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  • Text Document
    Getting to Know the 'Customer in the Machine'
    (Proceedings of the 1999 ACM International Conference on Supporting Group Work, 1999) Hughes, John; O'Brien, Jon; Randall, Dave; Rodden, Tom; Rouncefield, Mark; Tolmie, Peter
    This paper reflects on the emerging results of a long-standing ethnographic study of everyday work in a large retail Bank. While customers as economic actors have often been overlooked in studies of computer supported work they are generally and necessarily the focus of commercial organisational life. The paper explicates the developing relationship between technology use and these organisational concerns through the notion of 'the customer in the machine.' Features of the contingent and skilful nature of everyday work are documented and used to comment on aspects of working with the 'customer in the machine' or 'virtual customers' within a rapidly changing commercial organisation.
  • Text Document
    Augmenting Recommender Systems by Embedding Interfaces into Practices
    (Proceedings of the 1999 ACM International Conference on Supporting Group Work, 1999) Grasso, Antonietta; Koch, Michael; Rancati, Alessandro
    Automated collaborative filtering systems promote the creation of a meta-layer of information, which describes users' evaluations of the quality and relevance of information items like scientific papers, books, and movies. A rich meta-layer is required, in order to elaborate statistically good predictions of the interest of the information items; the number of users' contributing to the feedback is a vital aspect for these systems to produce good prediction quality. The work presented here, first analyses the issues around recommendation collection then proposes a set of design principles aimed at improving the collection of recommendations. Finally, it presents how these principles have been implemented in one real usage setting.
  • Text Document
    “Making Place” to Make IT Work: Empirical Explorations of HCI for Mobile CSCW
    (Proceedings of the 1999 ACM International Conference on Supporting Group Work, 1999) Kristoffersen, Steinar; Ljungberg, Fredrik
    This paper addresses issues of user interface design, relating to ease of use, of handheld CSCW. In particular, we are concerned with the requirements that arise from situations in which a traditionally designed mobile computer with a small keyboard and screen, may not be easily used. This applies to many mobile use contexts, such as inspection work and engineering in the field. By examining two such settings, we assert that what is usually pointed to as severe shortcomings of mobile computing today, for example: awkward keyboard, small display and unreliable networks, are really implications from a conceptual HCI design that emphasise unstructured, unlimited input; a rich, continuous visual feedback channel and marginal use of sound. We introduce MOTILE, a small prototype that demonstrates some alternative ideas about HCI for mobile devices. We suggest that identifying complementing user interface paradigms for handheld CSCW may enhance our understanding not only of mobile computing or handheld CSCW, but the CSCW field as a whole.
  • Text Document
    “Let's See Your Search-Tool!”—Collaborative Use of Tailored Artifacts in Groupware
    (Proceedings of the 1999 ACM International Conference on Supporting Group Work, 1999) Wulf, Volker
    Groupware applications should be tailorable to fit the requirements of dynamically evolving and differentiated fields of application. To encourage individual and collaborative tailoring activities, applications should be tailorable on different levels of complexity. A search tool has been developed which offers different levels of tailoring complexity by means of hierarchically organized component languages. Users can create alternative search tools and compound components by themselves. Search tool alternatives and compound components can also be shared among the users. When introducing this tool into an organization of the political administration, it turned out that the users had considerable problems in understanding the functioning of artifacts created by someone else. To ease cooperative tailoring activities, we have implemented features, which allow users to structure, describe, and explore shared components and search tool alternatives. Also we provided means to store and exchange examples for components' use.
  • Text Document
    Supporting Virtual Team Collaboration: The TeamSCOPE System
    (Proceedings of the 1999 ACM International Conference on Supporting Group Work, 1999) Steinfield, Charles; Jang, Chyng-Yang; Pfaff, Ben
    In this paper, we describe a collaborative system specifically designed to address problems faced by distributed (or virtual) teams. TeamSCOPE (Team Software for a Collaborative Project Environment) is a web-based work environment that has emerged from a research project studying the communication needs of internationally distributed engineering design teams. The paper begins by outlining some of the needs of virtual teams. An integrative framework that focuses on facilitation of group members' awareness of group activities, communications and resources is proposed. These needs and awareness requirements are then translated into a set of collaborative system design goals which have guided the implementation of TeamSCOPE. The features of TeamSCOPE are briefly reviewed, and some preliminary observations from early users are provided. We conclude by noting some of the new features planned for TeamSCOPE based on our early trials.
