University of Twente Student Theses


Situated breakdowns in video mediated communication

Zhang, Yi (2018) Situated breakdowns in video mediated communication.

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Abstract:In an ideal world, VMC systems would work perfectly, with fully synced audio and video signals on both sides. In real life, however, user do not necessarily have a perfect network signal, hardware, or physical environment, which might lead to breakdowns of the communication. In this thesis, we asked the research question: what is the user experience of video-mediated communication under real-world conditions. To answer the question, we conducted two iterations of user studies. In study one, four members of the research team explicitly recorded data about every VMC call they conducted over a period of one month. The results suggest that VMC systems often result in technical breakdowns that disrupt the user’s conversations, leading to unsatisfying quality of experience (QoE). Besides, a pattern of ”breakdown- confusions-workarounds” is revealed. We proposed a seven-dimension breakdown space to describe a breakdown from multiple perspectives, introduced two types of confusions that hinder users from solving breakdowns, and categorized users’ workarounds into three steps. We then conducted a diary study with external VMC users to test the generality of the patterns we found in the 1st iteration. The results support the previous findings. In the end, we proposed design suggestions to the VMC techniques to mitigate poor service and better support for users’ natural approach to workarounds. Moreover, we put forward a method to calculate the cost of poor QoS. These two will be the main future work for this research.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:EEMCS: Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science
Subject:54 computer science
Programme:Interaction Technology MSc (60030)
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