Ruth kikin-Gil://
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My Masters degree thesis : Mediating social relationship through mobile communication within groups of teenage girls
A work in progress. Last updated May 16th 2005. Download the thesis paper in PDF format
The secret lives of teenagers
The theory behind the design.The social aspects and trends which informed and influenced the design
Making the teenagers part of the design

5.5MB flash movie, requires Flash5.0 player. Speakers or headphones are recommended

Primary advisor:
Simona Maschi

Secondary advisor:
Heather Martin

Technical advisor:
Massimo Banzi

INTRODUCTION: the secret lives of teenagers

The extremity in teenagers’ attitudes and actions coupled with the opportunities of mobile communication, creates new behaviors and re-shapes existing ones.
But however meaningful the phone is in teenagers’ lives, it is not designed to support their need for emotional communication and group identity.

BuddyBeads project suggests alternative ways for communication among teenagers, ways which emphasize their social structures, behaviors and needs.

BuddyBeads are techno-jewelry items that facilitate non-verbal and emotional communication among group members, through codes and signals which the group decided upon together.
Each group member has a matching jewelry piece and can use it to communicate her emotional state to the other group members. messages are decided by the group in advance and construct a secret private code among its members.

The process that led to that idea included:

: : Theoretical framing

: : User research

: : Concept generation

: : Design and prototyping

: : Scenario building
(5.5MB flash movie, Requires Flash5.0 player. Speakers or headphones are recommended )

Socialization and identity are instrumental factors in teenagers’ lives as well as in the design of BuddyBeads.
The social play they are involved in is reflected in the BuddyBeads system.
For the individual it answers the need to express emotions instantly to a trusted friend and the need for reassurance she is part of a group.
For the group it is a tool which defines and strengthens its identity and boundaries.

These notions are represented both in the physical dimension through the object and in the symbolic dimension with the group codes.
Buddybeads is a flexible system that reacts to changes in social structure such as starting and ending friendships or excluding and including group members. <br>

Incorporating teenagers in the design process has enriched the design and made it more appropriate for teenagers needs.

My past projects
Read my CV