As we continue testing Coagmento in more naturalistic settings, we discover one thing over and over again – it’s really hard to get people adopt to a uniquely new system such as Coagmento. It’s one thing to theoretically show and principally accept the importance of different features and functions, and it’s another thing to actually use them in practice. I always knew there would be this challenge, but now I am beginning to see it as the biggest challenge of all.
More than a year back I had a discussion with Dr. Paul Kantor of Rutgers about the non-realistic nature of lab studies. At that time I was designing a user study for Coagmento that would take place in lab. I mentioned to Paul that I didn’t think this could give us appreciation for the “real” issues and challenges that one may encounter with a system like Coagmento. What Paul advised me made an everlasting impression on me: “try to be scientific, not realistic.” He was right. Given that I wanted to study human behavior in collaboration, it was a wise idea to conduct a lab study where I could control various system parameters and monitor user behavior effectively.
And now that the lab study is done, I am taking my work to the next level (in a way) – opening up to the challenges of the “real world”. The beta testers have so far liked many of the features of Coagmento, but they admit having additional cognitive load and not being used to such interface as biggest issues. This makes it hard for them to easily adopt Coagmento. Therefore, one of my biggest considerations now is making Coagmento as seamlessly integrated in day-to-day life as possible. Many challenges lie ahead, but we have a good start and a strong foundation!