Publication: Revealing Delay in Collaborative Environments

Delay is an unavoidable reality in collaborative environments. We propose an approach to dealing with delay in which 'decorators' are introduced into the interface. Decorators show the presence, magnitude and effects of delay so that participants can better understand its consequences and adopt their own natural coping strategies. Two experiments with different decorators show that this approach can significantly reduce errors in specific collaborative activities. We conclude that revealing delays is one way in which groupware can benefit from accepting and working with the reality of distributed systems, rather than trying to maintain the illusion of copresent interaction.




Carl Gutwin
University of Saskatchewan
Steve Benford
Jeff Dyck
University of Saskatchewan
Mike Fraser
Ivan Vaghi Chris Greenhalgh


Gutwin, C., Benford, S., Dyck, J., Fraser, M., Vaghi, I., Greenhalgh, C. 2004. Revealing Delay in Collaborative Environments. In Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems.


@inproceedings {revealing-chi04,
author= {Carl Gutwin and Steve Benford and Jeff Dyck and Mike Fraser and Ivan Vaghi and Chris Greenhalgh},
title= {Revealing Delay in Collaborative Environments},
booktitle= {Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems},
year= {2004}