Behaviour and Information Technology

Effects of communication style and time orientation on notification systems and anti-virus software

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The objectives of this study were (1) to investigate the effects of communication style (CS) and time orientation (TO) on people's perception of and proficiency in responding to notification systems and (2) to study the applications of these effects in the design of user notification in anti-virus software. Significant effects were found in the experiment; the results showed that users with a low-context CS can remember and make sense of the information provided by the notification system better than users with a high-context CS. Polychronic users perceive a lower level of interruption of the notification messages than monochronic users; polychronic users prefer rapid and accurate responses to the stimuli provided by the notification system, whereas monochronic users tend to avoid responding to the stimuli. Four sessions of focus group discussions were then carried out with users of different CS and TO, which focused on the virus attack warning provided by anti-virus software. The results should prove useful to aid designers in creating more effective and appealing ways to give notification or warnings to users. © 2010 Taylor & Francis.


01 Sep 2010


Behaviour and Information Technology