Bailey-HFWeb00-1 - Adjusting Windows: Balancing Information...

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Adjusting Windows: Balancing Information Awareness with Intrusion Brian P. Bailey, Joseph A. Konstan, and John V. Carlis {bailey, konstan, carlis}@cs.umn.edu University of Minnesota Department of Computer Science and Engineering Minneapolis, MN 55455 ABSTRACT The World Wide Web has quickly become a primary source of information for a variety of real-time topics, such as news headlines, stock market data, sports scores, and weather forecasts. However, achieving a high degree of awareness for this real-time information is particularly challenging as users are often performing other necessary tasks. As a result, techniques for notifying users of new or updated information must do so in a manner that is both timely and non-intrusive to their current task. In this paper we propose a new awareness technique, called Adjusting Windows, suitable for informing users of updated information on real-time information sites. The technique has been fully implemented within a new web browser application. We conducted a small user study in order to compare Adjusting Windows against two other awareness techniques in terms of awareness time, awareness strategy, and overall preference. Analysis of the data demonstrated that Adjusting Windows provided the best balance of information awareness with intrusion, and was preferred by many of the users. KEYWORDS Adjusting Windows, Awareness Strategy, Information Awareness, Interruptions, Intrusion 1. INTRODUCTION The World Wide Web has become a primary source for real-time information, such as news headlines, stock market data, weather reports, and sports scores, for millions of desktop users around the world [6]. For purposes of this paper, we collectively refer to these types of web sites as real-time information sites. Whenever new or updated information is added to these real-time sites, the interested user must somehow be made cognitively aware that this new information is now available for consumption. We define information awareness as the amount of time between the availability of new information and the time at which the user acknowledges or consumes this information. However, interested users are probably not browsing the site at the exact time an information update occurs; rather, they are busy performing other tasks. As a result, interface techniques designed to achieve a high degree of information awareness must attract user attention away from the task at hand. At the same time, these awareness techniques must not be perceived as overly intrusive or they will ultimately be rejected. We define intrusion as the property of an information awareness technique that increases user annoyance, disrupts task performance, or both. An awareness technique with high intrusion would have a large negative effect on user annoyance or task performance, whereas a technique with low intrusion would have a small negative effect. An unwarranted popup ad appearing while a user is navigating the Web is an example of an intrusive awareness
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Bailey-HFWeb00-1 - Adjusting Windows: Balancing Information...

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