Multiple Users’ Perspectives of Collaborative Activities in Complex Work

Speaker: Michael Muller , IBM Cambridge Research Lab

Date: Friday, March 10, 2006

Time: 1:30 PM to 2:30 PM

Refreshments: 1:15 PM

Public: Yes

Location: Patil Seminar Room (32-G449)

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Host: Rob Miller, MIT CSAIL

Contact: Rob Miller, x4-6028,

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Reminder Subject: TALK: Multiple Users' Perspectives of Collaborative Acti

Activity-centric collaboration involves shared work, structured in ways that facilitate both private and shared actions. This paper reports a participatory analysis of complex shared activities at nine sites, and provides details of multiple users' perspectives at each of four of those sites. We found strong design guidance for representing multiple types of concrete objects, rather than a single type of task item or other abstraction. Despite the highly collaborative nature of the work, informants reported a complex mix of shared and unshared objects and tasks. These patterns of selective sharing in shared activities help to inform conceptualizations of coordination and articulation, and suggest the need for local structures in environments to support end-users in co-constructing and co-conducting shared activities. We conclude with a brief re-analysis in terms of activity theory.

Speaker Bio:
Michael Muller works as a research scientist in the Collaborative User Experience (CUE) group of IBM Research, Cambridge MA USA. For the past several years, he has worked on user experience, architecture, and intellectual property issues in IBM's activity-centric collaboration projects, with colleagues at several IBM research and product organizations. Their work has led to the Activity Explorer features of the IBM Workplace product. Michael is an internationally recognized expert in participatory analysis and participatory design. He currently serves on the Human Systems Design committee of the National Academy of Sciences. CUE in Cambridge:

Mike Wu is a Computer Science doctoral student at the University of Toronto, specializing in the study of Human-Computer Interaction. His interests include Human-Computer Interaction, Cognitive Aids, Assistive Technologies, Computer-Supported Cooperative Work, Tabletop User Interfaces, Educational Games for Children. Mike is a Doctoral Fellow in the Health Care, Technology, and Place program, sponsored by the Canadian Institute of Health Research. Mike Wu:

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See other events that are part of the HCI Seminar Series Spring 2006.

Created by Linda L. Julien Email at Wednesday, June 19, 2013 at 6:22 AM.