Jennifer J. Preece
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Jennifer J. Preece is Dean of the College of Information Studies at the University of Maryland. She researches online communities and is known for her work on what makes such a community successful, and how usability factors interact with socialibility in online communities. Preece gained her Ph.D. at the Open University, later becoming faculty there. She went on to be a Research Professor of Information Systems and Director of the Research Center for People and Systems Interaction at London South Bank University in London.
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Komlodi, Anita, Hou, Weimin, Preece, Jennifer J., Druin, Allison, Golub, Evan, Alburo, Jade, Liao, Sabrina, Elkiss, Aaron, Resnik, Philip (2007): Evaluating a cross-cultural children\'s online book community: Lessons learned for sociabi. In Interacting with Computers, 19 (4) pp. 494-511. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.intcom.2007.03.001
Schoberth, Thomas, Heinzl, Armin, Preece, Jennifer J. (2006): Exploring Communication Activities in Online Communities: A Longitudinal Analysis in the F. In Journal of Organizational Computing and Electronic Commerce, 16 (3) pp. 247-265.
Feng, Jinjuan, Lazar, Jonathan, Preece, Jennifer J. (2004): Empathy and online interpersonal trust: A fragile relationship. In Behaviour and Information Technology, 23 (2) pp. 97-106. http://journalsonline.tandf.co.uk/openurl.asp?genre=article&id=doi:10.1080/01449290310001659240
de Souza, Clarisse Sieckenius, Preece, Jennifer J. (2004): A framework for analyzing and understanding online communities. In Interacting with Computers, 16 (3) pp. 579-610. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.intcom.2003.12.006
Zhang, Ping, Nah, Fiona Fui-Hoon, Preece, Jennifer J. (2004): Guest Editorial: HCI studies in management information systems. In Behaviour and Information Technology, 23 (3) pp. 147-151. http://journalsonline.tandf.co.uk/openurl.asp?genre=article&id=doi:10.1080/01449290410001669905
Andrews, Dorine, Nonnecke, Blair, Preece, Jennifer J. (2003): Electronic Survey Methodology: A Case Study in Reaching Hard-to-Involve Internet Users. In International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction, 16 (2) pp. 185-210. http://www.leaonline.com/doi/abs/10.1207/S15327590IJHC1602_04
Preece, Jennifer J. (2001): Sociability and usability in online communities: determining and measuring success. In Behaviour and Information Technology, 20 (5) pp. 347-356.
Nonnecke, Blair, Preece, Jennifer J. (2000): Lurker Demographics: Counting the Silent. In: Turner, Thea, Szwillus, Gerd, Czerwinski, Mary, Peterno, Fabio, Pemberton, Steven (eds.) Proceedings of the ACM CHI 2000 Human Factors in Computing Systems Conference April 1-6, 2000, The Hague, The Netherlands. pp. 73-80. http://www.acm.org/pubs/articles/proceedings/chi/332040/p73-nonnecke/p73-nonnecke.pdf
Preece, Jennifer J. (1999): Empathic Communities: Balancing Emotional and Factual Communication. In Interacting with Computers, 12 (1) pp. 63-77.
Preece, Jennifer J. (1998): Empathic Communities: Reaching Out Across the Web. In Interactions, 5 (2) pp. 32-43. http://www.acm.org/pubs/articles/journals/interactions/1998-5-2/p32-preece/p32-preece.pdf
Ramsay, Judith, Barbesi, Alessandro, Preece, Jennifer J. (1998): A Psychological Investigation of Long Retrieval Times on the World Wide Web. In Interacting with Computers, 10 (1) pp. 77-86. http://www.elsevier.com/cas/tree/store/intcom/sub/1998/10/1/1057.pdf
Neal, Lisa Rubin, Ramsay, Judith, Preece, Jennifer J. (1997): Distance Learning: A CHI 97 Special Interest Group. In ACM SIGCHI Bulletin, 29 (4) pp. 76-78. http://www.acm.org/sigchi/bulletin/1997.4/ramsay.html
Nonnecke, Blair, Jacques, Richard, Mckerlie, Diana, Preece, Jennifer J. (1995): Video-based hypermedia: guiding design with users\' questions. In New Review of Hypermedia and Multimedia, 1 (0) pp. 185-197.
