The Screen-Centric Future Workplace - a Partnership with Work Design Magazine

July 23, 2019 by Dr. Jian Huang

Together with our research partner Work Design Magazine, we launched a survey to learn more about what screens tell us about how people really work. Between May 14th – 31st of this year, 368 of you participated in our research. Here is part one of the results!

Research Background

Modern-day workplaces are at the epicenter of change. Many amazing new workspaces have come into being because of new ideas in workplace strategy. However, knowing what design strategies are best at improving “how people work” in a customized and targeted manner is still an art, not a science.

A key reason for this is that how people say they work doesn’t match up with how they really work. This often leads designers to resort to “best guesses” or experience on prior projects to create the right workplace for a client. Unfortunately, it’s nearly impossible to get a design 100 percent right for how people in a given workplace really work without collecting proper data. Because traditional methods have not provided a robust lens for capturing this much needed information, Survature and Work Design partnered together on a research project on The Screen-Centric Future Workplace to see if there can be a new way.

The idea of the Screen-Centric Future project has roots dating back to the 1980s when Ubiquitous Computing was first discussed by world renowned researchers at Xerox PARC (Palo Alto Research Center). PARC has shaped many aspects of the information age. For example, the computer mouse was invented there.

Since the very beginning, Ubiquitous Computing was about making computing human-centered, so that people don’t carry “computing” with them. Wherever they want to work, “computing” is already there for them. Screens happen to be a primary human-computer interface and in many ways, also a primary human-technology interface. To end users, in a stealth and inconspicuous manner, ubiquitous computing can exemplify itself as ubiquitous screens.

Hence, in 2017, when the National Science Foundation chose the Future of Work at the Human-Technology Frontier as a national “Big Ideas” initiative, that was not coincidental. It’s only logical. Now is the time to prepare for this upcoming technology-centric transformation both inside and outside the workplace.

>>> Read the full article here

Jian Huang is the Chief Executive Officer at Survature providing the vision for reinventing the way the world experiences surveys. He is a professor of computer science at the University of Tennessee (UT) researching data analysis, visualization, and human-computer interaction. His research has received funding from the National Science Foundation, the US Department of Energy, the US Department of Interior, Intel, NASA, and UT-Battelle. Jian received his PhD from the Ohio State University.