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Mobile Community Design
Research and design information for mobile community developers.

Monday, May 23, 2005

New Paper on Mobile Groups

I recently presented a paper at CTS 2005 in St. Louis, USA on the topic of a mobile group's usage of mobile discussion list. We ran the study in Northern Australia and found out some interesting usability issues that groups encounter when engaged in search and rendezvousing tasks in natural environments. Those of you developing group SMS applications may find the results informative for your designs.

Have a look at the paper yourself here:
Axup, J., Viller, S., & Bidwell, N. (2005)
Usability of a Mobile, Group Communication Prototype While Rendezvousing

We are currently involved with some similar research involving backpacking groups using mobile technologies which has not yet been published.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Interview by Howard Rheingold

I was recently interviewed by Howard Rheingold for a piece published by The Feature.
"Backpackers and MoSoSo Design
While mobile devices may not have been designed with community use in mind, several researchers in Australia are investigating how to create devices and services useful for community media..."

Read the rest at The Feature.

Most of you will know Howard from the great blog Smart Mobs as well as the book by the same name. He's also written some other cool books on computers and cultural impact of technologies. Keep an eye out for something in the future from him regarding technology's role in supporting cooperation.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Supporting Distributed Police Teams

This paper discusses creating a telematics system for police officers. Part of the paper discusses technical issues, but some of it discusses a somewhat user-centered approach to the design, implementation and testing. There isn't much discussion of how the GUI was structured or what research they did on existing behavior before creating the system. Also missing is a discussion of how mobility and tasks police officers do affected usage. One thing they mention is that the speech UI was used while driving and the GUI while parked. It's an interesting case of designing for mobile groups.

Kun, A. L., III, W. T. M., & Lenharth, W. H. (2004). Computers in Police Cruisers. In PERVASIVE computing: IEEE CS and IEEE ComSoc