Creating Shared Information Spaces to Support Collaborative Design Work

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The provision of computer support for collaborative work is a central concern for Information Systems (IS) research and practice. In this paper we present the details of an information flow study undertaken in the household division of a large European design and manufacturing company (Delta). The goal of the study was to elicit user requirements for a computer system to facilitate the collaborative work of new product design teams. These requirements form the basis for the design and development of a Web-based LIRÉ (Living Repository) prototype system, the functionalities, features, and rationale of which are discussed. We also present the results of the evaluation of LIRÉ by the users at Delta and our observations on enhancing the sophistication and usefulness of this class of system. A production version based on the prototype but using commercially available software is currently in use by the New Product Development group at Delta.

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