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Sensory probes: An exploratory design research method for Human-Food Interaction

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Forthcoming
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Abstract

Designing interactions with food holds potential for rich multisensory experiences but their pervasiveness can challenge our understanding of them. This paper presents the design and evaluation of Sensory probes, a novel, exploratory design research method aimed to sensitize participants towards their food experiences. We report on workshops with 8 participants for co-designing the probes, followed by iterative revision through two-week diary studies with 18 participants. Findings indicate strong engagement with the sensory probes and how they brought forward the bodily and sensory aspects of these experiences, alongside emotional and social ones. We highlight the design rationale for the sensory probes which has been both empirically- and theoretically-grounded, provide reflections on the value of these probes for enabling novel perspectives on food experiences, and on probes’ ability to capture what we called sensory fragments of participants’ experience reflecting distinct sensory aspects form both internal and external senses.