Toward a Socio-Technical Pattern Language How do we help design teams align people, process, and technology? John Thomas, ...
Outline <ul><li>The Case for Paying Attention to Humans as part of Complex Human-Computer Systems </li></ul><ul><li>Design...
Tom Landauer’s The Trouble with Computers  <ul><li>Zero correlation between dollars industry spends on IT and productivity...
Yet, applications with bad HCI designs still sap productivity; make for poor user experience <ul><li>HCI applied too late ...
An interesting fantasy…. <ul><li>Much is known about the social aspects of complex systems. </li></ul><ul><li>This is publ...
Reality… <ul><li>Such material is generally unknown </li></ul><ul><li>Specialized vocabulary and presumption of background...
Potential Forms of Knowledge Known, Predictable, Unchanging, Simple Unknown, Unpredictable, Changing, Complex Algorithms, ...
How can we help the designer DESIGN?
The Importance of the Social <ul><li>Robert Putnam: Making Democracy Work (Italy) Bowling Alone (America) </li></ul><ul><l...
Some ways social and technical can interact <ul><li>Technology supports existing practice (NOTES TeamRoom) </li></ul><ul><...
Some Aspects of Socio-Technical Interaction  <ul><li>Is coordinated rhythm Required (R), Helpful (+),Neutral (0), Harmful ...
Additional Aspects of Socio-Technical Situation <ul><li>Perceived game-theoretic aspects </li></ul><ul><li>Preconscious ga...
E.g. Washing Dishes <ul><li>Hand Washing Duo </li></ul><ul><li>Rhythm required </li></ul><ul><li>Side by side “confessiona...
Fixing Dinner <ul><li>Traditional cooking </li></ul><ul><li>Negotiation Required </li></ul><ul><li>High shared stimulus co...
Traditional Queue <ul><li>Some shared context; however… </li></ul><ul><li>Perceived as competition for limited resource (t...
Vibrating Pager Queue <ul><li>The obviousness of the competition has been greatly reduced </li></ul><ul><li>No requirement...
Enhanced Telephone Help Desk Queue <ul><li>Many more people need help solving technical problem than servers available </l...
Patterns  <ul><li>Behavioral Patterns vs. Design Patterns </li></ul><ul><li>Application Areas: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>OO Pr...
Parts of a Pattern <ul><ul><li><< Pattern Name >> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Author, reviewer and revision dates: </li...
A Pattern Language <ul><li>Christopher Alexander </li></ul><ul><li>Architectural “Patterns” that capture recurring problem...
Some Socio-Technical Patterns <ul><li>Community of Communities </li></ul><ul><li>Reality Check </li></ul><ul><li>Radical C...
Reality Check
Reality Check
Who Speaks for Wolf? Visual by www.PDIimages.com
Small Successes Early
Support Conversation at the Borders
Potential Uses of a Pattern Language Approach <ul><li>Problem identification and formulation </li></ul><ul><li>Lingua fran...
Challenges to Pattern Approach <ul><li>Developing the  Pattern Language  – capturing the “inter-connection and inter-depen...
Christopher Alexander’s Fifteen Properties from The Nature of Order <ul><li>1. Levels of scale.  </li></ul><ul><li>2. Stro...
Can these be applied to the design of social systems? <ul><li>* Levels of Scale: Organizations, Divisions,  </li></ul><ul>...
Summary and Conclusions <ul><li>Knowledge, presented as a social science article, does not aid the developer  </li></ul><u...
For more information: <ul><li>www.truthtable.com/patterns.html/ </li></ul><ul><li>www.research.ibm.com/knowsoc/ </li></ul>...
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Toward a socio-technical pattern language

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  • There are a host of empirical studies illustrating that merely throwing new technology at a problem is unlikely to result in any very substantive benefit. The ROI on HCI varies but is much higher than the typical IRR for businesses.
