Conversational analysis of microcomputer software: The role of customer support
AuthorSherry, John William, 1961-
AdvisorHill, Jane H.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractUser-friendliness is a common goal of microcomputer software design, yet little attention has been paid to the importance of many conversation-like features of user interface. Computers are incapable of accessing the vast amount of contextual information that humans routinely employ in conversation. Through other means, microcomputers imitate features of conversation, often establishing in users false expectations of communicative competence. Such means usually fail to meet what Goffman (1976) has characterized as the "systemic" and "ritual" constraints of interaction. The increasing ubiquity of microcomputers in our society has been accompanied by a number of attempts to facilitate better human-computer interaction. Customer support provides one type of solution. Support personnel go beyond simply providing technical information to end users. They must additionally act as interactional "surrogates" for software, attending to communicative functions of which software is incapable or neglectful. Additionally, evidence suggests that this type of situation may intensify in the future.
Degree ProgramGraduate College