Exploring the Non-Use of Mobile Devices in Families through Provocative Design

Anders Rysholt Bruun*, Rikke Hagensby Jensen, Jesper Kjeldskov, Jeni Paay, Camilla Mejlby Hansen, Katarina Leci Sakacova, Mette Hyllested Larsen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to book/anthology/report/conference proceedingArticle in proceedingResearchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
221 Downloads (Pure)


Mobile devices are fast becoming an integral part of family life. While mobile technology provides constant connectivity to a world outside the home, it inevitably disrupts family dynamics and the social notion of being together. In this paper, we explore “non-use” of mobile technology in a family setting. To do this, we designed the Pup-Lock provotype, a design provocation intended to challenge established expectations and practices around mobile device use at home. We report on a five-week in-depth study of using Pup-Lock with three families reflecting on their mobile device usage and their experience of non-use. Our findings illustrate how mobile use shapes social expectations and how over-use creates tensions in families. We contribute by showing how provoking non-use through design results in desirable and meaningful ways to increase family interaction. We discuss implications of designing for non-use to challenge established domestic practices around technology use.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2020 Conference on Designing Interactive Systems : DIS '20
Number of pages14
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Publication date6 Jul 2020
ISBN (Electronic)9781450369749
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jul 2020
EventACM SIGCHI 2020 Conference on Designing Interactive Systems: More than Human Centred Design - Eindhoven University of Technology, Eindhoven, Netherlands
Duration: 6 Jul 202010 Jul 2020


ConferenceACM SIGCHI 2020 Conference on Designing Interactive Systems
LocationEindhoven University of Technology
Internet address


  • Design provocation
  • Explorative field study
  • Family
  • Mobile devices
  • Non-use
  • Practice


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