Chen, Y., Hur, H., Lee, S., Leigh, J., Johnson, A., Renambot, L.
Human Factors in Computing Systems: Proceedings of the 28th ACM Conference (pp. 4645-4660)
Publication year: 2010


We present the design and process of an interactive high-resolution visualization system for diverse and distributed real-world geological core drilling expeditions. The high domain knowledge barrier makes it difficult for a person who is outside this field to imagine the user experience, and the globally distributed core drilling community imposes more design constraints in space and time. In addition to activities proposed in prior literatures, we used the “immersive empathic design” approach of having a computer scientist trained as a junior core technician. Through in-situ observation and interview evaluations from on-going expeditions, we present the system and the lesson learned in the process. It makes the best use of precious co-located opportunities. It allows the developer to build up domain knowledge efficiently. It establishes a trust relationship between the developer and scientists. The system designed through this approach formed a sustainable foundation that was adapted in the following design iterations. This process allows the software developer to experience authentic user activities. The designed system is innovative and helps scientists solving real-world problems. This approach can be a useful example to HCI practitioners who work with potential users or communities that share similar properties.

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