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SIGDOC Tables of Contents: 192021222324

ACM SIGDOC *Journal of Computer Documentation 22

Editors:T. R. Girill
Dates:1998
Volume:22
Publisher:ACM
Standard No:ISSN 0731-1001
Papers:24
Links:Table of Contents
  1. SIGDOC 1998 Volume 22 Issue 1
  2. SIGDOC 1998 Volume 22 Issue 2
  3. SIGDOC 1998 Volume 22 Issue 3
  4. SIGDOC 1998 Volume 22 Issue 4

SIGDOC 1998 Volume 22 Issue 1

Introduction to this Issue BIB 3-4
  Barbara Mirel
When Only the Self is Real: Theory and Practice in the Development Community BIBA 5-10
  Gail Bader; James M. Nyce
Bader and Nyce draw on their own experience as ethnographers advising those who develop educational software to argue that "it seems unlikely that cultural analysis [of software users] will ever become part of the tool kit developers and programmers habitually draw upon," primarily because "there is...a demonstrable, fundamental gap between the [rule-governed] knowledge the development community values and [the concrete details] which cultural analysis yields."

Commentary

A Room With a View BIBA 11-12
  Geoffrey C. Bowker
In the first of four analytical commentaries that follow Bader and Nyce's focal paper, Geoffrey Bowker offers several counterexamples and suggests the problem involves more impatience than deep epistemological differences.
Cultural Analysis and What Designers Need To Know BIBA 13-17
  Andrew Dillon
In a second commentary on Bader and Nyce, Andrew Dillon points out that "the leap from [ethnographic] data to design implication is complex" and that software engineers should not be faulted for making this leap only with care.
Synthesizing Diverse Perspectives BIBA 18-19
  Mary Beth Rosson
In a third commentary on Bader and Nyce, Mary Beth Rosson thinks that cultural analysts who employ known "techniques to ensure sharing and synthesis" can indeed influence software development.
Make Room for Ethnography in Design! BIBA 20-30
  Jesper Simonsen; Finn Kensing
In a fourth commentary on Bader and Nyce, Jesper Simonsen and Finn Kensing provide their own detailed review of recent projects to argue that, in long-term commercial and educational collaborations, ethnographers can slowly but significantly guide software design by expanding the horizons of software designers.

Awareness essay

Concepts of Cognition and Consciousness: Four Voices BIBA 31-48
  Bonnie A. Nardi
In a thorough comparative awareness essay enlivened by dry humor and examples drawn from her own career as an applied anthropologist at Apple Computer, Nardi describes the strengths and weaknesses of four theories of consciousness and human cognition: neuroscience, cognitive science, distributed cognition theory, and (her own preference) activity theory. This is a perceptive introductory tour of a very diverse literature, but it also frequently touches on concrete issues in human-computer interaction: "If you design mediating tools for others (such as computer hardware or software)," notes Nardi for example, "you are also responsible, in part, for the consciousness of others" according to activity theory.

News

News of the SIG BIBA 49-51
  Kathy Haramundanis
Introduces the SIGDOC officers elected (or appointed) in mid 1997, and describes the expanded SIGDOC web site.

SIGDOC 1998 Volume 22 Issue 2

Perspectives on and Problems with Computer-Mediated Teamwork: Current Groupware Issues and Assumptions BIBA 3-22
  Rita Vick
Technologies designed to facilitate teamwork, especially among physically dispersed teams, are well known but little used. This paper explores the conceptual background for such "groupware" and for the resistance to using it, especially among cross-cultural team members at global corporations. Recognized groupware problems include the heavy cognitive burden of learning new software, excessive note keeping, organizational lethargy, and conflicts with the company reward system. Apparent differences among world cultures seem another likely barrier to international adoption of groupware, but this has received little empirical study. Vick proposes experiments to detect whether cultural diversity helps or impedes teamwork, and whether groupware helps or hinders cross-cultural teams.
   Immediately following Vick's paper, three commentators explore its implications. Brent Auernheimer (23-26) points out that (international) software engineering teams provide good test cases for assessing groupware value. J. C. Nordbotten (27-29) agrees that past studies have neglected distributed and heterogeneous teams, but notes the problems of designing sound experiments on this topic. Finally, Raymond Panko and Susan Kinney (30-33) report studies of their own showing that the more satisfied team members are with their current work, the less incentive they have to adopt demanding, expensive new technologies such as groupware.

