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Lightweight Collaboration. Lisa M. Smith Michelle Chang Pratik Dave CPSC 672 Topic 4 Presentation. lightweight “without much user involvement” [dourish and bly, 1992] lightweight communication impromptu quick/easy to initiate short/informal multiple/distinct occurrences

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lightweight collaboration

Lightweight Collaboration

Lisa M. Smith

Michelle Chang

Pratik Dave

CPSC 672 Topic 4 Presentation

lightweight collaboration2

“without much user involvement” [dourish and bly, 1992]

lightweight communication


quick/easy to initiate


multiple/distinct occurrences

lightweight interaction

two-way (dyadic)

example systems & issues


Montage 1994, Sunsoft

TeleNotes 1997, Lotus Development Corporation

distributed work groups

Portholes 1992, Xerox EuroPARC/PARC

multiple users

CWB 2002, Mitsubishi Electric Research Laboratories

Lightweight Collaboration
lightweight collaboration systems and issues

Montage [tang et al.]

hallway metaphor

lightweight audio/video glances

accessibility modes

do not disturb, locked, out of office, other

3-way support


similar to face-to-face or phone

provide awareness

TeleNotes [whittaker et al.]

presentation metaphor

stack of stickies per topic

Notes database

lightweight features

conversational threading, one-way drop, quick connection, context preservation and regeneration, shared objects


quicker to start, “quickfire” exchanges, personal reminding and notes for others

Lightweight Collaboration: systems and issues
lightweight collaboration systems and issues cont
distributed work groups

Portholes [dourish and bly]

joint management of distributed data space by cooperating servers

iterative design/development/use

broadcast mode

all users have access to all information


shared awareness

“sense of community”

multiple users

CWB: Collaborative Web Browsing [esenther]

multiple users synchronize views of web pages while talking on phone

“one-click collaboration”

shared pointer


‘casual collaboration’ between arbitrary users


avoids pre-collaboration and trust requirements

Lightweight Collaboration: systems and issues (cont.)

gives daily view of work environment

who’s around?

what activities are going on?

who’s talking to whom?

helps maintain relationships

informal interactions

spontaneous connections

development of shared cultures

co-located groups

distributed groups at multiple sites


how awareness information affects/supports collaborative work?

what awareness information is meaningful and how to provide it?

how to effectively present useful awareness information in user interface design?

further information/overview

see [liechti, 2000]

peripheral awareness
peripheral awareness

systems providing awareness information via software residing in user’s peripheral attention

how systems present information without requiring focus of attention

calm technology (Weiser and Brown)

“move easily from the periphery of our attention, to the center, and back”

Natalie Jeremijenko’s “Dangling String”

example system

Sideshow [cadiz et al, 2002] , Microsoft Research

internet or intranet information; screen real estate; launch point for accessible (further) information

tickets on side bar of primary display


“stay aware of important information without switching away from primary task”

Peripheral Awareness
situational awareness
situational awareness

also referred to as peripheral awareness

continually monitoring variety of inputs (auditory, visual, tactile), instantly shifting attention if required

safety or time critical systems


air traffic control ethnographic studies: role of paper flight strips

[mackay, 1999], University of Aarhus

this is a “honed skill”: passive and active

unobstrusively monitor evolving situation

process multiple threads

extract information as needed

off-duty team members “chatting”

students must gradually learn

Situational Awareness
situational awareness research
framework for cooperative problem solving

airline operations [mccoy et al.],


real-time information

background knowledge

cooperation (knowledge needed for decision-making)

shared understanding of local situations

interpersonal bonds (trust)


level of detail needed to maintain situational awareness varies on circumstances

safety or time critical systems, further information


see [kruse, 2000], University of Arizona

emergency service work (CAD)

see [pettersson et al., 2002], Sweden, Manchester Metropolitan University

Situational Awareness:research
mobile ad hoc collaboration10
Mobile Ad hoc Collaboration
  • Spans geographic separation and time
  • Challenges:
  • Poor Wireless bandwidth networks
  • Out of service area
  • Pre-defined group doesn’t exist
  • Creating an active seamless link
  • Other user already engaged or mobile device switched off
  • Mattias Esbjornsson and Mattias Ostergren

