Annual Meeting Contributed Papers 2009 START Conference Manager    

Artifact Usefulness and Usage in Sensemaking Handoffs

Nikhil Sharma and George Furnas

(Submission #19)


This paper summarizes recent efforts at understanding sensemaking and its hand-off from one sensemaker to another. A synthesis of three sensemaking theories and an examination of prototypical sensemaking were first used to establish essential attributes of sensemaking. The attributes along with past research from (Computer Supported Cooperative Work) CSCW were used to guide two laboratory experiments with the goal of understanding and eventually supporting sensemaking handoffs. The first lab-study showed that handoffs relying only on artifacts from completed sensemaking can be successful. The second lab-study including microanalysis of handoff material usage suggested that high-quality material is used earlier compared to low-quality material, possibly to help with representation construction. Implications for system design are also presented.

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