Number of co-authors:23
Number of publications with 3 favourite co-authors:Ian Sommerville:6Tom Rodden:5David Randall:3
Richard Bentley's 3 most productive colleagues in number of publications:Tom Rodden:105Paul Dourish:93Allan MacLean:36
... there are no simple 'right' answers for most web design questions (at least not for the important ones). What works is good, integrated design that fills a need--carefully thought out, well executed, and tested.
-- Steve Krug, Don't Make Me Think, p. 136
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The Social Design of Technical Systems: Building technologies for communities
by Brian Whitworth and Adnan Ahmad
The Encyclopedia of Human-Computer Interaction, 2nd Ed.
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Publications by Richard Bentley (bibliography)
Dourish, Paul, Bentley, Richard, Jones, Rachel and MacLean, Allan (1999): Getting Some Perspective: Using Process Descriptions to Index Document History. In: Proceedings of the International ACM SIGGROUP Conference on Supporting Group Work 1999 November 14-17, 1999, Phoenix, Arizona, USA. pp. 375-384.
Process descriptions are used in workflow and related systems to describe the flow of work and organisational responsibility in business processes, and to aid in coordination. However, the division of a working process into a sequence of steps provides only a partial view of the work involved. In many cases, the performance of individual tasks in a larger process may depend on interpretations and understandings of how other aspects of the work were conducted. We present an example from an ethnographic investigation of one particular organisation, and introduce a mechanism, which we call "Perspectives," for dealing with it. A "Perspective" uses the process description to provide an index into the history of a document moving through a process. Perspectives allow workflow systems to manage and present information about the execution of specific process instances within the general frame of abstract process descriptions.
© All rights reserved Dourish et al. and/or ACM Press
Bentley, Richard, Busbach, Uwe, Kerr, David and Sikkel, Klaas (1997): Preface. In Computer Supported Cooperative Work, 6 (2) pp. v-vi.
Bentley, Richard, Horstmann, Thilo and Trevor, Jonathan (1997): The World Wide Web as Enabling Technology for CSCW: The Case of BSCW. In Computer Supported Cooperative Work, 6 (2) pp. 111-134.
Despite the growth of interest in the field of CSCW, and the increasingly large number of systems which have been developed, it is still the case that few systems have been adopted for widespread use. This is particularly true for widely-dispersed, cross-organisational working groups where problems of heterogeneity in computing hardware and software environments inhibit the deployment of CSCW technologies. With a lightweight and extensible client-server architecture, client implementations for all popular computing platforms, and an existing user base numbered in millions, the World Wide Web offers great potential in solving some of these problems to provide an 'enabling technology' for CSCW applications. We illustrate this potential using our work with the BSCW shared workspace system -- an extension to the Web architecture which provides basic facilities for collaborative information sharing from unmodified Web browsers. We conclude that despite limitations in the range of applications which can be directly supported, building on the strengths of the Web can give significant benefits in easing the development and deployment of CSCW applications.
© All rights reserved Bentley et al. and/or Kluwer Academic Publishers
Wasserschaff, Markus and Bentley, Richard (1997): Supporting Cooperation through Customisation: The Tviews Approach. In Computer Supported Cooperative Work, 6 (4) pp. 305-325.
User interfaces for groupware systems rarely reflect the different requirements for support of their end-users. Here we present an approach to designing multi-user interfaces for cooperative systems which builds on previous work from the HCI community in the area of end-user customisation. Using this approach we have developed an approach and a system prototype based on tailorable views, or Tviews, which allows end-users engaged in group working to configure their cooperative system interfaces to support their different tasks, preferences and levels of expertise. Tviews are user interface components which can be dragged and dropped over representations of application objects to customise presentation, interaction and event updating properties, and can themselves be tailored using high-level, incremental customisation techniques. We discuss the implications of this work for CSCW system development by reference to studies of work carried out by the CSCW community which point to a need for more flexible and tailorable system interfaces.