Preece, Jennifer J., Rombach, H. Dieter (1994): A Taxonomy for Combining Software Engineering and Human-Computer Interaction Measurement A. In International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, 41 (4) pp. 553-583.
Preece, Jennifer J. (1994): \"Developing User Interfaces: Ensuring Usability Through Product and Process,. In ACM SIGCHI Bulletin, 26 (1) pp. 74-77.
Mantei, Marilyn, Hewett, Thomas T., Eason, Ken, Preece, Jennifer J. (1991): Report on the INTERACT'90 Workshop on Education in HCI: Transcending Disciplinary and Nati. In Interacting with Computers, 3 (2) pp. 232-240.
Crellin, Jonathan, Horn, Thomas, Preece, Jennifer J. (1990): Evaluating Evaluation: A Case Study of the Use of Novel and Conventional Evaluation Techni. In: Diaper, Dan, Gilmore, David J., Cockton, Gilbert, Shackel, Brian (eds.) INTERACT 90 - 3rd IFIP International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction August 27-31, 1990, Cambridge, UK. pp. 329-335.
Preece, Jennifer J., Keller, Laurie S. (1990): Why, What and How? Issues in the Development of an HCI Training Course. In: Diaper, Dan, Gilmore, David J., Cockton, Gilbert, Shackel, Brian (eds.) INTERACT 90 - 3rd IFIP International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction August 27-31, 1990, Cambridge, UK. pp. 3-7.
Preece, Jennifer J., Woodman, M., Ince, D. C., Griffiths, R., Davies, G. (1987): Toward a Structured Approach to Specifying User Interface Design. In: Bullinger, Hans-Jorg, Shackel, Brian (eds.) INTERACT 87 - 2nd IFIP International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction September 1-4, 1987, Stuttgart, Germany. pp. 415-421.
Schoberth, Thomas, Preece, Jennifer J., Heinzl, Armin (2003): Online Communities: A Longitudinal Analysis of Communication Activities. In: HICSS 2003 , 2003, . pp. 216. http://csdl.computer.org/comp/proceedings/hicss/2003/1874/07/187470216aabs.htm
Preece, Jennifer J., Schubert, Petra, Tan, Yao-Hua (2004): Online Communities in the Digital Economy: Minitrack Introduction. In: HICSS 2004 , 2004, . http://csdl.computer.org/comp/proceedings/hicss/2004/2056/07/205670193abs.htm
Nonnecke, Blair, Preece, Jennifer J., Andrews, Dorine (2004): What Lurkers and Posters Think of Each Other. In: HICSS 2004 , 2004, . http://csdl.computer.org/comp/proceedings/hicss/2004/2056/07/205670195aabs.htm
Nonnecke, Blair, Preece, Jennifer J. (2000): Persistence and Lurkers in Discussion Lists: A Pilot Study. In: HICSS 2000 , 2000, . http://csdl.computer.org/comp/proceedings/hicss/2000/0493/03/04933031abs.htm
Bieber, Michael, Im, Il, Rice, Ronald E., Goldman-Segall, Ricki, Paul, Ravi, Stohr, Edward A., Hiltz, Starr Roxanne, Preece, Jennifer J., Turoff, Murray (2002): Towards Knowledge-Sharing and Learning in Virtual Professional Communities. In: HICSS 2002 , 2002, . pp. 213. http://csdl.computer.org/comp/proceedings/hicss/2002/1435/08/14350213babs.htm
Bieber, Michael, Hiltz, Starr Roxanne, Stohr, Edward A., Engelbart, Douglas C., Noll, John, Turoff, Murray, Furuta, Richard, Preece, Jennifer J., Walle, Bartel Van de (2001): Virtual Community Knowledge Evolution. In: HICSS 2001 , 2001, . http://csdl.computer.org/comp/proceedings/hicss/2001/0981/08/09818003abs.htm
Andrews, Dorine, Preece, Jennifer J., Turoff, Murray (2001): A Conceptual Framework for Demographic Groups Resistant to Online Community Interaction. In: HICSS 2001 , 2001, . http://csdl.computer.org/comp/proceedings/hicss/2001/0981/07/09817013abs.htm
Wu, Philip Fei, Qu, Yan, Preece, Jennifer J. (2008): Why an Emergency Alert System isn\'t Adopted: The Impact of Socio-Technical Context. In: Proceedings of the HCI08 Conference on People and Computers XXII , 2008, . pp. 101-104. http://www.bcs.org/server.php?show=ConWebDoc.21435
McKerlie, Diane, Preece, Jennifer J. (1992): The Hypermedia Effect: More Than Just the Sum of Its Parts. In: East-West International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction: Proceedings of the EWHCI92 , 1992, . pp. 115-127.
