Evocative computing - Creating meaningful lasting experiences in connecting with the past

Der Linden J Van, Yvonne Rogers, T Coughlan, A Adams, C Wilson, P Haya, E Martín, T Collins
in HUMAN-COMPUTER INTERACTION - INTERACT 2013, PT I, Journal article

Abstract

We present an approach - evocative computing - that demonstrates how 'at hand' technologies can be 'picked up' and used by people to create meaningful and lasting experiences, through connecting and interacting with the past. The approach is instantiated here through a suite of interactive technologies configured for an indoor-outdoor setting that enables groups to explore, discover and research the history and background of a public cemetery. We report on a two-part study where different groups visited the cemetery and interacted with the digital tools and resources. During their activities serendipitous uses of the technology led to connections being made between personal memories and ongoing activities. Furthermore, these experiences were found to be long-lasting; a follow-up study, one year later, showed them to be highly memorable, and in some cases leading participants to take up new directions in their work. We discuss the value of evocative computing for enriching user experiences and engagement with heritage practices. © 2013 IFIP International Federation for Information Processing.