Understanding and Designing for the Voluntary Adoption of Community Displays

Harry Brignull

Thesis submitted to The University of Sussex for the degree of Doctorate of Philosophy March 2005

Declaration
I hereby declare that this thesis has not been submitted, either in the same or different form, to this or any other university for a degree.

Harry Brignull

Contents
i ii iii 5 14 55 Acknowledgements Preface Abstract Chapter 1 Introduction Chapter 2 Background Chapter 3 Studying the social nature of a large display in a communal space Chapter 4 The adoption of the Opinionizer Community Display in a one-shot setting Chapter 5 Informing the design of Dynamo: a Community Display for on-going usage settings 132 145 Chapter 6 Preliminary observational study of an on-going setting Chapter 7 The adoption of the Dynamo Community Display in an on-going setting Chapter 8 Discussion Chapter 9 Conclusions and future work References Appendix 1 Interview questions used in Opinionizer study 2 Appendix 2 Materials used in the Dynamo study

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Acknowledgements
This thesis is dedicated to the memory of Mike Scaife, who sadly died in December 2001. Mike helped me become an HCI researcher, so his influence will stay with me for the rest of my life. Thanks Mike. Mike Scaife and Yvonne Rogers tutored me while I was an undergraduate, a Masters student, and supervised me during my PhD. Thank you both for all your support and inspiration. Without your guidance I would not be here today. Geraldine Fitzpatrick took on the tricky task of supervising me throughout my thesis write-up. Thank you for the amazing amount of effort you have put in, particularly those brain-bending sessions in front of the whiteboard. I must also thank the other people I collaborated with during the EPSRC funded Dynamo project. Shahram Izadi, my research colleague, spent a significant chunk of his life working closely with me on the project, and has become a great friend. My thanks also go to Tom Rodden, whose distinctive approach to motivation and management will not be forgotten. Many other people have helped me along their way with their kindness, advice and time: Jon Rimmer, Eric Harris, Sam Woolf, Paul Marshall, Jon Matthews, Rowanne Fleck, and everyone at the Interact lab; Rene and the AV team; the staff and students at Blatchington Mill; and of course the support staff here at Sussex University – Christian Catherham, Richard Grainger, Linda Thompson, Rita Stone, Celia McInnes, and everyone else. Finally, I would like to thank the most important people in my life – my parents, my sisters, my partner Mia, and her family. You’ve supported me emotionally, spiritually, financially and in every other possible way.

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Preface
Part of the work in these pages has also appeared in the various forms below, and was part of the EPSRC funded Dynamo project (GR/N01125). The papers below and the user-studies reported within them were the product of collaborative group work between myself and the other Dynamo project members: Shahram Izadi, Yvonne Rogers, Geraldine Fitzpatrick and Tom Rodden. My contributions to this collaborative work included the design and building of prototypes; the planning, design and running of user studies; and a substantial part of the analysis. However, it should be noted that the analysis and discussion carried out within this thesis is entirely my own work, and considerably extends that reported within the papers below.

Brignull, H., Izadi, S., Fitzpatrick, G., Rogers, Y., & Rodden, T. (2004). The introduction of a shared interactive surface into a communal space In Proceedings of the 2004 ACM conference on Computer supported cooperative work (pp. 49-58). Chicago, Illinois, USA ACM Press. Brignull, H., & Rogers, Y. (2003). Enticing People to Interact with Large Public Displays in Public Spaces. In Proceedings of Interact 2003 (pp. 17-24). Zurich, Switzerland. Izadi, S., Brignull, H., Rodden, T., Rogers, Y., & Underwood, M. (2003). Dynamo: a public interactive surface supporting the cooperative sharing and exchange of media In Proceedings of the 16th annual ACM symposium on User interface software and technology (pp. 159-168). Vancouver, Canada ACM Press. Rogers, Y., & Brignull, H. (2002). Subtle ice-breaking: encouraging socializing and interaction around a large public display. Paper presented at the Workshop on Public, Community and Situated Displays at Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW’02), New Orleans, USA. Rogers, Y., & Brignull, H. (2002). Designing dynamic interactive visualisations to support collaboration and cognition. Paper presented at the Information Visualisation '02, London. Rogers, Y., & Brignull, H. (2003). Computational offloading: Supporting distributed team working through visually augmenting verbal communication. Paper presented at the Cognitive Science Conference, Boston.

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Abstract
Community Displays are a new genre of large digital wall display system for the support of informal social interaction in communal spaces. Prior research shows that encouraging the initial voluntary adoption of Community Displays in situ can be difficult, and is currently not well understood. This problem is investigated in this thesis. A critical analysis of research studies is carried out, revealing two distinct categories of Community Display settings: “one shot’ and “on-going” usage. Three case studies are carried out, which investigate the similarities and differences between these settings in terms of Community Display usage and voluntary adoption. A combination of observational studies, laboratory studies and prototyping are employed. The first case study observes the use of a physically large display in a shared office by a team of locally mobile workers, and provides a grounding understanding of the situated use of large displays. The second case study involves the prototyping of a Community Display called “Opinionizer”, deployed in two observational studies in one-shot settings, both social gathering events. The third case study involves informing the design of “Dynamo”, a Community Display for on-going settings, and its subsequent study in an on-going setting: the common room of a local college. Findings relate to the spatial distribution and flow of interaction around a Community Display; and the corresponding progression of users’ understanding and adoption. The public availability of interaction with a Community Display is shown to be highly important since it allows observers to learn vicariously, by watching others. It is also shown to facilitate spontaneous social congregations in the vicinity of a Community Display, which is described as “the honey-pot effect”. Key differences between on-going and one-shot settings are described, and a number of recommendations are suggested for future Community Display designers to encourage the initial voluntary adoption of their systems.

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Chapter 1
Introduction

1.1 Introduction _________________________________________________ 5 1.2 Overview of Thesis ___________________________________________ 6
Chapter 2: Background ________________________________________________ 6 Chapter 3: Studying the social nature of a large display in a communal space. _____ 7 Chapter 4: The adoption of the Opinionizer Community Display in a one-shot usage setting ________________________________________________________ 8 Chapter 6: Preliminary observational study of an on-going usage setting _________ 10 Chapter 7: The adoption of the Dynamo Community Display in an on-going usage setting. _______________________________________________________ 11 Chapter 8: Discussion ________________________________________________ 12 Chapter 9: Conclusions and Future Work _________________________________ 13

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1.1 Introduction
This thesis investigates the problem space of designing Community Displays, a new genre of digital wall display system for the support of informal social interaction in communal spaces. An analysis of prior research reported in Chapter 2 shows that achieving initial voluntary adoption by a community is a crucial “first hurdle” that many systems fail on, even for those that are technically impressive and feature-rich. The contribution of this thesis is that it provides the beginnings of a lingua franca or framework for researchers and system designers, enabling them to better understand the interplay between the settings, the social behaviour, the voluntary adoption and the design issues that are at work in the design, use and appropriation of Community Displays. The key concepts put forward include: • The definition of “one shot” and “on-going” settings, which describe some important distinctions in the nature of social behaviour in different communal spaces, and the implications this has for the design of community displays. • “The honey pot effect” which describes the manner in which a Community Display can facilitate spontaneous social congregations in its vicinity, owing to the public availability of interaction around it. This also has implications for the process of vicarious learning by which community members oversee usage and learn about the system. • Thresholds of “attention” and “interaction” for first-time interactors in one-shot settings, and the implications these have for the design of Community Displays. • “Gradual buy-in”, “Levels of engagement”, and “entry points” into interaction, which describe the way in which community members in on-going settings gradually adopt and “appropriate” the Community Display system.

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This thesis is structured as follows: Chapter 2 provides the background to this research, detailing a literature review, an analysis of the problem-space, and the research questions. Following this, three case studies are reported, beginning with an initial grounding case study in Chapter 3, a main case study in chapter 4, and the largest case study is reported in Chapters 5, 6 and 7. Chapter 8 consists of the thesis discussion, and Chapter 9, the future work and conclusions. The rest of this chapter will provide a more detailed chapter-by-chapter overview of the thesis.

1.2 Overview of Thesis
Chapter 2: Background This chapter details the nature of communal spaces and Community Displays, relating them to literature and research in the area. It begins by introducing the problem of the voluntary adoption of technology: encouraging end-users to choose to use a tool of their own accord. It then specifies the scope of this thesis: studying voluntary adoption of Community Displays from the perspective of the situated interaction engaged in by small groups. This chapter begins by describing the nature of informal social interaction in communal spaces such as common rooms, conference foyers, and cafés. It is then explained how the nascent field of Community Display research aims to provide technological support for this area. Community Displays are defined as large publicly visible screens which offer facilities for situated interaction between people in a communal space. It is explained how prior research has shown large displays to have certain inherent social properties owing to their public availability: they offer information dissemination, awareness, a shared point of reference, and serendipity. Designers of Community Display systems aim to build and expand on these properties in an attempt to support informal social interaction. Some examples of current systems are classified and described.

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This leads into the specific problem addressed by this thesis: the situated voluntary adoption of Community Displays. Examples are given from the literature which demonstrate the existence of this problem, together with a heterogeneity in the nature of the deployment sites in which it has been observed. A critical analysis of the properties of these sites gives rise to a characterization of these sites into two kinds of setting: “one-shot” usage settings and “on-going” usage settings. Following this analysis, the thesis research questions are then put forward, followed by the approach and methodology.

Chapter 3: Studying the social nature of a large display in a communal space. This chapter details an initial investigation into the properties of large displays and their situated and social nature when used in a communal space. This research was carried out in the following manner: first, a twoweek long observational field study was carried out, looking at the use of large displays in a real-world communal space. Specifically, this was the shared office of a team of audio-visual technicians at a conference, with particular focus on their use of a large ‘pin and paper’ wall display to represent and manage their on-going work. Second, based on an analysis of the findings, a large display prototype called ‘Wall-Loader’ was developed. This was evaluated via a field evaluation on site. Analysis of the findings from this case study extends the understanding of the social nature of large displays when used by a group in a communal space. It introduces the concept of user “flow”, describing the pattern of how locally mobile, peripatetic members move though space; and also introduces the “honey-pot effect”, which describes the manner in which the public availability of interaction with the large display enabled passers-by to oversee and choose to join in, allowing group congregations to form spontaneously, without the need for any planning or coordination work.

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These findings are applied and refined in the following two case studies, where they provide a focus for the analysis of situated voluntary adoption of Community Displays.

Chapter 4: The adoption of the Opinionizer Community Display in a one-shot usage setting This chapter details the investigation of the nature of voluntary adoption of a Community Display called ‘Opinionizer’, in a one-shot usage type of communal space, specifically, social gathering events (parties). This work was carried out in the following manner: first, the Opinionizer prototype was designed, drawing upon findings from the previous case study and related work. Following this, two field studies were carried out, in which Opinionizer was deployed at two social gathering events, a book-launch party at a conference, and a postgraduate welcoming party at a university. In the analysis of the findings, the concepts of the “honey-pot effect” and “flow” are expanded upon for the one-shot usage setting. In the studies, the information shown on the Community Display offered a resource for conversation initiation within its vicinity, which, by virtue of its situatedness and public availability, enabled serendipitous opportunities for social interaction. The concept of flow is used to describe the movement of social interaction in relation to the Community Display. It was found to be facilitated by avoiding physical “bottlenecks”, and psychological “hurdles”, in the sense that the Community Display must help observers discover its functionality and entice them to “buy in” and interact with it. A model of interaction is also put forward. Specifically, this model describes two thresholds that people have to cross in the progression from simply being present in the space to interacting with the Community Display. The first threshold is described as the “threshold of attention”, which involves a user becoming aware of the display and deciding whether or not to learn more about it. The second threshold is described as the “threshold to interaction”, in which an observer decides whether or not to interact with the display.

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Factors found to deter adoption were found to be a fear of social awkwardness (feeling “on stage”) and the length of the queue, among others.

Chapter 5: Informing the design of Dynamo: a Community Display for on-going usage settings Dynamo, a novel Community Display system was developed as part of the EPSRC “Dynamo” project. This chapter details how its design was informed by the interpretation of the previous case study findings and related work into some “initial user-experience principles”, contributing to the development of Dynamo Version 1 (V1). One of the key suggestions was to make the Community Display’s resources openly accessible to all community members, since this seemed to facilitate uptake in the previous two case studies by making the interaction model simple and therefore easy to learn. However, findings from a lab study and field evaluation on Dynamo v1 question this design suggestion, and uncover a dilemma: while simplicity is clearly desirable to encourage adoption, the “open access” model can result in conflicts between users over the ownership of resources, such as display estate, windows and devices. Analysis showed that a means of managing temporary ownership of display estate needed to be provided for those users who required it. To address this, a real estate ownership management tool called “carving” was developed for Dynamo version 2 (V2), which, among other revised features, is reported in this chapter. The overall contribution of this chapter is the finding that in on-going usage settings where a Community Display is used intensively or repeatedly over an extended period of time, the display estate becomes a limited communal resource, which introduces management issues and conflicts between users, and without support is likely to hinder adoption and on-going use.

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Chapter 6: Preliminary observational study of an on-going usage setting

This chapter describes a 5 day long preliminary observational study of an on-going usage setting- the common room of a 6th form college. The aim of this study was to investigate its suitability as a potential deployment site, and to provide a grounding description of the community’s existing activities, practices and flow, in order to offer a point of comparison with the effects of Dynamo after it was deployed. To summarize the findings of this preliminary observational study, the common room was found to have many of the hallmarks of an “on-going” communal space. It was used by an established community and members were generally familiar with one another; the room was used on a daily basis by much of the community; and it was used predominantly for socializing. In general, the common room was observed to be a comfortable place in which people passed time and interacted with others for the purpose of enjoyment. A survey revealed the community members to carry an assortment of personal devices, and engage in a range of information sharing practices. Noticeboards and flyers were also widely used for asynchronous information dissemination. Together, these findings suggested a potential suitability of Dynamo for this setting.

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Chapter 7: The adoption of the Dynamo Community Display in an on-going usage setting. This chapter details a ten day long observational study of Dynamo V2 in the college common room. The findings showed that over the course of the study, the community progressed from initially treating it like a normal PC, to eventually developing a recognized set of practices, which are detailed in this chapter. As found in the previous case study, learning about the system tended to occur vicariously, and interaction in relation to the Community Display occurred at different levels of engagement, from peripheral overseeing through to direct interaction. However, in this setting, since user exposure to the system spanned a long duration, this did not manifest itself in the oneshot studies as two prominent thresholds that user needed to cross. Instead, it enabled many community members to learn about the system gradually while going about their other daily activities, through the employment of low engagement activities. Also, users were observed to engage with the system and each other in a wide array of different contingencies of use. For example, they would use it individually or in groups, with or without various kinds of help (e.g. “sideby-side support”, “back seat tutoring” or “over the shoulder learning”), with or without various kinds of devices, and so on. These different contingencies are defined as “entry points”, and it is suggested that they should be wide-ranging, to enable gradual buy-in and a wide user base; and that designers should monitor for closed entry points during evaluation, and endeavor to open them through iterative re-design.

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Chapter 8: Discussion This chapter takes stock from the findings of all the user studies carried out in this thesis, and incorporates them into a cohesive account of the way the Community Displays in one-shot and on-going settings studied were adopted and used, addressing each of the research questions and providing suggestions for the design of future Community Display systems. In summary, the characterisation of one-shot and on-going usage settings is shown to be meaningful and useful. The user studies corroborate the analysis of the literature put forward in Chapter 2, showing that the two settings have marked differences in their nature, which has a substantial effect on the situated user behaviour and voluntary adoption that occurs in them. As such, each setting demands a different kind of Community Display system. The concepts and interaction models put forward for the two settings are summarised and compared, drawing attention to the similarities and differences between the two. Finally, to demonstrate the value of the concepts and interaction models as analytical tools, they are applied in a post hoc analysis of user-studies from the Community Display literature.

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Chapter 9: Conclusions and Future Work This chapter reflects on the thesis research as a whole, details a number important avenues for future research in this area, and then concludes the thesis, summarizing its contributions. One of the important avenues suggested for future research in this area is the progression beyond the one-shot and on-going setting characterization. Through a literature review and an analysis of a number of hypothetical settings, some suggestions are made for other ways in which these settings vary beyond those investigated in this thesis. These include differences between “loose knit” and “close knit” communities; and the effect of “mixed settings” in which different communities with different needs use the same communal space together. Also, a proposal is made for future research in the field of Community Displays to place an emphasis on the importance of reporting voluntary adoption problems as well as successes, in order to help the field move forward and better understand the nature of voluntary adoption in a range of difference settings and on a range of different Community Display systems. The thesis concludes that the concepts and interaction models put forward provide the beginnings of a lingua franca for researchers and system designers, enabling them to better understand the setting, the social behaviour and the voluntary adoption that occurs in relation to Community Displays.

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Chapter 2
Background to this thesis

2.1 Introduction 2.2 Adoption: the key to the success of any technology 2.2 Informal Social Interaction in Communal Spaces 2.3 The social nature of large displays
2.3.1 Information Dissemination 2.3.2 Awareness 2.3.3 Shared Point of Reference functions 2.3.4 Serendipity functions

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25 26 29 30

2.4 Community Displays
2.4.1 Noticeboard service 2.4.2 Immediate Display and Exchange service 2.4.3 Passive Awareness services

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2.5 Voluntary Adoption of Community Displays
2.5.1 Voluntary Adoption in the ‘one-shot usage’ category 2.5.2 Voluntary Adoption in the ‘on-going’ usage category

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2.6 Research Questions 2.7 Approach
2.7.1 A Strategy for studying a young field 2.7.3 Informing design from observational studies

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2.1 Introduction
Figure 2.0 provides a visual overview of its scope of this thesis. Originating from an interest in Community Display systems, the problem of voluntary adoption is found to be an important problem in need of investigation. Therefore this research lies at the intersection of research on adoption, and research on Community Displays. Its motivation lies in the improvement Community Displays, with the aim to develop concepts and uncover pertinent issues for Community Display system designers, to help them develop systems that actually get used by their target communities.

Figure 2.0: Diagram showing scope, motivation and focus. This chapter will detail the research that underpins and motivates the thesis. It begins by introducing the problem of technology adoption and how it is a fundamental challenge for technologies that require voluntary uptake by end users. The focus of this thesis, situated voluntary adoption, is described. Next, the general problem space of this thesis is detailed: the support of informal social interaction in communal spaces. The nascent field of Community Display research is then introduced, and it is explained how these systems are intended to provide support within this problem-space.

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Some underpinning research is then detailed, describing the inherent social nature of physically large displays. This then leads into the specific problem-space of this thesis: the voluntary adoption of Community Display systems. The widespread nature of voluntary adoption problems is described, referencing a number user

studies from the Community Display literature. The diverse and varied nature of these studies is discussed. A critical analysis gives rise to six dimensions on which studies vary, and from these, two types of setting are characterized: “one-shot” and “on-going” usage. The differences of voluntary adoption problems between these two settings are described. This analysis gives rise to a set of research questions that this thesis aims to address. Finally, the methodological approach chosen to study these research questions is described.

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2.2 Adoption: the key to the success of any technology
“New technology intended to support cooperation often risks initial rejection” (Francik et al., 1991; p. 53) “Getting a new idea adopted, even when it has obvious advantages, is often very difficult.” (Rogers, 1962; p. 1) Adoption of technology by end users is key to its success: even the most brilliant and beneficial innovation is worth nothing if it does not get used. Many technologies suffer from delays in achieving adoption. For example, when Bell Co. attempted to introduce the telephone into America, it was delayed for years while consumers simply couldn’t fathom its potential usefulness (Aronson, 1968; Seely-Brown & Duguid, 2000). More recently, voicemail was reported to have taken approximately 10 years to achieve widespread adoption (Francik et al., 1991), while the fax machine took approximately 50 years (O’Brien, 1989). This shows that it is not just quality or usefulness that determines successful adoption: the above technologies were ignored for long periods of time, and only recently became widely used. Therefore, there are other factors at work beyond a technology’s usefulness. The many-faceted sociotechnical problem of achieving adoption is the topic of much discussion within CSCW (Computer Supported Collaborative Work) and its related fields (e.g. Grudin & Palen, 1995, Rogers, 1962). There are two kinds of adoption: “mandated adoption”, in which usage is prescribed as compulsory within an organization (e.g. due to contractual obligations from an employer, [Grudin & Palen, 1995]), and “voluntary adoption”, in which users decide to use a tool by virtue of their own judgment. It is also referred to as “discretionary adoption” (e.g. Grudin & Palen, 1995; Palen & Grudin, 2002). Voluntary adoption problems are historically well documented in CSCW. For example, Markus and Connolly (1990) found voluntary adoption of groupware tools sometimes failed, and that managerial mandate was often necessary for them to be adopted into a workplace culture. Unlike tools for individual use, voluntary adoption of tools for cooperation and communication give rise to social issues, of which

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the most well known is the problem of achieving “critical mass” (Ehrlich, 1987; as cited in Grudin, 1988). Also known as the “network effect” (Liebowitz & Margolis, 1998), it can be described as a person’s decision to use a tool being determined by whether other people they know also use it. Email, for example, would be of no value to a user if they knew no-one else who used it. Thus voluntary adoption depends not on the decisions of isolated individuals, but on the emergent effect of interactions between people in a community. Adoption can be explored from a number of different perspectives. For example, it can be considered from a marketplace perspective, in which case marketing, pricing, infrastructure and industrial standards play a large role in determining success (e.g. Liebowitz & Margolis, 1998). This is a primary concern of commercial enterprises. Adoption can also be considered in terms of its diffusion through the formal structure of an organization, which is a primary concern of organizational perspectives (e.g. Grudin, 1988. Orlikowski, 1992; Bannon & Kutti, 1996). Also, it can be considered in terms of a technology’s life-cycle and the temporal progress of user groups and their different needs (e.g. “early adopters” through to “laggards”, Norman, 1998; Rogers, 1968; Moore, 1991). This is primarily the concern of product designers and usability specialists. Another way in which adoption can be considered is the perspective taken within this thesis – the perspective of the “situated” social interaction between individuals that leads to community-wide adoption. The perspective of “situated action”, put forward by Suchman (1987), can be defined as follows:
“This ‘situated action’ perspective […] looks on the sequential organization of action as a moment-by-moment improvised affair, emerging in response to the circumstances of its production - physical circumstances, social circumstances, organizational circumstances, and so forth.” (Dourish, 2003; p.466)

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This perspective enables researchers to address questions about how users react to a system when they use it for the first time, how they then learn about the system and its features, how adoption takes place socially between immediate colleagues or friends, and what social roles it develops through use. To quote Bradner et al. (1999), “[U]nderstanding adoption requires careful examination of the interactions between technological features and the social context of use” (p. 139).

2.2 Informal Social Interaction in Communal Spaces
The focus of CSCW is to develop an understanding of collaborative work activities with a view to informing the design of computer technology to support them. The focus of this thesis is closely related yet different, since it looks specifically at informal social interaction, not work activities per se. It looks at this within a particular kind of social setting: communal spaces. This section will elaborate on these details. In this thesis, the term “Communal space” is used to describe a physical location that is shared between members of a local community. Communal spaces serve the function of offering a location for general-purpose informal and opportunistic social interaction between co-located people. They may be public places accessible by anyone, such as entertainment venues or cafés, or they may be privately owned and offer limited access, such as workplace cafeterias or school common rooms. They typically contain a number of shared resources or services that draw people to and through them. For example, they may offer food or drink facilities, tables and chairs, information resources, television, and so forth, which in many cases people may use how and when they please. A communal space may also be a thoroughfare to a number of other places (e.g. a foyer), so many of the people using the space may simply be passing through. This creates a rich potential for opportunistic and serendipitous interactions (Whyte, 1988; Kraut et al., 1993; Whittaker et al., 1994; Whittaker & Schwarz, 1999). It should be noted that spaces like workplace meeting rooms, although shared,

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are not “communal spaces” since usage in these settings is typically planned, scheduled, and there is little overlap or mixing between different people engaged in different activities in the same space. The nature of interaction in communal spaces is typically informal, which is believed by some to serve a community-building function (e.g. Whittaker et al., 1994). They are often comfortable places in which people pass time (Oldenburg, 1989), and interact with others for the purpose of enjoyment. Common language offers a number of different words to describe them, such as the French “rendezvous”, the American “hang-out”, the Greek “agora” and the Roman-derived “forum”. In research, there are also a number of different terms which refer to communal spaces, each being slightly different in their definition and purpose. One of the most well known is Oldenburg’s (1989) concept of “the third place”, which places a large emphasis on the role they take in supporting local community and encouraging sociability. Oldenburg (1989) characterizes places into three categories – first, second and third. The first place is the workplace, the second is the home, and the third is the “informal public meeting place”.
“For want of a suitable existing term, we introduce our own: the Third Place will hereafter be used to signify what we have called ‘the core settings of public life’. The Third Place is a generic designation for a great variety of public places that host the regular, voluntary, informal and happily anticipated gatherings of individuals beyond the realms of home and work. … [T]hey help create a sense of place and community, they provide numerous opportunities for serendipity, they are socially binding, they encourage sociability instead of isolation, and they enrich public life” (p. 16)

In many ways, “third place” is an ideal term to use to describe such locations, since it is well defined and widely used. However, Oldenburg adds to this definition some exclusive nuances. For example, Oldenburg states that they should not be in the workplace, that they should be “free to enter” and should offer “a balance of familiarity and anonymity” (Oldenburg, 1989). This excludes a number of potential places, such as

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educational establishments and members’ clubs as well as workplaces, and so offers an unnecessarily narrow view. It is for this reason that this thesis adopts the more general term “communal space”, which, although less widely used, is recognised by other researchers in the field (e.g. Churchill et al., 2004; Russell & Sue, 2001; Huang & Mynatt, 2003; Rogers & Rodden, 2003). Other related terms include “social condenser”, a term from architecture that describes places which serve socialising functions (e.g. Hughes, 1991); “transitional space”: which describes spaces that people move through but do not spend extended durations within (e.g. Sawhney, et al., 2000); and “interstitial space”, which describes spaces between architectural structures (Tschumi, 1994), as well as various others. Traditionally, communal spaces have received little specific technological support for the informal social interactions that take place there. With the increased awareness of the value of co-present, informal and community interaction, and the movement of research interest “away from the desktop” (Bellotti & Bly, 1996; Dix, et al., 1998), and towards “everyday” settings (Mynatt, 2004), communal spaces are among the new settings which are receiving a growth in attention. Other such settings include home environments (e.g. Abowd et al. 2002), shopping environments (e.g. Rudström & Höök, 2003), outdoor urban spaces (e.g. Brown & Chalmers, 2003) and community care environments (e.g. Cheverst et al., 2003). Large displays - from traditional cork pin-boards and whiteboards, to their high technology counterparts such as plasma or projected screens - are known to have a number of beneficial social properties. These known benefits, detailed in the following section, have helped give rise to Community Displays: a new genre of system for the support of informal social interaction in communal spaces. A Community Display can be defined as a large publicly-visible screen, such as a projected or plasma screen, which offers facilities for co-located interaction between people in a communal space. These systems vary in their nature and facilities, yet they are all united by the common goal of offering a display surface for visual information dissemination and conversational interaction. Community

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members are involved in selecting the material that is displayed, either actively, by explicitly putting material on the display, or passively, via sensors and system interpretation of user profiles (see Figure 2.2 on page 43 for some examples). Community displays are widely believed to have the potential to play a role in supporting community and enhancing “social capital”, which can be likened to a stock of altruism and friendly favours which community members develop and exchange with each other through ongoing social interaction (Grasso et al., 2003; McCarthy, 2003; Zhao & Stasco, 2002). However, the scope of this thesis is within the support of informal social interactions rather than the emergent effect on community as a whole, which is discussed in detail elsewhere (e.g. Resnick, 2002). Community Display systems are referred to by a variety of names. For example: “public displays” (Black et al., 2004), “situated displays”, “peripheral displays” (McCarthy et al., 2004), “ambient displays” (Mankoff & Dey, 2004; Grasso et al., 2004), “large format information appliances” (Russell & Sue, 2003), and “community noticeboards” (Churchill et al., 2004). Some of these terms are too general for the needs of this thesis – such as “public” or “situated” display, which refers to any large, fixed, publicly visible displays; or too narrow – such as “community noticeboard” – which refers to a particular set of features. The term “Community Display” is chosen for this thesis because it describes the type of technology fairly explicitly without emphasising any particular property or type. The field of Community Displays sits within a wider context of large interactive wall display systems, including Interactive Whiteboards (Pedersen et al., 1993; Mynatt et al., 1997; Elrod et al., 1992), Single Display Groupware (“SDG”, e.g. Foster & Stefik, 1986; Benford et al., 2000; Myers et al., 1998), and Roomware (e.g. Streitz et al., 1999; Johanson et al., 2002), among others. Much of the technology used in these is similar to that used in Community Displays, with the main difference being in the type of location and type of interaction they are intended to support. Unlike Community Displays, the above examples are used in dedicated rooms for

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planned meetings and work activities, and thus their analysis lies outside the scope of this thesis. The field of Community Displays is nascent, and much of its research has taken place during the course of this five year PhD research (2000-2005). The motivation to develop and study Community Displays may have partly emerged from the previously-mentioned research in other settings (e.g. interactive whiteboards in meeting rooms) and the increasing availability of the technology. However, aside from this technological motivation, over the past decade a body of evidence has emerged which shows that all large displays have an inherently social nature owing to their physically large sizes. This provides a sociological motivation to develop and study Community Displays. The following section will critically evaluate this research.

2.3 The social nature of large displays
Large displays can consist of any kind technology, from old and non digital, such as pin boards, and whiteboards, to cutting edge digital technology, such as projectors or plasma screens linked to touchscreens or wireless mice and keyboards. Within this thesis, the term “large display” is used to refer to vertically oriented displays rather than horizontal (e.g. tabletop) ones. Furthermore, the term “large” is not intended to refer to a specific measurement, but as a relative approximation of sizes above those normally used by individuals, e.g. larger than the average computer display or paper sheet. Digital large displays, owing to current technical constraints, are typically sized around 28-60 inches (measured diagonally). O'Neill et al. (2004) refer to large displays as offering a “public interaction space”, because they enable a large floor space within which people can notice, read, talk about and interact with the displayed information. This contrasts with small artefacts such as pocket diaries or mobile phones, which offer a “private interaction space”. Other researchers refer to large

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displays as being ‘publicly available’ (e.g. Heath and Luff, 1991; Robertson, 2002), allowing the information displayed to be used by multiple people in cooperative activities. This is a property which has been observed in many kinds of physical artefacts (e.g. Robertson, 2002; Hughes et al.,1992; Moran & Anderson, 1990; Suchman, 1987), but is considered to be particularly prominent in large displays owing to their size. Together with their situatedness, it is their physical size that gives large displays their special nature. An analysis of the literature on large displays was carried out, revealing them to have four main social properties, shown in figure 2.1, below.

Figure 2.1: Some known social properties of large displays

The following section will detail each social property with reference to studies and theory in contemporary research. It should be noted that they are deeply intertwined and as such are hard to tease apart into individual examples.

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2.3.1 Information Dissemination Anecdotally, we have all had experience with the use of large displays for information dissemination. Noticeboards, railway time-tables, road signs, billboard advertisements and graffiti are all examples, which take advantage of the size and positioning of the display to visually broadcast information to people in the vicinity. Bellotti and Rogers (1997) report an account of a manager in a newspaper publishing company constructing a large information display by painstakingly copying details each day from their group project management software system onto a whiteboard in a shared office, because it “provided an effective public reminder of what was urgent and needed doing that day” (p. 282). In a study of a team of programmers, Whittaker and Schwarz (1995) observed a similar scenario. Here, the programmers chose to use traditional pin-and-paper noticeboards in a communal space to plan and coordinate their programming projects, instead of the project management software assigned to them by their company. This was found to be not due to a lack of technical expertise in using the software, but in fact due to a preference for the noticeboards. In both cases, this effortful use of non-digital tools shows how much they valued the benefits of large displays over and above the desktop computer network and project management software. When interviewed, respondents in both studies generally stated that they felt digitally transmitted information (e.g. email or shared calendars) was transient and easier to lose, forget about, or overlook, whereas the physical board created a sense of realness. To quote Bellotti and Rogers: “When asked why she laboriously wrote up by hand information that could be readily accessed by everyone on the network, she replied that […] people had become desensitized to the many email reminders that such software applications provide” (p. 283). Similarly, Whittaker and Schwarz (1995) were told by respondents that the desktop digital representations seemed “dead on arrival” whereas “the board somehow seemed more real” (p.6). Thus the physicality and the social setting seemed to give the large displays more impact and credibility than their desktop digital counterparts.

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2.3.2 Awareness Awareness is something that pervades all aspects of human interaction – put simply, for a person to interact with something, they need to be aware of it. For this reason, awareness is intrinsically related to every property listed in this section. The topic of awareness has been much researched and discussed within CSCW and its related fields, but even so, it is still difficult to define and has received many attempted definitions and classifications. To quote Pedersen and Sokoler (1997) “awareness… is one of the most tricky and dangerous terms in psychology” (p. 52). Robertson (2002) draws attention to the “bewildering array” of awareness terminology:
“Awareness must be one of the most extensively qualified concepts in CSCW. […] Gutwin identified workspace, organisational, situation, informal, social and structural as qualifiers for awareness (p. 1). Pedersen and Sokoler (1997) distinguished between intentional and unintentional awareness (p. 53) and we have also seen synchronous awareness (Edwards and Mynatt, 1997), user awareness (Ramduny et al., 1997), activity awareness (Nomura, Hayashi, Hazama and Gudmundson, 1998; 1999), task-oriented awareness (Prinz, 1999), cross-application awareness (Fuchs, 1999) and presence awareness (Godefroid, Herbsleb, Jagadeesan and Li, 1999).” (p. 310)

Robertson goes on to explain that part of the reason for this “bewildering array” of awareness terminologies is because they derive from different philosophies and understandings of human perception and interaction which are embedded in the design of technologies. This in-depth discussion of awareness is placed outside the scope of this thesis. Like Pedersen and Sokoler (1997), this thesis takes a phenomenological approach, explaining awareness by describing its characteristics rather than attempting to describe how it works. They define awareness as “our ability to maintain and constantly update a sense of our social and physical context … [which we achieve in an] apparently effortless manner and without being aware that

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we do so” (p. 51). In CSCW, the concept of awareness is usually applied to awareness of other people, work activities, and the artefacts that are used. In co-operative activities, awareness allows people to understand what others are doing and thus to plan and coordinate their own actions (Bellotti & Dourish, 1993). Robinson (1993) describes the nature of a hotel key-rack: a large, centrally located and publicly-visible display located in a hotel foyer, consisting of an array of pigeon-holes. He states that, among other important functions, it provides an important awareness function for staff and guests: “Guests can leave and collect their keys, can see which other guests are in or out, and leave messages in the pigeonholes. […] Hotel staff use it to place bills […] etc. to be given out to guests. The presence of keys, or contents of pigeonholes, conveys information, and may be the subject of questions or discussion” (p. 190) This example shows how a large display can be well suited to fostering awareness owing to its inherent public availability. Field studies of large displays in workplaces often show them to be employed to represent an overview of the current state of affairs of the work activities and resources. The examples previously cited from Whittaker and Schwarz (1995), and Bellotti and Rogers (1997) apply here – as well as disseminating general notices, they provide awareness of the current state of affairs. To quote Bellotti and Rogers (1997), they employed the whiteboard to display current information, because due to “the multiplication of projects and people working on them, it had become very difficult to keep track of everything that was going on” (p. 282). In a study of hospital environments, Rajani & Perry (2000) find that a whiteboard used to represent patients and beds was “frequently looked at and amended … [and] acted as a resource for structuring work activity and informing members of the team of the status of the ward” (p. 2). In addition to large displays providing an awareness of the current state of affairs, another kind of awareness they provide is peripheral awareness. (Bly et al., 1993; Pedersen et al., 1997). Human attention and awareness spans

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more than that which we immediately attend to: we have the ability to perceive things peripherally (e.g. “out of the corner of your eye”) as well as focally. Research in vision psychology details the physiological and neurological basis for this (Pedersen et al., 1997). This peripheral awareness provides us with the ability to be aware of multiple things at the same time, and therefore to participate in multiple activities. In an analysis of case studies of a team of architects, and of workers in a financial dealing room, Luff and Jirotka (1998) found that people engaged in co-located interaction drew upon an array of interactional resources. These include shared artefacts, body movement, orientation, gesture and pointing, and are used both in focal and peripheral interactions. Specifically, people may say or do something for the benefit of others who may be in the midst of other activities and only watching “out of the corner of their eye”:
“Participants frequently adopt orientations which allow them to monitor, oversee and overhear the conduct of others. When they are engaged in seemingly individual activities, participants may be sensitive to the conduct of others, even designing those activities with respect to the activities of colleagues” (Luff & Jirotka, 1998; p. 254)

This peripheral awareness serves an important function in group tasks when people have to work closely and coordinate their activities to achieve their goal. For example, in a study of a team working in a London Underground line control room, Heath and Luff (1992) found that colleagues would coordinate their activities by doing things in a manner so that the other could either see or hear them do it. They refer to visual monitoring as “overseeing” and, auditory monitoring as “overhearing”. The following example refers to “the fixed line diagram”, a large display depicting the current location of trains on the track, and the “station monitors”, television screens showing CCTV coverage of each station. These are employed to provide awareness of the current state of affairs, a shared point of reference during discussion, and a peripheral awareness of other team members’ activities. In the example, the line controller had just attempted to call a

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driver on the radio, which the DIA (his colleague, the “Divisional Information Assistant”) notices:
“The DIA's looking [at the fixed line diagram] is motivated and driven by virtue of the Controller's attempt to call a driver, and the DIA scans the fixed line diagram in order to provide an account for the upcoming intervention. Moreover, the DIA, is not only able to overhear the Controller, and assume that they have mutual access to the same information displays, but is also able to discern, through peripherally monitoring the actions of his colleague, where the Controller might be looking and what he might have seen. The various information displays, and their use by particular individuals, is publicly visible and can be used as a resource in determining courses of action and for the mutual coordination of conduct.” (p. 9)

Since the large displays have a large interaction space, this enables people to be peripherally aware of them across a wide area – they provide a medium that people can employ to broadcast information to others. Also, colocatedness fosters peripheral awareness simply in the sense that people are able to see what their colleagues are physically doing. The role of peripheral awareness and peripheral participation in the adoption of Community Displays is something that is expanded on greatly within in Chapters 4, 7 and 8 and this thesis.

