Advertisement

Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW)

, Volume 3, Issue 3–4, pp 379–404 | Cite as

Identification and use of guidelines for the design of computer supported collaborative writing tools

  • Steve Jones
Article

Abstract

As groupware and workflow technologies become widely accepted, it is important to identify and clarify best practice at all stages of the development of those systems. One approach to the promulgation of best practice is to develop clear and effective guidelines for application in system development.

This paper is primarily concerned with the identification of guidelines to drive the design and implementation of one class of groupware — collaborative writing systems. In particular, consideration is given to guidelines for systems which support groups of distributed collaborating authors working asynchronously.

Three relevant areas are investigated. First, social and integration issues of generic groupware are presented. Second, the design of existing collaborative writing tools is addressed. Third, models of both individual writers and collaborative writing tasks are discussed. Guidelines are drawn from each area.

The guidelines have been adopted in the design of MILO, a collaborative writing system. MILO is briefly described and the way in which the guidelines have been implemented in MILO is reviewed. In conclusion, insights gained from informal observations of MILO in use for both single and multiple author tasks are presented.

Key words

asynchronous distributed groupware collaborative writing writing models design guidelines 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Baecker, R.M., Nastos, D., Posner, I.T., and Mawby, K.L. (1993): The user-centred iterative design of collabortaive writing software. Ashlund, S., Mullet, K., Henderson, A., Hollnagel, E., and White, T. (eds),Human factors in computing systems. INTERCHI '93 conference procedings. ACM Press/Addison-Wesley, pp. 399–405.Google Scholar
  2. Beck, E.E. (1993): A survey of experiences of collaborative writing. Sharples, M. (ed),Computer supported collaborative writing. Springer-Verlag, pp. 87–112.Google Scholar
  3. Catlin, T., Bush, P., and Yankelovich, N. (1989): InterNote: extending a hypermedia framework to support annotative collaboration.Hypertext '89 Proceedings. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania November 1989. ACM Press, pp. 365–378.Google Scholar
  4. Chen, M. (1993):An exploratory study of merge functions for collaboration writing systems. M.Phil. thesis, University of Stirling, Stirling, Scotland.Google Scholar
  5. Cockburn, A., and Jones, S. (1994): Four principles for groupware design: a foundation for participative development. InOZCHI '94: conference of the computer human interaction special interest group of the egonomiics society of Australia.Google Scholar
  6. Cockburn, A.J.G. (1993):Groupware design: principles, prototypes, and systems. Ph.D. thesis, University of Stirling, Stirling, Scotland.Google Scholar
  7. Cockburn, A.J.G., and Jones, S.R.A. (1991):Four principles for groupware design: encouraging adoption and easing system use. Presentation at CSCW SIG Workshop on Implementation perspectives on CSCW design.Google Scholar
  8. Cockburn, A.J.G., and Thimbleby, H. (1991): A Reflexive Prespective of CSCW.SIGCHI Bulletin,23(2), 63–68.Google Scholar
  9. Collins, A., and Gentner, D. (1980): A framework for a cognitive theory of writing. Gregg, L.W., and Steinberg, E.R. (eds),Cognitive processes in writing. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, pp. 51–72.Google Scholar
  10. Couture, B., and Rymer, J. (1991): Discourse interaction between writer and supervisor: a primary collaboration in workplace writing. In: Lay, M.M. and Karis, W.M. (eds),Collaborative writing in industry: Investigations sin theory and practice. Beywood, Amityville, NY.Google Scholar
  11. Dykstra, E.A., and Carasik, R.P. (1991): Structures and support in cooperative environments: the Amsterdam Conversation Environment.International journal of man-machine studies,34, 419–434.Google Scholar
  12. Ede, L., and Lunsford, A. (1990):Singular texts/plural authors: perspectives on collaborative writing. Southern Illinois University Press, Carbondale.Google Scholar
  13. Ellis, C.A., Gibbs, S.J., and Rein, G.L. (1991):Groupware, some issues and experiences.Communications of the ACM,34(1), 38–58.Google Scholar
