Human-Computer Interaction Institute
School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University


Evaluating Intelligibility Usage and Usefulness
in a Context-Aware Application

Brian Y. Lim, Anind K. Dey

March 2012


Keywords: Intelligibility, explanation, user study, context-awareness, human-computer interaction

Intelligibility has been proposed to help end-users understand context-aware applications with their complex inference and implicit sensing. Usable explanations can be generated and designed to improve user understanding. However, will users be willing to use these intelligibility features? How much intelligibility will they use, and will this be sufficient to effectively improve their understanding? We present a quasi-field experiment of how participants used the intelligibility features of a fully-functional intelligible context-aware application. We investigated how many explanations they willingly viewed, and how that affected their understanding of the application's behavior, and suggestions they had for improving its behavior. We discuss what constitutes successful intelligibility usage, & provide recommendations for designing intelligibility to promote its effective use.

20 pages

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