2.3.3 Shared Point of Reference functions The long history of blackboard, whiteboard and the recent popularity of the interactive whiteboard (e.g. Pedersen et al., 1993; Mynatt et al., 1999) suggests a genuine value of large displays for co-present cooperative group activities. The large public interaction space (O'Neill et al., 2004) provided by a large display allows multiple people to have a shared visual point of reference, augmenting their conversation. Various studies of users collaborating on a task found that having a shared visual artefact improves the quality of their communication (Fussell et al., 2000; Veinott et al.,

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1999). Research has found that a shared point of reference can help establish common ground and mutual knowledge, provide a means to monitor comprehension, and enable effective communication by allowing deixis, i.e. pointing or other physical references to the visual representation, rather than needing a full verbal description (Kraut et al., 2002). Jordan and Henderson (1995) make a similar point in their analysis of large displays:
“[Large Displays] often provide a crucial focal point for marshalling a group's attention. They also serve the important function of supporting the public availability of the information they display…” (p. 41)

They then go on to state that having a shared point of reference creates conversation opportunities:
“In industrial process control rooms, large public information displays often not only disseminate information but also provide the resources for making that information available for discussion. … [A]nomalies that become visible on large public displays tend to generate conversations and thereby draw multiple expertise into the process of explanation and resolution.” (p. 41)

Other studies have found related limitations with small displays. For example, Rodden et al. (2002) found that face-to-face interactions in travel agents are limited because the desktop monitor used by the agent is oriented away from the customer, preventing them from having a shared point of reference and reducing the effectiveness of their interaction.

2.3.4 Serendipity functions Providing a shared resource such as a large display in a communal space can attract people to use it and in doing so, bring them together. It is for this reason such spaces are sometimes called “social condensers” (e.g. Hughes, 1991) or “honey-pots” (Brignull and Rogers, 2003). Co-location creates

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opportunities for social interaction because people are more likely to bump into each other serendipitously (“by happy accident”). In a field study of a university library, Twidale et al. (1995) observe this happening:
“In the case of Lancaster University Library, the layout promotes informal social interaction by placing communal services (help desks, photocopying, etc.) around a large public space. […] [that creates] opportunities for spontaneous colocated synchronous collaboration. […] For example, a student printing search results found an uncollected printout and inquired whose it was – when the owner was identified he proceeded to use the results to discuss the CD-ROM system.” (p. 9)

Isaacs et al. (1996) observe that colleagues often meet at high traffic areas, where there are shared resources such as coffee machines or water coolers. Also, Perry et al. (1999) found, in a field study of the management office of a construction site, that large pin-and-paper displays showing project information served to encourage and support serendipitous interactions. Studies of serendipitous interactions in workplaces have revealed them to be short and frequent in nature, and do much to support work-related collaborative activities (Kraut et. Al., 1990; Kraut & Streeter, 1995; Whittaker, et. al, 1994). They are also believed to benefit information flow in an organization (Kraut et al., 1990), and help people learn and adopt the social conventions and procedures of a community (Suchman & Wynn, 1984). It has even been suggested that they may contribute to the well-being of the group (Isaacs, et al., 1997), although this is likely to be hard to critically evaluate. In summary, by drawing on prior research this section has detailed some social properties of large displays: information dissemination, awareness, a shared point of reference and serendipity. A large display offers these properties within its public interaction space, i.e. the large floor space within which people can see it. These social properties therefore show themselves to be highly important to Community Display design – they are the inherent properties that should be worked with and built upon. As the following

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section will show, these social properties have been exploited by designers of Community Display systems in varying extents and to various different ends. However, little is yet known about exactly how these properties interact when Community Displays are used in communal spaces, and what the implications are for voluntary adoption. As such, this presents itself as the first set of research questions for this thesis:
1. Understanding the phenomena of situated social behaviour around Community Displays a. What common phenomena of situated behaviour are observed across all the case studies? b. How are the social properties of a Community Display involved in these phenomena? c. How does this relate to the process of community adoption?

2.4 Community Displays
This section will provide an overview of the different kinds of services offered by Community Display systems. Community Displays are not easily categorised since many offer hybrid combinations of features. As reported in the following sections, an analysis of the Community Display literature was carried out, defining them as offering one or more type of “service”. These are categorised into three broad types: “noticeboard” services, “immediate display and exchange” services, and “passive awareness” services. 2.4.1 Noticeboard service Drawing inspiration from the real pin-and-paper noticeboards found in many communal spaces, this service primarily attempts to build upon the social property of “information dissemination” (see Section 2.4.1). This service offers a similar kind of functionality to traditional noticeboards, but instead for multimedia and web pages. Many of these services require posting of content to take place remotely. Many of them offer web

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interfaces, such as FXPal’s Plasma Poster (Churchill et al., 2003, Figure 2.2b); XRCE’s Community Wall, Intel’s GroupCast and Outcast, and Carnegie Mellon’s Messyboard (Fass et al., 2002; Figure 2.2f). Other methods of posting include email, e.g. Plasma Poster, Community Wall, and Apple NewsLens (Houde et al., 1998); SMS and MMS, such as SPAM, ECT (Greenhalgh et al., 2004), the Orange™ SMS board (Figure 2.2d), and Meshbox™ (Anderson, 2003); paper scanners , such as Community Wall’s usage of Xerox Dataglyph™ technology), and extensions of drag-and-drop on the Windows™ desktop (Greenberg & Rounding, 2001). Many of the systems automate the decisions about presentation by taking a time-sharing approach, displaying items one-at-time in a “rotating billboard” style, and removing items from the “pool” when they pass a certain age (e.g. two weeks, Churchill et al., 2003). These include FXPal’s Plasma Poster (Churchill et al, 2003), and the Apple NewsLens (Houde et al, 1998). The Speakeasy display divides the screen up into a simple chequerboard and uses this approach to display multiple items. Community Wall displays multiple items in a random arrangement on the screen “to give a more organic look and feel” (Grasso et al., 2003 p.267). Messyboard (Fass et al., 2002), on the other hand, puts presentation entirely in the hands of the end users, who position, size, and remove old items themselves, with no assistance from the system. Community Display systems currently under development that will offer noticeboard services include WebWall (Ferscha, et al., 2002), Community Pillar (Koch et al., 2004), and Fraunhofer IPSI’s “Hello.Wall” (Prante et al., 2004). The Opinionizer system (Brignull & Rogers, 2003) and the Dynamo System (Brignull et al, 2004), reported in this thesis, both offer noticeboard services. These will be discussed in detail in Chapters 5 and 6 respectively.

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2.4.2 Immediate Display and Exchange service The “immediate display and exchange” service is a Community Display service that caters for small co-present groups to spontaneously use the Community Display to show each other, exchange, and possibly work on media (e.g. annotate it or take notes). It primarily builds on the “shared point of reference” property of large displays (see Section 2.4.3). This service places emphasis on rapidity, ease of use, and minimising configuration problems in accessing or exchanging media. Examples include Blueboard (Russell, 2003) , the Speakeasy Public Display (Black et al., 2003), the Intel Personal Server situated display concept (Want et al., 2002), Dynamo (See Chapter 7) and, to an extent, Messyboard (Fass et al., 2002). An example of a Community Display which provides an immediate display and exchange service is Blueboard (Russell et al., 2002; as shown in Figure 2.2c, p. 43). A group of users can gather round Blueboard and log in simply by passing their ID badges in front of an RFID tag reader. This causes personal icons of their faces to be displayed down the right-hand side of the screen. Selecting each of these icons causes their personal resources to be made available – their calendar, web home page, and any other files they had previously made available on their web-space. Blueboard offers an annotation tool that allows users to sketch on top of any displayed media using the touch screen. Displayed media can be shared between the users by dragging and dropping the items onto their personal icons, which causes them to be emailed to the recipient. After an interaction is finished, all of the gathered media is automatically emailed to the person who started the session. The “immediate display and exchange” service may be provided in tandem with a noticeboard service, in a manner that allows users to walk up and “borrow” the display temporarily for the duration of an interaction. For example, Parc’s Speakeasy Public Display has a screen-saver mode in which items are shown on rotation from a collection of community-

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submitted media, called the “media soup”. Any user, however, can connect to the display via laptop or PDA, allowing them to take control of it. This enables them to control the current media on display (e.g. to browse a website), or take over the entire display with a copy of the screen of their personal device (cf. “VNC”, Richardson et al., 1998), allowing them to show their screen to a larger number of people. Some “immediate display and exchange” services explicitly attempt to support group interaction with the Community Display. For example, some use touchscreens which are thought to be more suited to group interaction because users can easily take turns with their fingers while standing around the display, compared to other input devices such as mice which need to be passed around (cf. Inkpen et al. 1999; Shu, 1992). Russell (2003) claims that users quickly adjusted to turn taking using the touchscreen on Blueboard without a serious impact on their activities. Synchronous multi-user systems such as Single Display Groupware (SDG) systems (e.g. Bederson et al. 1999) are believed to offer benefits to groups of users interacting together. For example, Benford et al. (2000) carried out a study on pairs of 5-7 year old school children, giving them a SDG drawing tool offering two mice, and comparing it against a normal single-user drawing tool with one mouse. Pairs using the SDG tool were noted to exhibit less frustration, less loss of motivation, and less domineering behaviour from the user holding the mouse; and engaged in a greater degree of collaboration compared to users of the single-user drawing tool. Although these findings were from studies of young children, they imply that SDG would also benefit adults in this way. However, synchronous multi-user systems require a substantial amount of additional programming effort, and as such are rare.

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2.4.3 Passive Awareness services Passive awareness services are intended to support community members’ awareness of each other’s interests and activities while requiring very little effort or interaction from the users. These services attempt to explicitly build on the awareness property of large displays (see Section 2.3.2). Unlike noticeboard services or immediate display and exchange services, users do not explicitly initiate an interaction or put up media themselves. Instead the passive awareness service will gather relevant content itself and display it with minimal explicit effort from the users. For example, the service might parse content from local web pages (Stasko & Zhao, 2002). Also, passive awareness services often detect the presence and identity of people in the vicinity of the Community Displays using sensor technology (e.g. computer vision or RFID tags), and then, using profiles of users’ interests, show media that may be relevant to them or that matches a shared interest of two or more parties, with the aim of facilitating conversation. For example, Stasko & Zhao’s (2002) “What’s Happening” Community Display collects images from the local web pages of community members and some other pre-specified sites (e.g. local weather and travel), and constructs collages from each page. These collages are then shown on rotation on the display, with the aim of providing users with information suited to a “short glance” as community members walk past. Participants in a user study of “What’s Happening” stated that the displayed information sometimes facilitated social interactions, encouraging people to discuss the images they saw, and some reported that it was a convenient and opportunistic way of finding out community information. Carter et al.’s (2002) “Iconic” and “Lexical” displays aim to “make shared interests visible in order to support conversation and help build relationships” (p.1). The system is intended to track users interactions with each other to detect relationships, and monitor the information they interact with (e.g. web pages) to detect their personal interests. Users’ presence is detected via infrared communication between their PDA’s (which they are

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required to carry) and a beacon on the public displays. “Friend of a friend” information about common interests and colleagues is then displayed in an abstract manner, either on the “Iconic” display, using abstract icons, or the “Lexical” display, using brief textual descriptions. However, initial user studies revealed problems with the design of their visual representations, giving users problems in making sense of the information. Intel’s “Autospeaker ID Proactive Display” (McCarthy et al., 2004) offers a basic passive awareness service – when a person moves into the vicinity of the display, their name, affiliation and photo is shown in a large size on the Community Display. This is carried out using RFID tags which were distributed to the community, and a tag reader attached to the display. Autospeaker ID was specifically developed for use in a conference hall, to be positioned next to the microphone at the front of the room used for audience questions at the end of each presentation. This gives the audience a greater awareness of who is asking a question, thus facilitating knowledge of other community members’ identities and helping provide context for future conversations. Intel’s “Ticket-to-Talk Proactive Display” (McCarthy et al., 2004) is another passive awareness tool, also for use at conferences, but instead is intended to facilitate conversations in the refreshments queue during breaks. In advance, while registering and picking up their RFID tag, each participant registers the URL of an image of something they would like to talk to people about at the conference (e.g. the cover of their recently published book or their favourite holiday destination). While standing in the queue, this is displayed along with their name, photo and affiliation, giving bystanders a topic of conversation to strike up with them, acting as an “icebreaker”. Intel’s Groupcast (McCarthy, 2003) is intended to “spark informal conversations” and help people who work in the same physical space to get to know each other and have greater awareness of any common ground they share, for example goals, interests or experiences. So for example, if Joe and Teresa walk into the vicinity of a Groupcast, it displays a “wine of the day” website. This may entice them to have a conversation about it, and discover

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that they both share a common interest in wine (information that had been previously gathered by the system at an earlier point in time). McCarthy claims that by learning a little more about each other, this makes them more likely to have conversations in the future (p. 287), which he suggests can promote “a sense of community” (p. 306) and “increase social capital” (p. 284). Other examples of Community Display system that offer similar passive awareness services include MIT’s “Aware Community Portal” (Sawhney et al., 2001), IBM’s Fishtank Community Display (Farrell, 2001). Other passive awareness services collect and aggregate demographic information about people in the vicinity, providing overview visualisations. Borovoy et al.’s Community Mirror (1998) draws information from meme tags, which are wearable badges with small displays which show textual memes (e.g. “Computing should be about insight, not numbers”) which community members can transmit to each other using buttons on their badges. This information is aggregated and visualised as graphs on the Community Mirror display, for example, bar graphs of the most popular memes, the users who interacted the most with others, and the flow of memes through a network. In a similar manner, the Intellibadge Community Display (Cox et al., 2003) aggregates information about delegates attending a conference, and associates this with live location information, allowing viewers to find out the most dominant interest profiles in different areas of the conference, helping them to decide which area of the conference to attend. In conclusion, this section has identified Community Displays as typically hybrid systems, overlapping with each other in some respects, while often very different in others. These features have been defined as three different types of service: “noticeboard”, “immediate display and exchange” and “passive awareness”.

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2.5 Voluntary Adoption of Community Displays
This section will critically evaluate current research relating to the voluntary adoption problems of Community Displays. In particular, it will draw attention to the diversity of these different studies, and propose some dimensions on which they differ. Community Display research systems have often been successful in supporting informal social interaction in communal spaces. For example, McCarthy et al. (2004) reported that in a field study of their “Proactive” Community Displays deployed at a conference, they experienced “some success in creating greater awareness and interaction opportunities within the conference community” (p. 9). They also reported that according to survey responses new members of the community reported that the system helped them learn new things about other conference attendees and interact with people they didn’t already know. Churchill et al. (2004) report that in a workplace field study of Plasma poster, it became an “…accepted publication and communication tool” (p.8), by which users often informally found out about information they would not otherwise have come across. Another successful example is the Intellibadge Community Display, which Cox et al. (2003) found in a field study at a conference that they sometimes created “a kind of cocktail party atmosphere where people gathered” and which “encouraged casual conversation” (p. 278). However, Community Displays have also widely suffered problems in achieving voluntary adoption in field studies. For example, Greenberg and Rounding (2001) found that with the Notification Collage Community Display, co-present usage rarely occurred, while remote usage via desktop computers flourished. Churchill et al. (2002) found that Plasma Poster users needed “constant encouragement and demonstration” (p. 6) to interact with their Community Display. Carter et al. (2002) found that potential users did not pay attention to their Iconic and Lexical Community Displays because

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they tended “not to perceive information on which they do not have reason to focus”, and that they should be “made aware of the benefits of such displays” to encourage use (p. 3). Agamanolis (2002) reported after studies of the MIT Human Connectedness Community Display prototypes, “Half the battle in designing an interactive situated or public display is designing how the display will invite that interaction”. Given the young age of the field, there is a great diversity in the research carried out on Community Displays –there is even little agreement on the name of the field. Furthermore, little has yet been done to categorize and understand the differences between the diverse items of research. For example, Intel’s Proactive Displays (McCarthy, 2004) were designed for and studied within a conference setting, Churchill et al.’s (2004) Plasma Poster was designed for and studied within workplace communal areas; and Borovoy et al.’s Community Mirror (1998) was designed for and studied within a social “party” event. Figure 2.2 overleaf shows photographs of six different Community Display field studies.

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Figure 2.2: Community Displays in a range of different communal spaces (a) McCarthy, 2004; (b) & (c) Churchill et al., 2003; (d) Orange™, 2002; (e) Russell, Drews & Sue, 2002; (f) Fass, et al., 2002

An initial inspection of each study shown above reveals them to have obvious differences, which upon further analysis, can be unpacked into a number of dimensions on which they vary. Firstly, they vary in terms of the type of communal space they are deployed in. Secondly, the communal space may vary in its permanence – some are temporary and are used only for a few hours while others are much more permanent. Thirdly, the community interconnectedness may vary – for example, it may be a “loose-

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knit” community, in which each member knows few of the other community members, or it may be “tight-knit” community, where they know many others. These terms are used by social network researchers to give a generalized description of the community interconnectedness (e.g. Wellman, 1996; Wellman, et al., 2002; Burt, 2000). Other similar descriptors are used by social network researchers, such as “sparse” or “dense” knit (e.g. Guiffe, 1999). Other notable dimensions include the activities normally carried out in the space, and the duration and frequency people normally spend there. Finally, the systems themselves will differ in terms of the services they offer, as described in section 2.4. These six dimensions are depicted in Figure 2.3, below.

Figure 2.3: Properties of Community Displays in Communal Spaces Based on these dimensions, a selection of fourteen Community Display field studies were analyzed and compared. These studies were selected on the basis that they were well reported. The analysis revealed a clustering of commonalities into two distinct types of Community Display settings, as shown in Tables 2.1 and 2.2 overleaf. These two types are referred to as “on-going usage” settings, and the “one shot usage” settings. As the following sections will detail, this conceptualization forms an important underpinning contribution of this thesis.

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Proactive Displays Reference Type of Communal Space Permanence of Communal Space Duration & frequency spent in proximity Activity normally carried out McCarthy, 2003

Intellibadge Public Display Cox et al., 2003

AgentSalon Sumi & Mase, 2001

Iconic & lexical Carter et al., 2002 Social event in workplace venue

Community Mirror Borovoy et al., 1998 Social Event in reception area

Community Wall Agostini et al., 2002 Naval Museum

Palimpsest Agamanolis, 2003 Local digital film and art festival

Conference Centre

3-4 days

Few hours A single visit to a social gathering for one hour Socialize Loose-knit: familiar strangers i.e. work colleagues who don’t know each other well Passive Awareness People tended to ignore the displays

Few hours A single visit to a social gathering for an afternoon Socialize Mixed: work colleagues (tightknit) and lab visitors (loose-knit) Passive Awareness None reported

Permanent Typically people visit one time only, duration probably approx 3 hrs Learn about naval history, interaction with exhibits. Very loose-knit: museum visitors unlikely to know each other outside immediate friends Noticeboard Usage was generally low

1 day Typically one time visit. duration probably approx 3 hrs Trying out exhibits, of which this was one. Loose-knit – festival attendees united by an interest in film and art. Noticeboard None reported

Conference Breaks: typically up to one 1 hour break and two shorter breaks.

Attending conference, socialising, getting refreshments

Community Interconnectedness

Generally loose knit: International community brought together for few days, a combination of established and nascent parts Noticeboard (among other services) None reported

System Services Adoption Issues

Passive Awareness None reported

Passive Awareness None reported

Table 2.1: Analysis of field studies in “one-shot” usage settings

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Apple NewsLens Reference Type of Communal Space Permanence of Communal Space Houde et al., 1998 Workplace coffee room

Community Wall Grasso, 2003 Workplace communal area

Plasma Poster Churchill et al., 2003 Workplace shared kitchen & other locations

Blueboard Russell & Sue, 2003 Workplace: coffee room & other locations Permanent

X-cast trio McCarthy et al., 2001. Workplace foyer area & corridors

Notification Collage Greenberg & Rounding, 2001 Research lab communal space

Community Wall (different location) Agostini et al., 2002 Town Square

Duration & frequency spent in proximity

A few short visits a day during breaks, occasional “passing through” to use shared resources in the space or simply as a thoroughfare.

Passed by momentarily many times during working day

A few minutes while passing through space to and from workstation area.

Not specified, probably consists mainly of short visits (e.g. 5-10 minutes) while passing through Passing through, shopping, socialising in cafes, etc. medium or close knit: an established village community Noticeboard

Activity normally carried out Community Interconnectedness System Services Noticeboard Usage dropped off after initial interest. Encouragement needed

Coffee Break, socializing, discussion Thoroughfare

Thoroughfare

Thoroughfare to lab space

Close knit: established, academic research groups Immediate Display and Exchange Noticeboard, Passive Awareness Co-present usage rarely occurred while remote usage flourished.

Noticeboard

Passive Awareness Initially, users needed constant encouragement and demonstration

Noticeboard

Adoption issues

None reported

None reported

None reported

None reported

Table 2.2: Analysis of field studies in “on-going” usage settings

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An analysis of tables 2.1 and 2.2 show a marked clustering on two of the dimensions: “permanence of communal space”, and “community

interconnectedness”. These give rise to the one-shot and on-going characterizations. To elaborate, table 2.1 shows the clustering within the “one shot” setting characterisation. All of the examples in this table are temporary events, such as conferences (McCarthy, 2003; Cox et al., 2003, Sumi & Mase, 2001), rather than permanent communal spaces, and are typically used by looseknit communities. As the examples show, users are exposed to the Community Display for only a short period – up to a few hours in total, before the event finishes. A common activity seen in the majority of the examples is socializing, which may complement other activities, such as viewing presentations or exhibits. Conversely, Table 2.2 shows the clustering within the “on-going” usage setting characterisation. A typical example in this table is a workplace common room or coffee area. All of the seven field studies listed share the properties of being a permanent of the communal space used by a tight-knit, long term community. The spaces are used regularly on a day-to-day basis by various community members, either momentarily passing through and using the shared resources, or spending regular periods there, (e.g. up to an hour), taking refreshment, relaxing and socializing (Houde et al., 1998; Grasso, 2003; Churchill et al., 2003, Russell and Sue, 2003; McCarthy et al., 2001; Greenberg & Rounding, 2001; Agostini et al., 2002). Essentially, the communal space is a part of normal daily community life, and the Community Display, if successful, becomes integrated into this. It should be stressed here that the two setting characterizations are not intended to be a mutually exclusive dichotomy, in which any real world example must lie in one or the other. Instead, these characterizations should be regarded as “landmarks” in a multi-dimensional landscape of types of communal space. This is depicted in Figure 2.4, below.

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Figure 2.4: The on-going and one-shot settings shown on two defining dimensions.

Therefore, when considering the nature of a communal space, the question should be “Is this more of a one-shot setting or more of an on-going setting?”, rather than “Which category does this fit into?”. Indeed, looking to the future, as research in this nascent field progresses, other important qualities and dimensions of communal spaces and the way they are used are likely to emerge. The following sections summarize the adoption problems reported in some of the studies listed in tables 2.1 and 2.2 above. It shows that the adoption problems have a marked difference in character across the two types of setting.

2.5.1 Voluntary Adoption in the “one-shot” usage category Carter et al.’s (2002) study on two Community Display systems (“Iconic” and “Lexical”) in a “social gathering” one-shot usage setting revealed that participants tended to ignore the information displayed, and instead carried on with their conversations. Carter et al. suggest that many of the

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participants did not realize what the Community Displays had to offer, nor that the displayed information could actually be a useful adjunct to their conversations. This example draws attention to the fact that participants need to know what a Community Display does before they can decide to benefit from its functionality, and if this is unclear, adoption is going to be hindered. The participants only had the duration of the social gathering to learn this and make the decision to use it, otherwise they would have missed their chance and may never have been exposed to the exact same Community Display again. McCarthy’s (2003) Proactive Displays (“Autospeaker ID” and “Ticket to Talk”, detailed in Section 2.4.3) were a successful pair of Community Displays for one-shot settings . Designed for and deployed at a conference, 201 out of 500 attendees registered to use the system. 94 responded to a survey, of which 64% stated that they considered the Proactive displays to have had a positive impact on the conference. In general, Community Displays for one shot settings tend to have simple, limited functionality that are designed to be suited to brief, one time interactions. For example, the functionality of the Proactive Displays is rather limited – as users get into range of a Proactive Display, it displays some information relating to them. A user cannot take control of a Proactive Display, as with an immediate-display-and-exchange service, nor can they post up any kind of material they like, as with a noticeboard service. Crucially, while this limits their utility, this simplicity may have made it easy for passers-by to comprehend. Also, to use an analogy with “disposable income”, conference delegates are likely to have only a small amount of “disposable time” available to them during the conference breaks to learn about the system and decide to register. Conference delegates may have found it easy to comprehend what the Proactive displays had to offer, and thus were able to quickly evaluate whether they wanted to be involved. However, McCarthy later mentions that much more could have been done to facilitate adoption of the

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Community Display systems. (McCarthy, Personal Communication, March 10 2005), which included making the community more aware of their existence and making registration easier and more rapid. Unlike the Proactive Displays, Community Wall offers a range of functionality, including the browsing of community-related web pages, and facilities for freehand annotation (Agostini et al., 2002). Community Wall was generally deployed and studied in on-going settings. However, in one field study, it was deployed in. a one-shot usage setting, specifically, a museum. Agostini et al. found that interaction with it was consistently low. It can be postulated that perhaps the system was too complicated for this setting and it may not have been clear enough to the passers-by how they would benefit from a short one-time interaction with it. In summary, voluntary adoption problems within one-shot usage scenarios relate to whether users can discover the functionality of Community Display, decide to “buy in” to it, and then try it out, all within the small window of “disposable time” they have available to them. Community Display systems for one shot settings tend to be simpler in functionality than their counterparts designed for on-going settings. However, little is yet known the specific nature of voluntary adoption in one shot settings, which raises the following research questions:
2a. How do people progress from complete naivety of a Community Display to participation in related social activities and direct interaction with it? How does usage spread through the community? What are the implications for design to improve adoption?

2b. 2c.

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2.5.2 Voluntary Adoption in the “on-going” usage category Voluntary adoption problems in the on-going usage scenario are different in nature. Rather than needing to achieve just a single interaction from passers by, the goal is to achieve repeat usage within an established community, and ultimately take on a familiar role in community life. Churchill et al. (2002) found, in an early study on Plasma Poster, that initially, users needed “constant encouragement and demonstration” (p.6). Achieving first time usage from community members is therefore still a crucial challenge in adoption in this category. Similarly, Grasso et al. (2003) found that Community Wall “met with initial scepticism and many people were not sure that it would be of any use” (p. 227). However, in this category of setting, the time frame is much longer, removing the urgency and shifting the focus to the longer term. In on-going usage communal spaces, there is an established community with existing practices and activities, into which the Community Display then needs to fit. For example, in a study of Notification Collage, Greenberg and Rounding (2001) found that usage of the large display was low, while usage of the desktop counterpart, which community members could access from their workstations, flourished. This finding raises a number of questions – did people normally spend time “hanging out” in the communal space before it was installed? Or was the existing norm of informal social interaction for them to sit at their desks and email each other, even if they were sitting in the same room? This contextual information about their prior practices would suggest the nature of the adoption problems, or conversely, could be used to inform an understanding of whether the setting is suitable, and what kind of Community Display system might be best. In these on-going usage scenarios, Community Displays can go on to become integrated into community life. In a 14-month study of Plasma Poster, Churchill et al. (2004) found that social norms started to emerge, which included the community specifying what they considered to be acceptable uses of the display. For example, when one user posted up an

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advertisement to sell their car, three people independently complained and asked to have it taken down, because it did not fit the accepted themes of community research interests or light-hearted humour. It also should be noted here that adoption problems may have been under reported in both categories – researchers may have worried that reporting this kind of information would make their system and field study “look like a failure”. It is plausible that they instead may have concentrated on reporting the positive aspects of uptake instead. Alternatively, they may simply not have considered it relevant to the analysis in their report. This critical analysis of the findings of Community Display field studies gives rise to a number of research questions. These are similar to those posed in the previous section, except here they refer to the specific nature of on-going usage settings.
3a. How does usage progress and adapt over time? 3b. How does adoption spread through the community? 3c. How does the community appropriate the Community Display and how does it become integrated into community life? 3d. What are the implications for design to improve adoption?

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2.6 Research Questions
The research questions posed for this thesis are summarized below:
1. Understanding the phenomena of situated social behaviour around Community Displays a. What common phenomena of situated behaviour are observed across all the case studies? b. How are the social properties of the Community Display involved in these phenomena? c. How does this relate to the process of community adoption? 2. Understanding adoption in one-shot settings a. How do people progress from complete naivety of a Community Display to participation in related social activities and direct interaction with it? b. How does usage spread through the community? c. What are the implications for design to improve adoption? 3. Understanding adoption in on-going settings. a. How does usage progress and adapt over time? b. How does adoption spread through the community? c. How does the community appropriate the Community Display and how does it become integrated into community life? d. What are the implications for design to improve adoption?

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2.7 Approach
This thesis aims to address its research questions by using a range of methods including ethnographically-informed observational studies, lab studies and the development and testing of prototypes in the field. These methods are utilized in a non-linear spiral design approach consisting of “analyze-create-evaluate” cycles (Boehm, B. 1988). This approach has been found to be most suitable in designing for “wicked” problems of this nature (Rittel & Webber, 1973; Fitzpatrick, 2003). This section will detail the approach taken. 2.7.1 A Strategy for studying a young field As detailed previously, the Community Displays field is very young. At the outset of this thesis research in 2000, there was very little published work on Community Displays, and in particular a scarcity of research investigating their nature in ecologically valid (real world) settings. Therefore study of this area can be classified as a “wicked problem” – one which is only understood progressively as solutions are developed (Fitzpatrick et al., 1996):
“A wicked problem is usually situated in the social realm, where ‘the aim is not to find the truth, but to improve some characteristics of the world where people live’ (Rittel and Webber, 1973; p. 167). A wicked problem can never be definitively formulated. In fact, the problem is only understood progressively as solutions are developed. As such, there are no right or wrong solutions, only better or worse ones. This is in contrast to tame problems – such as many engineering problems – that, however complex, can be specified, and for which optimal solutions are possible. […] The activities of understanding and designing are intertwined, and integral to both the definition and solution of the problem.” (p. 122)

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This research was therefore carried out in an iterative manner, drawing on the spiral design approach (Boehm, 1988), which defines the process as cycles of analysis, creation and evaluation, progressively leading to improved understanding and design. The critical analysis of contemporary research carried out in the previous sections of this chapter raised some questions about large displays in communal spaces in general, uncovered two common types of Community Display settings, “on-going” and “oneshot”, and pointed towards some key differences between the two in terms of the issues they face in voluntary adoption. These were therefore selected to be investigated in a series of case studies. This approach is called the “collective case study approach” (Stake, 2000), and it advocates the use of multiple, heterogeneous cases, because they can lead to “better understanding, perhaps better theorizing, about a still larger collection of cases” (Stake, 2000; p. 437). Proponents of this approach also suggest it can be used to suggest complexities for future investigations, and help establish the limits of generalizability between the cases (Stake, 1994).

2.7.3 Informing design from observational studies Part of the motivation to study the voluntary adoption of Community Displays in this thesis is to develop concepts and uncover pertinent issues for designers of future Community Display systems, with the goal of informing and improving design. However, crossing the “gap” between observational study and system design is known to be fraught with problems (e.g. Hughes et al., 1992; Plowman, et al., 1995). Specifically, there is a risk in over-interpreting findings and unnecessarily prescribing a certain form of design solution. Luff and Jirotka (1998) detail this:
“…identifying requirements from such studies is problematic. The demands on an analyst in trying to warrant a particular analyses of interaction are quite different to those of a designer or requirement engineer aiming to develop some novel technology (Jirotka and Wallen, forthcoming). Indeed, it is uncertain whether strong warrants can be given for developed requirements, or whether such a commitment is

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appropriate. Any requirements identified would better be considered as provisional, being part of an iterative design process, needing testing, prototyping and experimentation with various options and trade-offs identified by the analysis.” (p. 264, emphasis added)

Following this point, implications for design in this thesis are specified as “design suggestions” rather than “recommendations”, and are intended to be evaluated in future research, rather than to be considered the final word in design for Community Displays. This approach ties back into

conceptualising the design of Community Displays as a “wicked problem”, in which there is no single solution, and in which “the problem is only understood progressively as solutions are developed” (Fitzpatrick et al., 1996, p. 122)

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Chapter 3
Studying the social nature of a large display in a communal space.

3.1 Introduction__________________________________________ 56 3.2 The Field Study _______________________________________ 57
3.2.1 Method ________________________________________________ 57 3.2.2 Observations ____________________________________________ 57 3.2.3 Analysis of study findings __________________________________ 66

3.3 Prototyping and evaluating a digital large display __________ 68
3.3.1 Wall-loader prototype system description ______________________ 69 3.3.2 Wall-loader field evaluation _________________________________ 72

3.4 Discussion __________________________________________ 74

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3.1 Introduction
The case study reported in this chapter involves an initial investigation into the social properties of a large display when used in a communal space. Its contribution is to provide an underpinning understanding of the situated social interaction that takes place in its public interaction space, before the specific issue of the voluntary adoption of Community Displays is investigated in the following chapters. It would have been desirable to have begun this thesis research with a field study on an actual Community Display system in an authentic real world setting. However, at the time of this research – early 2001 –the field was nascent, and these systems were not readily available. For example, the first conference workshop directly related to Community Displays was not held until November 2002 (O’Hara et al., 2002). Therefore, it was decided that grounding observational study would be carried out on another kind of physically large display in a similar communal space setting, as this would still serve to help develop understanding in the general domain. As detailed in the previous chapter, prior research has investigated and revealed some important properties of physically large displays – they support information dissemination, awareness, serendipity, and provide a shared point of reference for copresent group interactions. However, there is still much more to be understood about how large displays are used in communal spaces by locally mobile communities. Prior observation of a team of audio-visual (AV) technicians at a conference revealed that they used a large pin-and-paper display to support their group work in a communal space – a combined office and store room which they regularly traveled through on foot while going about their daily work. They used their large display intensively, and therefore in a five day field study a great deal of usage could be observed, making it a suitable candidate for observational study. This setting can effectively be described as an “ongoing usage” setting, as defined in the previous chapter: large amounts of time was spent in the communal space, and the majority of the team made

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up an established, long term community who had been working together for at least a year. This chapter details an observational study of the AV team’s use of their large display, the prototyping of a digital alternative called “Wall-loader”, and a one-day field evaluation of this tool.

3.2 The Field Study

3.2.1 Method The study was carried out using a combination of ethnographicallyinformed observation, and contextual enquiry (cf. Agar, 1980; Holtzblatt & Beyer, 1996). The audio-visual team was observed for five days, three days being the actual conference, plus a day on either side where they undertook administrative and transportation work. The team was shadowed for this duration. Each day, team members were followed around and assisted in their work. During this time they were observed and interviewed informally. Interviews consisted of an on-going contextualized dialogue between the participants and the interviewer, referring to their work practices and artefacts. The method of data capture was primarily written notes and recorded audio, using a dictaphone. Two-way radio conversations were also recorded by connecting a radio directly to the dictaphone.

