Digital media displays are increasingly common in public spaces. Typically, these are minimally interactive and predominantly function as signage or advertisements. However, in our work we have been exploring how digital media public displays can be designed to facilitate community content sharing in civic buildings, in organizations, and at social gatherings like conferences.
While most of our installations have been within fairly formal, professional settings, in this paper we address the impact of a digital community display on interactions between the inhabitants of a neighborhood art gallery and café.
We describe the location, the display itself, and the underlying content distribution and publication infrastructure. Findings from qualitative and quantitative analyses before and after the installation demonstrate that patrons easily adopted use of the display, which was used frequently to find out more about café/gallery events and for playful exchanges.
However, despite the enthusiasm of patrons and café staff, the café owners were wary of maintaining or extending the technology. We speculate on this reticence in terms of potential for services and technologies in public space technology design.