Publication statistics

Pub. period:1988-2012
Pub. count:37
Number of co-authors:76



Co-authors

Number of publications with 3 favourite co-authors:

Thomas P. Moran:
Beverly L. Harrison:
Chen Zhao:

 

 

Productive colleagues

John C. Tang's 3 most productive colleagues in number of publications:

Bill Buxton:78
Kori Inkpen:70
Steve Whittaker:68
 
 
 

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John C. Tang

Has also published under the name of:
"J. C. Tang"

Personal Homepage:
research.microsoft.com/en-us/people/johntang/


 

Publications by John C. Tang (bibliography)

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2012
 
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Tang, John C., Wei, Carolyn and Kawal, Reena (2012): Social telepresence bakeoff: Skype group video calling, google+ hangouts, and Microsoft avatar kinect. In: Companion Proceedings of ACM CSCW12 Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work 2012. pp. 37-40. Available online

This panel compares across recently released products that enable groups of people to socialize online using rich media (video, avatars). Each tool takes a different approach toward online socializing. The panelists will compare and contrast the design features and rationale of each system, review what has been learned from studying their usage so far, and elicit stories of how people in the audience have been using these tools. This discussion will help us learn how these tools are being used and identify design implications for future work in developing new ways to support socializing.

© All rights reserved Tang et al. and/or ACM Press

 
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Brubaker, Jed R., Venolia, Gina and Tang, John C. (2012): Focusing on shared experiences: moving beyond the camera in video communication. In: Proceedings of DIS12 Designing Interactive Systems 2012. pp. 96-105. Available online

Even with the investment of significant resources, video communication in professional settings has not gained mass appeal. This contrasts with the consumer space where, despite limited resources and low quality solutions, services such as Skype have seen widespread adoption. In this paper, we explore the behavior and attitudes of individuals who actively use video communication in both their personal and professional lives. We highlight similarities and differences across these two domains, with particular focus on the interpersonal relationships, spaces, and activities that each domain supports and enables. We conclude by discussing how our study leads to a new perspective that focuses on the shared experiences enabled by video communication.

© All rights reserved Brubaker et al. and/or ACM Press

 
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Marshall, Cathy and Tang, John C. (2012): That syncing feeling: early user experiences with the cloud. In: Proceedings of DIS12 Designing Interactive Systems 2012. pp. 544-553. Available online

We studied how people use file sync and sharing services to better understand how early adopters conceptualize their interactions with the cloud. A survey of 106 users provided background information about current use of these cloud storage services and identified 19 people for in-depth interviews. Use cases described in the interviews revealed a hierarchy of concepts that participants needed to master to make full use of these services. Five pivotal concepts demonstrate that users make sense of the cloud as a: personal file repository, shared file repository, personal replicated file store, shared replicated file store, and synchronization mechanism that coordinates among replicas. We propose specific ways in which process transparency and interface scaffolding can help users build a more robust model of cloud services.

© All rights reserved Marshall and Tang and/or ACM Press

2011
 
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Tang, John C., Zhao, Chen, Cao, Xiang and Inkpen, Kori (2011): Your time zone or mine?: a study of globally time zone-shifted collaboration. In: Proceedings of ACM CSCW11 Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work 2011. pp. 235-244. Available online

We conducted interviews with sixteen members of teams that worked across global time zone differences. Despite time zone differences of about eight hours, collaborators still found time to synchronously meet. The interviews identified the diverse strategies teams used to find time windows to interact, which often included times outside of the normal workday and connecting from home to participate. Recent trends in increased work connectivity from home and blurred boundaries between work and home enabled more scheduling flexibility. While email use was understandably prevalent, there was also general interest in video, although obstacles remain for widespread usage. We propose several design implications for supporting this growing population of workers that need to span global time zone differences.

