Grief in the Digital Age: Examining How Digital Tools Influence Grief and Coping with Loss


Author/Creator ORCID



Type of Work


University of Baltimore. Division of Science, Information Arts and Technologies


University of Baltimore. Master of Science in Interaction Design and Information Architecture

Citation of Original Publication


This item may be protected under Title 17 of the U.S. Copyright Law. It is made available by The University of Baltimore for non-commercial research and educational purposes.


This study aims to understand and explore grieving individuals and how technology is impacting their grief journey. The goal of this study is to understand existing research around grief and how digital tools like websites and mobile apps have been utilized by the bereaved. The literature review of this paper uncovered three common categories of digital grief tools which can be summarized as memorialization social connection and online grief support. While most previous research focused on each category individually, no research has been done comparing these categories with the same user group, nor has any other research examined the use of these tools during a diary study. This study also explores users’ preferences among these categories within the context of a digital platform. For this study, I will recruit participants who have experienced loss in the last two years and have them actively engage with a digital platform over the course of a 10-day diary study. Two platforms, the HealGrief website and the Actively Moving Forward mobile app, were selected because these platforms offer digital grief tools for memorialization, online grief support groups and social connection. Over the course of a 10-day diary study with 8 participants, data was gathered about how social connection, memorialization and online support influenced the participant’s grief and how participants viewed these tools in relation to their needs. Through participants’ responses, many usability concerns were noted that should be addressed by the HCI community to help guide future tools and features that can continue building on this sensitive subject matter to make digital grief tools more accessible to those coping with loss.