Major Findings

1.) Physical Space

  • 2 elevators, 10 floors
    • 7 residential floors
    • 1-2 monitors in the lobby of each residential floor
  • Apartment-style feel, sections closed off
  • Proximity/Floors
    • Intra-floor interactions are more common than inter-floor interactions
  • Heavy doors impose physical limits on socialization between residents
    • Difficult to prop open the door (open door is a cue that people are home and open to socializing
    • Makes it difficult to run into people (serendipity)
  • Building access (non-residents)

2.) Current Social Atmosphere

  • “Grounded, older, calmer” community
  • 450 upper-level undergraduate students
    • Come with already formed group of friends
    • Specific goals/priorities 
  • Physical space contribute to the quietness, “feels like no one is around”
  • Focus on international “citizenship” and global outreach
  • Meetings and events
    • Required monthly hall meetings (“forced”)
    • Poorly attend social events
  • Social Hot Spots:
    • Lounges
    • Tower room
    • Community Center
    • Dining hall
    • Media gateways

3.) Window vs. Monitor

"I used to read it all the time at the beginning of the year,
but then I realized it was always the same content.
Now I just look out the window.” - U02

  • 7 Residential Floors
  • Elevator wait times can vary from 0-40 seconds
  • Most people are wait alone (look around)
  • Group of people
    • Talk to people they know, not strangers
  • Lobby/Community Center
    • 35% of those entering caught elevators after waiting 0-3 seconds.
    • Majority of people exit the elevator without stopping
    • People like to check out what’s happening in the front desk area (there is a big screen TV)
    • Nobody watches the two monitors
    • Don’t use their cellphones while waiting for the elevator.
  • Static Content
    • Standard template, a lot of text, content doesn’t change
    • Graphics are small (flyers)
    • Attempt to make it dynamic with twitter feeds and fading
  • Useless Twitter Feeds
  • Process for posting is cumbersome

4.) Meeting People

  • NQ Residents indicated that they would be interested in meeting people if they knew a person lived in NQ
  • Those having trouble meeting people, claim the top reasons are:
    • It’s hard to find people with shared interests
    • People tend to stick with existing groups of friends
  • NQ Residents are interested in:
    • Sharing interests, groups, major, announcements
    • Finding study partners
    • Recruiting people for student organizations
    • Finding people to participate in impromptu activities
  • NQ Residents are NOT interested in sharing:
    • Personal photos
    • Private comments & conversations
    • Personal information
  • NQ residents currently meet people
    • On their floor, monthly hall meetings (proximity)
    • In class or student groups (affiliation)
    • Through other friends/significant other (friends of friends)
  • Approaching someone
    • In a physical space, after you see someone a few times and you mutually acknowledge each other, it’s easier to start a conversation
    • Indicate they are open to conversation by propping their door open
    • Don’t feel they can just join a group of people playing a video games on the projector
    • Want the other person to feel comfortable about being approached
  • “Creeping”?
    • People claim to be more comfortable looking at profiles when others are around, however they also claim to be less likely to interact when others are around

5.) Shared Interests

  • Unusual shared interests are key motivator for interaction
    • A public display of info may discourage inclusion of more unusual / controversial information
  • General facts residents use to categorize people
    • Floor
    • Age (undergrad, grad, etc.)
    • Major
  • Focus dependent on user’s life goals (Socializing, interests, career, academics)
  • Things residents are interested in knowing about others living in NQ
    • Interests
    • Values
    • Majors / schools
    • Passions
    • Groups involved in
    • Classes

Design Implications

1. Facilitating Social Interaction

  • There is a lack of social interaction
  • Finding ways to motivate people to interact
  • Desire/Openness of residents to take advantage of opportunities to connect with people with shared interests
  • Residential elevator lobbies are an ideal location

2. Content must be New, Relevant, and Meaningful

  • It must be obvious at a quick glance that content is new
  • Provide a format that elicits info that is meaningful to residents
  • It should be easy to post content and interact with screens
  • Display content most relevant to the people standing in front of the screen
  • Help people find common unique interests

3. Time Considerations

  • Interactions must be quick and continued “on-the-go”
  • Screens must be up long enough for people to interact with them

4. A Balance between Structure and Free Expression

  • Allow some flexibility in the system so students have the opportunity to express themselves
  • Provide structure so we can collect data and use it to connect people

5. Allow Different Levels of Social Interaction

  • Allow privacy/blocking settings
  • Design interactions that make the people who post things and the people who respond to things comfortable
  • The design should allow comfortable interactions while alone or with other people there
  • Take into account current social norms for meeting people in dorms
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