Revisiting Piggyback Prototyping: Examining Benefits and Tradeoffs in Extending Existing Social Computing Systems

Daniel A. Epstein, Fannie Liu, Andrés Monroy-Hernández, Dennis Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

The CSCW community has a history of designing, implementing, and evaluating novel social interactions in technology, but the process requires significant technical effort for uncertain value. We discuss the opportunities and applications of "piggyback prototyping", building and evaluating new ideas for social computing on top of existing ones, expanding on its potential to contribute design recommendations. Drawing on about 50 papers which use the method, we critically examine the intellectual and technical benefits it provides, such as ecological validity and leveraging well-tested features, as well as research-product and ethical tensions it imposes, such as limits to customization and violation of participant privacy. We discuss considerations for future researchers deciding whether to use piggyback prototyping and point to new research agendas which can reduce the burden of implementing the method.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number456
JournalProceedings of the ACM on Human-Computer Interaction
Volume6
Issue numberCSCW2
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 11 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Networks and Communications

Keywords

  • Piggyback prototyping
  • Social computing
  • Social media
  • Systems

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