Date of Award

Fall 2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Information Systems - (Ph.D.)


Information Systems

First Advisor

Quentin Jones

Second Advisor

Cristian Borcea

Third Advisor

Michael A. Ehrlich

Fourth Advisor

Jodi Forlizzi

Fifth Advisor

Katia Passerini


Despite the widespread and large variety of communication tools available to us such as, text messaging, Skype, email, twitter, Facebook, instant messaging, GroupMe, WhatsApp, Snapchat, etc., many people still routinely find coordinating activities with our friends to be a very frustrating experience. Everyone, has at least once, encountered the difficulties involved with deciding what to do as a group. Some friends may be busy, others may have already seen the movie that the others want to see, and some do not like Mexican food. It is a challenge everyone has faced and continue to face. This is a result of system designers and researchers primarily focusing on understanding and supporting workplace coordination. This workplace bias has led to an assumption that the same technologies employed to facilitate workplace coordination can easily transfer to social coordination. This has created a divergence between how people actually communicate and coordinate for social reasons versus how the systems and technologies developed to support such coordination and communication are designed. As a result, researchers and designers are faced with dearth of knowledge about how to design and research systems that support people engaging in coordination and communication for more social reasons.