HP Labs Technical Reports



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There's Nothing Like Being There: Perceptions of User Control and Information Quality in a Distributed Measurement Environment

Hinds, Pamela J., Thompson, Jennifer

HPL-98-147

Keyword(s): distributed measurement, remote measurement, distributed work, human-computer interaction

Abstract: More and more customers are asking for and expecting remote access to measurement equipment. But, this new method of providing measurement information may have unintended consequences for the way users experience products and how they view the data provided. In this study, we examined the impact on users when they access information through a computer interface rather than directly from the instrument, the impact of physical distance from the measurement site, and the effect of using instruments that are stationary versus set up by the user. The results of an experiment suggest that users who are monitoring information from a remote location will feel less in control, but will feel equally confident in the measurement information gathered. The data also suggest that novices may feel more in control (but no more confident in the information) when using a stationary instrument as compared to having to set up the instrument themselves.

20 Pages

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