Many journalists and newsrooms now incorporate audience contributions in their sourcing practices by leveraging user-generated content (UGC). However, their sourcing needs and practices as they seek information from UGCs are still not deeply understood by researchers or well-supported in tools. This paper first reports the results of a qualitative interview study with nine professional journalists about their UGC sourcing practices, detailing what journalists typically look for in UGCs and elaborating on two UGC sourcing approaches: deep reporting and wide reporting. These findings then inform a human-centered design approach to prototype a UGC sourcing tool for journalists, which enables journalists to interactively filter and rank UGCs based on users' example content. We evaluate the prototype with nine professional journalists who source UGCs in their daily routines to understand how UGC sourcing practices are enabled and transformed, while also uncovering opportunities for future research and design to support journalistic sourcing practices and sensemaking processes.
Virtual meetings are critical for remote work because of the need for synchronous collaboration in the absence of in-person interactions. In-meeting multitasking is closely linked to people's productivity and wellbeing. However, we currently have limited understanding of multitasking in remote meetings and its potential impact. In this paper, we present what we believe is the most comprehensive study of remote meeting multitasking behavior through an analysis of a large-scale telemetry dataset collected from February to May 2020 of U.S. Microsoft employees and a 715-person diary study. Our results demonstrate that intrinsic meeting characteristics such as size, length, time, and type, significantly correlate with the extent to which people multitask, and multitasking can lead to both positive and negative outcomes. Our findings suggest important best-practice guidelines for remote meetings (e.g., avoid important meetings in the morning) and design implications for productivity tools (e.g., support positive remote multitasking).
Targeting the right group of workers for crowdsourcing often achieves better quality results. One unique example of targeted crowdsourcing is seeking community-situated workers whose familiarity with the background and the norms of a particular group can help produce better outcome or accuracy. These community-situated crowd workers can be recruited in different ways from generic online crowdsourcing platforms or from online recovery communities. We evaluate three different approaches to recruit generic and community-situated crowd in terms of the time and the cost of recruitment, and the accuracy of task completion. We consider the context of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), the largest peer support group for recovering alcoholics, and the task of identifying and validating AA meeting information. We discuss the benefits and trade-offs of recruiting paid vs. unpaid community-situated workers and provide implications for future research in the recovery context and relevant domains of HCI, and for the design of crowdsourcing ICT systems.
Drones are increasingly used to support humanitarian crises and events that involve dangerous or costly tasks. While drones have great potential for remote collaborative work and aerial telepresence, existing drone technology is limited in its support for synchronous collaboration among multiple remote users. Through three design iterations and evaluations, we prototyped Squadrone, a novel aerial telepresence platform that supports synchronous mid-air collaboration among multiple remote users. We present our design and report results from evaluating our iterations with 13 participants in 3 different collaboration configurations. Our first design iteration validates the basic functionality of the platform. Then, we establish the effectiveness of collaboration using a 360-degree shared aerial display. Finally, we simulate a type of search task in an open environment to see if collaborative telepresence impacts members’ participation. The results validate some initial goals for Squadrone and are used to reflect back on a recent telepresence design framework.
In hybrid meetings, multiple co-located participants communicate with remote participants through video. But video communication inhibits non-verbal cues, and this often causes remote participants to feel excluded. To address this issue, we built MirrorBlender: a What-You-See-Is-What-I-See video-conferencing system for blending, repositioning, and resizing mirrors. Mirrors here denote shared video feeds of people and screens. In a qualitative study of MirrorBlender with three hybrid meeting sessions, we found that the shared control of mirrors supported users in negotiating a blended interpersonal space. Moreover, it enabled diverse acts of inclusion of remote participants. In particular, remote participants brought attention to themselves by manipulating the position, scale, and translucency of their camera and screen feeds. Participants also embodied and leveraged their mirror images for deictic gestures and playful interactions. Based on these findings, we discuss new opportunities for supporting video-mediated collaboration.
Social media has become an effective recruitment tool for higher-waged and white-collar professionals. Yet, past studies have questioned its effectiveness for the recruitment of lower-waged workers. It is also unclear whether or how employers leverage social media in their recruitment of low-wage job seekers, and how social media could better support the needs of both stakeholders. Therefore, we conducted 15 semi-structured interviews with employers of low-wage workers in the U.S. We found that employers: use social media, primarily Facebook, to access large pools of active low-wage job seekers; and recognize indirect signals about low-wage job seekers' commitment and job readiness. Our work suggests that there remains a visible, yet unaddressed power imbalance between low-wage workers and employers in the use of social media, which risks further destabilizing the precarious labor market.
