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Universal Access in the Information Society

, Volume 11, Issue 3, pp 259–271 | Cite as

Universal access to awareness information: using smart artefacts to mediate awareness in distributed teams

  • Carsten Röcker
Long Paper

Abstract

This paper presents a set of design recommendations for team awareness systems based on fundamental social and technical requirements. The work was motivated by recurring usability problems identified in evaluations of state-of-the-art awareness systems. Based on these findings, it is argued that the limited success of existing systems is mostly caused by conceptual shortcomings, which can be overcome by adhering to a set of design recommendations elaborated in this paper. To demonstrate the validity of this argumentation, the development and evaluation of an ambient awareness system is illustrated.

Keywords

Ambient intelligence Ubiquitous computing Awareness Informal communication Distributed teamwork 

Notes

Acknowledgments

A number of people have contributed to the work described in this paper and I would like to use this opportunity to express my sincere appreciation for the support I received. First of all, I want to express my gratitude to my mentor, Dr. Dr. Norbert A. Streitz, who lead the Ambient Agoras project and gave me the opportunity to work on the concepts and prototypes described in this paper. I feel extremely lucky to have worked under his guidance, and I am thankful for all the confidence he had in me, and for the freedom I had in my work. I would also like to thank all my former colleagues in the Ambient Agoras project. Especially, Thorsten Prante, Daniel van Alphen and Dr. Daniela A. Plewe (for their inspiring ‘Connecting-Remote-Teams’ scenario), Richard Stenzel (for providing the software for the Hello.Wall driver interface and the various sample applications) as well as Dr. Carsten Magerkurth (for developing the video-streaming application used in the field study). Special thanks are due to Daniel van Alphen for co-developing the Hello.Wall and View.Port artefacts, Sebastian Lex for the design of the Personal.Aura and Stefan Zink for his help on the Hello.Wall driver interface. And last but not least, I want to thank Maral Memisoglu for carrying out the experimental evaluation as well as Prof. Dr. Saadi Lahlou, Dr. Valery Nosulenko, Dr. Lena Samoylenko for conducting the field study.

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© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Human Technology Centre (HumTec)RWTH Aachen UniversityAachenGermany

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