  • Nonetheless, applications continue to be developed today which have glaring problems, the solutions to which, have in some cases been known for decades. There are several main reasons for this gap between what we could do to make systems really useful to our customers and what the industry all too often settles for. These include trying to “add on” HCI as some kind of interface paint after the system functionality has been designed, a lack of HCI expertise on product development teams, a rush to market that bypasses the time taken to understand the customer’s situation, organizational anomalies in how products are priced and success is measured. In many cases, however, the fundamental problem is that the work taken to support the user properly is
  • Toward a socio-technical pattern language

    1. 1. Toward a Socio-Technical Pattern Language How do we help design teams align people, process, and technology? John Thomas, IBM Research Madeira, Portugal, 29 July 2003
    2. 2. Outline <ul><li>The Case for Paying Attention to Humans as part of Complex Human-Computer Systems </li></ul><ul><li>Design and Science </li></ul><ul><li>Social – Technical Relationships </li></ul><ul><li>Patterns and Pattern Languages </li></ul><ul><li>Some Proposed Socio-Technical Patterns </li></ul><ul><li>Christopher Alexander’s Fifteen Properties from The Nature of Order </li></ul>
    3. 3. Tom Landauer’s The Trouble with Computers <ul><li>Zero correlation between dollars industry spends on IT and productivity increase </li></ul><ul><li>Zero correlation within industry on dollars spent on IT and productivity increases </li></ul><ul><li>New IT systems without HCI show average increase of 1%/annum productivity gain </li></ul><ul><li>New IT systems with HCI increase productivity average of 30%/annum </li></ul><ul><li>Host of other articles, books, etc. point to cost-effectiveness of HCI work </li></ul>
    4. 4. Yet, applications with bad HCI designs still sap productivity; make for poor user experience <ul><li>HCI applied too late </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of expertise </li></ul><ul><li>Rush to market </li></ul><ul><li>Organizational deadlock </li></ul><ul><li>Marginal utility too small on application by application basis </li></ul>
    5. 5. An interesting fantasy…. <ul><li>Much is known about the social aspects of complex systems. </li></ul><ul><li>This is published in textbooks, journals, and the proceedings of conferences; e.g., </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Computer Supported Cooperative Work </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>European Computer Supported Cooperative Work </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>CE2003 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Systems designers will read this material themselves or hire social scientists when designing complex systems that involve human beings </li></ul>
    6. 6. Reality… <ul><li>Such material is generally unknown </li></ul><ul><li>Specialized vocabulary and presumption of background knowledge and Weltanschauung (Worldview) </li></ul><ul><li>Development schedules and pressures make it hard to read even within computer science and engineering </li></ul><ul><li>Material is in the form of “what is” not </li></ul><ul><li>“What should we do” </li></ul>
    7. 7. Potential Forms of Knowledge Known, Predictable, Unchanging, Simple Unknown, Unpredictable, Changing, Complex Algorithms, Formulae, Programs, Machines Patterns Guidelines Heuristics, Principles, Properties Case Studies Stories Ethical values and fluid intelligence
    8. 8. How can we help the designer DESIGN?
    9. 9. The Importance of the Social <ul><li>Robert Putnam: Making Democracy Work (Italy) Bowling Alone (America) </li></ul><ul><li>Impacts health of individual more than smoking </li></ul><ul><li>Impacts on whether we have a sustainable approach to the world’s resources </li></ul><ul><li>Impact on war and other miseries </li></ul><ul><li>Corporations now supporting collaboration and communities of practice </li></ul><ul><li>Socially defined intelligence: Evan’s Thesis on figures analogies </li></ul>
    10. 10. Some ways social and technical can interact <ul><li>Technology supports existing practice (NOTES TeamRoom) </li></ul><ul><li>Technology changes, or destroys existing practices (garages) </li></ul><ul><li>Technology allows systems otherwise too costly (Babble, Co-labs) </li></ul><ul><li>Technology designed for one purpose; is adopted for social purpose (e-mail) </li></ul><ul><li>Technology designed for one function has unintended social consequences (microwave, dishwasher) </li></ul><ul><li>Technology impacts individual minds & this impacts social functions (video games & impatience) </li></ul><ul><li>Technology changes society (automobile) </li></ul><ul><li>Changes in technology lead to desired changes in social systems </li></ul>
