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Everyday interactions with your phone

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Benjamin Cowan.

Smartphones are a pretty big deal. Many of us now begin our day not with an alarm clock, but with a phone’s alarm. We read email on the go, while listening to music, punctuated with instructions to turn left in 500 yards. We then relax on the way home, watching a television show. All of this done on a small computer, which weighs the same as 12 pound coins, and has a tiny 4-inch screen. Smartphones really are a pretty big deal.

In this talk, I will describe our recent work that has investigated how low-level design decisions influence the way that people use and interact with their phone. First, I will consider how the auto-locking feature on a phone can dissuade users from regularly interleaving attention between other ongoing activities (Brumby & Seyedi, mobileHCI 2012). Second, I will consider how phones handle incoming-calls, and explore alternatives to the dominate full-screen notification model, which forcibly interrupts whatever activity the user was already engaged in (Böhmer et al., CHI 2014 ).

Bio: Duncan Brumby is a Senior Lecturer at University College London working in the UCL Interaction Centre. He received his doctorate in Psychology from Cardiff University in 2005, after which he was a post-doc in Computer Science at Drexel University, until joining UCL in 2007. Dr. Brumby’s research has been published in leading HCI and Cognitive Science outlets. His work on multitasking has received best paper awards at CHI (2007, 2012, 2014), and his work on interactive search is one of the most-cited articles from the Human-Computer Interaction journal 2008-2010. To support his work, Dr. Brumby has attracted funding from the EPSRC . He is Associate Editor for the International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, is an Associate Chair for the ACM CHI conference (2012-2014) and ACM mobileHCI conference (2012-2013), and is a member of the EPSRC College.

This talk is part of the Human Computer Interaction seminars series.

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