Project 2: Contextual Inquiry and Contextual Analysis

Team #2
Community Jukebox (Formally Art Jukebox)
Client – CHCI Community

This project was to perform a contextual inquiry so we can understand existing client work and information sharing strategies. We performed interviews and observations of different user roles within the CHCI and produced a WAAD from the work activity notes derived from our raw contextual notes.

Sruthi Iyer, Sheriff Jolaoso, and Siroberto Scerbo
CS/ISE 5714 – Spring 2013

Table of Contents

Concept and Scope of Community Jukebox

Concept Statement

Community Jukebox (CJ) is a distributed presentation system, that will be installed in the CRC. Patrons will engage and interact with each other by contributing different media, from the web or their own collections,which CJ will display. The CRC will have a “network” of display thats will enable multiple individuals to enjoy the same content. Much like a jukebox, users will make their request for content and the system will schedule the media that it will display. However, for CJ, the requests are made via web-enabled devices. Audience members can vote / indicate they like certain content which will have affect on current and future scheduling. Community jukebox builds community while providing patrons an opportunity to entertain themselves and each other.

Tailoring the Scope

The initial project proposal was formulated with the Virginia Tech student community as a whole so it was meant to develop a sense a community among the dining halls however when the task was to identify the different user classes, it made more sense to narrow the scope of the project to a smaller, more tightly knit community which is why the Jukebox is now going to be designed only for the CHCI at the Knowledge Works 2 building of the CRC where  students, faculty and administration people constitute the community.

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.


Collecting Raw Contextual Data

The manner in which we acquired raw contextual data was in two main forms–interviews and photos. In the interviews we were able to record audio, and for some of our interviews video, while taking notes and asking questions. This was an effective raw contextual data acquisition process because we were able to revisit the notes in context with the actual interview recording on the spot. An example of one of our interviews is below:

Photos of the current CHCI office space were the second form of contextual data we. The main purpose of doing this was to see how information was being disseminated and where information could be located for mass dissemination. The photos also allowed us to see the office space where our clients worked, so that our provided solution could be cultivated for the CHCI. Below are samples of some photos that we took of the CHCI space:

Sample Task Data

From our interviews, we learned that the majority of information is sharing through emails.  Here is a selection of emails from different work roles:


[Gradstudents] Reminder: CSRC Career Fair TODAY

Libby Bradford <>
to cs-undg, cs-interest, bburg-gradstud.



You are cordially invited to attend the CSRC Spring Career Fair today, from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m. in the Commonwealth Ballroom of Squires Student Center.

Please mark your calendar and don’t miss this exciting event. This is a career fair just for CS students, and is a wonderful opportunity to make connections with our corporate partners that can lead to full-time employment after graduation or to internships and co-ops during your time at Virginia Tech. These companies are here because they want to hire our students, so please take advantage of this opportunity.


Please come in business casual attire with plenty of copies of your resume in hand. Light refreshments will be served from 4:00 and 6:00.


I’ve posted helpful suggestions for preparing for the event at You can also find company information at this page. You can also download a PDF file of all company information and the booth layout to take with you to the career fair.


Companies not planning to attend: Cisco, Near Infinity, Pariveda Solutions, PDRi, Qualcomm, Readyforce, Solers, Sphere of Influence, and Zeta Associates.


Student check in will be just outside the Commonwealth Ballroom. Make sure to attend the event, pick up your name tag, and drop your name tag back by the check-in desk as you leave. The CSRC will be using those returned name tags to select door prizes.


If you’ve been to the career fair before, you may remember a huge pile of coats and backpacks near the door. The pile of coats and backpacks constitutes a fire hazard and we must use a separate room for coat and backpack check, per Squires Student Center. CSRC coat and backpack check is located in the Williamsburg Room (around the corner from the Commonwealth Ballroom.)

We look forward to seeing you at the event!
Ms. Bradford
Libby G. Bradford
Director of External Relations and Undergraduate


[Gradstudents] Fwd: Intel On Campus February 18-19, 2013 – Flyers Attached

Eric Ragan <>
to bburg-gradstud.


Intel info session for PhD students Monday at 7:30
Free food

Lavery Hall 330


See attached flyers for more info.

———- Forwarded message ———-

Hi All,
I am attaching two flyers. One is specifically for our tech talk to PhD students and the other is our snapshot of events we will be participating in during our visit next week.


I appreciate your help in distributing these flyers out to the students.


I hope to see you next week!!

Tohbi Thomas
Campus Relations Manager
Texas A&M, UCLA, Virginia Tech
US College Team, Intel Corporation


2 attachments — Download all attachments
Spring 2013 VT LTD Tech Talk flyer students final.docx


[Gradstudents] plans of study
Manuel A Perez-Quinones <>
to gradstudents



I sent a note yesterday to students “missing” their plan of study.


