Advertisement

Improving the Cost Structure of Sensemaking Tasks: Analysing User Concepts to Inform Information System Design

  • Simon Attfield
  • Ann Blandford
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 5726)

Abstract

In many everyday contexts people interact with information systems in order to make sense of a domain of interest. However, what this means and how it can best be supported are poorly understood. In particular, there has been little research on how to develop system representations that simplify naturally occurring sense making processes by matching people’s conceptualizations of the domain. In this paper we draw on Klein et al.’s data-frame theory and Russell at al’s notion of cost-structures in sensemaking to propose an approach to understanding sensemaking that supports reasoning about system requirements. The two key elements of the approach are the identification of the process and the transformational steps within that process that could benefit from support to reduce costs, and the identification of primary concepts which are cued by information in the context of a given sensemaking task and domain, and around which users integrate information to form a structured understanding. Our general principle is that by understanding a sensemaking transformation in terms of its source data and the integrating structures it creates, one is better able to anticipate the evolving information needs that it tends to invoke. We test this approach with a case study of fraud investigation performed by a team of lawyers and forensic accountants and consider how to support the elaboration of prototypical user-frames once they have been invoked.

Keywords

Sensemaking conceptual design fraud investigations 

References

  1. 1.
    Attfield, S., Fegan, S., Blandford, A.E.: Idea Generation and Material Consolidation: Tool Use and Intermediate Artefacts in Journalistic Writing. Int. J. of Cog. Tech. and Work (Online First Feburary 2008)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Bartlett, F.C.: Remembering: A Study in Experimental and Social Psychology. Camb. Univ. Press, England (1932)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Blandford, A., Green, T.R.G., Furniss, D., Makri, S.: Evaluating System Utility and Conceptual Fit Using CASSM. Int. J. of Hum.–Comp. St. 66, 393–409 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Cockayne, A., Wright, P.C., Fields, B.: Supporting Interaction Strategies Through the Externalization of Strategy Concepts. In: Sasse, M.A., Johnson, C. (eds.) Proceedings INTERACT 1999, pp. 582–588. IOP Press (1999)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Dervin, B.: An Overview of Sense-making Research: Concepts, Methods and Results. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Int. Communication Assoc. Dallas, TX (May 1983)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Faisal, S., Cairns, P., Blandford, A.E.: Developing User Requirements for Visualizations of Literature Knowledge Domains. In: Proc. of the 10th Int. Conf. on Information Visualisation, London, UK, July 5-7 (2006)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Gaizauskas, R., Wilks, Y.: Information Extraction: Beyond Document Retrieval. J. Doc. 54(1), 70–105 (1998)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Glaser, B., Strauss, A.: The Discovery of Grounded Theory: Strategies for Qualitative Research. Aldine, Chicago (1967)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Goffman, E.: Frame Analysis: An Essay on the Organizational Experience. Harper, NY (1974)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Johnson, J.C.: Selecting Ethnographic Informants. Sage, Newbury Park (1990)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Klein, G.: Sources of Power: How People Make Decisions. MIT Press, Cambridge (1998)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Klein, G., Phillips, J.K., Rall, E.L., Peluso, D.A.: A Data-frame Theory of Sensemaking. In: Expertise Out of Context: Proc. of the Sixth International Conf. on Naturalistic Decision Making, Pensacola Beach, Florida, May 15-17, 2003, pp. 113–155. Lawrence Erlbaum Assoc. Inc., US (2007)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Kuhlthau, C.C.: A Principle of Uncertainty for Information Seeking. J. Doc. 49(4), 39–55 (1993)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Pirolli, P., Card, S.: The Sensemaking Process and Leverage Points for Analyst Technology as Identified Through Cognitive Task Analysis. In: Proc. Int. Conf. on Intelligence Analysis, McLean, VA, May 2-3 (2005), https://analysis.mitre.org/proceedings/ (Accessed Feburary 11, 2008)
  15. 15.
    Qu, Y., Furnas, G.W.: Sources of Structure in Sensemaking. In: Proc. of the CHI 2005 Conf. on Hum. Factors in Comp. Sys (Extended Abstracts), Portland, OR, USA, pp. 1989–1992. ACM Press, New York (2005)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Russell, D.M., Stefik, M.J., Pirolli, P., Card, S.K.: The Cost Structure of Sensemaking. In: Proc. of the INTERACT 1993 and CHI 1993 Conf. on Hum. Factors in Comp. Sys., Amsterdam, The Netherlands, pp. 269–276. ACM Press, New York (1993)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Schank, R.C., Abelson, R.P.: Scripts, Plans Goals and Understanding: An Inquiry into Human Knowledge Structures. Lawrence Erlbaum Assoc., Mahwah (1977)zbMATHGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Schmidt, L.K.: Understanding Hermeneutics. Acumen, Stocksfield, UK (2006)Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Spence, R.: A Framework for Navigation. Int. J. of Hum.-Comp. St. 51, 919–945 (1999)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Starbuck, W.H., Milliken, F.J.: Executives’ Perceptual Filters: What They Notice and How they Make Sense. In: Hambrick (ed.) The Executive Effect: Concepts and Methods for Studying Top Managers, pp. 35–65. JAI Press, Greenwich (1988)Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Strauss, A., Corbin, J.: Basics of Qualitative Research: Techniques and Procedures for Developing Grounded Theory, 2nd edn. Sage, London (1998)Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Suchman, L.: Plans and Situated Actions: The problem of Human Machine Communication. Camb. Univ. Press, Cambridge (1987)Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Weick, K.: Sensemaking in Organisations. Sage, London (1995)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© IFIP International Federation for Information Processing 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Simon Attfield
    • 1
  • Ann Blandford
    • 1
  1. 1.UCL Interaction Centre, MPEB 8th floorUniversity College LondonLondonUK

Personalised recommendations