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PERSON-TO-PERSON(S) COMMUNICATION

Submitted To : Mr Amit Sachdeva Submitted By : Mandeep & Kuljinder

Abstract
As people change from face-to-face communication to medi-ated communication the form of representation changes. Dis-tortion of the message in face-to-face communication is some-thing we have learned to live with and control to some extent by the way we represent ourselves, and our message, to the outside world. When the message is being mediated and rep-resented to the recipient by a communications device, we want the same control. Without sense of such control, people may feel out of control of the message they are transmitting. The person-to-person(s) communication model describes the communication process and helps designers in identifying the different elements causing distortion of the message.

Table of contents
Introduction Approach Theory Design Issue References

1. Introduction
Face-to-face communication relies heavily on other than primary messages to transmit meaning, e.g. people use body language and tone of voice to convey meaning. The mediated communication appliances we use today also try to give us a broader scale of tools for expressing ourselves. New tech-nology communication devices provide the users with quite a broad means to convey information. In theory, the tools we use for communication can bring us quite close to the original, i.e. face-to-face context. In a sense, even face-to-face communication is mediated. Our body takes the role as a medium, which we use to convey our message Communication and appearance are our way of ex-pressing to the world what we really are. In theory, we have total control of the message we are sending. In reality, most of our communicative messages get added to: involuntary body movements, the tone of voice and physical appearance load the message with extra content and structure, telling more about us that we initially wanted it to.

2. Approach
The mediated person-to-person(s) communication model de-rives from our study on user interfaces in the light of commu-nication theory. Our analysis is based on Hall’s (1998) theory of encoding and decoding, and the communication model pre-sented by Shannon and Weaver (1949). Out of several models applicable to the examination of mediated communication (e.g. Gerbner 1956; Jakobson 1960; Lasswell 1948; Newcomb 1953), these are most clearly focused on the elements of the communication structure important from a user interface de-sign point of view, which in our opinion makes them worth further exploration.

Hall’s theory concerns the communication situation in mass media. It shows how discourse affects the production of a message, as the message has to be formed according to the rules of the medium, for which it is produced. Thus, a news event is encoded in different ways depending on whether the medium is e.g. television or a daily newspaper. Discourse similarly affects the way the message is being interpreted as the medium itself dictates the discourse in the light of which messages are read in the context of that specific medium.

The communication model presented by Shannon and Weaver approaches the transmission of a message from a rather technical viewpoint. The focus is on the message being transmitted from the sending to the receiving device. During this transmission, the message is affected by noise, which dis-torts the message and limits its capabilities to fulfil its original purpose. Although Shannon and Weaver were mainly con-cerned with the technical aspects of the message signal, later later interpretations allow a broader perspective. Thus the notion of noise can be seen as anything from raw technical distor-tions of the transmitted signal to anything affecting how the original message, as intended by the user, is conveyed. Mediated person-to-person communication makes use of similar structures to those present in mass media. Messages have to be encoded and decoded in a similar way as the me-dium restricts the way things can be communicated. Com-pared with the situation in mass communication, however, the important factor in person-to-person communication is how the technical process of encoding and decoding affects the message. The

3. Theory
The mediated person-to-person(s) communication model fo-cuses on the effect of the technical structures in both the en-coding and decoding process of the message. In the sender’s end, a message can be either a message written by the user or alternatively an action made by the user, e.g. that of moving into a mediated space. The decoded message on the re-ceiver’s end is the presentation of the sender as seen by the receiver. The technical structures of the medium used for the communication inevitably affect the message the user is convey-ing. These effects can be identified and presented back to the user by the interface s/he is using to communicate hers/his message with. The rest of the decoding process is dependent on the receiving user’s interface and is therefore out of the designer’s reach. One can never be sure about how an outgo-ing message will be received after it has left the service. One can know, however, based on the service that is being used, what the service does to the message before it is interpreted by the receiver’s interface.

Mediated person-to-person(s) communication model

In order to correctly read the person-toperson(s) communica-tion model it is important to realize that every message ever made during a communication process goes through the whole model from left to right. This applies to all messages and so both communicators are at once both senders and recipients. When we talk about sender and recipient, these are used in a situational, not a static, sense.

Message
A message is something happening along the user-service communications channel. The model identifies two types of messages: message 1 and message 2. Message 1 is the initial message produced by the sender according to the rules of the user interface, and message 2 is the distorted one, with modi-fications (additions, subtractions or both) made by the ser-vice. Message 1 can be either an ordinary message produced by the user or an action made by the user. Message 2 is the message sent by the service to the recipient. For instance, in a telephone conversation, the first mes-sage 1 is an action: it consists of the user dialling a number. The service turns this action into an attempt of connection to the dialled number (message 2). If the connection is estab-lished, the conversation can begin and both users say things at their end of the line (message 1), which are delivered through the connection to the recipient (message 2). In the end, the user will perform an action by hanging up (message 1), which will cause the phone connection to break (message 2).

4. Design issues
From a designer’s point of view it is important to design inter-faces as well as services in such a way that they support ex-isting communication culture. Also, new services depend on users, to become profitable. Designers cannot always be sure of the ways usage cultures develop after the technology is in the hands of the users. Therefore it is important to design in-terfaces as well as services in such a way, that they allow dif-ferent kinds of information to be sent and, on the other hand, received by the interfaces. This multitude of different re-quirements of information is one reason why distortions of messages occur. In addition to designing how the service and interfaces handle the technical aspects of varying incoming and outgoing information, interface designers also have to consider how the unavoidable distortions are handled in such a way that the user feels comfortable and in control during the communication situations s/he engages in.

References
Adams, A. & Sasse, M. A. 2001, Privacy in Multimedia Communications: Protecting Users, Not Just Data, in Proceedings of IHMHCI (Lille, 2001). Adams, A. 2000, Multimedia Information Changes the Whole Privacy Ballgame. — In Proceedings of Computers, Free-dom and Privacy 2000: Challenging the Assumptions. ACM Press, 25—32. Bolter, J. D., Grusin, R. 2000, Remediation: Understanding New Media. MIT Press: Cambridge and London. Bourdieu, P. 1991 (1977), Outline of a Theory of Practice. Cambridge University Press. Cavell, S. 1979, The World Viewed: Reflections on the Ontol-ogy of Film (enlarged edition). Harvard University Press: Cambridge and London. Donath, J. S. 1996, Inhabiting the virtual city: The design of social environments for electronic communities. — Avail-able at: http://persona.www.media.mit.edu/ Thesis/Cover.html