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Human-Computer Interaction 22

Editors:Thomas P. Moran
Publisher:Lawrence Erlbaum Associates
Standard No:ISSN 0737-0024
Links:Table of Contents
  1. HCI 2007 Volume 22 Issue 1/2
  2. HCI 2007 Volume 22 Issue 3
  3. HCI 2007 Volume 22 Issue 4

HCI 2007 Volume 22 Issue 1/2

Introduction to this Special Issue on Awareness Systems Design BIBFull-Text 1-6
  Panos Markopoulos; Boris de Ruyter; Wendy Mackay
Incorporating Human and Machine Interpretation of Unavailability and Rhythm Awareness Into the Design of Collaborative Applications BIBAFull-Text 7-45
  James "Bo" Begole; John C. Tang
Efficient coordination of collaboration requires sharing information about collaborators' current and future availability. We describe the usage of an awareness system called Awarenex that shared real-time awareness information to help coordinate activities at the current moment. We also developed a prototype called Lilsys that used sensors to gather additional awareness information that would help avoid disruptions when users are currently unavailable for interaction. Our experiences over time in designing and using prototypes that share awareness cues for current availability led us to identify temporal patterns that could help predict future reachability. Rhythm awareness is having a sense of regularly recurring temporal patterns that can help coordinate interactions among collaborators. Rhythm awareness is difficult to establish within distributed groups that are separated by distance and time zone. We describe rhythmic temporal patterns observed in activity data collected from users of the Awarenex prototype. Analyzing logs of Awarenex usage over time enabled us to construct a computational model of temporal patterns. We explored how to apply those patterns and model to predict future reachability among distributed team members. We discuss trade-offs in the design of collaborative applications that rely on human- and machine-interpretation of rhythm awareness cues. We also conducted a design study that elicited reactions to a variety of end-user visualizations of rhythmic patterns and investigated how well our computational model characterized their everyday routines.
The Impact of Increased Awareness While Face-to-Face BIBAFull-Text 47-96
  Joan Morris DiMicco; Katherine J. Hollenbach; Anna Pandolfo; Walter Bender
This article presents Second Messenger, a system of dynamic awareness displays that reveal speaker participation patterns in a face-to-face discussion. The system has been used by a variety of groups during face-to-face meetings, increasing individuals' awareness of their own and others' participation in discussions. Experimental results indicate that these displays influence the amount an individual participates in a discussion and the process of information sharing used during a decision-making task. These findings suggest that awareness applications bring about systematic changes in group communication styles, highlighting the potential for such applications to be designed to improve group interactions.
Interpreting and Acting on Mobile Awareness Cues BIBAFull-Text 97-135
  Antti Oulasvirta; Renaud Petit; Mika Raento; Sauli Tiitta
Mobile awareness systems provide user-controlled and automatic, sensor-derived cues of other users' situations and in that way attempt to facilitate group practices and provide opportunities for social interaction. We are interested in investigating how users interpret these cues as a situation, action, or intention of a remote person and then act on them in everyday social interactions. Three field trials utilizing A-B intervention research methodology were conducted with three types of teenager groups (N = 15, total days = 243). Each trial had a slightly different variation of ContextContacts -- a smartphone-based multicue mobile awareness system. We report on several analyses on how the cues were accessed, viewed, monitored, inferred, and acted on.
Announcing Activity: Design and Evaluation of an Intentionally Enriched Awareness Service BIBAFull-Text 137-171
  Markus Rittenbruch; Stephen Viller; Tim Mansfield
We introduce and explore the notion of "intentionally enriched awareness." Intentional enrichment refers to the process of actively engaging users in the awareness process by enabling them to express intentions. We explore this concept designing and evaluating the AnyBiff system, which allows users to freely create, share, and use a variety of biff applications. Biffs are simple representation of predefined activities. Users can select biffs to indicate that they are engaged in an activity. AnyBiff was deployed in two different organizations as part of a user-centered design process. We report on the results of the trial, which allowed us to gain insights into the potential of the AnyBiff prototype and the underlying biff concept to implement intentionally enriched awareness. Our findings show that intentional disclosure mechanisms in the form of biffs were successfully used in both fields of application. Users actively engaged in the design of a large variety of biffs and explored many different uses of the concept. The study revealed a whole host of issues with regard to intentionally enriched awareness, which give valuable insight into the conception and design of future applications in this area.
Exploring Awareness Related Messaging Through Two Situated-Display-Based Systems BIBAFull-Text 173-220
  Keith Cheverst; Alan Dix; Daniel Fitton; Mark Rouncefield; Connor Graham
This article focuses on our exploration of awareness issues through the design and long-term deployment of two systems: the Hermes office door display system (which enabled staff in a university department to post awareness messages to their door displays) and SPAM (a messaging system for supporting coordination between staff at two associated residential community care facilities). In the case of both systems, a significant number of the messages sent could be classified as relating to awareness. Furthermore, with both systems, the situatedness of displays (outside office doors in the case of Hermes and in staff offices in the case of SPAM) had a significant impact on the design and subsequent use of the deployed systems. In particular, the placement of displays provided significant context for awareness messages, including, for example, the identity of the sender of the message and the intended audience of the message. Both systems highlight the need for interaction methods that fit in with both normal working practices (and unplanned events) and that enable the user to manage communication channels. The need for appropriate levels of expressiveness and user control is also apparent: We present numerous examples of users controlling the precision of awareness information and sending awareness messages that have as much to do with playfulness as supporting coordination through activity awareness.
Defining, Designing, and Evaluating Peripheral Displays: An Analysis Using Activity Theory BIBAFull-Text 221-261
  Tara Matthews; Tye Rattenbury; Scott Carter
Peripheral displays are an important class of applications that improve our ability to balance multiple activities. However, peripheral display innovation and development has suffered because much of the past work has been technology driven: There exists little theoretical understanding of how they operate in relation to people's everyday lives. In response to this, we present a framework for understanding, designing, and evaluating peripheral displays based on Activity Theory. We argue that peripheral displays are information displays that become unobtrusive to users. As this quality depends on the context of use, we present a framework for describing peripheral displays based on the number and types of activities they support. Furthermore, we argue that different types of displays require different approaches to evaluation. From our own work and a review of related literature we derive a set of general evaluation criteria for peripheral displays (appeal, learnability, awareness, effects of breakdowns, and distraction). We then describe approaches for evaluating these criteria for different types of peripheral displays and present a case study to illustrate the value of our Activity Theory evaluation framework in practice.

