Publication statistics

Pub. period:1996-2012
Pub. count:12
Number of co-authors:11


Number of publications with 3 favourite co-authors:

Alistair G. Sutcliffe:
Andy Dearden:
Steve Walker:



Productive colleagues

Leon Watts's 3 most productive colleagues in number of publications:

Alistair G. Sutcli..:147
Andrew Monk:68
Peter C. Wright:33

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Leon Watts


Publications by Leon Watts (bibliography)

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Gooch, Daniel and Watts, Leon (2012): YourGloves, hothands and hotmits: devices to hold hands at a distance. In: Proceedings of the 2012 ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology 2012. pp. 157-166.

There is a growing body of work in HCI on the design of communication technologies to help support lovers in long distance relationships. We build upon this work by presenting an exploratory study of hand-holding prototypes. Our work distinguishes itself by basing distance communication metaphors on elements of familiar, simple co-located behaviours. We argue that the combined evocative power of unique co-created physical representations of the absent other can be used by separated lovers to generate powerful and positive experiences, in turn sustaining romantic connections at a distance.

© All rights reserved Gooch and Watts and/or ACM Press

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Gooch, Daniel and Watts, Leon (2012): sleepyWhispers: sharing goodnights within distant relationships. In: Adjunct Proceedings of the 2012 ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology 2012. pp. 61-62.

There is a growing body of work in HCI on the design of communication technologies to help support lovers in long distance relationships. We build upon this work by presenting an exploratory study of a prototype device intended to allow distant lovers to share goodnight messages. Our work distinguishes itself by basing distance communication metaphors on elements of familiar, simple co-located behaviours. We argue that voice remains an under-utilised media when designing interactive technologies for long-distant couples. Through exploring the results of a 2-month case study we present some of the unique challenges that using voice entails.

© All rights reserved Gooch and Watts and/or ACM Press

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Gooch, Daniel and Watts, Leon (2011): The Magic Sock Drawer project. In: Proceedings of ACM CHI 2011 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems 2011. pp. 243-252.

In this paper we describe the design of a intimate communication system, the Magic Sock Drawer. The system allows close friends to send drawn or typed digital notes to one another which are then automatically printed at the other end. The system allows us to investigate a number of design decisions that will have an impact on how communication systems create feelings of closeness between remote partners. The four design concepts explored include 1-to-1 communication, personalization, tangibility and location. We present the results of a 6-week pilot study using the system and the impact it has had on the study participants' relationship.

© All rights reserved Gooch and Watts and/or their publisher

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Dearden, Andy, Walker, Steve and Watts, Leon (2005): Choosing friends carefully: allies for critical computing. In: Bertelsen, Olav W., Bouvin, Niels Olof, Krogh, Peter Gall and Kyng, Morten (eds.) Proceedings of the 4th Decennial Conference on Critical Computing 2005 August 20-24, 2005, Aarhus, Denmark. pp. 133-136.

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Watts, Leon, Nugroho, Yanuar and Lea, Martin (2003): Engaging in Email Discussion: Conversational Context and Social Identity in Computer-Mediated Communication. In: Proceedings of IFIP INTERACT03: Human-Computer Interaction 2003, Zurich, Switzerland. p. 559.

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Sutcliffe, Alistair G. and Watts, Leon (2003): Multimedia Design for the Web. In: Proceedings of IFIP INTERACT03: Human-Computer Interaction 2003, Zurich, Switzerland. p. 1033.

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Monk, Andrew and Watts, Leon (2000): Peripheral Participation in Video-Mediated Communication. In International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, 52 (5) pp. 933-958.

The importance of overhearing, and other ways of monitoring communicative behaviour not explicitly directed at oneself, has been illustrated in numerous ethnographic studies of computer-supported cooperative work. This paper is concerned with a particular form of monitoring. A "peripheral participant" is defined as someone who has a legitimate interest in monitoring a joint task (being carried out by some "primary participants") but who is not actively involved in carrying out the task themselves. The concept is illustrated through field studies of telemedical consultation and related to other analyses of overhearing. Two experiments are reported where participatory status was manipulated using a role-play task. Ratings of interpersonal awareness, measures of gaze direction and recall of the conversation all indicate that the task successfully operationalized the distinction between primary and peripheral participation. In addition, the experiment manipulated the visibility of the peripheral participant to a remote primary participant. This was shown to have an effect on the remote primary participant's interpersonal awareness of the peripheral participant. Potential mechanisms for this effect are considered. It is concluded that peripheral participation is a potentially important form of involvement that needs to be considered when designing and configuring equipment for video-mediated cooperative work.

© All rights reserved Monk and Watts and/or Academic Press

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McCarthy, John C., Wright, Peter C., Monk, Andrew and Watts, Leon (1998): Concerns at Work: Designing Useful Procedures. In Human-Computer Interaction, 13 (4) pp. 433-457.

