Publication: Heuristic Evaluation of Groupware Based on the Mechanics of Collaboration

Despite the increasing availability of groupware, most systems are awkward and not widely used. While there are many reasons for this, a significant problem is that groupware is difficult to evaluate. In particular, there are no discount usability evaluation methodologies that can discover problems specific to teamwork. In this paper, we describe how we adapted Nielsen's heuristic evaluation methodology, designed originally for single user applications, to help inspectors rapidly, cheaply effectively identify usability problems within groupware systems. Specifically, we take the 'mechanics of collaboration' framework and restate it as heuristics for the purposes of discovering problems in shared visual work surfaces for distance-separated groups.

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Participants

Kevin Baker Saul Greenberg
University of Calgary
Carl Gutwin
University of Saskatchewan

Projects

Evaluating Groupware Usability
Many organizations, particularly in the design and manufacturing sectors, are becoming increasingly distributed.

Citation

Baker, K., Greenberg, S., Gutwin, C. 2001. Heuristic Evaluation of Groupware Based on the Mechanics of Collaboration. In Proceedings of IFIP Conference on Engineering for Human-Computer Interaction.

BibTeX

@inproceedings {heuristic-ifip01,
author= {Kevin Baker and Saul Greenberg and Carl Gutwin},
title= {Heuristic Evaluation of Groupware Based on the Mechanics of Collaboration},
booktitle= {Proceedings of IFIP Conference on Engineering for Human-Computer Interaction},
year= {2001}
}