Using Annotations in a Collective and Face-to-Face Design Situation
Allowing a group of users to produce and transmit some annotations in common digital documents is nowadays a major issue for groupware systems. In this paper, we report a psychological and ergonomic study carried out on this topic in the mechanical design domain. We observed a collective design process that took place in a series of faceto-face meetings attended by the members of a design team. Our results show the minor role played by textual annotations, contrasting with the great number of figurative annotations. We also highlight that the function of annotations is not to develop parts of the solution but to provide the team members with contextual descriptions of the problem and the solution. These results are a first step towards a model of annotations in a collective face-to-face situation. They also provide interesting tracks for elaborating specifications of annotations in mediated situations.