Preserving & Accessing Our Memories
How can you redefine journaling or record keeping in an age of infinite, instant, and digital memories?
Generative Design Research, Trend Analysis, Technology Review, Insights, Actionable Opportunities
Recording history has always been a valuable part of human existence. There are the first records dating back 5000 years and finding ancient ruins, and we spend time searching old government and family documents. Society has always valued this recording and recalling information.
Now more than ever, we are dealing with information overload. The stacks of papers and print outs are now stored on tiny flash drives but just hard to find. We have so much new content being created and consumed every day, not to mention our digital photos accumulating on every smart device.
Process of recording
Why do we even save things?
People use the act of recording to help reinforce storing their initial memory.
Connections between information
The insights from connecting ideas is valuable between current or past information.
Reassurance for the future
To avoid future pain, we save things out of an abundance of caution.
By understanding the way our brains create memories and knowledge, we identify the most impactful parts of the memory making process.
By conducting open ended research with participants, I was able to gain my own first hand insights on this topic.
Generative Research Methods
Each question focused on expanding discussions on each of the 3 stages of how our brains process memories.
1 Understand the motives for keeping
What are the different types of memories and methods for keeping them?
What are the reasons for each memory and method?
2 Understand they see the world of preserving memories (storage)
What role does recording take place in
What is the ideal world of memory keeping?
3 Understand how they see themselves / envision their own future (retrieval)
How do they use their past to shape their future?
What would help them in the future?
Each participant was selected from different age, occupations, industries, and relationship demographics to best represent the diversity of human experiences.
Stay at home mother
Keeps records and photos of everything
Recent empty nester
Family home and parent memories
Tyranny of time
Away from her home
Spends time researching
Known as the memory keeper
New knowledge and opportunities
Talk through experiences to revisit
Relies on others to help capture
Following her passion
Enjoys spending time with others
Silent observations of others
Best Practices in Industry
To better understand the range of tools and practices, I spoke to various professionals who constantly search and create information for their own work.
Novels, short stories, Scrivener
Records everything as a brain dump
Sort between valuable to save and useful in moment
Private thoughts to be destroyed
Filtering physical notes in the process of documenting / preserving.
System that won’t lose invested time
Best back up is 2 hard drives, cloud, computer
Keeps her very favorite personal photos only.
To see progression and growth
Commuter / In the shower ideas
Too lazy to set up Rocketbook
Dropmark & Bear tools
Bridge between a desktop and phone
Browse a sketchbook after the fact
To understand the state of the technology and its capabilities I found two experts who are active in their field, focused on human interactions, and human to digital interactions.
Clinical Social Worker
Healthy relationships with yourself:
Being kind to yourself
Therapy can be:
Supportive - Basic “problems”
Insightful - Deeper level of thinking
Tracking themes, recurring topics
Will probe for deeper meaning
Personal narratives are really important
Can be wrong or outdated
Insights can come from dreams
Founder & CEO / Lumin AI
Topic Drift (pre tagging or too much tagging)
Privacy vs. Collaborative Filtering
Cultural Bias or Echo Chamber
Requires low friction to start a “thought”
Cliff in NLP: CONTEXT
Yes, Yes what?
Build you own NLP
Google / Microsoft options
To find the strongest themes in such a broad topic, I used design analysis methods to generate actionable insights to focus on in my design.
From all of the research and analysis, I uncovered common themes that can lead to focused opportunities in this space.