Traces of Touch

serendipity into the oblivion

Worn web

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During my research I have been looking into different ways wear and use is represented. One project I feel very interesting is the Wornweb by Kenneth Auchenbergs and Morten Just of which I first saw at a Demodag in Copenhagen, video of the presentation.

What it basically do is that it tracks where you have been clicking on a webpage and sends that data to a central location. The next person visiting the page and using the same firefox plugin will get a small smudge where the click were. This is accumulates over time showing the use of the page and how previous people have been navigating through the page. I like the idea of that probably the person who was at the page before you came there had similar reasons for visiting the page and being able to see where he went is interesting and valuable and a nice translation from the wear on doorbells and alike.

So what does this mean for the user? I think the thing Kenneth brings up in his talk that we will be able to take more informed decisions about the product is somewhat true. Seeing a massive build-up of smudge upon support might ring some warnings and at the same time you have to take into account that all the satisfied customers maybe wouldn’t even go in to the webpage in the first place. This problem is hard to take into account and work  around with technical solutions and absolutely one of the problems with this kind of traces that is generated by a grey mass without any way to ask the person in question about the reason of clicking there. Still I see it as a very handy tool for speeding up surfing through the web and finding relevant  paths especially in a bit more messy webpages or webpages that use a bit more “creative” components for navigation.  There is also the aspect of getting interested in a new part of the website that you  might never had clicked before just because you see the buildup of clicks on the heatmap. This leads you to new findings in a very serendipitous way enabling new and interesting connections and information.

I really like this small plugin or more I like the idea behind the plugin. The idea isn’t buggy, firefox only and works so so which the plugin unfortunately is…

Picture from wornweb.com

Picture from wornweb.com

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Written by sjunnesson

June 7, 2010 at 17:17

Posted in Inspiration

Tagged with , ,

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