  • Text Document
    Supporting Cooperation across Shared Virtual Environments
    (Proceedings of the 1999 ACM International Conference on Supporting Group Work, 1999) Büsher, Monika; Hughes, John; Trevor, Jonathan; Rodden, Tom; O'Brien, Jon
    As cooperative virtual environments have become more prominent as a means of allowing users to work together so has the need for users to understand the nature of these environments. This paper presents the development of a set of techniques to allow users to understand the properties of virtual environments as they move between different environments. The development of these techniques is informed by an ethnographic study of a multimedia art museum containing a wide range of different virtual environments.
  • Text Document
    It's All in the Words: Supporting Work Activites with Lightweight Tools
    (Proceedings of the 1999 ACM International Conference on Supporting Group Work, 1999) Churchill, Elizabeth F.; Bly, Sara
    The development of tools to support synchronous communications between non-collocated colleagues has received considerable attention in recent years. Much of the work has focused on increasing a sense of co-presence between interlocutors by supporting aspects of face-to-face conversations that go beyond mere words (e.g. gaze, postural shifts). In this regard, a design goal for many environments is the provision of as much media-richness as possible to support non-collocated communication. In this paper we present results from our most recent interviews studying the use of a text-based virtual environment to support work collaborations. We describe how such an environment, though lacking almost all the visual and auditory cues known to be important in face-to-face conversation, has played an important role in day-to-day communication. We offer a set of characteristics we feel are important to the success of this text-only tool and discuss issues emerging from its long-term use.
  • Text Document
    Perspective Layered Visualization of Collaborative Workspaces
    (Proceedings of the 1999 ACM International Conference on Supporting Group Work, 1999) Shiozawa, Hidekazu; Okada, Ken-ichi; Matsushita, Yutaka
    Visual shared workspaces will be always staying on users' screens in the near future. Users will be moving frequently between their personal workspaces for personal and asynchronous work and shared workspaces for communication and synchronous cooperation. Also the system should supports users' everyday awareness of co-workers. For supporting such situation, this paper proposes a new technique to visualize workspaces as a set of layered virtual screens in three-dimensional space. In this way, groups' shared spaces are shown as background of users' personal spaces like as looking from a top personal layer down to a bottom public layer. In conventional groupware, user's workspace is divided into some shared spaces and a personal space to show all of them simultaneously, so the size of the personal space is very restricted. This layered perspective visualization alleviates this problem and also supports users' awareness by always showing shared spaces in background.
  • Text Document
    From Description to Requirements: An Activity Theoretic Perspective
    (Proceedings of the 1999 ACM International Conference on Supporting Group Work, 1999) Turner, Phil; Turner, Susan; Horton, Julie
    This paper demonstrates how activity theoretic concepts can be used in conjunction with an ethnographically informed approach to derive requirements on a work situation. We present a case study based on a series of collaborative design episodes, the structured description derived from it and show how a preliminary set of contextually-grounded requirements on supporting the design process can be created.
  • Text Document
    Negotiation Support for Compiling Knowledge
    (Proceedings of the 1999 ACM International Conference on Supporting Group Work, 1999) Duecker, Marita; Gutkauf, Bernd; Thies, Stefanie
    Critiquing systems, a special kind of knowledge-based systems, can be seen as a personal assistant helping to reflect on a particular design and to improve it. They have successfully demonstrated their capability to aid users during design tasks. Critiquing systems make knowledge and expertise of different domain experts available to end users of authoring tools. Unfortunately it is a quite demanding and time consuming task to get the expertise of different distributed domain experts into such a system and to maintain it. That might explain why many critiquing systems only exist as prototypical implementations. We propose a collaborative development environment for supporting domain experts in constructing design-oriented critiquing systems. Our approach intends to support rapid prototyping, establishment and maintenance of critiquing systems. Especially domain experts not familiar with programming shall be enabled to participate in this process. We expect to improve and to ensure the knowledge base's quality by supporting information exchange and negotiation processes between domain experts.