A ‘seamless’ experience of data sharing through a ‘seamful’ engagement

Luis Soares*, Chris Speed, James Stewart, David Alexander

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


This paper explores conceptually and empirically the complex and multi-layered networks of interaction where personal data is shared across different platforms. This is explored through the vocabulary and tensions established by ‘seamful’ and ‘seamless’ design approaches and their limitations in allowing people to track the flow of personal data across complex assemblages of digital services. These ideas are explored using a participatory method to support the design of Inclusive Digital Services where a prototype of seamless service related to data reuse and sharing is co-designed to address friction, effort, risk and cost (FERC) inherent to third sector services. The conclusion suggests that we need to foster a new attitude towards the development of trust in human-computer interaction. This can be achieved by promoting the turn to privacy by design and addressing the gap between ‘seamless’ and ‘seamful’ design through participatory methods.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication14th International Conference of the European Academy of Design, Safe Harbors for Design Research
Place of PublicationLancaster
ISBN (Electronic)9786555060683
Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2021

Publication series

NameBlucher Design Proceedings
ISSN (Print)2318-6968


  • seamful
  • seamless
  • HCI
  • contextual integrity


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