Nicole Yankelovich




When: 2001 – 2003.

What: Integrated messaging system for desktops and mobile devices.

Where: Network Communities Group, Sun Microsystems Laboratories.

How: Principal Investigator. Tasks included project/people management, user research, interviews, interaction design, usability testing, paper writing, and software demonstrations.

About the Project

The aim of Awarenex, a collaboration tool created by the Sun Labs Networks Community group, was to help members of distributed work groups stay in close contact with each other, even when they are mobile. The interface helped users answer the question “What is the best way to make contact right now?” To make that contact, Awarenex provided an integrated interface to communication resources (instant messaging, telephony, e-mail, and on-line calendar browsing) to help establish contact.

The Awarenex user interface was tailored for each client device (desktop computer, wireless Palm, RIM Blackberry, telephone) while providing the same core functionality on each platform. The desktop client was designed to be left open on the desktop for continual monitoring. The handheld clients were designed for mobile operation where users only periodically glance at the interface. And the speech interface allowed us to make awareness information available to users calling in over the phone without any display. While the speech interface does not provide all the awareness information about a user, it provides the most relevant information to suggest the best alternative for making contact with the person. Integrating awareness into the phone dialer also allowed us to experiment with automatically routing phone calls to the user’s most recently active locale.

We began the project by interviewing groups of mobile professionals (real estate agents, technical consultants) to understand their communication needs and how they used their mobile devices. The resulting prototype was used successfully internally at Sun for a number of years, but was never turned into an external product.

Related Publications

ConNexus to Awarenex: Extending awareness to mobile users
JC Tang, N Yankelovich, J Begole, M Van Kleek, F Li, J Bhalodia
Proceedings of the SIGCHI conference on Human factors in computing systems …
Work rhythms: Analyzing visualizations of awareness histories of distributed groups
JB Begole, JC Tang, RB Smith, N Yankelovich
Proceedings of the 2002 ACM conference on Computer supported cooperative …


This entry was posted on June 8, 2013 by in Collaboration, Speech.
%d bloggers like this: