Momento

A private space for sharing cherished memories with loved ones.
 FINAL PROJECT AT THE COPENHAGEN INSTITUTE OF INTERACTION DESIGN

Concept

Momento provides a secure place for all your cherished memories and invites you to keep them alive through the collaboration with friends and family. It encourages rich conversations with loved ones and helps you reflect upon your past and the people who were a part of it.

Our relationship with possessions

We leave traces of ourselves throughout our lifetime. Our belongings help us to recall specific moments and people, reflect upon who we were, are and want to be.

However, technology and hyper-connectivity have made our belongings largely immaterial and invisible. In the sea of information and communication, we feel uncertain about the control and ownership of digital goods. In hindsight, we become distant from what shapes our identity – memory, relationships, and history.

Research

RESEARCH QUESTIONS

Why are we attached to our possessions? What are the rituals and values people assign to these objects? Given that most of our possessions are digitized, how does that change our relationship with our belongings?

IN-DEPTH INTERVIEW

INSIGHTS

Cherished possessions are tangible markers to memory, relationships, and identity.

The physical objects allow people to hold onto intangible and fleeting things that are valuable, create emotional attachments and give a feeling of consistency and safety.

Design challenge

How can technology help people preserve and cherish their memories?

Prototyping

How can we interact with our digital memories in more grounded and tangible way? What are the design opportunities in the intersection of digital and physical?

PROTOTYPE 1 — Storing digital memories in physical objects.

What?

Objects (a key, a card, a pebble) trigger video files when they touch conductive tapes of the paper container.

Why?

To discover if adding tactility to digital files would make memories vivid.

Learnings

The process of selecting files and linking them with objects feels cumbersome. It would appeal more for a gifting purpose. I also learned that memories in our brain are not frozen but they evolve, fade or change their meanings over time.

PROTOTYPE 2 — Bringing real objects into digital space.

What?

A visual prototype of a digital archive which stores 3D-scanned objects and their related stories. The objects and the memories fade away over time.

Why?

To discover if making the copy of real objects and storing them in a digital archive as memory containers would enhance the feeling of ownership and safety. Also, if digital memories decay over time, would that increase the value of digital goods?

Learnings

Finding an object as a representation of your past memory can be a barrier. When objects are replicated in the digital space, they lose their original value and feel distant from the memories they symbolize.

PROTOTYPE 3 — Storing memories in custom symbols.

What?

A set of icons that symbolize particular memories I had about the participant.

Why?

To discover if custom-made symbols can be a good representation of shared memories and how it feels to receive them as a gift.

Learnings

“The symbols worked as concentrated forms of memories. It was interesting to see how the other person remembers me. I like that we can both contribute to our shared memories.” – Esther, IDP student

The experience of making symbols should be easy to start but also flexible for customization.

Concept development

I decided to take the last prototype further and came up with a concept, Momento. From pen and paper, P5.js, Adobe After Effects to Origami, various prototyping tools were used to test and iterate.

User Testing

USER TESTING 1 — A PAPER PROTOTYPE

The feedback from the participant confirmed that the platform comes across as a safe space to store one’s personal memories. Also, he liked the flexibility offered by the platform to collect and organize memories in different ways, and the choice to share or not share it with others.

USER TESTING 2 — HIGH FIDELITY PROTOTYPE

Photos and stories were prepared in advance with the participant’s sister. A remote controller was chosen as a representation of their childhood. In the video, the participant opens an invitation from his sister and explores what she recalls from the time they spent together.

Point of view

The questions listed below guided the major design decisions I made to arrive at the final prototype.

Q1. Why did I choose constellations as symbols for memory?

Memory consists of particles of time and space. We tell stories by connecting dots.

A constellation stores fragments of a moment. As you store photos, videos and notes in each star, the constellation glows and brings the memory alive.

Q2. Why did I make a digital platform?

Talking about shared memories makes relationships stronger.

The meaning and significance of a particular memory are vitalized when we share it with people who were part of it. The online platform allows people to access, contribute their own stories instantly, and have deeper conversations regardless of their physical distance.

Learnings

Throughout the 10 week project, I was excited to apply various toolkits that I had adopted during Interaction Design Program at CIID to pursue my goal of combining digital and physical properties to craft an authentic experience. One of the biggest skills that I learned and practiced was using rapid prototyping to navigate ambiguous topics, which in this project was ‘memory’. Stay tuned for more updates on my process log.


ROLE:  Research, Synthesis, Concept development, Visual design, Coding, Experience prototyping, Animation, Storytelling

CREDIT:  Bora Kim

DURATION:  10 weeks

MEDIA:  Interactive website

TOOLS:  People Centered Research / Adobe After Effects / Sketch App / Origami / Invision / Keynote / P5.js / Arduino

 ADVISOR:  Aram Armstrong, Joshua Walton, Tobias Toft, Andreas Refsgaard, Ishac Bertran, Simon Herzog, Blair Johnsrude, Shruti Ramiah, Joshua Noble