[AG-TECH] Human factors and AG

Osland, CD (Chris) C.D.Osland at rl.ac.uk
Thu Aug 29 05:07:03 CDT 2002

It's a very important point, which applies equally to any form
of video conferencing.

In the early days of the ATM-based VC service our senior management
embraced VC as it saved seeing the RAC Control Centre on the M6
move past at 5 mph.  [Explanation - we are an organization of two
laboratories RAL and DL, separated by about 150 miles of motorway
on which there is a permanent log-jam which happens to be beside
the RAC Control Centre north of Birmingham - back to the plot ...]

After just one meeting with the 12 participants at RAL in a
shallow curve and 4 at DL in a line, RAL asked for their tables to
be re-arranged as three sides of a square, with the incoming
video (29" CRT in those days) as the fourth side.  They felt that
without this there was precedence given to communication across
the link, rather than equally between all participants.  In the
end, partially for sound reasons, this became more of a "V with
a flat bottom" than a strict square.

In our new room I have 6 trapezoidal tables and 3 rectangular ones.
Three of the trapezoidal ones will make up an (angular) open
semi-circle that abuts neatly with the short ends of the rect-
angular ones.  These allow us to provide users of the node with
many different layouts, according to need:

	three rows of chairs, two of them at tables in straight lines
		(using trapezoidal tables topped-and-tailed)

	an ox-box of tables, with one or two rows of chairs

	a shallow curve of tables with one or two rows of chairs


Given the fact that the videowall is 20' by 5' (rather than 29"
wide!) the favourite is the shallow curve.  With just two people
on each table segment, local communication is not difficult.



Chris Osland                         Office tel: +44 (0) 1235 446565
Digital Media and Access Grid      Medialab tel: +44 (0) 1235 446459
BIT Department             Access Grid room tel: +44 (0) 1235 445666
e-mail:   C.D.Osland at rl.ac.uk               Fax: +44 (0) 1235 445597

CLRC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (Bldg. R18)
Chilton, DIDCOT, Oxon OX11 0QX, UK

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-----Original Message-----
From: Michael Daw [mailto:mike.daw at man.ac.uk]
Sent: 29 August 2002 10:08
To: Julia Shiela Mullen; ag-tech at mcs.anl.gov
Cc: Caroline Spencer; Liz Carver
Subject: RE: [AG-TECH] Human factors and AG


We've been helping out a student at Sheffield University (Caroline Spencer -
cc-ed) who's done a dissertation on Human Factors and the AG, in
collaboration with BAE Systems. I think she's just coming to the end of
writing up her project. It might be useful to see if she's got any ideas of
fruitful future work in this area.

One thing occurred to me (too late to mention to Caroline, unfortunately)
was that it might be interesting to see how using the AG affects interaction
between participants at the *same* local site. I wonder if people get too
dazed by looking at the screen and ignore people sitting physically next to
them. (Or maybe that's because we sit them in a line!) Just a thought...


> -----Original Message-----
> From: owner-ag-tech at mcs.anl.gov [mailto:owner-ag-tech at mcs.anl.gov]On
> Behalf Of Julia Shiela Mullen
> Sent: 28 August 2002 20:49
> To: ag-tech at mcs.anl.gov
> Subject: [AG-TECH] Human factors and AG
> Hi -
> We have an undergraduate who is interested in
> human factors and the Access Grid.  At WPI
> we require each student to complete a major
> project which relates technology and society.
> (This project is a graduation requirement.)
> The descriptions and content of such projects
> is fairly flexible.  We are currently at the
> beginning of her project experience so I am
> turning to the AG community for suggestions.
> What is the AG community most interested in
> with regards to 'human factors and the AG'?
> Is there a wish list of studies that folks
> would like to see?   Are there project ideas
> that we just didn't have the manpower for?
> I welcome any and all suggestions - I will
> present them to the student and we will
> see what interests her.
> Thanks for your help on this -
>   Julie
> ------------------------------------------
>   Julia S. Mullen, Ph.D
>   Academic Computing Application Scientist
>   Computing and Communications Center
>   Worcester Polytechnic Institute
>   Worcester, MA
>   phone: 508.831.6054
>   fax:   508.831.5680
>   email: jsm at wpi.edu

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