Benefit - Individual and Group Acceptance

1. Smooth Communication

Realism (like being there)

By mimicking well understood modes of communication one can tap skills people already have. To make this work Groupware tools should be integrated (19), transparent, invisible (20,21,22,23) and seamless (12). Using a metaphor of real world communication (13) and offering some useful reference which can be shared by each participant (31, 36) would also helps to make it like being there.

One way Groupware is not "like being there" is that spontaneous communication is difficult(35). In face-to-face communication, people communicate with each other even when they are not working (35). Realism can also reduce anxiety (24).

The problem with realism as a design principle is that it is difficult to achieve. When the metaphor breaks down the user will have problems i.e., realism may raise unrealistic expectations (4, 8)

Task fit

Groupware should be developed from an nalysis of the work to be supported..
Sometimes very artificial methods of communication may be beneficial (26). For example, if the users can see a record of the conversation, it may be easier to grasp the content (25,41,42,43),
especially for late comers (54).

Awareness (ref: Whittaker)

Awareness is important for grounding in communication(50,51). You need to know who has done what work(32), who is dealing with whose work now (48,49), what other participants can see (What You See Is What I Think You See) (37,47).

2. Beneficial output for individuals and groups
(ref: Frohlich)

Groupware needs to give enough benefit for the individual users and groups in order to to get critical mass (28,58).
To encourage people to use Groupware, there needs to be enough benefit for the individual (17). If people can produce the same quality of work using a conventional way of communicating they will not use the groupware.
Groupware should be "amazing" and "inspirational" (56,57).
For example, it may supports more effective message design(27).

3. Social control

The radical development of information technology causes some antisocial behavior.
We need to allow the group to regulate itself to avoid antisocial behavior(3). Some systems confuse policies with mechanisms(44).

However, some constraints may be necessary (46). Security of information is often a problem (30, 30a). Users need to be able to trust the system, to be sure messages are going to the intended recipients and not to anyone else (29,33). Sometimes however one might want anonymous communication for brain storming and opinion exchange (34).

People do not want other people to be able to monitor their personal work (59)

Back to Criteria