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Technology-mediated interruption management

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Abstract

Previous research into providing interpersonal technology-mediated interruption management support has predominantly been conducted from a paradigmatic standpoint that focused on modeling the context of the person being interrupted (interruptee) such as his/her mental workload, activity and location as a means to identify opportune/inopportune moments for communication. However, the utility of this approach and the associated design implications are questioned by the interruption value evaluation paradigm, which holds that interpersonal interruption management decisions are often made by people assessing factors such as who the interruption is from and what it is about (the relational context). To assess the validity of the competing assumptions underlining these paradigms about everyday interpersonal interruption management, a field study of interruption management practices in everyday cell phone use was conducted. Analysis of 1201 incoming calls from our experience sampling method study of cell phone use shows that “who” is calling is used most of the time (87.4%) by individuals to make deliberate call handling decisions (N=834), in contrast to the interruptee’s current local social (34.9%) or cognitive (43%) contexts. Building on these findings, we present a theoretical framework that aids in understanding the design space of interruption management tools that focus on reducing uncertainty of the interruption context to improve interruption management decisions.

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... Activity Engagement: Activity engagement represents a combination of two relevant contexts: social and cognitive [14,16]. In this work, the user's cognitive context, frequently considered in the ...
... literature of interruptibility [19,26,29], is defined as to "encompass the interruptee's cognitive level of involvement in tasks and how it affects task performances" [16]. However, the definition of social context as "the interruptee' physical environment as understood in a social sense" -relating to the place the user is in, the people around him/her and the nature of the task [16] -is closer to "social expectation". ...
... literature of interruptibility [19,26,29], is defined as to "encompass the interruptee's cognitive level of involvement in tasks and how it affects task performances" [16]. However, the definition of social context as "the interruptee' physical environment as understood in a social sense" -relating to the place the user is in, the people around him/her and the nature of the task [16] -is closer to "social expectation". Hence, the activity engagement variable considers only the social engagement of the user in his/her current task [17,19]. ...
Conference Paper
This paper presents an organized set of variables that can aid intelligent privacy agents in predicting the best and necessary moments to interrupt users in order to give them control and awareness over their privacy, avoiding information overload or over choice.
... Software engineering research and information systems research distinguish two fundamentally different concepts of interruptions: Software engineering research conceptualizes interruptions as a form of impediment, that is, something that delays individual work processes, such as handovers, extra processes, or unnecessary motion (Power & Conboy, 2015). Information systems research, especially in the context of technology-induced interruptions, conceptualizes interruptions as nonpredictable events caused by external sources that interfere with a primary task, such as incoming emails, calls, or coworkers requesting information (Addas & Pinsonneault, 2015;Grandhi & Jones, 2010;Perlow, 1999). These diverging perspectives highlight the complex nature of interruptions in the workplace with the perspective of interruptions as a distraction in getting a task done and the perspective of interruptions as intrusions necessary to complete a task. ...
... This broad perspective allows us to understand a variety of sources and consequences of interruptions. Following this line of thought, it is important to understand the interrupted task, the interruption content, the timing and quantity, the interrupting individual as well as the consequences of an interruption (Galluch et al., 2015;Grandhi & Jones, 2010;Jett & George, 2003). ...
... Interruptions have negative consequences, such as increased time pressure for the task that was interrupted, procrastination, and mediocre performance (Grandhi & Jones, 2010;Jett & George, 2003). However, interruptions are considered to have positive consequences as well, including being helpful for informal feedback and information sharing, individualizing work pace, enhancing performance, and mindful information processing (Bechky & Okhuysen, 2011;Chua et al., 2012;Jett & George, 2003). ...
Article
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Agile approaches help software development project teams to better meet user needs and ensure flexibility in uncertain environments. But using agile approaches invites changes to the project and increases interactions between team members, which both cause interruptions in the workplace. While interruptions can help in task completion and increase process flexibility, they can also hinder employee productivity. We conducted an exploratory study of four agile software development teams. Our analysis identified (1) programming-related work impediments, (2) interaction-related interruptions, and (3) interruptions imposed by the external environment, which were managed by improved information retrieval and reduced team dependencies.
... To further understand people's strategies in handling interruptions, these effects should be considered [25]. Similarly, Grandhi and Jones argue in [27] that the relational context must be considered, that is, who is interrupting and what the interruption is about. The authors divide research on interruption management into two paradigms: the impact reduction paradigm and the interruption value evaluation paradigm. ...
... The approach seeks to provide useful information about the interruption to the individual being interrupted. By having access to, for example, the caller's intention in the case of a phone call, the interrupted party can make a more informed decision regarding whether to respond or not [27]. Thus, to discover whether an interruption is wanted or not, one must look beyond the effects it has on the interrupted activity to include the social and relational contexts of the interruption as well. ...
... While there are various techniques to use in managing interruptions [27], some have argued that interruptions could be handled through an increased awareness among colleagues [21,28]. Also, Ebright mentions that nurses' awareness of changes to unit activities and colleagues' work is an important factor in leveraging the decision-making process. ...
Article
Introduction Nurses’ work in hospital departments is highly collaborative and includes communication with a variety of actors. To further support nurses’ communications, wireless phones, on which nurses receive both nurse calls and ordinary phone calls, have been introduced. However, while they ensure high availability among the mobile nurses, these phones also contribute to an increased number of interruptions. Purpose This paper aims to discover whether all interruptions caused by the wireless phones are unwanted. Further, it investigates how nurses handle these interruptions in a hospital setting in order to construct a foundation for guidelines to use in designing these types of systems. Methods Qualitative and ethnographically inspired fieldwork, including workshops with both ordinary and student nurses from a Norwegian hospital, was undertaken. Patients from two hospital departments were interviewed. Results Nurses struggle to handle interruptions caused by the wireless nurse call system. Deciding whether to abort an activity or not to respond to an interruption is regarded as stressful. The decision is further complicated by the complex nature of the interruptions. At the same time, patients anticipate that nurses are able to make these judgements with limited information. Nurses’ work is highly collaborative, and nurses depend on one another to carry out their work and manage interruptions. Conclusion The dual nature of the interruptions is complex, and whether an interruption is wanted or unwanted depends on many factors. Nurses manage interruptions mainly by making their own activities visible and monitoring colleagues’ work. Therefore, nurses’ awareness of colleagues’ activities is a key factor in how they handle interruptions in the form of nurse calls.
... From the recipient's viewpoint, the dilemma is more complex. Grandhi and Jones (2010) conceptualise the dilemma as a decision-making process regarding whether to Downloaded by [Ben Gurion University of the Negev] at 07:46 09 July 2014 answer incoming calls. When conditions are not favourable for answering calls, people may engage in interruptionavoidance behaviour. ...
... For example, turning off the mobile phone can result in people missing important, urgent or desired calls, especially if they forget to turn the phone back on. An alternative strategy is to generally allow for interruptions, constantly making decisions on how to respond: complete dismissal, immediate engagement or negotiation for future response (Grandhi and Jones 2010). Clearly, the dilemma stems mostly from the likelihood that such a strategy will interfere with the recipient's current activities and physical social context, drawing her/his attention away from it. ...
... The social context problem is exacerbated further: previous research has shown that speaking on mobile phones is more annoying than speaking face to face . (3) Recently, Grandhi and Jones (2010) have persuasively argued for the importance of a third contextual dimension -the relational context, which refers mostly to the type of relationships between the caller and the recipient and what the call is about. Thus, not only do the relationships influence the decision whether to accept the call or not; the decision itself affects future relationships (Harr and Kaptelinin 2007). ...
Article
Full-text available
Recipients of phone calls face a constant dilemma between ignoring calls at the possible expense of offending the caller, missing business opportunities or neglecting family members on one hand; and answering them at the expense of interrupting their train of thought or appearing rude and impolite towards others with whom they share a social activity on the other hand. We studied people's attitudes regarding these dilemmas, with emphasis on their social aspects. In a cross-cultural study, conducted in Israel and in Germany, we surveyed both caller and recipient attitudes towards answering mobile phone calls in various circumstances. The study also assessed the aspects of providing contextual information about a call prior to it being answered, including types of information deemed most valuable. The results emphasise the importance of social norms in affecting respondents’ attitudes towards making or accepting phone calls regardless of role (caller or recipient), gender or culture. We also found that the norms in the physical context (e.g. being in a meeting) prevailed over norms in the virtual context (e.g. the phone call). Cultural and gender differences did not affect the degree to which people were frustrated by insufficient information regarding the other party's context. However, these factors did affect the suggested design solutions to this problem. The research provides insight into the social aspects of the problem of interruptive mobile phone calls and towards designing applications that help users maintain politeness while handling the caller–recipient dilemma.
