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The conference room as a toolbox: technological and social routines in corporate meeting spaces

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ACM Press


HCI, CSCW, and ubicomp researchers have developed new technologies and interaction techniques to support collaboration, ranging from electronic whiteboards to software supporting display sharing. However, very few longitudinal studies have explored the technological and social routines of individuals using personal devices in conjunction with shared displays under authentic settings in meeting rooms. We extend previous work in this area by studying routines within two multi-purpose meeting spaces at two design and manufacturing-oriented corporations, with particular emphasis on the shared display found in each location. Our contribution to this space is a holistic approach to understanding the dynamics between people, devices, information, and the physical environment of meeting spaces. We argue that while it is important to improve technological infrastructures, such as enhancing display sharing abilities, understanding the social and technology routines that currently support collaboration are beneficial to technology designers aiming to enhance existing practices. In this paper, we analyze the routines occurring in these two spaces and discuss several routines that are impacted not only by technological limitations, but social conventions. We explore the types of interaction with devices and displays and identify other factors that contribute to the communities of information--items discussed, presented, or displayed--within these environments. To further explore the integrity of these routines, we introduced a second shared display to each space and observed groups responding very differently to the new technology, some integrating it into their routines while others dismissed it. We argue that meeting spaces need to be toolboxes containing many tools, some redundant, to successfully support information sharing routines.


Plaue, Christopher; Stasko, John; Baloga, Mark (2009): The conference room as a toolbox: technological and social routines in corporate meeting spaces. Communities and Technologies 2009: Proceedings of the Fourth Communities and Technologies Conference. DOI: 10.1145/1556460.1556476. ACM Press. pp. 95-104. Full Papers