Huang-2007 - When Design Just Isn't Enough The...

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1 When Design Just Isn’t Enough: The Unanticipated Challenges of the Real World for Large Collaborative Displays Elaine M. Huang 1 , Elizabeth D. Mynatt 1 , Jay P. Trimble 2 1 Georgia Institute of Technology +1.404.385.1102 (tel) +1.404.894.3146 (fax) {elaine, [email protected] 2 NASA Ames Research Center +1.650.604.6060 (tel) [email protected] Abstract Large interactive displays for supporting workgroup collaboration comprise a growing area of ubiquitous computing research and many such systems have been designed and deployed in laboratory studies and research settings. Such displays face difficulties in real-world deployments, as they are often supplemental technologies as opposed to primary tools for work activities. In this work, we investigate the integration and uptake of the NASA MERBoards, shared interactive displays that were deployed to support science tasks in the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) missions. We examine the hurdles to adoption imposed specifically by the real-world circumstances of the deployment that were external to the design of the system, and explain how these concerns apply to the general deployment of shared ubicomp technologies in the real world. 1 Introduction Ubiquitous computing technologies are becoming a reality, with technology and interaction gradually pervading the work environment. Large, shared interactive displays are a particularly interesting area of study and development because of their ability to support collaboration in shared workspace and use, viewing, and
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2 interaction by multiple users simultaneously. These displays offer many affordances that make them suitable to group work, including visibility from a distance, a shared interactive work surface, and when networked, the ability to move content and artifacts from individual users’ machines to a shared space as tasks require. In our research, we investigate the use of one such system, the NASA MERBoard, which was created by designers and researchers at the NASA Ames Research Center for use by scientists and engineers working on the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) missions at NASA Jet Propulsion Labs. In this work, we specifically examine the hurdles and challenges to adoption and integration that the MERBoards faced as a result of their real-world deployment. Because of unexpected constraints imposed by the environment and situation of the deployment, the MERBoards met with difficulties that were external to their design, and often could not have been known or anticipated in advance by the designers. In a yearlong field study of the use of the MERBoard in the NASA MER missions, we gathered data through onsite and telephone semi-structured interviews with 18 MER scientists and members of the MERBoard design team, and also conducted brief observations of the MER mission environment at JPL. In this article, we unpack several of the challenges that affect the adoption and
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Huang-2007 - When Design Just Isn't Enough The...

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