3.2.2 Observations - The study setting CHI’01 (Computer-Human Interaction, 2001) was a conference held at the Washington State Convention and Trade Centre in Seattle. Approximately 100 sessions were run over three days. The time table consisted of four 1.5 hours sessions a day, with a one hour break between each session. Nine parallel sessions were held at a time.

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A team of twelve AV technicians from a company called “Audio-Visual Headquarters” were hired to deal with the delivery, installation and technical support of AV equipment for each session. This equipment included data projectors, projector screens, sound systems, mixers, microphones, video cameras, teleconferencing equipment, flip charts, and all the cables, splitters, cassettes and battery packs required for these items to function properly.

- The team The AV team consisted of 12 people. There was one team manager, who was in charge of booking the equipment and staff for each event. He was also the team’s official point-of-contact at the conference, and in charge of making any financial decisions. The remaining 11 team members were technical support administrators. They were in charge of setting up the equipment and offering technical support to help out with problems as they occurred. The majority of the team knew each other very well, and had been working together for at least one year. Three of the team members were temporary employees, hired locally for this conference. Each team member carried a two-way radio for remote communication.

- The communal space The team had a large room in the conference centre which comprised their shared office and storage space. The photographs in Figure 3.1 depict the team’s resources: (a) shows the flight-cases containing their equipment – data projectors, over-head projectors, projection screens, amplifiers, speakers, video cameras and other miscellaneous equipment; (b) shows a large trolley, located in the rear middle of the room, on which the chargers for their two-way radios were located. Inside the trolley drawers was a wide assortment of tools, cables, and connectors; (c) depicts the office area, mainly used by the manager. Here they had a land-line telephone, laptop, printer and internet access; (d) depicts the large paper wall display used by

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the team in scheduling equipment and technical support, which consisted of a series of columns of A4 printed time-tables pinned to the walls. In front of the large display was a shelf area on which various coloured pens and highlighters were stored.

(a) Equipment storage

(b) 2 way radios and tools

(c) office area

(d) large display

Figure 3.1: Resources in the team’s communal space. The need to use communal resources regularly meant that there was a continual flow of team members in and out of the space during the day, particularly during busy times. The team members can be described as “locally mobile” (Bellotti & Bly 1996), since they were continually moving between conference rooms and their shared office throughout the day.

- The work practices This section details the team’s work practices, revealing the complex nature of their work. The following section goes on to detail the key role the large display played in these work practices. The team had two main responsibilities: pre-staging the equipment, and offering technical support.

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Pre-staging involved moving the correct equipment to the correct rooms at the right time, so that when the conference sessions started, the presenters or workshop organizers had the equipment that they requested. This was a tricky task, since the team was often short of equipment. For example, a typical strategy they used was to take a piece of equipment out of a room where it had been “pre-staged” but was not currently being used, and move it somewhere where it was needed immediately. They then later on needed to ensure that they replaced the missing item with an equivalent piece in time for the start of that session. This resulted in a complex “juggling” activity, akin to a critical-path analysis problem. Additional to this was the fact that equipment was spatially distributed through the floors of the building, which could create a lot of heavy carrying work. They therefore tried to minimize this by taking into account stairs and long distances. Often they would store heavy equipment in rooms on different floors for this reason. This created the problem of keeping track of their equipment, particularly the expensive items. The other aspect of their daily activities involved offering technical support to the conference delegates who had trouble with the AV equipment. This sometimes involved replacing faulty pieces of equipment, introducing the additional problem of keeping track of the faulty items and finding replacements, in turn introducing knock-on effects for equipment scheduling through the rest of the conference. The rhythm of the day involved two main deadlines for the team: preparing and getting the morning sessions running, and then doing the same later in the day for the afternoon sessions. One team member described the pace of work as: “long periods of boredom interrupted by quick moments of panic, as the quote goes”. In the run-up to the deadlines, a large number of last minute technical problems would be discovered, which the team had to deal with on the fly. They described this part of the work as “fire-fighting”, and the individual problems as “fires”, connoting the fast paced and stressful nature of the work. These problems generally consisted of complaints from the session organizers and presenters. To quote one of the technicians:

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“When you’re setting the show up, the people in the room, their communications are passed on to us, and then we have to communicate back, trying to find out where the thing went wrong, and try to solve the problem. And that happens for about an hour period, generally starting about thirty minutes before the show. That’s kind of key… You kind of have to see the whole thing. Its like a theatre show. Half the folks in the house have no idea what it takes…”

Messages were transmitted from the session organizers to the team either via a student volunteer runner, the conference organizers office, or directly to an AV team member. They arrived either via radio, telephone or face-toface communication. If the message arrived already on a piece of paper, it would sometime be stuck up on the wall by the large display. The messages mainly consisted of equipment problems (e.g. malfunctions, usage problems), equipment requests (e.g. missing equipment, extra equipment needed) and occasionally requests to set up unscheduled events. During firefighting, equipment was often moved between rooms in an emergency, which had knock-on effects for the equipment schedule, which they continually attempted to keep up to date. However, sometimes non-team members moved equipment between rooms without notifying them, which introduced problems. To quote from the interview transcripts:
Harry (the researcher) follows Dallas, who is setting up a room for the afternoon session: Dallas: (to Harry) Now it looks like the flipcharts I brought up here earlier have been borrowed,… You see sometimes the presenters just take stuff, they don’t realize it’s there for the next session. Harry: How are we going to find them? Dallas: We start by looking in the rooms next door… [walks down corridor]… We usually try to lock the rooms or we take the expensive kit out. If we move things we’re pretty good at putting it on the time tables [the large display], so we know where everything is. It’s other people that’s the problem.

On some occasions, the same complaint arrived in the office multiple times, even after it had been solved. For example, in one instance a session

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organizer panicked at the beginning of the session because their wireless microphone was causing a buzzing sound. They then told everyone they could to pass on the message to the AV team: a student volunteer, the conference organizers, and also an AV team member. In such a situation when the team received the same message multiple times, they needed to engage in detective work to find out whether the reported problem was current and required attention (e.g. “Has it been solved previously?” “When and who by?”, “Has it re-occurred?”), as show in the following example:
This quote involves people in three places: Sharon, a conference organizer, is located in the conference office. Abe and Ben are AV team members in the AV team’s office, while Rob, the AV team manager is roaming the floor of the conference. The people at the three locations converse with each other via radio. Sharon [conference organizer in conference centre over the radio]: Yeah, Rob, we’re having some audio/visual problems in room 608, they said that there is a buzzing… Abe (technician in office speaks to Ben): Is that the room we already fixed? Ben (technician in central office replies to Abe): Yeah Abe (To Rob and Sharon on radio): Hi Rob… this is Abe, I think we did that one earlier. Rob (A/V manager roaming, replies to Sharon over radio): Sharon, How old is that report? Sharon [reply is inaudible to all] Rob (over radio): “yeah, I believe 608 is already fixed.” Sharon (over radio): Umm, someone’s been and said that the problem was worked on but the problem was still occurring… Rob (over radio): Umm, Abe and Ben head up to the 6th floor. Abe (over radio): That’s the room we already fixed but we’ll go check…

-The role of the large display The large display was used to schedule the movement of equipment between rooms, and maintain an up-to-date representation of the current state of affairs. At the beginning of the conference, the AV team was given a provisional list of equipment requirements for each session. The team

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manager worked this into an initial schedule, drawing up four or five A4 tables for each day using Microsoft Excel™, printing them out and taping them up to the wall in vertical strips (one for each day) to make a large display (see figures 3.1d and 3.2). The font used was 12 point Arial, meaning that this text could be read only while standing directly in front of it. Figure 3.2, below, shows how the large display was located in the corner of the room and was highly visible from all parts of the room. During each day, considerable effort was made to keep the information on the large display up to date, showing both the current state of affairs and the upcoming scheduled work. Team members constantly made amendments to it, which they did by hand using pencils, coloured pens or highlighters. At the end of each day, when sheets were typically very cluttered with annotations, the manager would consolidate the amendments and print out a new sheets to replace the current ones. During particularly busy periods, the information on the display became messy and disorganized looking, occasionally causing team members to have problems in reading and updating it.

Figure 3.2: a snapshot of the communal space in use.

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The team was asked why they bothered with the extra work of printing, annotating and updating the large displays, when they could have avoided this by just using the digital version in Microsoft Excel on the laptop. They commented that it allowed them to scan-through all the schedules at a glance. For example, one day’s schedule typically spanned three A4 sheets, and they could look between them just using their eyes, rather than needing to scroll with the mouse. The manager also commented that this way he could easily see what changes had been made without needing to sit down in front of the laptop. They also jokingly commented that some of the team members might have trouble using Excel and make a mess of it for everyone else. Team members were observed to prefer to hold discussions around the large display, even though they had the capability to do so remotely, via two-way radio. One team member commented that that solving complex scheduling problems over the radio could be very difficult, and it was easier for everyone involved to see the timetable being worked on. Figure 3.2 shows the room in use, during fire-fighting before a morning session. While one team member (left) loads up a trolley with equipment to take out to a room, another (middle) is retrieving tools and cables from the drawer unit, in order to go and fix a problem, while another (right) is checking that the display is up to date, and finding out what equipment needs to be moved next. The remaining nine team members were out roaming the corridors, either looking for “fires” to “put out” or in the process of dealing with one. While passing by, team members often walked over to the large display and glanced at it, apparently to check for recent annotations, or to make an annotation of their own. If a team member passing by the large display noticed one of their colleagues working on it, they would often stop to see if their help was required, in solving, for example, an equipment distribution problem (e.g. “I’m short of a data projector for room 206 in the afternoon session, where can I borrow one from?”). Similarly, if a team member working at the large display found they needed help or information, they

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often requested it from passers-by. It was also observed that congregations often emerged in this way from a single user solving a problem, into three or four people working on a problem together in front of the display, discussing their ideas, gesturing to it and making amendments. A popular activity during quiet periods was to congregate around the display as a group, and try to re-plan the movement of equipment for the next session, so that the least amount of footwork would be required. Users of the display often used conspicuity in their annotations to grab their colleagues’ attention. Unsolved problems would be highlighted using fluorescent highlighter pens, by scrawling question marks and circles to draw attention to recent changes. In some cases extra sheets of paper would be stuck up by the large display. For example, in one case a team member was observed to stick an extra sheet of A4 paper up stating “Need 4 cameras for 302 PM session” in very large, bold writing, when they were unable to find any spare cameras according to the information on the large display. This served to get their colleagues’ attention, and, with the additional knowledge, solve their problem. It was noted that during fire fighting, when it was particularly busy, the large display often became messy and disorganized in appearance, with many crossings-out, and a “spaghetti” of arrows and annotations crammed into increasingly smaller amounts of space. This tended to caused the team problems in reading the display and understanding the current equipment schedule status, requiring extra conversations and interpretation work, and occasionally causing errors in deployment. The large display was a physical hub for team activity within the office. All team members regularly passed it by while bringing or taking away equipment, and there would often be team members nearby working on the equipment or taking refreshment breaks. Usage of the large display often took place in groups.

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3.2.3 Analysis of study findings This study confirms and extends many of the things already learned in section 2.3 concerning the inherent social properties of large displays. For example, the team chose to use the pin-and-paper large display instead of an adjacent laptop containing exactly the same information in a digital form, even though this required extra editing and transcription work. Analysis suggests that this was because it offered a number of other benefits which outweighed the cost of this work. The benefits the team members explicitly stated were that it provided “at a glance access”, overview of the timetables, and ease of use. These benefits have been observed in a number of other studies on large displays, such in Rogers and Bellotti’s (1997) newspaper publisher study, and Whittaker and Schwarz’s (1995) software developer study (detailed previously in Section 2.3). Further analysis of the participants’ behaviours reveals some other important phenomena relating to the nature of the way the large display was used. The nature of the continual movement of the team members in and out of the communal space can be described as flow. The range of shared resources (equipment storage, office space, and the large display), and its central location meant that the communal space was the “hub” of this flow, and was the most likely place for team members to serendipitously bump into each other, a finding consistent with various other field studies (e.g. Twidale et al., 1995; Isaacs et al., 1996; Perry et al., 1999), as discussed previously in sections 2.3.4 and 2.2. The prominent location of the large display in the communal space was therefore very sensible, since it made its displayed information readily available, improving its information dissemination function. The

information shown on the display was an important resource for the team, and as such, it attracted team members to it regularly as they passed it by. Group congregations would often spontaneously form around it – which can be described as a “honey-pot effect”. This term is borrowed from the term “honey-pot” in human geography, where it describes physical locations,

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such as national parks, that have attractive features which draw people to them like bees around honey (Johnston et al., 2000). Here, “honey-pot effect” is used to describe the phenomenon of the formation of social gatherings in the vicinity of the large display. The group was observed to prefer to converse about scheduling issues in front of the large display, rather than elsewhere or via two-way radio. This is directly related to the large display offering a shared point of reference – the team were able to look at the display together, gesture to it, and talk in reference to it (e.g. “What about moving that there?”). As discussed in Section 2.3.3, prior research has found that shared points of reference improve the quality of communication (Fussell et al., 2000; Veinott et al., 1999; Whittaker, 1997; Nardi & Whittaker, 1993). Particularly interesting was the way groups spontaneously formed in the vicinity of the large display. This involved the public availability of usage of the large display – team members could “oversee” their colleagues using it. This is a similar finding to that made by Heath and Luff (1991), who found in a study of a train line control room that overseeing colleagues’ actions provided an awareness function, supporting group coordination; and also by Bentley et al. (1992) who found in a study of an air traffic control room that team members monitored each others’ use of physical artefacts to coordinate their work (see Section 2.3.2). Returning to the study in hand, usage of the large display can be described as a “double duty” activity (Heath & Luff, 1991; Luff & Jirotka, 1998). One the one hand, the user is doing the thing they are directly concerned with, such as working on a scheduling problem. On the other hand, they are also sending out a visual signal to passers-by, showing them what they are doing, which creates opportunities for passers-by to notice, stop and help. This enables the team to have group gatherings around the display as and when they are needed, without requiring any articulation about the planning or coordination of this (cf. Schmidt and Simon [1996] on articulation work). In summary, the public availability of interaction around the large display can enable serendipitous group congregations.

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However, as well as offering important benefits which gave the large display a key role in their work activities, the paper-based nature of the large display also caused them problems, since editing of annotations involved crossings-out, arrows and re-writing, which became confusing during peak times. This meant that equipment sometimes became lost or deployed to the wrong rooms at the wrong times, and the team often held conversations trying to work out what was written down. While they aggregated the edits and re-printed the timetables every night, this could not be done during the day since it was too time-consuming. This is an inherent shortcoming of paper – it does not offer support for editing and re-arrangement of information in the same way that computer technology does (Moran et al., 1999). With this shortcoming in mind, it was decided that an interactive large display prototype would be developed, to address this problem while attempting to maintain the benefits of the paper display. The following sections detail this work.

3.3 Prototyping and evaluating a digital large display for the AV team
In an attempt to tackle the shortcomings of their pin-and-paper display, and in doing so, to develop a better understanding of its nature, a digital large display prototype was developed, called “Wall-loader”. Using an approach called “vertical prototyping” (Nielsen, 1993), the fire-fighting aspect of their work was selected to be supported fully. Initial designs of the prototype were developed by drawing up a graphical storyboard, using the services of a professional illustrator. This storyboard was scanned and put into a PowerPoint presentation, which was emailed to the AV team. As a group they spent an hour running an “expert evaluation” session, watching the storyboard presentation, and annotating their feedback comments directly onto the slides, before emailing it back. This technique is described as “remote interactive storyboarding”, and is detailed in Rogers et al., (2002). The design of the representational format was a focus of much user-

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centered design attention. A number of different formats were experimented with, using “quick and dirty” user testing on paper-based prototypes, including “Chernoff faces” (Chernoff, 1973). This is reported in detail in Rogers and Brignull (2002). The aim was to design a representational format that allowed to easily interpret the current state of affairs (the “fires”), and to decide which needed immediate attention. A suitable representational format for displaying the “fires” was found to be a Gantt chart representation, since it allowed effective parallel visual comparison between the items (cf. Rogers et al., 2002; Rogers & Brignull, 2003).

3.3.1 Wall-loader prototype system description The Wall-loader can be described as an interactive Gantt chart. Along the horizontal axis are a series of columns representing the different locations (e.g. room numbers), while the vertical axis represents time elapsed, which counts down to the deadline, at which time all the problems should be solved (intended to be equivalent to the beginning of a conference session). When a problem (“fire”) occurs, a user represents it on screen by clicking on a toolbar button. This creates a coloured box, in which they can type a label (e.g. “data projector problem”) and drag-and-drop it onto the relevant location column (see Figure 3.4). The top of the rectangle starts at the current point in time on the vertical axis, and continues to grow downwards with the time-line until the user marks it as “done”, by clicking a button on its top left corner. As a problem item ages, it grows longer and brighter in colour, to show that it needs attention. When a user marks it as done, it is grayed out. Any item can be edited at any time, and users have the option of dragging team member icons onto the different columns, to represent their current locations. The result is a Gantt chart style of representation which shows the history and ongoing set of problems the team needs to attend to in each room, as shown in figures 3.3 and 3.4, below.

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Figure 3.3: Photo of Wall-loader in use

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Figure 3.4: Two snapshots showing part of the Wall-loader display. Technician icons are superimposed on problem boxes as part of a chart, with location and time elapsed as its axes

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3.3.2 Wall-loader Field evaluation The Wall-loader prototype was taken to the same AV team at a conference the following year (CHI 2002), for them to evaluate the system and give detailed feedback about it. The participants were the same nine core team members, with three different temporary staff. Since Wall-loader was only a prototype, they were not asked to use it to actually carry out their work at the conference. Instead, the system was set up in their office as a large projected wall display running from a laptop and data projector, and the group were given a 40 minute demonstration which detailed the interactive features of the system. Following this, they were interviewed as a group for half an hour, and then individual interviews were carried out consecutively through the course of the day, each for a duration of approximately 15 minutes. Although they were very positive about the storyboards, this faceto-face evaluation revealed some important reasons why Wall-loader was not suitable for their use. One key problem lay in the learning requirements of the system. After the demonstration, one of the temporary employees commented that. “The next guy might have trouble learning this… My briefing took 10 minutes!” They commented that the paper time-tables on the large display hardly took any explanation, since most people already knew how to read and write on a timetable. During every event, the team consisted of approximately onequarter new temporary employees, so this rapid and easy learnability was therefore a very important feature of any large display they would use. They also voiced concerns that Wall-loader would be too time-consuming to use. Most of the team members were non-committal about exactly why they felt this was the case. Only the manager was more specific saying “…that’s why we don’t use the laptop, too much clicking and scrolling… with the time-tables [large display], you can see everything right there.” His point relates to display resolution and information navigation: their large display consisted of 13 sheets of A4, which was able to display approximately 13 times more information than the Wall-loader display, which only offered the

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display estate of an average desktop computer monitor (1024 by 768 pixels: note that display estate resolution is independent from physical size). Therefore if Wall-loader were to attempt to display as much information as their pin-and-paper large display, it would need to offer a navigation technique such as scrolling, which would require lengthier interactions from the users and would remove the “at a glance” quality of the display. One problem of Wall-loader was its bulkiness: since it used a data projector, it had a large footprint. As soon as the demonstration was finished, the team packed it away to make space for their work, so that it would not interrupt the flow of people through the space. Future re-designs could benefit from considering the proportions of the destination space and the way it is used, to select the most suitable large display technology to fit that space. More compact alternatives to front projection include rear projection using mirrors, LCD screens, plasma screens, or other forthcoming technologies (such as electronic ink™ or OLED displays). The automation in Wall-loader’s representational format was intended to be an aid to usage. For example, problem items snapped into columns when dragged, and the brightness of incomplete problem items increased with time as a visual reminder, to help prevent them from being forgotten about. However, feedback from the team revealed this to be restrictive, and that they would have actually preferred more flexibility to allow them to display things in the manner they wanted. The team explained that the importance of a job was not represented by just age, but a number of factors – complexity of job, size of session, and temperament of the session organizer. Based on their judgment, they would mark important items on the large display using highlighters, or in some occasions, pin up a separate reminder sheet with large writing to increase visibility and allow passers-by to notice the item more readily. This flexibility is reminiscent of a finding by Håkansson et al. (2003) in which schedulers of a film festival using a large display developed a practice of pinning “undecided” items at an angle or out of line to represent the degree of certainty of the scheduled item. Put

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another way, this flexibility could be described as allowing the community to appropriate the tool and devise their own style of using it, which may not be exactly how the designer originally conceptualized it (cf. Dourish, 2003). Wall-loader overly constrained their use of the display, and prevented this from happening.

3.4 Discussion
Findings from this field evaluation confirm many of the things already known about the social properties of large displays, including their support of information dissemination, awareness, serendipity, and provision of a shared point of reference for co-present group interactions. This chapter has described how these properties were effectively exploited by a team of locally mobile technicians using a large display to support their work. A key finding from this case study is that interaction with a large display in a communal location is spatially distributed. Interaction does not take place just in front of the large display, it involves the movement of people around, into and out of its public interaction space (O’Neill et al., 2004). This understanding led to the development of the concept of “flow” to describe the movement of people in relation to the large display, and of the “honeypot effect”, to describe the way in which spontaneous group congregations tended to form in large display’s public interaction space. To elaborate, the large display did not just provide publicly available information in the pinned-up sheets – the interaction of people around it was publicly available, which provided an important awareness function, allowing passers-by to “oversee” the usage (Heath & Luff, 1991; Luff & Jirotka, 1998; Bentley et al., 1992). Overseeing created the opportunity for passers-by to notice what their colleagues were doing, and stop and help if appropriate. This enabled the team to have group gatherings around the display as and when they were needed, without requiring any planning effort. This can therefore be described as an informal mechanism for

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coordinating group gatherings, resulting from the public availability of the display and the interaction in its vicinity. The prototyping and evaluation of Wall-loader served to further reveal some important aspects of the beneficial nature of their “low tech” pin-and-paper large display, which would need to be reproduced in some way if a digital alternative were to be effective. Specifically, their low tech pin-and-paper large display was extremely easy to learn, since it used familiar physical media – alterations were done using pen and sheets, and could be added or swapped using push-pins. This was particularly useful for the temporary staff members who had only a small amount of training time before being thrown into the job. Also, rapidity of use was found to be an important property, facilitated by the high resolution of the pin-and-paper display which allowed “scan reading” rather than needing users to scroll, turn pages or otherwise navigate through the information bit by bit; a finding that is confirmed by empirical research into screen resolution and reading speed (Schneiderman, 1987; Jones et al., 1999; Nielsen, 1997). Finally, the pinand-paper display offered flexibility in the way users could size, colour and position their annotations, which allowed the team to appropriate the tool and develop a style of usage that best suited their needs. The contribution of this chapter has been to provide a background of understanding about the use of a large display in a communal space. In particular, it has given rise to the concepts of spatially distributed interaction, flow and the honey-pot effect. As detailed earlier, a honey-pot effect serves to encourage social interaction and congregations from people moving around a communal space. In the next chapter, it is postulated that this may be useful to people at a social gathering – a “one shot usage” scenario – where the intended activities involve socializing and recreation. At such a gathering, some community members may not know each other very well, and may benefit from assistance in “ice-breaking” and getting to know each other. The next chapter details the development, study and analysis of “Opinionizer”, a Community Display system for this purpose.

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Chapter 4
The adoption of a Community Display in a one-shot setting.

4.1 Introduction__________________________________________ 77 4.2 Supporting the activity of socializing _____________________ 78 4.3: Designing a Community Display to support socializing in a one-shot setting _____________________________________ 81 4.4 Opinionizer System Description _________________________ 82 4.5 Field Studies _________________________________________ 83
4.5.1 Study 1: The Book Launch Event ____________________________ 84 4.5.2 Study 2: A Welcome Party _________________________________ 86

4.6 Analysis of findings ___________________________________ 90 4.7 Discussion __________________________________________ 94

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4.1 Introduction
The type of one-shot setting selected to be studied in this chapter is a social gathering event – specifically, a party. Other similar one-shot events occur at conferences, trade-shows and festivals. These are unlike gatherings that occur at familiar venues, such as a local pub or workplace common room, because they are special one-off events. The event is short, typically ranging from a few hours to a day long, the venue is typically borrowed (e.g. a conference center), and when it finishes, the visitors may never return to the same venue again. Community members often come together from remote places for the duration of the event, making up a composition of friends, colleagues, “familiar strangers” (Milgram, 1992) and unfamiliar strangers. The event provides them with the ability to meet other community members in person for the first time or to maintain existing relationships. Activities at the event may involve learning (e.g. watching presentations, attending seminars, viewing exhibits), recreation (e.g. watching live music, eating and drinking), and informal social interaction. The kind of informal social interaction engaged in at such events is referred to as “socializing”, and it has a particular nature, detailed in the next section. In brief, socializing is relaxed, consists predominantly of small talk, and is carried out for the sake of its own enjoyment (Putnam, 2000; Oldenburg, 1989; Goffman, 1963). This contrasts, for example, with the terse and taskoriented conversations the team studied in the previous chapter would engage in as they passed each other during their working day. Organizers of social gathering events often make a great effort to facilitate socializing. For example, a conference organizer might issue attendees with name badges, provide exhibits and posters to entice people into conversations; provide tables, chairs and refreshments in communal areas to allow ad hoc gatherings; provide noticeboards to help people find each other; and possibly encourage ice-breaker games in the smaller sessions (cf. Newstrom & Scannell, 1995; Epstein, 2001).

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The findings of the previous chapter show the way a social gathering can emerge around a large display and facilitate social congregation and interaction, without the need for planning activities (the “honey-pot effect”). This suggests that Community Displays may be useful in supporting socializing activities. Unlike the large display investigated in the previous chapter which was used for work activities, adoption of a Community Display is voluntary. As detailed in Chapter 2, the voluntary adoption of Community Displays is the core concern of this thesis. This chapter aims to ascertain the role of situated social interaction in voluntary adoption within a one-shot setting. Drawing on the findings of the previous chapter, the concepts of flow and the honey-pot effect will be used as an analytical frame and expanded upon within this context.

4.2 Supporting the activity of socializing
Putnam (2000) describes socializing activities as informal conversations that are spontaneous and flexible in nature, and typically consist of small talk, humour and gossip. Oldenburg (1989) suggests in such activities there is an emphasis on “enjoyment of good company” (p. 38), rather than achievement of a goal, and he describes an element of “loafing”, in that it involves idling in the company of others, without any particular agenda. Similarly, Goffman (1963) states:
“Some social occasions, often called … ‘recreational’, are felt to be ends in themselves, and the individual avowedly participates for the consummate pleasure of doing so. Other occasions, called ‘serious’, are officially seen as means to other ends.” (p. 19)

As well as spending time with existing friends and colleagues, socializing also involves meeting and building relationships with new people, creating and maintaining a network of “informal social connections” (Putnam, 2000), often referred to as “personal social networks” (Nardi et al., 2000; Whittaker et al., 2002). Recent research has shown that people draw upon

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their personal social networks for information, work and favours, and thus they play a very important role in their work lives. Nardi et al. (2000) state “The old adage, "It's not what you know, but who you know," could, paradoxically, be the motto for the Information Age.” (p. 1) Social capital theory, described earlier (Section 2.2) suggests that people keep track of the favours and good-will they pass on to each other, and draw upon it in a manner akin to trade. Therefore building and maintaining a personal social network is an activity of high value, even though it can involve apparently frivolous socializing activities. One of the problems for an attendee trying to meet new people at a social gathering event is when the attendee is a new arrival to the gathered community, and is not well linked within the social network. This means that the attendee has to start conversations with strangers “in the cold”, rather than being able to meet them via introductions through existing colleagues. This activity can be difficult, and can hinder a person’s socializing activities and thus their integration into a community (Borovoy et al., 1998). Erving Goffman (1963), in his book on behaviour in public places, suggests that a widespread ritual which enables strangers to meet is via an introduction from a third party. Clark’s (1996) theory of Common Ground is relevant here – it describes how the mutual knowledge, beliefs, and suppositions shared between two people are prerequisites for interaction to occur, in that all communication depends on an understanding of one’s audience. Clark goes on to claim that the establishment and development of common ground is crucial to the development of acquaintedness. However, the development of common ground can be a difficult and time consuming process. It is for this reason that name badges, ice-breakers and other such activities are used at social gathering events (cf. Newstrom & Scannell, 1995; Epstein, 2001), to facilitate the development of common ground. Researchers such as Krauss and Fussell (1990), and Borovoy et al. (1998), have postulated whether technology could be a useful aid for this. As well as Community Displays, a large number of other kinds of tools have been

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developed in recent years for this purpose, which fall under the banner of “social software” (Tepper, 2003). For example, during 2004 alone, over 100 web-based “social networking” and “friend of a friend” services have appeared, such as Friendster™ and Orkut™, which enable people to make new acquaintances on-line by being able to view and correspond with their friends’ friends (Boyd, 2004). With the emergence of mobile technologies such as WAP and MMS on mobile phones, a number of similar mobile services have emerged, such as Jabberwocky (Paulos & Goodman, 2004), MamJam™ and Dodgeball™, which enable people to discover if friends are nearby (e.g. in the same area of town) and meet up with them, or to meet new people with shared interests who happen to be co-located (e.g. in the same café). Other bespoke mobile technologies offer similar services, such as nTag™, SpotMe™, and in the research domain, Intellibadge (Cox et al., 2003) and Thinking Tags (Borovoy et al., 1998). At the outset of this work (early 2002), only a small amount of research had looked at the use of Community Displays to support the activity of socializing at social gathering events. For example, Borovoy et al. (1999) developed “Community Mirror”, a Community Display which showed aggregated user information, based on the use of infra-red badges called “thinking tags”. Sumi and Masse (2001) developed and tested “Agent Salon”, a community Display which used small cartoon avatars representing nearby users, that engaged each other in speech bubble conversation about their shared interests. Since then, a number of others have appeared, including the “Intellibadge” Community Display (Cox et al., 2003), McCarthy’s “Proactive Displays” (2004), MIT’s “Palimpsest” (Agamanolis, 2003), as well as efforts by Carter et al. (2002) and Agostini et al. (2002). As detailed in Section 2.5.1, voluntary adoption in one-shot settings relates to whether users can discover the functionality of a Community Display, decide to “buy-in” to it, and then try it out, all within the small window of disposable time they have available to them.

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4.3: Designing a Community Display to support socializing in a one-shot setting
Drawing upon the analysis of the nature of socializing in Section 4.2, the problem of supporting socializing between strangers was selected to be explored through the prototyping of a system called “Opinionizer”. This was another use of the vertical prototyping approach, in which a prototype is designed to support one aspect of a problem in a fully functioning manner. Socializing between strangers is also a particularly important aspect of the problems of socializing, since strangers do not have the linkage of common colleagues or friends. Section 4.2 shows that it is crucial for people to establish common ground when attempting to hold a conversation (Clark, 1996; Borovoy et al., 1998). As such, “establishment of common ground” was taken to be a motivation for this Community Display’s functionality. Specifically, the Community Display was designed to provide a publicly available surface displaying topical themes for discussion, and the means for adding opinions to the surface. For this reason, it was named “Opinionizer”. Opinionizer was not intended to be like a chat room or discussion board, through which participants hold on-line discussions, but instead it was intended to be a public resource which people could contribute to, and use to initiate face to face conversations. Emphasis was placed on ensuring the themes were topical and relevant, and that the interaction was lightweight and fun. Drawing from the literature review of one-shot Community Display studies in Section 2.5.1, some initial design suggestions were made: • Immediately obvious functionality and benefits: ensure that users can easily discover what the system does and why they would want to use it (Carter et al., 2002) • Rapidity of learning: ensure the details of the manner of interaction with the system can be learned quickly (McCarthy, 2004; Cox et al., 2003; Chapter 3, this volume)

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Low effort interaction: ensure that interaction involves minimal effort and time from users (McCarthy, 2004; Cox et al., 2003)

Content relevancy: ensure that the content is interesting to the gathered community (Agostini, 2002)

These initial design suggestions were taken on board and used in the specification and development of the following system, which was coded using Macromedia Director™.

4.4 Opinionizer System Description
The Opinionizer system provides a large publicly available surface for the capture and display of community members’ opinions on topical themes. It is composed of a large projected display, controlled by a single laptop. The interaction model can be described as follows: a large title along the top of the screen suggests a topical theme to which users are invited to post up a comment (see Figure 4.1 overleaf). The topical theme is selected by the administrator from a list pre-written for the target community, and rotated every 15 minutes or by discretion. These themes are represented by a large image as well as a written sentence, to make the display as eye-catching as possible (see Figure 4.1). Users post up their comment by first choosing a small cartoon avatar (from a selection of heads and bodies) and a speech bubble (to indicate the mood of the message – either thoughtful, speaking or shouting), using the menu shown in Figure 4.1 (the dialogue box located in the bottom center). They can then type their comment into their avatar’s speech bubble and drag it to a spatial location in one of four quadrants, each shaded concentrically from low to high intensity. The labels of the quadrants were selected to be suitable for the specific community in hand (the labels in Figure 4.1 were chosen for an academic community), to give some relevant categories of mood or personality. Together with the avatars, this “landscape” was intended to provide users with additional means of expressiveness. There was also the option of adding a nickname to the avatar.

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Figure 4.1: A screen shot from Opinionizer taken at the book launch party (study 1)

4.5 Field Studies
Opinionizer was deployed in two observational field studies. Firstly, a book launch party held at a large international conference (CHI 2002), and secondly, a welcome party for newly arrived postgraduate students at Sussex University.

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4.5.1 Study 1: The Book Launch Event - The Study Setting The setting of this study was an evening book launch party during the CHI 2002 conference, located in a large room at the top floor of the Minneapolis Hilton Hotel. The room was octagonal, and offered a long buffet table, eight round tables with chairs (seating for 48 people) and a bar. The Opinionizer Community Display was set up on a raised platform next to the bar, as depicted in Figure 4.2.

Figure 4.2: Floor plan of set-up at the book-launch event The size of the Opinionizer screen was approximately 6’ wide by 4.5’ tall. The text on the screen was legible from approximately 16’ away, while the screen itself was visible from anywhere in the room. The laptop served as the input point, and was positioned on a table close to the display. The projected display mirrored the laptop’s, providing an identical but larger view. A helper stood by to explain to people what Opinionizer was and how to use it. The party lasted for 2 hours, during which approximately 300 people passed through, milling around the area near the display (usually on

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their way to and from the bar). Opinionizer was deployed for the full 2 hour duration of the party. Activities were observed and observational notes were taken. Video was not used since the event organizers expressed privacy concerns.

- Observations At the beginning of the party, the first people to arrive tended to congregate near the buffet table, a few meters from the Opinionizer screen (in the centre of the room). This left an empty space around Opinionizer. At this point, few people came forward to try out the Opinionizer, and when people were invited to come over and try it out, they seemed rather shy of doing so. Fake opinions were added by the researcher to encourage interaction. However, this alone did not seem to encourage usage.

Figure 4.3: The crowd around the Opinionizer input point (laptop), pictured bottom right. As the room filled up, a congregation developed around Opinionizer, and more people started to try it out. People were observed watching and talking to others using it. Groups of people were also seen talking about it, (i.e.

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looking at it, gesturing, laughing) without actually interacting with it, as shown in Figure 4.3 above. The congregation seemed to create a honey-pot effect as found in the previous chapter, whereby the more people who interacted with it, the more other people followed suit. This seemed to result in an increase in rate of contributions to the Opinionizer over time, as shown in Figure 4.4 – the comments began spaced out, and progressed to be closer together as the event wore on (Total number of contributions: 38. Data gathered from system log).

Figure 4.4: Timeline showing incidence of participation (in seconds). Dots represent comments, vertical lines represent theme changes. As time passed, it was observed that people were able to interact with the Opinionizer without needing any explanation from the helper, either learning by observation, or being shown or told how to use it by other users. Some of the users became proponents of the system and were observed going to fetch friends to view and try it. In total, about 40 people added their opinions to the Community Display and many more stood around observing what was going on. Over 60% of the opinions were humorous and befitting to the setting. Generally people chose to identify themselves on screen only by their first names or nicknames. To avoid repetition, the analysis of this study’s findings will be reported together with the second study’s findings, in Section 4.6.