Note that I got your names from a report from the university. So, if
you have turned in the plan of study in our department this semester,
then you are ok. It takes 2-3 weeks for all the approvals to navigate
the system.


No need to go bother Sharon if you already turned it in.

If however, you turned your PoS last semester or earlier and received
a note from me, then let me know.




PS those of you in my UE class can sit back and enjoy the ironies of
this mess… :)


Manuel A. Perez-Quinones, DSc

Raw Data Notes

Here is a sample of some of the raw data we collect from the interviews.

Interview with Dr. Kavanaugh

  1. Do you feel close to the CHCI community? (combine w/ Q6.)
    1. Yes, personal and professional depending on the indivuals
  2. Do you currently do anything to get to know the people in the CHCI community better?
    1. Receptions, talk with the faculty.
    2. Attending talks.
    3. Refereall from other peoples
      1. based on skills or interests
    4. no social interaction with office people
      1. DiDi – moare interaaction by staying in touch
      2. more professional with the font office
    5. students – more working directly with
      1. gatherings at her house – more casual environment
  3. What would be some ways for you to get to know people in the CHCI community better? (combine w/Q7, ask after Q7)
    1. lunch with students
      1. faculty could join
      2. no agenda – or prescribed discussion
      3. more casual settings
      4. once a month or twice
      5. based on legacy
    2. use website
      1. give more information
      2. more news and announcements
    3. visualization of faculty and students
      1. who is what lab, who si working with who
      2. papers that would be written
      3. generated from existing content
    4. affiliated faculty who are not in this building
      1. easily digestible information is key

Interview with Sharon Chu

Sharon Chu's Interview

Building the WAAD

The process of building the WAAD started with each of us creating work activity notes based on our raw contextual data, mainly the interviews. Afterwards, we came together and began to cluster our work activity notes with post-its.

We found that we had a few small clusters with about 2-5 work activity notes, and a couple of large clusters with about 7-10 work activity notes. We then attempted to label the clusters while reconfiguring where to place some work activity notes. Once this was done, we found that we had eight clusters: information sources, types of information shared within CHCI, types of information shared outside of CHCI, privacy of shared information, visualization of accessed information, filtering of accessed information, colocation and community, and where information is shared to.

These clusters were then put into groups describing an overarching fact about them. That grouping is as followed:

  • Information: information sources, types of information shared within CHCI, and types of information shared outside of CHCI
  • Sharing: privacy of shared information and where information is shared
  • Information Access: visualization of accessed information and filtering of accessed information
  • Co-location: co-location and community

Definition of Major Work Roles

These are the work roles we defined for the system:

  • CHCI students – CHCI students are graduate students who have office and/or laboratory space in the CHCI.
  • CHCI faculty – CHCI faculty is composed of professors in that have office and/or laboratory space in the CHCI.
  • CHCI administrative staff – CHCI administrative staff is composed of the staff that works in the front office in the CHCI. Some of this staff is composed of general computer science program faculty.

The entities that interact with the system from the outside are:

  • Graduate department – The graduate department is the department that oversees all graduate school activity at Virginia Tech.
  • Computer Science department – The computer science department is the department that oversees all computer science-related academic activity at Virginia Tech.
  • “Outside world” – any other external sources of information that provide information to users in the boundary of our system.

Lastly, the machine role that services the system is:

  • Listserv – the conduit of sending and receiving information to several users.

Flow Model

This is the current work practice flow model of our user roles within the CRC:

Work Practice Flow Model

This is our initial work practice flow model. It encompasses the broader view of the CRC information system.

Our proposed system doesn’t alter or replace any of the current work practice flow, but rather provides roles with more avenues for communication. Since we do not alter the communication with the outside world, we decided to focus on the individual roles.  Here is a zoomed in view of the center portion of our “before” flow model.

Work Practice Flow Model Zoomed In

This the portion of the work practice flow model that would be altered by the community jukebox.

We decided to split up the information into three different categories–private information, public information, and non-professional information.  From our interviews and observations, we noticed that some information avenues are completely absent. For example, the office never shares non-professional information to the students or faculty. This means that the funny pictures or interesting articles that could be relevant to the CHCI community stops at their office. Here is the flow model after introducing Community Jukebox (CJ–labeled as SJ, which was a previous name.)

Work Practice with CJ

This flow model shows how the community jukebox would alter the flow of information and change work practice.

With CJ, public information and non-professional information can be shared equally between all user roles. Hopefully, this would raise not only awareness of what others are doing but also gives an avenue for building personal connections and overall community.