HCI 2007 Volume 22 Issue 3

Allocating Time Across Multiple Texts: Sampling and Satisficing BIBAFull-Text 263-298
  William R. Reader; Stephen J. Payne
We report two studies investigating readers' ability to allocate limited time adaptively across online texts of varying difficulty. In both studies participants were asked to learn about the human heart and were free to allocate time to 4 separate online texts about the heart but did not have enough time to read them all thoroughly. Of particular interest was whether readers attempted to select the best text for them (by sampling the texts before reading) or to monitor texts while reading them and continue reading any text judged good enough (a satisficing strategy). We argue that both strategies can be considered adaptive, depending on properties of readers, texts, and tasks. Experiment 1 tested readers with a range of background knowledge and allowed them either 7 or 15 min study time. It showed that participants were adaptive in how they allocated their time in that more knowledgeable readers spent more time reading more difficult texts. Satisficing was a much more common strategy than sampling. Experiment 2 showed that providing outline overviews of each text dramatically increased the number of participants using a sampling strategy so that it became the modal strategy. However, this change in strategy had no effect on learning. Outline overviews presumably changed readers' perception of the ease with which relevant dimensions of text quality can be judged.
Social Norms and Behavioral Regulation in Asynchronous Communication: The Shift of Attention During Speed Communication BIBAFull-Text 299-324
  Massimo Bertacco
Speed communication analysis (Wicklund & Vandekerckhove, 2000) suggests that the interplay between communicative velocity and sensorial bandwidth is fundamental to predict psychological consequences in mediated communication. In line with this viewpoint, Bertacco and Deponte (2005) found that students using e-mail communication (speedy media) were more concise and less inclined to take the recipient's perspective than were students who communicated by postal letter (slow media). Drawing on speed communication analysis, two experiments were conducted to examine (a) the presence of social norms and (b) behavioral regulation in e-mail versus postal letter communication. In Experiment 1, students anticipated either an e-mail or a postal letter interaction with a fictitious confederate. Results supported the existence of social norms for speed communication because the simple anticipation of an e-mail interaction resulted in a shortfall in the recipient's perspective taking. In Experiment 2, students who were typing either an e-mail or a postal letter were unexpectedly interrupted. Findings were in line with an attentional model of mediated interactions based on the speed communication analysis: Students who wrote a postal letter were (a) more likely to remember the interruption and (b) less sensitive to external stimuli than were e-mail students. Research limits as well as scope for future research are discussed in the conclusions.
Virtual Interpersonal Touch: Expressing and Recognizing Emotions Through Haptic Devices BIBAFull-Text 325-353
  Jeremy N. Bailenson; Nick Yee; Scott Brave; Dan Merget; David Koslow
This article examines the phenomenon of Virtual Interpersonal Touch (VIT), people touching one another via force-feedback haptic devices. As collaborative virtual environments become utilized more effectively, it is only natural that interactants will have the ability to touch one another. In the work presented here, we used relatively basic devices to begin to explore the expression of emotion through VIT. In Experiment 1, participants utilized a 2 DOF force-feedback joystick to express seven emotions. We examined various dimensions of the forces generated and subjective ratings of the difficulty of expressing those emotions. In Experiment 2, a separate group of participants attempted to recognize the recordings of emotions generated in Experiment 1. In Experiment 3, pairs of participants attempted to communicate the seven emotions using physical handshakes. Results indicated that humans were above chance when recognizing emotions via VIT but not as accurate as people expressing emotions through nonmediated handshakes. We discuss a theoretical framework for understanding emotions expressed through touch as well as the implications of the current findings for the utilization of VIT in human-computer interaction.