4.5.2 Study 2: A Welcome Party - The Study Setting The setting for the second study was a welcome party for postgraduates entering a school at a university. The same Opinionizer system was used but

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with different themes, intended to be more relevant for the community of newly starting postgraduate students at Sussex University. An example was “What do you think of the food at Sussex University?” The projection screen was the same size, with the same legible and visible distances (legible from approximately 16’, visible from anywhere in the room, occlusion from crowding not withstanding). As shown in figures 4.5 and 4.6 overleaf, the room was a different shape, being rectangular. Approximately 150 people passed through the space during the study. Several had met before and formed groups but there was a sizeable number of people who were there by themselves. The party lasted for about five hours, with the Opinionizer active for the first two and a half of those. Two video cameras were deployed near the display to record group behaviours and track people’s movement. They were placed high up to be unobtrusive as possible, so as not to affect people’s behaviours. As well as video recording, two assistants helped capture other data: one person was employed as a roaming interviewer, another as a observer, taking notes and photographs. Interview questions are shown in Appendix 1. A third person stood on-hand next to the input point, to help participants and explain the system if asked.

Figure 4.5: Photo of the set-up used at the welcome party event

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Figure 4.6: Floor-plan of the set-up at the welcome party - Observations Similar to the book launch event, at the beginning of the party people congregated some distance away from the Opinionizer, collecting food and beverages from other tables. One person commented, later "Nobody really knew what it was when they came in and there was a whole kind of fear because it was something new". This can be seen in Figure 4.7, where many people are standing some distance from and face away from the Community Display. As time wore on, the room filled up. People began to congregate around the display, paying it attention, watching others using it and talking about it between themselves. This is shown in figure 4.8 (p. 94).

Figure 4.7: Participant behaviour in the early stages of the event

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In total, out of approximately 150 people who passed through the space during the study, approximately 60 interacted with Opinionizer, i.e. 40% (deduced from system logs). During the study, 23 people were interviewed (see appendix 1 for questions), selected at random from the room to gain a cross section of people who had used and had not used Opinionizer (mean age 29; 14 males, 9 females). Over half of those interviewed made positive comments about Opinionizer, and stated that they felt comfortable socializing around it and talking with others about the opinions displayed. Over three-quarters of respondents stated that they had socialized with people they hadn’t previously met while standing near Opinionizer. Hence, it proved to be a highly effective ice-breaker. The negative comments from the interviewees mainly centered around social awkwardness which they experienced in taking part. To quote one interviewee “I was definitely aware of other people watching, which made it kind of awkward”. In fact, over half of the users interviewed reported that they experienced embarrassment and did not feel relaxed. Some commented that they felt under pressure not to make typing mistakes, not to be hesitant while interacting, since they knew they had an audience of onlookers. Some of the participants also experienced pressure to provide a comment that was socially accepted as humorous and clever by their peers. For example, one interviewee said, “...there was pressure to formulate something not too dumb. This level of self-consciousness and awkwardness was also noticed by the onlookers. Those participants who were interviewed who did not interact with Opinionizer all indicated social awkwardness as the core reason for not having done so. They also stated that they expected to have not felt relaxed if they had tried it out. Participants were also asked about what they thought about the possibility of having been able to input their opinions via SMS text message, using their mobile phones. A number of them expressed that they might have enjoyed this feature, since it could have avoided queuing and would have provided more anonymity. Some felt the anonymity could have been beneficial and encourage usage, while others believed it would

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bring down the tone of the comments, and encourage facetious or even offensive comments. One participant interestingly commented: “It's perhaps safer [to input remotely] but not all the fun of going round the table together".

4.6 Analysis of findings
This section is based on an analysis of the findings of both studies. In observing people’s behaviour in relation to the Community Display, it was found that behaviours could be classified into three types of activities: peripheral awareness activities, focal awareness activities and direct interaction activities. These can be summarized as follows, below: A. Peripheral awareness activities: Typically eating, drinking and socializing elsewhere at the party. In general, people in these activity spaces are peripherally aware of the display’s presence and do not know much about it. B. Focal awareness activities: People in these activity spaces are engaging in socializing activities associated with the display - talking about, gesturing to and watching the screen being used. Here they give the display more attention and learn more about it. C. Direct interaction activities: In this activity space, an individual (or a group acting cooperatively) type in their opinion to the display A photograph from study two, depicting these three categories of activity is shown in Figure 4.8, overleaf. The group labeled “peripheral awareness” are standing away from the immediate vicinity of the Opinionizer and engaged in conversations with each other, perhaps also in the process of fetching and consuming food or beverages. Groups in this category were typically observed to be aware of the Community Display – they would occasionally glance at it and the people around it, but were generally preoccupied with talking to their conversational partners.

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People would often then move to “focal awareness” activities. This involved standing in view of the Community Display, looking at it in more detail, and socializing with people in relation to it (e.g. having conversations about the displayed themes or comments). To quote one interviewee from study two: “I didn’t see people using it at first, but I did see people standing around it so I stood beside and watched it for a while”. Transition from peripheral awareness to focal awareness activities would often take place when other conversations had finished, and people were apparently looking for something interesting to occupy themselves with. Also, people who arrived at the event alone often progressed into focal awareness activities on their own, and were observed to often engage with others who also were looking at the Community Display.

Figure 4.8: Photo showing the three categories of activities in relation to the Community Display (taken 1 hour into the study) From focal awareness activities, people often then moved into direct interaction activities – moving to interact with the Community Display’s user-interface via its mouse and keyboard. Although ultimately only one person could add comments to the display at a time, group efforts were

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observed where the adding of an opinion was cooperative and where different individuals took turns to be “the driver” and enter data via the keyboard. People engaging in direct interaction activities typically had an audience, who were watching their interaction. As stated in the introduction of this chapter, one of the aims in developing the Opinionizer Community Display was to facilitate a honey-pot effect, in which people were attracted to congregate and socialize in its vicinity. The results of the two Opinionizer studies show that this aim was successful. During the course of both studies, there was a progressive increase in the number of people in the immediate vicinity of the Opinionizer, where a “buzz” of socializing conversations occurred. By standing in this space and showing an interest (e.g. visibly facing the screen or reading the text), people seemed to give a tacit signal to others that they were open to discussion and interested in meeting new people. As expected, the displayed information was used as common ground to strike up and hold conversations between people (Clark, 1996; Borovoy et al., 1998). In the second study, three-quarters of participants who were interviewed stated that they met new people and conversed with them while standing in the vicinity of Opinionizer. The honey-pot effect observed has a parallel with that observed in the AV team case study, in which the team members would oversee their colleagues using the large display and would stop to help if needed. In both cases, the public availability of the display and the interaction around it provided a mechanism for enabling serendipitous group congregations. However, in the case of Opinionizer, socializing was the aim rather than solving work problems, and the congregations were much larger, up to approximately eight people rather than two or three, as in the case of the AV team. In the Opinionizer studies, there were many simultaneous gatherings in which conversations were going on at the same time. Goffman (1963) refers to the spatial nature of these gatherings as multiple “clusters”, “knots” or “conversational circles” (p. 99), and refers to such gatherings as being

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“multifocused” in nature (p. 91). The flow of people in the space can be described as mingling, whereby people moved between “foci”, i.e. clusters and resources such as food and refreshments (rather than moving directly in and out of the communal space as in the AV team case study). As well as this mingling, a flow was observed in the movement of people towards and away from the Community Display. In the previous case study of the AV team, a physical bottleneck occurred in the space due to the large footprint of the Wall-loader large display, which created a blockage in the flow of people to the extent that they removed Wall-loader from the communal space. In the Opinionizer studies, no such physical bottlenecks were observed owing to the large size of the spaces. However, what can be described as “psychological bottlenecks” were uncovered in study 2: all of the interviewees who did not try Opinionizer also had negative conceptions about the experience of using it. A specific issue was social awkwardness – a phenomenon seen in other studies of group activities involving technology, e.g. Nunamaker et al.’s (1991) “evaluation apprehension”, in which people are fearful of negative evaluation from an audience of onlookers. Thus it is not just the user’s conception of the system but also their expectation of the experience of using it – “Will it be awkward or embarrassing?”, and “Will it be a comfortable experience?” These negative conceptions can form a psychological bottleneck and deter usage. This evaluation apprehension seemed to stem from both the public availability of their behaviour, and the nature of the activity – even though the topics were designed to be trivial and fun, one participant did report that there was a pressure to formulate a comment that was “not too dumb”. Even though just one sentence long, participants apparently felt a pressure to write something witty and entertaining. Another issue was the delay involved in the queuing – some interviewees stated that they found this off-putting. This is consistent with predictions about the nature of one-shot settings- that attendees are only there for a short amount of time, and are likely to spare only a small window of time to

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interact with a Community Display system. Also, given the many other foci of activity (other conversation circles, food and drink tables, etc), the Community Display is in direct competition for the attendee’s time. The issue of queuing could be remedied by allowing multiple input points, e.g. via SMS text message using mobile phones, a suggestion to which interviewees in the second study were generally receptive. However, this would make input remote and diffused, and therefore would lessen the honey-pot effect the system is seeking to achieve. It would be interesting to consider how multiple input points could be situated within the Community Display’s public interaction space to reduce the one-by-one queuing, and make the input itself into a more sociable activity, since users were often observed attempting to input as a group, crowding around the keyboard and mouse together and taking turns with them.

4.7 Discussion
As noted in the second study and shown in Figure 4.8, activities in relation to the Community Display can be described in three categories: peripheral awareness, focal awareness and direct interaction – each representing a different level of engagement with the Community Display. Goffman (1963) suggests this is common in public gatherings: “…a differentiation is sometimes found among full fledged participants and various grades of onlookers” (p. 18). This has a parallel with the findings from the AV team case study, in which team members could go about their own activities, yet be peripherally aware of what their colleagues were doing, owing to the public availability of their actions. In terms of voluntary adoption, the focus of interest lies in the achievement of usage. Thus, the goal is to encourage people to move between these different categories of activities towards direct interaction. Evidence detailed below suggests that there are two key thresholds that a person needs to cross in moving between each category of activity to a progressively higher level of engagement with the system, and ultimately interacting with

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it. These thresholds are defined here as the “threshold to attention” and the “threshold to interaction”. These concepts of flow, activities and thresholds make up a model of interaction with the Community Display, as shown in the schematic diagram in Figure 4.9, overleaf. The term threshold is used here in a psychological rather than physical or spatial sense. Psychological “hurdles” seem to occur at these two thresholds, with notable differences in their nature.

Figure 4.9: A diagram showing a model of public interaction flow across thresholds In crossing the threshold to attention and moving from peripheral to focal awareness activities (e.g. from chatting to someone on the other side of the room to deciding to move within view of the display to have a better look), findings suggest a person will base this decision on fleeting glances at the

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system while they are involved in another activity, such as conversing with other people. Then, having chosen to, they will give the display more attention, and perhaps move to stand in a position with a clearer view. Once they are attending to the Community Display, they may then cross the threshold to interaction, deciding whether to actually interact with the Community Display. Essentially, the two thresholds represent two levels of granularity of detail. At the threshold to attention, the person will judge the system based on the broad-grained details available to them at a distance and from brief glances, essentially asking themselves “Is it worth taking a closer look?”. Then, at the threshold to interaction, the person has committed to spend some time and effort finding out more about the Community Display. Here they will be able to discover more fine-grained details, such as “vicariously” learning the details of interaction with the system by observing others using it (Reber & Reber, 2001), including the length of the interaction, and exactly what the system does and the benefits it offers. Here they can also develop a detailed expectation of what the experience of using it would be like, including its comfort, or conversely, social awkwardness. There are different design implications in encouraging onlookers to cross each threshold. For the threshold to attention, the designer needs to plan to ensure high visibility of the Community Display: being noticed by passersby is a prerequisite for all further interaction. This means the designer needs to consider bodily occlusion: for example, placing the display at least partially above head height so it can be noticed from a distance. Also, as both studies showed, people attract people, and conversely, lack of people in the vicinity of the Community Display could make passers-by wary of entering it. One strategy used in both studies was to place the Community Display in a location where it was visible and accessible from other natural flows of people through the space – in study one it was placed adjacent to a bar at which drinks were served, in study two it was placed adjacent to tables with food and drinks on them. Thus while moving through these other flows, passers-by had the opportunity to notice the Community Display.

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Similar strategies are also used by shopping psychologists in placing information displays, advertisements and plinths in shops (e.g. Underhill 2002). At this broad-grained stage, an aesthetic “wow factor” seemed to be an effective way of drawing the interest of potential users. A number of participants commented that they noticed the novel graphical appearance of the Opinionizer display – consisting of kitsch cartoon characters, photographic centerpieces and colourful concentric rings. Even though it may seem superficial, this aesthetic wow factor seemed to serve the important function of enticing passers-by to ask themselves “What is that? I’d like to find out more.” However, following this is the threshold to direct interaction, which consists of a different set of design issues. Having decided to pay attention to the Community Display, the user will then aim to find out some of the fine-grained details about the system. Vicarious learning, i.e. learning by observing others (Reber & Reber, 2001), was a key mechanism by which onlookers learned these things, and it allowed the spread of usage to become “self perpetuating” to an extent. Here the suggestion for designers is to ensure that the system has a visual user interface that is readily observable. However, this observability also brings the problem of on-lookers’ fear of social awkwardness and evaluation apprehension, which was noted in both studies. Opinionizer’s clear and simple function of requesting users to write a one-sentence opinion may have reduced this fear – it can be postulated that more complex functionality and user interfaces could have been a greater deterrent. In all, the findings of these studies confirm the applicability of the design suggestions posed at the beginning of this chapter, which were used to inform the design of Opinionizer: present immediately obvious functionality and benefits, ensure rapidity of learning, low-effort interaction, and relevance of content so that members of the local community find it interesting. Returning to the concept of disposable time, a person’s spare time and effort in a one-shot setting is limited, and can be likened to a

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currency which they will only spend if they see themselves benefiting over and above the other alternative things they can “spend” it on, such as conversing with other people elsewhere in the social gathering. This model of interaction shows how people move between different activities in relation to a Community Display and suggests the kind of information a person needs to acquire if they are to be encouraged to cross the different thresholds. Consequently, this chapter has gone some distance in clarifying the nature of social behaviour in relation to a Community Display, showing the stages which users go through towards adoption, and revealing some important implications for designers of Community Displays for one-shot settings.

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Chapter 5
Designing a Community Display for on-going usage settings

5.1 Introduction................................................................................... 100 5.2 Informing the design of Dynamo ................................................ 102
5.2.1 User Experience Principles for on-going settings ............................... 103

5.3 Dynamo Version 1 System Description ...................................... 109
5.3.1 The Dynamo Display Surface.............................................................. 111 5.3.2 Interaction points ................................................................................. 111 5.3.3 The Dynamo Device Hub .................................................................... 112

5.4 Evaluating Dynamo Version 1 ..................................................... 113
5.4.1 Feedback Session ............................................................................... 114 5.4.2 Laboratory study of a group task using Dynamo................................. 117 5.4.3 Analysis of findings & implications for re-design ................................. 121

5.5 Dynamo Version 2: System Description .................................... 124 5.5 Discussion .................................................................................... 130

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5.1 Introduction
The previous chapter investigated the nature of adoption and usage of a Community Display in one-shot “social gathering event” settings, uncovering some pertinent design issues. This chapter will present the design process carried out on Dynamo, a Community Display for on-going usage settings, i.e. places like workplace common rooms and coffee areas, or public cafes and recreation venues which have regular patrons. Voluntary adoption problems in on-going usage settings are different in nature to those in one-shot usage settings, such as those reported in the Opinionizer studies. Rather than being a foreign and temporary artefact, when adopted in an ongoing usage setting a Community Display can go on to become integrated into community life, and involved in social activities, norms and practices. This on-going process of adoption is often referred to as “appropriation”, as defined by Torpel et al. (2003):
“Once an artefact is available in a certain setting, it may be used according to the purposes for which it is suited. Users discover and make the possibilities of the artefact available to themselves for their specific purposes, resulting in an artifactmediated practice specific for the artifact and for their setting, situation and practices. This process and outcome has been referred to as “appropriation” (Leont’ev, 1978; Leontyev, 1981)” (p. 384)

There is a body of theory relating to appropriation, such as Gidden’s (1984) “Structuration” theory, Poole and Desanctis’ (1990; 1994) “Adaptive Structuration” theory, and, in a broader sense, Activity Theory (e.g. Engeström, 1990). However, the in-depth discussion of these lies outside of the scope of this thesis. To summarize, a technological artefact can be described as offering a number of functions, as created by a designer. A social activity is something a person or a group does with those functions in a social context. This often involves creativity on the part of the users – they can “re-invent” the artefact to fit their needs (Torpel et al., 2003), and “design” their social activities involving it (Suchman, 1994).

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For example, Agostini et al. (2002, p. 711) describe Community Wall users as having re-invented the Community Display during a longitudinal field study. They observed that since the system did not provide search facilities in Italian (the national language at the deployment site), users found this frustrating. Through time, members of the user community took on the role of “Italian search engine” using their own knowledge to help others to search for information and to suggest related items (p. 701). Also, Churchill et al. (2004) found that in a 14-month study of Plasma Poster, social norms started to emerge that specified the styles of acceptable use, community members were observed to complain about when broken. These implicit rules share a parallel with explicit rules such as FAQs or “codes of practice” often used by established virtual communities, such as USENET or web discussion boards (Preece, 2000). As well as social norms, emergent social activities can also give rise to practices – these are activities which become established and understood customs within a community (Torpel et al., 2003). In contrast, in one-shot settings, the process of appropriation is curtailed due to the short duration of user exposure to the system. While users may engage in creative social activities, they cannot develop community practices and norms, because they do not use the system repeatedly and regularly with their peers. This chapter explores the issues involved in designing a Community Display for on-going settings, i.e. designing for appropriation. Specifically, it details a case study of the design of the “Dynamo” system: a Community Display for on-going settings, developed as part of a group research project. First, findings from the previous case studies in this thesis, together with an analysis of the Community Display research literature, are drawn upon to derive some high-level user-experience principles for on-going settings. Being a group research project, a number of technical goals were also produced through group workshops, which are summarized here. These principles were then interpreted into a specific instantiation: Dynamo Version 1 (V1). In order to prepare the system for deployment in an authentic on-going setting, it was then evaluated in a group user-feedback

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session to review its suitability, and in a laboratory study, to test its userinterface and interaction models. The findings of these studies are then used to recommend some iterative re-designs for the system, which were integrated into Dynamo Version 2 (V2).

5.2 Informing the design of Dynamo
As detailed in the preface, the Dynamo Community Display is the product of an EPSRC funded group project of the same name, which this thesis research contributed towards. Technical infrastructure design and implementation work was carried out by other parties on the group project – see Izadi et al. (2003) for details. An initial set of technical goals were derived from workshop meetings between members of the Dynamo project group. For example, the computer scientists on the project were motivated by a need to work on a technically interesting research challenge, involving a distributed “Ubiquitous Computing” type infrastructure (see Izadi et al. for details). The technical goals derived in these workshop meetings can be summarized as follows, for the Dynamo Community display to: • Provide facilities for display, sharing and exchange of documents and media between users. • Support the interconnection of end users’ personal devices, such as laptops or digital cameras. • Offer an innovative interaction model for sharing and exchange of digital files between users, which takes advantage of a distributed system architecture. • Offer facilities for simultaneous multi-user interaction on the Community Display (cf. Single Display Groupware, Stewart et al., 1999), via provided keyboards and mice, or users’ own laptops.

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Izadi et al. (2003) detail and expand greatly upon these principles and their underpinning motivations.

5.2.1 User experience principles for on-going settings This section puts forward some user-experience principles for Community Displays in on-going settings, with a view to encouraging voluntary adoption, i.e. appropriation, as it is referred to in these settings. These are derived from the literature review and an analysis of the findings of the previous case studies. A short description of how these should be applied in the design of Dynamo is also put forward. It is acknowledged that each proposed design “solution” that is drawn out of a user experience principle is but one possibility in a multitude of others in the design space: this is the difficulty of designing for “Wicked Problems” (cf Fitzpatrick et al., 1996; as detailed in Section 2.7.3).

- Provide open-ended and flexible functionality With existing Community Displays for on-going settings it can be seen that designers typically aim to provide a range of open-ended and flexible functions which users can employ in various different ways. In essence, this is design for appropriation. For example, the designers of Blueboard (Russell and Sue, 2003) provide a range of “immediate-display-andexchange” functions (see Section 2.4.2), such as the means to enter text, display images, arrange them, annotate on top of them using the touchscreen, and share them in various ways. This functionality is flexible and can be used in a “freeform” manner. For example, it could be used in a group meeting to support the discussion of architectural plans, it could be used as a brainstorming tool, or it could be used for socializing, e.g. by someone who bumps into a colleague and decides to show them some photos from a recent trip. Community Wall (Grasso et al., 2003) provides a range of noticeboard functions (see Section 2.4.3), allowing users to post up

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various media types and annotate them in different ways (e.g. via web interface or touchscreen). Again, this could be used in any number of ways, depending on what the community themselves choose to use it for. For example, it could be used to display a firm’s stock and productivity figures in the foyer area for clients to see. Alternatively, it could be used to display humour and jokes for socializing in a less public shared kitchen area. Although the functionality is the same, the social role given to the Community Display is very different. In comparison, Community Displays for one-shot settings can be described as offering relatively simple and inflexible functions. For example, in Proactive Displays (McCarthy, 2003), Agent Salon (Sumi and Masse, 2001), Palimpsest (Agamanolis, 2003) (reviewed in sections 2.4 and 2.5), the designers seem to aim to constrain and guide users into engaging in certain social activities, with the apparent aim of short-cutting the process of appropriation so it can fit into the limited time scale available, to encourage first time usage. In other words, the designers of one-shot Community Displays often aim to offer “pre-packaged” social activities for users to engage in, rather than offering flexible and open-ended functions for a community to gradually appropriate and “evolve” their own activities over time that they find most suitable to their needs. The technical goal specified for Dynamo to offer a surface for general “display, sharing and exchange” purposes is consistent with the need to provide open-ended and flexible functionality for an on-going setting. For example, Dynamo will be appropriable as a noticeboard, a presentation screen, an information display, a surface for note-taking, or even an icebreaking socializing tool, (among many other possibilities), depending on the users’ needs.

- Support vicarious learning through observable interaction In the Opinionizer studies it was found that vicarious learning, i.e., learning by observing others, was a key process by which community members

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learned about Opinionizer. Drawing upon this, it is suggested that Dynamo should offer a visual user interface that is easily observable by onlookers, to facilitate the vicarious learning process. For example, keyboard shortcuts and small gesture-based commands will be avoided, and instead iconic palette based interfaces will be used.

- Build upon familiar interaction models To speed the learning process and encourage uptake, it is suggested that familiar interaction models should be built upon, rather than designing completely new styles of interaction. Thus it can be recommended that keyboard and drag-and-drop interaction within a WIMP (Windows-IconsMenus-Pointers) user interface should be used, so that users do not have to re-learn the means to achieve basic interactions. This contrasts with other more experimental interaction techniques used elsewhere in interactive large displays, such as iRoom’s “flow menu” (Guimbretire et al., 2001) or Flatland’s (Mynatt et al., 1999) gesture-based interface.

- Facilitating community-wide buy-in Encouraging community-wide buy-in and achieving “critical mass” (Ehrlich, 1987; as cited in Grudin, 1988) involves being inclusive to as many members of the community as possible. As shown in both the Opinionizer studies (Chapter 4) and the AV team case study (Chapter 3), community-wide buy-in is facilitated when the effort and investment required from members is very low: potential users should be able to walkup and use Dynamo without prior preparation or training. As stated in Section 5.2, one of Dynamo’s technical goals was to support the interconnection of personal devices. Community members may already own a heterogeneous selection of devices, from music players to digital cameras, PDAs and laptops, which they use in their daily lives. In order to encourage usage of Dynamo, it is important that community members are able to use their own existing devices, rather than needing to go to the time and effort

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of acquiring a particular type – the findings of the Opinionizer studies suggest that requirement of time and effort can outweigh the perceived benefits of the system and deter people from using it. Furthermore, some community members may not even own a personal device, and if they do, they may not carry them at all times. The system should be inclusive to such people since they are potential users. In summary, a wide range of personal devices will be supported in order to not exclude any potential users. Furthermore, personal devices will be conceptualized as an optional benefit, rather than a pre-requisite to interaction with Dynamo.

- Encourage a honey-pot effect As shown in the AV and Opinionizer case studies, the honey-pot effect is a useful phenomenon which can facilitate social congregation and interaction around a large display without the need for planning activities, and it therefore should be encouraged and supported. It has been postulated that the honey-pot effect can be encouraged by making the vicinity of the Community Display a comfortable and attractive place to be in and interact socially (Brignull & Rogers, 2003); for example, in terms of location, furniture and space. Dynamo’s technical goal (as stated in Section 5.2) of providing simultaneous multi-user interaction seems to be highly compatible with the aim of encouraging a honey-pot effect. To elaborate, multi-user interaction involves the provision of multiple keyboards and mice (and/or employment of users’ own laptops) to enable people to gather round and interact simultaneously, in a manner similar to Single Display Groupware (e.g. Stewart et al., 1999; Tse & Greenberg, 2004). This should have the effect of preventing the one-by-one queue effect seen in the Opinionizer studies, previously found to cause delay and deter usage, and instead encourages a more social gathering around the Community Display. The keyboards and mice are also portable, allowing users to choose to move around to various tables and chairs in the vicinity, and choose the arrangement they find most comfortable.

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It was also hoped that simultaneous multi-user interaction will allow openended and flexible range of group uses. For example, a single small group could gather round and each of them have a mouse and keyboard. Alternatively, individuals could arrive alone, and use the Community Display independently, or in pairs (etc). Or instead, a group of 12 people could gather in the room, and congregate in groups of four, with one mouse and keyboard on each table, among many other possibilities. In other words, this interactional and spatial flexibility could provide new opportunities for social use, and thus encourage a honey-pot effect.

- Support the scaling and arrangement of media The AV team case study showed how team members often highlighted text, and used large text sizes to draw attention to particular items on their large display. This served an important function of disseminating information to passers-by at a distance, and also of indicating the recency and importance of these large items. To interpret this into a design decision for Dynamo, user-controlled scaling of media windows (e.g. photos, videos) and font sizes will be supported, since it is flexible function that community members could potentially utilize to disseminate information and indicate importance.

- Allow open access to all resources Access control was a question posed in the initial Dynamo project group discussions: should media (e.g. graphics or documents) placed on the Dynamo surface be “lockable” so that other users can’t move it? Should media be specifiable as “private”, and accessible only by the owner, or “public”, and accessible by anybody? Findings from the AV and Opinionizer case studies suggest that an open access, laissez-faire model can be effective, as this keeps the system simple. This thereby facilitates learning and adoption, while access control, if needed, can be socially negotiated, and even supported through the development of community

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norms and practices. For example, participants in the AV team knew when it was and was not appropriate to alter someone else’s annotations on the large display. Also, participants in the Opinionizer study tended not to manipulate other people’s comments, because they knew it was not socially appropriate. Recent research in the area also implies support for this user experience principle – for example, in Dix et al.’s (2004) user studies of the “Hermes” situated door display (for the booking of shared rooms in an office environment), they found that abuse of the open-access model tended not to occur, because on-lookers provided a function of “neighborhood watch”, to quote:
“…the public setting of a situated display acts as a resource for security. The very publicness creates a social auditability that prevents certain kinds of abuse.” (p.1)

Similarly, O’Hara et al. (2004), in user studies of another similar office door display system, found that:
“The visibility of the reservation information made people more accountable and socially aware that they were using shared resources that others might need… there was an emerging ‘Hall of Shame’ phenomenon in which people’s now visibly antisocial reservation behaviour was being monitored by others…” (p. 235)

Based on these findings, an open access model was chosen to be implemented in Dynamo Version 1. However, the suitability of this model was later refuted in the evaluation studies, and instead it was found that optional access control should be offered. See Section 5.4.1 and 5.4.2 for more details.

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5.3 Dynamo Version 1 System Description
Drawing upon the project group’s technical goals and the user experience principles put forward in the previous section, the Dynamo system was designed and implemented. It should be emphasized that the resultant system is just one instance of many systems that could potentially have been created on the basis of these goals and principles: it is exploratory research. From a user-centric viewpoint, the Dynamo system is composed of three parts, depicted in Figure 5.1 overleaf. Summarized below, these are detailed in the following subsections: • The Dynamo display surface: a large shared wall display, typically composed of a plasma or projected screen • The interaction points: keyboard and mouse pairs, or laptops, which are used for multi-user interaction • The device hub: a USB (or Firewire) hub where users’ mobile devices are plugged in and accessed as media storage units

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Figure 5.1: Schematic diagram of the Dynamo system

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5.3.1 The Dynamo Display Surface In summary, the overall function of Dynamo is to provide a large visual surface which supports a range of display, sharing and exchange functions, and allows the interconnection of a variety of personal devices and media types. To reiterate some of the ways in which it can be appropriated, it may be used as a noticeboard, a presentation screen, a surface for group “show and tell” activities, for exchanging files, for browsing the web and multimedia in groups, and generally, providing a shared point of reference for conversational support. Dynamo is a multi-user system, allowing simultaneous interaction from multiple simultaneous users, via keyboards and mice. Users’ cursors are colour coded, and their personal icons are displayed whenever appropriate to allow them to easily identify each other on the surface. Multi-user access to windows is optimistic (in Dynamo V1) and relies on social negotiation between the co-present users. For example, all windows can be manipulated by any user, regardless of who created them. In terms of the contents of these windows, Dynamo supports most common media types. Visual media types can be scaled – i.e. stretched to larger or smaller sizes. All media types can be displayed, played, navigated through or interacted with. However, owing to technical limitations, the only editable media type is text, although forms on web pages and in java applets can be filled in. The specific media types supported are: Text, Microsoft Word and PowerPoint, Images (including JPEG, GIF, PNG and many others), Audio (including MP3, WAV, WMA and many others), Video (including MPEG, AVI, WMV and many others), Adobe PDF, Web documents, Flash animations and Java Applets.

5.3.2 Interaction points Interaction points are the means by which users interact with Dynamo. “Base” interaction points are provided for users who do not have a Windows laptop, while those with their own laptop can utilize it as a

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“mobile” interaction point if they wish. In a normal set up, three base interaction points are provided. Any combination of base and mobile interaction points can be used. Additional interaction points can be added (or taken away) at any time during usage. A base interaction point is a mouse & keyboard pair, typically wireless, which any user can pick up and employ to interact with the Dynamo. Each mouse & keyboard is connected to a Windows™ PC (typically hidden from view) which is running the Dynamo Telepointer Application. This application sends mouse and keyboard events to the Dynamo Display Server. If a user has a laptop which they can put on the Local Area Network (via a wired or wireless connection), they are able to run the Dynamo Laptop Application. This allows the desktop of the users’ laptop to tile with the Dynamo surface, so that when a user moves their mouse to the top of the screen, it appears on the Dynamo surface as a colour-coded pointer. Users are able to drag and drop media files from their laptop desktop to the Dynamo surface, and vice-versa.

5.3.3 The Dynamo Device Hub A USB hub is provided which allows users to physically connect their personal devices to Dynamo, with the exception of laptops, which are connected via LAN. Dynamo is compatible with a range of personal devices that users may bring with them to the community hub. Most devices, when connected to Dynamo’s USB hub, are treated as removable disks. They appear iconically on a palette on the Dynamo surface, and their contents can be browsed and opened, and items can be copied to or from them. Figure 5.2, below, lists a selection of compatible devices and their features of media capture and storage.

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USB Flash Drive (termed “Pen Drive”). Designed to be held on a keyring, these devices serve as small storage devices. They plug directly into a USB port without requiring a cable. MP3 Player: Many serve the double function of music playback and audio recording. Digital Still Camera: Many have the capability for recording video and audio clips as well as still photos. Multimedia Jukebox: This new genre of device are for storage, viewing and playback of multimedia, including video, images and audio. Smart Phone: Among other features, these devices offer a range of digital photo and video capture, music playback, document editing and storage. PDA: As with smart phones, many PDAs have capabilities for taking photographs, video, audio, document editing and storage. Windows Laptop: When connected via LAN and running the Dynamo Laptop Application, the user is able to drag and drop media to and from their desktop and the Dynamo surface.

Figure 5.2: Dynamo Compatible Devices

5.4 Evaluating Dynamo Version 1
Dynamo V1 was evaluated in two different ways, in order to achieve an effective spread of findings – first, a feedback session was carried out at a public event, to ascertain the reactions and opinions of potential users of Dynamo, and gain some critical feedback. Secondly, a laboratory study was carried out, where groups of participants were given a cooperative task to perform using Dynamo (as reported in Section 5.4.2). This served to investigate the usability and suitability of user-interface and interaction models when used intensively by groups. In other words, the aim of these evaluations was to carry out a design iteration prior to the main Dynamo field study (Chapter 7), enabling the more minor design issues to be dealt with before approaching the important research questions about real-world in-situ usage.

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5.4.1 Feedback Session In order to gain user feedback on the system, Dynamo V1 was deployed at a small conference for computer scientists for the duration of one day. Since the user group were expert computer users, it was hoped that they would be able to articulate their feedback better than average end users. This made it a type of “expert evaluation” session (Bias & Mayhew, 1994).

- Study Setting Dynamo V1 was deployed in the foyer area of the hotel at which the conference was being held. A diagram of the floor plan is shown in Figure 5.3a below, and a photo of the layout is shown in Figure 5.3b, overleaf.

Figure 5.3a: Floor plan of foyer area

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Figure 5.3b: Annotated photograph of the system layout The system configuration involved a single SXGA projector used as the Dynamo display (approx. 2.5m wide by 2m tall, positioned approx. 1m above ground), with two base interaction points, composed of two pairs of wireless keyboards and mice, and one mobile interaction point, consisting of a laptop connected via Wireless LAN. Evaluation took place in an informal session: delegates were free to wander up to Dynamo and try it out as they pleased during their breaks. Two Dynamo researchers were on hand as helpers, to give instructions when needed. Users were observed interacting freely with the system, and were interviewed afterwards in an semi-structured manner, to gather their reactions and opinions about the Dynamo system. Data was recorded using written notes.

- Findings Overall, Dynamo was well received and the feedback showed that it had promise in being an effective Community Display. However, problems in ownership and access to media and devices caused concern for users. This section will detail these findings. In total approximately 65 delegates passed by the deployment during their breaks. Approximately 40 showed an interest in the system, of which

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approximately 30 interacted with the system; some as individuals and others in small groups, while others watched. Some users commented that they felt “on stage” or under the spotlight. One commented, “I hope I don’t break it in front of everyone”. This social awkwardness and apprehension of using technology for the first time in front of an audience is consistent with the analysis made on the Opinionizer studies in Chapter 4 (cf. Rogers & Brignull, 2003). Users were questioned on their feelings about the ability to simultaneously interact on Dynamo. Respondents almost unanimously considered this to be beneficial and sociable, to quote one interviewee: “It’s more sociable than using laptops around a table”, while another stated “Instead of being a back seat driver we can have two front seat drivers!” and yet another stated “... you can just give something to someone by just dragging… [Gestures] Bang! I think that’s important”. Also, a honey-pot effect was observed to occur on some occasions, whereby conference delegates would go and join in a conversation with a group or individual who was displaying media on Dynamo, and a gathering would develop. However, despite these benefits, a notable problem was observed in the lack of representation of ownership and access rights of devices and media on Dynamo’s surface. Of all the study participants, five users tried their own pen-drives on Dynamo, browsing or sharing their personal media. In one interaction, a pair stood together with an interaction point each, one of them with a pen-drive plugged into Dynamo. When the owner tried out Dynamo, opening and showing some documents to his colleague, the colleague started browsing through the disk further. The colleague found an application form on the disk for a grant proposal, which initiated a conversation on the topic. In this case the pen drive owner did not mind his colleague “nosing” through the contents of his disk. However, another observer fervently complained to us about the possible breach in privacy that could have occurred. Using the above example, he stated that that the item found could have been something private, such as a secret job

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application or a compromising photo which he would not have wanted his colleagues to see. Reflecting on this complaint, it becomes obvious that there is a mismatch between ownership rights in the real world, in which personal device contents are private and are physically held out of reach from intruders (e.g. in a bag or the user’s hands), and ownership rights on the Dynamo surface, in which anyone can access any device that is connected and any window that is displayed. While this open access approach was devised to provide a simple, easy and rapid-to-use interface, it is clear that the contents of personal devices may be considered private, and that people may not be willing to rely on social protocol to prevent abuse. Indeed, accidental misuse is a risk, as in the example above, where a colleague may open a file expecting it to be an item acceptable to display publicly, and then finding it is not. Furthermore, owing to the fact that it is a large publicly visible display potentially being watched by on-lookers, the risk is not just of theft of private documents – there is an immediate risk of other social problems such as embarrassment, disgrace or humiliation.

