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Facilitating the first move: Exploring inspirational design patterns for aiding initiation of social encounters

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review


Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationC&T 2019 - 9th International Conference on Communities and Technologies, Conference Proceedings
EditorsHilda Tellioglu, Florian Cech
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781450371629
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jun 2019
Publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventInternational Conference on Communities and Technologies - Vienna, Austria
Duration: 3 Jun 20197 Jun 2019


ConferenceInternational Conference on Communities and Technologies


Actualizing positive social encounters remains both a key ends and means in many activities to foster a sense of community. Initiating encounters between strangers typically requires facilitative activities or artefacts, such as icebreakers or tickets-to-talk. However, there is little understanding of which designs are effective and why, and the broad design space remains largely underexplored. We address this challenge by presenting five candidates for inspirational design patterns on signaling social intentions and identifying impediments that deter commencement of encounters. The principles result from an extensive review of design cases and public art installations. Through focus groups and expert interviews, we assessed the perceived applicability and social acceptance of the proposed patterns. Three new design principles relating to the risks of initiating an encounter emerged through analyzing participant responses. These articulations of possible approaches and pitfalls for increasing conviviality may broaden the repertoire of, and support discussion between designers and others concerned with collocated social interaction.


  • Collocated interaction, Design patterns, Social encounters, Social encouragement, Social interaction design, Ticket-to-talk

Publication forum classification

Field of science, Statistics Finland