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Understanding and Designing Technologies for In-person Interactions 


As an integral part of our everyday activities, digital technology makes it easier to stay connected online, but often at the cost of weakening relationships and intensifying isolation. In this project, we are interested in exploring ways in which technology may better engage and connect people when they are together. In collaboration with Snap Research, I led a mixed-method field study combining large-scale national surveys and semi-structured interviews to understand the full landscape of "same time, same place" interactions. The outcome of this study includes a generative design framework and a company-wide research report for collocated technologies. 


  • Experimental design

  • Survey

  • Online interview

  • Design inventory

  • Qualitative and quantitative analysis



  • Led a mixed-method study, combining national surveys and remote interviews to study collocated interactions, expanding app usage to facilitate in-person casual social interactions, strengthen relationships, reduce conflicts, increase emotional wellbeing, and create a sense of belonging. 

  • Identified untouched product areas, developed framework of scenarios, and presented to R&D leads, which guided the development of in-app games and new AR features. A few products are currently under development-- stay tuned for updates!💡



Andrés Monroy-Hernández (research manager), Rajan Vaish (researcher), Brian A. Smith (researcher).

*This project was funded by Snap Inc.

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