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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Institut für Bibliotheks- und Informations­wissen­schaft

Elke Greifeneder (2011)

The Impact of Distraction in Natural Environments on User Experience Research

In: TPDL'11 Proceedings of the 15th international conference on Theory and practice of digital libraries: research and advanced technology for digital libraries , ed. by C. Meghini and H. Schuldt, Springer. Springer's Lecture Notes on Computer Science (LNCS).

Laboratories have long been seen as reasonable proxies for user experience research. Yet, this assumption may have become unreliable. The trend toward multiple activities in the users' natural environment, where people simultaneously use a digital library, join a chat or read an incoming Facebook post, changes users' behavior. The effects of these disruptions generate a gap that is generally not taken into account in user-experience research. This paper presents a psychological experiment that measured how differently people behave in a laboratory and in a natural environment setting. The existence and impact of distraction is measured in a standard laboratory setting and in a remote setting that explicitly allows users to work in their own natural environment. The data indicates that there are significant differences between results from the laboratory and natural environment setting. Distractions like email or chat influence the users' performance and their ratings.