Artifact usefulness and usage in sensemaking handoffs

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Abstract

The complexities of sensemaking suggest that collaboration should be difficult, requiring a rich ecology of collaboration support. This can be a problem for handoff sensemaking, where one person must continue where another has left off, sometimes with only material artifacts as the basis of the handoff. A detailed analysis of essential attributes of sensemaking tasks, and elements identified in the computer supported collaborative work literature were combined to yield insight into handoff sensemaking and guide empirical work. A lab-study showed that handoffs relying only on artifacts from previous sensemaking could be successful. The lab studies also indicated timing and quality affects on the sensemaking handoffs, with different quality materials used differently, and early efforts possibly being particularly difficult to hand off. Design of support for sensemaking handoffs will have to take such effects into account.

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