'Out To Lunch': Exploring the Sharing of Personal Context through Office Door Displays           


Keith Cheverst, Alan Dix, Dan Fitton and Mark Rouncefield

Lancaster University, Computing Department, UK
on the web: < @keith> < @alan > < @dan> < @mark>


In OzCHI'03, Brisbane, Australia, November 2003.

Full reference:
K. Cheverst, A. Dix, D. Fitton and M. Rouncefield (2003). 'Out To Lunch': Exploring the Sharing of Personal Context through Office Door Displays. In Proceedings of the 2003 Australasian Computer-Human Conference, OzCHI 2003, S. Viller and P. Wyethh (eds), CHISIG, Canberra. pp. 74-83.

The sharing of personal context is often the subject of strong opinions and concerns over loss of privacy of 'big brother' proportions. However, in the workplace sharing personal context, e.g. by leaving a post-it note on the office door stating when one is likely to return from lunch, can facilitate cooperation between work colleagues. In this paper, we present the findings of our exploration into this controversial area, an exploration that has utilised a deployed system of interactive office door displays called Hermes. The ten Hermes displays currently ‘situated’ outside offices in our computing department can (amongst other things) be used by their owners to leave messages. Since the first display was deployed in October 2001 over 600 messages have been set, the majority of which share personal context in some way. Through analysis of the messages themselves and (questionnaire based) user feedback we extract and present a number of issues and insights that we believe are key to understanding this topical area.

keywords: situated displays, ubicomp, SMS messaging, door displays, electronic post-it note, evaluation

Alan Dix 22/8/2003