Politeness in interaction design

Lyn Pemberton

Research output: Contribution to conferenceOtherpeer-review


Principles such as minimising memory requirements, clarifying affordance and providing effective feedback have been widely called upon to explain aspects of user experience. These principles call on research in cognitive psychology, often seen as the “home discipline” of human computer interaction. However, since interacting with a computer can be seen in some ways as a communicative act, it may also be useful to call on principles that have been developed in the core communication science of linguistics, especially pragmatics. In this paper we describe the major features of linguistic politeness theory and suggest ways in which usability problems may usefully be reframed in terms of positive and negative face threats. We consider ways in which UI designers can mitigate these threats by applying politeness strategies.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2011
EventRomanian HCI Conference - Bucharest, Romania
Duration: 1 Sept 2011 → …


ConferenceRomanian HCI Conference
Period1/09/11 → …


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