Electrical Engineering
      and Computer Sciences

Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences

COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING

UC Berkeley

A Comparison of Two Peripheral Displays for Monitoring Email: Measuring Usability, Awareness, and Distraction

Gary Hsieh and Jennifer Mankoff

EECS Department
University of California, Berkeley
Technical Report No. UCB/CSD-03-1286
2003

http://www.eecs.berkeley.edu/Pubs/TechRpts/2003/CSD-03-1286.pdf

Email overloading is an ongoing problem for information workers. One critical phase of email management involves deciding whether to respond to the arrival of a new message. We present the design and evaluation of two displays intended to support this activity (a Ticker and a physically-based colored Orb). Both are peripheral displays, designed to sit at the periphery of a user's attention. Unlike previous displays, our most successful display was easily visible even off the desktop, and both our displays limit notifications to emails that pass through a filter, thus limiting notifications about spam and other less useful emails. Surprisingly, our animated Ticker was not distracting. Both displays were well liked and supported awareness. We also present a comparison of the relative merits of different methods for measuring usability, awareness, and distraction in the lab and the field. Our results suggest that a combination of techniques is most informative for peripheral display design.


BibTeX citation:

@techreport{Hsieh:CSD-03-1286,
    Author = {Hsieh, Gary and Mankoff, Jennifer},
    Title = {A Comparison of Two Peripheral Displays for Monitoring Email: Measuring Usability, Awareness, and Distraction},
    Institution = {EECS Department, University of California, Berkeley},
    Year = {2003},
    URL = {http://www.eecs.berkeley.edu/Pubs/TechRpts/2003/5776.html},
    Number = {UCB/CSD-03-1286},
    Abstract = {Email overloading is an ongoing problem for information workers. One critical phase of email management involves deciding whether to respond to the arrival of a new message. We present the design and evaluation of two displays intended to support this activity (a Ticker and a physically-based colored Orb). Both are peripheral displays, designed to sit at the periphery of a user's attention. Unlike previous displays, our most successful display was easily visible even off the desktop, and both our displays limit notifications to emails that pass through a filter, thus limiting notifications about spam and other less useful emails. Surprisingly, our animated Ticker was not distracting. Both displays were well liked and supported awareness. We also present a comparison of the relative merits of different methods for measuring usability, awareness, and distraction in the lab and the field. Our results suggest that a combination of techniques is most informative for peripheral display design.}
}

EndNote citation:

%0 Report
%A Hsieh, Gary
%A Mankoff, Jennifer
%T A Comparison of Two Peripheral Displays for Monitoring Email: Measuring Usability, Awareness, and Distraction
%I EECS Department, University of California, Berkeley
%D 2003
%@ UCB/CSD-03-1286
%U http://www.eecs.berkeley.edu/Pubs/TechRpts/2003/5776.html
%F Hsieh:CSD-03-1286