University of Limerick
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Developing a mediation framework for context-aware applications : an exploratory action research approach

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posted on 2022-09-01, 14:14 authored by Carl Magnus Olsson
This thesis takes an exploratory approach to the study of context-aware applications. Such applications use physical conditions from sensors together with human factors such as social setting as cues for adapting in behavior during use. Given this adapting behavior, context-aware applications take a significantly more active role than traditional applications. Through the active role, context-aware applications have the ability to mediate the creation of additional meaning. It is this mediation ability which provides the three research objectives of this thesis: [1] to develop a mediation framework that captures the tension between design time intentions and use time perceptions, [2] to use this mediation framework when identifying mediation roles that context-aware applications may take, and [3] to use these mediation roles for illustrating design implications on context-aware applications in complex environments. These research objectives are inductively developed based on an action research study involving three industrial organizations and one research institute. Together, these collaborating partners design, assess, and analyse the outcome of a context-aware application. This application is intended for use by passengers in cars and strives to motivate increased interaction in a way that is contextually informed, but that promotes cautious driving. Using this application together with nine others, the mediation framework is applied, finding eight characterizing mediation roles that context-aware applications may hold. The eight mediation roles are then used to define design implications. Finally, as part of the post-mortem reflection on the action research study, an exploratory action research approach is suggested.



  • Doctoral

First supervisor

Fitzgerald, Brian

Second supervisor

Russo, Nancy





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