Sharing in Collaborative Systems: A Set of Patterns for Information Sharing between Co-located Users
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Technological advances, specifically within the field of mobile and ubiquitous technologies, hold the promise to support collaboration in work and educational environments in new ways. Within collaborative systems, it is possible to use ubiquitous technology to provide users with services to interact - for instance share information - with other users in a given environment. Over the course of this project, the authors have created a set of design principles for co-located information sharing in collaborative systems, using a structured method called patterns. The aim of these patterns is to provide support for designers and developers of collaborative systems to take advantage of mobile and ubiquitous technology when designing and implementing support for co-located sharing. The patterns were based on a set of re-occurring problems identified as important for co-located information sharing between users. These problems were identified by performing a review of relevant literature, research and existing solutions on the subject. An initial set of patterns were created based on this review. The patterns themselves are written on an abstraction level that targets the human-computer interaction part of sharing information between co-located users. The patterns where then evaluated by three experts within system engineering and collaborative systems, in an iterative process. The overall aim of these evaluations were to ensure that the patterns were easy to understand, and that they provided the information that was relevant for the problem and the domain, in order to be useful in the development process of collaborative systems. The result of these evaluations culminated in a final set of patterns for co-located information sharing. These patterns describe guidelines for: (1) How users can specify the information they wish to share and the receiver(s) of that information, (2) how users can be aware of the potential for collaboration, (3) how situated displays can be used to share information, (4) how user privacy should be protected and (5) how information should be available when the user needs it. The final set of patterns is given in chapter 6 of the thesis.