Publication: A Usability Study of Awareness Widgets in a Shared Workspace Groupware System

Workspace awareness is knowledge about others' interaction with a shared workspace. Groupware systems provide only limited information about other participants, often compromising workspace awareness. This paper describes a usability study of several widgets designed to help maintain awareness in a groupware workspace. These widgets include a miniature view, a radar view, a multiuser scrollbar, a glance function, and a "what you see is what I do" view. The study examined the widgets' information content, how easily people could interpret them, and whether they were useful or distracting. Observations, questionnaires, and interviews indicate that the miniature and radar displays are useful and valuable for tasks involving spatial manipulation of artifacts.

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Participants

Carl Gutwin
University of Saskatchewan
Mark Roseman
Saul Greenberg
University of Calgary

Citation

Gutwin, C., Roseman, M., Greenberg, S. 1996. A Usability Study of Awareness Widgets in a Shared Workspace Groupware System. In Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work, 258-267.

BibTeX

@inproceedings {usability-cscw,
author= {Carl Gutwin and Mark Roseman and Saul Greenberg},
title= {A Usability Study of Awareness Widgets in a Shared Workspace Groupware System},
booktitle= {Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work},
year= {1996},
pages= {258-267}
}