Monday, June 4th
Tuesday, June 5th
Wednesday, June 6th
Thursday, June 7th
Friday, June 8th
Day 1: Monday, June 4th
WS1: CSCW and The New Wave of Digitalisation
Thomas Ludwig, Sven Hoffmann, Myriam Lewkowicz, Aparecido Fabiano Pinatti de Carvalho, Martin Stein, Christoph Kotthaus
Workshop website http://digitalization.hci-workshop.org/
We may currently perceive an era of massive digitalization within almost all industry sectors. Often summarized as the ‘Industry 4.0’ vision—as a complex connection between machines, materials, locations, and companies implemented as fully-automatic cyber-physical systems—the way in which cooperative work has been performed will rapidly change, in theory. In practice, however, the outlined configuration of such a vision is often not an appropriate option for most of the enterprises. Although new technologies such as cyber-physical systems offer new possibilities and functionalities that have come along, they will also increase the complexity of the practices associated with the ecologies of technology they encompass. The practical adaption of cyber-physical systems raises therefore a variety of socio-technical issues and areas of conflict which need to be addressed. We welcome researchers from a diversity of disciplines and perspectives to illuminate insights into work within this new wave of digitalization and try to shed light on questions about what (new) roles of the workers will arise, how work and cooperation settings will change, and how information and communication technology needs to be designed to support workers within the new circumstances.
MC1: Key research issues in CSCW
Masterclass website http://ecscw2018.loria.fr/key-research-issues-in-cscw/
As a research area, CSCW was formed in response to the early development and use of collaboration technologies, as researchers from different disciplines and in different contexts began to try to understand the potentials and issues of these new technologies. As a result, CSCW was from the outset a rather heterogeneous area, spanning not only computer science and social science but also a manifold of distinctly different research paradigms. In important ways, CSCW is still characterized by such heterogeneity, not least because new collaborative technologies, made possible by underlying technological advances in distributed computing, give rise to new potentials and issues, and also because collaborative technologies become applied in new work domains and related use contexts. But at the same time, in the midst of this heterogeneity, a research program has been articulated and developed that attempts to build, from the bottom up, a conceptual framework for our understanding of the design and use of collaboration technologies in actual work practices. The critical issue in this effort is to be able to transfer those findings to other settings as lessons learned. This issue, in turn, makes it crucially important to clarify the key concepts (such as ‘work practice’, ‘coordinative artifact’, ‘technique’ and ‘technology’, ‘infrastructure’) in terms of which findings are compared.
The master class will give an overview of the main themes of CSCW research and will focus on the problems of clarifying the key concepts of CSCW.
MC2: Design Ethnography
Masterclass website http://ecscw2018.loria.fr/design-ethnography/
This masterclass builds upon and continues a strong trajectory of masterclasses at ECSCW that have focused upon the use of ethnography and qualitative methods in the context of design (cf. previous masterclasses and tutorials conducted by Dave Randall and Mark Rouncefield almost since the very beginning of ECSCW).
The masterclass will begin by working from the premise that there is a range of observational strategies that might be adopted to examine various aspects of human practice for the purposes of design. The class will start off by looking at how the interest in understanding human practice first arose in systems design, notably at Xerox PARC and the Centre for CSCW at Lancaster University. It will also briefly look at the sociological and anthropological origins being drawn upon within design when engaging in studies of human practice, especially in so much as these have resonated on into existing approaches to ethnography. The central part of the class will examine and discuss some of the principal approaches to observing what people do that have become a part of the HCI and CSCW landscape. It will also assess the various pros and cons that might be seen to attach to these various approaches and invite discussion of what these approaches might ‘mean’ for the would-be ethnographer. The third part of the class will examine practical approaches to conducting design ethnography on the ground and will draw upon the presenter’s personal experience to explicate what it takes to do ethnography for systems design in detail. The final part of the class will discuss the presentation of study outcomes in ways that are relevant for design, again drawing upon the organiser’s own background in having to do this to serve a variety of disparate interests.
MC3: Practice-based Computing as the Heart of CSCW Research
This master class targets young researchers, interested in a design-oriented understanding of the concept of social practice and its meaning to CSCW. Drawing on many and various design interventions, also known as Design Case Studies, it will demonstrate how socially embedded applications of information technology challenge and change practices, thus requiring the elaboration of design practice artefacts that allow for anticipating use practices and evaluative methods which afford grasping the inspirational creativity of such practices. It will introduce Design Case Study as a research framework to accomplish such a design-oriented understanding of social practices, to develop innovative useful and usable technology and investigate its appropriation in the wild. Finally, it will engage participants in this intellectual and emotional challenge, which has been gearing CSCW research and prepare them to contribute to it.
Day 2: Tuesday, June 5th
WS2: A Critical View on Smart Cities: Engaging Further Stakeholders
Konstantin Aal, Tanja Ertl, Peter Tolmie, David Unbehaun, Anne Weibert, Victoria Wenzelmann, Volker Wulf, Clara Mancini, Nancy Smith
Workshop website http://smartcities.vision/
Over the past several decades the concept of smart cities has gained a lot of attention amongst researchers, the media, governments, civic groups and citizens. There is evidence that innovations have a more positive impact when they stimulate the development of cities and create a space for a broad variety of participants to engage in this development process. In this workshop, we take a critical view on the idea of smart cities by broadening participation to stakeholders who are still excluded from the concept of smart cities, such as wildlife and nature, but also people who are culturally diverse (e.g. migrants) or neurodiverse (e.g. people living with autism or dementia), who are left behind in the whole digitization process. One of the expected outcomes of the workshop is the development of a holistic smart city concept involving currently excluded stakeholders.
