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Assignment 8, Jun Chen

Questions from your perspective as a role-play participant:

1.What were your impressions of your role-play experience?

It is fun. The tools are easy to use and the visual display really helps communicating ideas.

2.Were there any aspects of the role-play that made you apprehensive?

Yes. I got a better idea about the concerns of other people. Very intuitively, I take other people's concern into my consideration when I make a decision or a request. For example, I would like to have the bus stop within one block from my house. Since I know that the neighbor in my south really dislikes the noise of the bus, I am ok to let the bus stop be in the north of my house.

3.Did you feel that the role-play contained any elements of what real users from a real neighborhood working on a real problem might have experienced?

Yes. Roles communicate and express their requests/concerns like people do in a real neighborhood.

4.What do you think might have been lacking from the experience that would have existed in a real situation rather than a role-play?

If I am in a real situation, I think I would have a better understanding about the problem and needs. As a role player, I have a limited knowledge about the whole thing.

5.Were there any ways that the technology aided you in reaching a decision? Were there any ways that it impeded the process?

I think this is a good technology for people to exchange ideas, communicate and negotiate. But it is not sufficient enough for decision-making. For decision-making, there are often many tradeoffs. For example, extending the bus route will benefit some people while adding cost to all people. The current technology doesn't assist much on showing tradeoffs between different alternatives and voting to achieve a decision.

It takes some time to learn how to use the tool. But it is ok. When there are more than 6 people around the board, it is not very convenient.

Questions from a designer's perspective

1.Do you feel that there is any merit to this form of assessment compared to more traditional isolated task-oriented methods?

I don't quite understand this question. But, this technology encourages human collaboration, which is very good.

2.What insights do you think that might be gleaned from using this technique that other techniques might miss?

This technology provides an open and comfortable collaboration environment. The technology is easy-to-use and user-friendly. Users can quickly focus on the problem domain.

3.What limits do you see to the technique?

The technology is not good for supporting a small number of people.

4.What aspects of the design do you think could be added, removed, or improved to better support the desired participatory outcomes of the process? These can be related to the technology, the social setup, the information provided, the process followed, or other aspects that you think are important

Definitely, decision-making support will be very helpful. Right now, users can express their needs (e.g. make the bus stop one block closer to their house), but don't know how this will affect them in an adverse way (e.g. cost will increase). Knowing the tradeoff among different resolutions will influence users' decision.

More explicit process support will make the collaborative work more efficient. There is a certain process that users follow, but it is not clear from the user interface.

Adding critics to provide instant feedback to users will be nice. Users might make poor decisions (e.g. choose a bad bus route in terms of geographical features). System should let users know if this happens.

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