Chapter 11

Techniques for Studying Actual Use of Personal Communication Prototypes

John C. Tang, Sasa Junuzovic, Kori Inkpen,  and Gina Venolia     Microsoft Research, Redmond, WA, USA


Developing new prototypes for supporting personal communication raises many challenges when studying them in actual use. Personal communication tools are often used only with specific people (i.e., close friends and relatives) and often rely on the context of the home or other locations of personal interest. Thus, these prototypes are not readily studied in the lab with strangers. We report on three methods we have employed to study how social communication prototypes are used in the wild. One method was to embed ourselves along with a prototype into an intact ...

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