Day 3: Wednesday, June 6th
Design Practices (Chair: Myriam Lewkowicz)
Room for Silence: Ebola Research, Pluralism and the Pragmatic Study of Sociomaterial Practices,
Isaac Holeman (Long Paper)
Abstract. The notion of sociomaterial practices speaks to a view of routine work in which people and materials are always already entangled. This implies that the commonsense tendency to treat concrete materials and social activity as separate analytical categories may actually muddy more than illuminate our understanding of practices. Engaging work from science and technology studies, this broad view of materiality refers not only to the physical properties of machines but also to software and algorithms, electrical grids and other infrastructure, buildings, human bodies, ecological systems etc. Despite remarkable enthusiasm, the conversation about sociomaterial practices occasionally has devolved into philosophical turf wars, engendering pleas for pluralism. All too often, such lofty conceptual debates lose sight of pragmatic concerns such as technology design work or humanitarian action. This essay traces both issues to a tension between adopting a grand philosophical Ontology, versus undertaking detailed empirical studies of particular concrete work practices. I argue that studies exploring the practical specifics of particular sociomaterial practices should be granted room for silence with respect to some theoretical commitments, on the grounds that this will afford a more lively pluralism. For ethnomethodologists, this re-orientation to grand theory is a matter of methodological rigor and theoretical sophistication. For pragmatists, room for silence has to do with the dilemma of rigor or practical relevance. This is not to say that key concepts are unnecessary—they can provoke us to look beyond narrow disciplinary confines and standard assumptions about the scope of field studies. Through an account of the 2013-2016 Ebola outbreak in West Africa, I show by example how these conceptual debates matter for empirical research and for design practice. In this case, complex technical and biosocial processes made a concrete difference in the course of the outbreak and the humanitarian response to it. For practitioners no less than for researchers, this case throws into sharp relief the real human stakes of grasping how the material world gets caught up in workaday human activity.
Designing for Sustainability: Key Issues of ICT Projects for Ageing at Home,
Johanna Meurer, Claudia Müller, Carla Simone, Ina Wagner and Volker Wulf (Long Paper)
Abstract. Achieving the sustainability of IT-based solutions is a challenge. We will argue in this paper that it is helpful to conceptualize designing for sustainable IT-based solutions as taking place in a multi-dimensional space. It requires thinking about how a project is framed; the perspectives and commitments of the project partners; the type of innovation that is foregrounded; the motivations and needs of the user group; and the level of sustainability a project or research program may achieve. The paper describes some of the challenges and possible solutions by revisiting a portfolio of projects that developed IT support for elderly people who continue living in their own homes.
Don’t be afraid! Persuasive Practices in the Wild,
Mateusz Dolata and Gerhard Schwabe (Long Paper)
Abstract. Advisory service encounters evolve from providing expertise to joint problem-solving. Additionally, advisees depend on persuasion, which drives them to follow the advisor’s recommendations. However, advisors can be insufficiently equipped to persuade, resulting in advisees who are incapable of action or are unmotivated. Persuasive technology (PT) research proves that technology can motivate and enable people in single-user scenarios but pays limited attention to the natural realm of persuasion: the face-to-face conversation. This paper explores how persuasive technology transforms advice giving, a collaborative scenario involving an expert and a layperson. In such scenarios, IT does not act as a persuader but can provide affordances for persuasive practices, i.e., suggest new practices or enhance existing ones for convincing the advisee without deception or enforcement. We investigate the advisory practices in 24 real burglary prevention service encounters supported by IT. The paper shows the persuasive practices emerging through appropriation of the system, the tensions that govern the adoption or transformation of specific practices and routines and it confirms that studying the use and appropriation of technology uncovers organizational conflicts and tensions affecting such fundamental aspects as the advisor’s role and job description.
Variations in Oncology Consultations: How Dictation allows Variations to be Documented in Standardized Ways,
Peter Mørck, Tue Odd Langhoff, Mads Christophersen, Anne Kirstine Møller, and Pernille Bjørn (Long Paper)
Abstract. In-between 2016-2017 a new hospital information system (HIS) was introduced at several hospitals in Denmark radically changing the core work practices for a majority of the healthcare professionals. Promptly, the new HIS began to receive criticism from healthcare professionals for failing to live up to proclaimed expectations. To fully understand the problems experienced by the healthcare professionals we need to understand the fundamental nature of the work prior to the implementation. In this paper, we investigate patient consultations as they were performed prior to the implementation of the HIS at an oncology department. Reporting from a 1.5 year-long study, we find patient consultations were organized in three sequential activities: review, interaction, and documentation. Further, we find that the dictaphone served as a key artifact allowing physicians to enact flexibility in documentation while simultaneously providing them with the capability to communicate and coordinate with the medical secretaries. Our empirical findings suggest that the medical secretaries are critical for structured documentation of variations in health data and are the cornerstones that allow physicians to enact sentimental efforts when interacting with patients. These insights prove important in understanding the criticism aimed at the new HIS implementation since the implementation removed the dictaphone as a key artifact and instead introduced a new organizational structure where documentation was assumed accomplished in parallel with patient interaction. The transformation consequently shifted work, previously performed by the medical secretaries, to the physicians.
