An Immediacy-Based Model of Source Orientation
by: Jacob Solomon and Rick Wash
When we interact with a computer, we are actually interacting with many different entities: the computer, the software on the computer, the programmers who wrote the software, the company that paid the programmers, and often other users that appear through the software. We normally only focus on one of these entities at a time, and consider ourselves to be interacting with that entity. How do people figure out which entity to focus on?
We review a variety of literature to identify key concepts related to this problem of source orientation. We then use those concepts to build a model of how people orient to different sources, and what influences which source a person will be oriented towards, and when that person will choose to reorient to another source. People naturally orient toward sources that are ``close’’ to them, but some factors like a negative event can cause them to reorient to more distant sources. Our model helps predict how and why people behave in complex HCI interactions (such as troubleshooting problems on their computer) and can help designers build systems that intentionally orient their users toward (or away from) specific sources.
Jacob Solomon and Rick Wash. “An Immediacy-Based Model of Source Orientation” Working Paper. March 2012.