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Why HP People Do and Don't Use Videoconferencing Systems

Hirsh, Sandra; Sellen, Abigail; Brokopp, Nancy


Keyword(s): videoconferencing; collaboration; user behavior

Abstract: In this report we discuss the findings of a Web-based questionnaire aimed at d iscovering both patterns of use of videoconferencing systems within HP and the reasons people give for either not using, or for using such systems. The primary mot ivation was to understand these issues for the purpose of designing new kinds of technology to support remote work rather than as an investigation into HP's internal processes. The questionnaire, filled out via the Web by 4532 people across HP, showed that most participants (68%) had not had taken part in a videoconference within the last 3 years, and only 3% of the sample were frequent users. Of those who had used videoconference systems, the main benefits were perceived to be the ability to: see people they had never met before, see facial experiences and gestures, and follow conversations with multiple participants more easily. The main problems that users of videoconference technology perceived were: the high overhead of setting up and planning videoconferencing meetings, a lack of a widespread base of users, the perception that videoconference technology did not add value over existing communication tools, and quality and reliability issues. Non-users indicated that the main barriers were lack of access to videoconference facilities and tools and a perception that they did not need to use this tool because other tools were satisfactory. The findings from this study in a real work setting are related to findings in the research literature, and implications for system design and research are identified.

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