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authors Tang, J.C.
year 1991
title Findings from observational studies of collaborative work
source international Joumal of Man-Machine Studies, 34(2), 143-160
summary The work activity of small groups of three to four people was videotaped and analyzed in order to understand collaborative work and to guide the development of tools to support it. The software tools we currently have are often based on a single user model. Even those that are based on multiple user models define structures of interaction that restrict fluid collaboration. We need observe how people collaborate then build software that facilitates collaboration based on those observations, giving the users the tools" that are "naturally" defined in face-to-face interaction. In this experiment small groups of people were observed in a collaborative design task using a shared drawing space. Specific features of collaborative work activity that raise design implications for collaborative technology: 1. collaborators use hand gestures to uniquely communicate significant information 2. the process of creating and using drawings conveys much information not contained in the resulting drawings 3. the drawing space is an important resource for the group in mediating their collaboration 4. there is a fluent mix of activity in the drawing space 5. the spatial orientation among the collaborators and the drawing space has a role in structuring their activity
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