PsychNology Journal, Volume 5, Number 1, 7 – 31

Is It Fun to Go to Sydney? Common-Sense Knowledge of Social Structures and WAP

Ilpo Koskinen
School of Design, Industrial Design, University of Art and Design Helsinki, Finland



This paper investigated how people navigate through early Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) sites using their common-sense knowledge of social structures. The study is based on a close analysis of 9 videotaped test sessions of WAP use situations taped in Helsinki, Finland between 2000-2004. The data was transcribed using standard conventions of conversation analysis, and analyzed in an inductive fashion to identify and describe the ways in which subjects used their common-sense knowledge in navigating through WAP. The analysis reveals how the structure of WAP makes it necessary for people to rely on their common-sense knowledge in trying to decide what to do next when on a particular WAP page, but also how common-sense knowledge leads them astray. The analysis is qualitative. The conclusions point out the ambiguous role of common-sense knowledge and relates WAP to previous technologies like the pre-visual Internet of the early 1990s.



Wireless Application Protocol (WAP), conversation analysis, ethnomethodology, common-sense knowledge of social structures, user experience.


Koskinen I. (2007). Is It Fun to Go to Sydney? Common-Sense Knowledge of Social Structures and WAP. PsychNology Journal, 5(1), 7 – 31. Retrieved [month] [day], [year], from

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