Preece, Jennifer J. (2001): Designing Usability, Supporting Sociability: Questions Participants Ask about Online Commu. In: Proceedings of IFIP INTERACT01: Human-Computer Interaction , 2001, Tokyo, Japan. pp. 3-12.
Abras, C., Maloney-Krichmar, D., Preece, Jennifer J. (2003): Evaluating an Online Academic Community: \'Purpose\' is the Key. In: Stephanidis, Constantine (eds.) Proceedings of the Tenth International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction June 22-27, 2003, Crete, Greece. pp. 829-833.
Preece, Jennifer J., Abras, C. (2003): The Challenges of Teaching HCI Online: It\'s Mostly About Creating Community. In: Stephanidis, Constantine (eds.) Proceedings of the Tenth International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction June 22-27, 2003, Crete, Greece. pp. 391-395.
(1993): A Guide to Usability: Human Factors in Computing, Addison-Wesley Publishing,
(1990): Human-Computer Interaction, Prentice Hall,
8.6 Commentary by Jennifer J. Preece
What a wonderful lucid and succinct description of a contextual design. The discussion is focused around a case study with colorful figures to illustrate the step-by-step process that students and those new to the topic will love. Experienced designers too will find material to interest them. For example, there is a discussion about how contextual design practices can be integrated with agile and other methods.
Drs. Karen Holtzblatt and Hugh Beyer also provide a short description of the history of contextual design. It is wisely placed at the end of the article, as many readers will be looking primarily for hands-on advice. But don’t overlook this history. It is important for appreciating just how far our discipline has come in integrating users into the design process in a deep and meaningful way that takes account of use contexts, needs, desires and emotions. Karen, a psychologist, and Hugh, a system developer, not only pioneered the development of a new and powerful design methodology, through their work they illustrate the power of interdisciplinary thinking and creativity. Along with co-workers John Whiteside and John Bennett at Digital Equipment Corporation, Karen helped identify the limitations of traditional usability testing (Whiteside et al., 1988). The key one being that while usability testing is good for identifying usability problems that when remedied create incremental improvements, it does not facilitate the large-scale design creativity needed to develop novel systems that offer users an engaging experience. Contextual Design provided the paradigm shift necessary to create a new kind of design experience, and hence, a new kind of user experience. Gradually over the last twenty plus years contextual design methodology has been refined to provide the rigorous, structured, yet flexible approach described in this article.
Successful methods have two significant characteristics: they are adopted by other researchers and developers, and they can be adapted for use in different situations. Contextual design methodology is widely employed across the world by practitioners and taught to students in human-computer interaction, product design, and related classes (Rogers et al., 2011). I saw an example of the latter first-hand last week while showing a senior administrator around Maryland’s ischool. The walls of the hallway were covered with large sheets of paper, marked with colorful markers and adorned with sticky notes – the HCI Masters students were at work! They were engaged in a contextual design exercise under the guidance of Drs. Allison Druin and Karen Holtzblatt. Groups of students were working on different parts of the design, chattering and arguing about where exactly the sticky notes should be placed. The challenge they were set was to develop a system for first-generation college students who may be under-resourced, ethnically diverse, and at times, at-risk.
Allison not only teaches contextual design she has adapted and shaped Karen and Hugh’s methodology for her own research on the design of technology for children. Know as “Cooperative Inquiry”, Allison brings together teams of adults – researchers, developers, and parents – who work in partnership with children to identify and develop innovative technologies that appeal to children (Druin, 2011). For over fifteen years these intergenerational teams have developed exciting products such as the International Children’s Digital Library (www.childrenslibrary.org).
So why has contextual design stood the test of time? There are likely several reasons. First, it was a timely solution to a real problem. Second, it is structured, rigorous and systematic. Third, it respects the needs of real users by enabling them to be partners in the design process. Fourth, it can be adopted and adapted by a wide range of designers from student learners to researchers to professional designers. And fifth, it is challenging and fun!