Fischer, G., Nakakoji, K., Ostwald, J., Stahl, G., & Sumner, T. (1998) "Embedding
Critics in Design Environments." In M. T. Maybury & W. Wahlster (Eds.),
Readings in Intelligent User Interfaces, Morgan Kaufmann, San Francisco, pp.
plus: Janus Video Tape

1. what did you find (articulate
the answers in your own words)

1.1. interesting about the article?

I thought the notion
of system critiquing was the most interesting. Before, when I heard "critiquing,"
I usually thought of an art critique, or the critique of a paper. It also seems
to have a somewhat defensive connotation, where you are "defending"
what you wrote or what you created to whoever the judges may be. This article
made me realize that critiquing is a very powerful tool for useful and efficient
design. The idea that based on a set of your actions, a system can respond and
be able to tell you what to do next, or what is the next best move, can be extremely
powerful. I thought that the point mentioned in the article about letting non-expert
users know about certain "red-tape" features was also interesting.
For instance, in building a house, having a system that told you when building
code violations occurred, or when distances between house features were not
feasible, helps users focus on creating a complete and correct design so that
no time is wasted.

1.2. not interesting about the article?

None, I found the
whole article interesting.

2. what do you consider the main
message of the article?

The main message
of this article is that critiquing is a very important part of designing real,
useful systems. It is trying to say that the process of critiquing can be very
useful in solving large-scale complex problems. The effectiveness of these critiquing
systems seems to lay in how well it deals with incomplete environment design
and changing specifications. Critiquing can also open up the world of design
to more people because it serves as a dynamic guide to aid them in the design

3. are themes discussed in the article
which you would like to know more about?

I would like to know
more about the current forefront of this field and what kinds of things are
currently being developed.

4. do you know of other papers, ideas,
and systems which are closely related to

4.1. DODEs

No, none.

4.2. Critiquing?

I think interesting
systems are things like TurboTax, where a system can abstract away so much complexity
that doing your taxes is extremely quick. The system is able to remember certain
personal traits about you so that it can do your taxes optimally. This is information
and expertise that you used to have to pay an accountant for. The system critiques
your entries along the way, telling you what options are best and what things
you should do next.

4.3. analyze “spelling correctors”
as a critiquing system

Spelling correctors
are also a great example of a critiquing system. I think if they became more
dynamic they would be more powerful. For instance every time I write my name
on a paper it says it is not a word, and underlines it. It would be nice if
the system, over a few trials, were able to recognize that is a word I use frequently
(and consistently ignore when spell checking), so it must be a word to me. These
capabilities would greatly enhance their functionality.

5. what does the article say about

5.1. design

It says that critiquing
and analyzing steps along the way in a design process is crucial for a successful

5.2. learning

It says that learning
involves both critiquing and being critiqued, and that in order to successfully
benefit from these, you have to engage yourself in it. It also says that learning
is a dynamic process.

5.3. collaboration

When you have expert
systems that extrapolate away a lot of the details, it enables people with different
backgrounds to come together and bring what they truly have to offer to the

5.4. innovative media support for
these activities?

That adding critiquing
mechanisms to innovative media helps to enrich the above processes, and that
we need to take advantage of these new features.

6. do you have any ideas how this
research could / should be extended based on your own knowledge and experience?

I think trying to
develop critiquing systems based on the vast capabilities of the web would be
an interesting project. Using the web as a collaboration medium to critique
designs could prove to be very powerful.

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