... User Features Pupil size events [2,4], EEG events [35], emotion [53,43,15], learning style [57], personality [57], time until next calendar event [22,56] Environment Features ...
... door open/closed [12,13], cell tower id [55], wifi ssid [55], nearby bluetooth [43], wireless signals [22], smartphone ringer state [46,11], smartphone screen covered [46,47,11], smartphone orientation [47], ambient noise [11,6] Interruption Features Content e.g. text or phone number [55,10,50], task complexity [16], number of queued interruptions [46], time between interruptions [20] User and Environment Features Time of day [12,57,56,41,22,46,55,47,50], day of week [57,22,46,55,53,50], month [55], user is in conversation [59,22,12,53,22,21], user's current activity [12,41,57,53,43,23,28,30,50], user is present [12,6,20,19,24], software events [46,22,41,34,58,39,18,8,6,28,13,20,21,14], unusual environment to be in [42], frustration level [57,1,26], stress [53], level of annoyance [5] respiration [53], ambient sound [41,22,20], car movement [32], human motions [32,19], smartphone motions or acceleration [47,11], PC active and inactive time [22] User and Interruption Features Social relation [59,16,50,15], interruption frequency [16], content desirability [42], perceived mental effort [1,16], perceived task performance [16,1], resumption lag [25,1,34,39,26], perceived timeliness of delivery [42], number of primary task errors [29,5], primary task duration [1,34,22,5], elapsed time to switch to interruption [46,53,21,26], primary task complexity [57,16], interruption timestamp [55], interruption duration [34,1,53,5], perceived time pressure [1], previous or next task cue presented [29], elapsed time before user reaction [18], influence from social contexts [15] the user [11], as well as the questionable accuracy and consistency of human quantification [41,42]. ...
... door open/closed [12,13], cell tower id [55], wifi ssid [55], nearby bluetooth [43], wireless signals [22], smartphone ringer state [46,11], smartphone screen covered [46,47,11], smartphone orientation [47], ambient noise [11,6] Interruption Features Content e.g. text or phone number [55,10,50], task complexity [16], number of queued interruptions [46], time between interruptions [20] User and Environment Features Time of day [12,57,56,41,22,46,55,47,50], day of week [57,22,46,55,53,50], month [55], user is in conversation [59,22,12,53,22,21], user's current activity [12,41,57,53,43,23,28,30,50], user is present [12,6,20,19,24], software events [46,22,41,34,58,39,18,8,6,28,13,20,21,14], unusual environment to be in [42], frustration level [57,1,26], stress [53], level of annoyance [5] respiration [53], ambient sound [41,22,20], car movement [32], human motions [32,19], smartphone motions or acceleration [47,11], PC active and inactive time [22] User and Interruption Features Social relation [59,16,50,15], interruption frequency [16], content desirability [42], perceived mental effort [1,16], perceived task performance [16,1], resumption lag [25,1,34,39,26], perceived timeliness of delivery [42], number of primary task errors [29,5], primary task duration [1,34,22,5], elapsed time to switch to interruption [46,53,21,26], primary task complexity [57,16], interruption timestamp [55], interruption duration [34,1,53,5], perceived time pressure [1], previous or next task cue presented [29], elapsed time before user reaction [18], influence from social contexts [15] the user [11], as well as the questionable accuracy and consistency of human quantification [41,42]. ...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
When should a machine attempt to communicate with a user? This is a historical problem that has been studied since the rise of personal computing. More recently, the emergence of pervasive technologies such as the smartphone have extended the problem to be ever-present in our daily lives, opening up new opportunities for context awareness through data collection and reasoning. Complementary to this there has been increasing interest in techniques to intelligently synchronise interruptions with human behaviour and cognition. However, it is increasingly challenging to categorise new developments, which are often scenario specific or scope a problem with particular unique features. In this paper we present a meta-analysis of this area, decomposing and comparing historical and recent works that seek to understand and predict how users will perceive and respond to interruptions. In doing so we identify research gaps, questions and opportunities that characterise this important emerging field for pervasive technology.
... 17 Consequently, existing research has focused on interruptions and factors that make them disruptive, 9,15,18,19 often suggesting a set of design implications on when people can be interrupted. 4,5,25,26,27,28 Although there is a predominantly negative view of interruptions caused by TMN, some studies acknowledge the important information a TMN may carry. 9,13 Some examples of positive effects identified include contributing to increased safety, improvements in patient comfort, and increased accuracy. ...
... Two interruption management paradigms are examined: (1) the impact reduction paradigm, which seeks to reduce the cost induced by an interruption by using techniques that either prevent or block TMN, and (2) the interruption value paradigm, which allows the receiver to evaluate an interruption based on its perceived cost and utility from a preview of useful information from the TMN. Some recent innovations in ICT, such as, reminders 31 and context-aware architecture, 28,31,33 have been proposed to reduce interruptions through asynchronous communication. These systems, however, consider a limited number of factors from the receiver's context. ...
... For instance, researchers reported reduced interruptions with the introduction of an external signage 29 or intervention that blocks face-face communication at selected locations, 30 while others considered an awareness display that presents information to the interrupter about the workload currently experienced by the interruptee. 28 These techniques, however, focus on the idea that both the sender and receiver are physically co-located and do not provide much assistance when they are geographically separated from each other. Further, these techniques require the receiver to remain within the same space as the interrupter when she does not want to be interrupted. ...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Previous research has identified the need for managing wanted and unwanted interruptions from technology-mediated notifications (TMN) in the intensive care units (ICUs). Current solutions are focused on mobile, asynchronous and context-aware mechanisms that consider a minimal number of factors (location and activity of the receiver). These factors are insufficient for a receiver to effectively decide on whether or not to interrupt their ongoing activities to immediately respond to a TMN. We propose a mobile device solution, known as " patient-enhanced notifications " that presents a preview of TMN with additional patient information. A study comprising of user evaluations and interview sessions helped ascertain that patient vital signs coupled with the actual text message assisted receiving ICU providers in deciding on when to respond to the TMN. We conclude that patient-enhanced notifications has the potential to help ICU clinicians better manage interruptions generated from mobile devices.
... The justificatory knowledge informing the testable proposition for addressing this requirement is the "Interruption Evaluation Paradigm"; this paradigm is applied in human computer interaction (HCI) (Dabbish & Baker, 2003;Grandhi & Jones, 2010;Milewski, 2006;Szóstek & Markopoulos, 2006). ...
... Researchers working from this perspective argue that the interruptions should be managed based on factors of social or cognitive context of the person being interrupted, as well as factors related to the content of the interruption (the relational context). It means the degree of alert-intrusiveness can be adjusted according to the alert's level of importance, allowing only the most severe warnings to interrupt work (Grandhi & Jones, 2010). In addition, rules that trigger alerts can also be filtered and prioritized to suppress lowseverity warnings by using more sophisticated algorithms that integrate the receiver's cognitive and social context into the decision logic. ...
... In addition, rules that trigger alerts can also be filtered and prioritized to suppress lowseverity warnings by using more sophisticated algorithms that integrate the receiver's cognitive and social context into the decision logic. Cognitive context has been defined as all aspects that encompass the receiver's cognitive level of involvement in a task (Grandhi & Jones, 2010). Social context includes all aspects encompassing the receiver's immediate environment, as understood in a social sense; this would include the place the individual is in, people present within that place, and the social nature of the activity occurring at that location (Grandhi & Jones, 2010). ...
Article
There is a growing body of literature that addresses the importance of health and wellbeing in the workplace, and the effectiveness of corporate wellness programs. Following advancements in low-cost and unobtrusive computing technology, an emerging trend in corporate wellness programs is to offer wearable devices to employees. These devices monitor employees' physiological and environmental conditions in order to improve their awareness of their personal health. In addition, organizations can harness the aggregated anonymized data provided by such technology to investigate ways of improving the work environment. However, promoting digital health monitoring systems introduces new dynamic interactions between the social actors and technology. Three main categories of strain caused by the use of these systems in a work environment are value tensions (privacy vs. wellbeing); action tensions (work vs. leisure activities), and role tensions (leisure vs. work roles). Based on an analysis of these tensions, design principles for digital occupational health systems are derived that minimize strain and have much bigger chances to be accepted and thus to create value for all stakeholders. Consequently, this study follows the design science research paradigm to derive design principles.
... 17 Consequently, existing research has focused on interruptions and factors that make them disruptive, 9,15,18,19 often suggesting a set of design implications on when people can be interrupted. 4,5,25,26,27,28 Although there is a predominantly negative view of interruptions caused by TMN, some studies acknowledge the important information a TMN may carry. 9,13 Some examples of positive effects identified include contributing to increased safety, improvements in patient comfort, and increased accuracy. ...
