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postgraduate thesis: Utilising channels in email : an approach to organising communication

TitleUtilising channels in email : an approach to organising communication
Authors
Issue Date2015
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
Yang, X. [楊希]. (2015). Utilising channels in email : an approach to organising communication. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5576795
AbstractEmail, as one of the most prevalent communication methods, is now playing a bigger role in our work and personal life. Modern tools and clients have been developed with the aim to better support Email communication. However, few has successfully achieved the goal, without being able to live up to users’ expectations. An increasingly large amount of time has been wasted, and the interaction between the sender, recipient and the mail has remained almost the same for many years. Therefore, it’s urgent to redesign the way we communicate via Email, and to improve the communication considerably. To achieve this aim, we investigated users’ needs and expectations regarding how Email clients can be improved. Importance of the user needs were further proved by a questionnaire study. We highlighted gaps between existing approaches and the derived user needs and suggested opportunities for improvement. To fill the gaps, we proposed the idea of utilising channels in Inbox, and letting senders decide to which channel the mail should be delivered. Benefits of this new approach are fourfold: 1) context is maintained for each Email conversation and presented to the user each time the user engages in the conversation; 2) organisation of the Inbox is guaranteed to be automatic, flexible and reliable, making sure that the channels always reflect a holistic view of the user’s current activities, and mails with different types are categorised automatically and accurately; 3) a more noticeable visual reminding is provided, and the possibilities that important information being overlooked are eliminated; 4) Information Retrieval becomes more efficient as the search scope is effectively narrowed down to relevant mails only. This approach contributed to conventional Email communication by introducing new elements (i.e. channels) and new interactions (i.e. senders specifying target channels, and recipients interacting with channels in inbox). A new email client (EasyMail) has been designed and developed adopting this new approach and has been evaluated through an experimental study among 30 participants. Results showed that EasyMail has significantly improved the communication (saved more than half of the time) and has received higher satisfaction level when compared to one of the mainstream Email clients. And surprisingly, all participants expressed their preference to incorporate channels into their inbox.
DegreeMaster of Philosophy
SubjectElectronic mail systems
Dept/ProgramComputer Science
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/221094

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorYang, Xi-
dc.contributor.author楊希-
dc.date.accessioned2015-10-26T23:11:58Z-
dc.date.available2015-10-26T23:11:58Z-
dc.date.issued2015-
dc.identifier.citationYang, X. [楊希]. (2015). Utilising channels in email : an approach to organising communication. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5576795-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/221094-
dc.description.abstractEmail, as one of the most prevalent communication methods, is now playing a bigger role in our work and personal life. Modern tools and clients have been developed with the aim to better support Email communication. However, few has successfully achieved the goal, without being able to live up to users’ expectations. An increasingly large amount of time has been wasted, and the interaction between the sender, recipient and the mail has remained almost the same for many years. Therefore, it’s urgent to redesign the way we communicate via Email, and to improve the communication considerably. To achieve this aim, we investigated users’ needs and expectations regarding how Email clients can be improved. Importance of the user needs were further proved by a questionnaire study. We highlighted gaps between existing approaches and the derived user needs and suggested opportunities for improvement. To fill the gaps, we proposed the idea of utilising channels in Inbox, and letting senders decide to which channel the mail should be delivered. Benefits of this new approach are fourfold: 1) context is maintained for each Email conversation and presented to the user each time the user engages in the conversation; 2) organisation of the Inbox is guaranteed to be automatic, flexible and reliable, making sure that the channels always reflect a holistic view of the user’s current activities, and mails with different types are categorised automatically and accurately; 3) a more noticeable visual reminding is provided, and the possibilities that important information being overlooked are eliminated; 4) Information Retrieval becomes more efficient as the search scope is effectively narrowed down to relevant mails only. This approach contributed to conventional Email communication by introducing new elements (i.e. channels) and new interactions (i.e. senders specifying target channels, and recipients interacting with channels in inbox). A new email client (EasyMail) has been designed and developed adopting this new approach and has been evaluated through an experimental study among 30 participants. Results showed that EasyMail has significantly improved the communication (saved more than half of the time) and has received higher satisfaction level when compared to one of the mainstream Email clients. And surprisingly, all participants expressed their preference to incorporate channels into their inbox.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.subject.lcshElectronic mail systems-
dc.titleUtilising channels in email : an approach to organising communication-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.identifier.hkulb5576795-
dc.description.thesisnameMaster of Philosophy-
dc.description.thesislevelMaster-
dc.description.thesisdisciplineComputer Science-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-

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