- Schmalz, M., Carter, M., & Lee, J. (2018). It's Not You, It's Me: Identity, Self-Verification, and Amazon Reviews. ACM SIGMIS Data Base: The Data Base for Advances in Information Systems, 49(2), pp. 79–92. https://doi.org/10.1145/3229335.3229341.
Abstract: Online retailers often incorporate crowdsourced product reviews to make customers feel more informed and comfortable with online purchases, and thus increase profits. The evaluation of these reviews is also crowdsourced, ostensibly to identify "helpful" reviews. The resulting helpfulness ratings are frequently used as measures for discerning what makes reviews helpful, and are used to determine which reviews are given priority viewing on the site. However, there is no empirical evidence that helpfulness voting reflects customers’ attempts to evaluate product re-views objectively. This study examines review helpfulness voting from the position of the subjective customer rather than the objective anatomy of the review. We develop and empirically test a model, informed by self-verification theory, which explains relationships between online reviewers’ overall opinions of products under consideration (star ratings), product type, and per-ceived helpfulness of online product reviews. Results suggest that customers’ unconscious attempts to confirm what they already know and believe about themselves, referred to as self-verification, influences helpfulness voting. This work contributes to theoretical understanding of the role of reviews from the users’ perspective and how, through suggesting new ways to identify helpful reviews, human behaviors can inform design of recommender systems.
Keywords: Human Behavior; Identity, Self-verification; Crowdsourcing; Product Reviews; Elec-tronic Word-of-Mouth (eWOM).
- Cho, H., Schmalz, M., Keating, S., & Lee, J. (2018). Analyzing Anime Users’ Online Forum Queries for Recommendation Using Content Analysis. Journal of Documentation, 74(5), pp. 918–935. https://doi.org/10.1108/JD-08-2017-0122.
Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to improve the understanding of relevant information features for users seeking anime recommendations.
Design/Methodology/Approach: The study uses content analysis of 396 recommendation request threads from the online forum at Anime News Network.
Findings: In total, 19 important anime information features were identified, including Work, Theme, Genre, Audience, Mood, while Artwork/Visual Style, Audio Style, and Language were mentioned less frequently. However, when mentioned, these codes were discussed with specificity and depth.
Research Limitations/Implications: This study analyzed a relatively small number of 396 forum records, without demographic information. Using content analysis of online forum threads written by real users provided both informational breadth and depth. Future studies would benefit from using content analysis to investigate unfamiliar multimedia information and user groups.
Practical Implications: The findings of this study can be implemented in anime-related databases and information systems to enhance organization, browsing/retrieval, and recommendation of anime, which can be further utilized for other audiovisual materials.
Originality/Value: This is one of the few studies that investigate what anime users need and want. This research examines an understudied cultural medium, underserved by current research, despite an expanding community of anime users.
Keywords: Multimedia, Recommendation, Animation, Anime, Content analysis, Information needs, Query analysis
- Windelharth, T., Lee, J., Schmalz, M., & Jett, J. (2016). Full Steam Ahead: A Conceptual Analysis of User-Supplied Tags on Steam. Cataloging & Classification Quarterly, 54(7), pp. 1–24. http://doi.org/10.1080/01639374.2016.1190951.
Abstract: This paper describes a conceptual analysis of user generated tags applied to video games in the Steam video game distribution system. The research team scraped all user generated tags applied to the full catalog of games on the Steam website. The team then conducted a thorough conceptual analysis of the tags, sorting them into categories and comparing them to the current version of the Video Game Metadata Schema (VGMS). This analysis allowed the team to identify new elements and terms useful to game users. A robust discussion covers the major issues in organizing the terms is presented, as well as the implications for the VGMS and future work in the area of video game metadata. The work informs and updates research efforts in user-centered metadata for video games, represented in part by the VGMS.
- Lee, J., Schmalz, M., Keating, S., & Ha, J. (In Press). Challenges in Organizing and Accessing Video Game Artifacts. Proceedings of iConference 2020.
🏆 Best Short Research Paper Nominee
Abstract: Artifacts created during the game development process are vital for understanding and appreciating the history and context of video games. However, few have explored how to organize and preserve the digital ephemera created dur-ing game development, critically endangering these media artifacts. Through in-terviews of various stakeholders interested in these types of artifacts, and exami-nation of artifact collections, we explore the game development process. Partici-pants discussed various challenges in organizing and finding game development artifacts for their work due to multiple factors: organization culture, the technical work environment, and a lack of standard vocabulary and practices. They also discussed the disconnect between game library, archive, and special collections lacking ways to note relationships among relevant materials. Based on these find-ings, we discuss two main implications from an organizational point of view.
