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ICED 11
Papers

An empirical study on improving the understanding of email records by augmenting with information on context

An empirical study on improving the understanding of email records by augmenting with information on context

Year: 2013

Editor: Udo Lindemann, Srinivasan V, Yong Se Kim, Sang Won Lee, John Clarkson, Gaetano Cascini

Author: Loftus, Craig (1); McMahon, Chris (2); Hicks, Ben (1)

Series: ICED

Institution: 1: University of Bath, United Kingdom; 2: University of Bristol, United Kingdom

Pages: 169-178

ISBN: 978-1-904670-49-0

ISSN: 2220-4334

Abstract

Email fulfils an important role in facilitating distributed communication in engineering design projects and contributes to the persistent records of the project, but the nature of email communication may mean that records are difficult to understand by those who have not been involved in the projects. This paper presents an investigation into the effectiveness of augmenting emails with contextual information as a mechanism for improving such understanding. The work was part of an investigation into the effectiveness of email as a project communication method including the study of a large corpus of emails from a merchant ship design project and of the team that produced them. The work involved taking samples from the corpus and exploring the ability of readers with and without background contextual knowledge to understand and answer questions on the samples both as original email records and augmented with hyperlinks to contextual explanations. The experiments showed improvement in the understanding of the augmented emails by those with and without contextual knowledge. The experiment design is presented and the findings and their implications summarised.

Keywords: Communication, design informatics, information management, email use in design

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ds conferenceICED13: 19th International Conference on Engineering Design

ICED13: 19th International Conference on Engineering DesignThe 19th International Conference on Engineering Deisgn (ICED13) will for the first time take place in Asia: ICED13 on 19-22 August 2013 at Sungkyunkwan University, Seoul, Korea The ICED13 motto is: "Design for Harmonies" - Harmony of Products and Services - Harmony of Old and New - Harmony of Culture and Technology - Harmony of East and West The conference chair is Prof. Yong Se Kim of the Creative Design Institute at Sungkyunkwan University. Important dates are: Call for Papers:...

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SIG Workshop - March 2013 - 1