DIS2020

More than Human Centred Design

Demonstrations

Investigating Opaque Infrastructures: The Desktop Odometer

  • Jeremy Edward Viny, School of Art + Art History + Design, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, United States
  • Audrey Desjardins, School of Art + Art History + Design, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, United States
  • Corresponding email(s): jerviny2@gmail.com
  • ACM DL Link: Extended Abstract

This demo presents the Desktop Odometer, a device that shows users the distance they travel when browsing the web, by tracking the total miles between their current location and the server from where they are requesting information. Upon connecting the Desktop Odometer to their computer via a web browser extension, users are able to see how far information travels while surfing the web in real-time. This new ability to ‘see’ how far information has to physically travel gives users an opportunity to grapple with and reflect on the physicality of the Internet’s infrastructure, which otherwise may remain opaque.

Who is the target audience and why design for them? This project is for anyone who surfs the web. #surfsup #thenet

What were the challenges or limitations encountered in this project? While making the device, I encountered a variety of logistical difficulties which in themselves became integral to my research. One such difficulty lay in the attempt to publish the browser extension which is necessary to use the Desktop Odometer.

What are the opportunities and next steps for this project? I hope to continue to build and disseminate products in order to obtain vast wealth and fame.

To the Demo Visitors: Feel free to write a fictional review! To read and write customer reviews for the Desktop Odometer please visit jerviny.com/customer_review