Infrastructuring for remote night monitoring: frictions in the strive for transparency when digitalising care service,
Christoffer Andersson, Michela Cozza, Lucia Crevani, and Jonathan Schunnesson (Exploratory Paper)
Abstract. The question of how to organise for the introduction of a new service involving the interaction of humans and technologies is both crucial and challenging. Convergence between the community of practice using the technology and the design of the technology is crucial for the technology to become meaningful and usable. While processes of convergence are challenging in themselves, they become more complex if several communities of practice are going to use and collaborate around/through the technology. The co-presence of different communities of practice is a common situation when delivering public welfare services. In particular, the development of welfare technology is a context rich in potential frictions, making convergence challenging. By mobilising the concept of transparency, we analyse the process of implementation of remote night monitoring and highlight how transparency is related to different aspects. Such analysis reveals that processes of convergence are related in this context not only to frictions shared with other settings, but also to specific frictions related to matters of concern in welfare services. This leads us to discuss whether digitalised care services can be argued as still having a human side or not.
Social Media and Societal Impact
Speaking Their Mind: Populist Style and Antagonistic Messaging in the Tweets of Donald Trump, Narendra Modi, Nigel Farage, and Geert Wilders,
A’Ndre Gonawela, Joyojeet Pal, Udit Thawani, Elmer van der Vlugt, Wim Out, and Priyank Chandra (Long Paper)
Abstract. The authors in this study examined the function and public reception of critical tweeting in online campaigns of four nationalist populist politicians during major national election campaigns. Using a mix of qualitative coding and case study inductive methods, we analyzed the tweets of Narendra Modi, Nigel Farage, Donald Trump, and Geert Wilders before the 2014 Indian general elections, the 2016 UK Brexit referendum, the 2016 US presidential election, and the 2017 Dutch general election, respectively. Our data show that Trump is a consistent outlier in terms of using critical language on Twitter when compared to Wilders, Farage, and Modi, but that all four leaders show significant investment in various forms of antagonistic messaging including personal insults, sarcasm, and labeling, and that these are rewarded online by higher retweet rates. Building on the work of Murray Edelman and his notion of a political spectacle, we examined Twitter as a performative space for critical rhetoric within the frame of nationalist politics. We found that cultural and political differences among the four settings also impact how each politician employs these tactics. Our work proposes that studies of social media spaces need to bring normative questions into traditional notions of collaboration. As we show here, political actors may benefit from in-group coalescence around antagonistic messaging, which while serving as a call to arms for online collaboration for those ideologically aligned, may on a societal level lead to greater polarization.
The Beauty of Ugliness: Preserving while Communicating Online with Shared Graphic Photos,
Majdah Alshehri and Norman Makoto Su (Long Paper)
Abstract. In this paper, we report on interviews with 11 Shia content creators who create and share graphic, bloody photos of Tatbeer, a religious ritual involving self-harm practiced on Ashura. We show how graphic images serve as an object of communication in religious practices with the local community, the inner-self, and a wider audience. In particular, we highlight how content creators deliberately created, in their own words, “ugly” photos to both preserve the authenticity of their rituals while communicating their interpretation of such rituals to others. We suggest that ugliness may be regarded as a useful resource to inform systems that seek to create a platform to dialogue for marginalized or minority groups.
Online Support Groups for Depression in China: Culturally Shaped Interactions and Motivations,
Renwen Zhang, Jordan Eschler, Madhu Reddy (Long Paper)
Abstract. Online support groups have drawn considerable attention from scholars in the past decades. While prior research has explored the interactions and motivations of users, we know relatively little about how culture shapes the way people use and understand online support groups. Drawing on ethnographic research in a Chinese online depression community, we examine how online support groups function in the context of Chinese culture for people with depression. Through online observations and interviews, we uncover the unique interactions among users in this online support group, such as peer diagnosis, peer therapy, and public journaling. These activities were intertwined with Chinese cultural values and the scarcity of mental health resources in China. We also show that online support groups play an important role in fostering individual empowerment and improving public understanding of depression in China. This paper provides insights into the interweaving of culture and online health community use and contributes to a context-rich understanding of online support groups.
Blockchain and CSCW – Shall we care?,
Wolfgang Prinz (Exploratory Paper)
Abstract. This exploratory paper examines the relationship between CSCW and emerging blockchain technologies. Although the blockchain technology is at first sight not directly related to CSCW, this paper will identify a number of CSCW research areas that are relevant and that can either profit or contribute to blockchain research. To open CSCW research to new areas and to stipulate a discussion between the disciplines, the paper will start with a brief introduction to basic blockchain concepts followed by an exploration of the relationships between the two research areas. It concludes with an initial proposal on how CSCW research results and concepts can inform blockchain design.
