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What is Active Distractions

Encyclopedia of Multimedia Technology and Networking, Second Edition
Environmental aspects that require a user to respond or react in some way.
Published in Chapter:
Design and Evaluation for the Future of m-Interaction
Joanna Lumsden (National Research Council of Canada IIT e-Business, Canada)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-014-1.ch046
Mobile technology has been one of the major growth areas in computing over recent years (Urbaczewski, Valacich, & Jessup, 2003). Mobile devices are becoming increasingly diverse and are continuing to shrink in size and weight. Although this increases the portability of such devices, their usability tends to suffer. Fuelled almost entirely by lack of usability, users report high levels of frustration regarding interaction with mobile technologies (Venkatesh, Ramesh, & Massey, 2003). This will only worsen if interaction design for mobile technologies does not continue to receive increasing research attention. For the commercial benefit of mobility and mobile commerce (m-commerce) to be fully realized, users’ interaction experiences with mobile technology cannot be negative. To ensure this, it is imperative that we design the right types of mobile interaction (m-interaction); an important prerequisite for this is ensuring that users’ experience meets both their sensory and functional needs (Venkatesh, Ramesh, & Massey, 2003). Given the resource disparity between mobile and desktop technologies, successful electronic commerce (e-commerce) interface design and evaluation does not necessarily equate to successful m-commerce design and evaluation. It is, therefore, imperative that the specific needs of m-commerce are addressed–both in terms of design and evaluation. This chapter begins by exploring the complexities of designing interaction for mobile technology, highlighting the effect of context on the use of such technology. It then goes on to discuss how interaction design for mobile devices might evolve, introducing alternative interaction modalities that are likely to affect that future evolution. It is impossible, within a single chapter, to consider each and every potential mechanism for interacting with mobile technologies; to provide a forward-looking flavor of what might be possible, this chapter focuses on some more novel methods of interaction and does not, therefore, look at the typical keyboard and visual display-based interaction which, in essence, stem from the desktop interaction design paradigm. Finally, this chapter touches on issues associated with effective evaluation of m-interaction and mobile application designs. By highlighting some of the issues and possibilities for novel m-interaction design and evaluation, we hope that future designers will be encouraged to “think out of the box” in terms of their designs and evaluation strategies.
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Distractions incorporated within a lab-based experiment which require a user to respond or react in some way (the required response varying according to the nature of the distraction).
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