||During recent years new digital contact devices have attained widespread diffusion.
With a number of tools available; voice call, SMS, Instant Messaging and e-mail,
what makes us choose one or another? In 2011 an on-line survey among members
of Swedish Computer Association (Sw. Dataföreningen) was carried out in order to
test 1) the impact of context – professional or private – on our choice of tools, and 2)
how the social situations related to the particular contact influence our preferences.
The respondents were asked to rate on a seven-level Likert scale each one of the
four contact tools to be used in a specific situation. These situations were expressed
as dichotomies of:
Correspondence analysis combined with perceptual maps was used in the
examination of the data obtained. Among conclusions drawn is that the most
influential factor on our choice of contact tool is our previous knowledge of the person
to be contacted and with what kind of tool she or he is comfortable.
- Performance requirement: Formal or informal?
- Previous knowledge of contact person: Unknown or wellknown?
- Motive for contact: To give or receive information (one-way communication) or to
reach an agreement, meaning that some kind of negotiation is expected to occur
- Finally, the importance of urgency was examined.