© All rights reserved Tang et al. and/or their publisher

2010
 
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Karlson, Amy K., Iqbal, Shamsi T., Meyers, Brian, Ramos, Gonzalo, Lee, Kathy and Tang, John C. (2010): Mobile taskflow in context: a screenshot study of smartphone usage. In: Proceedings of ACM CHI 2010 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems 2010. pp. 2009-2018. Available online

The impact of interruptions on workflow and productivity has been extensively studied in the PC domain, but while fragmented user attention is recognized as an inherent aspect of mobile phone usage, little formal evidence exists of its effect on mobile productivity. Using a survey and a screenshot-based diary study we investigated the types of barriers people face when performing tasks on their mobile phones, the ways they follow up with such suspended tasks, and how frustrating the experience of task disruption is for mobile users. From 386 situated samples provided by 12 iPhone and 12 Pocket PC users, we distill a classification of barriers to the completion of mobile tasks. Our data suggest that moving to a PC to complete a phone task is common, yet not inherently problematic, depending on the task. Finally, we relate our findings to prior design guidelines for desktop workflow, and discuss how the guidelines can be extended to mitigate disruptions to mobile taskflow.

© All rights reserved Karlson et al. and/or their publisher

 
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Pahud, Michel, Inkpen, Kori, Benko, Hrvoje, Tang, John C. and Buxton, Bill (2010): Three's company: understanding communication channels in three-way distributed collaboration. In: Proceedings of ACM CSCW10 Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work 2010. pp. 271-280. Available online

We explore the design of a system for three-way collaboration over a shared visual workspace, specifically in how to support three channels of communication: person, reference, and task-space. In two studies, we explore the implications of extending designs intended for dyadic collaboration to three-person groups, and the role of each communication channel. Our studies illustrate the utility of multiple configurations of users around a distributed workspace, and explore the subtleties of traditional notions of identity, awareness, spatial metaphor, and corporeal embodiments as they relate to three-way collaboration.

© All rights reserved et al. and/or their publisher

2008
 
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Tang, John C., Wilcox, Eric, Cerruti, Julian A., Badenes, Hernan, Nusser, Stefan and Schoudt, Jerald (2008): Tag-it, snag-it, or bag-it: combining tags, threads, and folders in e-mail. In: Proceedings of ACM CHI 2008 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems April 5-10, 2008. pp. 2179-2194. Available online

We describe the design of bluemail, a web-based email system that provides message tagging, message threading, and email folders. We wanted to explore how this combination of features would help users manage and organize their email. We conducted a limited field test of the prototype by observing how users triage their own email using bluemail. Our study identified ways in which users liked tagging, threading, and foldering capabilities, but also some of the complex ways in which they can interact. Our study elicited early user input to guide the iterative design of these features. It also involved a user study researcher, designer, and developer in the field test to quickly integrate different perspectives during development.

© All rights reserved Tang et al. and/or ACM Press

2007
 
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Tang, John C., Drews, Clemens, Smith, Mark, Wu, Fei, Sue, Alison and Lau, Tessa (2007): Exploring patterns of social commonality among file directories at work. In: Proceedings of ACM CHI 2007 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems 2007. pp. 951-960. Available online

We studied files stored by members of a work organization for patterns of social commonality. Discovering identical or similar documents, applications, developer libraries, or other files may suggest shared interests or experience among users. Examining actual file data revealed a number of individual and aggregate practices around file storage. For example, pairs of users typically have many (over 13,000) files in common. A prototype called LiveWire exploits this commonality to make file backup and restore more efficient for a work organization. We removed commonly shared files and focused on specific filetypes that represent user activity to find more meaningful files in common. The Consolidarity project explores how patterns of file commonality could encourage social networking in an organizational context. Mechanisms for addressing the privacy concerns raised by this approach are discussed.

© All rights reserved Tang et al. and/or ACM Press

 
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Tang, John C., Lin, James, Pierce, Jeffrey, Whittaker, Steve and Drews, Clemens (2007): Recent shortcuts: using recent interactions to support shared activities. In: Proceedings of ACM CHI 2007 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems 2007. pp. 1263-1272. Available online

We present an empirical study of teams that revealed the amount of extraneous individual work needed to enable collaboration: finding references to other people, finding files to attach to email, managing incoming email attachments, managing the variety of files used in shared activities, and tracking what work is owed to others. Much of this work involves finding recently accessed objects that are needed again in the user's current task focus. These observations led to the design of Recent Shortcuts, a tool to help support coordination by making recently used objects easily accessible. Recent Shortcuts enables quick access to people (including groups of people), received attachments, files, and file folders that the user interacted with recently for re-use in the user's current context. Recent Shortcuts makes it easy to use these objects across applications with no additional user input and minimal changes to the user's applications or work practice. Early user experiences with a working prototype led to an extension that integrates recently accessed objects across multiple devices.

