Face to Face Mode
In a texting conversation we have the ability to craft the perfect response. Whether it is with someone we are flirting with or a person we are fighting with, we can edit and edit, research, ignore, and reread until we feel we have the perfect message to send. This attempt at the "perfect" way to communicate removes much of the presence, risk, and "realness" of sitting across from someone. And that realness is important.
It's in the moments where we are paying attention in a more present way, get things wrong, confuse our message, or misunderstand, that we learn about ourselves and about each other. So how can a text message provide even a small level of deeper presence and risk or necessary imperfection?
To start playing with the mass editing and perfection of text messaging I started by wanting to visualize just what that editing looks like. To do that I had the immense help of Leon Eckert to build a simple system that watches and logs the edits within a text input field.
Typing stop for five seconds or more
Logs whatever is in the input form
The result is a transcript of all of the edits and attempts at perfect made by the person texting. I then sent this to a group of people who I text almost everyday and asked them to type their messages in this field before pasting them into iMessage to pass to me. The next day I asked them to hit "Save" and look at all of the edits we had made while talking to one another.
A Step Further
After looking at the edits made by everyone, I wanted to experiment with building tools that create more of an opportunity for the necessary imperfections of conversation.
I focused on three pieces of in person conversation and worked to introduce them into the text messaging interface.
Urgency / Presence | Risk of Imperfection | Staying in the Room
The result was an added feature called "Face to Face Mode".
Urgency / Presence
Staying in the Room
Risk of Imperfection