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MobileHCI 2014 Doctoral Consortium


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MobileHCI 2014 Doctoral Consortium.

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MobileHCI 2014 Doctoral Consortium

  1. 1. 23rd SEPTEMBER 2014 MobileHCI 2014 Doctoral Consortium Marta E. Cecchinato Email Management & Work-Home Boundaries @martacecchinato
  2. 2. Image source:
  3. 3. Structure of today’s talk: 1. Research question and motivation 2. Quick overview of my research a. Approach motivated by literature b. 3-year plan 3. Initial findings and contributions
  4. 4. Are you aware of how many times you’ve checked your emails today and where were you?? Are you satisfied with your email practices? But first... my take home message: Image sourceL
  5. 5. Real world problem
  6. 6. Email Overload: “Users’ perception that their own email use has gotten out of control” Research motivation Dabbish and Kraut (2006, p.431) Research motivation
  7. 7. Overall Research Question: Can technology make it easier for people to manage their email, so as to reduce email overload? Image source:
  8. 8. Literature review summary • Different email management techniques that may lead to email overload • Different suggested solutions, but no agreement on their efficacy (other than “check less!”) Differences: • Individual preferences (filing, workflow approaches, use of notifications, reasons for deferring replies,…) • Context-specific (e.g. work demands)
  9. 9. Reflection: why and how? Stage-based Behaviour Change Theories Personal Informatics Model Reflection 1. Pre- contemplation 2. Contemplation 3. Preparation 4. Action 5. Maintenance 1. Preparation 2. Collection 3. Reflection 4. Action 1. Description 2. Reflective description 3. Dialogic reflection 4. Transformative reflection 5. Critical reflection Prochaska, J. O., & Velicer, W. F. (1997). The transtheoretical model of health behavior change. American journal of health promotion, 12(1), 38-48. Chicago Li, I., Dey, A., & Forlizzi, J. (2010, April). A stage- based model of personal informatics systems. In Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pp. 557- 566). ACM. Fleck, R., & Fitzpatrick, G. (2010, November). Reflecting on reflection: framing a design landscape. In Proceedings of the 22nd Conference of the Computer-Human Interaction Special Interest Group of Australia on Computer-Human Interaction (pp. 216-223). ACM.
  10. 10. Digital epiphany 1. Tracking 2. Reflecting 3. Epiphany: - Change - Acceptance “Having an insight about one of their digital behaviours, […] The realization about this personal habit is the result of using a digital PI tool” . (Cox, Bird, & Fleck, 2013, p.2)
  11. 11. GOAL 1 – understand users GOAL 2 – explore existing tools GOAL 3 – designing and evaluating a tailored tool 1st Year 2nd Year 3rd year
  12. 12. Image source: Research Questions: 1. How do people use email in their personal and work domains across devices? 2. Do they have different strategies depending on device used and/or domain? Methods: Study 1 - The interview study Study 2 - The email game study GOAL 1: Understanding email behavioural differences and the impact of email on work-home boundaries
  13. 13. Image source: Research Questions: 1. What tools currently exist that aim to help people deal with their email? 2. Are they effective in helping people change their email behaviour? Methods: Study 3 - Tool review Study 4 - Performance and longitudinal study GOAL 2: Understanding email tools and their efficacy
  14. 14. • Designing and evaluating a personalisable and customizable tool • that accommodates email individual and contextual differences and • can help reflect on habits so that a satisfactory work-home balance can be achieved. Goal 3: Designing a better email tool
  15. 15. Study 1 Exploratory study to understand how people use emails across social domains and across devices? Interviews + Work-Life Indicator survey 16 participants (5 males, 9 academic staff, 7 professional services staff) MOBILE HCI 2014 WORKSHOP SOCIO-TECHNICAL PRACTICES AND WORK-HOME BOUNDARIES
  16. 16. Study 1 – Initial findings Permeable boundaries (academics) • Work/personal email on same mobile app • Symmetrical interruptions work-home Rigid Boundaries (prof. services) • Asymmetrical interruptions work-home • Control micro-role transitions with micro- boundaries 1 2 3 4 5 Academics (N=9) Prof. Serv. (N=6) Means NonWork Interrupting Work Work Interrupting NonWork Boundary Control Family Identity Work Identity
  17. 17. “I would never ever check my [work] email outside of work, purposely. It's not the kind of job that I think about when I’m not here. I'm not allowed to work from home" – P13, Female, PS. Rigid boundary management Permeable boundary management “The first check is probably right after I woke up, I will check everything that has come in the night [on phone]. […] I will probably have another look once I'm outside the house, so during my commute time I will check once again. And once I'm in my office, I don't have any specific rule, it's really case by case. […] Once I’m home […] I have a second work shift after [my son] goes to bed until quite late in the night” – P15, Male, A.
  18. 18. “I get up, check my email in bed, check my email on the toilet, check my email downstairs, maybe whilst I'm having breakfast, walk to work, generally don't check my email while I'm actually walking, when I'm waiting for the train, on the train, maybe in the lift getting up to work. Maybe then at work, then on the train on the way home, in front of the TV, during dinner, yeah, that's about everything I think.” – P5, Male, A. Boundary challenges: overload and availability
  19. 19. Micro-boundary email practices: “A strategy to limit the effects of micro-role transition caused by cross- domain technology mediated interruptions.” Through accounts: - one per role - Creating dedicated folders from one domain in another domain account with automatic filtering Through devices: - personal only on smartphone, work only on desktop computer. - Deliberately removing work email from phone during time off, e.g. on holiday; Through software: - different apps on smartphone for personal and work email Boundary Management
  20. 20. 1. Professional context has a large impact on email practices: when, where and how people manage emails and the impact these have on work- home boundaries. 1. We see a growing trend in the use of micro-boundary strategies to separate work and personal emails 1. People with more permeable boundary management styles might find it useful to create micro-boundaries within devices to help them cope with micro-role transitions between work and personal domains, and to limit work-home interference. Contributions [WP1] Cecchinato, M., Cox, A. L., & Bird, J. (2014). “I check my emails on the toilet”: Email Practices and Work-Home Boundary Management. MobileHCI Workshop Socio-Technical Practices and Work- Home Boundaries. [WP2] Cecchinato, M.E., Bird, J. & Cox, A.L. (2014). “Personalised email tools: a solution to email overload? CHI’14 Workshop Personalised Behaviour Change Technologies
  21. 21. @martacecchinato