© All rights reserved Tang et al. and/or ACM Press

 
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Tang, John C. (2007): Incorporating Human and Machine Interpretation of Unavailability and Rhythm Awareness Into the Design of Collaborative Applications. In Human Computer Interaction, 22 (1) pp. 7-45.

Efficient coordination of collaboration requires sharing information about collaborators' current and future availability. We describe the usage of an awareness system called Awarenex that shared real-time awareness information to help coordinate activities at the current moment. We also developed a prototype called Lilsys that used sensors to gather additional awareness information that would help avoid disruptions when users are currently unavailable for interaction. Our experiences over time in designing and using prototypes that share awareness cues for current availability led us to identify temporal patterns that could help predict future reachability. Rhythm awareness is having a sense of regularly recurring temporal patterns that can help coordinate interactions among collaborators. Rhythm awareness is difficult to establish within distributed groups that are separated by distance and time zone. We describe rhythmic temporal patterns observed in activity data collected from users of the Awarenex prototype. Analyzing logs of Awarenex usage over time enabled us to construct a computational model of temporal patterns. We explored how to apply those patterns and model to predict future reachability among distributed team members. We discuss trade-offs in the design of collaborative applications that rely on human- and machine-interpretation of rhythm awareness cues. We also conducted a design study that elicited reactions to a variety of end-user visualizations of rhythmic patterns and investigated how well our computational model characterized their everyday routines.

© All rights reserved and/or Lawrence Erlbaum

 
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Tang, John C. (2007): Approaching and leave-taking: Negotiating contact in computer-mediated communication. In ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction, 14 (1) p. 5. Available online

A major difference between face-to-face interaction and computer-mediated communication is how contact negotiation -- the way in which people start and end conversations -- is managed. Contact negotiation is especially problematic for distributed group members who are separated by distance and thus do not share many of the cues needed to help mediate interaction. An understanding of what resources and cues people use to negotiate making contact when face-to-face identifies ways to design support for contact negotiation in new technology to support remote collaboration. This perspective is used to analyze the design and use experiences with three communication prototypes: Desktop Conferencing Prototype, Montage, and Awarenex. These prototypes use text, video, and graphic indicators to share the cues needed to gracefully start and end conversations. Experiences with using these prototypes focused on how these designs support the interactional commitment of the participants -- when they have to commit their attention to an interaction and how flexibly that can be negotiated. Reviewing what we learned from these research experiences identifies directions for future research in supporting contact negotiation in computer-mediated communication.

© All rights reserved Tang and/or ACM Press

 
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Tang, John C. (2007): Incorporating Human and Machine Interpretation of Unavailability and Rhythm Awareness Into the Design of Collaborative Applications. In Human-Computer Interaction, 22 (1) pp. 7-45. Available online

Efficient coordination of collaboration requires sharing information about collaborators' current and future availability. We describe the usage of an awareness system called Awarenex that shared real-time awareness information to help coordinate activities at the current moment. We also developed a prototype called Lilsys that used sensors to gather additional awareness information that would help avoid disruptions when users are currently unavailable for interaction. Our experiences over time in designing and using prototypes that share awareness cues for current availability led us to identify temporal patterns that could help predict future reachability. Rhythm awareness is having a sense of regularly recurring temporal patterns that can help coordinate interactions among collaborators. Rhythm awareness is difficult to establish within distributed groups that are separated by distance and time zone. We describe rhythmic temporal patterns observed in activity data collected from users of the Awarenex prototype. Analyzing logs of Awarenex usage over time enabled us to construct a computational model of temporal patterns. We explored how to apply those patterns and model to predict future reachability among distributed team members. We discuss trade-offs in the design of collaborative applications that rely on human- and machine-interpretation of rhythm awareness cues. We also conducted a design study that elicited reactions to a variety of end-user visualizations of rhythmic patterns and investigated how well our computational model characterized their everyday routines.

