Photobox: On the Design of a Slow Technology

William Odom, Mark Selby, Abigail Sellen, David Kirk, Richard Banks, Tim Regan

Proceedings of the 2012 conference on Designing Interactive Systems (DIS 2012) |

Published by ACM

We describe the design and implementation of Photobox, a device intended to be used over many years, which occasionally prints a randomly selected photo from the owner’s Flickr collection inside of a wooden chest. We describe and reflect on how engaging in the design of this slow technology led to some unexpected challenges and provoked us to re-think approaches to making technologies that are intended to be used over long time scales and which might act infrequently. We also reflect on how living with the device during the implementation phase led to unexpected insights. We conclude with implications for research and practice in the slow technology design space.