Application Areas Lecture 16 Date: 6th April
Overview of Lecture • Application areas: • CSCW • Ubiquitous Computing/Mobile Computing
CSCW • What is CSCW / Groupware? • The need for CSCW • Time/Space Matrix • Challenges for CSCW developers • Collaborative Virtual Environments (CVE’s)
CSCW - Groupware “Groupware is distinguished from normal software by the basic assumption it makes: groupware makes the user aware that he is part of a group, while most other software seeks to hide and protect users from each other ... Groupware ... is software that accentuates the multiple user environment, coordinating and orchestrating things so that users can “see” each other, yet do not conflict with each other.” Baecker (1995)
Groupware • Groupware can be classified in several ways: • by where and when the individual participants perform the cooperative work - summarised in a time/space matrix. • by the function of the system — e.g., collaborative design, group authoring, meeting support, etc. • by the structural support function of the software • computer-mediated communication — where direct communication between participants is supported. • meeting and decision support systems — where common understandings are captured. • shared applications and artefacts — where the participants’ interaction with shared work object (the artefacts of work) are supported.
Why is Groupware Becoming Important? • Form groups with common interests • Better customer service • Fewer meetings - cut down on travel costs, time and related costs • Integration of geographically disparate teams • Leveraging professional expertise • Facilitate group problem-solving
CSCW - Groupware “Computer-supported cooperative work or CSCW is computer-assisted coordinated activity carried out by groups of collaborating individuals.” Baecker (1995) • The unit of activity being investigated, is not defined by a single "user" interacting with a computer system. • Support for cooperative work arrangements, encompassing, but not limited to group and team support, is the focus of attention within CSCW.
The Need for CSCW • Much work in HCI focuses on the development of better interfaces between users and computer systems. • Emphasis has been on the individual user's model of the task, the actual behaviour of users, their errors, etc. • A core problem in HCI has been that the majority of studies to date take as their focus the individual user working on a computer system • The object of interest is no longer simply human-computer interaction (HCI), but rather human-computer-human-interaction (HCHI).
The Need for CSCW • The focus in CSCW is more on the nature of the work performed, and the role of computers in its support or disruption, than simply on the affordances offered by technologies of "communication". • There is a greater emphasis on field studies in specific work domains • Much interest has centered on more qualitative, interpretive, ethnographic studies of work practices in an effort to understand more fully the "artful practices" of ensembles of workers as they accomplish their work activities
The Need for CSCW CSCW vs. HCI: • Interaction among people, not between computers and people. • Simple extensions of single-user applications do not work! • We have to understand group processes. • Intuition does not work. We have to understand the working environment
Types of CSCW Primarily for communication • Electronic mail (email) Structured email — computer conferencing (Netnews, newsgroups, bulletin boards) messages organised by topic, and sometimes mediated by a convenor. Teleconferencing — the use of audio and video links. Joint problem solving • Collaborative writing or drawing. Group decision support systems (GDSS) — the electronic meeting room. Integrated systems • Where shared interpersonal communications spaces are integrated with shared task workspaces. References
The Time/Space Matrix The basic matrix: Same place Different place Face-to-face conversation Telephone Same time Different time Post-it note Letter
The Time/Space Matrix The CSCW matrix: One meeting site (same places) Multiple meeting sites (different places) • Face to Face Interactions • Public computer displays • Electronic meeting rooms • Group decision support systems • Remote Interactions • Shared view desktop conferencing systems • Desktop conferencing with collaborative editors • Video conferencing • Media spaces Synchronous communication (same time) Communication and Coordination Asynchronous conferencing bulletin boards Structured messaging systems Version control Meeting schedulers • OngoingTasks • Team rooms • Group displays • Shift work groupware • Project management Asynchronous communication (different time)
Asynchronous Groupware “Asynchronous groupware supports communication and problem solving among groups of individuals who contribute at different times, and typically also are geographically dispersed.” Baecker (1995)
Asynchronous Groupware • Electronic Mail • Computer Conferencing • Structured Messages • Agents
Asynchronous Groupware Electronic Mail • Organises access by name of recipient. • May be addressed to multiple receivers (broadcast email, mailing lists). • Problems with etiquette, spam, overabundance of email, difficulty locating information in huge database of conference messages.. • Issues of authority, control and influence.
Asynchronous Groupware Computer Conferencing • Organises access by topic (conferencing systems) or time (bulletin boards). Structured Messages • Provide users with better methods of organising, classifying, filtering, and managing messages. Agents • In intelligent messaging systems where tasks are delegated to autonomous software entities (agents).
Synchronous Groupware Assists a group of individuals in working together at the same time. • Desktop Conferencing Systems • System infrastructure • Electronic Meeting and Decision Rooms • Media Spaces
Synchronous Groupware Desktop Conferencing Systems • Workstation based applications for collaborative work at a number of desktops. • Involve screen-sharing where a central theme is WYSIWIS (What You See Is What I See). System infrastructure • For supporting and implementing desktop conferencing across workstations.
