Couples' communication channels: What, when & why?

Henriette Cramer, Maia Jacobs

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

20 Scopus citations


An overwhelming variety of communication channels are available to consumers. Here, we present an overview of the aspects that need to be accounted for when intimate partners select a communication channel. We present interviews with 10 cohabiting couples (20 participants) and an 8-day diary study of communication and coordination. Using reported instances of within-couple communication, triggered by relationship-oriented or practical household needs, we identify why particular channels are chosen or sequenced. Extending media richness critiques, we identify additional factors that influence communication choice such as intimate knowledge of the others' habits, possibilities to add emotional meaning, and couples' shared needs as an identifiable unit. We also extend the notion of network effects on channel choice, and discuss the ecology of channel, networks, devices and device settings involved between partners. Finally, channel choice is not an all-ornothing game; multiple channels can, and must, co-exist.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCHI 2015 - Proceedings of the 33rd Annual CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
Subtitle of host publicationCrossings
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Number of pages4
ISBN (Electronic)9781450331456
StatePublished - Apr 18 2015
Externally publishedYes
Event33rd Annual CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2015 - Seoul, Korea, Republic of
Duration: Apr 18 2015Apr 23 2015

Publication series

NameConference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Proceedings


Other33rd Annual CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2015
Country/TerritoryKorea, Republic of

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design


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