Telepresence: Integrating Shared Task and Person Spaces Paper / Publication

Author(s): William Buxton

From a technological and human perspective, shared space in remote collaboration has tended to focus on shared space of either the people or the task. The former would be characterized by traditional video/teleconferencing or videophones. The latter could be characterized by synchronous computer conferencing or groupware. The focus of this presentation is the area where these two spaces meet and are integrated into what could be characterized as video-enhanced computer conferencing or computer-enhanced video conferencing. From the behavioural perspective, the interest lies in how - in collaborative work - we make transitions between these two spaces. For example, in negotiating, the activity is mainly in the shared space of the participants themselves, where we are "reading" each other for information about trust and confidence. On the other hand, in preparing a budget using a shared electronic spreadsheet, for example, the visual channel is dominated by the task space. How well systems affords natural transitions between these spaces will have a large impact on their usability, usefulness, and acceptance. Consequently, we investigate the design space and some of the issues affecting it.

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