The conceptual basis for designing procedures is confused by the problematics of characterizing a relation between procedures and work practices. As they emerge from scientific management theory, procedures connote a means of rationalizing and controlling work. However, interpretations of the use of procedures reveal differences in emphasis on the work required to relate procedures to practice, from comprehending to evaluating appropriateness or reasonableness. These evaluations point to a moral character in this work, which we characterize in terms of workers' concerns. Moreover, as conceptual differences in emphasis such as these can prove intractable, we argue that a more productive approach to resolving the problematics would be to evaluate the usefulness of a sensitivity to concerns in designing procedures. Three brief case studies of the use of procedures in safety-critical settings point to workers making judgments when relating procedures to their practice, including judgments of the value of the procedures they were using. These cases also demonstrated the complexity of concerns that were multiple and interacting and that had spatial and temporal characteristics. A review of approaches to work that inform HCI design suggests that activity-based approaches, which contextualize goals and actions in terms of both origins and personal investment, provide the minimum meaningful context required to accommodate concerns. Finally, we present an analysis of the implementation of medical guidelines in Britain that exemplifies the transformation in thinking required to design practically useful procedures: from models of work that emphasize control to those that emphasize commitment, and from conceptualizations of procedures as rationalizing and controlling to conceptualizations of procedures as educational. This analysis features the sensitivity to concerns in this particular case and draws some suggestive lines from what this case reveals about concerns to the kind of contributions a sensitivity to concerns would make to a contextual design process.

© All rights reserved McCarthy et al. and/or Taylor and Francis

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Daly-Jones, Owen, Monk, Andrew and Watts, Leon (1998): Some Advantages of Video Conferencing over High-Quality Audio Conferencing: Fluency and Awareness of Attentional Focus. In International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, 49 (1) pp. 21-58.

There are many commercial systems capable of transmitting a video image of parties in a conversation over a digital network. Typically, these have been used to provide facial images of the participants. Experimental evidence for the advantages of such a capability has been hard to find. This paper describes two experiments that demonstrate significant advantages for video conferencing over audio-only conferencing, in the context of a negotiation task using electronically shared data. In the video condition there was a large, high-quality image of the head and upper torso of the participant(s) at the other end of the link and high-quality sound. For the audio-alone condition the sound was the same but there was no video image. The criteria by which these two communication conditions were compared were not the conventional measures of task outcome. Rather, measures relating to conversational fluency and interpersonal awareness were applied. In each of the two experiments, participants completed the same task with data presented by a shared editor. In Experiment 1, they worked in pairs and in Experiment 2 they worked at quartets with two people at each end of the link. Fluency was assessed from transcripts in terms of length of utterance, overlapping speech and explicit questions. Only the latter measure discriminated between the two communication conditions in both experiments. The other measures showed significant effects in Experiment 2 but not in Experiment 1. Given this pattern of results it is concluded that video can result in more fluent conversation, particularly where there are more than two discussants. However, in the case of dyadic conversation auditory cues to turn taking, etc., would seem to suffice. In both experiments there was a large and significant effect on interpersonal awareness as assessed by ratings of the illusion of presence, and most clearly, awareness of the attentional focus of the remote partner (s). In Experiment 2, the ratings for the remote partners were similar to those for the co-located discussants, demonstrating the effectiveness of the video link with regard to these subjective scales.

© All rights reserved Daly-Jones et al. and/or Academic Press

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Watts, Leon and Monk, Andrew (1997): Telemedical Consultation: Task Characteristics. In: Pemberton, Steven (ed.) Proceedings of the ACM CHI 97 Human Factors in Computing Systems Conference March 22-27, 1997, Atlanta, Georgia. pp. 534-535.

Three telemedical projects were studied that used ISDN video to link primary care medical centres to hospitals. Specifically, a doctor or nurse practitioner with the patient was able to consult a remote specialist about treatment or diagnosis. Five task characteristics for this particular form of telemedical consultation are identified. These characteristics make clear the need for high quality multi-party sound communication and multiple-view slow-scan video but suggest that full motion video may not be necessary to support this kind of work. Some issues in analysing technologically-mediated collaborative work are briefly discussed.

© All rights reserved Watts and Monk and/or ACM Press

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Watts, Leon and Jul, Susanne (1997): A Meeting of Research Minds: The 1997 Basic Research Symposium at CHI 97. In ACM SIGCHI Bulletin, 29 (4) pp. 30-33.

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Watts, Leon, Monk, Andrew and Daly-Jones, Owen (1996): Inter-Personal Awareness and Synchronization: Assessing the Value of Communication Technologies. In International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, 44 (6) pp. 849-873.

How may we discriminate between the multitude of point-to-point communication facilities currently available? To take just one aspect of communication, how can we assess the fluency of coordination that results from using some communication technology? This paper describes two groups of measures with this general purpose. The measures described have been devised to be used in a particular approach to evaluation for the design of communication systems that borrows from experimental and ethnographic methods. This approach is promoted as a practical and rigorous way of assessing design alternatives. The first group of measures are subjective ratings that assess someone's awareness of the attentional status of their conversational partner, such awareness is necessary for the successful coordination of conversation. The rating scales are shown to be sensitive in that they distinguish between video and audio mediated conversation in a short experiment. The second group are measures derived from video records of communicative behaviour using "activity set" analysis. This can be used to assess coordination in communication directly. An activity set is a mutually exclusive and exhaustive set of behavioural states. A publicly available tool, Action Recorder, makes it possible to score the tapes in near real time. "Simple statistics" are extracted from a single activity set, examples are: the proportion of time spent looking towards the video monitor and the average duration of these glances. "Contingent statistics" are extracted from two or more activity sets, for example, the proportion of time both members of a pair are looking towards their video monitors. A way of assessing the synchronization evident in two people's behaviour is presented that makes use of these contingent statistics. Inter-observer reliabilities are given for all the measures generated.

© All rights reserved Watts et al. and/or Academic Press

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