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Interrupted by a phone call: Exploring designs for lowering the impact of call notifications for smartphone users

Böhmer, M; Lander, C; Gehring, S; Brumby, D; Krüger, A; (2014) Interrupted by a phone call: Exploring designs for lowering the impact of call notifications for smartphone users. In: Jones, M and Palanque, P and Schmidt, A and Grossman, T, (eds.) CHI '14: Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. (pp. pp. 3045-3054). ACM: New York, NY, USA. Green open access

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Abstract

Mobile phones have evolved significantly in recent years from single-purpose communication devices to multipurpose computing devices. Despite this evolution, the interaction model for how incoming calls are handled has barely changed. Current-generation smartphones still use abrupt full-screen notifications to alert users to incoming calls, demanding a decision to either accept or decline the call. These full-screen notifications forcibly interrupt whatever activity the user was already engaged in. This might be undesirable when the user's primary task was more important than the incoming call. This paper explores the design space for how smartphones can alert users to incoming calls. We consider designs that allow users to postpone calls and also to multiplex by way of a smaller partialscreen notification. These design alternatives were evaluated in both a small-scale controlled lab study as well as a large-scale naturalistic in-the-wild study. Results show that a multiplex design solution works best because it allows people to continue working on their primary task while being made aware that there is a caller on the line. The contribution of this work is an enhanced interaction design for handling phone calls, and an understanding of how people use it for handling incoming calls.

Type: Proceedings paper
Title: Interrupted by a phone call: Exploring designs for lowering the impact of call notifications for smartphone users
Event: SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, 26 April - 1 May 2014, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
ISBN-13: 9781450324731
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1145/2556288.2557066
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/2556288.2557066
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: Smartphones; app usage; phone calls; interruptions
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/1431983
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