Publication: Improving Recognition and Characterization in Groupware with Rich Embodiments

Embodiments are visual representations of people in a groupware system. Embodiments convey awareness information such as presence, location, and movement -- but they provide far less information than what is available from a real body in a face-to-face setting. As a result, it is often difficult to recognize and characterize other people in a groupware system without extensive communication. To address this problem, information-rich embodiments use ideas from multivariate information visualization to maximize the amount of information that is represented about a person. To investigate the feasibility of rich embodiment and their effects on group interaction, we carried out three studies. The first shows that users are able to recall and interpret a large set of variables that are graphically encoded on an embodiment. The second and third studies demonstrated rich embodiments in two groupware systems -- a multiplayer game and a drawing application -- and showed that the enhanced representations do improve recognition and characterization, and that they can enrich interaction in a variety of ways.

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Participants

Tad Stach
Queen's University
Carl Gutwin
University of Saskatchewan
David Pinelle
College of Medicine, University of Saskatchewan
Pourang Irani

Projects

Rich User Embodiment in Groupware
Embodiments are virtual personifications of the user in real-time distributed groupware. Many embodiments in groupware are simple abstract 2D representations such as avatars and telepointers.

Citation

Stach, T., Gutwin, C., Pinelle, D., Irani, P. 2007. Improving Recognition and Characterization in Groupware with Rich Embodiments. In Proceedings of the 2007 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2007), 11-20. CHI 2007 Honorable Mention Award.

BibTeX

@inproceedings {p11-stach,
author= {Tad Stach and Carl Gutwin and David Pinelle and Pourang Irani},
title= {Improving Recognition and Characterization in Groupware with Rich Embodiments},
booktitle= {Proceedings of the 2007 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2007)},
year= {2007},
pages= {11-20},
note= {CHI 2007 Honorable Mention Award}
}