Book commentary

Edward Tufte's Visual Explanations: A Tapestry of Images, Comparisons, and Principles BIBA 23-26
  Russell K. Needham
Needham notes that while Tufte's book is rich in examples, its real strength is in his extraction of general design principles from them that have pedagogical value.

Commentary

GSS, Professional Culture, Geography, and Software Engineering BIBA 23-26
  Brent Auernheimer
In the first of three commentaries on Vick, Auernheimer points out that international software engineering teams themselves provide good test cases for assessing the value of groupware.
Perspectives on Groupware for Cross-Cultural Teams BIBA 27-29
  J. C. Nordbotten
In the second of three commentaries on Vick, Nordbotten agrees that past studies have neglected distributed and heterogeneous teams, but notes the problems of designing really effective experiments on this topic.
Satisfaction, Technology Adoption, and Performance in Project Teams BIBA 30-33
  Raymond R. Panko; Susan T. Kinney
In the third of three commentaries on Vick, Panko and Kinney report their own studies showing that the more satisfied team members are with their current work, the less incentive they have to adopt demanding, expensive new technologies such as groupware.

Book commentary

Visual Meaning: Commentaries on the Continuing Influence of Edward R. Tufte BIBA 34
  Robert R. Johnson
Introduction to this issue's book commentaries.
Perspectives on Visual Explanations BIBA 35-38
  Nancy Allen
Allen raises three questions about the rhetorical character of Tufte's analysis of visual displays.

Awareness essay

Metaphor Design in User Interfaces BIBA 43-57
  Aaron Marcus
Marcus draws on his considerable consulting experience to give a practitioner's tour of metaphor use in computer interfaces. He introduces the relevant terms and distinctions as background, then summarizes the history of metaphors in computing, noting both advantages (borrowed familiarity) and disadvantages (failure to transfer easily across cultures). The discussion culminates in a detailed, thoroughly illustrated case study of how Marcus and his colleagues iteratively developed suitable metaphors for use in software to assist travel agents. He also includes over two dozen references on metaphor related to user interfaces.

News

SIGDOC98 Conference Update BIBA 58-60
  Laurie Bennett
Where to find program and Quebec City information.

SIGDOC 1998 Volume 22 Issue 3

Classic reprint

The User Edit: Making Manuals Easier to Use BIBA 5-6
  Marshall Atlas
This classic reprint makes available again the concise, innovative, 1981 paper in which Marshall Atlas explains the design benefits of tracking with protocol analysis the attempts of an actual user to try following the instructions in a draft manual before the manual's first version is published. Immediately following Atlas's paper, three commentators explore its implications.
   Karen Schriver (7-11) examines how such usability testing developed and became an institutionalized part of document design in the decades following Atlas's suggestion.
   John R. Hayes (12-14) worries that misguided cost-cutting often causes manufacturing firms and school districts to skip "user edits" and end up with unproductive hardware and software.
   And Nina Wishbow (15-20) notes the practical, training value of the user edit in revealing crucial missing information and related flaws that are hard to detect by other means.
   Atlas responds to the commentators with his own (21-24) retrospective look at the discovery, explanation, and fate of user edits.

Commentary

Reflecting on Atlas's User Edit: Changes in Thinking About Usability Between 1981 and 1998 BIBA 7-11
  Karen Schriver
In the first of three commentaries on Atlas, Schriver examines how such usability testing developed and became an institutionalized part of document design in the decades following Atlas's suggestion.
Atlas's 'The User Edit': The Impact on Product Assessment BIBA 12-14
  John R. Hayes
In the second of three commentaries on Atlas, Hayes worries that misguided cost-cutting often causes manufacturing firms and school districts to skip "user edits" and end up with unproductive hardware and software.
Still Looking for Trouble: Commentary on Marshall Atlas's 'The User Edit' BIBA 15-20
  Nina Wishbow
In the third of three commentaries on Atlas, Wishbow notes the practical, training value of the user edit in revealing crucial missing information and related flaws that are hard to detect by other means.
The User Edit Revisited, or If We're So Smart, Why Ain't We Rich? BIBA 21-24
  Marshall Atlas
Atlas responds to the three commentators on his original paper with his own retrospective look at the discovery, explanation, and fate of user edits.