Keywords: Video Games, Game Development Artifacts, Game Preservation.
- Schmalz, M., Carter, M., Lee, J. (2019). The I in Team: IT Identity and Project Behavior. Proceedings of the 2019 Americas Conference on Information Systems. Cancún, México, August 2019.
Abstract: Software project failure continues to be a concern and managing risk our best hope of project success. While IS literature has investigated the role of culture in projects, such cultural work is largely limited to the management of multinational project work and focused on ethnic or national identities and their impact on enterprise-level system development. Recently, information system researchers have begun to focus on how a user’s identities—their internalization of cultural meaning—can affect adoption and use of technology, but identification with technology may also impact its development. This proposed study will examine the ways in which worker identification with the technological outcome of a project might affect risk behavior, and will include digital game development as a highly salient context. The results will inform both theory and practice, contributing to IT identity research as well as best practices for project and risk management in software development.
Keywords: IT project management, risk management, IT identity, digital games.
- Carter, M., Compeau, D., & Schmalz, M. (2018). The Ambivalent Potential of IT Identity: Me, Not-Me, and Conflicted Me in a Digital World. Proceedings of the DIGIT 2018 Workshop: Bridging the Internet of People, Data and Things. San Francisco, California, USA, December 2018.
Abstract: As information technology pervades all aspects of our lives, researchers have begun to explore it as more than just a tool, but rather as an essential component of our identities. We build on the conceptualization of IT Identity advanced in prior research to explore the meanings that people internalize with respect to IT and the ways in which they interact with the increasingly digital world. Through an ongoing embedded mixed-design grounded theory study, we define key meanings associated with IT identity and anti-ID identity (or positive and negative self-identification with IT) and we uncover the presence of an ambivalent or conflicted identity, where both positive and negative self-identification coexist. Our qualitative and quantitative findings support the existence of four different identity categories and highlight differences in meanings across participants in these categories.
Keywords: Information Technology Identity, Grounded Theory.
- Zolyomi, A. & Schmalz, M. (2018). Clay for HCI Research: Creating and Interpreting Forms. Workshop on Disruptive Improvisation: Making Use of Non-Deterministic Art Practices in HCI. Montreal, Québec, Canada, April 2018.
Abstract: Online retailers often incorporate crowdsourced product reviews to make customers feel more informed and comfortable with online purchases, and thus increase profits. The evaluation of these reviews is also crowdsourced, ostensibly to identify "helpful" reviews. The resulting help-fulness ratings are frequently used as measures for discerning what makes reviews helpful, and are used to determine which reviews are given priority viewing on the site. However, there is no em-pirical evidence that helpfulness voting reflects customers’ attempts to evaluate product reviews objectively. This study examines review helpfulness voting from the position of the subjective customer rather than the objective anatomy of the review. We develop and empirically test a model, informed by self-verification theory, which explains relationships between online review-ers’ overall opinions of products under consideration (star ratings), product type, and perceived helpfulness of online product reviews. Results suggest that customers’ unconscious attempts to confirm what they already know and believe about themselves, referred to as self-verification, influences helpfulness voting. This work contributes to theoretical understanding of the role of reviews from the users’ perspective and how, through suggesting new ways to identify helpful re-views, human behaviours can inform design of recommender systems.
- Cho, H., Schmalz, M., Keating, S., & Lee, J. (2017). Information Needs for Anime Recommendation: Analyzing Anime Users' Online Forum Queries. 2017 ACM/IEEE Joint Conference on Digital Libraries (JCDL), pp. 1–3. http://doi.org/10.1109/JCDL.2017.7991602.
Abstract: Despite the increasing consumption and popularity of audio-visual materials and non-textual information, recommendation-based information retrieval research regarding these materials remains limited. To provide robust recommendation services to users, it is critical to understand how users describe their needs when they seek audio- visual materials. We conducted a content analysis of 396 recommendation threads from Anime News Network online forums to identify 19 common information features used in these requests. Work, Theme, and Genre were the most frequently mentioned features when users described anime they were seeking. Findings also show Audience as an important anime information need. Together, these form a distinct set of interests, vital to understanding the information needs of anime users.
