Designing User Friendly Augmented Work Environments

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We’re happy to note that the book “Designing User Friendly Augmented Work Environments” (edited by Saadi Lahlou) has been published by Springer, in hardcover with an online version available. We have a chapter in it on our USE smart conference room system: “Designing an Easy-to-Use Executive Conference Room Control System.” The chapter starts with some of the field work we did to understand the work flows of the stakeholders, and then describes the evolution of the system we built to support the executive, his assistant, and others who used the meeting room. The system developed during this project was the precursor to the DICE system.

The process of writing and publishing this chapter took a considerable amount of time, and thus it is interesting to look back on some of our early designs to see how they have evolved. One aspect that changed was the name of project: we started out calling the system USE (Usable Smart Environment) and that terminology is used in the book chapter. By the time we completed this project and moved onto the larger conference room, we changed the name to DICE (Distributed Intelligent Conferencing Environment). DICE now runs in both rooms, and USE is the name of Gene’s group, just to add to the confusion.

For more information on this work, check out the video, some before/after pictures, and the CHI 2009 paper. We’re also working on a journal article that extends the CHI findings. Look for it in a few years!