© All rights reserved and/or Taylor and Francis

 
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Tang, John C. (2007): Incorporating Human and Machine Interpretation of Unavailability and Rhythm Awareness Into the Design of Collaborative Applications. In Human-Computer Interaction, 22 (1) pp. 7-45. Available online

Efficient coordination of collaboration requires sharing information about collaborators' current and future availability. We describe the usage of an awareness system called Awarenex that shared real-time awareness information to help coordinate activities at the current moment. We also developed a prototype called Lilsys that used sensors to gather additional awareness information that would help avoid disruptions when users are currently unavailable for interaction. Our experiences over time in designing and using prototypes that share awareness cues for current availability led us to identify temporal patterns that could help predict future reachability. Rhythm awareness is having a sense of regularly recurring temporal patterns that can help coordinate interactions among collaborators. Rhythm awareness is difficult to establish within distributed groups that are separated by distance and time zone. We describe rhythmic temporal patterns observed in activity data collected from users of the Awarenex prototype. Analyzing logs of Awarenex usage over time enabled us to construct a computational model of temporal patterns. We explored how to apply those patterns and model to predict future reachability among distributed team members. We discuss trade-offs in the design of collaborative applications that rely on human- and machine-interpretation of rhythm awareness cues. We also conducted a design study that elicited reactions to a variety of end-user visualizations of rhythmic patterns and investigated how well our computational model characterized their everyday routines.

© All rights reserved and/or Taylor and Francis

2006
 
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Tang, John C., Liu, Sophia B., Muller, Michael J., Lin, James and Drews, Clemens (2006): Unobtrusive but invasive: using screen recording to collect field data on computer-mediated interaction. In: Proceedings of ACM CSCW06 Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work 2006. pp. 479-482. Available online

We explored the use of computer screen plus audio recording as a methodological approach for collecting empirical data on how teams use their computers to coordinate work. Screen recording allowed unobtrusive collecting of a rich record of actual computer work activity in its natural work setting. The embedded nature of screen recording on laptops made it easy to follow the user's mobility among various work sites. However, the invasiveness of seeing all of the user's interactions with and through the computer raised privacy concerns that made it difficult to find people to agree to participate in this type of detailed study. We discuss measures needed to develop trust with the researchers to enable access to this rich, empirical data of computer usage in the field.

© All rights reserved Tang et al. and/or ACM Press

2005
 
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Muller, Michael J., Kuchinskaya, Olga, Minassian, Suzanne O., Tang, John C., Danis, Catalina, Zhao, Chen, Harrison, Beverly L. and Moran, Thomas P. (2005): Shared landmarks in complex coordination environments. In: Proceedings of ACM CHI 2005 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems 2005. pp. 1681-1684. Available online

We explore the concept of social landmarks in complex, shared information and coordination environments. Previous research in navigation and shared spaces has tended to emphasize individual navigation, formally inscribed spaces, social filtering, and boundary objects. Based on ethnographic research into complex collaborative work in organizations, we extend the concept of navigational "landmarks" to include not only individually-used documents, but also shared landmarks in the form of persons, roles, and events. This emerging concept of social landmarks may be applied in identifying and representing these coordinating points, to support the work of teams and organizations in complex projects.

© All rights reserved Muller et al. and/or ACM Press

2004
 
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Begole, James, Matsakis, Nicholas E. and Tang, John C. (2004): Lilsys: Sensing Unavailability. In: Proceedings of ACM CSCW04 Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work 2004. pp. 511-514. Available online

As communications systems increasingly gather and propagate information about people's reachability or "presence", users need better tools to minimize undesired interruptions while allowing desired ones. We review the salient elements of presence and availability that people use when initiating face-to-face communication. We discuss problems with current strategies for managing one's availability in telecommunication media. We describe a prototype system called Lilsys which passively collects availability cues gathered from users' actions and environment using ambient sensors and provides machine inferencing of unavailability. We discuss observations and design implications from deploying Lilsys.

© All rights reserved Begole et al. and/or ACM Press

2003
 
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Begole, James, Tang, John C. and Hill, Rosco (2003): Rhythm modeling, visualizations and applications. In: Proceedings of the 16th annural ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology November, 2-5, 2003, Vancouver, Canada. pp. 11-20. Available online

People use their awareness of others' temporal patterns to plan work activities and communication. This paper presents algorithms for programatically detecting and modeling temporal patterns from a record of online presence data. We describe analytic and end-user visualizations of rhythmic patterns and the tradeoffs between them. We conducted a design study that explored the accuracy of the derived rhythm models compared to user perceptions, user preference among the visualization alternatives, and users' privacy preferences. We also present a prototype application based on the rhythm model that detects when a person is "away" for an extended period and predicts their return. We discuss the implications of this technology on the design of computer-mediated communication.

