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Looking Up Information in Email: Feedback on Visit Durations Discourages Distractions

Borghouts, JW; Brumby, DP; Cox, AL; (2018) Looking Up Information in Email: Feedback on Visit Durations Discourages Distractions. In: Proceedings of CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems Extended Abstracts. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

Data entry often involves looking up information from email. Task switching to email can be disruptive, and people can get distracted and forget to return to their primary task. In this paper, we investigate whether giving people feedback on how long they are away has any effect on the duration and number of their switches. An online experiment was conducted in which participants had to enter numeric codes into an online spreadsheet. They had to look up these codes in an email sent to their personal email upon starting the experiment. People who were shown how long they were away for made shorter switches, were faster to complete the task and made fewer data entry errors. This suggests feedback on switching duration may make people more aware of their switching behaviour, and assist users in maintaining focus on their main task.

Type: Proceedings paper
Title: Looking Up Information in Email: Feedback on Visit Durations Discourages Distractions
Event: CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems Extended Abstracts
Location: Montreal, CA
Dates: 21 April 2018 - 26 April 2018
ISBN-13: 9781450356213
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1145/3170427.3188607
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1145/3170427.3188607
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: self-interruptions, task switching, data entry, email, online experiment, notifications
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > UCL Interaction Centre
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10043666
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