Availability and Mobile Phone Interruptions

Mobile phones have become ubiquitous in many countries today. As the number of subscribers and geographical coverage continues to increase worldwide, mobile users can now be reached at nearly any place and at any time. Though the technology supports near perpetual connectivity, users are not available for mobile phone communication in such a straightforward way. As a result, users are often interrupted by mobile phones in the middle of activities. One reason that has been attributed to this problem is the callers lack of awareness about the callee’s current activity. Some context aware mobile technologies have been developed with an aim to help users coordinate mobile phone interruptions.


1 Introduction
1.1 Motivation and relevance of this thesis
1.2 Goal of this Study
1.3 Structure of the thesis
2 Background
2.1 Availability – Accessibility as a Socio-technical gap
2.1.1 Situated Actions
2.2 Interruption: A problem of coordination
2.3 Concept of context and awareness
2.3.1 Two approaches to Context
2.3.2 Awareness
3 Related Work
3.1 Overview of context mediated communication technologies
3.1.1 Predicting availability or interruptibility as a context
3.1.2 Displaying information as availability cues
3.2 Studies of mobile phone use related to ’availability management’
4 Our Study
4.1 Research Diaries
4.2 Design of Study
4.2.1 Objective
4.2.2 Diary Format
4.2.3 Data Collection
4.2.4 Data Analysis
25 Factors that affect the disruptiveness of mobile phone calls
5.1 Location, activity and caller
5.2 Calls from ’unknown’ numbers
5.3 Calls from ’withheld’ numbers
5.4 Duration of the call
5.5 Emotional factors
5.6 Summary
6 Strategies by which people manage their availability currently
6.1 Finding a place to talk
6.2 Suggesting unavailability by silencing calls
6.3 Indicating unavailability by dismissing calls
6.4 Interacting by means of ’missed calls’
7 Implications for design 39
7.1 Challenges for context aware mobile technologies
7.1.1 Availability as an interactional context
7.1.2 The issue of accountability and privacy in awareness systems
7.2 Suggestions for Design
7.2.1 Selective display of awareness information
7.2.2 Extending support for negotiating availability
8 Conclusions
8.1 Scope for future work
A Diary Results

Author: Krishnan, Murali Venkatesh

Source: Blekinge Institute of Technology

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