5.4.2 Laboratory study of a group task using Dynamo The aim of this second study was to observe the effectiveness and suitability of Dynamo’s user-interface and interaction models, when used intensively by groups. Specifically, a co-operative task was given to groups of volunteers which they were asked to carry out using Dynamo. This study was carried out on Dynamo Version 1.

- Participants Participants were recruited via email advertisement which was sent to undergraduates at the University of Sussex. Specifically, groups of four friends or colleagues were requested to volunteer to participate in a study using some new interactive technology in a group activity. Prior to the

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study, they were given a consent form, explaining that participation was voluntary, the data collected was confidential, they could ask any questions they liked, and that they were free to leave at any time without needing to give a reason. Participants were paid £5 each.

- Study design The given task involved the group creating an “interactive poster” on the Dynamo surface, effectively preparing it to be a community noticeboard for a hypothetical community who would use the space. This involved them browsing through and choosing media from a mixed selection which they were each given on different pen-drives as they arrived at the study. Each participant’s selection was mixed in terms of relevance, aesthetics and physical proportions, to engender discussion and decision-making. The task was to spatially arrange the media on the Dynamo surface, with the option of creating text and of displaying web pages if they wished. The scenario given to them was that they were to create a poster which aimed to encourage prospective students to come and study in Brighton. They were told that the poster was to be displayed in a public space during an open day, and passers-by had the option of interacting with the media and downloading items to their own USB disks if they wished. The content was chosen to be relevant to our participants (who themselves were based in Brighton) and to be familiar enough to encourage a relaxed atmosphere and discussion. Four groups of four participants were studied. Within each group, two participants were given wireless mice and keyboards (connected to PCs running the telepointer application), one was given a laptop running the Dynamo laptop application, and the fourth was given no device of their own, and was instructed to contribute through discussion and by sharing devices with the others. Three pen-drives were given to three of the users, each containing a different selection of multimedia (images, video clips, PowerPoint™ and Word™ documents). A further selection of multimedia

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was placed on the desktop of the laptop, allowing the laptop user to drag and drop this material onto the Dynamo surface. Each session lasted 45 minutes. Before each session, 15 minutes were spent talking the users through a detailed set of instructions explaining how to use the system. Users were seated at two tables arranged in a wide “V” shape in front of the Dynamo display, to allow users to be able to easily look at each other and Dynamo. They were videoed from two angles – one camera was pointed at the group, to record their physical behaviours, while another was pointed at the Dynamo display, to record their behaviour on screen. A still of the video capture set-up is shown in Figure 5.4. After the sessions, participants were debriefed and interviewed about their experience of using Dynamo.

Figure 5.4: a still of the video capture set-up used in the laboratory study (Dynamo is shown picture-in-picture, top left) - Findings Overall, although each of the four groups successfully completed the task, they often experienced problems with the “open access” access control model, in that they often inadvertently got in each others’ way,

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manipulating each others’ windows and working in each others’ space. This section will detail these findings (also reported in more detail in Izadi et al., 2003). In general, when users started out using Dynamo, many of them had difficulties in understanding the etiquette of using the communal surface. Some users were very polite and asked the group before they opened any documents on the public surface, while others were more forward and dominated the display estate with less regard for others’ needs. Once they became more familiar with Dynamo, users often helped each other and worked together without using much discussion about how to cooperate using the interface. This is shown in Vignette 5.1, below, where “P” and “R” assist “L” who is having trouble grabbing and moving a window containing a photo of an old lady from an overlapping pile of windows:
Vignette 5.1: L: Can anybody move this one? [has trouble grabbing title bar of a window] I’m trying to get the old lady to the front. [takes hand off mouse momentarily] P: [immediately grabs an occluding window and moves it out the way, helping L] R: [immediately grabs another occluding window and moves it out the way – leaving L’s desired window visible.]

All the groups successfully completed the cooperative task, and expressed satisfaction with the end result. However, in all the groups, when interaction at the interface was most intensive, it was common to see users hindering each other by overlapping, closing or “stealing” each others’ windows; or using space on the surface that another user had considered their own. In Vignette 5.2, below, ‘J’ closes a window that ‘R’ was using, and apologizes; while in Vignette 5.3, ‘H’ and ‘M’ bicker over the control of two windows.
Vignette 5.2: J: [makes some space for his new window by closing one in its way.] R: Oh, you closed my Events!

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J: Oh sorry R, Did I? R: That was mine that was! J: Oops! I do beg your pardon! Vignette 5.3: H: See I can’t move your thing, look! M: You can... H grabs his window while he is talking and moves it while M is trying to use it M: [angrily] No! M [resizes his window to cover H’s] H: Oi! [He grabs the offending window and moves it out of his way]

To quote one user in the debriefing interview: “I think it’s actually quite chaotic unless you work to some sort of plan, because basically it’s like having a desktop but harder because you can’t control it, you know, and when you put something there, somebody’s going to put something over what you’ve just put down.” Even though they were trying to cooperate, users found it hard to stay aware of what the others were doing and, more specifically, the windows and spaces the others were using.

5.4.3 Analysis of findings & implications for re-design The two studies detailed above showed that the user-interface and functionality of Dynamo V1 shows promise for group usage. In the feedback session (Section 5.4.1), participants gave positive feedback about the system and a honey-pot effect was observed. In the laboratory study (Section 5.4.3), users achieved cooperative activities during a group task, and were generally satisfied with the end result. However, some important problems were also uncovered with Dynamo V1’s support for the management of sharing and ownership of resources. In summary, the feedback session showed that Dynamo V1 needed to support the ownership of personal devices when plugged into the system, to avoid privacy concerns. The laboratory study showed that Dynamo V1 needed a mechanism for managing the sharing of the communal resources on the

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display, i.e., the real estate and the media items, to avoid conflicts between users, particularly during periods of intensive use. This requirement created a tension with the original user experience principle of “allowing open access to all resources” in order to keep the interaction with the system simple and thus facilitate learning and adoption (detailed in Section 5.2.1). In other words, how could the system be kept simple to use for first-time and novice users while also providing these additional features of access control, which would add complexity to the system? The following subsections detail how this tension was addressed in the redesign of Dynamo, i.e. version 2 (V2).

- Ownership of personal devices In order to implement ownership of personal devices without complicating usage of the system for novice users, the following design changes were made. For any user who desired private access to their personal device, they could optionally register it with the system, by filling in a brief registration dialogue box or using a command-line utility on any Windows™ computer. When an unregistered device is plugged into Dynamo V2, it appears on the public palette, and is accessible by anyone, thus maintaining the simplicity of the original design. When a registered device is plugged into Dynamo V2, it appears on a separate, personal palette, to which a user logs in by typing their password, and no other user can have access unless explicitly granted. Details of the new palette system are given in Section 5.5.

- Managing the sharing of the communal resources To briefly revisit the origin of the design tension of ease-of-use and access control, in Section 5.2.1 a number of pieces of evidence were found to support the design of an “open access” access control model into Dynamo, since they showed that social protocol could be sufficient in providing

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access control rules (Specifically, the case studies in Chapters 3 and 4; Dix et al., 2004; O’Hara et al., 2004). Furthermore, an “open access” model enabled the system to be easier to learn and use, and for this reason such a model was designed into Dynamo V1. However, the laboratory study reported in Section 5.4.3 shows that during intensive group usage, conflicts between users became highly evident, in the form of accidental overlapping, closing or stealing each others’ windows or space. In order to address the tension between providing ease of use while also providing a means of access control, facilities for access control were designed to be optional, defaulting to the open access model for first time and novice users, while offering advanced access control features via registration for those users who desired them. In addition, the screen real-estate was re-designed to be significantly larger, as detailed in section 5.5 and figure 5.6. The mechanisms for access control designed for Dynamo V2 were called “Carving”, and “Parcels”, inspired from other multi-user systems. For example, many multi-user document sharing systems allow users to “check out” documents they are working on and check them back in when they are done, to prevent two people from accidentally working on the same item at the same time (e.g. Macromedia Dreamweaver™). Also, multi-user shared document editing tools which allow users to simultaneously work on the same document (e.g. SubEthaEdit™), often use a technique of colour coding to visually demarcate the section each user is working on, to prevent accidental clashes. This inspired the design of the “carving” mechanism, detailed in the following section. Also, various operating systems provide means to administer access control of folders, allowing users to aggregate media and store it iconically on their desktop, serving to provide an organizational function, and freeing up valuable screen estate. This inspired the development of the “Parcels” mechanism, also detailed in the following section. Additionally, the size of Dynamo’s display estate was substantially increased to address this problem, to provide more space within which multiple users can position their media.

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5.5 Dynamo Version 2: System Description
This section describes the changed and additional features introduced into Version 2. Repetition of the unchanged features stated in Section 5.3 is avoided for the sake of brevity. A detailed video demonstrating the features of Dynamo Version 2, is available in Izadi et al., (2003b). Figure 5.5 overleaf shows screen shot of the system in use. Following this section, “Dynamo V2” will generally be referred to as just “Dynamo”, for the purpose of brevity.

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Figure 5.5: Screenshot of the Dynamo (V2) system in use

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- Increased screen estate Dynamo V2 allows a Dynamo surface to be spread across multiple screens, the default being two tiled side-by-side (although theoretically offering any configuration, and as many screens as the server’s hardware can support), This offers substantially more screen estate for simultaneous interaction and the concurrent display of media on the surface, as shown in Figure 5.6.

Figure 5.6: comparing the screen estate size of Dynamo V.1 with the intended size of Dynamo V.2

- System registration To register with the Dynamo system, the user needs to own a compatible personal device, such as a pen-drive, a digital camera or a laptop. Registration with the system can be carried out away from the Dynamo surface, via a dialogue box on Dynamo or by running a command-line registration application on any Windows™ computer. This deposits a configuration folder onto the user’s device: this includes an XML document specifying their full name and their password (encrypted). Their chosen personal icon is also placed here, as an image file. This is customizable by the end user at any time.

- Logging in A registered user logs into Dynamo by plugging in their device, and then clicking on their personal palette and entering their password into the small dialogue box which appears adjacently. The system then associates their

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chosen interaction point (wireless mouse and keyboard) as owned by that user. Non registered users are able to use the system at any time as anonymous “guest” users. Unlike registered users, any window they open is publicly accessible, and they are not able to create or belong to any carveregions (see later for details), since the system cannot identify them as unique individuals.

- Personal and public palettes Users access the available communal resources as icons on a shared public palette which is located at the top of the screen. These include services, such as a web browser and annotation tool, and any shared or unregistered devices, as shown in Figure 5.5. Registered users have their own personal palettes (see Figure 5.7), which appear when they plug in their personal device, located in a row on the bottom of the screen. Personal palettes are identified by colour code, together with the user’s icon, which they choose themselves. Figure 5.7 shows a photograph of the user’s face as their chosen icon.

Figure 5.7: an example of a Personal Palette

- Taking and giving copies of media Users can take copies of media items by grabbing a window’s content and dropping it onto their personal icon on their personal palette. Similarly, users can give other users copies of media in the same way.

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- Addressable Parcels Parcels provide users with a means of storing media on the dynamo surface for future access. Parcels are like “folders” seen in normal GUI environments (such as Microsoft Windows™), except that they have an inbuilt and readily accessible visual access control tool. Parcels have two states – iconic and open. When iconic, a parcel is shown as a parcel icon (shown as either “sealed” or “previously opened”, as depicted in Figure 5.8), and has a textual label. When open, a parcel is shown as a media viewer window, which allows users to view the contents of the parcel and open each item. It also offers facilities for setting access control, sealing the parcel, and deletion. An access control pane offers simply a list of registered users, which can be selected via the mouse, as well the option to make the parcel “public”, i.e. publicly accessible by any user.

Figure 5.8: Parcel icons, shown sealed (left) and opened (right).

Carving – communal surface management Carving is a mechanism which provides a means for communal surface management. In other words, carving allows a user to take control of a free area of screen estate, display this ownership, share it with chosen others, and relinquish it when done. Any windows placed inside a carve region become owned by the owner (or owners) of the region. A user creates a carve by holding down the right mouse-button and dragging diagonally downwards and to the right. The region becomes colour-coded to their cursor/palette colour, as depicted in Figure 5.9, overleaf. A user can give others access to the space by dragging the carve’s key icon from the top

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right of the carve, and dropping it onto the target user’s personal icon on their personal palette. This causes the joining user’s icon to appear with the owner’s in the top left of the carve, as depicted in Figure 5.10, overleaf. Access can be provided for users who are not present at the time by putting the carve’s key icon into a parcel and addressing it to them. Access can be revoked by dragging their personal icon out of the carve and dropping it onto the Dynamo surface. A user who does not have access is shown this by their cursor developing a “shield” icon around it, as depicted with the green cursor in the red carve region, in Figure 5.9. A carve region can be discarded by clicking the “discard” button in the bottom left of the carve region.

Figure 5.9: Detail of two carve regions. (from Brignull et al., 2004)

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Figure 5.10: Adding (right cursor) and revoking (left cursor) a user from a carve region (from Izadi et al., 2003)

5.5 Discussion
This chapter has presented the design process carried out for Dynamo, a Community Display for on-going usage settings. Evaluation of Dynamo V1 revealed it to be promising as a Community Display, yet it suffered from a problematic lack of facilities for the management of sharing and ownership of the communal resources on the display, i.e. personal devices, the media displayed, and the screen real estate itself. Analysis suggests that such facilities will be important for usage in on-going settings. To draw an analogy of Dynamo’s resources with the tables and chairs in a typical ongoing communal space, these are both intended to free for anyone to use as they wish. However, for this communality to work, there is also a need for signifying temporary ownership. With tables, chairs, and personal belongings, people mark their ownership physically, with their bodily presence. The mechanism of carving in Dynamo is intended to be the digital equivalent of marking ownership, in the absence of physicality. It is interesting to consider how these issues of managing sharing and ownership did not emerge in the Opinionizer studies. In Opinionizer, since the usage activity was designed to be simple and to encourage socializing, it is possible that this content was too trivial and temporary for community

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members to become concerned about ownership. Indeed, such lack of concern is consistent with the design goals aimed for with Community Displays for one-shot settings. However, in on-going usage settings, where owned, non-trivial content may be used (as observed in the field evaluation), and community members may invest more time and effort in usage of the display (as observed in the laboratory study), issues of managing sharing and ownership come to the forefront of the users’ concerns. Management of sharing and ownership aside, the evaluation studies carried out suggest that the user experience principles put forward at the beginning of this chapter were generally effective in informing the design of Dynamo. However, the main evaluation is reported in the next chapters. In Chapter 6, a preliminary study of an authentic on-going setting is reported, to provide a point of comparison for the effect of Dynamo once deployed. In Chapter 7, the main study is reported, in which Dynamo was deployed in that setting for a duration of two weeks. This reveals many interesting insights into the way it became appropriated by the community within the initial adoption period.

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Chapter 6
Preliminary Observational study of an on-going setting

6.1 Introduction_________________________________________ 133 6.2 Preliminary observational study ________________________ 133
6.2.1 The Deployment Site and User Community ___________________ 133 6.2.2 Rhythm and flow in the common room _______________________ 134 6.2.3 Activities and practices in the common room __________________ 135 6.2.4 Survey of digital information sharing practices _________________ 141

6.3 Discussion _________________________________________ 143

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6.1 Introduction
This chapter describes a one-week long preliminary observational study of an on-going usage setting – the common room of a 6th form college. The aim of this study was to investigate its suitability as a potential deployment site, and provide a grounding description of the community’s existing activities, practices and flow, to offer a point of comparison with the effects of Dynamo after it is deployed.

6.2 Preliminary observational study
6.2.1 The Deployment Site and User Community The site selected was the common room of Blatchington Mill 6th form college, used by a student community. An initial visit suggested this site would be suitable for the following reasons: it was used regularly by its community members; the space was large enough to house Dynamo; the members showed an interest in the capabilities of the system; and they were willing to be videoed during the study. The common room had 300 square meters of floor space, and contained enough tables and chairs to seat 44 people. As detailed in Section 6.2.4, the common room contained a number of resources, including lockers, pigeon holes, vending machines and so forth. The rhythm and flow of usage is detailed in the following section (Section 6.2.2). The community was composed of 150 students aged 17-19 years old. All members were studying for their A-level exams, and had been doing so for a duration of 1-2 years. Community members were, in general, on familiar terms with their peers, although some cases were noted where students did not know each others’ names. Most students treated the common room as their base on the college campus, and used it as a place to hang out, work, socialize, read, listen to music, and locate friends. Approximately 50 individuals spent most of their spare time in the common room: from an

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hour and a half, to three hours in total a day. The majority used it for less than an hour a day, to access resources such as the tea bar, their lockers, or to hang out while eating meals or having coffee with friends.

6.2.2 Rhythm and flow in the common room All students shared the same general timetable structure. Specifically, this meant that they shared a twenty minute morning break at 10:50 am, and an hour long lunch break at 1:10pm, during which time a tea bar in the common room was open, and students could buy hot food and drinks, which drew a flow of students into the room – at these times, the room was at its fullest. Also, lesson change-overs occurred every hour, at which time many students would return to the common room to use their lockers and have passing conversations with their friends. During these change-overs, the room would fill and empty rapidly – within a period of 5-10 minutes. Different students had different timetables, owing to the fact that they were all studying different combinations of subjects. They also often had long gaps between their timetabled lessons, time they would often spend in the common room. Some students enjoyed spending time in the common room so much, that even if they had no more lessons that day, they would stay there until the end of the day at 3:50 pm. Other streams of flow occurred in which students accessed other communal resources in the space. As shown in Figure 6.1, these included vending machines, a photocopier, a noticeboard, their pigeonholes, and the deputy headmaster’s office which was often used for student meetings.

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Figure 6.1: Floorplan of the common room A honey-pot effect was also observed to regularly occur in the common room, similar to those described in the previous two case studies, except here without a large display involved. People would often check the occupancy of the room by glancing into one of the windows as they walked past. On the footpath leading up to the building, the occupants of the room could be clearly seen through two large windows (depicted in blue on the top edge of Figure 6.1), and in the corridor adjacent to the common room leading to other teaching rooms, students could glance in a window by the door. This enabled them to locate friends they were looking for, but also, if they noticed a social gathering, they would often pop in to socialize and see what was going on. In a similar manner, people would be drawn in from the various other streams of flow to the gathering. Conversely, if there was nobody in the room, they were less likely to stay in there on their own. As such, spontaneous gatherings would occur, even during normally quiet times.

6.2.3 Activities and practices in the common room The common room was used by the community for a range of different activities, as depicted in Figure 6.2. Figure 6.2a depicts a student reading

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literature quietly for their coursework, while on the other side of the table, another student has left their folder and pencil case at the table, in the midst of working on an essay. Figure 6.2b depicts a gathering around a table, where one reads, two eat their lunch and another has their work on the table. In the background someone is putting on a CD, as shown close up in Figure 6.2c. Mixed in with these different activities is typically number of simultaneous threads of informal conversation. These threads would move and interweave as people joined in and left, reflecting a continual undercurrent of socializing and mingling activities. Figure 6.2d shows a student giving a musical performance on their guitar. Other similar performances involved students telling stories and jokes, and playing music on the stereo, such as newly released albums. The common room would also be used as a convenient location for group work, for example, students working on group projects or proof-reading each others’ essays.

Figure 6.2: Activities carried out in the common room.

Overall, many of the activities carried out in the common room had the feel of performance for the benefit of onlookers – the common room was a place to see and be seen. For example, mobile phone conversations were often held loudly; students would often announce text messages to their friends

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that they had received or were sending; and the act of entering would often be carried out with a flourish, a loud “hello” and handshakes or hugs. This resonates with Goffman’s (1969) sociological analysis of social life being a “theatrical performance” involving performer and audience.

Figure 6.3: (a) Student noticeboard by the entrance. (b) Notices attached to walls, (c) Makeshift cardboard noticeboard. Large displays were employed in the common room to display notices. As shown in Figure 6.3a, a noticeboard and whiteboard were located near the door to the room, which staff and students would use to publicize events and important information. For example, on the right hand side, there is a scrawled notice from students to other students, about their Christmas party,

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stating that fancy dress was optional and everyone was invited. On the left hand side, the pin board is predominantly used by the staff to display “official” notices about lesson cancellations and room changes, among other things. Figure 6.3b also shows the use of the walls as a surface for displaying notices (on the left is a request to keep the room tidy, on the right an advertisement for another evening social event). Figure 6.3c shows a makeshift cardboard noticeboard constructed by the student committee (a group of students involved in organizing events and representing the community in staff meetings). This makeshift noticeboard was evidently constructed for lack of available existing display surfaces, and was used to display a list of people who had not paid for an upcoming theatre trip. Once paid, their names were crossed off, providing a public record. In addition to the pinning up of notices, flyers were often distributed around the room by students advertising upcoming events such as jumble sales (see Figure 6.4b) and by the staff distributing “official” materials, such as gap year information leaflets (see Figure 6.4a).

Figure 6.4: use of flyers to distribute information Also shown in Figure 6.4 is a magazine left on one of the tables – students tended to leave magazines out for others once they had read them. Magazines and other artefacts were often used as conversational props, i.e. providing a resource for conversational topics and a shared point of reference. Other artefacts used as conversational props included CD cases, text and photo messages on mobile phones, and digital cameras. The

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following vignette is an example of this practice – specifically, it involves a group of students passing around a digital camera and chatting about the photos. Figure 6.5, overleaf, shows a series of video stills from the event, with corresponding descriptive text. To give a background for this vignette, it occurred in morning break (11.30am) on a Tuesday (day 2 of the study). Frame 1 depicts 4 girls (names anonymised) – Mary standing on the left, next to Cathy, holding her digital camera, followed by Penny on her right, and on the far right of the photo is Becca, who is busy writing. The four girls sit at a table, with their coursework and writing materials out. Cathy has just taken out her digital camera, and has begun to browse photos with Penny, looking over her shoulder. As the text in the figure describes, they browse the photos as a group, either passing the camera round, holding it out for everyone to see, or leaning in close. As the group looks through the photos, this furnishes them with material to talk about, and provides a memory function for them to reminisce over the photographed events. It is clear that the group takes considerable enjoyment through looking at the photos and chatting about them – they serve a socializing and entertainment function (see over).

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(1) Cathy & Penny (middle) talk about and laugh at the photos on the camera, while Becca (right) studies. Mary (left) notices their gathering and approaches… (2) Mary leans in to see the photos, and chats to Cathy and Penny.

(3) Cathy puffs her cheeks out doing an impression of herself in one of the photos, the group laughs loudly. After a few minutes, Mary says bye and moves off, ending up socializing with another group. (4) Becca, asks for the camera to see the photo they are currently looking at.

(5) She looks through the photos, and when she finds one she likes, she holds the camera out for everyone to see. They gossip about the featured couple.

(6) Cathy takes the camera back, and browses some more, showing Penny each photo. Penny asks for a copy of the photos from their night out (a selection of those on the camera). (7) After some deliberation, since the photos were determined to be too big for email, Cathy agrees to record a CD for Penny tomorrow night, when she can get help from her brother. (8) They continue browsing & chatting. Becca finds a photo of herself that she disapproves of, but when she tries to delete it, Mary insists on taking the camera off her (pictured) and looking at it with Penny, before doing it herself.

Figure 6.4: Vignette of Group socializing with a digital camera

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The small screen of the digital camera poses some limitations to their group viewing activity – which they remedy with the “work around” of passing the camera around (e.g. frame 3), leaning in (e.g. frame 2), and holding the camera out (e.g. frame 5). During the 4 minutes and 22 seconds of the vignette clip, the camera was moved and the people re-arrange themselves 22 times- an average of approximately once every twelve seconds, which may be an unnecessary amount of ‘re-arranging’ work if instead a Community Display like Dynamo was used. However, there may be other benefits to using the camera, such as privacy of visibility within the group. Frame 7 shows how the sharing of the digital photos had to be deferred for two days, since the camera alone did not provide this function, and the owner did not know how to carry out the CD-recording procedure without help. This also suggests that Dynamo may be suitable in this setting, since it allows sharing and exchange to be easy and spontaneous. This discussion of technology usage leads onto a survey carried out on the community’s usage of digital technologies, reported in the following section.

6.2.4 Survey of digital information sharing practices During the preliminary study, a short questionnaire (included in appendix 2) was distributed to all the students in their pigeonholes, in order to find out about their level of computer expertise, use of personal devices, and their digital information sharing practices. The aim of this survey was to provide a grounding understanding to inform the interpretation of the students’ uptake of Dynamo. Of the 150 students in the community, 43 completed the questionnaire (20 male, 23 female, mean age: 18). To summarize the data, the majority of them reported that they used computers on average 2 hours a day, and rated themselves as “average” computer users on a 5 point Likerttype scale. They were asked to indicate from a list which personal devices they regularly used at college. The results of this question are shown in a bar chart in Figure 6.5, below:

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Figure 6.5: Personal devices regularly used at college, as indicated by survey respondents. In rank order, the most popular to least popular devices were: non-mms mobile phones (60%), followed by mms (photo-capable) mobile phones (35%), digital still cameras (28%), recordable CDs (26%), zip disks (21%), mp3 walkmans (16%), floppy disks (14%), pen-drives (9%), laptops (7%) , digital video cameras (7%), and PDAs (2%). Of particular note here is the prevalence of physically small pocket-sized devices, of low value – typically under £100. This is likely to be due to the fact that students had little money to spend on expensive hardware, and traveled long distances on foot each day, therefore needing their bags to be light. This data also suggests that Dynamo would be particularly suitable for this community since many of them regularly used personal devices that were compatible with Dynamo. The survey also asked the students to select from a list which digital information sharing activities they regularly undertook. Results of this question are shown in Figure 6.6, below.

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Figure 6.6: Digital information sharing activities regularly undertaken, as indicated by survey respondents.

In summary, the most dominant practice was mobile phone voice calls, at 95%, followed by textual emails (91%), SMS (91%), emails with attachments (88%), instant messaging (53%), MMS (picture, video or sound) messaging (28%), web discussion boards (19%), photo-sharing websites (e.g. shutterfly.com) (9%). The rarest practices were Bluetooth file sharing (5%) and use of shared drive or ftp servers (5%). This shows that the respondents engaged in a range of digital information sharing activities, which implies a further potential suitability of Dynamo to this community.

6.3 Discussion
To summarize the findings of this preliminary observational study, the common room was found to have many of the hallmarks of an “on-going” communal space. It was used by an established community and members were generally familiar with one another, having studied together and used the space for a period of 1-2 years. They used the room on a daily basis, and a subset of approximately 50 used the room for over 1.5 to 3 hours a day. The room was used for informal social interaction (predominantly socializing rather than work-related), and contained a number of resources,

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contributing to its centrality and offering opportunities for serendipitous interaction. In general, the common room was observed to be a comfortable place in which people passed time and interacted with others (Oldenburg, 1989) for the purpose of enjoyment. Responses to the survey showed that the sample of community members were of average level computer expertise, carried an assortment of personal devices, and engaged in a range of information sharing practices. Noticeboards and flyers were also widely used for asynchronous information dissemination. Together with the vignette example of social digital camera usage, this suggests a great potential for Dynamo to be employed in this setting to support their existing practices.

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Chapter 7
The adoption of Dynamo in an ongoing setting

7.1 Introduction_________________________________________ 146 7.2 Study Details ________________________________________ 149
7.2.1 Duration _______________________________________________ 149 7.2.2 Study set up ___________________________________________ 149 7.2.2 Participant briefing and instructional materials _________________ 151 7.2.4 Participant consent ______________________________________ 152 7.2.5 Observation and data capture ______________________________ 152

7.3 Study Findings ______________________________________ 154
7.3.1 Overview of findings _____________________________________ 154 7.3.2 Analysis of log data ______________________________________ 157 7.3.4 Overview of vignettes ____________________________________ 163 7.3.5 Vignette (a) enticing social interaction ________________________ 166 7.3.6 Vignette (b) concurrent group use for socializing _______________ 168 7.3.7 Vignette (c) low engagement group interaction _________________ 170 7.3.8 Vignette (d) opportunistic use in a transition ___________________ 172

7.4 Analysis of Study Findings ____________________________ 176
7.4.1 Appropriation: the emergence of practices over time ____________ 176 7.4.2 Levels of engagement and gradual buy-in ____________________ 180 7.4.3 The role of entry points in enabling direct interaction ____________ 183 7.4.4 Community advocacy, support and tutoring ___________________ 185

7.5 Discussion _________________________________________ 188

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7.1 Introduction

Figure 7.1: Community use of the Dynamo System This chapter describes an observational study of Dynamo V2 in an on-going usage setting, detailing the manner in which the Community Display is appropriated over a period of two weeks (depicted in Figure 7.1, above). Video data is summarised as vignettes, which provide a rich description of the initial adoption of the system and the behaviour of the users. The findings of a post hoc survey are reported, which show patterns of the uptake of Dynamo and information about its effect on community life. Also, quantitative data captured in the system log files is analysed, depicting the progress of system usage and the adoption of its individual features over time. In general, the findings show the progress of appropriation over the course of the deployment, detailing how the community progressed from complete naivety regarding the system and treating it like a normal PC, to gradually developing a shared understanding of the usefulness of the system for their needs, in the development of activities, practices and norms. Practices they

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developed included using Dynamo as a prop to entice social interaction with peers; using it as a stage to give entertaining performances to large groups during breaks; using it as resource to support socializing and mingling in “multifocused gatherings” (Goffman, 1963); and engaging in policing and tidying activities to maintain it as a communal resource that benefited the majority. Vignettes describing these practices are analyzed in detail. The vignettes reveal many parallels with their prior practices. For example, prior to Dynamo, they would give performances, e.g. playing guitars or telling jokes; they would socialize using magazines and digital cameras as props; and they would maintain the room’s communal resources (e.g. tables, chairs and the stereo) through policing and tidying carried out by particular community members. This emphasizes how they appropriated Dynamo to meet the needs of their own community setting, i.e. to do familiar things in new ways, and this shows the importance of providing flexible and openended functionality to enable them to do this. As found in the previous case studies, interaction in relation to the Community Display occurred at various different “levels of engagement”, from peripheral monitoring through to direct interaction. In this study. analysis of the findings shows how peripheral monitoring and lowengagement interactions were used to learn about the system by watching others interacting (vicarious learning). Two community members were very keen and adopted the system on the first day, acquiring and registering pen-drives as soon as they could. However, a majority of the community “bought in” (i.e. invested interest, time and dedication) to the system and its related practices gradually and at their own pace. In general (though not exclusively) they would begin by engaging with the system in a predominantly peripheral manner, learning by overseeing, while doing other things in the locality. Initially, they would “dip in” to Dynamo-related group interactions on occasions, and then, over time, the length and regularity of these occasions would increase. Also, within these interactions, they would progress from a predominantly

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conversational role, to gradually using interaction points and devices more and more often. Furthermore, they would often get support and help from their friends, in the form of “over the shoulder” learning, side-by-side tutoring and “back seat” tutoring, which was facilitated by Dynamo’s multiuser functionality. Social interaction involving Dynamo but not involving direct interaction with it was also regularly observed, for example in presenter-audience type activities. This was found to be a legitimate form of participation which enabled the wider community to benefit from learning about the displayed information (e.g. awareness of their peers’ interests and activities outside of college), and more generally, to benefit from the enjoyment of the social interaction itself. A number of different factors were observed to vary in usage situations. For example, the spontaneity or planned-ness of the interaction, the type of personal device used (if any), individual or group arrangement, and the type of support given by colleagues, if any. These factors were observed to combine into a wide range of contingencies, referred to as “entry points”, which are described as being either “open”, allowing an interaction to proceed, or “closed” preventing the interaction from happening. Examples are given of both types, drawing from the study observations, and it is suggested that this concept of entry points is useful in evaluating Community Displays for the purposes of suggesting re-design

improvements, to facilitate voluntary adoption. The structure of this chapter is be as follows. First, the study details are reported, including the arrangement of the room, the instructional materials, and the data collection approach. Then the study findings are reported, including an overview, patterns in the system log data, and a series of five vignettes. An analysis of these findings is then reported, and finally, the discussion section describes the contribution of this chapter as a whole.

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7.2 Study Details
7.2.1 Duration Dynamo was deployed in the Blatchington 6 Common Room for a total of 10 days in December 2003. The room was available to students on weekdays from 8.30-5.30.

7.2.2 Study set up The deployment setting was described in detail in Chapter 6, and is not repeated in this section. Figure 7.2, overleaf, shows a floor plan of the room in use, with Dynamo fully deployed. The Dynamo Displays (two 52” plasma screens) were deployed against a free wall, and the Dynamo hardware was housed in a security cupboard adjacent to this. Two digital cameras and a number of pen drives were provided on a free loan basis. Students could simply sign out items and borrow them as they pleased. Also, pen drives were offered for sale to students who wished to buy them.

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Figure 7.2: Floorplan depicting the spatial configuration of Dynamo.

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7.2.2 Participant briefing and instructional materials Prior to the preliminary study, a number of students had been told informally about Dynamo by the researchers and by the staff at the school. They were made aware that two large plasma screens connected to a computer were going to be installed in the common room, allowing them to display and share documents and multimedia. On the first day of the study when Dynamo was installed, a briefing session lasting 30 minutes was carried out with 18 students. This involved a demonstration of the system’s features. As well as the students, the teaching staff were introduced to Dynamo, and were informed of the possibilities of using Dynamo for student learning and group activities. Three teachers designed activities involving Dynamo and advocated them to their students as voluntary activities for their spare time. The photography teacher asked students to scan their portfolios and put them on Dynamo to get critical feedback. She also created a public parcel containing work of a number of famous photographers, and questions about technique and style, which she hoped would stimulate verbal discussion and annotation using Dynamo’s text note facility. The Drama teacher created a page of web links relating to the drama students’ coursework on Romeo and Juliet, and posted it on the Dynamo surface in a parcel. This was done with the hope of students browsing the pages, learning useful information and discussing the material in groups in their spare time. The geography teacher also advocated use of Dynamo for group web browsing of course-related materials, and reminded them of this possibility a number of times. Interestingly, these teacher-advocated activities failed and were not engaged in by students, as reported in Section 7.4.1. Also, throughout the study, A4 leaflets containing instructional materials were available to the students (see appendix 2), although interestingly, only 7 were taken out of the 100 leaflets provided, the implications of which are discussed later. Students were also encouraged to ask for help from the researchers whenever they needed it.

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7.2.4 Participant consent Permission was gained from the college allowing us to observe and record the students’ use of Dynamo. This blanket agreement was possible since the college held the legal position of “in loco parentis”, i.e. acting as the students’ parents while they were at the college. As a further courtesy to the students, they were also given participation consent forms (see appendix 2 for more details). Only 2 students expressly did not wish to participate in the study at all. A further 5 students agreed to participate but requested that any video and photos of themselves remain confidential and unpublished. At the same time as the consent forms were distributed, a disclaimer form was also distributed, which students had to sign in agreement in order to participate. This stated that they agreed not to use Dynamo in an anti-social or illegal manner, and that if they did, they took full personal responsibility for their actions. Copies of these documents are available in appendix 2.

7.2.5 Observation and data capture Four observation and data capture techniques were used. Firstly, observational data was recorded in written notes, along with the time, allowing it be associated with the time-stamps in the recorded video. Secondly, video was recorded simultaneously from three camera angles, as shown in Figure 7.3, below:

Figure 7.3: Camera angles recorded during the study The “screen camera” was positioned half way down the side of the room, pointing towards the screens. This mainly recorded the screen activity and

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the users’ behaviours in the immediate vicinity. The “behaviour camera” was pointed from the side of the plasma screens outwards towards the users and the room behind. Finally, the mobile camera was hand-held and was moved or zoomed around the room in order to record the detail of any ongoing user interactions. Each day, 9 hours of video was captured from three simultaneous angles, producing a total of 270 hours of video. This video was captured digitally, and the different camera angles were synchronized using Final Cut Pro™. Three months were spent transcribing the video footage into a written report for each day of the study. Using Jordan and Henderson’s (1995) Interaction Analysis approach, these reports were analyzed according to a set of defined foci. These included chunking the reports into events, locating the beginnings, endings, and segmentation within these events, the rhythm and periodicy of daily activities, spatial organization of interaction, and trouble and repair in these interactions (Jordan and Henderson, 1995). In addition to Jordan and Henderson’s foci, “flow” and the “honey pot effect” were also used as foci, drawing upon the findings of this thesis so far. This led to a condensed set of vignettes (reported in sections 7.3.4 – 7.3.8), which provide insights into the key issues uncovered by this analysis. In addition to qualitative data capture, log data was also captured by the Dynamo system, recording the occurrence of feature usage during the study. Specifically, this log data detailed high level interactions, such as plugging in or out a device, logging in or out, dragging media onto or off the surface, creating, moving and resizing windows, parcels, notes and carves, and use of palettes. Low level interactions, such as telepointer movements, were not recorded. Finally, a post-hoc survey was carried out after the study, in order to ascertain their perceptions of Dynamo and their opinions of its impact on their daily lives. This was distributed to all 150 community members in their pigeon-holes, and 39 responded.

