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Making space for stories: ambiguity in the design of personal communication systems

By Paul M. Aoki and Allison Woodruff


Pervasive personal communication technologies offer the potential for important social benefits for individual users, but also the potential for significant social difficulties and costs. In research on face-to-face social interaction, ambiguity is often identified as an important resource for resolving social difficulties. In this paper, we discuss two design cases of personal communication systems, one based on fieldwork of a commercial system and another based on an unrealized design concept. The cases illustrate how user behavior concerning a particular social difficulty, unexplained unresponsiveness, can be influenced by technological issues that result in interactional ambiguity. The cases also highlight the need to balance the utility of ambiguity against the utility of usability and communicative clarity

Topics: leases
Publisher: ACM Press
Year: 2005
OAI identifier: oai:CiteSeerX.psu:
Provided by: CiteSeerX
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