PsychNology Journal, Volume 8, Number 1, 85– 114

Social and Spatial Presence: An Application to Optimize Human-Computer Interaction

Karl Horvath, 
Gwynedd-Mercy College, USA

Matthew Lombard
Temple University, USA

This study provides a framework for researchers who study human-computer interaction to develop and evaluate user-centric user-interfaces by applying existing theories about telepresence, human-computer research, and characteristics of technology to produce social and spatial experiences similar to the ones computer users experience in non-mediated experience. Female and male college age university students (N=189) participated in an experiment in which they used a software application with low and high values of a set of social cues (social pleasantries, an agent character) and spatial cues (three dimensional graphical representation of physical spaces) in a 2 x 2 between subjects design. Subjects experienced greater presence, satisfaction, enjoyment, comprehension, perceived ability, and likelihood to use and recommend the application when they use software with high social and spatial cues. The findings support a research framework that considers different forms of telepresence separately and in combination, the cues that evoke them and their impacts, in the design of computer user-interfaces. 

KEYWORDS: telepresence, spatial presence, social presence, user interface, cues, human computer interaction, usability, user interface design




Horvath K., Lombard M. (2010). Social and Spatial Presence: An Application to Optimize Human-Computer Interaction. PsychNology Journal, 8(1), 87 – 114. Retrieved [month] [day], [year], from

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