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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by Oldenbourg Wissenschaftsverlag November 14, 2018

Designing Metaphor-Based Ambient Tangible Artifacts to Support Workspace Awareness

Andrii Matviienko, Abdallah El Ali, Christin Hilmer, Yannick Feld, Wilko Heuten and Susanne Boll
From the journal i-com


Current asynchronous (e. g., email) or synchronous (e. g., video-conferencing) communication methods in the workspace can be obtrusive and fail to mimic spontaneous interpersonal communication. This can cause difficulties in forming close relationships among working colleagues. To examine this problem, we conducted a needs assessment study consisting of an online survey, a focus group, and a co-design session to gather a set of system requirements and metaphors as a base for future system designs. Based on the results, we designed two metaphor-based ambient tangible systems to support awareness among working colleagues: AwareCups and AwareHouse. Furthermore, we evaluated these systems in a short field study with 22 participants and found that both systems are highly intuitive and easy to use. We discuss the solution space for metaphor-based tangible awareness systems and the effects of the outcomes on the potential increase of awareness among colleagues.

Funding source: Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft

Award Identifier / Grant number: FR 806/15-1

Award Identifier / Grant number: BO 1645/12-1

Funding statement: This research has been performed with a support from German Research Foundation (DFG) funding for project SOCIAL (FR 806/15-1 – BO 1645/12-1).


We would like to thank all the participants who participated in our study.


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Published Online: 2018-11-14
Published in Print: 2018-12-19

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