© All rights reserved Wasserschaff and Bentley and/or Kluwer Academic Publishers
Bentley, Richard, Appelt, W., Busbach, Uwe, Hinrichs, Elke, Kerr, David, Sikkel, Klaas, Trevor, Jonathan and Woetzel, Gerd (1997): Basic Support for Cooperative Work on the World Wide Web. In International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, 46 (6) pp. 827-846.
The emergence and widespread adoption of the World Wide Web offers a great deal of potential in supporting cross-platform cooperative work within widely dispersed working groups. The Basic Support for Cooperative Work (BSCW) project at GMD is attempting to realize this potential through development of web-based tools which provide cross-platform collaboration services to groups using existing web technologies. This paper describes one of these tools, the BSCW Shared Workspace system -- a centralized cooperative application integrated with an unmodified web server and accessible from standard web browsers. The BSCW system supports cooperation through "shared workspaces"; small repositories in which users can upload documents, hold threaded discussions and obtain information on the previous activities of other users to coordinate their own work. The current version of the system is described in detail, including design choices resulting from use of the web as a cooperation platform and feedback from users following the release of a previous version of BSCW to the public domain.
© All rights reserved Bentley et al. and/or Academic Press
Bentley, Richard and Appelt, Wolfgang (1997): Designing a System for Cooperative Work on the World-Wide Web: Experiences with the BSCW System. In: HICSS 1997 1997. pp. 297-.
Bentley, Richard and Dourish, Paul (1995): Medium versus Mechanism: Supporting Collaboration Through Customisation. In: Marmolin, Hans, Sundblad, Yngve and Schmidt, Kjeld (eds.) ECSCW 95 - Proceedings of the Fourth European Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work 11-15 September, 1995, Stockholm, Sweden. pp. 133-148.
The study of cooperative work as a socially-situated activity has led to a focus on providing 'mechanisms' that more closely resonate with existing work practice. In this paper we challenge this approach and suggest the flexibly organised nature of work is better supported when systems provide a 'medium' which can be tailored to suit each participant's needs and organised around the detail of their work. This orientation towards 'medium' rather than 'mechanism' has consequences for cooperative system design, highlighting a need to allow participants to adapt details of policy currently embedded in the heart of the systems we build. We describe an approach which allows users to perform such 'deep customisation' through direct manipulation of user interface representations.
© All rights reserved Bentley and Dourish and/or Kluwer Academic Publishers
Twidale, Michael, Randall, David and Bentley, Richard (1994): Situated Evaluation for Cooperative Systems. In: Proceedings of the 1994 ACM conference on Computer supported cooperative work October 22 - 26, 1994, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, United States. pp. 441-452.
This paper discusses an evaluation of the MEAD prototype, a multi-user interface generator tool particularly for use in the context of Air Traffic Control (ATC). The procedures we adopted took the form of opportunistic and informal evaluation sessions with small user groups, including Air Traffic Controllers (ATCOs). We argue that informal procedures are a powerful and cost effective method for dealing with specific evaluation issues in the context of CSCW but that wider issues are more problematic. Most notably, identifying the "validity" or otherwise of CSCW systems requires that the context of use be taken seriously, necessitating a fundamental re-appraisal of the concept of evaluation.
© All rights reserved Twidale et al. and/or ACM Press
Bentley, Richard, Rodden, Tom, Sawyer, Peter and Sommerville, Ian (1994): Architectural Support for Cooperative Multiuser Interfaces. In IEEE Computer, 27 (5) pp. 37-46.
Hughes, John A., Sommerville, Ian, Bentley, Richard and Randall, David (1993): Designing with Ethnography: Making Work Visible. In Interacting with Computers, 5 (2) pp. 239-253.
