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visual communication practice

Connected Anxieties of the Sharing Culture


Description of idea

Describe your idea and concept of your work in relation to the festival outlines:

The goal of this work is to inform experience designers by defining anxieties and identifying behaviors and functions of social networking site (SNS) applications that elevate these anxieties. This work investigates anxieties—Anxiety of Always, Connectivity Anxiety, and Response Anxiety—resulting from interactions on SNS applications. It uses the Activity Theory framework to reveal the connection between human needs and motivations for using SNS, and the resulting anxieties associated with SNS use based on the activity executed. My aim is to help experience designers anticipate consequential anxieties of designed products, and instigate discussions about potential consequences of the use.

Through a website prototype, I introduce my findings of what the anxieties are and how they relate to experience design. From this introduction, I discuss how the operations—or subconscious behaviors of users—are the impetuses for stimulating certain anxieties. Through scenarios and provocations, I present four of the common operations—documenting, hashtagging, liking, and phone checking—to reveal how a user’s everyday interactions with the smartphone SNS applications elevate the anxieties.

The thesis is a prototype for an interactive, live website that would evolve and grow through participant contribution. Participants would add possible symptoms of the anxieties, and map scenarios using a diagram that applies Activity Theory. The commentary and rhetoric of the website intend to provoke conversation among experience designers as they contemplate the consequences of the products they design for social use. The website would become a evolving dialogue of how to address the issue of anxieties relating to or influenced by social networking application use.

What kind of communication approach do you use?

My approach is to inform and delight. Some pieces of content are forced upon the reader, asking them to focus on one concept before the move on and dig deeper. There are also moments where they can explore the content on their own and some content is presented with a humorous or lighter tone encourages the reader to enjoy being informed and ground the ideas in a relatable context.

What are in your opinion concrete benefits to the society because of your communication?

Revealing or beginning a discussion engaging the critical perspective on the issue of social network design and an empathetic viewpoint. This will inform experience designers and hopefully begin a more serious, fruitful dialogue about social networking design and the design of social experiences. It also presents a tool for designers to use to better understand the user and anticipate future consequences of repetitive use.

What did you personally learn from creating your submitted work?

Trusting the design process and explaining what I am thinking to other designers can make the concept clearer in it's communication. Iteration is incredibly necessary when communicating complex ideas and packaging information for others to comprehend.

Why is your work, GOOD communication WORK?

This work is GOOD communication work because it takes a critical perspective on the role of designers and exposes some of the issues with the current mentality and state of digital social networking experience design. It aims to communicate both with words and visually, emphasizing the ideas and argument behind the content.

Where and how do you intent do implement your work?

Ideally I would like to make this a live website and make the participatory parts fully functional. I know that there is a lot of work to be done, but having a resource of shared user scenarios and seeing how other designers are using the diagramming tool would be beneficial to the design community. By sharing knowledge and scenarios, designers can learn from each other and hopefully continue a discussion to create better experiences for the user and ultimately design with the user's best interests, present and future, in mind.

Did your intervention had an effect on other Media. If yes, describe the effect? (Has other media reported on it- how? Were you able to change other media with your work- how?)

No, but I hope that this intervention would spark conversations related to the design of social experiences and the role of designers in this. If I do not see any evidence of this, that might be my fault for not spreading this project among the many networks.


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Entry details


Connected Anxieties of the Sharing Culture


Connected Anxieties

Concept author(s)

Kezra Cornell

Concept author year(s) of birth


Concept author(s) contribution

Research, ideation, writing, design.


United States of America

Competition category

visual communication practice

Competition subcategory

web / interactive

Competition field


Competition subfield


Subfield description

North Carolina State University, Professor Denise Gonzales Crisp, Professor Santiago Piedrafita