“Making Place” to Make IT Work: Empirical Explorations of HCI for Mobile CSCW
Association for Computing Machinery
This paper addresses issues of user interface design, relating to ease of use, of handheld CSCW. In particular, we are concerned with the requirements that arise from situations in which a traditionally designed mobile computer with a small keyboard and screen, may not be easily used. This applies to many mobile use contexts, such as inspection work and engineering in the field. By examining two such settings, we assert that what is usually pointed to as severe shortcomings of mobile computing today, for example: awkward keyboard, small display and unreliable networks, are really implications from a conceptual HCI design that emphasise unstructured, unlimited input; a rich, continuous visual feedback channel and marginal use of sound. We introduce MOTILE, a small prototype that demonstrates some alternative ideas about HCI for mobile devices. We suggest that identifying complementing user interface paradigms for handheld CSCW may enhance our understanding not only of mobile computing or handheld CSCW, but the CSCW field as a whole.