Continued Bonds
: Towards the Design of Computationally Creative Bereavement Support

  • Lee Edward Cheatley

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


    This doctoral thesis investigates the ways developers can create technology to support bereaved people express themselves and engage with their bereavement experience. This research project, through four empirical studies, has generated insights into what bereaved users would want or expect from such a system, and what experts would expect of it. These insights have been used to develop a series of design goals and objectives for developers of bereavement support technology. Foremost amongst these goals are that technology to support the bereaved should support self-expression and promote wellbeing. Design objectives intended to meet these goals have been tested with end users interacting with pre-existing technology that meets many of the objectives. These user tests show computational creativity (CC) systems can help people express themselves and how they are feeling, process their feelings, and continue bonds with the deceased, amongst other things. The results of the final study suggest that the use of computationally creative bereavement support tools can improve the wellbeing of its users, and that CC systems are more helpful for younger users.
    Date of Award2021
    Original languageEnglish
    SponsorsEngineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
    SupervisorWendy Moncur (Supervisor), Alison Pease (Supervisor) & Michael Crabb (Supervisor)


    • Computational Creativity
    • Human-Computer Interaction
    • Bereavement

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