Interaction Pace and User Preferences

The overall pace of interaction combines the user’s pace and the system’s pace, and a pace mismatch could impair user preferences (e.g., animations or timeouts that are too fast or slow for the user). Motivated by studies of speech rate convergence, we conducted an experiment to examine whether user preferences for system pace are correlated with user pace. Subjects first completed a series of trials to determine their user pace. They then completed a series of hierarchical drag-and-drop trials in which folders automatically expanded when the cursor hovered for longer than a controlled timeout. Results showed that preferences for timeout values correlated with user pace – slow-paced users preferred long timeouts, and fast-paced users preferred short timeouts. Results indicate potential benefits in moving away from fixed or customisable settings for system pace. Instead, systems could improve preferences by automatically adapting their pace to converge towards that of the user.
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