Assignment #05 – Feeling the Memories/Photos with Space and People


Photographs are closely related to our emotions and memories. They remind of associations with places, people, and stories. Technology has made taking and managing photos much easier than before, but there are still some gaps.

One of the most precious resources of the modern household is time, and the effort to take care of all those wonderful photographs defeats their value. (…) Digital cameras change the emphasis, but not the principle. (…) Thus, although we like to look at photographs, we do not like to take the time to do the work required to maintain them and keep them accessible. Donald Norman (Emotional Design, 2003)

Thanks to the smartphone, we can always be accessible to the photos not only in the device but also in the clouds. However, it does not mean that we feel free from those efforts. We actually don’t see the photos that we have taken that much. I tried to think about how can I use tactile feedback for the emotions related to photos.



General Solution

Since photographs are closely associated with places and people, I thought that I could use these data sets.

Scenario #01 – An accidental encounter with my memories here

When I am passing by a location where I visited before and took photos, the phone alerts me with the vibrations in certain patterns and pop-up some related photos. According to the number of photos and/or the emotions related to them (happy, sad, nostalgia, etc), the patterns change.

Scenario #02 – My emotional connections to places

When I am planning to visit somewhere, and finding a place through map application. I can turn on the heatmap layer on the map, which shows the connections between my photos/memories/frequency of visits and locations. Also, when I touch a specific place on the map, I could feel the vibration patterns based on the number of photos/memories/frequency of visits and/or related emotions.

Scenario #03 – Memory reminder with people

I am planning to meet my friends. While texting and arrange a meeting with them (or extracting data from my scheduler), my phone automatically exposes the photos that I have taken with them or that are related to them in some ways, to remind me of the memories and stories with them.


Proof of Concept

To design the tactile signal for these features, I am trying to design vibration patterns. I used Swift and Xcode to use the haptic feedback features of the iPhone X. There are vibration, tactile feedback (success, warning, error), pressed (light, medium, heavy). I tried to design patterns based on them.




Hi, I am a Master of Design candidate in an Interaction design program. I have an industrial design background.

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