We are happy to announce that a new paper was accepted to publication at CSCW 2020, and will be published at the ACM Proceedings of the ACM on Human-Computer Interaction Journal. The paper, titled Can you Turn it Off? The Spatial and Social Context of Mobile Disturbance, written by Eran Toch, Hadas Chassidim, and Tali Hatuka.

The paper reports the results of a 3-week user study with 50 participants. We have tried to understand how norms that surround the usage of a space influence the perceived disturbance of the phone. If your phone rings in a restaurant, would it you be more embarrassed than if it rang in an open floor workplace? Even if the same number of people are around? In the paper, we were able to learn and identify the norms that influence people’s perceptions of disturbance.  Here is the abstract.

Abstract: Contemporary mobile devices constantly interrupt people with notifications in various and changing physical environments, each with its own different social settings. To understand how users perceive disturbance to their social environment, we analyze the results of a 3-week user study with 50 participants. Using the experience sampling method and log analysis, we show that perceptions of disturbance are tightly related to functional characteristics of the place ( the number of people around and the activity carried out in the place), but also to subjective perceptions of the user, and even to the place, and the activity of the user on the device. In contrast to existing theories, we show that social norms, such as whether the place is considered private or public, are more powerful than other factors. We conclude the paper by discussing how our findings can be used to design new mobile devices that are aware of the geographical and social context of their users.