WORKSPACE AWARENESS IN REAL-TIME DISTRIBUTED GROUPWARE
The rich person-to-person interaction afforded by shared physical workspaces allows people to maintain up-to-the minute knowledge and about others' interaction with the workspace. This knowledge is workspace awareness, part of the glue that allows groups to collaborate effectively. In real-time groupware systems that provide a shared virtual workspace, the possibilities for interaction are impoverished when compared with physical workspaces, partly because support for workspace awareness has not generally been a priority in groupware design. In this paper, we present the concept of workspace awareness as one key to supporting the richness evident in face-to-face interaction. We construct a conceptual framework that describes the elements and mechanisms of workspace awareness, and then show several widgets that can be embedded in relaxed-WYSIWIS groupware systems to support the maintenance of workspace awareness.