Tampere University of Technology

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Framing the User Experience in Mobile Newsmaking with Smartphones

Research output: Book/ReportDoctoral thesisCollection of Articles


Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationTampere
PublisherTampere University of Technology
Number of pages94
ISBN (Electronic)978-952-15-3270-2
ISBN (Print)978-952-15-3245-0
Publication statusPublished - 11 Apr 2014
Publication typeG5 Doctoral dissertation (article)

Publication series

NameTampere University of Technology. Publication
PublisherTampere University of Technology
ISSN (Print)1459-2045


Mobile handheld devices are changing the practices of newsmaking, the roles of journalists and readers in it, and the published news in profound ways. The activity of mobile newsmaking aims at a tangible outcome, the news, which are consumed by an audience. Relatively little research exists in HCI (Human-Computer Interaction) that explores what is user experience of mobile systems in goal-oriented creative activity in organizational settings and especially in the natural contexts of use. This thesis addresses this gap by focusing on user experience, which arises when smartphones are used in mobile newsmaking to create and publish online and print news in the newspaper industry. This thesis has two main goals. First, it aims to gain a holistic understanding of user experience in mobile newsmaking with smartphones from the viewpoint of mobile reporters as users. Second, it explores how mobile and location-based assignments assigned by the newsroom can support cooperative newsmaking. This thesis contains nine scientific publications based on twelve case studies. The research approach of the studies is primarily qualitative. Seven of the studies included the usage of a mobile service client for newsmaking in the mobile context of use. Two of the twelve studies concentrated on reader participation in newsmaking as a form of mobile crowdsourcing. The rest of the studies focused on professional use. Over one hundred participants participated in the studies, of which a majority were students of visual journalism with prior work experience in journalism. The empirical findings are synthesized in the thesis summary. The model of user experience in mobile newsmaking with smartphones and the process model for mobile assignment-based processes summarize the thesis work on user experience and cooperative processes. User experience in mobile newsmaking is constructed in a process of using the mobile system in a goal-oriented and creative activity in the mobile context of use. The activity of mobile newsmaking consists of several subactivities starting from encountering a newsworthy event to the publishing of the news. It may include mobile reporter’s cooperation with others, who are in the field or in the newsroom. The constructed model of user experience has seven main components: user, system, the context of use, tangible outcome, descriptive attributes, overall evaluative judgments, and consequences. The model emphasizes the characteristics of the tangible outcome of system use (news material, news) as a fourth component that can contribute to user experience in addition to the characteristics of the user, system and the context of use. User’s experienced quality of the system is described by verbally expressible descriptive attributes divided to four components. The components of the descriptive attributes are the quality of the outcome (technical and content-based quality) and the perceived impacts (benefits and costs) that complement instrumental (pragmatic) and non-instrumental (hedonic) qualities from prior models of user experience. Ease-of-use, speed, light weight, small-size, unobtrusiveness, reliability, connectivity, controllability, being always along, and multifunctionality are key attributes for positive user experience. For users, pride of the outcome, fit with needs, motivations and goals, feeling of being in control, mastery of the system and activity, and the fit of the system to user’s role and situation are important. The process model for mobile assignment-based processes illustrates the coordination and cooperation related information and communication needs of the mobile reporter and the newsroom at differenct phases of newsmaking. The constructed models and synthesized results can aid academics and practitioners when designing, studying, and evaluating solutions for mobile work that can be complex, cooperative and creative and which aims at a perceivable or tangible outcome. They can also aid in recognizing the critical success factors of the solutions for different types of users and circumstances of the context of use. Further, results can aid when selecting and planning ICT solutions for media organizations and when planning the related editorial processes, workflows, and work roles. Finally, the constructed models can be used and validated in future research in other fields of mobile work and crowdsourcing.

Publication forum classification

Field of science, Statistics Finland

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