Designing to support impression management

Sherwood, Scott (2009) Designing to support impression management. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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This work investigates impression management and in particular impression management
using ubiquitous technology. Generally impression management is the process through
which people try to influence the impressions that others have about them. In particular,
impression management focuses on the flow of information between a performer and
his/her audience, with control over what is presented to whom being of the utmost
importance when trying to create the appropriate impression.
Ubiquitous technology has provided opportunities for individuals to present themselves to
others. However, the disconnection between presenter and audience over both time and
space can result in individuals being misrepresented. This thesis outlines two important
areas when trying to control the impression one gives namely, hiding and revealing, and
accountability. By exploring these two themes the continuous evolution and dynamic
nature of controlling the impression one gives is explored. While this ongoing adaptation is
recognised by designers they do not always create technology that is sufficiently dynamic
to support this process. As a result, this work attempts to answer three research questions:
RQ1: How do users of ubicomp systems appropriate recorded data from their everyday
activity and make it into a resource for expressing themselves to others in ways that are
dynamically tailored to their ongoing social context and audience?
RQ2: What technology can be built to support ubicomp system developers to design and
develop systems to support appropriation as a central part of a useful or enjoyable user
RQ3: What software architectures best suit this type of appropriated interaction and
developers’ designing to support such interaction?
Through a thorough review of existing literature, and the extensive study of several large
ubicomp systems, the issues when presenting oneself through technology are identified.
The main issues identified are hiding and revealing, and accountability. These are built into
a framework that acts as a reference for designers wishing to support impression
management. An architecture for supporting impression management has also been
developed that conforms to this framework and its evolution is documented later in the
thesis. A demonstration of this architecture in a multi-player mobile experience is
subsequently presented.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Impression Management, Ubiquitous Computing, Mobile, Social Networking
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
T Technology > T Technology (General)
Colleges/Schools: College of Science and Engineering > School of Computing Science
Supervisor's Name: Chalmers, Dr. Matthew
Date of Award: 30 June 2009
Depositing User: Dr Scott Sherwood
Unique ID: glathesis:2009-06-30-866
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 12 Jun 2009
Last Modified: 10 Dec 2012 13:27

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