The DigitalFriend

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This website (and the DigitalFriend logo) was designed by Lauren Goschnick (email: lauren 'at' It was done so using the process of Participatory Design, well known in the field of User Centred Design (UCD). We used a set of Postit notes to build a list of topics considered important for the website to cover, then grouped them together into related subject areas and sub-areas. See figure 1 below. We then used those groups and sub-groups as the web-site main menu and the headings within the main web pages.

A Participatory Design exercise in progress Fig. 1: Postit notes during Design.


All of the icons in the website, and the vast majority of them within the DigitalFriend itself are by graphic artist Tim Goschnick. The views and opinions in this site, including those in the DigitalFriend Blog are by Steve Goschnick (email: gosh'at' The Webmaster is Christine Yunn-Yu Sun (email:webmaster'at'


The first version of the DigitalFriend (V1 Beta) was written throughout 2004 and the early part of 2005, by Christine Sun and Steve Goschnick, in the Java and CoLoG programming languages, partly financed via a Telstra Broadband Grant.

The research that lead to the DigitalFriend was completed in 2001 by Steve Goschnick within a Research Masters degree at The University of Melbourne (in the Agent Lab research group, Department of Computer Science), largely financed by an Australian Postgraduate Award scholarship. The text of the thesis is available as a .pdf document from this website via the Info/Doc link above, and also from the ePrints section of the University of Melbourne web-site. In it, a new software architecture is proposed and outlined: the ShadowBoard Agent Architecture - a plan, a blueprint. The DigitalFriend is an enactment of that proposal. Of fundamental importance to the whole project - particularly its focus on the individual - is that theories from Analytical Psychology underpin the architecture and therefore the DigitalFriend product too.

Since 2005 we have added much to the DigitalFriend with a focus on making it highly usable on a daily basis, to the average PC, Mac and Linux user. We've added a built in file manager (the FUN File Manager). We've enhanced the FUN (Friendly User Navigation) interface. We've added a number of built-in agent types. We've added a USB sync function to replicate an individual's Knowledge Tree across multiple devices and computers, we've added an RSS editor... and more.

If you want any information that doesn't appear to be available from this website (see the Info/Doc link above, for various detailed publications, etc), you can contact us at the email address: info'at' requesting it.

Any problems or comments regarding the website itself, please address to email: webmaster'at'

Note, in the email addresses listed on this page 'at' means @ - it is commonly used method to throw the spam robots, off the 'email address gathering' trail.


The company behind the development of the DigitalFriend is Solid Software Pty Ltd, an Australian software company that has been analysing, designing, developing and publishing software since 1986.



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