© All rights reserved Begole et al. and/or ACM Press

 
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Tyler, J. R. and Tang, John C. (2003): When can I expect an email response? A study of rhythms in email usage. In: Proceedings of the Eighth European Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work 2003. pp. 239-258.

2002
 
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Begole, James, Tang, John C., Smith, Randall B. and Yankelovich, Nicole (2002): Work rhythms: analyzing visualizations of awareness histories of distributed groups. In: Churchill, Elizabeth F., McCarthy, Joe, Neuwirth, Christine and Rodden, Tom (eds.) Proceedings of the 2002 ACM conference on Computer supported cooperative work November 16 - 20, 2002, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA. pp. 334-343. Available online

We examined records of minute-by-minute computer activity coupled with information about the location of the activity, online calendar appointments, and e-mail activity. We present a number of visualizations of the data that exhibit meaningful patterns in users' activities. We demonstrate how the patterns vary between individuals and within individuals according to time of day, location, and day of the week. Some patterns augment the schedule information found in people's online calendars. We discuss applications for group coordination (especially across time zones) plus opportunities for future research. In light of the popularity of instant messaging, this research identifies some of the benefits and privacy risks associated with the uses of online presence and awareness information.

© All rights reserved Begole et al. and/or ACM Press

2001
 
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Tang, John C., Yankelovich, Nicole, Begole, James, Kleek, Max Van, Li, Francis and Bhalodia, Janak (2001): ConNexus to Awarenex: Extending Awareness to Mobile Users. In: Beaudouin-Lafon, Michel and Jacob, Robert J. K. (eds.) Proceedings of the ACM CHI 2001 Human Factors in Computing Systems Conference March 31 - April 5, 2001, Seattle, Washington, USA. pp. 221-228. Available online

We explored the use of awareness information to facilitate communication by developing a series of prototypes. The ConNexus prototype integrates awareness information, instant messaging, and other communication channels in an interface that runs on a desktop computer. The Awarenex prototype extends that functionality to wireless handheld devices, such as a Palm. A speech interface also enables callers to make use of the awareness information over the telephone. While the prototypes offer similar functionality, the interfaces reflect the different design affordances and use context of each platform. We discuss the design implications of providing awareness information on devices with varying interface and network characteristics.

© All rights reserved Tang et al. and/or ACM Press

1998
 
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Toomey, Lori, Tang, John C., Mark, Gloria and Adams, Lia (1998): Designing Virtual Communities for Work. In: Poltrock, Steven and Grudin, Jonathan (eds.) Proceedings of the 1998 ACM conference on Computer supported cooperative work November 14 - 18, 1998, Seattle, Washington, United States. p. 417. Available online

While the popularity of networked virtual communities has been growing, their use has remained primarily social. Given the necessity of communication and collaboration among distributed workers, it seems natural to consider how these spaces might be used to support work and the surrounding social interactions. This workshop will focus on understanding how organizations are currently using virtual communities, and how they could be enhanced to better support the needs of collaborative workers. By "virtual communities" we are thinking primarily of MUDs, MOOs, and other collaboration software involving text, graphics, and/or other media. We will explore how to take advantage of the inherently engaging attributes of virtual communities to accomplish work, preserve organizational memory, promote corporate culture, and encourage professional networking. We will identify issues that are common to groups exploring work-based virtual communities and share the design approaches that are being tried to address them.

