A USABILITY STUDY OF AWARENESS WIDGETS IN A SHARED WORKSPACE GROUPWARE SYSTEM
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.