“LINC-ing” the Family: The Participatory Design of an Inkable Family Calendar

Published by Association for Computing Machinery, Inc.

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Families must continually organize, plan, and stay aware of the activities of their households in order to coordinate everyday life. Despite having organization schemes, many people still feel overwhelmed when it comes to family coordination. To help overcome this, we present our research efforts on LINC: an inkable family calendar designed for the kitchen. LINC was developed using a participatory design process involving interviews, paper prototyping, and a formative evaluation. Our work outlines key implications for digital family calendars and family coordination systems in general. We found that coordination is not typically done through the family calendar; rather, the family calendar is a tool that provides family members with an awareness of activities and changes that in turn enables coordination. Thus, digital family calendars should provide tools that enable families to use their own coordination routines which leverage the social affordances prominent in existing paper calendars.