... Two interruption management paradigms are examined: (1) the impact reduction paradigm, which seeks to reduce the cost induced by an interruption by using techniques that either prevent or block TMN, and (2) the interruption value paradigm, which allows the receiver to evaluate an interruption based on its perceived cost and utility from a preview of useful information from the TMN. Some recent innovations in ICT, such as, reminders 31 and context-aware architecture, 28,31,33 have been proposed to reduce interruptions through asynchronous communication. These systems, however, consider a limited number of factors from the receiver's context. ...
... For instance, researchers reported reduced interruptions with the introduction of an external signage 29 or intervention that blocks face-face communication at selected locations, 30 while others considered an awareness display that presents information to the interrupter about the workload currently experienced by the interruptee. 28 These techniques, however, focus on the idea that both the sender and receiver are physically co-located and do not provide much assistance when they are geographically separated from each other. Further, these techniques require the receiver to remain within the same space as the interrupter when she does not want to be interrupted. ...
Article
Previous research has identified the need for managing wanted and unwanted interruptions from technology- mediated notifications (TMN) in the intensive care units (ICUs). Current solutions are focused on mobile, asynchronous and context-aware mechanisms that consider a minimal number of factors (location and activity of the receiver). These factors are insufficient for a receiver to effectively decide on whether or not to interrupt their ongoing activities to immediately respond to a TMN. We propose a mobile device solution, known as "patient- enhanced notifications " that presents a preview of TMN with additional patient information. A study comprising of user evaluations and interview sessions helped ascertain that patient vital signs coupled with the actual text message assisted receiving ICU providers in deciding on when to respond to the TMN. We conclude that patient- enhanced notifications has the potential to help ICU clinicians better manage interruptions generated from mobile devices.
... The Interruption Evaluation Paradigm is an attempt at managing interruptions based on the social or cognitive context of the person being interrupted, as well as factors related to the content of the interruption. Only the most severe warnings are allowed to be sent and, thus, interrupt work [42]. The cognitive context includes all aspects of the receiver's mental level of involvement in a task [42]. ...
... Only the most severe warnings are allowed to be sent and, thus, interrupt work [42]. The cognitive context includes all aspects of the receiver's mental level of involvement in a task [42]. The social context includes all aspects of the receiver's immediate environment, as understood in a social sense; this would include the place the individual is in, the people present within that place, and the social nature of the activity occurring [42]. ...
... The cognitive context includes all aspects of the receiver's mental level of involvement in a task [42]. The social context includes all aspects of the receiver's immediate environment, as understood in a social sense; this would include the place the individual is in, the people present within that place, and the social nature of the activity occurring [42]. The following design principle and design items are based on adapting this paradigm to DOHS applications. ...
Conference Paper
Advancements in low-cost and unobtrusive wearable computing devices have prompted employers to begin providing their employees with wearable technology as a part of corporate wellness programs. While the adoption of wearable health-tracking systems might improve employees’ wellbeing, the introduction of such systems in organizational settings might also instigate certain tensions, in particular those between privacy and wellbeing, and work and private life. This study was based on an analysis of these tensions; following the design science research paradigm, design principles were derived to minimize such strain.
... Fischer [9] distinguishes eight key characteristics of interruptions, namely 'who', 'says what', 'in which channel', 'to whom', 'when', 'where', 'with what effect' and 'how'. Positive results have been achieved by adapting these characteristics, such as the sender (who) [10], content (says what) [10], modality (in which channel) [2], recipient (to whom) and location (where) [8]. On the other hand, it is conceivable that there are situations where none of these characteristics can be altered. ...
... Fischer [9] distinguishes eight key characteristics of interruptions, namely 'who', 'says what', 'in which channel', 'to whom', 'when', 'where', 'with what effect' and 'how'. Positive results have been achieved by adapting these characteristics, such as the sender (who) [10], content (says what) [10], modality (in which channel) [2], recipient (to whom) and location (where) [8]. On the other hand, it is conceivable that there are situations where none of these characteristics can be altered. ...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Being interrupted by notifications and reminders is common while working. In this study we consider whether system politeness reduces (negative) effects of being interrupted by system requests. We carried out a 2 (polite vs. neutral system request) x 2 (high vs. low mental load) between-participants experiment. We measured annoyance, frustration and mental effort. Our results suggest that social strategies can mitigate some of the negative effects, but that this depends on the difficulty of the task. We discuss the implications of these results for the design of interruptive system messages and for further research into social computing.
... Nonetheless, our understanding of the effects of online or information technology (IT) interruption phenomenon is limited (Addas and Pinsonneault, 2015). Studies have focused on interruption and managers' abilities to multi-task by switching between various tasks, solitary work and communication with others (Iqbal and Horvitz, 2007;Grandhi and Jones, 2010). Ophir et al. (2009) found that people who are heavy multi-taskers in media technology environments perform more poorly than others and may suffer from distractibility. ...
... Mintzberg (2007) challenged the classical outlook in which managerial work was described as organizing, coordinating, planning, and supervising, and instead suggested that executives spent 80% of their time in verbal communication that was characterized by fragmentation, heterogeneity, and succinctness. In recent years, special attention has been given to examining individual abilities to deal with multi-tasking environments and effectively manage interruptions, such as the decision over whether to reject or answer a phone call (Grandhi and Jones, 2010). The cost of task switching and switching between tasks can be expressed in slow and imprecise performance or stress and frustration. ...
... DELICATE follows the Interruption value evaluation paradigm, which is based on the view that not all interruptions are negative, and hence each interruption should be evaluated not just on how it impacts one's context but also the utility it may bring along. 2 Grounded in this paradigm, the focus of DELICATE is to deliver notifications in a kind and effective manner. The former (kind) refers to taking into account the possible interruption for the receiver (notification impact), and the latter (effective) refers to making sure the receiver sees and attends the notification when/if needed (notification utility). ...
... Different factors that may affect the interruption, for example, cognitive, social and environmental factors, have been studied in previous works. 2,[5][6][7] Specifically, Grandhy and Jones 2 executed a field study where it was shown that who is calling, as well as the social and cognitive contexts of the call had an influence on interruption management practices in everyday cell phone calls. Ho and Intille 5 discuss 11 factors that influence a person's interruption at a given moment, among others: the activity and social engagement of the user, and the utility of the message. ...
Article
Full-text available
The inclusion of the Internet of Things in healthcare is producing numerous automatic notifications for health professionals. These notifications must be delivered in the right moment and in the right way to be appropriately attended, and at the same time, ensuring no important task is interrupted. In this work, we have applied a human-centred design method to deal with this issue. By collaborating with health professionals in Belgium, we have designed and validated DELICATE, a conceptual framework that categorizes the different attention needs for each notification, and links them with the delivery mechanisms that are more appropriate for each particular context. As an aid for designers, we also define methodological guidelines to clearly determine how DELICATE can be used to develop a notification system. Finally, as a proof-of-concept validation of the framework, we have implemented it in an Android application and tested it using real scenarios. This validation has shown that DELICATE can be used to design a notification system that delivers kind healthcare notifications.
... Several approaches to interruption management have been developed for interpersonal communication technologies (Grandhi & Jones, 2010). These approaches include (1) prevention by blocking (e.g., closing an application), (2) dissuasion (e.g., "Do Not Disturb" on Skype), (3) notification modification (e.g., setting the phone to vibrate rather than ring), and (4) preview (e.g., call screening). ...
... There have also been studies trying to automate technology to select one of these four options by determining the interruptibility of individuals based on cognitive load and social context (e.g., Fogarty et al., 2005). Grandhi and Jones (2010), however, showed that there are further factors (e.g., historic interrupter-interruptee interaction), which they group under relational context, that guide how individuals manage interruptions. ...
... Several approaches to interruption management have been developed for interpersonal communication technologies (Grandhi & Jones, 2010). These approaches include (1) prevention by blocking (e.g., closing an application), (2) dissuasion (e.g., "Do Not Disturb" on Skype), (3) notification modification (e.g., setting the phone to vibrate rather than ring), and (4) preview (e.g., call screening). ...
... There have also been studies trying to automate technology to select one of these four options by determining the interruptibility of individuals based on cognitive load and social context (e.g., Fogarty et al., 2005). Grandhi and Jones (2010), however, showed that there are further factors (e.g., historic interrupter-interruptee interaction), which they group under relational context, that guide how individuals manage interruptions. ...
Article
In a usability test of a pre-commercialization product designed to minimize interruptions, we examined the ease of use and intuitiveness of the product through lab testing, while also surveying test participants on their perception of interruptions in the workplace. The results suggest that despite high ratings of ease of use and tool intuitiveness, participants were uncertain about likelihood of use in the office context. This discrepancy indicates usability is perhaps a necessary but insufficient driver of adoption, and other factors, such as the establishment of a receptive context and supportive social norms, are also important considerations when predicting new technological adoptions.