HCI 2007 Volume 22 Issue 4

SNIF-ACT: A Cognitive Model of User Navigation on the World Wide Web BIBAFull-Text 355-412
  Wai-Tat Fu; Peter Pirolli
We describe the development of a computational cognitive model that explains navigation behavior on the World Wide Web. The model, called SNIF-ACT (Scent-based Navigation and Information Foraging in the ACT cognitive architecture), is motivated by Information Foraging Theory (IFT), which quantifies the perceived relevance of a Web link to a user's goal by a spreading activation mechanism. The model assumes that users evaluate links on a Web page sequentially and decide to click on a link or to go back to the previous page by a Bayesian satisficing model (BSM) that adaptively evaluates and selects actions based on a combination of previous and current assessments of the relevance of link texts to information goals. SNIF-ACT 1.0 utilizes the measure of utility, called information scent, derived from IFT to predict rankings of links on different Web pages. The model was tested against a detailed set of protocol data collected from 8 participants as they engaged in two information-seeking tasks using the World Wide Web. The model provided a good match to participants' link selections. In SNIF-ACT 2.0, we included the adaptive link selection mechanism from the BSM that sequentially evaluates links on a Web page. The mechanism allowed the model to dynamically build up the aspiration levels of actions in a satisficing process (e.g., to follow a link or leave a Web site) as it sequential assessed link texts on a Web page. The dynamic mechanism provides an integrated account of how and when users decide to click on a link or leave a page based on the sequential, ongoing experiences with the link context on current and previous Web pages. SNIF-ACT 2.0 was validated on a data set obtained from 74 subjects. Monte Carlo simulations of the model showed that SNIF-ACT 2.0 provided better fits to human data than SNIF-ACT 1.0 and a Position model that used position of links on a Web page to decide which link to select. We conclude that the combination of the IFT and the BSM provides a good description of user-Web interaction. Practical implications of the model are discussed.
The Design Tensions Framework BIBAFull-Text 413-451
  Deborah Tatar
This article introduces the notion of design tensions as a paradigm. The concept of design tensions advances design decisions as a focus for analysis and reflection. It admits many paradigms of analysis but emphasizes the balancing of considerations in producing an entire system, emphasizing user or user group experience. This paradigm is presented in relationship to a particular design arena, the design of NetCalc, a system of handheld, wirelessly connected tools for math teaching/learning in classroom settings. Six intertwined project tensions are presented and explored for their technical, social, and cognitive antecedents and consequences, as they play out in relationship to achieving goals and system potential. Design tensions differ from design spaces in that they do not set boundaries or simplify the problem but rather provide a framework for creating a space of relevance.