi DurrantORCiD, Dr David Chatting, Professor Dave KirkORCiD



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of a conference proceedings (inc. abstract) that has been published in its final definitive form by ACM, 2017.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


In this paper we describe a Research through Design inquiry about a speculative wedding documentation service, in the mode of the Quantified Self. We reflect on our design research, which included design ethnography, interviews, enactments of parts of the service, and the production of a concept brochure. In so doing, we explore the design of personal tracking as a documentary activity, one intended for longer-term self-expression and remembering -- rather than simply to monitor, regulate and motivate a data-driven life. Developing the Lived Informatics discourse, we use our design-led inquiry to propose "Documentary Informatics" as an alternative and longer-term design perspective on self-tracking tools.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Elsden C, Durrant AC, Chatting D, Kirk DS

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: Designing Interactive Systems (DIS '17)

Year of Conference: 2017

Pages: 649-661

Online publication date: 10/06/2017

Acceptance date: 10/06/2017

Date deposited: 21/05/2018

Publisher: ACM


DOI: 10.1145/3064663.3064714

Library holdings: Search Newcastle University Library for this item

Sponsor(s): SIGCHI ACM Special Interest Group on Computer-Human Interaction

ISBN: 9781450349222