Physical Artifacts for Promoting Bilingual Collaborative Design

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Physical artifacts, such as sticky notes and mock-ups, are widely used in Human-Computer Interaction research for supporting the collaborative design of technology. Because these representations use channels of communication other than speaking and listening, they offer the potential to facilitate collaboration in bilingual groups working through an interpreter. This paper identifies challenges of bilingual design meetings based on technology development collaborations between Silicon Valley corporate research organizations and two different Japanese companies. Three of the most successful physical artifacts used in these meetings are described to illustrate ways of supporting bilingual collaboration. After discussion of the specific contributions of these artifacts, general recommendations for bilingual collaborative design meetings are discussed. The paper concludes with the recommendation that careful choreography of the work area is necessary to ensure every participant has access to the physical artifacts necessary for successful collaboration.

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