A Field Study of Community Bar: (Mis)-matches between Theory and Practice

Romero, N., McEwan, G. and Greenberg, S. (2007)
A Field Study of Community Bar: (Mis)-matches between Theory and Practice. In Proc ACM Group 2007. (Sanibel Island, Florida, USA), ACM Press, pages 89-98, November 4-7. See also presentation. Earlier version as Report 2006-826-19, March.

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Abstract

Community Bar (CB) is groupware supporting informal awareness and casual interaction. CB’s design was derived from three sources: prior empirical research findings concerning informal awareness and casual interaction, a comprehensive sociological theory called the Locales Framework, and the Focus/Nimbus model of awareness. We conducted a field study of a group’s on-going CB use. We use its results to reflect upon the matches and mis-matches that occurred between the theoretical and actual usage behaviors anticipated by our design principles vs. those observed in our deployment. As a critique, this reflection is an important iterative step in recognizing flaws not just as usability problems, but as an incorrect translation of theory into design that can be re-analyzed from a theoretical perspective.

Bibtex entry

@INPROCEEDINGS { 2007-FieldStudyCB.Group,
CLASS = { CONFARTICLE },
AUTHOR = { Romero, N. and McEwan, G. and Greenberg, S. },
TITLE = { A Field Study of Community Bar: (Mis)-matches between Theory and Practice },
BOOKTITLE = { Proc ACM Group 2007 },
PAGES = { 89-98 },
YEAR = { 2007 },
MONTH = { November 4-7 },
PUBLISHER = { ACM Press },
ADDRESS = { Sanibel Island, Florida, USA },
NOTE = { See also presentation. Earlier version as Report 2006-826-19, March },
}