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7.3 Study Findings
The findings are reported in the following manner. First, an overview is provided, to give a feel for the findings as a whole. Then, the log data is analyzed, giving an understanding of the progression of feature usage over the duration of the study. Some aspects of the post hoc survey are also reported here to show the uptake of Dynamo and the progress of registration over time. Then, a series of five illustrated vignettes will be detailed. Finally, the findings are condensed into a set of key principles.

7.3.1 Overview of findings In all, the Dynamo deployment can be regarded as a success. The system was used throughout the study by a range of different community members and for a number of different kinds of activities. Post hoc feedback on the system was overwhelmingly positive from the users (78% of survey respondents wrote positive comments), and many indicated disappointment when the system was dismantled at the end of the study. Also, the community appropriated Dynamo and developed practices and styles of use that were unanticipated by the designers, as reported in later sections. As observed in the preliminary study (Chapter 6), approximately 50 of the 150 strong community were regular and intensive users of the common room, spending 1.5 to 3 hours in there spread out through each day. This subset of approximately 50 became the core community of Dynamo users, using it most intensively, and making up the majority of those who registered with Dynamo (15 out of the total of 21 who registered, i.e. 71%). In addition to this core were members who came into the room generally during breaks and lesson change-overs, and often interacted with Dynamo and its associated social activities in a peripheral or “low engagement” capacity, for example, watching others, enjoying the displayed media and performances given, joining in conversations, or having “spin off” conversations about the media displayed. Only 6 people out of this wider group registered with Dynamo (making up 29% of the registrants). More

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analysis about the important role of “low engagement” and peripheral interaction with Dynamo is carried out in Section 7.4.1. It was noted that that the common room became progressively busier through the study. Feedback from the post hoc survey tallies with this observation. In response to a question asking about Dynamo’s effect on life in the common room, selected participants responded:
“More people stayed in the common room.” “A lot more people spent time in common room.” “Dynamo made people socialise more in the common room and was fun to use.” “It made the common room more interesting and a lot more crowded”

Respondents also commented on the positive effects Dynamo had on socializing and community interaction, as shown below. Although these quotes do not provide conclusive evidence, they provide a general feel for the perceived effect of Dynamo on community life in the common room:
“…adding photos and sharing things meant you spoke to people you wouldn't usually” “Brought everyone together and made us share things and laughs” “Dynamo created a much more social atmosphere within the college common room & enabled people to share fun things they had made.” “It brought more life within the common room, made people socialise more.” “It made the common room busy and the filming brought people together so it affected us in a good way.”

Quantitative results from the post-hoc survey also indicate some broad patterns in participant behaviour. The graph in Figure 7.4, below, shows the timing of first time usage among survey respondents. The average first time usage was on the third day (S.D. 2.40), although the majority (14) was on the first day, as a result of the briefing session then. There was a wide spread in this data (indicated by the standard deviation): participants

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continued to try Dynamo for the first time from day 1 right up until day 9 of the study. In total, 21 students registered with Dynamo, of which 16 responded to the post hoc survey.

Figure 7.4: Graph showing the occurrence of first time use and system registration (data from post hoc survey responses) Although system registration is not a direct indicator of the progress of adoption, since unregistered and peripheral users are equally legitimate users, this pattern is nonetheless interesting to observe (shown in pink in Figure 7.4). Registration levels were fairly consistent, at 1 to 3 registrations per day. A further analysis of the data shows that the gap between first time use and system registration was on average 2.94 days (S.D. 1.98), again ranging widely, from 0 days (i.e. same day) to a 7 day gap. This data indicates that there was a great deal of individual differences between participants’ behaviour in terms of their uptake of Dynamo. In other words, each student bought in to Dynamo at their own pace. For example, some were very keen to try Dynamo and registered at the beginning of the study. Others were more hesitant and did not try Dynamo until later on, and either did not register with Dynamo at all, or took their time in deciding to register.

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7.3.2 Analysis of log data The log data collected by Dynamo comprised a time-stamped report of certain types of user interactions. These included plugging a personal device in or out of the Dynamo hub; dragging media onto or off the surface via palettes; creating, moving or resizing windows for media, parcels, notes and carves; and interacting with windows using toolbars and scrollbars. These interactions were totaled up for each period of each day, to show the overall rhythm and density of interaction over the study as a whole. This is shown in Figure 7.5 overleaf.

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(Legend: White=0, light grey = 1-200, medium grey = 201-400, dark grey= 401-600, Black= 601+)

Figure 7.5: Aggregate usage through the study (Brignull et al., 2004).

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The patterns shown in Figure 7.5 indicate a rhythm of usage that followed the overall daily timetable, with usage peaking around morning break and lunch break. The log data also captured the occurrence of usage of different media types over the course of the study. Figure 7.6, below, shows a bar graph depicting the amount of media displayed on the Dynamo surface. The most popular media types throughout were images (shown in turquoise) followed by video (shown in maroon), reflecting the popularity of activities relating to use of digital cameras (both those provided and the students’ own). Internet connectivity was not available in the first week due to college network issues, but in the second week it was fixed, which explains the sudden upsurge in HTML content in the second week (shown in yellow). It is interesting to consider the popularity of community generated media (photos and video from cameras), in comparison to other kinds of media, including web-sites in the second week.

Figure 7.6: Occurrence of media displayed on the Dynamo surface (Brignull et al., 2004). The occurrence of media downloaded from Dynamo onto personal devices shows a slightly different pattern of popularity, as depicted in the bar graph in Figure 7.7. Here, audio was most popular, followed by images and video. This difference can be explained if the nature of the media is considered – a great number of photos and videos were captured, and many of these were browsed through on Dynamo while students decided which were worth

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keeping, and which were blurred or poorly framed. This accounts for the large amount of images and videos displayed on the surface, but not downloaded to personal devices.

Figure 7.7: Occurrence of Media downloaded onto personal devices from the Dynamo Surface (Brignull et al., 2004) Another interesting facet of the log data was the patterns of feature usage over time. Figure 7.7 shows the parcels and carve usage over time – two of the most advanced features which allow ownership, storage and access control. For parcels this was the number of times a new parcel was created, or an existing parcel was opened. For carving this was the number of times a user carved a region and added a window (or set of windows) to it.

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Figure 7.8: Adoption of the “parcel” and “carve” system features (Brignull et al., 2004). As the graph in Figure 7.8 shows, carving (in blue), was used more frequently in the first week than in the second, where it dropped to a consistent low. Together with the observations of user behaviour, this can be interpreted meaningfully: in the first week, carving was typically used exploratively, as users familiarized themselves with the interface, and as a mechanism to play and socialize with others – by either carving over another user’s active window or carving over the free space on screen to deny access to others. This unanticipated and playful usage helped users strengthen their familiarity with this feature. By the second week carves were used in more targeted ways, when users found a genuine need to control access to shared content such as notices and images. In comparison, the adoption of parcels (shown in red in Figure 7.8) started low, and showed a progressive increase in use as time went on. In order to find out more about whether parcels were being used for actual viewing rather than being opened and closed playfully or exploratively, data was aggregated to show the average length of time media items were displayed, comparing media within parcels to media sourced outside (e.g. from a personal device or a palette). The pattern exhibited by image media files is particularly apparent, as shown in the bar graph in Figure 7.9.

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Figure 7.9: bar graph showing the increasing use of parcels to display images (Brignull et al., 2004). The bar graph in Figure 7.9 shows that in the first couple of days, images were displayed on the surface in a fairly ephemeral manner. The duration of image displays on the surface steadily increases in the first week. This is because students had filtered out the popular photos and tended to keep them on the surface for longer. However, even at its peak these photos did not remain on the surface for long (less than 1 hour). Towards the end of the first week, students were often observed being frustrated when they returned to Dynamo to find that the pictures they had put on display had disappeared. This seemed to encourage students to experiment with parcels. Initial evidence of parcel usage is seen in the first week, while in the second week, the adoption of parcels increases rapidly. This represents a development in the community’s understanding of Dynamo, moving from conceptualizing it as being just “like a PC”, into a communal surface for storage, organization and asynchronous sharing. Associated with this was the development of practices associated with the use of parcels. For example, following a group session on Dynamo in which a group had viewed an array of media, users learned to put the most popular items into a parcel for later viewing by other parties. Similarly, the practice of “catching up” emerged, whereupon arriving in the room, people would browse the new parcels to see what new and interesting things had been going on in their absence. Contained in the

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parcels was often photographs of students out of college on their breaks, or their activities from the previous evening or weekend, and thus this “catch up” activity provided an awareness function.

7.3.4 Overview of vignettes The video data and observational notes from the study were analyzed using Jordan and Henderson’s (1995) Interaction Analysis approach, (see Section 7.2.5) to create an index of notable events and social behaviours that took place each day of the study. From this index, a selection of five vignettes were taken (shown in Figure 7.10), chosen on the basis that each provided a rich and insightful description of the different kinds of practices engaged in with Dynamo.

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Figure 7.10: Overview of vignettes

Vignette (a) (Figure 7.10a) shows an individual user enticing social interaction with others in the room, by bring in his own media on his personal device and giving a show on Dynamo. Soon after the moment of the photograph, the individual’s activities led to socializing, a honey-pot effect, and ultimately a colleague joined him for a lengthy conversation and cooperative use of Dynamo together. Vignette (b) (Figure 7.10b) shows a typical large group direct interaction with Dynamo, where a group of 6 people shared 3 interaction points, and held multiple intertwined socializing conversation about the websites and media displayed. Vignette (c) (figure 7.10c) shows a typical example of low engagement with Dynamo. The room is busy, and usage of Dynamo is in the background,

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while the majority of people go about other activities such as studying or talking between themselves, only being involved with Dynamo through low-engagement interactions such as peripheral observation and shouting comments. Vignette (d) (Figure 7.10d) shows an example of opportunistic use during a lesson change-over. The interaction begins with the intention of rapidly showing an image from one person to another, and quickly changes into a large group conversation about the displayed media. Vignette (e) (Figure 7.10e) shows an example of the “individual-to-group” performances that were occasionally seen. Here one user gave an entertaining performance displaying photos, videos and music to an audience which quickly swelled owing to a honey-pot effect. In summary, this overview of vignettes shows a diversity in the ways Dynamo was appropriated by the community, ranging from prepared to ad hoc use, from individual to group use, and from low engagement to high engagement use. The following five sections will detail each vignette in turn. Following that, an analysis is carried out to glean the key principles from the findings.

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7.3.5 Vignette (a) enticing social interaction Vignette (a) took place on day 8 of the study (10.30am), and is detailed in Figure 7.11, overleaf. This vignette illustrates the use of Dynamo as an audio-visual conversational prop in enticing socializing, i.e. using it to tempt people into a conversation, to furnish content and provide common ground. It is also an example of a planful use of Dynamo - Alan (the individual) collected a selection of media from his home computer in advance to show his acquaintances at college. Having some spare time, and seeing some familiar faces at the back of the room, Alan prepares some media on the Dynamo screen, and then initiates a conversation with them about it. His choice of media is also of interest – he plays the group a series of tracks of electronic music he composed himself at home. He gets positive feedback and, as a result of then putting his tracks in a public parcel, the tracks are re-played repeatedly over the following few days, are talked about by various people, and are downloaded 5 times. As well as disseminating knowledge of Alan’s work and skills, this may have given Alan a sense of satisfaction, popularity and kudos within the community. Finally, a honey-pot effect occurs while Alan shows his cartoons, as people arrive and sit down to watch his activity. Someone joins Alan and strikes up a conversation about the cartoons, and then progresses to interact with Alan on Dynamo.

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(1) Alan arrives alone and sits at the front table (left). He plugs in his pen drive, and browses some of his media, opening it on the screen. He then glances to the group behind him (right). (2). He turns to the group at the back and calls over: “Hey, Donny, my home-made music”. He starts an MP3 playing. Anna comments: “wow! It’s amazing!”, and Don says “You made that?” – Alan replies “On fruity loops… and cubase.” Don goes over and stands next to him, appreciatively miming a drumming action with the pen in his hand. (3) Alan opens another tune “This one is the newest one of mine”. Anna comments “I love it!”. She goes over to stand next to Alan and Don, and appreciatively claps along with the music.

(3) When the music stops, Alan creates a parcel and fills it with his MP3s, labeling it “Adam’s Beats’. During this quiet period, Anna asks Don to buy her some food. They head to the tea bar at the back of the room.

(4) Next Alan browses a folder full of Flash animated cartoons on his pen drive. He begins to play one. During the cartoon, a number of people arrive in the room.

(5) An arriving boy goes to sit with Alan and starts to chat with him, asking the name of the cartoon he’s showing.

(6) More people arrive and sit down, watching the cartoons that Alan plays. When the cartoons finish, attention moves away from Dynamo, while Alan continues to chat with his friend at the front of the room, and they interact with Dynamo together.

Figure 7.11: Vignette (a) : Enticing social interaction

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7.3.6 Vignette (b) concurrent group use for socializing Vignette (b) occurred on day 5 of the study (1.30pm) and is detailed in Figure 7.12, overleaf. It is an example of concurrent group use of Dynamo for socializing. At the front of the room, six people sit in a row facing Dynamo. As depicted in frame 1, two on the right share an interaction point, the second from the left has his own interaction point, and the person on the far left, and two others (out of frame) share an interaction point between the three of them. Dynamo’s functionality, allowing multiple media windows to be displayed concurrently, and allowing different users to dip into each others’ windows, is used here for socializing. The group chat amongst themselves, using the displayed media like a buffet of conversational topics. The conversations held are relaxed and lightweight, without any clear goal apart from enjoyment of the interaction. Also of note in this vignette is the distribution of expertise. The two most novice interactors (pictured far right in the blue t-shirt and far left in the grey shirt) are paired up and share an interaction point with a more experienced user. Finally, there is the involvement of the community members in the background. As shown in frame 3, a group sits drinking tea and chatting behind the Dynamo group, as do other group of people out of frame. They can see Dynamo being used and thus learn about the practice of using it in groups for fun socializing. Also, during the crossword game (frame 4 onwards), people in the background join in, shouting out answer suggestions from time to time.

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(1) Seated left to right: Joe, Rich, Mike, and Bob (also Colin and Charlotte, out of frame on the left). Colin, Rich and Bob have interaction points, which they share with the people sitting next to them. Two simultaneous conversations occur: Mike and Bob talk about iPods, while Colin, Joe and Rich talk about mountain-biking, and look at Rich’s own website detailing his mountain-biking hobby. (2) [Mike] “What else shall we look at?” [Bob] “Oh I know!”- Mike and Bob move on to looking at a site about a cartoon from their youth (the web browser window pictured left)..

(3) This inspires Colin to go to a site about another cartoon. The two conversations converge into one as the whole group talks together, and then splits into two again. This happens repeatedly. During the chat, Rich quietly takes a copy of the website URL onto his pen-drive.

(4) Bob then browses to a website listing games, and loads a crossword. This grabs everyone’s attention, and they all begin to play the crossword together, reading out the questions and shouting suggested answers to each other.

(5) Meanwhile Rich goes to a crossword helper website which suggests solutions.

(6) They continue to play the crossword game together for about 10 minutes. From time to time, other people “pipe up” from elsewhere in the room and suggest ideas for answers. After 10 minutes, the bell goes and the majority of them leave for lessons. Rich puts the crossword in a parcel so they can return to it later.

Figure 7.12: Vignette (b): Concurrent group use

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7.3.7 Vignette (c) low engagement group interaction Vignette (c) occurred on Day 3 of the user study, in the morning (9.45am), as detailed in figure 7.13, overleaf. In this vignette, usage of Dynamo was in the background while most people studied or sat in clusters around tables talking quietly, and only becoming involved in Dynamo interactions in passing from time to time. It is the nature of this low engagement, background participation that is of particular interest in this vignette. Around the room, people sit in circles around tables, either working or chatting. They are generally oriented away from Dynamo, preoccupied with what they are doing. Nina decides to put on some music from her walkman (frame 1), and she goes over. She asks a question loudly and Anna, who was quietly working in the background overhears and shouts “yep!” in reply. This helpful involvement required minimal effort or disruption to Anna, enabled by her peripheral awareness of the environment. Another example is when Peter helps Nina open her media (frame 4 in Figure 7.13), there is very little attention from other people in the room – they are all busy, going about their own activities. However, when he puts on her song, people visibly demonstrate their peripheral level of participation – one girl shouts out a request to “turn it up”, while others express their appreciation physically, by bobbing their heads and dancing along with the music in their chairs. The point being made here is that engagement in activities around Dynamo occur at a number of different degrees along a scale, from low engagement, to high. As cited previously, Goffman (1963) suggests this is common in public gatherings: “…a differentiation is sometimes found among full fledged participants and various grades of onlookers” (p. 18). The implications of this low engagement, peripheral interaction is discussed in detail in Section 7.4.

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(1) Nina decides to put on a song from her personal MP3 player. She has never connected her MP3 player before. She asks if she is plugging it into the right place, and someone shouts “yep” from the background.

(2) She plugs in and her personal disk icon appears. Meanwhile Crispin plays a video of Peter. Nina watches but there is relatively little attention from the room as a whole, people are predominantly involved in their own conversations or work.

(3) Amy moves to sit down. Note the lack of attention of others to her or the screen.

(3) Nina interrupts Peter’s conversation (pictured rear left) and asks him to help her play her music on Dynamo. He replies that he doesn’t know how, but then he gets up and helps her. They chat about her music collection and the upcoming theatre trip. (4) Peter opens Nina’s music on the Dynamo surface and sets it playing

(5) Before the music starts, people in the room are giving Dynamo little attention.

(6) When the music starts, a number of people glance over. Katy (front left) exclaims how much she likes this song. A number of people bob around in their chairs in time with the music. One of them exclaims “Turn it up!”. Peter responds by increasing the volume. 2 minutes later, attention generally moves back away from Dynamo, and people continue with their activities

Figure 7.13: Vignette (c) showing low engagement interaction

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7.3.8 Vignette (d) opportunistic use in a transition Vignette (d) took place on day 6 of the study (12.10pm), during a changeover between lessons. As depicted in Figure 7.14a, it shows how Dynamo was sometimes used for rapid interactions during brief windows of opportunity, such as the five minutes between lessons or before the bus arrives. It also shows how Dynamo was given the role of an open forum in which public involvement was expected and welcomed. As depicted in Figure 7.14b, the vignette begins as Peter notices Charlotte passing through the room on the way to her lesson, and he asks to show her a photo he had previously been talking to her about. He has very little time to do so, because she is already late for her lesson. However, he rapidly logs in, finds, opens and up-sizes the picture to a very large size. Charlotte’s friends gather in a honey-pot effect, and chat about the displayed media before leaving, demonstrating Dynamo’s role as an open forum for public involvement. The multi-user nature of Dynamo enabled Peter to just grab a free interaction and carry out his interaction rapidly, rather than having to wait his turn, which would have resulted in his window of opportunity being missed and Charlotte leaving for her lesson. Interestingly, Peter’s use of Dynamo coincided with another group using it, which they manage to both carry out concurrently without any problems or verbal negotiation. At the end of the interaction, Peter puts the files in a parcel like Alan in vignette (a), another example of the practice of leaving a public archive of media from a group interaction as a gift to the wider community. Days later, Peter and Charlotte return and conclude their interaction. Together they cooperatively drag the selected files from the parcel to Charlottes’ pen drive.

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Figure 7.14a: panoramic view of vignette
(1) Peter notices Charlotte passing through in a lesson change over, and calls over: “Charlotte, I’ve got that song, I was playing it… I’ve also.. got a really big picture of Justin, on stage, in the middle, sittin’ down” [Sally interrupts] “with a hood up!’ [Peter continues] “I’ll show you… Do you have a lesson?’ … (2) Charlotte (pictured standing) and the other girls (out of shot) wait in the area by the door, in view of Dynamo from a wide angle. [Peter] “Wait! I’ll show you! Wait stay there and I’ll show you… Are you ready?”

(3) Meanwhile, Gemma starts separate conversation with Crispin. “Crispin! There’s a picture of you on here” [Crispin responds] “Where?” Then Heather finds the picture of Crispin that Gemma was talking about and enlarges it, covering 1/3 of the right screen (pictured). Crispin responds “Oh my lord!”. (4) Peter logs in and finds the photo from his pen drive. [Peter] “Are you ready for this Charlotte? … Are you ready for this?” Peter opens the picture up and enlarges it, in place of where Heather’s was. [Sally] “What is he wearing?”

(5) [Sally] “I know, he’s got a hoodie” [Charlotte] “Ahhhhhh! I love him… Did you see him when he wore his red leather tracksuit”’ [Peter]“Yes…” [Crispin oversees and interrupts]: “Who’s that?” [Peter] “It’s Mister JT!” Peter plays an MP3 of the concert. Moments later, one of the girls says “We’re late” and they hurry out of the room. (6) Peter then leaves the MP3 up in a parcel, which is replayed on a regular basis over the following few days. 3 days later (pictured), Peter uses Dynamo with Charlotte in another transition moment (before catching their bus). Peter helps Charlotte use her pen drive to download the MP3 from the parcel he created previously.

Figure 7.14b: Vignette of opportunistic use in a transition

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7.3.9 Vignette (e) individual performing to a large group Vignette (e) took place on day 7, at the beginning of the lunch break (1.10pm). As depicted in Figure 7.15a, this vignette emphasizes how the community as a whole benefit from the system without them all needing to be active Dynamo users. As shown in Figure 7.15b, the room is busy since it is a cold day. Leo arrives in the room with some friends and word goes round that Leo is going to show some videos on Dynamo. After Leo starts his interaction, no-one else touches an interaction point, and it becomes a clear “presenteraudience” style of interaction. He selects media that is entertaining to the audience and provides awareness about community members, particularly information that is normally hidden, e.g. people’s activities in the holidays and on weekends, and in one case, photos of a community member who had not been seen in college for months. The audience talk between themselves during his performance, often laughing loudly, and shouting things out to him or the room in general. This demonstrates audience participation, yet the level of effort and investment on their part is very small in comparison to Leo’s.

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Figure 7.15a: panoramic photo of vignette
(1) At the beginning of the lunch break, people arrive to buy food, eat and hang out. It is a cold day so the crowd is larger than usual. Leo arrives and heads to the laptop at the back of the room to prepare the content on his pen-drive for the show he is about to give. He sorts his media into folders, putting the media for the show in the root directory, and all his other files into a directory called “stuff”. (2) When ready, Leo goes to sit at the front of the room by an interaction point. He clears some space on the Dynamo surface, and is assisted by a friend on another interaction point. Thereafter nobody interacts with Dynamo apart from Leo during his show. The audience grows as more people arrive in the room. (3) Leo plays a series of home videos showing him and other community members “hanging out” on holiday (which he edited at home to include credits and music using Windows Movie Maker™). In between each video he gives a humourous introduction. During the show people laugh and chat between themselves. (4) Following the videos Leo shows a series of humorous photos of community members in fancy dress. Some are of a student who has not been seen recently, which arouse interest. Finally, he fills a parcel with the media and then creates a locked carve containing photos and textual notes (pictured left). (5) There is now talk of going for a cigarette break. Leo logs out and the audience disperses. Later on that day, Leo removes his carve to make space for other uses, but leaves up the publicly accessible parcel containing all the media he had shown.

(6) Leo’s media is reviewed repeatedly over the duration of the study. Pictured here is a pair on the following day, reviewing Leo’s media, while a girl watches from the back of the room while working.

Figure 7.15b: Vignette: Individual performing to a large group

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7.4 Analysis of findings
7.4.1 Appropriation: the emergence of practices over time As the study progressed, there was increasing evidence of appropriation – the community came to understand Dynamo as relevant to their own needs, and developed practices that reflected this. For example, they came to conceptualize Dynamo as a tool for socializing and fun interaction, rather than a tool for work. They developed practices of initiating conversations, group social interaction and the giving of performances through Dynamo. Also, they learned about Dynamo’s facilities for storing and displaying media persistently, and developed practices for managing the emergent clutter and sharing the use of the display estate. This section will detail each of these appropriations, and show how many of these have marked parallels with the social practices engaged in prior to the arrival of Dynamo.

- Sense of community ownership Upon initial deployment of Dynamo, it was a new and foreign artefact, but over time, the community laid claim to ownership of the system. They used it for socializing and recreation activities and completely rejected all of the work-related activities advocated by the teachers, such as using it as a discussion forum for Geography A-level related web sites (refer back to Section 7.2.2 for details). One telling example of this developing sense of community ownership was on day 6 of the study, when a teacher put up a notice advertising a concert he was playing in on the following weekend. Shortly after he left the room, a student closed his window to make space for some photos of their peers that they were was posting up.

- Persistence When Dynamo was first introduced, users tended to habitually close down all the windows open at the beginning or end of an interaction, in a manner

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similar to the way people use normal desktop PCs when they log in and log out. However, as time progressed, they began to realize the potential of persistence in leaving up media, notes and parcels as a means for showing and sharing with the wider community. This was most prevalent in the form of leaving public parcels and public, open windows on the surface, as shown in the log analysis detailed in Section 7.3.2. Initially, people would leave items in the center of the display, but as time went on, they tended to become more considerate, and would leave persistent items sized down to a compact size at the far left and right edges of the displays, leaving ample open space for public usage and avoiding occlusion of the palettes. Interestingly, other users learned not to close these items down, by judging whether they looked like they had been intentionally left up for public consumption. In doing this, they would also often close down media that looked like a “waste of space” (such as extraneous file browser windows) or that had been on display a long while. This provided a mechanism for “cleaning up” and clutter management, as detailed in the following section.

- Cleaning up and clutter management In the post hoc questionnaire, participants were asked to list a bad aspect of their experience with Dynamo (see appendix 2 for the questionnaire). One responded “When people take up the screen with a load of crap and you can't get rid of it”. This refers to the challenge of dealing with clutter on the communal surface. As previously stated, users tended to remove and tidy up publicly accessible media. However, registered users were able to leave locked media that no-one else could move. This gave rise to the practice of “policing”, i.e. keeping track of users who left locked windows, and reminding them to close them down. One user in particular (called Gemma, [name anonymised]) took on this role. Parcel tidying was also an activity that became increasingly engaged in as the study went on and more parcels were scattered around on the surface. Users would gather up these parcels and tidy them into rows or groups,

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sometimes putting newer or personally favoured items first, and older items last. Again, one particular user (called Crispin [name anonymised]) took on this role, as shown in Figure 7.16, below.

Figure 7.16 Crispin tidying parcels on days 5 (left) and 9 (middle), and a paper notice (right) Both the users who took on maintenance roles with Dynamo were also members of the student union: a small group of students who had a position of responsibility and were partially in charge of managing the upkeep of the common room. For example, Crispin not only took responsibility for parcel tidying, but also was responsible for putting up the posters for keeping the room itself tidy. Therefore there was a strong parallel between the practices and roles of responsibility, tidying and maintenance in the physical common room, and on the Dynamo surface. - Performances As detailed in Chapter 6 (Section 6.2.3, Figure 6.2), prior to Dynamo’s deployment, the community often used the space to give impromptu performances, such as playing guitar and singing, telling jokes, and playing music on the communal stereo. It was observed that many of the activities in the common room had the feel of performance for the benefit of onlookers, and that it was a place to “see and be seen”. Their use of Dynamo showed strong parallels with this, as shown in vignette (a) (Section 7.3.1), where Alan gives a performance of his own composed music and selected cartoons, and even more prominently, in vignette (e) (Section 7.3.9) where Leo gives a well-prepared show of photos and home-edited videos to a large audience. In essence, the community seemed to give Dynamo the role of a

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stage for their performances, which they gave using digital media where previously they used traditional delivery methods.

- Concurrent multi-use for socializing As stated earlier, the initial reaction towards Dynamo was to use it in a manner similar to using a desktop PC. As well as clearing the screen before and after use, they also began by taking in turns in using it, even though it supported multiple simultaneous users. They quickly realized they could use it concurrently, and, as time went on, they started to engage in multi-user activities. The activity of enticing a socializing conversation and group interaction with Dynamo became a common practice. This is demonstrated in vignette (a) (Section 7.3.5), where Alan invites some friends to come over and talk to him, using Dynamo as an audio-visual prop to provide an enticing stimulus and topic of conversation. This ultimately ends in a friend joining him for a conversation and the two of them interacting on Dynamo together. In other cases, such as frame 3 of vignette (d) (Figure 7.14b), users would locate an item of media that was relevant to a passer-by, in this case a photo of them, in order to grab their interest and provide an entertaining topic of conversation. This behaviour was observed often, and it seemed that users treated the people around the room and passers by as a “pool” of people to potentially socialize with, and they would use Dynamo’s large screen to draw attention and as a visual resource for conversational topics and social entertainment. Another emergent practice involved the co-browsing of media folders by two or three people together. For example, they would plug in a digital camera full of images, and then share a file browser window, each pulling out images they personally found interesting, positioning them on the surface, and chatting together about them. They would then often leave this collage open on the surface for others to see, or they would then cooperatively fill a parcel together. Also, pairs and trios would browse the

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web together, as detailed in vignette (b) (Section 7.3.6), using it as a resource to spontaneously find and display media to socialize about. These progressed from being occasional activities to familiar practices which people engaged in, becoming part of the community’s “vocabulary” of things to do with Dynamo.

7.4.2 Levels of engagement and gradual buy-in People in the vicinity of Dynamo were able to “oversee” (Heath and Luff, 1992) interactions while going about other things, i.e. without needing to give it their full and undivided attention. As detailed in Chapter 2 (Section 2.3), O’Neil et al. (2004) refer to this property of visibility in the surrounding area as a “public interaction space”. This property also supported a model of “informal performer and audience” where the performer or performers can be keen Dynamo users, putting effort and time into the interaction, while the informal audience of people in the room can dip in and out of their own activities (e.g. studying, reading, chatting), watch the performance and interact verbally. This meant that the wider community could benefit from the social interaction, disseminated information and awareness information provided, without having to go to much effort to do so. This section will describe how Dynamo’s support of these various levels of engagement enabled community members to engage with Dynamo in their own chosen manner, and buy-in to it gradually, at their own chosen pace, providing a path for initially less motivated community members to become users. As exemplified in vignette (c) (Section 7.3.7), the level of engagement a person invests in an interaction can vary from low to high levels. This is shown in Figure 7.17 below, which lists a series of example activities representing different levels of engagement. It should be emphasized here that these levels are not intended to be conceptualized as “steps” that a user must pass through, in order to reach a “gold standard of high engagement”. Instead, they simply describe the level of engagement

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for a particular interaction, or, as Goffman puts it, the “various grades of onlookers” (p.18).

Figure 7.17: levels of engagement Beginning at very low engagement, the scale begins with “being present”. Although this in itself is not explicit interaction, it alters the ecology of the room and provides the opportunities for further interaction. Next on the scale is “bodily reaction”. This includes re-orientation towards the screens (e.g. craning neck or turning chair to watch), and “bobbing” or dancing in time with music. Next on the scale is “chirping”. This term was coined during analysis to describe brief, low effort and low commitment vocalizations, such as the helpful “Yep” shouted out in reply to a question in vignette (c) (Section 7.3.7, Figure 7.13). Other “chirps” observed elsewhere included “Ahh!” or “Oooh!”, or one-word statements such as “Yes”, “uhhuh” and “Wow”. At a slightly higher level of engagement, “Shout outs” were observed, in which users sometimes shouted out instructions to people directly interacting with Dynamo, such as in the vignette of “low engagement group interaction” (Section 7.3.7; frame 6 of Figure 7.13), where someone in the background shouts “turn it up!”. Again, in this example these low engagement interactors are still going about their own activities and are not investing much effort in their involvement. Further up the scale still, at a fairly high level of engagement, is chat and discussion with people interacting with Dynamo, which typically consisted of talking about the displayed media. At the top of the scale is direct interaction with Dynamo. Here people interact either individually or as a group with Dynamo, paying a great deal of attention to the system and conversational interactions relating to the system and the media displayed.

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The significance of these levels of engagement was that it enabled “gradual buy-in” in that over the course of the study, a number of users tended to move from typically low engagement or occasional use of Dynamo, to progressively higher levels, and in doing so, their expertise of Dynamo increased. In other words, people learned about the system piecemeal and while going about their normal daily activities in the common room, without them necessarily intending to do so. Although two community members were highly motivated, and became dedicated users of Dynamo from the first day onwards, the post hoc survey data shows that the majority of community members took their time. As previously discussed in Section 7.3.1, there was a wide spread in the respondents’ day of initial use, and for those who registered, there was a wide spread in the length of time between initial use and registration. The following interview quote (from an interview with Charlotte after the study) illustrates the nature of the gradual buy-in that many community members engaged in:
“What motivated you to get a pen drive and register?” “It's not like I really wanted to get a pen drive, I'm not that into computers. But I did in the end [...]” “Was there a point when you made a big decision to start using it, or did it happen gradually?” “Oh, I got into it gradually […] at the beginning when Leo and everyone was using it, I wasn’t that bothered really […] when Becca and Penny [her close friends] borrowed the camera I had a go on it, and stuff. Did you find it hard the first time you used it? “Not really […] I'd seen everyone using it so it was pretty obvious… Becca showed me how to swap stuff.”

The interviewee clearly states how she had learned by observing others (very low engagement interaction) before her first usage of Dynamo, and that upon her first usage, she was supported by two of her friends (high engagement). This led to her acquisition of a pen drive and registration with the system, and she went on to interact with Dynamo on various occasions throughout the study (occasional high engagement).

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Another example can be given with a short description of Heather’s progress of buy-in to Dynamo. The point of note here is that nowhere along the line did Heather explicitly set out to learn about Dynamo, her expertise effectively “crept up on her”: 1. Days 1 & 2: Heather was rather uninterested in Dynamo, and tended to only watch videos when they were played by other users (very low engagement). 2. Days 3-4: She started to use it occasionally with her friends to pass time between lessons (occasional episodes of high engagement). 3. Day 5: In an interaction with a registered friend on Dynamo, she learned about the benefits of registration, in particular, the use of carving for access control and posting items permanently on the surface. This spontaneously motivated her to register with the system 4. Days 6-10: From there on, she used Dynamo more often, bringing in and taking home media, putting up photos in carve regions, and so on (i.e. regular episodes of high engagement). In summary, the features of the Dynamo Community Display coupled with the more generic property of public availability, seem to make it suited to gradual buy-in by supporting varied levels of engagement.

7.4.3 The role of entry points in enabling direct interaction An “entry point” is defined here as an instance when a user or group of users attempt an activity which involves direct interaction with the system. It describes their attempted activity, and their usage situation. For example, referring back to vignette (d) (Section 7.3.8), this shows two people achieving an interaction in a small period of time, and then later that day returning back for another very short interaction. In both cases they were in a hurry, either late for class or needing to catch a bus, so they needed the

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interaction to fit into this window. In this sense, the entry point was “open” and enabled this interaction. Had lengthier interaction been required by the system, or had they needed to queue to use it rather than being able to just grab a free interaction point, this would have prevented their interaction, i.e. the entry point would have been “closed”. Other factors these entry points varied upon included: • • • • • Spontaneous or planned interaction Type of personal device used, if any Registered or unregistered interaction Individual or group interaction Type of co-operative support received, if any

These factors combined into a wide array of contingencies. For example, one contingency might be a spontaneous interaction using a digital camera, while unregistered, alone. In general, Dynamo successfully supported many of the possible contingencies. In the case of vignette (a) (Section 7.3.5) the multi-user nature of Dynamo provided an entry point for someone to go and join Alan, start interacting with Dynamo simultaneously, and receive tutelage and encouragement from him. In the case of Vignette (c) (Section 7.3.7), Nina spontaneously decides to try and see if her MP3 player will work on Dynamo, and succeeds. Had the system required registration of her devices in advance, or was not compatible with such a wide range of devices, this entry point would have been closed to Nina, and she would have had to go to more effort to find a different entry-point to achieve the interaction. The implication of closed entry points is that they can slow down or deter users’ buy-in to the system, by frustrating them and giving them a negative impression of the system. Other examples of closed entry points included when users attempted to use the web functionality of Dynamo in the first week, and gave up when it did not work. Conversely, in the second week, this became an open entry point as the college system administrators enabled the internet connection. On the

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Tuesday of the second week, a novice user was observed entering the room alone during a quiet period in the afternoon, and, upon seeing a familiar Google search page that happened to be open on the surface, sat down and started browsing the web. Shortly afterwards a friend entered the room, also a Dynamo novice, and they started co-browsing together and learning more about Dynamo. One of the most frequently observed closed entry points was that registration with the system required the user to have a personal device (owing to the way the system was implemented). This meant that if a user did not own one, or happened not to have one with them at that point in time, they could not register. In the following quote, Martha sees Daniel making carve regions, (a facility only available to registered users), and learns about their access control function from playing with him:
Martha: "How do I make those coloured boxes?" [referring to carve regions] Daniel: "You need to register" Martha: "Show me how!" Daniel: "er you need a pen drive, they cost a fiver" Martha: "oh right.”

