Authoring personal histories: Exploring the timeline as a framework for meaning making

Proceedings of the 2013 SIGCHI conference on Human Factors in computing systems (CHI 2013) |

Published by ACM

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It has been argued that technologies for ‘memory’ should be designed to support creativity and meaning building, rather than the passive capture of cues for remembering [25]. We report findings from a study inspired by this in-sight, in which older people made personal digital timelines using a new tool called Project Greenwich. We explore how the constraints of the timeline metaphor offer a framework for authoring, and examine how timelines can be used to underpin meaning building in relation to personal content. We highlight the importance of making, this being a vehicle for connecting with others in the present, and a potential means of emphasizing those elements of the past felt to be most salient when looking back.