The Inside Text

Social, Cultural and Design Perspectives on SMS

  • R. Harper
  • L. Palen
  • A. Taylor

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiv
  2. Richard Harper, Leysia Palen, Alex Taylor
    Pages 1-6
  3. Text versus Talk

    1. Joachim R. Höflich, Julian Gebhardt
      Pages 9-31
    2. Ylva af Hård Segerstad
      Pages 33-51
    3. Richard Ling, Tom Julsrud, Birgitte Yttri
      Pages 75-100
  4. Texting and the Moral Order of Place

  5. Designers’ Text

    1. Matthias Schneider-Hufschmidt
      Pages 223-236
    2. Sarah Olofsson, Mårten Pettersson
      Pages 237-252
    3. Keith Cheverst, Dan Fitton, Mark Rouncefield
      Pages 253-269
    4. Sara Berg, Alex S. Taylor, Richard Harper
      Pages 271-285
    5. Pedram Keyani, Shelly Farnham
      Pages 287-304
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 327-331

About this book


SMS or Text is one of the most popular forms of messaging. Yet, despite its immense popularity, SMS has remained unexamined by science. Not only that, but the commercial organisations, who have been forced to offer SMS by a demanding public, have had very little idea why it has been successful. Indeed, they have, until very recently, planned to replace SMS with other messaging services such as MMS.

This book is the first to bring together scientific studies into the values that ‘texting’ provides, examining both cultural variation in countries as different as the Philippines and Germany, as well as the differences between SMS and other communications channels like Instant Messaging and the traditional letter. It presents usability and design research which explores how SMS will evolve and what is likely to be the pattern of person-to-person messaging in the future. In short, The Inside Text is a fundamental resource for anyone interested in mobile communications at the start of the 21st Century.


Nation SMS Usability berck communication organization

Editors and affiliations

  • R. Harper
    • 1
  • L. Palen
    • 2
  • A. Taylor
    • 1
  1. 1.Microsoft ResearchCambridgeUK
  2. 2.University of ColoradoBoulderUSA

Bibliographic information