Had it not been for the need to have a personal device, Martha may have registered with the system at this point. As such, it can be considered a barrier. If the system was to support registration without a device, and allowed addition of a device to the account at a later time if desired, this would remove the barrier and facilitate further adoption.

7.4.4 Community advocacy, support and tutoring It was observed that the community members themselves became advocates of the system, demonstrating the system to others (e.g. vignette [a]), and inviting their friends to join them in group interactions with Dynamo (e.g. vignette [e]). Indeed, these interactions served a double purpose - as well as engaging with others in a socializing activity, users were also introducing

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them to the system and showing them activities it could be used for. It is interesting to consider this against the fact that out of the 100 instructional leaflets that were provided adjacent to the Community Display, only seven were taken. This shows that the mechanism of informal learning and support from community advocates was more prominent than the use of formal instructional materials. Agostini et al. (2000) make a similar observation in field studies of the Campiello Community Display system:
“[…] the community came up with its own system-oriented practices for fostering the peripheral participation of new users until able to acquire the knowledge necessary for acting alone and maybe becoming ‘trainers’ themselves. For instance, at the Campiello stands we often saw that after having registered and grasped the basics of Campiello, kids kept coming back with friends or relatives, proudly helping them to do the things they had just learned. Therefore […] the places where the system is made accessible should allow and possibly stimulate the creation of these practices.” (p. 719)

Thus it seems a successful Community Display can develop a selfsustaining momentum through user advocacy that can propagate adoption through the community. Furthermore, the busyness of the common room and the close-knit nature of the community meant that help was never far away when needed. For example, in vignette (c) (Section 7.3.7), Nina merely called out for assistance to no-one in particular, since she was confident that someone in the vicinity would know the answer and be willing to help out. Also, as expected, Dynamo’s multi-user facilities enabled users to help each other within Dynamo’s user interface, tutoring and cooperating with each other (Section 5.2.1; cf. Stewart et al., 1999). For example, a user who does not know how to fill a parcel can be helped by a friend, as they can simultaneously fill the parcel together with their own mice. This was the case when Peter helped Charlotte at the end of vignette (d) (Section 7.3.8), and was observed numerous other times during the study. For novice users, there was also the possibility of being helped by other users through the user interface, or alternatively, by sharing an interaction

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point with a more experienced user, as was the case for the pairs in vignette (b) (Section 7.3.6). The various possibilities of supported interaction

through the multi-user Dynamo interface can be conceptualized as a set of open entry points, since they provide a number of paths by which a person can enter into an interaction with Dynamo. However, upon closer inspection of the observations, the multi-user interface was found to also present some closed entry points. For example, when unregistered users tried to use Dynamo cooperatively with a logged-in user (only registered users could log-in), they were typically prevented from doing so because of the way the access-control model was implemented. Specifically, windows opened by logged-in users could not be manipulated by anyone but the owner, unless the owner used carve regions to provide access to others. However, the carve region interaction model required the user to drop the key icon on the personal palette of a logged-in user. Since un-logged-in users did not have a personal palette, they could not be given access, which was observed to pose frustration to a number of users. This vignette that occurred during lunch break of Day 2 of the study, illustrates this point. Ben is one of the first registered users of Dynamo, and invites his friend Nick to interact with him.
Ben sees Nick him and invites him over: “[…] You’ve got to try this, it’s cool, we both get a mouse!” Nick goes over, stands next to him, grabs a free mouse and starts interacting with Dynamo. He cannot gain access to any of Ben’s windows and misdiagnoses the problem: Nick: “It doesn’t work, I can’t click on anything […] The mouse is broken.” Ben: “It worked earlier […] Look these are the photos from last week” After being shown a few photos, Nick says he is going outside for a cigarette and leaves.

This clearly shows how Nick almost had his first ever interaction with Dynamo, which would have been tutored and probably quite beneficial to his understanding. However, the system’s default access-control model

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prevented him from achieving the tutored interaction. Later in the study, some registered users discovered that they could put items in a public parcel to give access to unregistered users, or log out to interact freely with unregistered users. However, these work-arounds were not always clear, and users either gave up on such interactions or interacted independently of each other, unable to take advantage of the possibility of tutoring by means of simultaneous interaction.

7.5 Discussion
The bulk of the discussion of the findings will be reported in depth in Chapter 8. As such, this section provides an overview of the findings and a discussion summary. As suggested in the findings of the preliminary study reported in the previous chapter, this study has confirmed that Dynamo was well suited to the on-going setting of the Blatchington Mill 6th form common room. Post hoc survey feedback was overwhelmingly positive – the community genuinely enjoyed using it, and many members commented that the common room became busier, more sociable, and a more desirable place to be. Dynamo was used thoroughly by a range of community members, and for a number of different kinds of activities. Over time, behaviour towards it progressed and developed. At first it was treated like a normal desktop computer with a big screen – users would take turns using it and would close windows after using them. As time progressed, they began to appropriate it and developed practices that fully took advantage of its multiuser sharing and display facilities. It became used predominantly as a tool to support socializing – consistent with the use of the room previous to Dynamo’s arrival. They would use it to entice social interaction, to furnish them with conversational material, and to interact in groups concurrently, co-browsing photos, videos and music, playing games, and leaving up community relevant media in parcels to share it with the community as a whole.

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While the phenomena of “overseeing”, “vicarious learning” and the “honeypot effect” were evident here, they manifested themselves differently to that observed in the one-shot setting studies. These differences can be summarized in the following three concepts, as put forward in Section 7.4. “Levels of engagement” describes how people were able to be involved with interactions relating to the Community Display without having to be completely immersed in the interaction. This meant that they could be involved in interactions while going about their normal daily activities in the space – e.g. hanging out, talking to friends, drinking coffee, studying, and so forth. This enabled incidental and vicarious learning, which was the most important way in which community members became users. The second key concept put forward was “gradual buy-in”. This describes how most community members tended to decide not to become fully-fledged users on the spot, but adopted the system in a piecemeal fashion, in a gradual manner that suited them. The third key concept put forward was “entry points”. These are defined as the various contingencies in which users attempt to initiate an interaction using the Community Display. For example, they might attempt to interact unregistered, with a certain personal device, a certain arrangement people giving help to each other in a certain way, engaging in a particular activity. This is but one possible combination of contingencies amongst many others. Thus, the wide array of entry points helps enable gradual buy-in, since users can engage in a variety of unplanned interactions, with a variety of different kinds of help or support from their peers. The following chapter will discuss these concepts in depth and draw comparisons between them and those put forward in the other case studies. It will also put forward a number of design suggestions for Community Displays.

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Chapter 8
Discussion

8.1 Introduction_________________________________________ 191 8.2 Understanding the Phenomena of Situated Social Behaviour around Community Displays ______________________________ 192 8.3 Understanding Adoption in one-shot settings ____________ 200 8.3 Understanding Adoption in on-going settings ____________ 208

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8.1 Introduction
This chapter will address the research questions posed for this thesis in Chapter 2. It will do this by reviewing and consolidating the findings of the user studies, and will draw out design suggestions, which will be shown as grey highlighted boxes throughout the body of the chapter. These design suggestions are clarifications and improvements on the suggestions and user experience principles put forward earlier in the thesis. They are intended to enable Community Display system designers to browse through this chapter and quickly locate the parts most relevant to them. The research questions are repeated below.
1. Understanding the phenomena of situated social behaviour around Community Displays a. What common phenomena of situated behaviour are observed across all the case studies? b. How are the social properties of the Community Display involved in these phenomena? c. How does this relate to the process of community adoption? 2. Understanding adoption in one-shot settings. a. How do people progress from complete naivety of a Community Display to participation in related social activities and direct interaction with it? b. How does usage spread through the community? c. What are the implications for design to improve adoption? 3. Understanding adoption in on-going settings. a. How does usage progress and adapt over time? b. How does adoption spread through the community? c. How does the community appropriate the Community Display and how does it become integrated into community life? d. What are the implications for design to improve adoption?

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8.2 Understanding the Phenomena of Situated Social Behaviour around Community Displays
This section will address research questions 1a, 1b and 1c by discussing them generally:
1a. What common phenomena of situated behaviour are observed across all the case studies? 1b. How are the social properties of the Community Display involved in these phenomena? 1c. How does this relate to the process of community adoption?

Common to all three of the case studies were phenomena relating to the public availability of usage of the display and people in the vicinity overseeing these activities, which resulted in mechanisms that supported usage and adoption. This section will detail these phenomena in each case study. In the first case study, a team of audio-visual technicians used a large display to represent and manage their on-going work. Here, usage of the display was mandated, so voluntary adoption was not under investigation. Instead, the aim was to ground the research by observing the practices of a established community use of a large display in a real world setting Here, the large size of the display and its conspicuous positioning in the shared office meant that when a team member used it, for example while working on a scheduling problem, their team members could see them doing it as they passed by. This was because there was a continual flow of people in and out of the office, owing to its centrality in the local environment and the collocation of shared resources there (e.g. storage of the audio-visual equipment). Thus usage of the display was a “double duty” activity (Heath and Luff, 1991; Luff and Jirotka, 1998; Robinson, 1993). On the one hand the user was working on their task, while on the other, they were sending out a tacit invitation to passers-by that they were working on a problem on the large display, and that they might benefit from the help and extra knowledge their team members could offer them. This often created

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spontaneous gatherings of three or four people who would stand together and work on the large display, discussing it, gesturing and annotating on it. What was particularly beneficial about this mechanism was that it enabled co-operative group work to occur, without requiring any effortful coordination or articulation work (cf. Schmidt and Simone, 1996, on articulation work). For example, the person in need of help did not need to radio out a message to the team requesting it and negotiating a time to meet in front of the display. The quote below from Jordan and Henderson (1995) postulates that a similar mechanism may occur with large displays used in industrial process control rooms.
“In industrial process control rooms, large public information displays often not only disseminate information but also provide the resources for making that information available for discussion. […] anomalies that become visible on large public displays tend to generate conversations and thereby draw multiple expertise into the process of explanation and resolution.” (p. 41)

Thus, the observational evidence from the audio-visual team case-study adds weight to Jordan and Henderson’s postulation. This “mechanism of spontaneous group congregation” is defined in this volume as the “honeypot effect”. This was observed to occur in different ways in each of the case studies

G1: General Design Suggestion
Consider the social interaction in the vicinity of the Community Display to be the key to its success
The informal social interaction that takes place in the vicinity of the Community Display is just as important as direct interaction with it. It is not like a supermarket queue where the aim is to get as many people through as quickly as possible. Metrics of interaction with the system miss out on the crucial informal social interaction that takes place in the vicinity. The vicinity needs to be large enough to house a gathering of people, and be considered comfortable.

In the studies of the Opinionizer Community Display in one-shot settings, the honey-pot effect exhibited a “positive feedback loop” effect akin to momentum, whereby once there was a crowd of people around the display,

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this self sustained as people seemed to be stimulated to find out more about what the crowd was involved in and to join in the social activities. This resonates with Whyte’s (1980, 1988) analysis of urban parks and plazas in the USA, in which he states that above and beyond the features of the space itself, what attracts people most is other people. A further and more detailed analysis of the facilitators of interaction this setting is carried out in the following section.

G2: General Design Suggestion
Consider positioning and flow to facilitate the honey-pot effect
The spatial positioning of the Community Display in the target setting and the flow of people around it should be a primary consideration, since it plays a very important role in the key mechanisms of the honey-pot effect and vicarious learning. For example, the AV team studied in Chapter 3 positioned their large display in a manner so that there was a clear line of sight from all the doorways in the room (the key points of flow), and so that there was enough space for three people to cluster closely around it. Also, the Wall-loader prototype was found to be unsuitable for their needs because it was physically too bulky for their space, and interfered with the normal flow of people through the space.

The honey-pot effect is not intended to be conceptualized as peculiar to Community Displays alone, and should instead be conceptualized as an effect of any “publicly available”, observable artefact or activity carried out in a centrally located communal space. For example, during the preliminary observational study in the Common Room on-going setting (Chapter 6), when a member gave a performance (e.g. playing their guitar), a gathering would spontaneously emerge from on-lookers and passers-by in the vicinity (see Section 6.2.3). In the audio-visual team case study, the benefit of the honey-pot effect was to save them coordination work, enabling them to collaborate with less effort. In the other case studies, the benefit of the honey-pot effect was different – the activities in these settings was not group work but relaxation, recreation and a mix of other activities depending on the specifics of the setting and the individuals themselves. In the Opinionizer one-shot setting studies, the Community Display played the role of bringing people physically together and facilitating conversation

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between them. In reflection, one of the benefits here was that it allowed people to engage with the Community Display and with each other at their own discretion: it was up to them who they wished to freely associate and mingle with. Thus the Community Display helped the community engage in group interactions without requiring any formality or pre-arrangement. This is particularly relevant in this kind of one-shot setting, where there is a strong emphasis on recreation and enjoyment in interaction with other people (cf. Goffman, 1963) - an experience which is highly subjective. In the on-going setting studied, the activities engaged in and the topics of discussion were very ad hoc. For example, in vignette (b) reported in Chapter 7 (Section 7.6.3), the conversation held by the group was “meandering” and much of the interaction was spent looking for an enjoyable activity or topic of conversation. As such, it would not make sense to try to planfully coordinate this sort of open-ended interaction. Instead, on-lookers and passers-by judged for themselves at any particular moment whether they found an interaction to be interesting, and could join in “off the cuff”. For example, in vignette (a) in Chapter 7 (Section 7.3.5) someone enters the common room, sees a friend interacting with Dynamo displaying cartoons, and decides to go and join them for a conversation. Also, in vignette (d) in Chapter 7 (Section 7.3.8), two on-lookers join into an interaction that began between two people, their interest stimulated by the content being shown (stills and music from a recent pop concert). Coordinating such gatherings would be effortful since the community members tended to have very different schedules and were often geographically spread out (e.g. in different rooms on campus, working from home, on a break in town, etc), not to mention potentially expensive should it be carried out using SMS messages or mobile phone calls. The second mechanism relating to public availability of usage of a Community Display, and overseeing by people in the vicinity relates to “vicarious learning”. This was seen to be highly important in both the oneshot and on-going settings. In the one-shot settings studied, people would arrive with no conception of what the Community Display did, nor initially

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any knowledge of its existence. To quote one interviewee “Nobody really knew what it was when they came in”. The members would progress in their understanding of what the Community Display is by observing others using it. To quote another interviewee “… I did see people standing around it so I stood beside and watched for a while” These observations allowed them to learn about the system vicariously – allowing them to ascertain what the system did, how long it seemed to take, whether it looked easy or socially awkward, and so on. Based on these observations, they would evaluate whether or not to try out the Community Display themselves.

G3: General Design Suggestion
Learnability should be easy, rapid and build upon the familiar
In the AV team case study (Chapter 3), the team’s temporary members, were able to start using their large display system because it consisted of simple time-tables printed on paper, which were annotated with pen or sticky notes. This familiar medium enabled the temporary staff to learn how to use the system very rapidly. One way of achieving rapid learnability in the digital medium is to utilise familiar WIMP (Windows, Icons, Menus and Pointers) interfaces, rather than other newer interfaces such as gestural (e.g Guimbretière et al., 2000; Vogel and Balakrishnan, 2004) In the AV team case study (Chapter 3), one of the reasons the Wallloader prototype failed because the interface was not immediately obvious to an untrained user.

Moving onto on-going settings, in the Dynamo study, 100 instruction leaflets were printed and left in a dispenser next to the Community Display (see appendix A2). After the study they were counted and only seven had been taken during the whole study. To quote one user in the Dynamo study in an on-going setting, when asked if they found it hard to use the first time they tried it, they replied “Not really […] I’d seen everyone using it so it was pretty obvious…” Essentially, the lesson here is that given an informal and social setting, a designer should expect people to learn about the Community Display in an informal and social manner.

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G4: General Design Suggestion (4)
Use a visual interface to support vicarious learning If the interface is highly visual and displayed on the Community Display, an observer can learn the steps of interaction with the system by watching others using it. “Hidden” interactions like key combinations, gestures or interaction on an associated private display is hidden and will prevent this mechanism of learning. However, this observability has also been documented to cause evaluation apprehension in one shot settings which can deter usage. This is a trade-off that needs to be considered carefully (see Section 8.5.1)

Vicarious learning through public availability and overseeing is a very dominant mechanism in community adoption of Community Displays, primarily due to their large physical size. However, the following example shows that the mechanism of “vicarious learning through public availability and overseeing” is one that applies generally to any technology that is used in a communal space in a publicly available manner. Seely-Brown and Duguid (2000) recount the manner in which Bell Co. stimulated the adoption of the telephone in the late 1800s. At the time, the telephone was a completely novel technology and its benefits were not immediately apparent to end users. For example, Western Union in the US and the Post Office in the UK both declined Bell Co.’s offers to sell the patent to them at a very low price. Indeed, the chief engineer at the British post office famously replied that they did not need the telephone because “…we have plenty of messenger boys.” (Preece, 1876; as cited in Cosier and Hughes, 2001, p. 9). As a result, Bell Co. instead took a grass roots, bottom up strategy of getting the telephone directly into the hands of the end users. This involved putting telephones in hotel rooms for calling the front desk, and in offices as intercoms. But most interestingly, they also put phones near lunch counters in diners and lunch rooms, to quote SeelyBrown and Duguid: “…that way, it reasoned, people who didn’t know how to use them would be likely to see people who did know how and in this way learn about the phone system.” (p. 7)

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This strategy has a great deal in common with the design suggestions drawn from the findings of the case studies in this thesis (see the grey boxes on previous pages). By positioning by a lunch counter, Bell Co. are likely to have considered public availability of the telephone usage, the highly concentrated flow of people past the telephone as they queued to buy their food, and the stage-like “performance for an audience” nature of this spatial arrangement. Indeed, the choice of setting was a communal space in which people were on breaks from their work and likely to have the disposable time available to try out a new technology. It is interesting to consider how Bell Co leveraged situated voluntary adoption to facilitate marketplace adoption. Indeed, many modern marketing promotion techniques used in encouraging marketplace adoption have similarities, for example, television advertising and product placement in films, in which interaction with a technology is depicted as a performance for potential users to observe and learn from (Kotler and Armstrong, 2004). Another implication of this example is that since the mechanism of vicarious learning through public availability and overseeing clearly applies beyond the scope of Community Displays, it would be an interesting avenue for future research to pursue further. For example, the concepts developed in this thesis (e.g. “honey-pot effect”, “thresholds of interaction”, etc) could be applied to other technologies used in communal spaces. For example, Swartz (2003) carried out a series of observational studies of information kiosks in public places and noted that many were often not noticed or used. He postulates that this may be because the kiosks were not visually conspicuous enough and argues that future research is needed to investigate this further. Similarly, Screven (2003) states that encouraging people to interact with museum exhibits is a difficult challenge since visitors are often fatigued, pressed for time, and distracted by many other things in the environment; and he also states that the field is in further need of research. A sensible overarching research goal would be to attempt to unify these areas of research on public technologies used in communal spaces and bring together the different conceptual frameworks and theories.

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Having discussed the findings that relate to research questions 1a, b and c, the questions relating to the two different types of setting arise. However, before these are moved onto, another design suggestion first needs to be made. Referring back to Chapter 2, an analysis was carried out on of a number of published Community Display research studies which were aggregated on a set of dimensions. From this analysis, two marked clusters appeared: “one-shot” and “on-going” settings, which were defined on the dimensions of “permanence of communal space” and “community interconnectedness” (Section 2.5). The findings of the Opinionizer and Dynamo case studies provided further evidence of their existence and added detail to the understanding of their nature. Most importantly, the phenomena of situated behaviour and voluntary adoption were substantially different, requiring different design considerations for each setting. As such, this gives rise to an important question that Community Display designers must ask themselves:

G5: General Design Suggestion
Characterise the target setting: more on-going or more one-shot? The nature of the setting determines the design considerations and will have a big effect on the resultant system. If the setting is used only one time and for a short duration (e.g. a conference or exhibition), such as a few hours or days, and the community is loose-knit (i.e. members don’t know many of each other), this puts it more into the “one-shot” setting category. If it is used regularly by an established community over a period of months or years (e.g. a common room, or workplace relaxation area), and the community is tight-knit, (i.e. members know each other), this puts it more into the “on-going” setting category.

As stated in Chapter 2, the two setting characterizations are not intended to be a mutually exclusive dichotomy, but should be regarded as landmarks in a multi-dimensional landscape of types of communal space. The implication of this is that a system designer should take particular care in not overinterpreting the characterization of their target setting, and that they may vary in their “one-shot-ness” or “on-going-ness”, as well as on various other dimensions.

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For example, the culture of the community and the practices normally carried out the space are also likely to have a big impact (cf. Orlikowski, 1992). Further limitations of the one-shot and on-going characterizations are discussed in detail in Section 9.2 of Chapter 9.

8.3 Understanding Adoption in one-shot settings
Moving onto voluntary adoption in one-shot settings, this section will address the relevant research questions (2a, 2b and 2c) specified in Section 8.1.
2a. How do people progress from complete naivety of a Community Display to participation in related social activities and direct interaction with it? How does usage spread through the community? What are the implications for design to improve adoption?

2b. 2c.

To begin with the most obvious and most important characteristic of oneshot settings, as implicit from the definition, people will see the Community Display system for first time, and may never be exposed to it again. This has important implications for design, as the following design suggestion states:

OS1: Design Suggestion for one shot settings (1)
Cater for “one-off” interactions
Having never seen the Community Display before, the user needs to discover, decide to use and interact with the system during their visit to the venue, otherwise when they leave, they may never see it again, and the system has effectively failed. Therefore the designer’s attention needs to focus on encouraging this one-off interaction.

The community members in a one-shot setting have a number of defining characteristics that need to be catered for in the design of a Community Display. To summarize, in addition to never having seen the Community Display before and having no idea if its function, they will be will be preoccupied with other activities such as meeting people, socializing, or engaging in other entertainments in the venue. The “disposable time” they are likely to be willing to spare in learning about and interacting with the

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Community Display is likely to be limited, and may even be as short as a few minutes (as seen in the Opinionizer field studies, Chapter 4). Finally, when considering using the Community Display, they are likely to be apprehensive of being evaluated by on-lookers, and be concerned about the possibility of social awkwardness or embarrassment (cf. Section 4.6). The model of interaction put forward in the one-shot setting case study (Chapter 4) describes the steps a user takes in deciding to interact. This is summarized in Figure 8.1. The first step in this process is achievement of initial visibility, i.e. the individual becoming aware of the Community Display’s existence. Therefore it is highly important that people in the communal space are likely to actually see it. A strategy to achieve this is to position the Community Display in a way that offers line of sight to the main points of flow which community members pass through, e.g. the entrance to the space. Furthermore, if these are places where users spend time queuing (e.g. at a bar or food buffet), it is desirable that there is also line of sight from this location, since this is “dead time” in which people will have the energy and attention to look at other things in the environment (Underhill, 2000). Gehl (1987) makes a similar point in specifying design recommendations for plazas in urban spaces:
"If people do not see a space, they will not use it. […] Unless there is compelling reason, an open space should never be sunk [...] sunken plazas are dead spaces." (Gehl, 1987; p.99)

This leads directly onto the following design suggestion:

OS2: Design Suggestion for one shot settings
Ensure the Community Display gets seen by the community
The first step in a user’s decision to interact with the system is them becoming aware of its existence. To address this, ensure a good line of sight from the major points of flow. As suggested in Chapter 4, it is also important to account for the bodily occlusion that will occur when the venue is full. Positioning above head height can address this problem.

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Figure 8.1: The interaction model derived for one-shot settings. Key thresholds (decision points) shown in yellow.

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Following the achievement of initial visibility (the first decision point shown in Figure 8.1), the community member then needs to be stimulated to take a closer look and find out more about what the Community Display does. This decision point is defined as the “threshold to attention”, and is depicted in yellow in Figure 8.1 (a re-representation of the interaction model put forward in Chapter 4). Encouraging a community member to cross this threshold entails a number of design considerations, since the display must entice the user forward, as described in the following design suggestion:

OS3: Design Suggestion for one shot settings
Use aesthetic wow factor to capture attention
Studies of the Opinionizer system in Chapter 4 indicated that colourful, aesthetically pleasing graphic design seemed to be effective in getting users attention. However, there is clearly a balance here in that users should be made aware of a Community Display’s existence without posing an annoying visual distraction (e.g. the use of bright flashing lights or images).

If the person does decide to find out more and move closer to the Community Display, this is the first stage of success, since they are now likely to have moved to within the immediate vicinity of the Community Display. This opens the door to possible social interactions in the vicinity. In other words, an observer may enter into conversation with other people in the vicinity, using the media displayed on the Community Display to “boot strap” the conversation. This “non-direct” form of interaction in relation to the Community Display is a legitimate form of interaction since it clearly fulfils the intended function of supporting informal social interaction. However, this alone is only part of the success, since some users need to decide to actually come forward, interact with the system and furnish it with topical content. This is the second decision point depicted in yellow in Figure 8.1. In making this decision, the observer evaluates the activity of using the system. They ask themselves questions such as “How long will it take?”, “Does it look easy or will it be awkward?”, “Will it be fun?” and so on. They need to conclude that the benefits of interacting will outweigh the

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costs, e.g. the time and the effort. The system designer needs to facilitate this decision-making process by communicating the key information about the system to the observer in a clear and concise manner, as detailed in the following design suggestion:

OS4: Design Suggestion for one shot settings
Communicate nature and function clearly and concisely
The designers need to communicate the general functionality and interaction style of the system to the user quickly and clearly, so they can acquire this information through low-engagement, low-investment glances at the system while going about other things. In the case of Opinionizer, the system provided one simple function – enabling users to write one sentence opinions on a topical theme displayed – a function that could be comprehended by briefly observing others using it.

The Opinionizer studies showed that a key factor on which a participant is likely to negatively evaluate a Community Display system and decide not to use it is the factor of “social awkwardness” (Brignull and Rogers, 2003), also known as “evaluation apprehension” (Nunamaker et al., 1991). This is the perception that the audience of on-lookers will judge the user negatively if they make mistakes while using the system, which may make them feel awkward or embarrassed.

OS5: Design Suggestion for one shot settings
Minimise causes of social awkwardness
Simple, uncomplicated activities are likely to stimulate low evaluation apprehension from the end users. For example, in the case of Opinionizer studies (Chapter 4), many users did not report social awkwardness, since the system only required users to type a single sentence on a simple “trivial” topic. However, some users and observers reported that they found the prospect of thinking of an appropriately humourous remark to be daunting. One possibility could be to allow multiple simultaneous users to reduce the feeling of being the only one on stage, which seemed to be effective in the Dynamo system (though not tested in a one-shot setting).

If the individual then decides to interact with the system, the system has succeeded in its goals with that particular user – in fostering social interaction around the Community Display and encouraging direct usage. In the case of the Opinionizer studies, this observable usage progressed into a self sustaining honey-pot effect, which was highly important since, as stated

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earlier, a major attractor of people is other people. Therefore design suggestions G1 to G4 are important here. Reflecting on this model of interaction, it is interesting to consider how useful it is as an analytical tool in interpreting other study findings and making suggestions for re-design. Two examples will be used here. Firstly, in Carter et al.’s (2002) study of their “Iconic” Community Display in a one shot setting, they found that voluntary adoption of the system was low and that people tended to ignore it. The thresholds put forward in the interaction model appear to offer much to improve their problem. Firstly, looking at the threshold to attention, the question arises, did the observers tend to even notice the Community Display? If not, this could account for the adoption problem, and the designers would have benefited from rethinking the installation, e.g. the screen size, its visibility from within the space, and the attractiveness of the displayed information. On the other hand, if people were tending to look at the system, but not interacting with it or talking about it between themselves, the problem would then seem to lie at the threshold to interaction, i.e. the point at which they evaluate the system. Since Carter et al.’s (2002) system used abstract, unlabelled icons to represent information, it can be postulated that this confused observers. Unable to make an informed evaluation of the system, they may have been left in doubt as to whether it was worth an investment of effort. The Opinionizer study findings indicate that when observers see a Community Display for the first time, they may tend towards a negative evaluation (“There was a whole kind of fear because it was something new”) , and that they tend towards a fear of social awkwardness. Carter et al’s system may have failed to achieve adoption because the system was not designed to dispel these suspicions and encourage the observers to interact. Moving onto another example, McCarthy et al.’s (2004) “Proactive displays” system was reported to have been successful in that 40% of 201 community members registered to use the system. However, it can be postulated that the members were not made aware enough of the

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Community Display. McCarthy et al. took the step of making the community members aware of the existence of the system in advance, in an email sent out 4 days prior to the event, in which a link was provided to an explanatory web-site (McCarthy et al., 2004; McCarthy, Personal Communication March 9, 2005). This served to temporally extend the stages of interaction. Referring back to Figure 8.1, this served to enable users to pass through the thresholds of “attention” and “interaction”. A keen user therefore could decide to buy-in to the system having read about it, and the only remaining step would be for them to locate the displays in the venue. However, McCarthy does not report a great deal of success with this approach. In fact, he observed that people were most motivated to become users after having seen others using the system – the order which the interaction model (depicted in Figure 8.1) proposes. It seems that witnessing usage of the system first hand is a potent motivator to adoption. To quote McCarthy:
“…as people became aware of- and experienced- the different applications […], this provided incentive for others to sign on. […] the biggest burst of registration activity occurred after the first session with AutoSpeakerID.” (McCarthy, Personal Communication March 9, 2005)

Thus, a large proportion (specific number not reported) attempted to register for usage of the system on site. However, registration took a long time, since the form was lengthy and the web-spider software that was used to harvest information from registrants’ websites tended to involve a long wait. McCarthy observed that at one point, there was a queue of 20 people at one of the registration booths, and the long wait may have deterred potential users. Two registration booths were provided at the conference, while users were also able to register via any web-capable device. McCarthy reflects that to facilitate registration for more users, more booths should have been made available, and that the ability to register from any web-capable device should have been advertised much more. This is a redesign that the

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interaction model would concur, since this would entice more users to pass through the threshold to interaction. Furthermore, the interaction model also suggests that in evaluating whether or not to cross the threshold to interaction and use the system, people will weigh up the cost of the amount of time and effort required to interact, against the benefit of the interaction (e.g. social interaction, enjoyment or entertainment; cf. Chapter 4; Brignull & Rogers, 2003). Registration to use the Proactive Displays was a 3 step process, to quote McCarthy et al.:
“First, an attendee needed to create a proactive display database profile. […] Second, at the conference, the attendee had to get an RFID tag and activate it […] at one of the two activation kiosks available on-site. Finally, an attendee needed to actually wear the activated RFID tag” (McCarthy et al., 2004; p. 42).

Had this process been streamlined, this 3 stage process could possibly have been made a single, brief step. For example, the web spider software could have been used to harvest registration information in advance from personal web-sites, rather than making the users wait while it did it for them on the spot (cf. Stasko & Zhao, 2002; Carter et al., 2002). Then, if a user wanted to be involved, they could simply just collect the RFID tag that had been premade for them. If reliable face recognition technology was available (cf. Sawhney et al., 2001), this would improve the possibility of uptake even further since the user would not even need to go to the effort to pick up their RFID tag, they could simply opt in via a dialogue with the Community Display. According to the interaction model for one-shot settings, reducing the perceived level of effort in this way and enabling users to make the decision to be involved “on the spot” would encourage users to cross the threshold to interaction, and thus increase number of participants even further.

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8.3 Understanding Adoption in on-going settings
This section will address research questions 3a, 3b, 3c and 3d:
3a. How does usage progress and adapt over time? 3b. How does adoption spread through the community? 3c. How does the community appropriate the Community Display and how does it become integrated into community life? 3d. What are the implications for design to improve adoption?

A key characteristic of on-going settings is that they are established settings. People use them as part of their daily lives: they have activities they normally carry out, practices they normally engage in, and. accepted rules (“norms”) which they adhere to. A Community Display for an on-going setting should aim to either support these activities and practices or become integrated into new ones. In other words it should aim to become familiar and regularly used by community members. The name for this kind of adoption is “appropriation” (discussed in Section 5.1 of Chapter 5), and is defined as follows:
“Once an artifact is available in a certain setting, it may be used according to the purposes for which it is suited. Users discover and make the possibilities of the artefact available to themselves for their specific purposes, resulting in an artifactmediated practice specific for the artifact and for their setting, situation and practices. This process and outcome has been referred to as ‘appropriation’ (Leont’ev, 1978; Leontyev, 1981)” (Torpel et al., 2003; p. 384)

Designing for appropriation is not a straightforward thing, since essentially, it involves designing for a range of styles of use. Care should be taken by a designer attempting to interpret this as a design suggestion: it does not mean that a Community Display should be given a very wide range of functions, since this could have the detrimental effect of bewildering users with a complex interface. Instead, the system functions should offer flexibility, allowing a wide number of ways in which they can be used. As detailed in Section 5.3.1 of Chapter 5, examples of functions with flexibility include

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freeform text entry, drawing, media display, arrangement, and sharing. Such functions can be exploited in a range of different activities, e.g. formal meetings, brainstorming activities, noticeboard display, socializing, and so forth. This leads into the following design suggestion:

OG1: Design Suggestion for on-going settings
Design for appropriation
Rather than designing with a single activity in mind (as would be appropriate for a one-shot setting), the Community Display needs to offer functions that offer flexibility, which the community may appropriate and use to develop practices that suit them. For example, in the AV team case study (Chapter 3), members appropriated the flexible function of spatial arrangement and sizing to communicate the urgency of items to each other. They did this by making urgent items larger and positioning them to the side of the main display. On the Dynamo system, the facility of carving was appropriated in various ways. For example, as well as being used as an access-control mechanism for prepared content, it was also used in playful games and friendly teasing, which users were observed to enjoy. (cf. Chapter 7, Section 7.3.2). On a broader scale, the Dynamo system as a whole offered flexible facilities for display, sharing and arrangement. This was appropriated to be a surface for giving performances to groups, for enticing social interaction with friends, and for furnishing group conversations with content, among other things (cf. Chapter 7, Section 7.4.1). Thus, instead of designing with one activity or “path” through the system in mind, it is important to design for a range of activities and scenarios, and provide features that can be put together by users in novel ways, according to their needs.

In developing these Community Display systems for on-going settings, it is important not to exclude any potential sub-groups of users. For example, rather than designing the system to be compatible with one very new kind of personal technology, (e.g. just a certain kind of Smartphone), it is important to support the cheaper and older legacy technologies that the majority of the target user group are likely to own. One way of ascertaining this would be to take a survey of the target user group, as was carried out in Chapter 6 (Section 6.2.4; and Appendix 2). This is contrary to the logic used by many UbiComp researchers, who tend to try to develop systems which use only the newest and most cutting edge technology to investigate the possibilities of systems that will be used one day in the future in real world environments (cf. Abowd and Mynatt, 2000; Ndiwalana et al. 2003). For Community Displays to be evaluated, they need

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to be deployed – and adopted – in real world environments, which means they need to be backwards compatible with legacy technology. Borovoy (2001) makes a similar point, and states that when users took the “Thinking Tag” devices home with them (away from the “Community Mirror” Community Display system), they were not compatible with normal PCs or any other devices, rendering them useless. He refers to this as the “lost horizons” problem, after Capra’s 1938 film (Borovoy, 2001; p.44).

OG2: Design Suggestion for on-going settings
Be inclusive to potential users by supporting a range of legacy technologies
In order to facilitate critical mass, many different types of users and their personal technologies need to be catered for. A survey of the user group can reveal their use of legacy technologies and inform the design of the system. In other words, don’t forget about the “less exciting” users who use dated equipment – they are crucial users because they contribute to the critical mass and thus can determine whether a system is successfully adopted by a community.

