Publication: Design for Individuals, Design for Groups: Tradeoffs between power and workspace awareness

Users of synchronous groupware systems act both as individuals and as members of a group, and designers must try to support both roles. However, the requirements of individuals and groups often conflict, forcing designers to support one at the expense of the other. The tradeoff is particularly evident in the design of interaction techniques for shared workspaces. Individuals demand powerful and flexible means for interacting with the workspace and its artifacts, while groups require information about each other to maintain awareness. Although these conflicting requirements present real problems to designers, the tension can be reduced in some cases. We consider the tradeoff in three areas of groupware design: workspace navigation, artifact manipulation, and view representation. We show techniques such as multiple viewports, process feedthrough, action indicators, and view translations that support the needs of both individuals and groups.

Downloads

PDF

Participants

Carl Gutwin
University of Saskatchewan
Saul Greenberg
University of Calgary

Citation

Gutwin, C., Greenberg, S. 1998. Design for Individuals, Design for Groups: Tradeoffs between power and workspace awareness. In Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work, 207-216.

BibTeX

@inproceedings {design-for-groups,
author= {Carl Gutwin and Saul Greenberg},
title= {Design for Individuals, Design for Groups: Tradeoffs between power and workspace awareness},
booktitle= {Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work},
year= {1998},
pages= {207-216}
}