... The influential factors of interruptibility have been widely debated, particularly between: user characteristics (e.g., cognitive load), interruption properties (e.g., notification content) and the local environment (e.g., location or activity) [4,11]. Additionally, the definition of what it means to be interruptible is also fragmented, with some studies focusing on: the physiological ability to switch focus (e.g., [2,10]); the affect the interruption would have on the current task (e.g., [14,7,6]) or the user's sentiment towards the interruption (e.g., [15]). ...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Smartphone notifications are often delivered without considering user interruptibility, potentially causing frustration for the recipient. Therefore research in this area has concerned finding contexts where interruptions are better received. The typical convention for monitoring interruption behaviour assumes binary actions, where a response is either completed or not at all. However, in reality a user may partially respond to an interruption, such as reacting to an audible alert or exploring which application caused it. Consequently we present a multi-step model of interruptibility that allows assessment of both partial and complete notification responses. Through a 6-month in-the-wild case study of 11,346 to-do list reminders from 93 users, we find support for reducing false-negative classification of interruptibility. Additionally, we find that different response behaviour is correlated with different contexts and that these behaviours are predictable with similar accuracy to complete responses.
... This potential disruption can be overcome by asynchronous notifications. Means for managing interruptions caused by notifications include: (i) an interruption impact reduction paradigm, in which software-based agents prevent or block a notification for a specific time period [16,38,48], and (ii) an interruption value evaluation paradigm, in which a preview of a notification is provided so the interruptee can decide to either continue or break an ongoing task [19,20]. ...
Conference Paper
Previous research on reducing unwanted interruptions in hospital intensive care units (ICU) have focused on providing context-aware solutions that consider factors such as location and activity of the person receiving the interruption. We seek to broaden an understanding of how to manage interruptions by using the Locales Framework to analyze data collected from a field study on mobile notification interruptions in the ICU. Based on our data along with previous literature on cognitive theories, mental models, strategies for managing interruptions, and principles of human factors, we propose five guidelines to aid in designing mobile technology interventions for the ICU.
... Salvucci and Taatgen, 2011) and react to interruptions (e.g. Grandhi and Jones, 2010;Trafton and Monk, 2007), on the antecedents of individual behaviors and management strategies (e.g. Mark et al., 2012), and on the consequences in terms of individual psychological states as well as group outcomes, such as individual overload (e.g. ...
Article
This paper investigates how individual perceptions and attitudes about an organization influence multitasking behaviors in the workplace. While we know that individuals are significantly influenced in their behaviors by the characteristics of their organizations (e.g. ICTs, organizational structure, physical layout), we still do not know much about how the way individuals interpret their organization influences their multitasking behaviors. Thus, we specifically hypothesize that the individual perception of the organizational preferences for multitasking (i.e. organizational polychronicity) engenders the actual multitasking behaviors that an individual enacts in the workplace. We also hypothesize that the attachment to the organization (i.e. organizational identification) moderates the above relationship. We conducted a mixed method study in two knowledge intensive organizations (an R&D unit and a university department) and collected data through a survey, diaries, and semi-structured interviews. Our findings support the first hypothesis but not the moderating role of organizational identification. However, this latter is directly related to how much a person is willing to work on multiple activities on a single day. Further, our study suggests that not only the organizational context should be investigated in the study of multitasking behaviors, but also the larger work context, including the individuals’ professional communities. We conclude with a discussion of theoretical and practical implications as well as methodological reflections on mixing methods in the study of multitasking in organizations.
... Grandhi and Jones [27] discuss multiple modalities through which technology helps in moderating the impact of the negative consequences of interruptions as (1) Interruption prevention, (2) Interruption dissuasion, (3) Interruption notification modification and (4) Interruption preview. We build on this model and suggest there is a fifth mode of interruption management called -(5) Interruption review. ...
Research
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Paper presented to IEEE Cloud Computing Conference in New York City, July 2015. Describes a prototype of an web-based application designed to assist users in monitoring and managing their 'media flow' for better professional performance and personal well being.
... Whether these devices become accepted or rejected in the landscape of normal or appropriate meeting behaviour and the impact that they will have on attitudes and behaviour of meeting participants remains to be investigated in depth (Grandhi & Jones, 2010). In addition, perhaps new applications can be developed to take advantage of these diverse and powerful systems to support the needs of people in meetings. ...
... Grandhi and Jones [27] discuss multiple modalities through which technology helps in moderating the impact of the negative consequences of interruptions as (1) Interruption prevention, (2) Interruption dissuasion, (3) Interruption notification modification and (4) Interruption preview. We build on this model and suggest there is a fifth mode of interruption management called -(5) Interruption review. ...
Research
Full-text available
Ubiquitous connectivity has fostered an unprecedented wave of mobile computing and communication applications. As the number of mobile applications grows exponentially, a crucial issue is how users will monitor and manage their media ‘flows’ to optimal levels. This means having ‘requisite’ levels of information and communication, while avoiding states of hyper-connectivity. Our research is focused on developing mobile applications that analyze users’ multiple media flows. A dashboard interface then offers feedback to the user, who can adapt and modify her or his behavior for improved productivity and personal well-being.
... In contrast to requiring callees to share their context information, Grandhi et al. [17] propose that callers share more detailed information about the reason of their call. Their work is based on their prior findings stemming from the analysis of incoming call acceptance factors [16]. A collaborative approach for call acceptance decisions is proposed by Marti and Schmandt [35] based on wirelessly actuated finger rings. ...
Conference Paper
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While privacy is often treated as an information centric issue, privacy issues in ubiquitous and mobile computing also encompass physical or territorial aspects, i.e., the right to be left alone or undisturbed. Disturbances that affect privacy often stem from persons nearby and their mobile de-vices, e.g., ringing phones, loud phone calls, or sounds of mobile games. We propose PriPref Broadcaster, a smartphone-based approach for communicating personal privacy preferences to persons in physical proximity. Our approach further supports automatic adaptation of mobile device settings based on the dominating preferences in the current environment. Results from a usability study and a five-day field trial with 28 participants show that broadcasting privacy preferences is perceived as meaningful and has the potential to support privacy signaling in many everyday situations.
... The mobile phone has been described as one of the most radiative communications appliances ever invented (Coghill, 2001, p. 28). As a communications tool, mobile phones play a considerable role in facilitating the development and maintenance of everyday human relationships and interaction (Grandhi and Jones, 2010), with up to 92 per cent of mobile phone users suggesting that mobile phones play a critical role in their day-to-day lives (Carphone Warehouse, 2006). Chen and Katz (2009) allude to the fact that the role of the mobile phone in daily life is both representational and symbolic (in effect, socially prominent). ...
Article
Purpose ‐ This paper aims to contribute to extant research which emphasises the need for service suppliers to be able to leverage firm-customer relationships through an understanding of the correlation between service touch-points and engagement parameters. Design/methodology/approach ‐ The authors utilised multivariate methods (CATPCA and Pro-fit) to analyse the data. Data were collected through a questionnaire survey of 238 respondents, sampled through the social networking site, "Facebook". Findings ‐ It was found from the analysis of data that within the context of customer engagement, four critical parameters ("satisfaction", "loyalty/advocacy", "recruitment/retention" and "customer losses") impact on customer touch-points. Research limitations/implications ‐ The study is characterised by two limitations. The first is that the respondents' simultaneous utilisation of multiple touch-points was not accounted for in the study. Second, the authors acknowledge that the narrow demographic spread of the respondents is a possible limitation of the study. Originality/value ‐ The study findings are grounded in empirical findings which is a departure from traditional scholarship on customer touch-points which has been based on case observations and anecdotal evidence.
... En effet, on note tout d'abord que les communications téléphoniques pertinentes survenant dans des phases importantes en fonction de la charge de travail ont tendance à être plus longues. Deux explications possibles peuvent être avancées :d'une part, étant déjà en surcharge cognitive suite à sa tâche principale, l'opérateur met plus de temps à traiter la tâche secondaire ; d'autre part, se pose également la question de l'importance accordée à l'appel ; lorsqu'un opérateur estime qu'une communication est moins importante que sa tâche principale, il a tendance à s'affranchir au plus vite de l'appel (Grandhi & Jones, 2010). De plus, on note que lorsqu'il se trouve dans une activité peu demandeuse en termes d'efforts cognitifs (ici, la surveillance du processus), l'opérateur passe plus de temps à traiter une communication non pertinente qu'une communication pertinente. ...
Conference Paper
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This article presents a though on the relationship between lean manufacturing organization, work and health, and a proposition of methodology to promote prevention of occupational hazards in this context. With a literature review, we identified a set of organizational arrangements, in work situations, with paradoxical effects on health. The dimension of continuous improvement of lean manufacturing and the ambivalence of some arrangements led us to questions on acts that lead to this organization, on the organizational work. So we have made a particular intervention methodology to transform the lean framework that oversees the organizational work of lean. An initial assessment allows us to highlight some lessons about this new intervention methodology.
