Michael Shulman's Shared Notes

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Communication richness reflects the dimension of how technology facilitates communication between human actors, and contains two subdimensions. The first element is the virtuality of the communication, and has been the focus of research to date. We suggest a second subdimension to allow for additional mediums of communication.

  • The virtuality of communication reflects how faithfully technology reproduces the experience of talking with other people. On the low end of this dimension, communication is purely textual. Where all communication already requires that we spend effort encoding our thoughts into words (CITE), purely textual communication strips any non-verbal communication abilities and requires that we write out our words.
  • Higher levels of communication virtuality incorporate non-verbal communication elements, mimicking the realism of in-person communication. Whether through the use of audio calls, or video calls, or a realistic video call that places the other in a three-dimensional form in our very presence through the use of augmented reality or holographic image, high levels of virtuality allow for non-verbal communication elements such as vocal tone, facial expression, and body movements.
    • Assuredly, there is some clarity that often comes with writing out our thoughts in textual form for others to read. However, that is a result of a process similar to the one at play when handwritten notes result in a clearer understanding and retention of material than when notes are typed: the extra encoding steps require additional steps that clarify our understanding. The medium of text itself is still a more bare medium than verbalized communication.
Scribbles on dimensions of technology