From “anytime, anywhere” to “here and now”: place and time restrictions in mobile narratives to enhance situated engagement of mobile users

Wiesner, Kevin (2009) From “anytime, anywhere” to “here and now”: place and time restrictions in mobile narratives to enhance situated engagement of mobile users. Other thesis, Technical University of Munich.


The usage of the mobile Internet has increased tremendously within the last couple of years, and thereby the vision of accessing information anytime, anywhere has become more realistic and a dominant design principle for providing content. However, this study challenges this paradigm of unlimited and unrestricted access, and explores the question whether constraints and restrictions can positively influence the motivation and enticement of mobile users to engage with location-specific content. Restrictions, such as a particular time or location that gives a user access to content, may be used to foster participation and engagement, as well as to support content production and to enhance the user’s experience.

In order to explore this, a Mobile Narrative and a Narrative Map have been created. For the former, the access to individual chapters of the story was restricted. Authors can specify constraints, such as a location or time, which need to be met by the reader if they want to read the story. This concept allows creative writers of the story to exploit the fact that the reader’s context is known, by intensifying the user experience and integrating this knowledge into the writing process. The latter, the Narrative Map, provides users with extracts from stories or information snippets about authors at relevant locations. In both concepts, a feedback channel was also integrated, on which location, time, and size constraints were imposed.

In a user-centred design process involving authors and potential readers, those concepts have been implemented, followed by an evaluation comprising four user studies. The results show that restrictions and constraints can indeed lead to more enticing and engaging user experiences, and restricted contribution opportunities can lead to a higher motivation to participate as well as to an improved quality of submissions. These findings are relevant for future developments in the area of mobile narratives and creative writing, as well as for common mobile services that aim for enticing user experiences.

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ID Code: 67653
Item Type: Thesis (Other)
Refereed: No
Additional Information: This thesis reports on a study conducted as part of a research internship at the Urban Informatics Research Lab. More information at
Keywords: Restrictions, Constraints, Placed-based Community Engagement, Mobile Interaction, Urban Informatics, Locative Media, Mobile Media
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > INFORMATION AND COMPUTING SCIENCES (080000) > DISTRIBUTED COMPUTING (080500) > Mobile Technologies (080502)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > INFORMATION AND COMPUTING SCIENCES (080000) > INFORMATION SYSTEMS (080600) > Computer-Human Interaction (080602)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN (120000) > DESIGN PRACTICE AND MANAGEMENT (120300) > Digital and Interaction Design (120304)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN CREATIVE ARTS AND WRITING (190000) > PERFORMING ARTS AND CREATIVE WRITING (190400) > Creative Writing (incl. Playwriting) (190402)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LANGUAGES COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE (200000) > COMMUNICATION AND MEDIA STUDIES (200100) > Communication Technology and Digital Media Studies (200102)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Design
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Past > Institutes > Institute for Creative Industries and Innovation
Institution: Technical University of Munich
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2009 Kevin Wiesner
Deposited On: 23 Feb 2014 23:11
Last Modified: 23 Feb 2014 23:11

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