    11. 11. Some Aspects of Socio-Technical Interaction <ul><li>Is coordinated rhythm Required (R), Helpful (+),Neutral (0), Harmful (-), or Incompatible with respect to goals ? </li></ul><ul><li>Is conversation R, +,0,-, I with respect to goals? </li></ul><ul><li>Negotiation ? </li></ul><ul><li>Shared stimlus in terms of the gross context ? </li></ul><ul><li>Shared fine stimulus context ? </li></ul><ul><li>What is the Physical positioning of people? </li></ul><ul><li>How are Goals controlled? </li></ul><ul><li>Is physical contact Required, Helpful, Neutral, Harmful or Incompatible with meeting goals? </li></ul>
    12. 12. Additional Aspects of Socio-Technical Situation <ul><li>Perceived game-theoretic aspects </li></ul><ul><li>Preconscious game-theoretic aspects </li></ul><ul><li>Visual Fidelity, timing of Communication </li></ul><ul><li>Auditory Fidelity, timing of Communication </li></ul><ul><li>Other senses involved </li></ul><ul><li>Token interaction: cf. Football, Chess, Golf </li></ul><ul><li>Instrumental Space of Conversational Topics </li></ul><ul><li>Expressive Space of Conversational Topics </li></ul>
    13. 13. E.g. Washing Dishes <ul><li>Hand Washing Duo </li></ul><ul><li>Rhythm required </li></ul><ul><li>Side by side “confessional” </li></ul><ul><li>Conversation OK </li></ul><ul><li>Team accomplishes the work </li></ul><ul><li>High shared stimulus context </li></ul><ul><li>Using Dishwasher </li></ul><ul><li>Rhythm not required </li></ul><ul><li>Unitary better </li></ul><ul><li>Conversation ? </li></ul><ul><li>Team or One prepares machine to accomplish the work </li></ul><ul><li>Moderate shared stimulus context </li></ul>
    14. 14. Fixing Dinner <ul><li>Traditional cooking </li></ul><ul><li>Negotiation Required </li></ul><ul><li>High shared stimulus context (same meal) </li></ul><ul><li>Synchronous activity </li></ul><ul><li>Conversation likely </li></ul><ul><li>Microwave </li></ul><ul><li>No negotiation required (separate meals) </li></ul><ul><li>Asynchronous activity </li></ul><ul><li>Conversation less likely (person who is ready first starts some other activity) </li></ul>
    15. 15. Traditional Queue <ul><li>Some shared context; however… </li></ul><ul><li>Perceived as competition for limited resource (tickets may run out) </li></ul><ul><li>People in front are costing you time </li></ul><ul><li>Face to Back of Head orientation </li></ul><ul><li>Asynchronous movement reinforces individual identity (cf. rowing) </li></ul>
    16. 16. Vibrating Pager Queue <ul><li>The obviousness of the competition has been greatly reduced </li></ul><ul><li>No requirement to “face the same direction” </li></ul><ul><li>Face to face interaction possible </li></ul><ul><li>Conversation is much more likely </li></ul>
    17. 17. Enhanced Telephone Help Desk Queue <ul><li>Many more people need help solving technical problem than servers available </li></ul><ul><li>People describe problem </li></ul><ul><li>ASR used to group similar problems </li></ul><ul><li>People are bridged onto a conference call </li></ul><ul><li>Synthesis announces to group their areas of overlapping interest </li></ul><ul><li>Group may be able to solve the individual problems </li></ul><ul><li>When available, help first gives generic advice </li></ul>
    18. 18. Patterns <ul><li>Behavioral Patterns vs. Design Patterns </li></ul><ul><li>Application Areas: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>OO Programming </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Business Process Patterns </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Human Computer Interaction & Sociotechnical Patterns </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>CHI ’97 Workshop </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Interact ’99 Workshop </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>CHI 2000 Workshop </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>CHI 2001Panel </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>DIAC 2002 & subsequent on-line work on Pattern Language </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>CHI 2002 Workshop </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>CSCW 2002 Workshop </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>CHI 2003 Workshop  DTD for XML </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>ECSCW 2003 Workshop planned for Helsinki </li></ul></ul></ul>
    19. 19. Parts of a Pattern <ul><ul><li><< Pattern Name >> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Author, reviewer and revision dates: </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Synonyms </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Abstract (including evocative picture) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Problem </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Context </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Forces </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Solution (including schematic) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Examples </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Resulting Context </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Rationale </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Related Patterns </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Known Uses </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>References </li></ul></ul></ul>
