Flexi Card Game: A Design Toolkit for Unconventional Communication Systems for Long-Distance Relationships

Hong Li, Awais Hameed Khan, Kuisma Hurtig, Pradthana Jarusriboonchai, Jonna Häkkilä

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Mainstream communication technology today enables us to connect with loved ones across long distances. However, even with the proliferation of easy-to-use technology, there are reports on increasing loneliness and isolation amongst people. The technologies that enable these interactions are not necessarily designed to support meaningful emotional communication for users in long-distance relationships (LDRs). Furthermore, there is a lack of participatory tools that are designed with the focus of supporting end-user involvement in the design of LDR communication systems. We developed the Flexi Card Game (FCG), a card-based generative design toolkit to support designers and non-designers within participatory structures that can help develop unconventional communication systems to support LDRs. The FCG was developed using an iterative design process, involving end-users, designers, and researchers across five workshops with 56 participants. The paper makes three main contributions: (1) presents FCG—the novel card-based design toolkit itself, (2) describes the process of developing an LDR framework into a participatory toolkit, and (3) offers lessons and insights that can help researchers who are developing participatory tools in similar contexts.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the Fifteenth International Conference on Tangible, Embedded, and Embodied Interaction
Subtitle of host publicationTEI '21
EditorsRaphael Wimmer
Place of PublicationNew York
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-4503-8213-7
Publication statusPublished - 14 Feb 2021
MoEC publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventTEI 2021: The 15th ACM International Conference on Tangible, Embedded and Embodied Interaction - Online, Salzburg, Austria
Duration: 14 Feb 202119 Feb 2021


ConferenceTEI 2021
Internet address


  • Co-Design
  • Design Cards
  • Design Methods
  • Game
  • Long-Distance Relationships
  • Participatory Workshop

Field of science

  • Visual arts and design


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