Revive Old Discussions! Socio-technical Challenges for Small and Medium Enterprises within Industry 4.0,
Thomas Ludwig, Christoph Kotthaus, Martin Stein, Volkmar Pipek and Volker Wulf (Exploratory Paper)
Abstract. We may currently perceive an era of massive digitalization within the sector of manufacturing. Summarized as the ‘Industry 4.0’ vision—as a complex connection between machines, materials, locations, and companies implemented as fully-automatic cyber-physical systems—the way in which manufacturing has been performed will rapidly change, in theory. In practice, however, the outlined configuration of such a vision is not an appropriate option for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). In particular, SMEs and their employees, with their historically-grown experiences and work capacity, secure economic success and need to be put in the spotlight of Industry 4.0 concepts and technologies. Given that the employee is the central success factor within SMEs, the practical adaption of fully-automated and technology-driven concepts raises a variety of socio-technical issues which need to be addressed. Based on an expert workshop with managers and business consultants of SMEs, an interview study with representatives from the German labor union (IG Metall), and the employers’ associations, we present current social issues, areas of conflict, and socio-technical challenges SMEs must face. In this exploratory paper, we summarize several research areas that deserve further attention within the next years and which should be considered when conducting studies on SMEs.
Shared Artifacts: Displays, Videos, Notes, and Folksonomies
The Effect of Collaboration Styles and View Independence on Video-mediated Remote Collaboration,
Seungwon Kim, Mark Billinghurst, Gun Lee (Long Paper)
Abstract. This paper investigates how different collaboration styles and view independence affect remote collaboration. Our remote collaboration system shares a live video of a local user’s real-world task space with a remote user. The remote user can have an independent view or a dependent view of a shared real-world object manipulation task and can draw virtual annotations onto the real-world objects as a visual communication cue. With the system, we investigated two different collaboration styles; (1) remote expert collaboration where a remote user has the solution and gives instructions to a local partner and (2) mutual collaboration where neither user has a solution but both remote and local users share ideas and discuss ways to solve the real-world task. In the user study, the remote expert collaboration showed a number of benefits over the mutual collaboration. With the remote expert collaboration, participants had better communication from the remote user to the local user, more aligned focus between participants, and the remote participants’ feeling of enjoyment and togetherness. However, the benefits were not always apparent at the local participants’ end, especially with measures of enjoyment and togetherness. The independent view also had several benefits over the dependent view, such as allowing remote participants to freely navigate around the workspace while having a wider fully zoomed-out view. The benefits of the independent view were more prominent in the mutual collaboration than in the remote expert collaboration, especially in enabling the remote participants to see the workspace.
Physical versus Digital Sticky Notes in Collaborative Ideation,
Mads Møller Jensen, Sarah-Kristin Thiel, Eve Hoggan, and Susanne Bødker (Long Paper)
Abstract. In this paper, we compare the use of physical and digital sticky notes in collaborative ideation. Inspired by a case study in a design company, we focus on a collaborative ideation task, which is often part of pair-wise brainstorming in design. For comparison and to focus on the different materiality, we developed a digital sticky notes setup designed to be as close to the physical setup as possible, not adding any advanced digital features, even though technology has reached a stage where more sophisticated use of digital sticky notes on digital boards is possible. In this paper, we present a study of ideation among pairs of experienced sticky note users. The ideation sessions were video recorded and analyzed to focus on how collaboration is supported across the two setups. Based on quantitative analyses of the participants’ interactions with the artefacts, talking patterns, position and attention during the sessions, we qualify how the differences and similarities between the two setups have an impact on note handling, ideation techniques, group dynamics and socio-spatial configuration, e.g. the use of the room, the boards and tables. We conclude that, while the physical setup seems more appropriate for creating notes and posting notes, the digital setup invites more note interaction. Nevertheless, we did not find significant differences in the ideation outcome (e.g., number of notes created) or how participants collaborated between the two setups. Hence, we argue that collaborative ideation can successfully be supported in a digital setup as well. Consequently, we believe that the next step in a technological setup is not an either or, but should bring the best of the two worlds together.
Folksonomies to support coordination and coordination of folksonomies,
Corey Jackson, Kevin Crowston, Carsten Østerlund, and Mahboobeh Harandi (Long Paper)
Abstract. Members of highly-distributed groups in online production communities face challenges in achieving coordinated action. Existing CSCW research highlights the importance of shared language and artifacts when coordinating actions in such settings. To better understand how such shared language and artifacts are, not only a guide for, but also a result of collaborative work we examine the development of folksonomies (i.e., volunteer-generated classification schemes) to support coordinated action. Drawing on structuration theory, we conceptualize a folksonomy as an interpretive schema forming a structure of signification. Our study is set in the context of an online citizen-science project, Gravity Spy, in which volunteers label “glitches” (noise events recorded by a scientific instrument) to identify and name novel classes of glitches. Through a multi- method study combining virtual and trace ethnography, we analyze folksonomies and the work of labelling as mutually constitutive, giving folksonomies a dual role: an emergent folksonomy supports the volunteers in labelling images at the same time that the individual work of labelling images supports the development of a folksonomy. However, our analysis suggests that the lack of supporting norms and authoritative resources (structures of legitimation and domination) undermines the power of the folksonomy and so the ability of volunteers to coordinate their decisions about naming novel glitch classes. These results have implications for system design. If we hope to support the development of emergent folksonomies online production communities need to facilitate 1) tag gardening, a process of consolidating overlapping terms of artifacts; 2) demarcate a clear home for discourses around folksonomy disagreements; 3) highlight clearly when decisions have been reached; and 4) inform others about those decisions.