    20. 20. A Pattern Language <ul><li>Christopher Alexander </li></ul><ul><li>Architectural “Patterns” that capture recurring problems and solutions </li></ul><ul><li>Organized into a “Pattern Language” – a lattice of inter-related Patterns. </li></ul><ul><li>Examples: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Eccentric Town Center encourages commuter traffic to stop at Town Center </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>European Pub </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Gradient of Privacy in homes: porch, entry, living room, dinning room, kitchen, bedroom </li></ul></ul>
    21. 21. Some Socio-Technical Patterns <ul><li>Community of Communities </li></ul><ul><li>Reality Check </li></ul><ul><li>Radical Co-location </li></ul><ul><li>Small Successes Early </li></ul><ul><li>Who Speaks for Wolf? </li></ul><ul><li>Support Conversation at Boundaries </li></ul><ul><li>Social Proxy </li></ul><ul><li>Context-setting Entry </li></ul><ul><li>Answer Garden </li></ul><ul><li>Registered Anonymity </li></ul><ul><li>Anonymized Stories for Organizational Learning </li></ul><ul><li>Mentoring Circle </li></ul><ul><li>Levels of Authority </li></ul><ul><li>Rites of Passage </li></ul>
    22. 22. Reality Check
    23. 23. Reality Check
    24. 24. Who Speaks for Wolf? Visual by www.PDIimages.com
    25. 25. Small Successes Early
    26. 26. Support Conversation at the Borders
    27. 27. Potential Uses of a Pattern Language Approach <ul><li>Problem identification and formulation </li></ul><ul><li>Lingua franca among stakeholders </li></ul><ul><li>Problem solving (tool of thought) </li></ul><ul><li>Design, maintenance (understanding implications of change) and documentation </li></ul><ul><li>Capture, find, and share reusable intellectual assets </li></ul><ul><li>Structure empirical tests of usefulness </li></ul><ul><li>Marketing: ties to impacts on people’s image and experience </li></ul>
    28. 28. Challenges to Pattern Approach <ul><li>Developing the Pattern Language – capturing the “inter-connection and inter-dependencies of patterns” </li></ul><ul><li>Different tools for different pattern-user groups </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Instantiating a pattern as a software artifact (e.g., Web service) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Developing methodology, services, etc. for using patterns (e.g., facilitating pattern-user via a Web service or wizard) </li></ul></ul>
    29. 29. Christopher Alexander’s Fifteen Properties from The Nature of Order <ul><li>1. Levels of scale. </li></ul><ul><li>2. Strong centers. </li></ul><ul><li>3. Boundaries. </li></ul><ul><li>4. Alternating repetition. </li></ul><ul><li>5. Positive space. </li></ul><ul><li>6. Good shape. </li></ul><ul><li>7. Local symmetries. </li></ul><ul><li>8. Deep interlock and ambiguity. </li></ul><ul><li>9. Contrast. </li></ul><ul><li>10. Gradients. </li></ul><ul><li>11. Roughness. </li></ul><ul><li>12. Echoes. </li></ul><ul><li>13. The Void. </li></ul><ul><li>14. Simplicity and Inner Calm. </li></ul><ul><li>15. Not-separateness. </li></ul>
    30. 30. Can these be applied to the design of social systems? <ul><li>* Levels of Scale: Organizations, Divisions, </li></ul><ul><li>Departments, Projects, Teams, Individual. </li></ul><ul><li>* Positive Space: Opposite of “not my job”; better to have contention than gaps </li></ul><ul><li>* The Void: Need empty space and empty time; perhaps even roles of peace </li></ul><ul><li>* Roughness: Problems arise when designs presume that they have covered every case. </li></ul>
    31. 31. Summary and Conclusions <ul><li>Knowledge, presented as a social science article, does not aid the developer </li></ul><ul><li>Pattern Languages and Properties may provide actionable knowledge representations </li></ul><ul><li>Initial focus on “Socio-technical patterns” as area of high leverage because: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Much has been learned that is not intuitive </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Patterns already exist in software, HCI </li></ul></ul>
    32. 32. For more information: <ul><li>www.truthtable.com/patterns.html/ </li></ul><ul><li>www.research.ibm.com/knowsoc/ </li></ul><ul><li>www.truthtable.com/websitewelcome_page_index.html </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.cpsr.org/conferences/diac02 </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.welie.com/patterns/plml/ </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.pliant.org/personal/Tom_Erickson/InteractionPatterns.html </li></ul><ul><li>http:// www.hcipatterns.org / </li></ul><ul><li>http:// www.cpsr.org /program/sphere/patterns/ </li></ul><ul><li>http:// www.ibm.com/developerWorks/patterns / </li></ul><ul><li>http://jerry.cs.uiuc.edu/~plop/plop2003/cfp2003.html </li></ul><ul><li>http:/www.cs.kent.ac.uk/people/staff/saf/patterns/gallery.html </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.groupware-patterns.org / </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.lmu.ac.uk/ies/comp/research/isle/janetfinlay/ </li></ul>

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