Interruption of People in Human-Computer Interaction: A General Unifying Definition of Human Interruption and Taxonomy
OFFICE OF NAVAL RESEARCH ARLINGTON VA
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User-interruption in human-computer interaction HCI is an increasingly important problem. Many of the useful advances in intelligent and multitasking computer systems have the significant side effect of greatly increasing user-interruption. This previously innocuous HCI problem has become critical to the successful function of many kinds of modern computer systems. Unfortunately, no HCI design guidelines exist for solving this problem. In fact, theoretical tools do not yet exist for investigating the HCI problem of user-interruption in a comprehensive and generalizable way. This report asserts that a single unifying definition of user-interruption and the accompanying practical taxonomy would be useful theoretical tools for driving effective investigation of this crucial HCI problem. These theoretical tools are constructed here. A comprehensive analysis is conducted through the existing literature. Theoretical constructs from several relevant but diverse fields are identified and discussed. A unifying definition of user-interruption is synthesized. This new definition is supported with an array of postulates, assertions, and a taxonomy of human interruption to facilitate its practical application.
- Computer Systems
- Human Factors Engineering and Man Machine Systems