Too Tense for Candy Crush – How Emotions Affect what Kind of Distractions we Welcome

Push notifications are increasingly being used to engage mobile device users with app content. News organizations deliver breaking-news notifications, social platforms inform about new content, games inform about status updates game, etc … with the goal of making the user engage with the service. In this research, we – Kostadin Kushlev, University of Virginia, Bruno […]

Boredom-Triggered Proactive Recommendations

Boredom-Triggered Proactive Recommendations from Martin Pielot The business model of many internet-service companies is primarily build around your attention: they offer best-in-class services for free in exchange for the users’ eyeballs, i.e. them paying attention to the contents of the services they offer. They pay for their expenses and generate revenue by selling the attracted […]

How fast people expect responses to texts and messages

In February 2013, we did a survey across 44 mobile phone users asking two questions: Think about the people you exchange the most messages with via your mobile phone: On average, how fast do they typically respond to one of your messages? On average, how fast do you typically respond to one of their messages? […]

Correlations and Causation

Why Using Your Phone Less Won’t Necessarily Make You Healthier “There is evidence that resisting the pull of your device can lead to healthier living.” This is the conclusion of the article Trying to Live in the Moment (and Not on the Phone) from citing “a recent study by researchers at Kent State University found […]

Productive, Anxious, Lonely – 24 Hours Without Push Notifications

Imagine, all notifications would go silent. No more buzzing, flashing, beeping, or pop-ups. This is exactly the situation that we created in the Do Not Disturb Study. The study was conducted as part of a collaboration between the Scientific Group of Telefonica R&D and Human-Computer Interaction Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, Luz Rello and I envisioned the Do Not Disturb Challenge. […]

Quantifying Attentiveness towards Mobile Messaging (MobileHCI ’15)

Social norm has it that people are expected to respond to mobile phone messages quickly. However, notifications may arrive to our mobile phones at any place and any time, which, depending on the concurrent activity, can be disruptive for the user. Hence, research has explored ways to reduce the chance of disrupting users by deferring the delivery […]

The Do Not Disturb Challenge (CHI ’15)

Notifications are alerts intended to draw attention to new online content. Traditionally used in text messaging, email clients and desktop instant messengers, notifications are becoming used by all types of applications across all types of computing devices. Today in 2015, we are still living in the ‘wild-west land-grab phase’ of notifications: more and more OSes […]

Ambient Timer – Unobtrusively Reminding Users of Upcoming Tasks with Ambient Light

Alice is working on a report for the head of her department. At the same time, there is a meeting scheduled in thirty minutes, which she has to attend. The Ambient Timer is already illuminating the wall behind her monitor in a low-attention state, so Alice feels confident that she will be reminded of the […]