Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1880/45975
Title: THE EFFECTS OF WORKSPACE AWARENESS SUPPORT ON THE USABILITY OF REAL-TIME DISTRIBUTED GROUPWARE
Authors: Gutwin, Carl
Greenberg, Saul
Keywords: Computer Science
Issue Date: 1-Oct-1998
Abstract: Real-time collaboration in current groupware workspace is often an awkward and clumsy process. We hypothesize that better support for workspace awareness - the understanding of who is in the workspace, where they are working, and what they are doing - can improve the usability of these shared computational workspaces. We conducted an experiment that compared people's performance on two versions of a groupware interface. The interfaces used workspace miniatures to provide different levels of support for workspace awareness. The basic miniature showed information only about the local user, and the enhanced miniature showed the location and activity of other people in the workspace as well. We examined five aspects of groupware usability: task completion times, communication efficiency, the participants' perceived effort, overall preference, and strategy use. In two of three task types tested, completion times were lower in the awareness-enhanced system, and in one task type, communication was more efficient. The additional awareness information also allowed people to use different and more effective strategies to complete the tasks. Participants greatly preferred the awareness-enhanced system. The study provides empirical evidence that support for workspace awareness improves the usability of groupware, and also uncovers some of the reasons underlying this improvement.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1880/45975
Appears in Collections:Greenberg, Saul

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