  14. Flower, L., and Hayes, J.R. (1981): Plans that guide the composing process. Frederiksen, C.K., and Dominic, J.F. (eds),Writing: the nature, development, and teaching of written communication. Volume 2 Writing: process, development and communication. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc, pp. 39–58.Google Scholar
  15. Flower, L.S., and Hayes, J.R. (1980): The dynamics of composing: making plans and juggling constraints. Gregg, L.W., and Steinberg, E.R. (eds),Cognitive processes in writing. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, pp. 31–50.Google Scholar
  16. Greenbaum, J. (1988): In search of cooperation: an historical analysis of work organization and management systems.Proceedings of the 2nd conference on computer supported cooperative work (CSCW '88). Portland, Oregon. September 1988, pp. 102–114.Google Scholar
  17. Grudin, J. (1988): Why CSCW applications fail: problems in the design and evaluation of organizational interfaces.Proceedings of the 2nd conference on computer supported cooperative work (CSCW '88), Portland, Oregon. September 1988, pp. 85–93.Google Scholar
  18. Haake, A., and Haake, J.M. (1993): Take cover: Exploiting version support in cooperative systems. Ashlund, S., Mullent, K., Henderson, A., Hollnagel, E., and White, T. (eds),Human factors in computing systems, interchi '93 conference proceedings. ACM Press/Addison-Wesley, pp. 406–413.Google Scholar
  19. Hartley, J. and Branthwaite, A. (1989): The psychologist as wordsmith: a questionaire study of writing strategies of productive British psychologists.Higher education,18, 423–452.Google Scholar
  20. Hayes, J.R., and Flower, L.S. (1980): Identifying the organization of writing processes. Gregg, L.W., and Steinberg, E.R. (eds),Cognitive processes in writing. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, pp. 3–30.Google Scholar
  21. Holt, P. (1989): Models of writing: a question of interaction. Williams, N., and Holt, P. (eds),Computers and writing: models and tools. Intellect, pp. 50–60.Google Scholar
  22. Jones, S. (1993): MILO: a computer based tool for (co)authoring structured documents. Sharples, M. (ed),Computer supported collaborative writing. Springer-Verlag, pp. 185–202.Google Scholar
  23. Jones, S. (1995):Easing the writing task: designing computer based systems to help authors. Ph.D. thesis, University of Stirling, Stirling, Scotland.Google Scholar
  24. Kiesler, S., Siegel, J., and McGuire, T.W. (1988): Social psychological aspects of computer-mediated communication. Grief, I (ed),Computer supported copperative work: A Book of readings. Morgan Kaufmann, pp. 657–682.Google Scholar
  25. Kraut, R., and Egido, C. (1988): Patterns of contact and communication in scientific research collaborations.Computer supported cooperative work: A book of readings. Morgan Kaufmann, pp. 1–12.Google Scholar
  26. Kraut, R., Galegher, J. and Egido, C. (1988): Relationships and tasks in scientific research collaborations. Greif, I. (ed),Computer supported cooperative work: A book of readings. Morgan Kaufmann, pp. 741–769.Google Scholar
  27. Lamport, L. (1986): Latex:a document preparation system. Addison-Wesley.Google Scholar
  28. Leland, M.D.P., Fish, R.S., and Kraut, R.E. (1988): Collaborative document production using Quilt.Proceedings of the 2nd conference on computer supported cooperative work (CSCW '88), Portland, Oregon, September 1988, pp. 206–215.Google Scholar
  29. Lutz, E., Kleist-Retzow, H., and Hoernig, K. (1990): MAFIA — an active mail-filter-agent for an intelligent document processing suport.ACM SIGOIS Bulletin,11(4), 16–32.Google Scholar
  30. Mackay, W.E. (1988): More than just a communication system: diversity in the use of electronic mail:Proceedings of the 2nd conference on Computer Supported Work (CSCW '88), Portland, Oregon. September 1988, pp. 344–353.Google Scholar
  31. Malm, P. (1994):The unOfficial Yellow Pages of CSCW.Google Scholar
  32. Malone, T.W., Grant, K.R., Lai, K-Y., Rao, R., and Rosenblatt, D. (1988): Semistructured messages are surprisingly useful for computer-supported coordination. Greif, I (ed),Computer supported cooperative work: A book of readings. Morgan Kaufman, pp. 311–331.Google Scholar
  33. Matsuhashi, A. (1987): Revising the plan and altering the text. Matsuhashi, A. (eds),Writing in real time, modelling production processes. Ablex, Norwood, New Jersey, pp. 197–223.Google Scholar
