Adaptation as an Integrated Endeavor: Learning from the Timeline Deployment Study

Open Access
Zheng, Saijing
Graduate Program:
Information Sciences and Technology
Master of Science
Document Type:
Master Thesis
Date of Defense:
October 25, 2013
Committee Members:
  • Heng Xu, Thesis Advisor
  • Mary Beth Rosson, Thesis Advisor
  • Madhu Reddy, Thesis Advisor
  • Online Social Network
  • Facebook
  • Timeline
  • Adaptation
  • Design
The past few years have witnessed the explosive growth of Online Social Networks (OSNs) and they have played an important role in people’s daily life. OSN providers frequently introduce new user interfaces, aiming to improve user experience. However, as it is hard to design a perfect interface that exactly fit all users’ needs, such frequent interface changes have resulted in multiple expected and unexpected consequences. This problem has drawn significant attention from both industries and academies. Lots of previous studies have focused on user adaptation issues in organizational contexts, but less has been done to understand user adaptation in the context of OSNs. In this thesis we conducted a qualitative interview study to analyze factors that affect user adaptation and strategies that users apply to cope with the problems during their adaptation process. The findings reveal both promoters and barriers of user adaptation and also identified two types of adaptation strategies: routine strategies and user-created strategies. Based on these findings, we suggest the user adaptation in the context of OSNs could be critically considered as an integrated endeavor.