Synchronous Groupware Electronic Meeting and Decision Rooms • Such as group decision support systems. • May involve anonymous contribution and voting. • Physical environment of the room containing the workstation may be important. Media Spaces • Include computer-controlled audio-visual networks and virtual meeting environments to support synchronous problem solving by people in different locations. • Not only support an application in use, but give its users an awareness of who is around and how they can be reached.
Design Issues • Multiple users • Different kinds of conversation • Supporting co-ordination mechanisms • Supporting awareness • Support for innovation • Social protocols and organisational issues • Balance of control • Enabling customisation
CSCW and Groupware Context Grudin (1994)
Challenges for CSCW Developers GRUDIN’S 8 CHALLENGES • Challenge 1: The disparity between who does the work and who gets benefit • Problem: Costs and benefits from using groupware are often distributed unevenly. Principal beneficiaries are often the purchase decision makers/management; but others have to carry out bulk of work without clear motivation. • Examples: meeting scheduling, voice annotation. • Solution: create benefits for all group members during design stage.
Challenges for CSCW Developers • Challenge 2: Critical mass and prisoner’s dilemma problems • Problem: Groupware is only useful if most group member utilize it – more stringent requirement than for individual software. If individuals prefer lurking/freeloading, groupware the app will ultimately fail. • Solution: Build in use incentives, emphasize individual/group benefits (vague).
Challenges for CSCW Developers • Challenge 3: Social, political and motivational factors • Problem: Groupware has to fit into implicit framework of social group interaction. Not all processes can be represented explicitly without violating taboos. • Example: meeting scheduling • Solution: Don’t assume a completely rational work environment. Understand the subtleties of the target environment. Work with representative users.
Challenges for CSCW Developers • Challenge4: Exception handling in workgroups • Problem: Groupware has to adapt to/enable ad hoc problem solving and improvisation; post hoc rule-based systems are too rigid and brittle. In reality, decoupling of rules and actual work patterns is pervasive - allows for flexibility and localized judgment • Examples: the chocolate factory • Solution: Learn how work is really done.
Challenges for CSCW Developers • Challenge 5: Designing for infrequently used features • Problem: “To a hammer, everything looks like a nail”: group communication may be infrequent. • Solution: • Integrate group features with individual activity • Design should be unobtrusive yet accessible • Add groupware features to already existing applications (e.g., MS Office)
Challenges for CSCW Developers • Challenge 6: The underestimated difficulty of evaluating groupware • Problem: Group context introduces social, motivational, economic, political dynamics that are hard to measure. Lab situations and prototypes are ineffective. Because of a lack of definitive studies, the same mistakes are repeated over and over again. • Solution: Grudin doesn’t know.
Challenges for CSCW Developers • Challenge 7: The breakdown of intuitive decision-making • Problem: Developers cannot rely on their own individual informed intuition when group processes are concerned. Nor can any other resource inside the development environment help out. Too many applications target managers, neglecting to accommodate other users – resistance results. • Solution: Involve real users early on in the design process.
Challenges for CSCW Developers • Challenge 8: Managing acceptance, a new challenge for product developers • Problem: Most CSCW software is shrink-wrapped – developers are removed from system acceptance issues – needs to be overcome. • Solution: Learn form IS; cooperate with marketers; package software w/ consulting services (Lotus Notes)
Implementation Issues • Interoperability • Abuse • Security • Bandwidth • Overload • False expectations
Collaborative Virtual Environment • CVE’s allow their users to interact inside a virtual environment with each and virtual objects • Normally designed for synchronous work • Training applications are prominent, allowing users to practise teamwork in situations that maybe inaccessible or dangerous, or to enable distributed teams and tutors to train together.
Collaborative Virtual Environment A 3D collaborative virtual environment, CHIME, in which geographically dispersed students can meet together in study groups or to work on team projects.
Summary of Lecture • Computer-supported cooperative work or CSCW is computer-assisted coordinated activity carried out by groups of collaborating individuals • The need for CSCW • Time/Space Matrix & CSCW • Grudin’s 8 challenges for CSCW developers • Collaborative Virtual Environments (CVE’s) Summary
Terms of Reference • Benyon, D. et al (2005) Designing Interactive Systems • Bannon, L. (1992) Perspectives on CSCW: From HCI and CMC to CSCW • Grudin, J. (1994) CSCW: History and Focus • Grudin, J. (1994) Groupware and Social Dynamics: Eight Challenges for Developers • Baecker, R. M., et al (1995) Readings in Human-Computer Interaction: Towards the Year 2000 • Alan Dix et al (1993) Human Computer Interaction • Gupta, S. & Kaiser, G. (2004) A Virtual Environment for Collaborative Distance Learning With Video Synchronization References