... Productivity support and interruption management tools have been developed (Grandhi & Jones, 2010), but these still focus on the individual or the individual and the interrupted person without considering the workgroup's expectations and pressures. We suggest that managers ensure that employees receive training on the tools' MC capabilities, strengths, and weaknesses and what is expected of them in terms of their use. ...
Article
Multicommunicating (MC) represents a form of multitasking in which employees such as IS analysts and managers engage in multiple conversations at the same time (e.g., by sending texts while on a telephone call). MC can occur either during group meetings or during one-on-one conversations: the present paper focuses on the latter, termed dyadic MC. MC is increasingly prevalent in the workplace and is often useful in today’s business world, for example by making it possible to respond in a timely manner to urgent communications. Nonetheless, the efficacy of MC behaviors can also be questioned as they have been found to negatively affect performance and workplace relationships, as well as causing stress. During our investigations of this phenomenon, we often heard IS practitioners say ‘So what? I do this all the time, it’s no problem!’ which suggests that certain misconceptions regarding MC behaviors may be prevalent. Arising from research findings in multiple disciplines, we examine four such practitioner beliefs regarding MC behaviors: MC makes employees more accessible, it enhances productivity, it is required in most jobs, and rudeness is not an issue when MC. Further, we suggest recommendations to IS employees and managers so that they can better manage MC.
... The scholarly study of interruption has focused on interruption on multiple factors. For example, studies have inspected the timing of interruptions (Bailey et al., 2001;Feldman & Greenway, 2021), interruption length and its similarity to the main task (McFarlane & Latorella, 2002), social and cultural workplace norms (Alkahtani et al., 2020;Hudson et al., 2002), and managers' capabilities to multitask by switching among various tasks and communication with others (Grandhi & Jones, 2010;Russell et al., 2021). ...
... Healthcare specialists often need to carry out complex tasks demanding contiguous attention, but an interruption is an obstacle to effective completion and diminishes work performance (Zijlstra et al. 1999;Greiner et al. 1997). A field study of interruption management practices in everyday cell phone users reported that the caller influenced subjects' decisions (87.4%), mental state of mind (34.9%), and the place/ activity/people around (43%) (Grandhi and Jones 2010). Therefore, it is crucial for management to understand how these transitions affect the mental workload (MWL), performance, and well-being. ...
Article
Interruption at work by social media (SM) is a pervasive phenomenon. This study investigated the impact of SM interruptions and task cognitive levels on mental workload (MWL) and physiological indexes. Each subject performed six simulated computer tasks differentiated by two factors: task cognitive level and performing condition. MWL was reflected through three categories of data: perceived mental workload, physiological indexes, and primary task performance. The results revealed significant effects of SM interruptions on heart rate, low-frequency/high-frequency (LF/HF) ratio, and skin conductance. ANOVA results showed there were main effects of task cognitive level on LF/HF and skin conductance. These effects during interrupted tasks were more profound. In addition, participants experienced higher MWL and recorded lower primary task performance in the knowledge-based task than the rule- and skill-based tasks. Our findings can guide managers and employees regarding appropriate use of SM in the workplace and better managing interruption and workload.
... contingent entails the presentation of alerts according to the start or completion of a predefined event. This event can result from changes in hardware sensor readings (e.g., GPS ( Sabra et al. 2015)), detected events on the device (e.g., an incoming phone call ( Grandhi and Jones 2010)), or even an event external to the device (e.g., food intake ( Seto et al. 2014)). Each of these different notification modes can introduce potential biases; " [.. . ...
Article
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The Experience Sampling Method (ESM) is used by scientists from various disciplines to gather insights into the intra-psychic elements of human life. Researchers have used the ESM in a wide variety of studies, with the method seeing increased popularity. Mobile technologies have enabled new possibilities for the use of the ESM, while simultaneously leading to new conceptual, methodological, and technological challenges. In this survey, we provide an overview of the history of the ESM, usage of this methodology in the computer science discipline, as well as its evolution over time. Next, we identify and discuss important considerations for ESM studies on mobile devices, and analyse the particular methodological parameters scientists should consider in their study design. We reflect on the existing tools that support the ESM methodology and discuss the future development of such tools. Finally, we discuss the effect of future technological developments on the use of the ESM and identify areas requiring further investigation.
... Another approach to managing boundaries with the use of technology is the idea of disconnecting. To avoid the distractions and notifications that technology produces, practices have been noted in the literature such as turning off communications entirely or, allowing the interruptions but consciously make decisions on how to respond to said interruptions (Grandhi and Jones, 2010). The downside to this however is that desired or unknown but important notifications may be missed. ...
Thesis
Technology has been criticised for blurring boundaries and making them more permeable, which has been previously portrayed as having a negative impact on work-life balance (WLB) and a cause for burnout among employees. With burnout a growing concern for organisations and governments, this thesis uses a boundary theory lens to explore the effects of technology on WLB. To improve understanding in this area, social media practitioners (SMPs) were selected as the sample to study because it could be said they are extensive users of technology and social media. Studying this group as an “extreme case” produces learnings and practices that could be applied to the rest of the social media industry and the digital workforce. Informed by a constructivist grounded theory (CGT) approach, this thesis draws from in-depth interviews with thirty-one UK SMPs and observation of an additional five SMPs, in their place of work, to investigate the role technology plays in managing boundaries between work and non-work and maintaining perceived WLB. Presented in this document are four contributions. Firstly, this thesis turns its attention to the boundaries in the digital landscape. I introduce the new term digital virtual boundary (DVB) and acknowledge how these differ from their analogue counterpart and what this means for how we manage our boundaries. This research also recognises how Clark’s (2000) “borderland” can assist role demand management and WLB when a user is within a digital virtual space. Secondly, this thesis presents a typology of new digital boundary preference groups that recognise the impact technology has on SMPs boundary preference and management. For each group, characteristics are defined so that one can identify and align themselves with the most suitable group to assist them in their boundary management style. Thirdly, technological strategies and tactics shared by my participants are listed in this thesis as a means of practices that can be adopted by others to aid them in their boundary management and technology use, to avoid burnout and maintain their ideal WLB. Lastly, the unique data collection method for this area of work, although growing in use for boundary theory, is the first time to my knowledge it has been applied to the WLB literature. Unlike its earlier counterpart grounded theory (GT), CGT places priority on the studied phenomenon over the methods of studying it and acknowledges the researcher's role in interpreting data and creating categories. This research contributes to the WLB literature and boundary theory by providing a better understanding of how employees in digital facing roles manage their boundaries and avoid burnout whilst extensively using technology. It must be noted that the data presented in this research was collected and analysed in 2019 prior to the outbreak of COVID-19. This had a significant impact not only on the way in which people work and interact with technology, but the national lockdowns have meant the majority of those employed were forced to work from home. This means now more than ever workers have undoubtedly thought about their WLB and how they manage their boundaries. This work could be of significant benefit to individuals learning to align appropriate strategies to their boundary preference.<br/
... Authors in [40] reported that a ringing phone's interruption at an inconvenient instant can be very disrupting to the present task or social condition. Authors in [41] conducted a study on cell phone usage. The investigation of 1201 incoming calls showed that most of the time "who" is calling was used (87.4%) by persons to make cautious call handling decisions (N=834), contrary to the interrupter's existing local social (34.9%) or cognitive (43%) circumstances. ...
Article
Full-text available
Interruptions are unexpected breaks that introduce new tasks on top of ongoing activities. In work environments, interruptions occur when operators and decision-makers have to deal simultaneously with several stimuli and information sources and have to make decisions so as to maintain the flow of activities at a satisfactory level of performance or quality of service. The causes and effects of interruptions and their subsequent management strategies in workplace environments have been researched in the past, however, only a few review articles are available to report on current advances in this area, to analyze contributions, and to highlight open research directions. This paper offers an up-to-date review and a framework for interruptions and interruption management strategies. The current approaches to identify, report, and manage interruptions in a variety of workplace environments are reviewed and a description of environmental characteristics that favor the occurrence of interruptions and influence interruption management in workplace environments is provided. Various approaches to classify and model the different types of interruptions and their cause-consequence relationships are discussed and the strategies to manage interruptions and approaches to measure human performance when dealing with interruptions are analyzed. Based on these insights, several guidelines to manage interruptions in workplace environments are provided, and future research directions are highlighted.
... • Event contingent entails the presentation of alerts according to the start or completion of a predefined event. This event can result from changes in hardware sensor readings (e.g., GPS [297]), detected events on the device (e.g., an incoming phone call [122]), or even an event external to the device (e.g., food intake [308]). ...
