The Mechanics of Collaboration: Developing Low Cost Usability Evaluation Methods for Shared Workspaces

Gutwin, C. and Greenberg, S. (2000)
The Mechanics of Collaboration: Developing Low Cost Usability Evaluation Methods for Shared Workspaces. In IEEE 9th International Workshop on Enabling Technologies: Infrastructure for Collaborative Enterprises - WET-ICE'00. (held at NIST,Gaithersburg, MD USA),, June 14-16. Awarded "Best Paper" of the workshop.

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Abstract

We introduce a conceptual framework that articulates the mechanics of collaboration for shared-workspace groupware: the low level actions and interactions that must be carried out to complete a task in a shared manner. These include communication, coordination, planning, monitoring, assistance, and protection. The framework also includes three general measures of these mechanics: effectiveness, efficiency, and satisfaction. The underlying idea of the framework is that some usability problems in groupware systems are not inherently tied to the social context in which the system is used, but rather are a result of poor support for the basic activities of collaborative work in shared spaces. We believe that existing low-cost evaluation methods - heuristic evaluation, walkthroughs, user observations and questionnaires - can be modified to include this framework in a way that helps a groupware evaluator uncover these usability problems.

Bibtex entry

@INPROCEEDINGS { 2000-MechanicsCollaboraton.WetIce,
CLASS = { CONFARTICLE },
AUTHOR = { Gutwin, C. and Greenberg, S. },
TITLE = { The Mechanics of Collaboration: Developing Low Cost Usability Evaluation Methods for Shared Workspaces },
BOOKTITLE = { IEEE 9th International Workshop on Enabling Technologies: Infrastructure for Collaborative Enterprises - WET-ICE'00 },
YEAR = { 2000 },
MONTH = { June 14-16 },
ADDRESS = { held at NIST,Gaithersburg, MD USA },
DOI = { http://doi.ieeecomputersociety.org/10.1109/ENABL.2000.883711 },
NOTE = { Awarded "Best Paper" of the workshop },
}