Typical Phone Use Habits: Intense Use Does Not Predict Negative Well-Being

The popular media has extensively associated mobile phone use with all kinds of negative effects on health and well-being: “Phone addiction is real, and so are its mental health risks” Forbes, December 2017 “How phones are tearing us apart” Psychology Today, June 2015 However, not all smartphone owners use their device in the same way, […]

Beyond Interruptibility: Predicting Opportune Moments to Engage Mobile Phone Users

Many of today’s mobile software products and services, such as games, brands, social networks, or news feeds, need to engage their users in order to be successful, where engagement refers to the involvement into something that attracts and holds our attention. Failing to engage users can endanger the sustainability of products and services, particularly if […]

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. […]

Optimal Font Size for Web Pages (CHI 2016)

What is the optimal font size for the body of websites? Guidelines often suggest 10, 12, or 14 points. 12 points is a number you see frequently mentioned in forums and blogs. In 2009, Smashing Magazin found that a set of 50 very popular news pages used 13px on average. In 2013, they repeated the study and found that 14px […]

When Attention is not Scarce – Detecting Boredom from Mobile Phone Usage (UbiComp ’15)

When Attention is not Scarce – Detecting Boredom from Mobile Phone Usage from Martin Pielot In times of information overload, attention has become a limiting factor in the way we consume information. Hence, researchers suggested to treat attention as a scarce resource coined the phrase attention economy. Given that attention is also what pays the bills […]

Dismissed! A Detailed Exploration of How Mobile Phone Users Handle Push Notifications

In 2014, I presented at ACM MobileHCI the results of an in-situ study, where we observed in detail, what types of notifications 15 mobile phone users receive and how they handle them. One of the key findings, that keeps being cited in other works, is that people receive an average of 63.5 notifications per day. […]

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 […]

Acceptance of Highly-Personalized Ads

Users often perceive ads annoying (when they are unrelated to their interests), or on the other hand they find ads creepy or scary (when matched to their interests and activities). Assuming the recommendation systems will become able to better and better match ads to our interests, how will the users react? Many apps and internet […]

Are You Prone to be Bored? Your Phone Can Tell

This work is a follow-up project on our research on When Attention is not Scarce – Detecting Boredom from Mobile Phone Usage We might think that technology has solved the problem of boredom. More and more devices provide us with an ample source of entertainment at our fingertips. Paradoxically, today we appear to be more […]

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 […]

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