Abstract

We present findings from a study of Tokens of Search, a system comprising physical RFID “tokens” that point to web content, and a wooden tray fixed to a small screen, which can be used to access that content. Three families lived with the system for a month, as an exploration of how tokens might be used as resources for practical action. Our findings highlight existing web practices and their individual and collective nuances; tokens were employed in the creation of short-term collections and long-lasting mementos, their physicality giving bookmarking a visibility that could be used to attract attention, serve as reminders, and make observable progress through tasks. However, while all families saw the potential for shared use, only one used it this way in earnest. We reflect on design choices that were expected to encourage collaboration, and the need to support key users such as parents when establishing joint practices.