Please add comments and discuss this paper – the liveliness of the discussion will help us decide the most suitable papers to be presented at Alt-HCI in September.
Abstract: This paper describes the development and exploration of a tool designed to assist in investigating ‘cool’ as it applies to the design of interactive products for teenagers. The method involved the derivation of theoretical understandings of cool from literature that resulted in identification of seven core categories for cool, which were mapped to a hierarchy. The hierarchy includes having of cool things, the doing of cool activities and the being of cool. This paper focuses on a tool, the Cool Wall, developed to explore one specific facet of the hierarchy; exploring shared understanding of having cool things. The paper describes the development and construction of the tool, using a heavily participatory approach, and the results and analysis of a study carried out over 2 days in a school in the UK. The results of the study both provide clear insights into cool things and enable a refined understanding of cool in this context.