Interviews with Client Representatives

Prepping for the Interview

We had an initial set of questions for the students who visited the dining halls but after altering the scope of the project, the questions had to be modified to suit the community within the CHCI instead. Many questions were also added as the scope started taking a well-defined coherent shape. So we prepared to interview people representing each user class we identified within the CHCI community. The questions were themselves categorized into 3 sections that would elicit different responses from the interviewed community members. The questions were decided upon keeping in mind that the interviewed members would not be able to gauge what kind of system we intend to design. They would only be told that our project involved building community within the CHCI.

Determining Who to Interview

Our scope further defined the client representatives for the project to be people who frequented CHCI. This included graduate students with desks in CHCI, faculty with offices in CHCI, and the administrative office staff located in CHCI. Our specific interviewees were:

Sharon Kinder-Potter

Graduate Program Coordinator
Office in KWII/CHCI
Sharon is in her second year as graduate program coordinator. Some of her duties include disseminating information to students and faculty via email and sending and receiving information from the graduate department and computer science department.

Sharon Chu

Third year Ph.D. student in HCI
Workspace in KWII/CHCI
Sharon is a third year Ph.D. student working with Dr. Quek. Her research is in the role of the technological medium in children’s creative process in the context of creative storytelling.

Ankit Ahuja

2nd year Masters student in HCI
Workspace in KWII/CHCI
Ankit is a second year Masters student working with Dr. Perez-Quinones. His research is in personal information management.

Dr. Andrea Kavanaugh

Senior Research Assistant, Associate Professor
Office in KWII/CHCI
Dr. Kavanaugh has been an associate professor in CHCI since 2002, working in the area of social computing, including communication behavior and effects, and development communication (communication and information technology use and effects in developing countries). Current research funded by the National Science Foundation includes “Participation on the Town Square in the Era of Web 2.0″ ( and “Digital Library Network for Crisis, Tragedy and Recovery” (

We felt that interviewing these four people would provide enough depth, for we had covered all basis of the type of people who commonly occupy the CHCI, and we have defined these people as our users.

Our Initial Interview Questions

  1. Do you feel close to the community?
  2. Do you currently do anything to get to know the people in the community better?
  3. Do you normally work/eat with a group or by yourself?
  4. What is an activity that you feel would facilitate conversation or getting to know people better?
  5. Do you feel a sense of community while you are here? Why or why not?
  6. What things would make you feel closer to the people here?
  7. Would you like to make a more personal connection to this community?
  8. Do you share information between groups?
  9. What type of information?
  10. What different groups do you share this information with?
  11. Would you be comfortable having others see any of this information?
  12. How do you currently share this information?
  13. Do you use reddit / slashdot / or another aggregator community or forum?
  14. What do you like about that aggregator community or forum?

Initial Contact with Client Representatives

Sharon Kinder-Potter interview

In interviewing Mrs. Kinder-Potter, we found she was very amiable and we learned about how she felt about the CHCI community as well as how she shared information amongst different groups of people. She was avid in expressing that she enjoyed the open house event held at the CHCI, where she was able to communicate with students and faculty and know more about what’s going on in the department and felt that this would facilitate more of a community vibe in the CHCI. She also stated that a good way for people to get to know one another in the CHCI would be to just be more friendly and outgoing.

In terms of information sharing, we found that she disseminates and receives information from many sources. Most information she sends out is to students about upcoming events and deadlines for forms. She also finds that she sends information intra-office sometimes, forwarding social information like funny images. She feels that there is some social information that can be shared with some and not with others though, so she is cautious in social information dissemination.

Ankit Ahuja Interview

Ankit was excited about being an interviewee, and was very helpful in determining a student’s perspective of the CHCI. He felt that currently the CHCI is a fragmented community and with most students not working in the building difficult to interact. The majority of the people he knew where either in his lab or introduced to him through other friends. Nevertheless he felt a personal connection with the CHCI community, especially the students he talks to more often.

As a social media user, Ankit shares a lot of information publicly through Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.  For sharing with fellow students he mostly shares through listservs, although he would like a dedicated channel for posting to the entire CHCI.

Sharon Chu Interview

Sharon was very interested in participating in the interview when she heard that it was a project for fostering and building community within the CHCI. She was very willing to help and answer all the questions she was asked during the interview. She also hopes that we get to build the system we are designing

Dr. Kavanaugh Interview

Dr. Kavanaugh was very gracious to give us time to interview her for a faculty perspective. She has been a member of the CHCI since inception and has seen many changes to the community. The majority of her interaction with other CHCI members is through social events, seminars, and referrals from colleagues / students.

Her information sharing habits are like the other client representatives–mostly text through emails via listservs. Most of the information she sends isn’t necessarily private and could benefit other recipients by providing different avenues for research.


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