A Diary Study of Rendezvousing: Group Size, Time Pressure and Connectivity
This paper reports an initial analysis of a diary study of rendezvousing as performed by university students. The study’s tentative findings are: (i) usability ratings for communication services are a little worse during a rendezvous (when at least one person is en route) than before (when none have yet departed); (ii) problems rendezvousing caused more stress when the rendezvousing group was large (6 or more participants) than when the group was small, but led to no more lost opportunity. Finding (i) is attributed to the desire for instant communication (which is stronger when users are under time pressure), and the constraints placed upon interaction (which are tighter in public spaces than in personal spaces). Finding (ii) is attributed to the suggestion that large rendezvous include more acquaintances (whose contact details may not be known) and different kinds of subsequent activity. If rendezvousers need anything, this study suggests that they need greater connectivity and service availability, rather than greater bandwidth. Implications for the design of position-aware communications services are discussed.
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