Mar 6, 2009

Multiple computer devices

Dearman, D. and Pierce, J. S. (2008). It's on my other computer!: computing with multiple devices. In Proceeding of the Twenty-Sixth Annual SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (Florence, Italy, April 05 - 10, 2008), pp. 767-776:
"The number of computing devices that people use is growing. To gain a better understanding of why and how people use multiple devices, we interviewed 27 people from academia and industry. From these interviews we distill four primary findings. First, associating a user's activities with a particular device is problematic for multiple device users because many activities span multiple devices. Second, device use varies by user and circumstance; users assign different roles to devices both by choice and by constraint. Third, users in industry want to separate work and personal activities across work and personal devices, but they have difficulty doing so in practice Finally, users employ a variety of techniques for accessing information across devices, but there is room for improvement: participants reported managing information across their devices as the most challenging aspect of using multiple devices. We suggest opportunities to improve the user experience by focusing on the user rather than the applications and devices; making devices aware of their roles; and providing lighter-weight methods for transferring information, including synchronization services that engender more trust from users."

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