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, 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. Experimenter observations, subject 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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