User Experience Magazine: Volume 6, Issue 3, 2007
Volume 6, Issue 3, 2007
Feature Articles: Interactive TV and Mobile Video
Press Release: Big Brother is Watching...User Experience Magazine 6.3
Feature Articles: Interactive TV and Mobile Video
This article investigates how hand-held technology might be used to augment existing electronic program guides to better support television planning. Using the results of a television planning diary study, we developed and evaluated design concepts to allow users to learn about potentially interesting programs via their mobile phone as well as using recommendations from family and friends.
Video recording has become available in various everyday situations, thanks to the quickly spreading video capabilities of modern mobile phones. Recording decisions are now often made spontaneously, as the recording devices are constantly available, and without explicit planning. Now, many people always have their cameras ready for video recording, but at the same time all of us are now always under the threat of being captured on video. The arrival of video cameras in social situations seems to affect people’s behavior. We discuss the effect of this change in the social environment on the basis of a study where four groups of people used digital video cameras in their everyday life for a four week period.
Our study suggests that the camera most often causes acted behavior immediately after it appears in the situation and in the public circumstances. The camera seems to act as an ice-breaker, encouraging both the cameraman and the target to begin flirting. While this new way of communicating enables new social patterns, it also raises new concerns for privacy.
We discuss the relationship between social situations and video recording, analyze the acceptability of video recording as a function of time, and present our findings about the changing behavior of the targets during that time. We discuss how the constant presence of the camera will potentially change people’s feeling of privacy and their response toward recording.
The dramatic pace of technological advances in television does not leave its audience unaffected. Television, especially with the introduction of interactivity, is moving toward new forms of communication that bridge the different worlds of broadcasting and telecommunications. In the UK particularly, 2012 is to be the digital switchover year, after which analog signals will no longer be broadcast. Creative industries will need to compete for an ever-shrinking mass audience, producing specialized products to appeal to many user groups.
Economic, social, and technical obstacles represent barriers to audience entry in the use of interactive digital media. Consumer-based production and semi-automated service creation must overcome the barriers, making interactive TV more accessible to design specialists, other non-technical related professionals, and ultimately users.
This article will focus on the technical aspects. It will present key findings from two empirical studies investigating users’ perceptions of interactive television and a suite of service-prototyping tools that address some of the technical barrier issues. The tools make the technology more transparent to the digital media and design community and thus enable its members to participate in the service development process.
This article describes two experieces with an “economy class” approach to website task analysis. Quick online surveys were the most practical way to collect task data from users. The article describes how you can make high-quality online surveys.
Because quick surveys allow large numbers of responses, they can play an important role in convincing sceptics who may dismiss small-sample techniques such as in-depth interviews or usability testing. Quick survey results can be helpful getting management buy-in to invest in more expensive or time-consuming usability methods. Finally, they can complement other data sources or inform other usability methods such as in-person interviews, field studies, and usability testing. Quick surveys can be an excellent way to introduce usability and a more user-centered way of thinking into an organization.
Direct observation of users in their environment is one of the most desirable methodologies for usability researchers to uncover user requirements and usability issues. While usability practitioners know the immense value of field studies, most companies do not grasp the full extent of the benefits and are consequently hesitant to devote time, budget, and resources to conduct field studies. Field studies can become an indispensable tool for a company once it is made aware of the benefits to itself, its customers, and the user experience team. Aside from identifying requirements and issues, field studies provide an opportunity for the company to build customer relationships and increase customer satisfaction. Likewise, field studies help customers satisfy and improve their employees’ experience with the software product. Finally, the methodology allows the user experience team to demonstrate its value beyond designing usable products and to gain visibility across the company, including executive management, product teams, sales, and customer service.
Coming Soon to a Screen Near You by Aaron Marcus, Editor in Chief
Changing Challens by Dr. Anxo Cereijo Roibás and David Geerts, Guest Editors
Characters of the Information and Communication Industry
by Richard Bellaver