© All rights reserved Toomey et al. and/or ACM Press

1996
 
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Isaacs, Ellen, Tang, John C. and Morris, Trevor (1996): Piazza: A Desktop Environment Supporting Impromptu and Planned Interactions. In: Olson, Gary M., Olson, Judith S. and Ackerman, Mark S. (eds.) Proceedings of the 1996 ACM conference on Computer supported cooperative work November 16 - 20, 1996, Boston, Massachusetts, United States. pp. 315-324. Available online

Much of the support for communication across distributed communities has focused on meetings and intentional contact. However, most interactions within co-located groups occur when people happen to run into each other. Such unintended interactions should also be supported among distributed communities. We conducted a study of the communication patterns of a large, distributed organization and found that people tend to disseminate information using formal techniques, even though people usually receive information informally. We then designed a system called Piazza that is intended to support the range of communication styles evident in large communities, paying particular attention to addressing the problems revealed in our study. Piazza allows people to be aware of others who are doing similar tasks when they are using their computers, thereby enabling unintended interactions. It also supports intentional contacts and planned meetings. We discuss issues for analysis in an upcoming use study.

© All rights reserved Isaacs et al. and/or ACM Press

 
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Isaacs, Ellen and Tang, John C. (1996): Why Don't More Non-North-American Papers Get Accepted to CHI?. In ACM SIGCHI Bulletin, 28 (1) pp. 59-65. Available online

In this report, we describe how we carried out our analysis, explain our findings, and discuss some preliminary ideas about actions that might increase the participation of non-North Americans at CHI, should that be accepted as a goal.

© All rights reserved Isaacs and Tang and/or ACM Press

 
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Isaacs, Ellen and Tang, John C. (1996): Technology Transfer: So Much Research, So Few Godd Producs (Introduction to the Special Section). In Communications of the ACM, 39 (9) pp. 22-25.

1995
 
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Isaacs, Ellen, Morris, Trevor, Rodriguez, Thomas K. and Tang, John C. (1995): Comparison of Face-To-Face and Distributed Presentations. In: Katz, Irvin R., Mack, Robert L., Marks, Linn, Rosson, Mary Beth and Nielsen, Jakob (eds.) Proceedings of the ACM CHI 95 Human Factors in Computing Systems Conference May 7-11, 1995, Denver, Colorado. pp. 354-361. Available online

As organizations become distributed across multiple sites, they are looking to technology to help support enterprise-wide communication and training to distant locations. We developed an application called Forum that broadcasts live video, audio, and slides from a speaker to distributed audiences at their computer desktops. We studied how distributed presentations over Forum differed from talks given in face-to-face settings. We found that Forum attracted larger audiences, but the quality of interaction was perceived to be lower. Forum appeared to provide more flexible and effective use of slides and other visual materials. On the whole, audiences preferred to watch talks over Forum but speakers preferred to give talks in a local setting. The study raises issues about how to design this technology and how to help people discover effective ways of using it.

© All rights reserved Isaacs et al. and/or ACM Press

1994
 
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Tang, John C., Isaacs, Ellen and Rua, Monica (1994): Supporting Distributed Groups with a Montage of Lightweight Interactions. In: Proceedings of the 1994 ACM conference on Computer supported cooperative work October 22 - 26, 1994, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, United States. pp. 23-34. Available online

The Montage prototype provides lightweight audio-video glances among distributed collaborators and integrates other applications for coordinating future contact. We studied a distributed group across three conditions: before installing Montage, with Montage, and after removing Montage. We collected quantitative measures of usage as well as videotape and user perception data. We found that the group used Montage glances for short, lightweight interactions that were like face-to-face conversations in many respects. Yet like the phone, Montage offered convenient access to other people without leaving the office. Most glances revealed that the person was not available, so it was important to integrate other tools for coordinating future interaction. Montage did not appear to displace the use of e-mail, voice-mail, or scheduled meetings.

© All rights reserved Tang et al. and/or ACM Press

 
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Wilbur, Sylvia, Beirne, Garry, Crowcroft, Jon, Ensor, J. Robert and Tang, John C. (1994): Getting the Model Right for Video-Mediated Communication (Panel Abstract). In: ACM Multimedia 1994 1994. pp. 389-390.

1993
 
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Isaacs, Ellen and Tang, John C. (1993): What Video Can and Can't Do for Collaboration: A Case Study. In: ACM Multimedia 1993 1993. pp. 199-206.

