Home and Family

Paper & ToCHI

May 10, 2012 @ 14:30, Room: 18AB

Chair: Andrea Grimes Parker, Georgia Institute of Technology, USA
The Organization of Home Media - ToCHI
Contribution & Benefit: Qualitative study of media management strategies of users with large collections illustrates that management idiosyncrasies are more common than participants believed. Our results inform the design of media management software.
Abstract » The growing volume of digital music, photos and video challenges media management software and organizing schemes alike. Through 20 in situ, two hour interviews we explored the when, why and how of our participants’ organizational schemes. We sought and studied significantly larger media collections than in previous studies. For these larger media collections some common assumptions like the distinction between popular and classical music collectors do not hold. Our analysis identifies organizing schemes commonly used on a day-to-day basis. We found that participants often rely on overrides or exceptions to their organizational schemes that they consider idiosyncrasies. However, our findings illustrate that those idiosyncratic behaviors are more common than participants believe. Our analysis reflects upon prior research and on the relationship between physical and digital artifacts, relating computer supported cooperative work systems to contemporary media management applications. Our findings can inform the design of media management and media player software.
"You're Capped!" Understanding the Effects of Bandwidth Caps on Broadband Use in the Home - Paper
Contribution & Benefit: Study of households living with bandwidth caps. Challenges assumptions about users having unlimited Internet connections and suggests design implications for those on capped bandwidth plans.
Abstract » Bandwidth caps, a limit on the amount of data users can upload and download in a month, are common globally for both home and mobile Internet access. With caps, each bit of data consumed comes at a cost against a monthly quota or a running tab. Yet, relatively little work has considered the implications of this usage-based pricing model on the user experience. In this paper, we present results from a qualitative study of households living with bandwidth caps. Our findings suggest home users grapple with three uncertainties regarding their bandwidth usage: invisible balances, mysterious processes, and multiple users. We discuss how these uncertainties impact their usage and describe the potential for better tools to help monitor and manage data caps. We conclude that as a community we need to cater for users under Internet cost constraints.
Age Differences in Exploratory Learning from a Health Information Website - Paper
Contribution & Benefit: An empirical study examined age differences in learning health information with recommended links having implications on designs of health information interfaces that facilitate search and learning for different age groups.
Abstract » An empirical study was conducted to investigate how older and younger users learned by performing exploratory search of health information using an interface that recommended relevant links based on browsing histories. While older and younger users gained both factual and structural knowledge about the health topics, significant age differences were observed. Our results showed that processing of recommended and regular Web links imposed distinct demands on cognitive abilities, which at least partially explained the observed age differences in the search process. The use of recommended links was positively associated with general knowledge, while the use of regular Web links was positively associated with processing capacity. Results also showed that the recommended links benefited both younger and older adults by broadening the exploration of information, which led to better learning. Implications on designs of health information interfaces that facilitate exploratory search and learning for different age groups were discussed.
Income, Race, and Class: Exploring Socioeconomic Differences in Family Technology Use - Paper
Contribution & Benefit: Comparison of technology adoption and use among low socioeconomic status and high socioeconomic status families. Shows benefits of studying and designing for diverse users.
Abstract » Minorities are the fastest growing demographic in the U.S. and the poverty level in the U.S. is the highest it has been in 50 years. We interviewed middle to upper class, suburban, white American parents and low-income, urban, African-American parents to understand how each group incorporates technology into their lives. Participants had teens in their homes and devices like computers and cell phones played a powerful and preeminent role in family life. Our results show that socioeconomic differences both reflect and reinforce technology use at home. Specifically, low socioeconomic status families share devices more often and low socioeconomic status teens have more responsibility and independence in their technology use. We argue that that as low socioeconomic status families become the majority demographic, the CHI community needs to better understand how to design for these groups.