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Title: Conversation analysis in interactive computer system design
Author: Thomas, Peter James
Awarding Body: University of Hull
Current Institution: University of Hull
Date of Award: 1990
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Chapter one discusses the rationale for, and the aims of, this study. The design of interactive computer systems is an enterprise quite distinct from the design of other artefacts: design, or inventing a pattern, for interactive computer systems is a matter of design for use.HCI research has recognised the need for a user-centred approach to design, and has correspondingly drawn upon a variety of disciplines. However, the dominance of psychological theory and method has led to the exclusion of a body of applicable findings and methods from disciplines which deal with human interaction, and to a failure to systematically investigate the the links between human interaction and human-computer interaction. Prospectively, conversation analysis provides the resources for design of more natural interactive systems,and represents the possibility of design guidance which avoids the problems inherent in current design guidelines. The methods and findings of conversation analysis, this chapter has proposed, will provide a principled approach both to the investigation of human-computer interaction, and to the design of interactive systems. Within the general aim of investigating the applicability of conversation analysis to HCI, the remainder of this study addresses both the theoretical issues, and illustrates the practical outcomes, in relation to an empirical study of user-system interaction. Chapter two examines in greater detail the perspective of ethnomethodology and the findings of conversation analysis. The expository materials, such as exist in these fields, are recognised as being difficult, especially so for those who may be approaching these topics for the first time, and from other than sociological backgrounds. Accordingly the discussion concentrates upon only their more central assumptions and findings. Chapter one observes that conversation analysis and ethnomethodology have not yet found expression in HCI research largely because of the divergence between their methods and those of psychology. The exact nature of those methods, and their advantages for HCI research, are explored in chapter three. This discussion concerns both the practical methodology adopted in this study, the relationship between experimental and non-experimental investigative methods, and the practical applicability of the methods of conversation analysis in the investigation of human-computer interaction.An empirical study of human-computer interaction is undertaken in chapter four. The examination of videotaped sequences of humancomputer interaction through conversation analytic methods is combined with the findings of conversation analysis, to formulate design guidelines and recommendations. Finally, chapter five attempts to assess the significance of this approach to HCI research and design. The promising route which conversation analysis provides for investigation of user-system interaction, and the possibility that it can inform the design of future interactive systems, is explored.
Supervisor: Norman, Mike Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Human engineering