Thesis
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The widespread availability of technologically-advanced mobile devices has brought researchers the opportunity to observe human life in day-to-day circumstances. Rather than studying human behaviour through extensive surveys or in artificial laboratory situations, this research instrument allows us to systematically capture human life in naturalistic settings. Mobile devices can capture two distinct data streams. First, the data from sensors embedded within these devices can be appropriated to construct the context of study participants. Second, participants can be asked to actively and repeatedly provide data on phenomena which cannot be reliably collected using the aforementioned sensor streams. This method is known as Experience Sampling. Researchers employing this method ask participants to provide observations multiple times per day, across a range of contexts, and to reflect on current rather than past experiences. This approach brings a number of advantages over existing methods, such as the ability to observe shifts in participant experiences over time and context, and reducing reliance on the participant’s ability to accurately recall past events. As the onus of data collection lies with participants rather researchers, there is a firm reliance on the reliability of participant contributions. While previous work has focused on increasing the number of participant contributions, the quality of these contributions has remained relatively unexplored. This thesis focuses on improving the quality and quantity of participant data collected through mobile Experience Sampling. Assessing and subsequently improving the quality of participant responses is a crucial step towards increasing the reliability of this increasingly popular data collection method. Previous recommendations for researchers are based primarily on anecdotal evidence or personal experience in running Experience Sampling studies. While such insights are valuable, it is challenging to replicate these recommendations and quantify their effect. Furthermore, we evaluate the application of this method in light of recent developments in mobile devices. The opportunities and challenges introduced by smartphone-based Experience Sampling studies remain underexplored in the current literature. Such devices can be utilised to infer participants’ context and optimise questionnaire scheduling and presentation to increase data quality and quantity. By deploying our studies on these devices, we explore the opportunities of mobile sensing and interaction in the context of mobile Experience Sampling studies. Our findings illustrate the feasibility of assessing and quantifying participant accuracy through the use of peer assessment, ground truth questions, and the assessment of cognitive skills. We empirically evaluate these approaches across a variety of study goals. Furthermore, our results provide recommendations on study design, motivation and data collection practices, and appropriate analysis techniques of participant data concerning response accuracy. Researchers can use our findings to increase the reliability of their data, to collect participant responses more evenly across different contexts in order to reduce the potential for bias, and to increase the total number of collected responses. The goal of this thesis is to improve the collection of human-labelled data in ESM studies, thereby strengthening the role of smartphones as valuable scientific instruments. Our work reveals a clear opportunity in the combination of human and sensor data sensing techniques for researchers interested in studying human behaviour in situ.
... This has implications for the design of interruption management systems; it suggests that interruption management systems need to pay special attention to the cognitive factors that contribute to the effects of interruptions on users. While some efforts have been made to understand how the 'cognitive context' contributes to interruption management (Grandhi & Jones, 2010), there has been no real acknowledgement of the role that working memory plays in determining interruption relevance. ...
Thesis
Interruptions disrupt activity, hindering performance and provoking errors. They present an obvious challenge in safety-critical environments where momentary slips can have fatal consequences. Interruptions are also a problem in more workaday settings, like offices, where they can reduce productivity and increase stress levels. To be able to systematically manage the negative effects of interruptions, we first need to understand the factors that influence their disruptiveness. This thesis explores how the disruptiveness of interruptions is influenced by their relevance and timing. Seven experimental studies investigate these properties in the context of a routine data-entry task. The first three experiments explore how relevance and timing interact. They demonstrate that the relevance of interruptions depends on the contents of working memory at the moment of interruption. Next, a pair of experiments distinguish the oft-conflated concepts of interruption relevance and relatedness. They show that interruptions with similar content to the task at hand can negatively affect performance if they do not contribute toward the rehearsal of goals in working memory. By causing active interference, seemingly useful interruptions that are related to the task at hand have the potential to be more disruptive than entirely unrelated, irrelevant interruptions. The final two experiments in this thesis test the reliability of the effects observed in the first five experiments through alternative experimental paradigms. They show that relevance and timing effects are consistent even when participants are given control over interruptions and that these effects are robust even in an online setting where experimental control is compromised. The work presented in this thesis enhances our understanding of the factors influencing the disruptiveness of interruptions. Its primary contribution is to show that when we talk about interruptions, ‘relevance’, ‘irrelevance’ and ‘relatedness’ must be considered in the context of the contents of working memory at the moment of interruption. This finding has implications for experimental investigations of interrupted performance, efforts to under- stand the effects of interruptions in the workplace, and the development of systems that help users manage interruptions.
... In many cases of our daily life, the phone call is not disruptive even though the user is engaged in an ongoing task or social situation and the call is welcome as it provides a needed mental break from the current task [9]. According to [13], 24% of cell phone users feel the need to answer a phone call when they are in a meeting. Rosenthal et al. [21] have shown through users survey that 35% of the participants want to receive phone calls at work, while other participants do not want. ...
Preprint
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Nowadays, mobile telephony interruptions in our daily life activities are common because of the inappropriate ringing notifications of incoming phone calls in different contexts. Such interruptions may impact on the work attention not only for the mobile phone owners but also the surrounding people. Decision tree is the most popular machine learning classification technique that is used in existing context-aware mobile intelligent interruption management (MIIM) model to overcome such issues. However, a single decision tree based context-aware model may cause overfitting problem and thus decrease the prediction accuracy of the inferred model. Therefore, in this paper, we propose an ensemble machine learning based context-aware mobile telephony model for the purpose of intelligent interruption management by taking into account multi-dimensional contexts and name it "E-MIIM". The experimental results on individuals' real life mobile telephony datasets show that our E-MIIM model is more effective and outperforms existing MIIM model for predicting and managing individual's mobile telephony interruptions based on their relevant contextual information.
... In many cases of our daily life, the phone call is not disruptive, even though the user is engaged in an ongoing task or social situation and the call is welcome, as it provides a needed mental break from the current task (De Guzman et al. 2007). According to Grandhi and Jones (2010), 24% of cell phone users feel the need to answer a phone call when they are in a meeting. Rosenthal et al. (2011) have shown through users survey that 35% of the participants want to receive phone calls at work, while other participants do not want. ...
Article
Full-text available
Nowadays, mobile telephony interruptions in our daily life activities are common because of the inappropriate ringing notifications of incoming phone calls in different contexts. Such interruptions may impact on the work attention not only for the mobile phone owners, but also for the surrounding people. Decision tree is the most popular machine-learning classification technique that is used in existing context-aware mobile intelligent interruption management (MIIM) model to overcome such issues. However, a single-decision tree-based context-aware model may cause over-fitting problem and thus decrease the prediction accuracy of the inferred model. Therefore, in this paper, we propose an ensemble machine-learning-based context-aware mobile telephony model for the purpose of intelligent interruption management by taking into account multi-dimensional contexts and name it “E-MIIM”. The experimental results on individuals’ real-life mobile telephony data sets show that our E-MIIM model is more effective and outperforms existing MIIM model for predicting and managing individual’s mobile telephony interruptions based on their relevant contextual information.
... Consolvo et al. 2005), social context such as the number or nature of relationship of people that are in close proximity or participate with in a conversation (e.g. Hudson et al. 2002), the mode of transit (Froehlich et al. 2009), or mode of conversation (Ter Hofte 2007), or to inquire into participants' experiences, such as their mental engagement within an activity (Danninger, Kluge, and Stiefelhagen 2006), concentration (Chen 2006), satisfaction (Grandhi and Jones 2010), mood and emotional states (Morris and Guilak 2009), experienced stress (Pielot et al. 2011), experience of interpersonal connectedness (Dey and de Guzman 2006); their attitudes towards behaviours or events such as being interrupted (Nagel, Hudson, and Abowd 2004), disclosing information to relevant others (Consolvo et al. 2005), or being video recorded (Nguyen et al. 2009); their motivations for exhibited behaviours such as charging one's mobile phone (Banerjee et al. 2007), handling incoming calls (Grandhi 2008), posting information on social networking sites (Mancini et al. 2009), tracking the location of family members (Mancini et al. 2011); or to ask them to make cognitive judgments, such as judging the relevance or usefulness of an advert (Sala, Partridge, and Jacobson 2007), ranking the features of the product under use (Ahtinen et al. 2008), making credibility assessment of provided information (Rieh et al. 2010), or forming judgments of the outcome of an undertaken activity (Mancini et al. 2011), or one's self-efficacy on the sampled activity (Ara et al. 2009). ...
