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Computer-Mediated Communication Systems. Status and by Elaine B. Kerr

By Elaine B. Kerr

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It is therefore possible that forgiveness is a crucial factor for the experienced users, and in this sense tied to the concept of leverage and simplicity which makes forgiveness a more challenging design problem. The panel of designers is nearly unanimous in believing that control is a crucial characteristic for computer-based conferencing systems. All rate it as " 1 " or " 2 " in importance. The comments indicate that it is particularly important for inexperienced users. The close tie to the concept of forgiveness and recovery is indicated by the fact the the mean rating and standard deviation is exactly the same for the two system characteristics.

Full comprehension can significantly reduce the opportunity for segmentation. With a very modifiable system it is difficult to have generalized routines to make the system informative. Making the system totally forgiving can reduce the flexibility and variety of the interface. Finally, there are numerous internal design tradeoffs, such as that of responsiveness, regularity, and accessibility versus reliability, protection, and security. In general these factors can be divided into three groups: those concerned with learning or extending one's knowledge of the system—guidance, forgiveness, segmentation, informativeness, and closure; those concerned with use of the system—control, comprehension, leverage, modifiability, and flexibility; and those concerned with the environment in which the internals of the system operate—accessibility, regularity, reliability, responsiveness, security, and protection.

Humanization largely represents an attempt to incorporate many of these factors into one grouping and to add the ethical component of ownership and privacy of materials. FACTORS SPECIFIC TO COMPUTER-MEDIATED COMMUNICATION SYSTEMS The following factors have unique relationships to computerized conferencing and in some cases messaging systems. The variability in their importance ratings by the designers is to be expected, since these systems are less than 10 years old, while interactive systems have been in existence for about 20 years.

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