Hybrid gifting combines physical artefacts and experiences with digital interactivity to generate new kinds of gifts. Our review details how gifting is a complex social phenomenon and how digital gifting is less engaging than physical gifting for both givers and receivers. Employing a Research Through Design approach, we developed a portfolio of four hybrid gifting experiences: an augmented advent calendar; edible music tracks; personalized museum tours; and a narrated city walk. Our reflection addresses three concepts: hybrid wrapping where physical gifts become wrapped in digital media and vice versa; the importance of effortful interactions that are visible and pleasurable; and the need to consider social obligation, including opportunities for acknowledgement and reciprocation, dealing with embarrassment, and recognizing the distinction between giving and sharing. Our concepts provide guidance to practitioners who wish to design future gifting experiences while helping HCI researchers engage with the concept of gifting in a nuanced way.
Koleva, B., Spence, J., Benford, S., Kwon, H., Schnädelbach, H., Thorn, E., …Lane, G. (2020). Designing Hybrid Gifts. ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction, 27(5), 1–33. https://doi.org/10.1145/3398193