Team members commonly collaborate on visual documents remotely and asynchronously. Particularly, students are frequently restricted to this setting as they do not share work schedules or physical workspaces. As communication in this setting has delays and limits the main modality to text, members exert more effort to reference document objects and understand others' intentions. We propose Winder, a Figma plugin that addresses these challenges through linked tapes—multimodal comments of clicks and voice. Bidirectional links between the clicked-on objects and voice recordings facilitate understanding tapes: selecting objects retrieves relevant recordings, and playing recordings highlights related objects. By periodically prompting users to produce tapes, Winder preemptively obtains information to satisfy potential communication needs. Through a five-day study with eight teams of three, we evaluated the system's impact on teams asynchronously designing graphical user interfaces. Our findings revealed that producing linked tapes could be as lightweight as face-to-face (F2F) interactions while transmitting intentions more precisely than text. Furthermore, with preempted tapes, teammates coordinated tasks and invited members to build on each others' work.
Augmented/Virtual Reality (AR/VR) is still a fragmented space to design for due to the rapidly evolving hardware, the interdisciplinarity of teams, and a lack of standards and best practices. We interviewed 26 professional AR/VR designers and developers to shed light on their tasks, approaches, tools, and challenges. Based on their work and the artifacts they generated, we found that AR/VR application creators fulfill four roles: concept developers, interaction designers, content authors, and technical developers. One person often incorporates multiple roles and faces a variety of challenges during the design process from the initial contextual analysis to the deployment. From analysis of their tool sets, methods, and artifacts, we describe critical key challenges. Finally, we discuss the importance of prototyping for the communication in AR/VR development teams and highlight design implications for future tools to create a more usable AR/VR tool chain.
Freelancing platforms, such as Upwork, represent an expansion of the gig economy to encompass knowledge-based work. Prior research in HCI has primarily focused on forms of gig work such as ride-sharing and microwork but has not addressed how freelancing platforms are disrupting high-skilled knowledge work. To understand freelancers’ perspectives on how these platforms are disrupting their work we have collected and thematically analysed 528 posts with 7499 comments from four relevant subforums on Reddit. The qualitative findings reveal tensions between wanting autonomy and control and the necessity of opportunities and convenience. Freelancing platforms are perceived as systems that present advantages to find clients, gain experience and mitigate precarity. However, these platforms constrain the control over their work that freelancers value. The paper contributes an improved understanding of freelance work, the role and potential for freelancing platforms in the knowledge-based gig economy, and directions for worker-centred design.
Manual schedule creation often involves satisfying numerous unique and conflicting constraints, which becomes more cognitively demanding when creating a common academic schedule with other individuals. Poor decision making caused by cognitive overload can result in unsuitable schedules. This study proposes the use of Boolean satisfiability (SAT) solvers in an academic scheduling system to help students balance scheduling preferences and satisfy necessary constraints. Based on the availability of courses and the scheduling preferences of users, the system automatically resolves conflicts and presents possible schedules. In a controlled experiment with 42 undergraduate students, cognitive demand was reduced by eliminating menial decisions, which significantly optimized the creation of a common schedule among peers. We found that human errors and emotional stress were diminished, and schedules created using the system were more satisfactory to participants. Finally, we present recommendations and design implications for future academic scheduling systems.
With growing interest regarding cooperation support using Augmented Reality (AR), social presence has become a popular measure of its quality. While this concept is established throughout cooperation research, its role in AR is still unclear: Some work uses social presence as an indicator for support quality, while others found no impact at all. To clarify this role, we conducted a literature review of recent publications that empirically investigated social presence in cooperative AR. After a thorough selection procedure, we analyzed 19 publications according to factors influencing social presence and the impact of social presence on cooperation support. We found that certain interventions support social presence better than others, that social presence has an influence on user’s preferences and that the relation between social presence and cooperation quality may depend on the symmetry of the cooperation task. This contributes to existing research by clarifying the role of social presence for cooperative AR and deriving corresponding design recommendations.
Performers acutely need but lack tools to remotely rehearse and create live theatre, particularly due to global restrictions on social interactions during the Covid-19 pandemic. No studies, however, have heretofore examined how remote video-collaboration affects performance. This paper presents the findings of a field study with 16 domain experts over six weeks investigating how tele-immersion affects the rehearsal and performance of improvisational theatre. To conduct the study, an original media server was developed for co-locating remote performers into shared virtual 3D environments which were accessed through popular video conferencing software. The results of this qualitative study indicate that tele-immersive environments uniquely provide performers with a strong sense of co- presence, feelings of physical connection, and an increased ability to enter the social-flow states required for improvisational theatre. Based on our observations, we put forward design recommendations for video collaboration tools tailored to the unique demands of live performance.