Technology has advanced to the point where we can build marvellous systems that nobody can learn how to use. But how do we make such systems learnable and usable? Learning or using a communication system is fundamentally a social process, which implies that studying practitioners in real work settings should be the starting point of any design process. In a case study, we examined the changes in work practices that emerge when a new multimedia communication system is integrated into an office setting. We used video recordings to analyse the work practices before and after the technology had been introduced. The purpose of this study was to develop general insights into the design of communication systems for cooperative work. The focus in this paper is on the implications of work practices on the design of multimedia communication devices. Issues such as privacy, security, sharing, coordination, social conventions suggest more subtle design implications than 'more memory', 'a faster processor', or 'a parallel video channel', although these could contribute to the solution of some related problems.
|Number of pages||10|
|Journal||IPO Annual Progress Report|
|Publication status||Published - 1991|