  34. Mayhew, D. (1992):Principles and guidelines in software user interface design. Prentice Hall.Google Scholar
  35. Miles, V.C., McCarthy, J.C., Dix, A.J., Harrison, M.D., and Mink, A.F. (1993): Reviewing designs for a synchronous-asynchronous group editing environment. Sharples, M. (ed),Computer supported collaborative writing. Springer-Verlag, pp. 137–160.Google Scholar
  36. Neuwirth, C., Kaufer, D., Chimera, R., and Gillespie, T. (1988) (March): The Notes program: a hypertext application for writing from source texts.Hypertext '87, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, November 13–15 1987, pp. 121–141.Google Scholar
  37. Neuwirth, C.M., Kaufer, D.S., Chandhock, R., and Morris, J.H. (1993): Issues in the design of computer support for co-authoring and commenting. Baecker, R.M. (ed),Readings in groupware and computer supported cooperative work: assisting human-human collaboration. Morgan Kaufmann, pp. 537–549.Google Scholar
  38. Nielsen, J. (1986): Online documentation and reader annotation.Proceedings of the 1st international conference on work with display units. Stockholm, Sweden, May 1986, pp. 12–15.Google Scholar
  39. Nold, E.W. (1981): Revising. Frederiksen, C.H., and Dominic, J.F. (eds),Writing: the nature, development, and teaching of written communication. Volume 2 Writing: process, development and communication. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc., pp. 67–79.Google Scholar
  40. Posner, I.R., and Baecker, R.M. (1993): How people write together.Readings in groupware and computer supported cooperative work: assisting human-human collaboration. Morgan Kaufmann, pp. 239–250.Google Scholar
  41. Scheifler, R.W., and Gettys, J. (1986): The X Window System.ACM transactions on graphics,5(2), 79–109.Google Scholar
  42. Sharples, M., and Pemberton, L. (1990): Starting from the writer: guidelines for the design of user-centred document processors.Computer assisted language learning,2, 37–57.Google Scholar
  43. Sharples, M., Goodlet, J., and Pemberton, L. (1989): Developing a writer's assistant. Williams, N., and Holt, P. (eds),Computers and writing: models and tools. Intellect, pp. 22–37.Google Scholar
  44. Sharples, M., Goodlet, J., Beck, E., Wood, C., Easterbrook, S., Plowman, L., and Evans, W. (1993): A framework for the study of computer supported collaborative wrting.In: Sharples, M. (ed),Computer supported collaborative writing. Springer-Verlag.Google Scholar
  45. Shipman III., F.M., Chaney, R.J., and Gorry, G.A. (1989): Distributed hypertext for collaborative research: the virtual notebook system. In:Hypertext '89 proceedings. Pittsburgh, Pennyslvania November 1989. ACM Press.Google Scholar
  46. Stefik, M., Bobrow, D.G., Foster, G., Lanning, S., and Tatar, D. (1987): WYSISIS revised: early experiences with multiuser interfaces.ACM transactions on office information systems,5(2), 147–167.Google Scholar
  47. Stefik, M., Foster, G., Bobrow, D.G., Kahn, K., Lanning, S., and Suchman, L. (1988): Beyond the chalkboard: computer-support for collaboration and problem solving in meetings. Greif, I (ed),Computer supported cooperative work: A book of readings. Morgan Kaufmann, pp. 335–366.Google Scholar
  48. Subramanyam, K. (1983): Bibliometric studies of research collaboration.Journal of information science,6(1), 33–38.Google Scholar
  49. Trigg, R.H. (1988): Guided tours and tabletops: tools for communicating in hypertext environment.Proceedings of the 2nd conference on computer supported cooperative work (CSCW '88). Portland, Regon. September 1988, pp. 216–226.Google Scholar
  50. Trigg, R.H., and Irish, P.M. (1988) (March): Hypertext habitats: experiences of writers in NoteCards.Hypertext '87, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, November 13–15 1987, pp. 89–108.Google Scholar
  51. Trigg, R.H., and Suchman, L.M. (1988):Collaborative writing in NoteCards. Paper delivered at Hypertext theory into practice, HyperText I. March 1988, University of Aberdeen, Scotland.Google Scholar
  52. Witten, I.H., Thimbleby, H.W., Coulouris, G., and Greenberg, S. (1991): Liveware: a new approach to sharing data in social networks.International journal of man-machine studies,34(3), 337–348.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Steve Jones
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Mathematical and Computer SciencesUniversity of Abertay DundeeDundeeScotland UK

Personalised recommendations