Article
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Despite the recent increase in interest in the experience sampling method (ESM), researchers have repeatedly criticised the high burden and levels of interruption that it imposes on participants, and alternative cost-effective methods, such as the Day Reconstruction Method (DRM), have been adopted by the Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) community. In this paper, we review the use of ESM and DRM in the HCI field and argue for a new paradigm called Technology-Assisted Reconstruction (TAR), according to which passively logged data of users’ behaviours are used in assisting the later reconstruction of experiences and behaviours. We discuss five methods of Technology-Assisted Reconstruction that we have developed in our past work and conclude with a framework that highlights three directions for Technology-Assisted Reconstruction.
... As different types of interruptions impact the decision making differently, several frameworks have been developed by the researchers in the past to position their studies. The impact has been studied from both the interrupter and interruptee perspective (Grandhi and Jones 2010;Gupta et al. 2013). McFarlane (1997) identified eight dimensions underlying human interruptions: source of interruptions, individual characteristics of receiver, coordination method, meaning of interruption, method of expression, channel of conveyance, change by interruption and finally the effect of an interruption. ...
Article
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As we become more and more connected, the number of technology interruptions are increasing as well. The mechanisms by which a technology interruption takes attention away and ongoing task performance decreases need more investigation. This paper explores how technologies can interrupt concentration, focus and attention of knowledge workers through neuroimaging. Subjects were given reading tasks and subjected to a series of randomly timed audio interruptions. Using an electroencephalogram (EEG) measurement device, we recorded their brain waves. Consistent with the literature, we found interruptions significantly increased task completion time and decreased task performance. Neuroimaging analysis showed activity in the frontal lobe, temporal lobe and insular cortex of the participants due to interruptions. The paper also investigates differences due to gender and age. The results suggest application developers should consider underlying mechanisms of processing interruptions.
... Diverse approaches have been proposed to facilitate intelligent interruption for the smartphone [4], across phone calls [5,6] and notifications [7]. This has included determining the influence of contextual factors [8,9], exploring methods of labelling interruptibility [10,11,12] and training predictive models [13,7]. ...
Article
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Smartphone notifications frequently interrupt our daily lives, often at inopportune moments. We propose the decision-on-information-gain model, which extends the existing data collection convention to capture a range of interruptibility behaviour implicitly. Through a six-month in-the-wild study of 11,346 notifications, we find that this approach captures up to 125% more interruptibility cases. Secondly, we find different correlating contextual features for different behaviour using the approach and find that predictive models can be built with >80% precision for most users. However we note discrepancies in performance across labelling, training, and evaluation methods, creating design considerations for future systems.
Conference Paper
Ubiquitous connectivity has fostered an unprecedented wave of mobile computing and communication applications. As the number of mobile applications grows exponentially, a crucial issue is how users will monitor and manage their media 'flows' to optimal levels. This means having 'requisite' levels of information and communication, while avoiding states of hyper-connectivity. Our research is focused on developing mobile applications that analyze users' multiple media flows. A dashboard interface then offers feedback to the user, who can adapt and modify her or his behavior for improved productivity and personal well-being.
Chapter
Mobile communication media such as smartphones have dramatically increased the social availability of users. The perpetual contact is experienced quite ambivalently, not only as a big advantage of technological development but also as a new reason for increasing communication overload. This chapter details how people evaluate mobile availability in their everyday lives and how they cope with experiences of overload and stress. Using the transactional theory of stress and coping (Lazarus & Cohen, 1977), data from a diary study and qualitative interviews with German smartphone users are analyzed. The findings emphasize the high level of subjectivity that influences how everyday experiences of smartphone usage and mobile availability are evaluated.
Article
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This paper presents a study examining interruptions in the wild by portraying the handling of interruptions in manufacturing from a distributed cognition lens. By studying how interruptions occur and are handled in the daily activities of a work team at a large foundry for casting heavy diesel engines, we highlight situations when the propagation, transformation, and representation of information are not supported by prescribed work processes and propose recommendations for how this can be amended. The study was conducted by several visits to the aforementioned factory with cognitive ethnography as the basis for the data collection. The focus was on identifying interruptions and analysing these through a distributed cognition framework as an initial step towards studying interruptions in a manufacturing environment. The key findings include the identification of three, previously undefined, types of interruptions and the conclusion that interruptions do indeed affect the distributed workload of the socio-technical system and thus the overall production performance at the casting line.
Article
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The advantage of identifying the influence of sociodemographic profiles on work interruptions among knowledge workers is that it allows researchers to predict which individuals are more likely to be interrupted during their work day. For example, there is a relationship between the use of social networks and the profession (engineers are likely to be interrupted more often); between the use of social networks and marital status (knowledge workers who have no partner have more work interruptions); between social origin and working in public administration, and also the socioeconomic situation and working in humanities-social sciences. In contrast, technological disruptions seem to equally affect married and unmarried workers, although singles tend to be more interrupted by their phones. Administrative workers are also more interrupted by mobile phones. All these data are important because of the great impact of interruptions on productivity. More research is needed to identify other variables of a social nature that predispose to labour disruptions.
Article
The abundance of communication technology, such as the omnipresence of cell phones, has not only increased our ability to reach people anytime anywhere, but also the likelihood of being interrupted. As a result, there is value in understanding how to design technology so that gains are realized from desired interruptions, while the losses from unwanted interruptions are minimized. This paper presents the findings of two complementary field studies, one quantitative and the other qualitative, exploring how the provision of additional incoming cell phone call information impacts people's interruption decision making. These studies were enabled by, Telling Calls, a research application built to enable users to provide and receive information such as what the call is about and the caller's circumstances. The qualitative study showed how the additional call information helps people make informed call handling decisions and acts as an aid to effective conversation. The quantitative study elucidated these findings and showed that reducing the uncertainty about the nature of an incoming call improves people's ability to predict the value of an interruption. By combining these diverse research approaches: 1) theory instantiation through tool building; 2) context-aware surveys; and 3) semi-structured interviews, we were able to gain unique insights into the nature of interruption management in the wild, and related design implications.
Article
Mobile social matching systems have the potential to transform the way we make new social ties, but only if we are able to overcome the many challenges that exist as to how systems can utilize contextual data to recommend interesting and relevant people to users and facilitate valuable encounters between strangers. This article outlines how context and mobility influence people's motivations to meet new people and presents innovative design concepts for mediating mobile encounters through context-aware social matching systems. Findings from two studies are presented. The first, a survey study (n &equals; 117) explored the concept of contextual rarity of shared user attributes as a measure to improve desirability in mobile social matches. The second, an interview study (n &equals; 58) explored people's motivations to meet others in various contexts. From these studies we derived a set of novel context-aware social matching concepts, including contextual sociability and familiarity as an indicator of opportune social context; contextual engagement as an indicator of opportune personal context; and contextual rarity, oddity, and activity partnering as an indicator of opportune relational context. The findings of these studies establish the importance of different contextual factors and frame the design space of context-aware social matching systems.
Article
Notifications on mobile devices punctuate our daily lives to provide information and prompt for further engagement. Investigations into the cognitive processes involved in consuming notifications are common across the literature, however most research to date investigates notifications in isolation of one another. In reality, notifications often coexist together, forming a “stack”, however the behavioural implications of this on the response towards individual notifications has received limited attention. Through an in-the-wild study of 1889 Android devices, we observe user behaviour in a stream of 30 million notifications from over 6000 applications. We find distinct strategies for user management of the notification stack within usage sessions, beyond the behaviour patterns observable from responses to individual notifications. From the analysis, we make recommendations for collecting and reporting data from mobile applications to improve validity through timely responses, and capture potential confounding features.
Article
Objectives: An inherent part of nurses' work is to handle nurse calls that often cause challenging interruptions to ongoing activities. In situations when nurses are interrupted by a nurse call, they need to decide whether to continue focusing on the task at hand or to abort and respond to the nurse call. The difficult decision is often influenced by a number of factors and can have implications for patient safety and quality of care. The study investigates how technology could be designed to support nurses' handling of nurse calls by allowing patients to communicate a more contextualised message revealing their intention to the nurse when issuing a nurse call. Methods: Through a qualitative methodology employing a scenario-based design approach, three different nurse call system concepts are evaluated by nurses from different departments of a Norwegian university hospital. Results: Nurses find the uncertainty of not knowing the reason behind a nurse call stressful in situations where they are required to prioritise either the calling patient or a patient they are currently nursing. Providing information about a patient's intention behind a nurse call influences the nurse's decision to various degrees depending on the situation in which they find themselves and the information that is communicated. The nurses' reflections suggested that the message communicated should be designed to contain neither too little nor too much information about the patient's needs. Conclusions: A nurse call system that allows nurses to discern the reason behind a nurse call allows them to make a more accurate decision and relieves stress. In particular, the information communicated would reduce uncertainty and lessen nurses' dependence on other factors in their decision. The design of such a system should, however, carefully consider the needs of the department in which it is deployed.
