Short Paper

Managing distractions in complex settings
Robin Deegan, Cork Institute of Technology, Ireland
Time: Wed 16:48 - 17:00 | Session: User Behavior | Location: D 209

Mobile devices are being used in more and more complex settings such as cars or medical environments and these environments are causing serious distractions for the mobile user. This paper presents novel research that investigates mobile user experiences when interacting with cognitively demanding distractions. This research finds that, surprisingly, the user’s primary task is not always affected by the distraction but, in this case, the actual interaction between user and device is. This observation initially appears to contradict current research which suggests that a distraction will affect the primary task. The main conclusion of this paper is that a user, when dealing with distraction, can balance their cognitive processes by applying less cognitive resources to the mobile device interaction in order to maintain their performance at the primary task. Essentially, the interface can appear more difficult and less user friendly.

MobileHCI 2013 Proceedings in the ACM Digital Library.

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