The Novelty Effect in Large Display Deployments – Experiences and Lessons-Learned for Evaluating Prototypes,
Michael Koch, Kai von Luck, Jan Schwarzer and Susanne Draheim (Exploratory Paper)
Abstract. This exploratory paper addresses the novelty effect in large display field deployments by combining findings from both the existing body of knowledge and our own research. We found that the novelty effect is prevalently present on two occasions: (a) immediately after a new system is deployed in a new environment, and (b) in reoccurring situations, when changes are made to an existing system. Both instances share similarities such as a system’s higher usage during a particular time frame. However, we also observed that their individual reasons to occur are multifaceted. The present work’s main contribution is twofold. Firstly, the paper outlines related literature regarding the novelty effect, particularly in CSCW and HCI. Secondly, the paper illustrates the effect’s complex nature and suggests explicit means that should be considered in related research endeavors.
Day 4: Thursday, June 7th
Collaboration in Software Engineering
Chair: Michael Koch
Newcomers’ Barriers… Is That All? An Analysis of Mentors’ and Newcomers’ Barriers in OSS Projects,
Sogol Balali, Igor Steinmacher, Umayal Annamalai, Anita Sarma, and Marco Gerosa (Long Paper)
Abstract. Newcomers’ seamless onboarding is important for open collaboration communities, particularly those that leverage outsiders’ contributions to remain sustainable. Nevertheless, previous work shows that OSS newcomers often face several barriers to contribute, which lead them to lose motivation and even give up on contributing. A well-known way to help newcomers overcome initial contribution barriers is mentoring. This strategy has proven effective in offline and online communities, and to some extent has been employed in OSS projects. Studying mentors’ perspec- tives on the barriers that newcomers face play a vital role in improving onboarding processes; yet, OSS mentors face their own barriers, which hinder the effectiveness of the strategy. Since little is known about the barriers mentors face, in this paper, we investigate the barriers that affect mentors and their newcomer mentees. We interviewed mentors from OSS projects and qualitatively analyzed their answers. We found 44 barriers: 19 that affect mentors; and 34 that affect newcomers (9 affect both newcomers and mentors). Interestingly, most of the barriers we identified (66%) have a social nature. Additionally, we identified 10 strategies that mentors indicated to potentially alleviate some of the barriers. Since gender-related challenges emerged in our analysis, we conducted nine follow-up structured interviews to further explore this perspective. The contributions of this paper include: identifying the barriers mentors face; bringing the unique perspective of mentors on barriers faced by newcomers; unveiling strategies that can be used by mentors to support newcomers; and investigating gender-specific challenges in OSS mentorship. Mentors, newcomers, online communities, and educators can leverage this knowledge to foster new contributors to OSS projects.
The Types, Roles, and Practices of Documentation in Data Analytics Open Source Software Libraries: A Collaborative Ethnography of Documentation Work,
R. Stuart Geiger, Nelle Varoquaux, Charlotte Mazel-Cabasse, and Chris Holdgraf (Long Paper)
Abstract. Computational research and data analytics increasingly relies on complex ecosystems of open source software (OSS) “libraries” – curated collections of reusable code that programmers import to perform a specific task. Software documentation for these libraries is crucial in helping programmers/analysts know what libraries are available and how to use them. Yet documentation for open source software libraries is widely considered low-quality. This article is a collaboration between CSCW researchers and contributors to data analytics OSS libraries, based on ethnographic fieldwork and qualitative interviews. We examine several issues around the formats, practices, and challenges around documentation in these largely volunteer-based projects. There are many different kinds and formats of documentation that exist around such libraries, which play a variety of educational, promotional, and organi- zational roles. The work behind documentation is similarly multifaceted, including writing, reviewing, maintaining, and organizing documentation. Different aspects of documentation work require contributors to have different sets of skills and overcome various social and technical barriers. Finally, most of our interviewees do not report high levels of intrinsic enjoyment for doing documentation work (compared to writ- ing code). Their motivation is affected by personal and project-specific factors, such as the perceived level of credit for doing documentation work versus more ‘technical’ tasks like adding new features or fixing bugs. In studying documentation work for data analytics OSS libraries, we gain a new window into the changing practices of data-intensive research, as well as help practitioners better understand how to support this often invisible and infrastructural work in their projects.
Accountability in Brazilian Governmental Software Project: How Chat Technology enables Social Translucence in Bug Report Activities,
Nelson Tenório, Danieli Pinto, and Pernille Bjørn (Long Paper)
Abstract. Fixing software bug is part of the daily work routine in software engineering which requires collaboration and thus has been explored as a core CSCW domain, since the early inception of the research field. In this paper, we explore the use of chat technology in software engineering by analyzing the coordination between client and vendor in a large government software project in Brazil (Gov-IT). We collected our empirical material through face-to-face and online interviews, site and chat forums observations. Looking closely at the bug fixing activities within Gov-IT, we find that the client and the vendor use chat technology to coordinate their cooperative work by enabling the participants to monitor the availability of developers and the urgency of detecting bugs synchronously. This way, the chat technology made it possible for the client to report bugs and developers to resolve bugs in a timely manner. Moreover, the chat technology enabled the participants to request and share artefacts synchronously, making it possible to analyze and understand the contextual nature surrounding bugs faster than using the bug tracking system. Finally, the chat technology enabled participants in enacting commitment and interdependence across vendor and client, creating cooperative situations of mutual dependence. Our results suggest that we, as CSCW designers, must rethink the design of bug tracking systems and find new ways to re-configure systems, so they support the coordinative practices involved in detecting, analyzing, and resolving critical and severe software bugs synchronously.