Mobility, Interactive Institute, Stockholm Sweden

  • Ad hoc collaboration among motorcyclists
  • HTTP peer to peer application
  • Share audio, images, HTML documents on a handheld device
  • Maintains profiles of motorcyclists in the vicinity
  • Mikael Wiberg, Umea University, Sweden
  • Seamless interaction in between mobile meetings
  • 3 components: Desktop, PDA, Radio

PDA : records meeting interactions, times, participants

Radio: finds names & emails of all participants in the vicinity

Desktop: allows user to sync and refine notes on office PC.

call kiosk
  • Thomas Rst, Patrick Brandmeier, Gerd Herzog, Elisabeth Andre, German Research Center for AI, Germany
  • Simulates the function of a tourist office
  • Information delivered as WML pages stored on server
  • Client downloads pages to mobile device
  • Richard Han, Veronique Perret, Mahmoud Naghshineh, IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center, NY
  • Form of collaborative web browsing
  • Different access privileges to different parts of the same web page
  • Creates partial views depending on user login
  • Uses a server-side XML metadata policy file
general issues with instant messaging

immediate context

less likelihood of misunderstandings

Can be used asynchronously

conversation at slower pace throughout day

flexible for globally/temporally distributed groups

Highly visible alerting mechanism

higher probability of response

reasonable deniability

stays on screen, low cost for response

Informal/Coordinate social activity

contact with family/friends

useful in scheduling alternate media contact

Awareness/Socially Translucent Interfaces

e.g. door with sign versus glass window

easier to conform to social conventions

awareness of availability serves as a cue for opportunistic interaction


ease of initial setup

ease of ongoing interaction

continual presence

swift exchanges

easy to locate colleagues/respond

Large-scale Problems to Adoption:

privacy issues

critical mass required

General Issues with Instant Messaging
problems with im chat communication
Problems with IM/Chat Communication
  • Lack of Recognition
  • Lack of Intention Indicators
  • Typing Inefficiency
  • Diminished effectiveness for slower typists
  • Lack of status information
  • Lack of context

From: “Alternative Interfaces for Chat” Vronay, Smith, and Drucker (UIST ’99)

  • IBM (CHI ’99)
    • Part of “Loops” project (“keep me in the loop”)
    • See level of participation - social cues
    • See history – cues from content
    • Social proxy – sense of audience and activity
flow chat
Flow Chat
  • Microsoft Research (UIST ’99)
  • Address lack of status and typing issues
  • User Interface issues (scrolling) provided less than stellar feedback
threaded chat
Threaded Chat
  • Microsoft Research (CSCW ’00)
  • Oriented toward collaborative decision making
  • User’s pleased with quality of decision, but interface issues (awareness of new messages) problematic
reach out
Reach Out
  • IBM Haifa (CSCW ’02)
  • Addresses issue of peer support
  • IT & Internet produce cultural obstacles to knowledge sharing
  • Newsgroups and mailing lists require active participation versus push technology
im in the workplace
IM in the Workplace
  • Adoption difficulties
    • Email and telephone responded to existing needs
    • Not a direct replacement for any existing tools
    • Most widely-publicized use teenagers gossipping
      • Seen as water-cooler talk
      • Kraut / Informal communications benefits
    • Studies show most messages pertinent to work
    • Studies show usefulness in distributed workplaces/groups
  • Responds to Rhythms of Work
    • Individual patterns of business vary across the day, location, day of week, etc.
    • Promotes social understanding across geographically distributed groups

Nicole Yankelovich (SUN)

John Tang (SUN)

Wendy Kellogg (IBM)

Thomas Erickson (IBM)

Bonnie Nardi (AT&T)

Steve Whittaker (AT&T)

Elizabeth Churchill


James “Bo” Begole (SUN)


Sara Bly (Sara Bly Consulting)