ReFind: Design, lived experience and ongoingness in bereavement

Digital Health

Collaborators Northumbria University, University of Limerick, Monash University, Sheffield Halam

Abstract

We describe the design of ReFind, a handheld artefact made for people who are bereaved and are ready to re-explore their relationship to the deceased person.

Method

ReFind is a device containing photographs from the deceased person all tagged with semantic metadata describing the content and associated meanings of each photograph.

Takeaways

We draw on bereavement theory and care championing practices that enable a continued sense of connection between someone bereaved and a person who has died.

We describe the design and use of ReFind, a handheld artefact made for people who are bereaved and are ready to re-explore their relationship to the deceased person. ReFind was made within a project seeking to develop new ways to curate and create digital media to support ongoingness – an active, dynamic component of continuing bonds.

We draw on bereavement theory and care championing practices that enable a continued sense of connection between someone bereaved and a person who has died.

This study was based on the lived-experience of one of the researchers, Jayne Wallace who lived with ReFind for 10 weeks. We discuss our wider methodology which includes autobiographical design and reflections on if and how the piece supported ongoing connections, the challenges faced, and insights gained.

How it works

ReFind is a handheld, disc-like artefact made from Corian and Brass, housing a circular digital screen. It holds an archive of photographs from the deceased person – all tagged with semantic metadata describing the content and associated meanings of each photograph.

The owner can share new photographs of something relevant to their current life (which might be for instance a selfie or a photograph of things happening in their life now) with ReFind, via a mobile website, and by rotating the piece in their hands they will see five images selected from the archive of the deceased person, based on their semantic metadata.

ReFind was made as part of the EPSRC Ongoingness project.

This paper received a best paper award at CHI 2020.

Publications

ReFind: design, lived experience and ongoingness in bereavement

  1. Wallace J
  2. Montague K
  3. Duncan T
  4. Luís P. Carvalho
  5. Koulidou N
  6. Mahoney J
  7. Morrissey K
  8. Craig C
  9. Linnea Iris Groot
  10. Lawson S
  11. Olivier P
  12. Trueman J
  13. Fisher H

2020Proceedings of the 2020 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI’20)