An empirical study on improving the understanding of email records by augmenting with information on context

Craig Loftus, Chris McMahon*, Ben Hicks

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Contribution (Conference Proceeding)

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Email fulfils an important role in facilitating distributed communication in engineering design projects and contributes to the persistent records of the project, but the nature of email communication may mean that records are difficult to understand by those who have not been involved in the projects. This paper presents an investigation into the effectiveness of augmenting emails with contextual information as a mechanism for improving such understanding. The work was part of an investigation into the effectiveness of email as a project communication method including the study of a large corpus of emails from a merchant ship design project and of the team that produced them. The work involved taking samples from the corpus and exploring the ability of readers with and without background contextual knowledge to understand and answer questions on the samples both as original email records and augmented with hyperlinks to contextual explanations. The experiments showed improvement in the understanding of the augmented emails by those with and without contextual knowledge. The experiment design is presented and the findings and their implications summarised.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the International Conference on Engineering Design, ICED
Pages169-178
Number of pages10
Volume6 DS75-06
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2013
Event19th International Conference on Engineering Design, ICED 2013 - Seoul, Korea, Republic of
Duration: 19 Aug 201322 Aug 2013

Conference

Conference19th International Conference on Engineering Design, ICED 2013
CountryKorea, Republic of
CitySeoul
Period19/08/1322/08/13

Keywords

  • Communication
  • Design informatics
  • Email use in design
  • Information management

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