Awareness essay

Linda Flower and Social Cognition: Constructing a View of the Writing Process BIBA 25-37
  Beverly B. Zimmerman
Linda Flower has published abundantly about what (student) writers do and think as they write. Beverly Zimmerman's awareness essay analytically and systematically surveys this literature. Her goal is to trace how Flower's original problem-solving treatment evolved into a "social cognitive model" as Flower sought to balance the personal and conceptual aspects of writing with the increasingly popular view that writing is a social process shaped by external, cultural forces. Conclusion: "...neither social nor cognitive [writing] theory makes genuine sense without the other."
Table of Contents Service for (the other) Journal of Documentation BIB 38-63
  T. R. Girill

News

SIGDOC98 Program, Travel, and Registration News BIBA 64-70
  Phyllis Galt
Program summary and registration details for the annual conference.

SIGDOC 1998 Volume 22 Issue 4

Designing Information-Supported Performance: The Scope for Graphics BIBA 3-10
  Patricia Wright
Using three psychological studies of the role of graphics in three different documentation projects to illustrate her points, Wright argues against the popular cliche of seeking a standard "best practice" to solve documentation problems. She suggests as more beneficial the thoughtful balancing of design tradeoffs by carefully exploiting the boundary conditions specific to each project, using a "map" of past research for guidance.
   Immediately following Wright's paper, four commentators explore its implications. Russell Borland (11-15) looks closely at just how research "maps" of various structures and granularities might actually support managing design tradeoffs. Thomas Williams and Judith Ramey (16-20) consider the difficulty of thoroughly representing the documentation "knowledge matrix" in a way that both researchers and practitioners will find helpful. And Thyra Rauch (21-25) argues that long-term social studies of users and their task domains may be sufficient to guide documentation tradeoffs in practice.

Commentary

Pushing Us Into the Map BIBA 11-15
  Russell Borland
In the first of three commentaries on Wright, Russell Borland (11-15) looks closely at just how research "maps" of various structures and granularities might actually support managing design tradeoffs.
Commentary on Wright BIBA 16-20
  Thomas Williams; Judith Ramey
In the second of three commentaries on Wright, Thomas Williams and Judith Ramey (16-20) consider the difficulty of thoroughly representing the documentation "knowledge matrix" in a way that both researchers and practitioners will find helpful.
Designing Information for Users BIBA 21-25
  Thyra Rauch
In the third of three commentaries on Wright, Thyra Rauch (21-25) argues that long-term social studies of users and their task domains may be sufficient to guide documentation tradeoffs in practice.

Book commentary

Unveiling the Extraordinary Possibilities and Implicit Threats of Online Communication BIBA 27-31
  Lauren Jamieson
In the first of three coordinated analytical commentaries on Laura Gurak's Persuasion and Privacy in Cyberspace (Yale, 1997), Jamieson summarizes the book's treatment of two protest movements that were conducted almost entirely by electronic mail (concerning the Lotus MarketPlace consumer database and, separately, the Clipper chip approach to encryption policy).
Audience Analysis in Cyberspace: Defining the Invisible BIBA 32-36
  Lisa Rosenberger
In this second of three related book commentaries on Gurak's Persuasion and Privacy, Rosenberger shows the relevance to online discussion of a traditional rhetorical tool when she argues that "while Gurak never uses the phrase 'audience analysis', her entire book hinges on the concept."
Is 'Online Community' an Oxymoron or a New Reality? BIBA 37-44
  Heidi Huse
In this third of three related book commentaries, Huse compares the two "online communities" of protesters that formed during the two cases treated in Gurak's Persuasion and Privacy. She finds (with Gurak) that their ethos and their delivery patterns actually just reflect, or "perhaps even intensify," traditional biases and gender patterns familiar in offline discussion. concept."

Awareness essay

Knowledge Production from Different Worlds: What Can Happen When Technical Writers Speak for Engineers BIBA 45-53
  Bernadette Longo
Longo traces the historical path of technical writing since 1900 in the United States to show that while before World War II most technical writers were engineers explaining their own work, after World War II they became mostly humanities-trained communication specialists explaining the work of others. Recently, some engineering schools and writing programs have sought to reclaim this "knowledge making" role for engineers themselves, and Longo closes by offering her assessment of this rhetorical trend.

News

Call for Papers for ACM SIGDOC 1999 BIBA 54-56
  Stuart Selber
How to contribute to the program of the SIGDOC 1999 annual conference.