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WAP and Accountability: Shortcomings of the Mobile Internet as an Interactional Problem

Ilpo Koskinen, Petteri Repo, Kaarina Hyvönen

Journal of Usability Studies, Volume 2, Issue 1, November 2006, pp. 22-38

Abstract

Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) is designed to allow access to the Internet on a mobile phone. Attempts to explain its limited success have focused on attitudinal and cognitive reasons for non-use, finding that although people recognize the benefits of WAP, issues like lack of content, privacy concerns, and reference group behavior account for non-use. Such explanations have also been incomplete in that they have not addressed problems related to actual use and interaction with the technology. Our article studies the use of WAP as situated action. We focus on how users make sense of WAP pages and how they disambiguate in situ the responses from the service, i.e., new pages and new menus. Our method of transcribing videos of WAP use following the conventions of conversation analysis offers a cost-effective tool for understanding user interaction with technology and provides useful implications for design.

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WAP and Accountability: Shortcomings of the Mobile Internet as an Interactional Problem