The paper reviews some aspects of a research project in which ethnographic studies of air traffic controllers at work were used to inform the design of an electronic flight strip. In particular, it emphasises the important role of ethnography in gaining an insight into the fine grained and often 'invisible' aspects of work which are essential to its accomplishment and which must be taken account of in the design process. The paper also reviews some of the practical lessons of interdisciplinary working and the role, along with some limitations, that ethnographic studies can play in the system design process.
© All rights reserved Hughes et al. and/or Elsevier Science
Sommerville, Ian, Rodden, Tom, Sawyer, Pete, Bentley, Richard and Twidale, Michael (1993): Integrating ethnography into the requirements engineering process. In: IEEE International Symposium on Requirements Engineering RE93 January 6, 1993, San Diego, USA. pp. 165-173.
Experiences from an interdisciplinary project involving software engineers and sociologists are reported. The project is concerned with discovering the requirements of a user interface to a flight database which is used to provide real-time information to air-traffic controllers. The sociologists are conducting an ethnographic analysis of the activity of air-traffic control, and this is being used for the development of a prototype system. An overview of the project is given, the contribution of sociologists to requirements engineering is discussed, and tool support which will allow ethnographic observations to be integrated into the requirements engineering process is suggested
© All rights reserved Sommerville et al. and/or IEEE Computer Society Press
Bentley, Richard, Hughes, J. A., Randall, David, Rodden, Tom, Sawyer, P., Shapiro, Dan and Sommerville, Ian (1992): Ethnographically-Informed Systems Design for Air Traffic Control. In: Proceedings of the 1992 ACM conference on Computer-supported cooperative work November 01 - 04, 1992, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. pp. 123-129.
This paper relates experiences of a project where an ethnographic study of air traffic controllers is being used to inform the design of the controllers' interface to the flight data base. We outline the current UK air traffic control system, discuss the ethnographic work we have undertaken studying air traffic control as a cooperative activity, describe some of the difficulties in collaboration between software developers and sociologists and show how the ethnographic studies have influenced the systems design process. Our conclusions are that ethnographic studies are helpful in informing the systems design process and may produce insights which contradict conventional thinking in systems design.
© All rights reserved Bentley et al. and/or ACM Press
Bentley, Richard, Rodden, Tom, Sawyer, Peter and Sommerville, Ian (1992): An Architecture for Tailoring Cooperative Multi-User Displays. In: Proceedings of the 1992 ACM conference on Computer-supported cooperative work November 01 - 04, 1992, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. pp. 187-194.
A range of architectures have emerged which support real-time cooperative user interfaces. These architectures have tended to centralise the management of the interface and thus provide only limited support for user-centred development and interface tailoring. This paper considers the problems associated with the development of tailorable cooperative interfaces and proposes an architecture which allows such interfaces to be developed using an incremental, user-centred approach. The architecture presented in this paper has emerged within the context of a project investigating cooperative interface development for UK air traffic control. We conclude that the architecture is equally applicable to other Command and Control domains, where a shared information space forms the focus for the work taking place.
© All rights reserved Bentley et al. and/or ACM Press
Sommerville, Ian, Rodden, Tom, Sawyer, Pete and Bentley, Richard (1992): Sociologists Can be Surprisingly Useful in Interactive Systems Design. In: Monk, Andrew, Diaper, Dan and Harrison, Michael D. (eds.) Proceedings of the Seventh Conference of the British Computer Society Human Computer Interaction Specialist Group - People and Computers VII August 15-18, 1992, University of York, UK. pp. 341-353.
This paper makes a case, to system developers, for inter-disciplinary working and the involvement of sociologists in the systems design process. Our argument is based on the fact that effective systems must take account of the social context in which these systems are situated. The paper is based on our experiences of working with sociologists in a study of air traffic control automation. We describe the model of working which we use and which we believe allows effective utilisation of the skills of both disciplines. We then set out pre-cursors for effective inter-disciplinary collaboration and how people from radically different backgrounds can work in harmony. Finally, we discuss some of the problems of collaboration which are likely to arise.
© All rights reserved Sommerville et al. and/or Cambridge University Press
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