An Analysis of Merge Conflicts and Resolutions in Git-based Open Source Projects,
Hoai-Le Nguyen and Claudia-Lavinia Ignat (Long Paper)
Abstract. Version control systems such as Git support parallel collaborative work and became very widespread in the open-source community. While Git offers some very interesting features, resolving conflicts that arise during synchronization of parallel changes is a time-consuming task. In this paper we present an analysis of concurrency and conflicts in official Git repository of four projects: Rails, IkiWiki, Samba and Linux Kernel. We analyse the collaboration process of these projects at specific periods revealing how change integration and conflict rates vary during project development life-cycle. We also analyse how often users decide to rollback to previous document version when the integration process generates conflicts. Finally, we discuss the mechanism adopted by Git to consider changes made on two continuous lines as conflicting.
Exploring the Impact of Video on Inferred Difficulty Awareness,
Jason Carter, Mauro Mauro Pichiliani and Prasun Dewan (Exploratory Paper)
Abstract. An important issue in many forms of collaboration technology is how video can help the technology better meet its goals. This paper explores this question for difficulty awareness, which is motivated by academic and industrial collaboration scenarios in which unsolicited help is offered to programmers in difficulty. We performed experiments to determine how well difficulty can be automatically inferred by mining the interaction log and/or videos of programmers. Our observations show that: (a) it is more effective to mine the videos to detect programmer postures rather than facial features; (b) posture- mining benefits from an individual model (training data for a developer is used only for that developer), while in contrast, log-mining benefits from a group model (data of all users are used for each user); (b) posture-mining alone (using an individual model) does not detect difficulties of “calm” programmers, who do not change postures when they are in difficulty; (c) log-mining alone (using a group model) does not detect difficulties of programmers who pause interaction when they are either in difficulty or taking a break; (d) overall, log-mining alone is more effective than posture-mining, alone; (e) both forms of mining have high false negative rates; and (g) multimedia/multimodal detection that mines postures and logs using a group model gives both low false positive and negatives. These results imply that (a) when collaborators can be seen, either directly or through a video, posture changes, though idiosyncratic, are important cues for inferring difficulty; (b) automatically inferred difficulty, using both interaction-logs and postures, when possible and available, is an even more reliable indication of difficulty; (c) video can play an important role in providing unsolicited help in both face-to-face and distributed collaboration; and (d) controlled public environments such as labs and war-rooms should be equipped with cameras that support posture mining.
Knowledge and Industrial Work
From Work to Life and Back Again: Examining the Digitally-Mediated Work/Life Practices of a Group of Knowledge Workers,
Luigina Ciolfi and Eleanor Lockley (Long Paper)
Abstract. This paper presents the results of a qualitative study exploring the technologically- mediated practices of work/life balancing, blurring and boundary-setting of a cohort of professionals in knowledge-intensive roles in Sheffield, a regional city in Northern England. It contributes to a growing body of CSCW research on the complex interweaving of work and non-work tasks, demands and on the boundaries that can be supported or hindered by digital technologies. In the paper, we detail how a cohort of 26 professionals in knowledge-intensive roles devise diverse strategies for handling work and non-work in light of a set of interconnected forces, and we argue that boundary dissolving and work-life blurring, and not just boundary setting and “balancing”, are essential resources within such strategies. We also show how boundary sculpting pertains not only to work pervading personal spheres of life, but also the opposite, and that establishing, softening and dissolving boundaries are practiced to handle situations when the personal seeps into professional life.
In Search for the Perfect Pathway: Supporting Knowledge Work of Welfare Workers,
Nina Boulus-Rødje (Long Paper)
Abstract. This paper investigates the collaborative practices and computational artifacts that welfare workers use in a public welfare agency. Specifically, the paper focuses on caseworkers’ knowledge practices related to assessing unemployed citizens and identifying ‘perfect’ pathways. I draw upon an ongoing ethnographic study, carried out in one of the largest municipal jobcentres in Denmark. Findings from this research point out that existing computational artifacts support compliance with welfare policy, while limited support is provided to caseworkers in helping citizens obtain an employment. The contribution of the paper is three-folded: 1) identifying fundamental characteristics of the caseworkers’ knowledge work entailed in assessing unemployed citizens and identifying appropriate pathways, 2) examining the conditions surrounding these knowledge practices, and 3) discussing implications for the design of computational artifacts that better support local knowledge practices. While maintaining support to policy compliance, I argue that computational artifacts can also support ‘data-driven knowledge’, meaning the creation of knowledge that is based on data collected from the wide range of cases of unemployed.
