Yarn: Adding Meaning to Shared Personal Data through Structured StorytellingDownload PDF

Published: 21 Feb 2020, Last Modified: 05 May 2023GI 2020Readers: Everyone
Keywords: Personal data, personal informatics, sharing, storytelling, authoring, self-tracking, social networking sites
TL;DR: Design and evaluation of a mobile app for structured storytelling with personal self-tracked data
Abstract: People often do not receive the reactions they desire when they use social networking sites to share data collected through personal tracking tools like Fitbit, Strava, and Swarm. Although some people have found success sharing with close connections or in finding online communities, most audiences express limited interest and rarely respond. We report on findings from a human-centered design process undertaken to examine how tracking tools can better support people in telling their story using their data. 23 formative interviews contribute design goals for telling stories of accomplishment, including a need to include relevant data. We implement these goals in Yarn, a mobile app that offers structure for telling stories of accomplishment around training for running races and completing Do-It-Yourself projects. 21 participants used Yarn for 4 weeks across two studies. Although Yarn’s structure led some participants to include more data or explanation in the moments they created, many felt like the structure prevented them from telling their stories in the way they desired. In light of participant use, we discuss additional challenges to using personal data to inform and target an interested audience.
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