The issue of control

I had an interesting discussion with Madhu Reddy at Penn State the other day during my visit. I was fortunate to give a talk to Madhu and his group and obtain some valuable feedback. After the talk, as Madhu and I sat down to discuss more, he brought up an interesting point about control. For my system Coagmento, the control about pretty much everything on the interface rests in the hands of each individual. For instance, an individual could decide to turn off alerts or browse in incognito mode. However, many situations require for the group members to be more transparent to each other. This may mean agreeing to some terms that may not be ideal for an individual, but are beneficial to the group. For instance, one may have to honestly show when they are online rather than hiding their status.

In short, while designing a collaborative system, we need to think about control that is divided between an individual and the team. Depending up on the situation, the system should let the users find a balance in this division.

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