Social and environmental influences on the use of technology in public spaces
This thesis is concerned with understanding and describing the factors that influence the use of technology in public spaces. Adoption and use of technological systems over the past few decades has grown considerably. With increased use the role of technology now pervades nearly every aspect of social interaction. Systems are now used more and more in public areas however it appears a somewhat ignored and little understood area of research within the human computer interaction (HCI) literature. Therefore new methods of assessment are required. Investigating human interaction with technologies in public places provides a new way to conceptualise and study interaction and in particular relate findings to new technologies. Existing methods and guidelines related to the use of technology fail to consider socio-environmental factors. New methods of assessment should allow the examination of how socio-environmental and usability factors influence use of technology in public areas. To assess how socio-environmental factors influence the use of technology in public spaces nine studies were undertaken using convergent methodologies. This has allowed a detailed examination and exploration of how socio-environmental factors influence the use. These investigations have led to the development of a questionnaire that is a valid, reliable psychometric tool and the Technology Acceptance Models for Public Space Technologies (TAMPS) that measures use of technology in public areas. Rather than focus purely on accessibility and usability factors this thesis has enabled the integration of those and socio-environmental influences. The results suggest success in evaluating or facilitating adoption and use of ubiquitous and mobile devices acknowledging how social and environmental factors influence use is crucial. The HCI community, designers and service providers need to integrate findings from this thesis in future system design which will lead to technologies that are efficient, effective and satisfying to use.