1992
 
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Elrod, Scott, Bruce, Richard, Gold, Rich, Goldberg, David, Halasz, Frank, Janssen, William, Lee, David, McCall, Kim, Pedersen, Elin Ronby, Pier, Ken, Tang, John C. and Welch, Brent (1992): Liveboard: A Large Interactive Display Supporting Group Meetings, Presentations and Remote Collaboration. In: Bauersfeld, Penny, Bennett, John and Lynch, Gene (eds.) Proceedings of the ACM CHI 92 Human Factors in Computing Systems Conference June 3-7, 1992, Monterey, California. pp. 599-607. Available online

This paper describes the Liveboard, a large interactive display system. With nearly one million pixels and an accurate, multi-state, cordless pen, the Liveboard provides a basis for research on user interfaces for group meetings, presentations and remote collaboration. We describe the underlying hardware and software of the Liveboard, along with several software applications that have been developed. In describing the system, we point out the design rationale that was used to make various choices. We present the results of an informal survey of Liveboard users, and describe some of the improvements that have been made in response to user feedback. We conclude with several general observations about the use of large public interactive displays.

© All rights reserved Elrod et al. and/or ACM Press

 
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Tang, John C. and Isaacs, Ellen (1992): Why do users like video?. In Computer Supported Cooperative Work, 1 (3) pp. 163-196. Available online

Three studies of collaborative activity were conducted as part of research in developing multimedia technology to support collaboration. One study surveyed users' opinions of their use of video conference rooms. Users indicated that the availability of the video conference rooms was too limited, audio quality needed improvement, and a shared drawing space was needed. A second study analyzed videotapes of a work group when meeting face-to-face, video conferencing, and phone conferencing. The analyses found that the noticeable audio delay in video conferencing made it difficult for the participants to manage turn-taking and coordinate eye glances. In the third study, a distributed team was observed under three conditions: using their existing collaboration tools, adding a desktop conferencing prototype (audio, video, and shared drawing tool), and subtracting the video capability from the prototype. Qualitative and quantitative data were collected by videotaping the team, interviewing the team members individually, and recording their usage of the phone, electronic mail, face-to-face meetings, and desktop conferencing. The team's use of the desktop conferencing prototype dropped significantly when the video capability was removed. Analysis of the videotape data showed how the video channel was used to help mediate their interaction and convey visual information. Desktop conferencing apparently reduced e-mail usage and was perceived to reduce the number of shorter, two-person, face-to-face meetings.

© All rights reserved Tang and Isaacs and/or Kluwer Academic Publishers

1991
 
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Tang, John C. and Minneman, Scott (1991): VideoWhiteboard: Video Shadows to Support Remote Collaboration. In: Robertson, Scott P., Olson, Gary M. and Olson, Judith S. (eds.) Proceedings of the ACM CHI 91 Human Factors in Computing Systems Conference April 28 - June 5, 1991, New Orleans, Louisiana. pp. 315-322. Available online

VideoWhiteboard is a prototype tool to support remote shared drawing activity. It provides a whiteboard-sized shared drawing space for collaborators who are located in remote sites. It allows each user to see the drawings and a shadow of the gestures of collaborators at the remote site. The development of VideoWhiteboard is based on empirical studies of collaborative drawing activity, including experiences in using the VideoDraw shared drawing prototype. VideoWhiteboard, enables remote collaborators to work together much as if they were sharing a whiteboard, and in some ways allows them to work together even more closely than if they were in the same room.

© All rights reserved Tang and Minneman and/or ACM Press

 
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Tang, John C. (1991): Findings from Observational Studies of Collaborative Work. In International Journal of Man-Machine Studies, 34 (2) pp. 143-160.

The work activity of small groups of three to four people was videotaped and analysed in order to understand collaborative work and to guide the development of tools to support it. The analysis focused on the group's shared drawing activity -- their listing, drawing, gesturing and talking around a shared drawing surface. This analysis identified specific features of collaborative work activity that raise design implications for collaborative technology: (1) collaborators use hand gestures to uniquely communicate significant information; (2) the process of creating and using drawings conveys much information not contained in the resulting drawings; (3) the drawing space is an important resource for the group in mediating their collaboration; (4) there is a fluent mix of activity in the drawing space; and (5) the spatial orientation among the collaborators and the drawing space has a role in structuring their activity. These observations are illustrated with examples from the video data, and the design implications they raise are discussed.