Of Embodied Action and Sensors: Knowledge and Expertise Sharing in Industrial Set-up,
Aparecido Fabiano Pinatti de Carvalho, Sven Hoffmann, Darwin Abele, Marcus Schweitzer, Peter Tolmie, David Randall and Volker Wulf (Long Paper)
Abstract. Knowledge and expertise sharing has long been an important theme in CSCW and, importantly, one that has frequently challenged a prevailing view concerning knowledge management. This critique focused, initially, on the practical problems associated with issues of Organisational Memory (OM), and in particular the difficulties inherent in an oversimplified ‘repository’ model. Attention then turned to issues of contextuality and communication for expertise sharing, drawing on concepts such as communities of practice and social capital to understand, again, the sharing of knowledge and expertise in practice. Here, we report on how particular kinds of ’embodied action’ can be identified in relation to the potential of cyber-physical infrastructures for knowledge sharing in an industrial context. We argue that, in a complex industrial domain, both the recording of physical movement – ‘showing’ – and the representation of local knowledge – ‘telling’ – are potentially relevant. Our proposal is that the evolution of cyber-physical infrastructures now offers a way of changing some early assumptions about how knowledge might be captured and displayed. We argue that we are entering a third generation of knowledge and expertise sharing research, where the use of augmented reality (AR) and sensor technology will result in significant new methodological innovations, including the capture and sharing of knowledge, embedded in embodied action.
Exploring Forced Migrants (Re)settlement & the Role of Digital Services,
Ana Maria Bustamante Duarte, Auriol Degbelo and Christian Kray (Exploratory Paper)
Abstract. In recent years, large numbers of forced migrants have arrived in urban areas all around the world. Access to relevant information and suitable technology can help forced migrants, mainly refugees and asylum seekers, to cope with several of the challenges they face in this process. We conducted a qualitative study with ten forced migrants and six social workers and a staff member of a collective lodging for young forced migrants in Münster, Germany. The goal was to identify challenges and needs in this specific context, find criteria for assessing digital support services for forced migrants, and suggest general aspects of improvement. We analyzed 36 existing mobile applications and web services useful for forced migrants upon arrival and during (re)settlement. Our results highlight some critical issues to be addressed through digital services for forced migrants regarding information reliability, timeliness, and complexity, as well as an occasional lack of experience with geospatial services.
Supporting Collaboration in Small Volunteer Groups with Socio-Technical Heuristics,
Alexander Nolte, Isa Jahnke, Irene-Angelica Chounta and Thomas Herrmann (Exploratory Paper)
Abstract. In this paper, we present a study on group work in which student volunteers from different disciplines worked together to create an augmented reality expedition. The goal of the project was to develop an augmented campus tour for students. The project was successful in delivering the app but through post project interviews we found that volunteers were not satisfied with the process and expressed negative insights. In order to understand this phenomenon, we developed and applied a set of categories for detecting underlying problems in socio-technical processes of volunteer group work. Applying those categories to the aforementioned project allowed us to assess their feasibility. This led to refined categories that can potentially support other volunteer groups to create a suitable socio-technical environment.
Day 5: Friday, June 8th
Best Paper Award
To Be Announced
Sensing, Recommendation and Trust
“What do you want for dinner?” – Need Anticipation and the Design of Proactive Technologies for the Home,
Lewis Hyland, Andy Crabtree, Joel Fischer, James Colley, and Carolina Fuentes (Long Paper)
Abstract. This paper examines ‘the routine shop’ as part of a project that is exploring automation and autonomy in the Internet of Things. In particular we explicate the ‘work’ involved in anticipating need using an ethnomethodological analysis that makes visible the mundane, ‘seen but unnoticed’ methodologies that household members accountably employ to organise list construction and accomplish calculation on the shop floor. We discuss and reflect on the challenges members’ methodologies pose for proactive systems that seek to support domestic grocery shopping, including the challenges of sensing, learning and predicting, and gearing autonomous agents into social practice within the home.
Towards Evolutionary Named Group Recommendations,
Jacob W. Bartel and Prasun Dewan (Long Paper)
Abstract. When sharing information, a common tactic for reducing the cost of choosing recipients is to form named groups of users. These groups are then selected as recipients in lieu of or in addition to users. However, keeping named groups up to date is a difficult and error-prone task when conducted manually. Past schemes automating this task make different tradeoffs and can be distinguished based on several factors including the types of named groups they consider, whether they evolve a specific group or a set of multiple groups, and how integrated they are with techniques for predicting initial groups. We analyze these approaches and identify a design space of potential evolutionary approaches. Using this analysis, we introduce a novel approach for automatically suggesting a sub-type of evolution, evolutionary growth. This approach (a) requires no prior knowledge of which groups change, (b) composes, and therefore interoperates, with an existing engine for recommending named groups, and (c) extracts groups from the social graph of multiple types of applications regardless of whether the graph are explicit or derived implicitly from message communication. Our evaluation considers social graphs created using explicit and implicit connections, and identifies the conditions under which the approach outperforms baseline techniques.
Towards a Better Understanding of Availability and Interruptibility with Mobile Availability Probes,
Mirko Fetter, Anna-Lena Müller, Petr Vasilyev, Laura Marie Barth and Tom Gross (Exploratory Paper)
Abstract. In cooperative work shared awareness on mutual availability is important for the overall performance of the team. There has been great research on quantitatively analysing users’ behaviour and automatically detecting their interruptibility. In this paper we present our approach towards a better qualitative understanding of availability of users. Leveraging on experience sampling and cultural probes we developed a mobile tool to collect Mobile Availability Probes. We motivate the need for a better qualitative understanding of availability, introduce our approach and the Mobile Availability Probes, and present and discuss initially collected availability data.