Conference Paper
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In this chapter we are presenting an overview on how adaptation of movement and behaviour can favour communication in Human-Robot Interaction (HRI). A model of a communication space based on a action-reaction classification is presented. Past research in HRI is presented for verbal, non-verbal and adaptation of communication. Further, the influence of human aware navigation is discussed and concepts like proxemics, path planing and robot motion are presented. The chapter discusses possible explicated and implicated methods of adaptation as well as it is identifying interruption concepts for communication.
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This chapter presents a review and discussion of related work from various areas within the scope of this book, which is based on the elements of the context-aware machine learning framework presented in the earlier chapter. It covers contextual information in mobile phone data, context discretization, and time-series modeling techniques, rule discovery techniques including association rules and classification rules, dynamic rule updating and management techniques including incremental rule mining, and recent log-based mining techniques with relevant applications for the end mobile phone users. The study also identifies the key research areas where current solutions fall short of the requirements for identifying contextual behavioral rules of individual mobile phone users. We also highlight the limitations of previous work in the field of context-aware computing, which motivates the need for further study based on machine learning techniques.
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Mobile communication media such as smartphones have dramatically increased the social availability of users. The perpetual contact is experienced quite ambivalently, not only as a big advantage of technological development but also as a new reason for increasing communication overload. This chapter details how people evaluate mobile availability in their everyday lives and how they cope with experiences of overload and stress. Using the transactional theory of stress and coping (Lazarus & Cohen, 1977), data from a diary study and qualitative interviews with German smartphone users are analyzed. The findings emphasize the high level of subjectivity that influences how everyday experiences of smartphone usage and mobile availability are evaluated.
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It is proposed that attentional difficulties are central to the experience of boredom. Events which disrupt attention during task performance may contribute to feelings of boredom with the task. Two sources of disruption are explored: external interruptions from the physical environment, and internal interruptions in the form of non-task-related thoughts about current concerns. Study 1 found that external interruptions reduced boredom on a simple task which required little attention, but contrary to expectations, had no impact on reactions to a simple task that did require attention or on reactions to a complex task. Study 2 manipulated internal interruptions via a role-playing methodology, and found that observers attributed greater boredom and less satisfaction to performers who were more frequently interrupted by non-task-related thoughts while at work, especially when these thoughts were about non-urgent concerns. The concepts of internal and external interruptions may be quite useful in understanding variations in the day-to-day experience of work, and in the relationship of non-work to work spheres of life. © 1998 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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This paper provides a theoretical perspective for dealing with the initial entry stage of interpersonal interaction. The seven axioms and 21 theorems presented suggest a set of research priorities for studying the development of interpersonal relationships. The paper concludes with a discussion of some of the problems to be considered if the theory is to be extended beyond the initial stages of interaction.
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This paper proposes the integration of finite domain (FD) cons-traints into a general purpose lazy functional logic programming language by means of a concrete instance of the generic scheme CF LP (D), proposed in [19] for lazy Constraint Functional Logic Programming over a parametrically given constraint domain D. We sketch in this CF LP (FD) language the basis of an efficient computation strategy for solving goals for programs by using defi-nitional trees [1] in order to efficiently control the computation and maintain the good properties shown for needed and demand-driven narrowing strategies [4, 15, 25] in functional logic program-ming. This convenient computation mechanism is obtained as an optimization of the generic Constrained Lazy Narrowing Calculus CLN C(D) presented in [20], which has been proved sound and strongly complete w.r.t. a suitable CF LP (D) semantics, and pro-vides a formal foundation for efficient implementations in existing systems such as Curry [11] and T OY [17]. Finally, we describe the execution of an example implemented in the CF LP (FD) sys-tem called T OY(FD) [9], which is based on the theoretical ideas introduced in this paper, following our computation strategy.
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Corporate lawyers, investment bankers, computer programmers, and many other types of workers routinely work seventy-or eighty-hour weeks, putting in extra effort during particularly hectic times (Kidder, 1981; Schor, 1991). These men and women, married and single, are stressed, exhausted, and even dying as a result of frantic schedules (Harris, 1987). They have insufficient time to meet all of the demands on them from work and their lives outside of work. The purpose of this paper is to explore what I refer to as their time famine -their feeling of having too much to do and not enough time to do it -and to question whether this famine must exist. I chose to study a group of software engineers in a high-tech corporation. Over the past three decades, a number of studies have described the nature of engineers' work (e.g., Perrucci and Gerstl, 1969; Ritti, 1971; Brooks, 1982; Zussman, 1985; Whalley, 1986); however, I chose this group not because of the type of work they do but, rather, because of the immense pressure they are under to get their product to market and the time famine they experience as a result. Several recent books have described with awe the fast-paced, high-pressure, crisis-filled environment in which software engineers work (Kidder, 1981; Moody, 1990; Zachary, 1994). These authors portray the engineers as heroes for their willingness to work extremely long hours and celebrate the engineers' intensity and total devotion to work. I, in contrast, explore the engineers' actual use of time at work and the impact their use of time has on other individuals and the groups to which the individuals belong, which reveals the problematic nature of the current way of using time. Ultimately, I therefore challenge the assumption that the current way of using time, which is so destructive to individuals' lives outside of work, is in the corporation's best interest (Perlow, 1995, 1997).
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Charles R. Berger (Ph.D. Michigan State University, 1968) is a professor in the Department of Communication Studies, Northwestern University.
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This article presents an expansion and reformulation of uncertainty reduction theory. Past research indicates that support for the basic axioms of the uncertainty perspective is weak, especially with regard to initial interaction processes. It is suggested that uncertainty reduction is not the primary concern of individuals during this entry phase, as previously posited. Rather, uncertainty reduction is cast as subordinate to the more central concern of increasing positive relational outcomes. During initial interactions, uncertainty reduction is expected to enhance individuals perceived ability to forecast future relational outcomes. Important initial interaction behaviors and decisions are presumed to follow from the values these forecasted outcomes take. Several major revisions of uncertainty axioms and theorems are generated.
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Classic work on interruptions by Zeigarnik showed that tasks that were interrupted were more likely to be recalled after a delay than tasks that were not interrupted. Much of the literature on interruptions has been devoted to examining this effect, although more recently interruptions have been used to choose between competing designs for interfaces to complex devices. However, none of this work looks at what makes some interruptions disruptive and some not. This series of experiments uses a novel computer-based adventure-game methodology to investigate the effects of the length of the interruption, the similarity of the interruption to the main task, and the complexity of processing demanded by the interruption. It is concluded that subjects make use of some form of non-articulatory memory which is not affected by the length of the interruption. It is affected by processing similar material however, and by a complex mentalarithmetic task which makes large demands on working memory.
Conference Paper
User attention is a scarce resource, and users are susceptible to interruption overload. Systems do not reason about the effects of interrupting a user during a task sequence. In this study, we measure effects of interrupting a user at different moments within task execution in terms of task performance, emotional state, and social attribution. Task models were developed using event perception techniques, and the resulting models were used to identify interruption timings based on a user's predicted cognitive load. Our results show that different interruption moments have different impacts on user emotional state and positive social attribution, and suggest that a system could enable a user to maintain a high level of awareness while mitigating the disruptive effects of interruption. We discuss implications of these results for the design of an attention manager.
Conference Paper
The potential for sensor-enabled mobile devices to proactively present information when and where users need it ranks among the greatest promises of ubiquitous computing. Unfortunately, mobile phones, PDAs, and other computing devices that compete for the user's attention can contribute to interruption irritability and feelings of information overload. Designers of mobile computing interfaces, therefore, require strategies for minimizing the perceived interruption burden of proactively delivered messages. In this work, a context-aware mobile computing device was developed that automatically detects postural and ambulatory activity transitions in real time using wireless accelerometers. This device was used to experimentally measure the receptivity to interruptions delivered at activity transitions relative to those delivered at random times. Messages delivered at activity transitions were found to be better received, thereby suggesting a viable strategy for context-aware message delivery in sensor-enabled mobile computing devices.
Conference Paper
For the majority of us, inter-personal communication is an essential part of our daily lives. Instant Messaging, or IM, has been growing in popularity for personal and work- related communication. The low cost of sending a message, combined with the limited awareness provided by current IM systems result in messages often arriving at inconvenient or disruptive times. In a step towards solving this problem, we created statistical models that successfully predict responsiveness to incoming instant messages - simply put: whether the receiver is likely to respond to a message within a certain time period. These models were constructed using a large corpus of real IM interaction collected from 16 participants, including over 90,000 messages. The models we present can predict, with accuracy as high as 90.1%, whether a message sent to begin a new session of communication would get a response within 30 seconds, 1, 2, 5, and 10 minutes. This type of prediction can be used, for example, to drive online-status indicators, or in services aimed at finding potential communicators. Author Keywords Statistical models of human activity, Responsiveness, Interruptibility, Availability, Awareness.