© All rights reserved Tang and/or Academic Press

 
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Tang, John C. and Minneman, Scott (1991): VideoDraw: A Video Interface for Collaborative Drawing. In ACM Transactions on Information Systems, 9 (2) pp. 170-184. Available online

This paper describes VideoDraw, a shared drawing tool, and the process by which it is being designed and developed. VideoDraw is a video-based prototype tool that provides a shared "virtual sketchbook" among two or more collaborators. It not only allows the collaborators to see each others' drawings, but also conveys the accompanying hand gestures and the process of creating and using those drawings. Its design stems from studying how people collaborate using shared drawing spaces. Design implications raised by those studies were embodied in a prototype, which was subsequently observed in use situations. Further research studying the use of VideoDraw (in comparison with other collaborative media) will lead to a better understanding of collaborative drawing activity and inform the continued technical development of tools to support collaborative drawing.

© All rights reserved Tang and Minneman and/or ACM Press

1990
 
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Tang, John C. and Minneman, Scott (1990): VideoDraw: A Video Interface for Collaborative Drawing. In: Carrasco, Jane and Whiteside, John (eds.) Proceedings of the ACM CHI 90 Human Factors in Computing Systems Conference 1990, Seattle, Washington,USA. pp. 313-320.

This paper describes VideoDraw, a shared drawing tool, and the process by which it is being designed and developed. VideoDraw is a prototype, videobased, tool that provides a shared "virtual sketchbook" among two or more collaborators. It not only allows the collaborators to see each others' drawings, but also conveys the accompanying hand gestures and the process of creating and using those drawings. Its design stems from studying how people collaborate using shared drawing spaces. Design implications raised by those studies were embodied in a prototype, which was in turn observed in use situations. Continued research studying the use of VideoDraw (in comparison with other collaborative media) will lead to a better understanding of collaborative drawing activity and inform the continued technical development of VideoDraw.

© All rights reserved Tang and Minneman and/or ACM Press

 
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Catterall, Bernard J., Harker, Susan, Klein, Gary, Notess, Mark and Tang, John C. (1990): Group HCI Design: Problems and Prospects. In ACM SIGCHI Bulletin, 22 (2) pp. 37-41.

Design of human-computer interfaces is typically carried out by groups of designers rather than by isolated individuals. In this report, we characterize those groups and their contexts, examine the problems that such groups encounter, and evaluate the extent to which current HCI techniques address the needs of groups of designers.

© All rights reserved Catterall et al. and/or ACM Press

1989
 
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Ehrlich, Sheryl M., Bikson, T. K., Mackay, Wendy E. and Tang, John C. (1989): Tools for Supporting Cooperative Work Near and Far: Highlights from the CSCW Conference. In: Bice, Ken and Lewis, Clayton H. (eds.) Proceedings of the ACM CHI 89 Human Factors in Computing Systems Conference April 30 - June 4, 1989, Austin, Texas. pp. 353-356.

The second conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work has provided focus on use of computers for supporting workers that are at various levels of geographic dispersion. The participants in this panel reported case studies at that conference on group work (1) in face-to-face meetings, (2) in the same building, and (3) distributed across a number of sites. Each panelist therefore brings insight about the communication needs of their research subjects and both the value and limitations of particular technologies for supporting the communication that ties the members of the groups together as geographic distance varies.

© All rights reserved Ehrlich et al. and/or ACM Press

1988
 
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Tang, John C. and Leifer, Larry J. (1988): A Framework for Understanding the Workspace Activity of Design Teams. In: Greif, Irene (ed.) Proceedings of the 1988 ACM conference on Computer-supported cooperative work September 26 - 28, 1988, Portland, Oregon, United States. pp. 244-249.

Small group design sessions were empirically studied to understand better collaborative workspace activity. A conventional view of workspace activity may be characterized as concerned only with storing information and conveying ideas through text and graphics. Empirical evidence shows that this view is deficient in not accounting for how the workspace is used: a) in a group setting, rather than by an individual, and b) as part of a process of constructing artifacts, rather than just a medium for the resulting artifacts themselves. An understanding of workspace activity needs to include the role of gestural activity, and the use of the workspace to develop ideas and mediate interaction. A framework that helps illustrate an expanded view of workspace activity is proposed and supported with empirical data.

© All rights reserved Tang and Leifer and/or ACM Press

 
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