Reconsidering online reputation systems,
Anna Wilson and Stefano De Paoli (Exploratory Paper)
Abstract. Social and socioeconomic interactions and transactions often require trust. In digital spaces, the main approach to facilitating trust has effectively been to try to reduce or even remove the need for it through the implementation of reputation systems. These generate metrics based on digital data such as ratings and reviews submitted by users, interaction histories, and so on, that are intended to label individuals as more or less reliable or trustworthy in a particular interaction context. We suggest that conventional approaches to the design of such systems are rooted in a capitalist, competitive paradigm, relying on methodological individualism, and that the reputation technologies themselves thus embody and enact this paradigm in whatever space they operate in. We question whether the politics, ethics and philosophy that contribute to this paradigm align with those of some of the contexts in which reputation systems are now being used, and suggest that alternative approaches to the establishment of trust and reputation in digital spaces need to be considered for alternative contexts.
School, Work and Play
Worksome but Rewarding – Stakeholder Perceptions on Value in Collaborative Design Work,
Marianne Kinnula, Netta Iivari, Minna Isomursu and Sari Laari-Salmela (Long Paper)
Abstract. In this paper, we examine collaborative design projects in school contexts with many different stakeholders. We look at the value created for and by different stakeholders, focusing on value as a benefit, which is experienced – perceived and determined – by the beneficiaries themselves in the value co-creation process. As our focus is in “value-in-use”, i.e., value which emerges through activities taking place in a specific space, time, and context, we define value through subjective experience of people involved. We apply in our study the concept of value co-creation, where value is understood emerging from collaborative activity between actors participating in the activity. We see that the value co- creation lens provides a useful means for the CSCW community to scrutinize and make sense of collaborative design projects. We categorized the perceived value for each stakeholder and discuss how these categories can help in gaining a deeper understanding of the value gained in collaborative design work as well as how value co-creation lens in more general can be used as a tool in collaborative design projects.
Co-Creating the Workplace: Participatory Efforts to Enable Individual Work at the Hoffice,
Chiara Rossitto, Airi Lampinen (Long Paper)
Abstract. This paper analyzes the self-organizing network Hoffice – a merger between the words home and office – that brings together people who wish to co-create temporary workplaces. The Hoffice concept entails a co-working methodology, and a set of practices inherent in opening up one’s home as a temporary, shared workplace, with the help of existing social media platforms, particularly Facebook. We discuss both the practices of co-creating temporary workplaces, particularly for workers who lack a stable office and orchestrate flexible work arrangements, and the values and rhetoric enshrined in Hoffice. We collected our research materials through interviews, participant observation, and workshops. Our findings draw attention to i) the practical arrangement of Hoffice events, ii) the participatory efforts to get individual work done, and 3) the co-creation of an alternative social model that encourages trust, self- actualization, and openness. To conclude, we discuss how Hoffice is already making change for its members, and how this is indicative of a politics of care. We contribute to research on computer-supported collaborative work (CSCW) by highlighting grassroots efforts to create alternative ways of organizing nomadic work and navigating non- traditional employment arrangements.
Coordination, Communication, and Competition in eSports: A Comparative Analysis of Teams in Two Action Games,
Viktoriya Lipovaya, Yuri Lima, Pedro Grillo, Carlos Eduardo Barbosa, Jano Souza and Francisco Duarte (Exploratory Paper)
Abstract. eSports are increasing in popularity and in importance worldwide and, given that they essentially involve the cooperation of teams competing among themselves, they are an interesting study object for the CSCW field. In this study, we contribute to the CSCW literature regarding eSports by performing a comparative analysis of two different action games, focusing on how cooperation, communication, and competition take place in each one of them. To do so, we perform a semi-qualitative study involving interviews with professional and amateur players. Then, we analyzed the results of the fieldwork, which consisted of a 31-question questionnaire with 65 valid respondents. Moreover, we discuss and highlight the relationship between our results and other CSCW-related works focusing on our research questions. Among our findings, we can highlight the specialization of work in different eSport teams, the importance of non-verbal communication during matches, and the interplay between competition and collaboration in the same team.
The Digital Work Environment–a Challenge and an Opportunity for CSCW,
Gerolf Nauwerck and Rebecka Cowen Forssell (Exploratory Paper)
Abstract. In this exploratory paper we will present the emerging concept of the Digital Work Environment. This is concept rooted in Swedish debate on the workplace, information and communication technology (ICT) and well-being. We argue that the concept can be understood as a boundary object uniting different actors (mainly researchers, unions, and policy makers) in a common discourse on what has been labelled as the dark side of information technology. We also argue that the concept needs to embrace an organisational perspective as well as the relational aspects of the psychosocial work environment. Such a move would open the door to a large volume of relevant research that might reinvigorate the concept. More specifically we will show how this would allow the inclusion of the increasingly important aspect of cyberbullying, which at the same time is an example of blurring borders between work and non-work ICT use.