Page 89



G7. Transitioning Work from Private to Public View Knowledge workers may want to work privately before moving their outputs to a place where certain audiences can access them. Product teams can envision functionality concepts that could provide users with clear methods of transitioning from private modes of working into defined “public” views and back again.

What interaction objects in your application concepts might targeted knowledge workers want to act on in private before “publishing” their efforts? What could that desirable sense of privacy mean in the context of your computing tool? How might workers recognize and change an object’s current visibility— whether public or private?

I’m sll experimenng with how this facade might work, and I want some me to explore ideas before sharing with my team what I think is the best one...

Examples from three knowledge work domains: An architect works on a new approach to a museum’s facade in her building modeling application. She chooses not to update the version that her colleagues can see until she explicitly publishes it back to the main version of the building model, allowing her freedom to independently gestate her ideas (see illustration). A scientist selects a set of clinical data in her analysis application. The data represents many months of effort from her lab’s team, and she finds enormous satisfaction in finally uploading it to a larger database that contains the collective output of a number of separate research labs working on the same clinical problem. A financial trader knows that most everything he does in his trading application can end up being visible in real time to his colleagues, especially if it conflicts with any actions that they are taking. Understanding this visibility, he sometimes uses an old “quick calculation” tool to privately assess the viability of his ideas before turning to his trading application to book deals.

More specific questions for product teams to consider while envisioning applications for knowledge work:


Which “public” recipients, stakeholders, and colleagues are targeted workers typically concerned with when they think about “privacy”? So before I get started, I’m going to select an opon to work on my own private version for now...

Which current work practices are often accomplished in private, either individually or within a collaborating group, and then distributed to “outside” audiences? Which targeted tasks and larger activities are continually visible to certain collaborators? Which efforts in workers’ practices lie between the extremes of entirely private and entirely public? How do people currently conceptualize these shades of gray? How might your functionality concepts mirror current approaches to managing the visibility of work, especially when it comes to preventing unwanted public viewing? Facade mof exploraons:

When product teams do not actively consider how knowledge workers could effectively transition work from private incubation to the public sphere, resulting applications may create situations where workers do not know how to manage their own privacy (D1, D4), versions of interaction objects (H1), or effective work handoffs (J3). When people know that their interactions are visible to others in real time (E3), unwanted surveillance may limit or otherwise influence the character of their explorations of potential outcomes (H). To preserve privacy and gain the freedom to make “mistakes,” workers may avoid visibility intensive products entirely while accomplishing some goals (K13). Conversely, in contexts where high levels of workspace awareness are valuable, targeted visibility into certain actions may be beneficial for work outcomes. See also: A, B5, B6, K7, C9, G, K12, M

How do targeted individuals currently separate private incubation and public communication in the work practices that your team is striving to mediate? Why do workers currently create and make use of these separations? What events can trigger them to bridge these boundaries in either direction?

Interactive applications can act both as a “place” where knowledge work activity is accomplished and a channel by which it is communicated (J). Appropriate boundaries between the creative and the communicative can range from entirely blurred (C7, G4) to highly distinct, depending on the specifics of the knowledge work that a product concept is intended to mediate (A7, A8). In cases where clear, separating barriers between private and public work are valued, workers may want to explicitly ”move” or “send” their outputs into the view of others (C5, J3, J6, L1). Product teams can envision clear methods for managing these transitions (C4, J1), providing tailored interactions that effectively communicate a larger conceptual model of the divide between private and public “areas” or states within an application (C1, C10, K2).



What reinforcing cues and messaging could clarify current privacy states within specific interactions? How might transitional pathways between private and public states provide users with clear narratives and unambiguous feedback? How could individual cases of the distinction between public and private collectively communicate a larger conceptual model of visibility rules within your application concepts? How might your team’s approaches for supporting the transition from private work to public visibility relate to your other concepts for supporting cooperation, collaboration, and workspace awareness? Do you have enough information to usefully answer these and other envisioning questions? What additional research, problem space models, and design concepting could valuably inform your team’s application envisioning efforts?

And now I’m merging my own version with the main building model so that the team can see the direcon that I’m proposing...

Working through Screens (Tabloid Size)  

Working through Screens: 100 Ideas for Envisioning Powerful, Engaging, and Productive User Experiences in Knowledge Work This heavily illus...

Working through Screens (Tabloid Size)  

Working through Screens: 100 Ideas for Envisioning Powerful, Engaging, and Productive User Experiences in Knowledge Work This heavily illus...