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G's Review of PC98

Paper number: PC98

Title: iCAMS: A Mobile Communication Tool using Location and Schedule Information

Submission type: Project Overview

Relevance to magazine: 4
4 = Timely and relevant

Presentation and clarity: 4
4 = Easily Understandable

Reviewer expertise: 3
2 = I'm somwhat familiar with this stuff;

Depth of contribution: N.A.

Historical accuracy and perspective: N.A.

Completeness and Balance: N.A.

Integration: 4
4 = A few missing pieces;
Overall recommendation: 2
2 = Accept with major revision and re-reviewing;

I find the topic of this paper to be interesting and useful to the community at this time. The paper attempts to place focus on the human experience rather than system design details by explaining the system only in reference to the way in which it is used by potential users, which would make it a good candidate for this forum. It fails, however, to explain why there is a human need for such a system and thus, whether iCAMS meets that need.
1. Two small groups of people, only one of which is the target user population of "families and friends" may not be adequate for examing the use and experience of the interaction with the system.
2. Administering questionnaires and interviews at the end of the study only is not enough. The study lasted a full eight weeks, a time during which users' perceptions and practices may have changed greatly. Only capturing this qualitative data at the end of the study to some extent invalidates the quantitaive data. For example, while learning the system, use of certain pages may have been much higher (altering the log data) than at the end of the study when the users know the system and comment on it.
3. Many issues that could easily have been uncovered prior to the building of the system were not examined until after the stufy took place. The author's themselves state that "some users had worries about sharing position information before they began to use our system." The authors should have taken that information to mean that privacy issues need to explored and possibly included in the initial design. Furthermore, the fact that people don't enter schedule information into their PDA is fairly commonly known. Furthermore, people often don't follow the schedules in their PDA's if there is one; so the expectation on the part of the authors that "If a schedule has been input, the rule is updated to the one for the schedule", implying that schedule overrides location, seems a bit naive.
4. It is not clear how often users changed the way in which they might contact someone due to iCAMS information. Knowing for example, how often and why users either bypassed the system entirely or used contact information not listed as the first in priority would have been helpful.
5. The only real mention of the need, from the human perspective for such a system, is in the first paragraph. They argue that the plentitude of modes of communication and locations in which people may be contacted necessitates the need for the iCAMS system. They list no references, however, to back up what is intuitive (but possibly not true) that their target users have this large number of modes and locations and that even if they do, they have a problem managing these and would want to be in a sense followed. The authors miss the human experience of the current situation (which may in fact be preferable to some) as opposed to the experience they intend to provide.

Comments for EIC and AEICs only:
If accepted, this paper needs careful reviewing of its grammar and spelling, becuase in its current form, there are a number of serious errors.

Reviewer: G@GT