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Design, Experiences and User Preferences for a
Web-based Awareness Tool.


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Portholes the Next Generation

Alison Lee and Andreas Girgensohn

We describe our experiences with the design, implementation, deployment and evaluation of a Portholes tool which provides group and collaboration awareness through the Web. The research objective was to explore as to how such a system would improve communication and facilitate a shared understanding among distributed development groups. During the deployment of our Portholes system,we conducted a naturalistic study by soliciting user feedback and evolving the system in response. Many of the initial reactions of potential users indicated that our system projected the wrong image so that we designed a new version that provided explicit cues about being in public and who is looking back to suggest a social rather than information interface. We implemented the new design as a Java applet and evaluated design choices with a preference study. Our experiences with di .erent Portholes versions and user reactions to them provide insights for designing awareness tools beyond Portholes systems. Our approach is for the studies to guide and to provide feedback for the design and technical development of our system.

Published: In International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, Special Issue on Awareness and WWW, 56(1), pp. 75-107, Academic Press, 2002.

Academic Press — Copyright 2002 by Academic Press. This material has been published in International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, 56(1) and 2002, pp. 75-107, the only definitive repository of the content that has been certified and accepted after peer review. Copyright and all rights therein are retained by Academic Press. This material may not be copied or reposted without explicit permission.


Last Modified on June 6, 2002 —   Alison Lee.