November 15, 2021
There are several conditions under which an interface should not refer to itself as “I”. One of the
conditions is when formality is desirable. The avoidance of “I” might be effective in showing
formality. Statements always appear more formal when they do not use “I”. Another condition is
when a system wants to deflect the blame from itself. An interface should not refer itself as “I”
when it has made a mistake. This would mean that it takes responsibility for the mistake. The
interface should avoid using “I” to avoid blame. The interface should also not refer to itself as
“I” when delivering bad news (Nass et al, 2005). There is need to use the passive voice when a
system does not understand users. “I” should not be used when users have to give input through
touch-tone. During conversations, it is good to reply in the same modality as the message. If one
has received a phone call, they should return it. They should not reply with a message or email.
Failing to use “I” can reduce the social presence.
By “context”, Pavlus means the surrounding and the user’s state. He also means the needs of the
mobile phone or app users. Context might be the physical location of the user, their physiology,
schedule and activity (Pavlus, 2015). The apps can react based on the contextual data that they
can access. They can also react based on the way users interact with them.
Assistants such as Siri and Google Now have been causing the transformation. That is because
they can link the functionality of other apps. Siri lets iOS reach apps to surface data without
having to open them from the home screen. Google Now can be activated without leaving other
apps. The apps enable the linking, sharing and talking to each other without humans having to
Nass, C., & Brave, S. (2005). Wired for speech. How voice activates and advances the humancomputer relationship. Cambridge.
Pavlus (2015). Apple and Google Race to See Who Can Kill the App First. WIRED. Retrieved