We would love to hear your feedback on a new workshop draft paper presented at the CHI workshop, Designing for Uncertainty in HCI, when does Uncertainty Help? The paper, headed by Brian Lim from NUS, Eran Toch and Oshrat Ayalon, looks at uncertainty in social interactions, and what are the surprising effects of social intelligibility mechanisms.

Social intelligibility mechanisms are used to reduce uncertainty by transmitting information about the activities of peer users. For example, message delivery notifications in chat systems let the users know whether the other party had had seen a sent message (the “double checkmarks” on Whatsapp, for example).

However, designing these mechanisms is a difficult task due to the complexities of computer-mediated social interaction. This paper presents some of the tradeoffs associated with providing intelligibility to social contacts with regard to privacy, the impact on social dynamics and the impact on trust between users. We present some initial insights from a scenario-based, structured interview study of an intelligible context-aware social application, and discuss some of the open questions and challenges of reducing social uncertainty.

Download the paper and send us your thoughts!