We conducted 5 interviews with undergrads living in North Quad. We recruited participants via North Quad admins & personal contacts.

Interview Questions

(1) General characteristics of the NQ social environment

  • What year of school are you in?
  • How well do you know other people who live in NQ? Only people on your floor?
    • How would you describe the current social atmosphere in NQ?
    • Are there currently any social/community initiatives already taking place?
    • What are all the social hot spots in NQ?
  • If you could learn new things about others who live in NQ, what kind of information about your neighbors might you be interested in?

(2) Motivations to use the system

  • Are you interested in and/or do you make an effort to meet new people generally? Have you in the past?
    • Why do you / don’t you?
    • How/when do you currently meet/interact with new people?
    • Are there specific purposes /activities that you look to meet new people for?
    • If you knew that a person lived in North Quad, would that change how interested you were in meeting them?
  • How do you pick groups to join? How do you find out about them?
  • Tell me about the last time you met someone new.

(3) Motivations to post a profile

  • Do you currently share information about yourself online?
    • Through what sites/channels? (Facebook, MySpace, Twitter?)
    • What kind of information do you share?
    • Why do you share this information?
    • What do you like/dislike about current social networking tools? (shortcomings of applications like FB, MySpace)
  • If there were “real world” facebook profile – on the walls/monitors of NQ – would you be interested to share information about yourself? Why or Why not?
  • How would you treat this profile differently from a facebook profile?
    • What kind of information would you want to share? Not want to share?
    • How does the prospect of facilitating meetings for real world purposes impact the likelihood of you posting a profile for NQ? More interested in posting? Less interested?

(4) Barriers to posting a profile

  • How would you feeling having a profile displayed in North Quad?
    • How would you feel seeing your own profile? While with others?
    • How does the idea of having your picture in a profile change the way you would feel about it?
  • Knowing that anyone in NQ could see your profile at any time, what kind of information would you not want to share that you might normally on the web?

(5) Motivations to interact with a profile

  • What are the first two things that come to mind that you would want to know about someone before you met them?
  • Do you ever contact people via Facebook (or other social networks) who you don’t already know? Or, do you interact with people you don’t know in a less personal manner (view photos, read comments on news feed, etc)? Why or why not?
  • What kind of posted information about others in NQ would get your attention and make you likely to read?
  • If you could interact with people’s NQ profiles, would you?
    • What might you want to be able to do with other people’s profiles?
    • How do you feel about each of the following:
      • Ability to ask someone a question
      • Questions posted for you to answer
      • Casual games – about the other person or otherwise
    • How does the prospect of facilitating meetings for real world purposes impact your interest in reading / interacting with other people’s profiles? More interested? Less interested?

(6) What are the barriers to interacting with a profile

  • Do you ever check out facebook profiles of people you don’t know while you are with friends?
    • For what reasons?
    • Is it different from why you would check out a profile on your own?
  • Do you think you would read / interact with profiles of other residents if they were shown in the elevator lobby?
    • Why? Why not?
    • Would your behavior be different if you were alone or with friends?

(7) Physical Considerations (Do Elevator Banks / Entry Way Offer Opportunity for Interaction?)

  • How long do NQ residents typically spend in the elevator banks or in the entry area?
  • Are they typically alone or with others?
  • What do they typically do while waiting?

Key Findings from Interviews

Interview U01 – Morgan and Gayathri

  • Values information about (uses to select relationships):
    • Interests (music)
    • Values (famous quotes)
  • Has commonly met friends (in real life and online) through existing friends
  • Introverted, but not antisocial – finds groups of people intimidating
  • Comfortable with basic profile information being shared publicly, but not comments or conversation
  • Discovery of unusual shared interests is a powerful motivator for interaction
  • Would be more conservative in sharing interests with strangers – might self sensor more “out there” books, movies, etc. – Concerned about preconceived notions
  • Requires that any means of communicating with new people feel casual

Interview U02 – Gloria and Hao

  • People act different in person vs. online
  • Wants info on important life events instead of “useless tweets”
  • Considers NQ friends to be like “work friends”
  • Most interested to know:
    • People’s majors, schools
  • Most interested in interactions that relate to career
  • Thinks social networks now create sense of self importance
  • Wants to be able to recruit people for his club

Interview U03 – Morgan and Ari

  • Video displays can’t appear static or repetitive – boredom sets in quickly
  • Most interested to know:
    • What people are passionate about
    • What they’re involved in
  • Would not want to show pictures or personal info on public profile
  • Interested to publicly post interests, groups, announcements
  • Wants to be able to post passive, timely messages: “who wants to go to a movie tonight?”
  • Would be weird if other people knew she was looking at someone’s profile – better with a group

Interview U04 – Morgan and Gayathri

  • Want to know that ‘other person’ is ok with her viewing profile
  • Multiple non-verbal interactions before she meets someone
  • Social contract –> process for meeting people
  • Pictures are personal
  • Importance of physical proximity
    • floor in bluilding
    • classes
  • Wants in-person interaction
  • Would be uncomfortable viewing/interacting with profiles while alone – worried about judgements of those who see her

Interview U05 – Gloria

  • Classes/study groups are an important reason for interaction
  • Wants to be able to “post on the fly” for time sensitive events
  • Values unstructured interaction more for meeting new people – goals are different
  • Wants to entertaine / be entertained by public posts
  • Most wants to know:
    • What other people are studying
    • Opportunities to do homework together?
  • Important for it to be EASY to post info to public profiles
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