As with one-shot settings, vicarious learning is still a key mechanism by which adoption occurs in on-going settings. However, here, as opposed to needing to see and decide to use the system all in one short space of time, community members are exposed to the system over a long period, e.g. weeks or months. During this time they may be actually engaging in other everyday activities (e.g. having lunch or coffee breaks, having informal meetings, etc), but owing to the system’s public availability, they can learn about it incidentally, without any intention or plan to do so. Incidental learning is defined as “unintentional or unplanned learning that results from other activities… it is situated, contextual, and social” (Kerka, 2000, p.1), and it is widely recognized as playing an important role in educational settings (e.g. Rogers, 1997; Baskett, 1993; Cahoon, 1995). In on-going communal spaces, it is an important way in which community members are exposed to and vicariously learn about Community Displays. Therefore, as in one-shot settings, it is suggested that the Community Display should be visible from all key locations in the communal space (see design suggestions G2 and OS3). Here, though, the key locations include the points

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in which people spend time – such as seating areas, rather than just the focal points of flow as is the case in one-shot settings. Another differentiating quality of on-going settings is that users are more likely to have a sense of ownership of the content they put on the Community Display than compared to one-shot settings. For example, rather than relating to a game-like ice-breaker activity, the content may be work-related, or the user may have spent time and effort preparing the item to share with the community. As such, users require the ability to prevent others from stealing or accidentally manipulating their content; as shown in the user studies reported in Chapter 5, sections 5.4.1 and 5.4.2.

OG3: Design Suggestion for on-going settings
Provide access control for owned content
In on-going usage settings, content is likely to be owned by users, and is typically less trivial than that used on Community Displays in one-shot settings. This creates a requirement for access control features. Specifically, if users are able to connect their own devices or file stores, they are likely to require private access to them since the material contained may be sensitive. Also they may invest time and effort in creating items for the display, which they may wish to remain unspoiled, so access control of items on the display surface is also desirable. (cf. Dynamo’s “Carving” feature). However, access control features can complicate interaction and could deter first time users, so care must be taken in implementing them effectively.

Overleaf, an interaction model for on-going settings is proposed in Figure 8.2, summing up the findings made from the Dynamo field study reported in Chapter 7. A particular point of note here is that although it may resemble the same flowchart-like representation used in the interaction model for oneshot settings (Figure 8.1), it is not intended to be a flowchart of steps through which a user must move. It is instead, a more abstract representation. On the left hand side, in green, is a longitudinal representation of gradual buy-in and vicarious learning, showing how individuals typically move from being low buy-in users who generally interact infrequently with Dynamo and in a low engagement manner, to becoming high buy-in users, who generally interact more frequently and in a higher engagement manner. This is intended as a descriptive pattern which a

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number of users tend to pass through, not as a prescriptive progression – users move through this at their own discretion. Within the pale orange box on the right hand side is a representation of usage of the display. A user can engage in an interaction at any level of engagement that suits them, and through any available entry point. The main difference compared to one-shot settings is that members here use the space regularly in their daily lives, and thus are exposed to it while doing their everyday activities. It may be the case that upon their very first exposure to the Community Display, the one-shot interaction model (Figure 8.1) applies to an extent, but this first time exposure makes up a very small proportion of their use of the space thereafter.

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Figure 8.2: Interaction model for on-going settings

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Overseeing and peripheral involvement was observed to occur slightly differently in the on-going setting as compared to the one-shot setting. There was a diversity of other activities that people carried out simultaneously in the communal space. For example, people would study quietly, read books, work in groups, socialize, drink coffee together, eat lunch or snacks, or have meetings at the same time, creating “multifocused gatherings” (Goffman, 1963) which occurred on a regular basis. While being involved in these other activities, community members would often be involved with the Community Display interactions at various different levels of engagement (shown in orange in Figure 8.2, and detailed in Section 7.4.2 of Chapter 7). For example, low levels of engagement included bodily reactions such as turning to face the display when something interesting was being shown, or “bobbing” appreciatively in time with music being played. Higher levels of engagement included brief, low effort vocalizations such as “ahh”, “ohh” and “wow”, which were termed “chirping”; and at a slightly higher level of engagement was “shout outs” where users shouted instructions to the people interacting with Dynamo, such as “turn it up” (referring to music they enjoyed). High levels of engagement included conversations with people interacting with Dynamo, and direct interaction using a mouse and keyboard. Thus low levels of engagement enabled people to be involved with interactions but while maintaining low effort and low commitment, allowing them to carry on with what they were doing. The significance of this was that it enabled “gradual buy-in”, in that many users tended to move from typically low engagement or occasional use of Dynamo, to progressively higher levels, and in doing so, their expertise of Dynamo increased. In other words, people learned about the system in a piecemeal fashion, and, most importantly, they were able to do so at a pace that suited them. This is shown in green in Figure 8.2. From this, the question arises, what was it about Dynamo that facilitated this gradual buy-in? Analysis of the study findings show that it was partially due to the wide array of different ways a user could interact with Dynamo, i.e. its many “entry points” that enabled this. For example, a user could be

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registered, or not registered; they could initiate an interaction with any kind of compatible personal device, or with no personal device at all; they could enter an interaction with a group and gain a range of different kinds support from people using the other interaction points, or they could interact alone and independently. These entry points allowed a user to engage in an interaction with Dynamo that suited their level of expertise and the level of engagement that they sought. It also allowed spontaneous usage, since it enabled a wide range of usage scenarios, rather than requiring users to plan an interaction around a limited set of entry points. For example, if every user needed to be registered to interact, achieving a group interaction would require planful-ness and effort to arrive at the entry point in which each user is registered, which could deter usage. This leads on to the following design suggestion:

OG5: Design Suggestion for on-going settings
Support gradual buy-in by offering a wide array of entry points.
Gradual buy-in is a key process by which many users learn about and adopt a Community Display in on-going settings. Many begin to learn about the system through a series of spontaneous low engagement, low commitment activities. A wide array of entry points allow them to enter these activities without requiring effortful work-arounds and without blocking them from entering the interaction. When designing and evaluating a Community Display system, look for closed entry points and aim to open them in iterative re-designs.

Reflecting on these findings and design suggestions, it is interesting to evaluate their usefulness as an analytical tool in interpreting other study findings and making suggestions for re-design. A study carried by Houde et al. (1998) presents itself as a suitable candidate since adoption problems were experienced and reported clearly. Their Community Display system, the Apple NewsLens, is described as follows:
“… [It] provides a web-based presentation of news in a classic newspaper format. Community members contribute stories by simply sending email to an address dedicated to the newspaper. …the frontpage of the Newspaper is projected on a wall in a communal lounge area which can be viewed conveniently by all community members who pass through the area during the course of their workday, as well as during

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tea time, a daily scheduled time when people gather in the lounge area.” (p. 1)

Houde et al. carried out a field study on themselves and the other people they shared a building with, by deploying the NewsLens in the shared kitchen area. They reported a number of positive findings. For example, community members expressed that it was fun to read, they liked the fact that they didn’t need to go to a special place, either physically or “virtually” (on the intranet) in order to discover news, and they also preferred it to receiving group emails. However, the field study also revealed adoption problems. After an initial wave of enthusiasm, usage dropped off a great deal: “Not many stories were posted… approximately two stories per day” (p. 3). They were left unsure as to the exact cause of this, postulating that the system may have simply have been too time consuming for the community to fit into their busy working days. If the system is critiqued on the basis of the interaction model and design suggestions put forward in this section, its shortcomings seem to relate to the problem of appropriation. Put simply, perhaps the community were not motivated to use the system in the prescribed way. If the system had offered the flexibility for other uses, this may have allowed them to devise their own uses and practices that suited their needs more effectively. Firstly, items that were submitted for display were required to be news items – they were even formatted in the appearance of a newspaper’s front page. This may have communicated the implicit prescription that items posted should be newsworthy journalism – an activity that users may have evaluated as both time consuming and as a source of evaluation apprehension. Reflecting on their study findings, this is something that Houde et al. concur: “Writing short, informative stories for the Newspaper is a skill that does not come naturally to most users.” (Houde et al. 1998; p.3).

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Also, the submission to the display had to be done via email. Given the early year of this research (1998), it is not surprising that they did not offer additional facilities for technology interconnection, Indeed, devices such as PDAs, digital cameras and wireless laptops were not even in popular use at that time. Nonetheless, this limitation had a certain impact on the adoption of the system, since users were required to return to their workstations and write the news item from there. This meant that users needed to leave the communal space and return to their workstations in order to add an item to the Community Display. The effort involved may effectively have closed an entry point for many of the users who, upon seeing the information displayed or upon having an interesting conversation in the communal space, might “there and then” wish to post up an item onto the display, with their colleagues immediately available to help and give feedback. Having to return to a personal workstation with a relatively small screen would also would have hindered the social and cooperative aspect of item creation. In the Dynamo study, users employed the multi-user interface to browse and create content in a wide array of different arrangements (e.g. pairs, trios, cooperative and back seat tutoring, etc.; see Section 7.4.4). This offered a number of open entry points which with NewLens were simply not available. A simple way of opening more entry points would to have provided a mouse and keyboard to allow this editing work to take place on the Community Display itself. Finally, the items submitted had to be text only. This ruled out the use of pre-made content, such as existing web-pages, documents, photos, video clips, and so forth. This contrasts with more recent research systems, such as Dynamo (Brignull et al., 2004), Plasma Poster (Churchill et al., 2003) and Community Wall (Grasso, 2003), which all offer the ability to display a range of media types. In all, if NewLens had offered the scope for more flexible kinds of usage, the community may have evolved their use of it into a tool for a different kind of purpose. For example, it may have become less of a tool for

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dissemination of journalistic news stories, and more for more for informal and low effort media sharing. This analysis has shown that the concepts and interaction model put forward for on-going settings can be useful in making sense of study findings and suggesting improvements for iterative redesign. This chapter has discussed the contributions of this thesis in depth, first looking at the general phenomena of situated social behaviour around Community Displays, and then looking consecutively the specific voluntary adoption issues relating to one-shot and on-going settings. The following chapter will provide suggestions for future work and the final conclusions of the thesis.

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Chapter 9
Conclusions and Future Work

9.1 Introduction 9.2 Reflection 9.3 Future work
9.3.1 Beyond the one-shot / on-going setting characterisation 9.3.2 Future avenues of Community Display adoption research

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9.4 Final Conclusions

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9.1 Introduction
This chapter will begin by reflecting on the work as a whole, recounting the research narrative, and making suggestions for different ways it could have been carried out, given the benefit of hindsight. Secondly, this chapter discusses some important avenues for future research in this area. Thirdly and finally, this chapter will draw the final conclusions, summarizing the main contributions of the thesis to field of Community Display research.

9.2 Reflection
The outset of this research began with the general motivation to understand Community Display systems and the sociotechnical issues relating to their usage. From this, the problem of voluntary adoption revealed itself to be an important concern – contemporary researchers in the area were producing a range of technically impressive Community Display systems, yet many systems suffered from voluntary adoption issues (e.g. Carter et al., 2002; Agostini et al., 2002; Houde et al., 1998; Churchill et al., 2003; Greenberg & Rounding, 2001). Without adoption, all the time and effort put into the development of these systems could render them into mere ornaments, regardless of their potential usefulness. As such, this was chosen as the central motivating research issue for this thesis. In other words, why were these adoption problems happening? What was the nature of the adoption problems? And would looking closely at the situated social behaviour people engaged around these systems reveal a better understanding of the problems? Prior to the outset of the practical research, a detailed analysis was carried out on user-studies reported in the Community Display literature by comparing the studies on a number of different dimensions. Given the degree to which these studies varied in their social settings, an emphasis was placed on the social aspects of the communities and the communal spaces in which the studies were carried out. From this, a marked clustering was found, giving rise to the characterization of two distinct types of social

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setting: “one shot”, which were temporary settings used by loose-knit communities; and “on-going”, which were permanent settings used by tightknit communities. Drawing upon this characterization, a research approach was drawn up, which entailed a series of three case-studies. The first case-study was intended to ground the research by looking at a large display used by a team of conference technicians. Although they did not use an actual Community Display system, this case-study enabled the investigation of the social properties of a physically large display used by an established community. This proved to be a fruitful endeavor, since analysis of the field study observations gave rise to an understanding of the spatial distribution of interaction, flow, overseeing, and the honey-pot effect. From an analysis of the field study, the Wall-loader prototype was developed. During development on a desktop computer, this prototype seemed to be an effective design. However, when it was deployed in the target communal space, the intended user group was critical of it (cf. Section 3.3.2). Although very disappointing at the time, this emphasized the point that large displays in communal spaces were used in a very different way to desktop computers, and users had different requirements. In hindsight, more initial testing of the system during development (e.g. low fidelity prototyping and brief field evaluations) could have brought this to light sooner, and resulted in a system that was more suited to the setting, perhaps even to the extent that the team could have used it to support their work during a conference. However, this is a minor criticism since the findings made were still valuable. The second and third case studies consecutively looked at one-shot settings, and on-going settings. Two systems were developed: Opinionizer for oneshot settings, and Dynamo (as part of a collaborative project) for on-going settings. These were studied in their target settings. In reflection, it would also have been revealing to have observed the adoption of the Opinionizer and Dynamo Community Display systems outside of their target

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deployment settings. Thus Opinionizer could have been deployed in an ongoing communal space, and observed over a period of weeks; while Dynamo could have been deployed at a one-shot event such a conference. These additional studies could have provided an even better understanding of the interplay between design, functions, voluntary adoption and types of setting. However, given that this would require substantially more work, it is more a case for future work. The following section will go into more detail on some of these issues, discussing the limitations of the research reported in this thesis and proposing a number of avenues for future research in this area.

9.3 Future work
9.3.1 Beyond the one-shot / on-going setting characterisation The characterization of “one shot” and “on going” settings has shown itself to be fruitful, since the two types have been found to vary considerably in their nature and in the type of situated voluntary adoption that occurs in them. However, this characterization only aims to represent the first steps of research in this area, and is by no means intended as universally applicable to any kind of setting. This section will hypothesize some of the ways in which communal spaces vary outside of the aspects investigated in this thesis, and will discuss other issues that arise. First, the dimension of community interconnectedness will be considered. In the Opinionizer studies, the community was loose-knit and many people met each other for the first time at the event. Here, the Community Display was used to initiate first time meetings, and fulfilled this role successfully. However, had the Opinionizer study been carried out in a setting in which the community was tight-knit, such as a local conference for co-workers at a company, the community members would have known each other very well. This setting lies somewhere between being a one-shot and an on-going setting. The physical location is likely to be foreign and unfamiliar to them,

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like a one-shot setting. However, the community are familiar with each other, and with all the established social norms, activities and practices that are carried out in their normal setting This produces a different blend of requirements for the Community Display. For example, it may be beneficial to offer some of the characteristics of a Community Display for on-going settings, allowing users to engage in freeform activities with each other, rather than encouraging them to engage in a simple pre-packaged activity to encourage them to associate with each other. However, it is also important for them to discover and learn how to use the Community Display within the time available to them, which is a characteristic found in one-shot settings. This would no doubt present a number of dilemmas to the system designers, and is a valuable avenue for future work. Another complexity not considered in this thesis is that the people present in a communal space may be from a number of different communities and subcommunities. For example, in the common room observed in the Dynamo study, the community as a whole was composed of two parts: students and teaching staff. For the students, the permanence of the common room would have been 1-2 years in total from joining to leaving the college. For the teaching staff, this permanence may have been much longer. Similarly, at the social events observed in the Opinionizer studies, the service staff would have used the space regularly as part of their daily working life while for the visitors it was their first and probably only visit. Oldenburg (1998) describes the phenomenon of how some people are not loyal to a particular location, but to their social group, basing this on observations of groups of university students who rotated the bars and other venues they visited around a city. He refers to the venues used solely in this way as “bring your own friends venues” (p. 171), and describes them as containing a number of separate cliques that socialize mainly within themselves. This concept of mixed settings, in which there are multiple communities and sub-communities, means that a Community Display system designer may need to design for the different needs of the different communities within a single Community Display system, which is a new challenge. Study of the

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area of community social network structure and interconnection (e.g. Wellman and Berkowitz, 1988; Wasserman and Faust, 1994) presents itself as an interesting avenue for this future work, providing an alternative way which to look at settings, design issues, and the effects a Community Display may have on a community. In the Dynamo study in an on-going setting, the findings of both the preliminary and main field study show that the community members were comfortable acting very extrovertly and socializing openly with anyone who cared to engage with them. This can be attributed partly due to the fact that the community was close-knit and there was much trust between the members. Had Dynamo been deployed in an on-going setting where the community was loose-knit, such as a café with no regular clientele, where there was less familiarity and trust between people, members may not have been so comfortable behaving so openly and doing things on a large display that any stranger could watch and listen in to. Here the public availability of the large display plays as a weakness rather than a strength. This is closely related to the issue of social awkwardness (Brignull & Rogers, 2003) and evaluation apprehension that was observed in the Opinionizer case study, where there was also a lack of familiarity between the performer and the people around them. However, Community Displays are not intended to be the only technology available in a space. As Dynamo demonstrated there are many benefits from allowing users to interconnect a range of technologies. A ubiquitous computing future can be predicted in the vein of Streitz et al.’s (1999) iLand or Black et al.’s (2002, 2003) Speakeasy, whereby a wide variety of different types of technology are available to users, such as wearables, handhelds, tablets, laptops, embedded tabletop displays and large wall displays. This would mean that users would be able to choose the technology that lends itself to the activity they are engaging in. Thus, for example, a group of friends in an unfamiliar coffee shop might be more comfortable using an embedded tabletop display, or their tablet PCs to

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engage in a private interaction, but if they were at a social event at the same venue at another time, they might be happy using the large wall display and might welcome open interaction from the people around them. In such a scenario, the displays in the environment might offer a generic display service, which users could appropriate and run Community Display applications on if they wished to, as proposed by Black et al. (2002, 2003). This presents itself as an interesting avenue for future work, i.e. looking at how Community Displays would exist in a wider world of Ubiquitous Computing devices, and the implications this would have for their design, usage and voluntary adoption.

9.3.2 Future avenues of Community Display adoption research - The need for longitudinal studies in investigating on-going settings In the research area of appropriation and “evolving use of groupware” (e.g. Andriessen et al. 2003; Huysman et al., 2003; Törpel et al., 2003) the duration of longitudinal studies often range over much longer spans than that currently carried out within Community Display research. For example, Huysman et al. (2003) ran a three year long study of ten teams of designers, and Törpel et al. (2003) ran a four year study of groupware adoption. This contrasts with Community Display research. For example, studies which can be considered fairly long in this area include Agostini et al.’s (2002) Campiello study, which was run for a duration of two months, and Churchill et al.’s Plasma Poster study, which was run for a duration of ten months (albeit within the same department it was developed). The Dynamo study was run for just ten days. However, it should be noted that shorter studies do have their benefits: for example this study consisted of ten consecutive days of fine grained detail of situated behaviour, giving a clear picture of the important initial days of adoption and appropriation. However, longer term studies are clearly needed to look at the longitudinal adoption of Community Displays, to investigate the possibilities of novelty

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effects, and the long term processes of appropriation. In such studies, a different observational methodology would be used in comparison to the Dynamo field study. Instead of a 10 day intense study in which video is recorded continuously, a spread out method of sampling would be more suitable, in which occasional video or observational sessions are carried out, (e.g. twice a month spread over a year), and system logs are used to provide the day-to-day detail. These longer term studies will be an important addition to the mix of studies being carried out on Community Display systems. Indeed, as Andriessen et al. (2003) state below, maintaining a healthily mix of different styles of studies, theories and methodologies is important to the development of a well rounded understanding of the phenomena of adoption:
“According to our viewpoint, diversity is the mother of knowledge. Theoretical and methodical comparison of the results of various approaches should reveal the richness of the phenomena under consideration. Only this way, we believe, can the research agenda in the field be met.” (p. 377)

- The future possibility of Community Displays becoming widespread In the field studies reported in this thesis, all of the Community Displays began by being new and foreign to the target community. However, one day in the future, these systems may become a familiar part of society as a whole, and a few standardized types may be developed, for example by Microsoft, Apple, and so on. In such a scenario, people would know exactly what to expect when they identify a Community Display, and will be able to transfer the skills, activities, practices and norms that they have acquired about them through prior use in other settings. Thus if a standardized Community Display for one shot settings came into popular use, this would necessitate the development of a new model of interaction for one-shot settings, since the current model is entirely contingent on community members never having seen one before. Similarly, for on-going settings, the process of appropriation would span a far wider duration of time. Given that

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the field of Community Display research is nascent, this possibility is still a long way off.

- The need to report adoption problems. As noted the literature review in Chapter 2, details of the adoption problems reported in many Community Display research publications tend to be sparse, often with a greater emphasis on positive findings. It is hard to judge whether this is in part due to a desire for the report to cast the innovation in a good light. This bias can take the form of “observer bias”, when the researchers unwittingly perceive the observational data as supporting their hypotheses (Reber & Reber, 2001), and as “publication bias” when publication reviewers give preference to a certain kind of finding (cf. Eysenbach, 2004). In the field of adoption and appropriation research, there is a marked emphasis on reporting and analysing adoption problems, in the vein of Grudin’s paper on “Why CSCW applications fail” (Grudin, 1988; cf. Orlikowski, 1992; Rogers, 1962). As the research reported in this thesis demonstrates, there is a great need for this style of reporting to be applied in future publications in the field of Community Display research.

- Unifying the research on adoption and Community Displays This thesis has focused on the situated voluntary adoption of Community Displays. However, as detailed in Section 2.2, there are a number of other areas of research which provide different perspectives on adoption, for example: • Adoption within Organisations Concerned with the diffusion of innovation through the formal structure of an innovation, and the facilitation of this (e.g. Grudin, 1988. Orlikowski, 1992; Bannon & Kutti, 1996).

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Marketing and Consumer Psychology Concerned with facilitating the uptake of commercial products with a view to commercial success (e.g. Kotler & Armstrong, 2004; Moore, 1991; Underhill, 2002).

Technology life-cycles and Usability Concerned with the manner a technology’s user groups progress from “early adopters” through to “laggards” and the targeting of features and achievement of usability for the different needs of these groups (e.g. Norman, 1998; Rogers, 1968; Moore, 1991).

The diffusion of innovation Concerned with the way in which innovative ideas spread through communities and cultures, e.g. agricultural, medial, technological or any other domain (e.g. Rogers, 1968; Arnould, 1989; Fleck, 2000)

Each of these different perspectives of adoption research have a much to offer in advancing an understanding of the voluntary adoption of Community Display systems. As such, a broad, overarching goal for this field would be to attempt to consolidate and unify this research with respect to Community Displays.

9.4 Final Conclusions
To briefly recount the nature of the system in question, Community Displays are a type of large interactive wall display for use by communities in shared, communal spaces such as common rooms, conference centres and workplace foyer areas. Community Displays serve the purpose of supporting informal social interaction in the communal space, by providing a visual surface that serves functions of a shared point of reference, information dissemination, serendipity and awareness for the local community. This thesis has focused on the problem of achieving the voluntary adoption of Community Display systems, has contributed to a better understanding

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this problem, and has proposed suggestions for minimizing it through attention to the social setting and the system design. Overarching conceptual contributions which were found to apply across all the setting studies were the concepts of “user flow” and “the honey-pot effect”. As people moved through the space and engaged in other activities (“flow”), they would oversee usage of the Community Display, owing to its large size and prominent positioning, which often would serve to spontaneously entice them into a social interaction with those people (“the honey-pot effect”). This served to foster spontaneous group congregations in which informal social interaction would take place. Overseeing also played a very

important role in enabling vicarious learning, a process by which community members would learn about the Community Display by watching others using it. Another key contribution of this thesis was the characterisation of two kinds of communal space setting: “one-shot” and “on-going”. One-shot usage settings include one-off social events (Opinionizer, Chapter 4), conferences (McCarthy, 2003;) and festivals (Agamanolis, 2003). Such settings are used briefly, for a few hours or days, and may not be re-visited by members of the user community. On-going settings, on the other hand, include common rooms (Dynamo, Chapter 8; Houde et al., 1998), cafés (Churchill et al., 2003), and relaxation areas (Grasso, 2003), and are used regularly by an established community over a period of months or years. The differences between these settings have been shown to have substantial effects on situated user behaviour and voluntary adoption; and as such they demand different kinds of Community Display system to cater for this. To elaborate, voluntary adoption problems in one-shot settings are found to relate to whether potential users can discover and use a new and foreign Community Display within the small window of time they have available. Analysis of study findings gave rise to a model of interaction flow, which describes the progression of interaction in terms of two thresholds which a user needs to cross: the first threshold, the “threshold to attention” involves them deciding to give the Community Display their focal attention

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to learn more about it, and the second, the “threshold to interaction” involves them deciding to interact with it directly. These thresholds are key points at which a user may decide whether or not to interact, and are posed as a key focus of attention for designers of any Community Displays for one-shot settings. However, this model is particular to one-shot settings, owing to the short window of time a user has available to discover, understand and choose to use a Community Display. The design suggestions put forward relate to encouraging users to cross these two different thresholds, and achieving the all-important first time usage of the system. Voluntary adoption problems in on-going settings are found to relate to the achievement of repeat usage over an extended period of time, and the appropriation of the system into community practices. Owing to the fact that these spaces are used for a variety of other daily activities, community members tend to learn about the system incidentally, while going about these other activities. This also has a major element of vicarious learning, but the crucial difference here is the prolonged exposure, which enables “gradual buy-in”, i.e. users adopting the system in gradually, at a pace that suits them. In this setting, interaction with the Community Display was observed to take place at different “levels of engagement”, from peripheral attention activities such as occasional glances while going about other things, to focal attention activities, such as detailed conversations in reference to the display, or direct interaction with it. In the on-going setting studied, adoption was often (though not exclusively) observed to progress gradually from low to higher engagement over a period of days, described as a user’s “buy-in progression”. Also, usage situations were observed to vary in a number of different ways, such as spontaneous or planned, brief or lengthy, and independent or supported. These various potential contingencies were defined as an array “entry points”, and it is suggested that these should be wide-ranging, to cater for the different possibilities of interaction a user may attempt to engage in. The design suggestions put forward relate to supporting the full range of potential users and usage situations, enabling “gradual buy-in” by not

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requiring any unnecessary jumps in investment in the system as they learn, and also and offering flexibility of the system functions to cater for community appropriation, enabling them to use the system for the activities that they prefer. To conclude, the interaction models and concepts put forward in this thesis provide the beginnings of a framework or lingua franca for researchers and system designers, enabling them to better understand the interplay between the settings, the social behaviour, the voluntary adoption and the design issues that are at work in the design, use and appropriation of Community Displays.

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Appendix 1
Interview questions used in Opinionizer Study 2

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A1.1 Semi-structured interview
A1.1.1 Background The interview technique used was semi-structured. As such, the questions listed below were used to guide the interview, but the interviewer also had scope to pursue questioning on issues of interest. Responses were written down by the interviewer, since the ambient noise in the environment was too loud for audio recording devices.

A1.2 Interview Questions
A1.2.1 Participant briefing Instruction to interviewer: express that the interview is only ten quick questions and will only take 2 minutes of their time. Also, state that as a reward you will pay them with chocolate.

A1.2.2 Personal Details: Name: Gender: Age Alone | in group (delete as appropriate) Approximate group size: Used Opinionizer | Did not use it (delete as appropriate)

A1.2.2 Interview Questions: 1) What did you think of Opinionizer? 2) What did you know about Opinionizer before you had a go on it? How did you learn about it?

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3) Did you watch others using it first before having a go yourself? Did it look easy or complicated to use? 4) Did you begin a conversation with anyone while standing near Opinionizer? Did you know them before hand? If so, did you know them well, vaguely or by sight? 5) (For non-users) Why didn’t you try Opinionizer? Were you aware of its existence? Did you know what it was? Did you watch others using it and then feel it was not for you? 6) Did you find relaxing to use Opinionizer or was there an element of anxiety? How did you feel about other people watching you while you were using it? 7) What encouraged you to have a go on Opinionizer? Why? 8) What, in your opinion, was the one best and the one worst aspect of Opinionizer?

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Appendix 2
Materials used in Dynamo Study

A2.1 Participant Consent Forms & Disclaimer _______________ 264
A2.1.1 In Loco Parentis Consent form ____________________________ 264 A2.1.2 Participant Consent form ________________________________ 267 A2.1.3 Disclaimer Form _______________________________________ 270

A2.2 Preliminary Survey _________________________________ 272 A2.3 Post Hoc Survey ___________________________________ 278 A 2.4 Instruction leaflet __________________________________ 283

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A2.1 Participant Consent Forms & Disclaimer

A2.1.1 In Loco Parentis Consent form The form on the following page is the ‘in loco parentis’ consent form. This was for the head teacher to sign, as a legal guardian of the students while at the school.

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IN LOCO PARENTIS – DYNAMO STUDY CONSENT FORM
By signing below you are indicating that you are an ‘in loco parentis’ guardian of the students at Blatchington Mill Sixth Form college, and that you understand and agree with the following terms and conditions: [1] The Dynamo researchers will be recording video in the 6th form common room of students using or carrying out activities near the Dynamo system. [2] Images or segments form these videos could be used by the researchers in the reporting of the study to the academic community. This might be in the form of academic papers, conference presentations and project website content. [3] Pseudonyms will be used to identify individuals in any publications and materials beyond initial data collection. Their real named identities will not be revealed. If you desire for the school to remain anonymous please this indicate to us and we will not identify the school in any publications or materials beyond initial data collection. I would like for the school to remain anonymous: YES / NO (delete as appropriate) [4] The researchers will not use content from this video in any other public non-academic forum unless the explicit consent of the people involved has first been obtained. [5] The researchers undertake to store the video in appropriate locked facilities where access will be limited to those within the project. [6] The students and teachers can choose to withdraw from this study at any time without penalty. [7] The users of the Dynamo system will each sign a disclaimer form, which states that they take full personal responsibility for any actions when using the Dynamo system. It also states that any information or files displayed or shared through Dynamo is the responsibility of the individual participants themselves, and disclaims the universities of Sussex and Nottingham from responsibility. If you have any questions about this study, please contact Harry Brignull [01273 877221, harrybr@sussex.ac.uk]. If you have any other concerns about the study or the way it is being run, please contact Dr. Geraldine Fitzpatrick: 01273 678982, geraldin@sussex.ac.uk I consent to the conduct of the Dynamo according to the above terms on behalf of the senior college students and teachers. NAME & POSITION (Printed): SIGNATURE:

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DATE:

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A2.1.2 Participant Consent form The following form explained to potential participants the nature of the study, that participation was voluntary, the data collected was confidential, they could ask any questions they liked, and they were free to leave and change their participation agreement at any time without needing to give a reason. It also explained that their names would not be published, and instead pseudonyms would be used.

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Blatchington Mill Informed Consent Form
By signing below, I confirm hereby that I am participating voluntarily in this technology field study, and that I understand the following terms & conditions: (1) I may be video taped while using or nearby the Dynamo system. (2) These images could be used by the researchers when they report on this study to the academic community, e.g., in academic papers and on the project web page. My real name will not be used in any reporting of this work. (3) These images will not be used in any other public non-academic forum without your explicit consent. (4) I can choose to withdraw from the study at any time without penalty. (5) I have read and signed a copy of the Dynamo Disclaimer document, which states that I take full personal responsibility for any actions I carry out when using the Dynamo system. If you have any questions about this study, please contact Harry Brignull [01273 877221, harrybr@sussex.ac.uk]. If you have any other concerns about the study or the way it is being run, please contact Dr. Geraldine Fitzpatrick: 01273 678982, geraldin@sussex.ac.uk print name sign date email

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A2.1.3 Disclaimer Form The form on the following page is the legal disclaimer, which details how that when signed, the participants take full responsibility for their actions while using Dynamo, such as the sharing of copyrighted materials and the posting of anti-social or obscene materials on Dynamo.

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DYNAMO LEGAL DISCLAIMER
Please sign at the bottom to indicate that you have read this document and understand it. The Universities of Sussex and Nottingham do not condone activities and actions that breach the rights of copyright owners. It is your responsibility to obey all laws governing copyright materials and property. The Universities of Sussex and Nottingham respect copyright and other laws. Be warned in the event a user of Dynamo fails to comply with laws governing copyrighted property such user may be exposed to criminal or civil liability which may include possible fines or imprisonment.

DO NOT VIEW OR DOWNLOAD COPYRIGHTED MATERIALS WITHOUT THE OWNER'S PERMISSION.

DO NOT VIEW OR DOWNLOAD FILES THAT ARE BE ILLEGAL OR CONTRAVENE THE RULES OF BLATCHINGTON MILL 6TH FORM COLLEGE. THIS INCLUDES OBSCENE AND OFFENSIVE MATERIAL.

By signing this disclaimer you are indicating that you take full personal responsibility for your actions when using or acting in relation to the Dynamo system. You are also agreeing to indemnify and hold the Universities of Sussex and Nottingham and its agents and employees harmless from any claim or demand, including reasonable solicitors fees made by any third party due to or arising out of your use of the Dynamo system. The files, information and opinions displayed on the Dynamo system are the product of the participants, each of whom has signed this document, taking full personal responsibility for their actions. The Universities of Sussex and Nottingham disclaim all responsibility for any files, information and opinions displayed on the Dynamo system. By signing this disclaimer, you are indicating that you understand that it is your own responsibility to protect yourself from computer viruses or other malware. The Universities of Sussex and Nottingham disclaim all responsibility for any damages or losses (including, without limitation, financial loss, damages for loss in business projects, loss of profits or other consequential losses) arising in contract, tort or otherwise from the use of or inability to use the Dynamo system or any material appearing on the Dynamo system, or from any action or decision taken as a result of using the Dynamo system or any such material. The Dynamo system contains hyperlinks to external websites. The Universities of Sussex and Nottingham is not responsible for and has no control over the content of such sites. Information on the Dynamo system, or available via hypertext link from the Dynamo system, is made available without responsibility on the part of The Universities of Sussex and Nottingham. The Universities of Sussex and Nottingham disclaim all responsibility and liability (including for negligence) in relation to information on or accessible from the Dynamo system. Name (Printed): Signature: Date: ……..………..……….. ……..………..……….. ……..………..………..

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A2.2 Preliminary Survey
The preliminary survey was given out during the preliminary observational study carried out prior to the deployment of Dynamo. It is shown on the following pages.

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Quick Questionnaire

Thanks for agreeing to do our quick questionnaire We really appreciate your support! This should take you less than 5 minutes to complete.

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On average, how long do you use computers for each day?
0-1hrs 2-3hrs 3-4hrs 4-5hrs 5-6hrs 6-7hrs

How would you rate your computer expertise?
Excellent Above average Average Below Average Extremely Poor

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Please state whether you regularly do each of the following activities.
Activity Mobile Phone Voice Calls SMS messages MMS messages (containing images, video, sounds or ringtones) Bluetooth-based file exchange using mobile phones (e.g. images, video, sound or ringtones) Text emails Email attachments Photo-Sharing websites (e.g. shutterfy.com, photobox.co.uk) Instant messaging (e.g. MSN messenger) Shared drives or FTP servers (e.g. Yahoo Briefcase, Apple iDisk) Web Discussion boards If you use any other communiction or file sharing tools, then list them here (e.g. Blogs, Wikis, etc) YES NO

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Please state whether you regularly use each of the following devices while at college.
Device Non MMS capable Mobile Phone MMS capable mobile phone Laptop PDA (eg Palm, Ipaq) Digital Still Camera MP3 Walkman Digital Video Camera USB pendrive Floppy disk Zip disk Recordable CD YES NO

Finally, what mobile phone do you have (brand & Model)?

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Your Personal Details
Please note: this information is kept completely confidential

Your Name Gender Age Email
(Optional - used only to send you occasional messages about Dynamo over the next 2 weeks or so)

Courses studied

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A2.3 Post Hoc Survey
The post hoc survey was given out at the end of the study in order to ascertain details of participant use and opinion. It is shown on the following pages.

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Second Quick Questionnaire

Thanks for agreeing to do our second quick questionnaire - We really appreciate your support! This should take you less than 5 minutes to complete.

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When did you first use Dynamo?
Friday 5th Monday 8th Tuesday 9th Wednesday Thursday Friday 10th 11th 12th

Monday Tuesday Wednesday 15th 16th 17th

Thursday 18th

Did you register a pen drive (or any other device) with Dynamo?
Yes No

If yes, When?
Friday 5th Monday 8th Tuesday 9th Wednesday Thursday Friday 10th 11th 12th

Monday Tuesday Wednesday 15th 16th 17th

Thursday 18th

How often did you use Dynamo?
Very Frequently Occasionally Frequently Rarely Very Rarely Never

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Could you give a reason for why you used Dynamo the amount you did?

Please rate your current familiarity with Dynamo:
Excellent Above average Average Below Average Extremely Poor

Based on your own experience, please list two good and two bad points about Dynamo:

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Could say in two sentences how you think Dynamo effected life in the common room?

Your Personal Details
Please note: this information is kept completely confidential

Your Name Gender Age Email
(Optional - used only to send you occasional messages about Dynamo over the next 2 weeks or so)

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A2.4 Instruction leaflet
The leaflet shown on the following two pages was made available in a prominent leaflet dispenser next to the Dynamo installation. Please note that it has been scaled down to fit on this page.

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