What a joy to discover Steven Blyth’s My Social Fabric project (thanks to Mike Coulter at Digital Agency). Essentially the My Social Fabric project gives all your friends an avatar that gives you visible feedback to the state of your relationship with them. Haven’t been in touch for a while? Maybe they’re giving you a moody look. Forgot their birthday? They turn their back on you.
Apart from being a cute piece of interaction design, it also highlights a way of thinking which taps into the human ability to recognise emotions from even the vaguest posture. Most of us have had the experience of recognising a friend’s silhouette in the distance just by their gait. My Social Fabric relies on that to give you a sense of your social network at a glance.
Those of you out there who may be thinking this is all a bit emotionally disconnected and really should we be able to tell or remember by our contact with the real person might have a point. On the other hand it is very easy when travelling a lot or working a great deal or living in another country to forget.
There is more on the design process here and be sure to check out some of the scenario videos.