- Carter, M., Compeau, D., Kennedy, M., & Schmalz, M.. (2017). The Content and Context of Identity in a Digital Society. Proceedings 25th European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS 2017). (Author order alphabetical)
Abstract: Our team has undertaken a study designed to explore the context and content of IT identity in a digital society. The work involves conducting semi-structured, reflective interviews—based on the results of a 20 Statements exercise—and analysis based on grounded theory. Our initial findings indicate that our participants have complex relationships with a range of IT that has become embedded in their daily lives, and provide evidence in support of IT’s role as a medium, determinant, and consequent of identity. Further, we see the emergence of weak and strong IT identities and the emergence of a weak anti-IT identity. By iterating on our processes and reflecting on our results, we have been able to tune our methods and inform future recruitment goals. Moving forward, we expect that expanding the diversity in our group of participants will reveal greater insights into the ways that participation in a digital society influences the formation and expression of one’s role, group, personal, and IT (or anti-IT) identities.
- Lee, J., Windelharth, T., Yip, J., & Schmalz, M. (2017). Impact of Location-Based Augmented Reality Games on People's Information Behavior: A Case Study of Pokémon GO. Proceedings of iConference 2017. https://doi.org/10.9776/17218.
🏆 Most Interesting Preliminary Results Paper Nominee
Abstract: Location-based augmented reality games that blend real-world experience with virtual world gameplay are becoming increasingly popular. We aim to improve our understanding of how these new types of games will impact people’s information behaviors in both physical and virtual places, specifically investigating the case of Pokémon GO. We conducted over 100 hours of field observation of Pokémon GO players in numerous public places, monitored over 200 online communities related to the game, and conducted interviews of 30 players. Our key findings include observation of the emergence of ad-hoc information grounds in physical spaces where much of the information sharing occurred, as well as a crowdsourced, data-driven approach in problem solving and information sharing in online environments. We discuss the common types of information sharing that occur in both of these environments in detail, and identify areas for future research.
- Zolyomi, A. & Schmalz, M. (2017). Mining for Social Skills: Minecraft in Home and Therapy for Neurodiverse Youth. 50th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS). http://doi.org/10.24251/HICSS.2017.411.
Abstract: The Minecraft game platform has widespread popularity among children, including neurodiverse children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Attention-Deficit Disorder. A critical area of therapeutic focus for neurodiverse children is social learning to enhance their social connections. We conducted exploratory research to better understand the role of Minecraft in the lives of neurodiverse youth, from the perceptive of parents and clinics servicing this population. Via interviews and a focus group, we inquired into the perceptions and goals of clinics that have incorporated Minecraft into their services and parents of participating youth. Our findings are rich descriptions of the current social lives and gaming practices of neurodiverse children. Although parents and clinicians observe positive social interactions through Minecraft, parents grapple with their goals of supporting their children’s social lives and their reservations regarding online gaming communities. Parents and therapists desire more connections between virtual and face-to-face social relationships. Our findings point to the opportunity for clinicians, parents, and technology designers to facilitate social learning in online environments such as Minecraft due to its affordances to facilitate cooperation, modeling, joint attention, and performance in a safe, compelling environment.
- Eschler, J., Schmalz, M., & Carter, M. (2016). Applying User Engagement Models from Direct-to-Patient Online Services to Improve Patient Portal Design. Proceedings of iConference 2016. http://doi.org/10.9776/16177.
Abstract: As part of Electronic Health Records (EHR) systems, patient portals can be powerful tools for patient engagement. However, most portals do not currently incorporate patient-centered design to assist patients in understanding and managing their health outside of the clinic setting. In this paper, we employ a qualitative analysis of direct-to-patient web sites that serve patients as the primary stakeholders. The web sites we analyzed present information and depict patients in ways that confer agency, offering patients a number of ways to educate themselves and seek further services. Our analysis identifies crucial design elements of such web sites that could be implemented into current patient portals to increase patient empowerment in understanding and managing their care. Ultimately, the proposed model of "active patient engagement" can empower patients to learn about their health and engage more actively in medical discourse, potentially impacting health outcomes.
- Schmalz, M., Finn, A., & Taylor, H. (2014). Risk Management in Video Game Development Projects. 47th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS), pp. 4325-4334. http://doi.org/10.1109/HICSS.2014.534.
Abstract: The video game software industry has a reputation for volatile, chaotic projects yet, in spite of dramatic growth in global revenues, surprisingly little academic work has examined these projects. This study reports a preliminary investigation into this under-researched area. We interviewed eight video game producers from a range of companies, using a critical incident method to explore risk management practices and risk perceptions. Our results revealed that in lieu of formal risk management practices, these managers relied on prototyping, pre-production decision points, and agile approaches to contain risk on their projects. Among the risk factors mentioned, two are specific to the unique context of video game development. The risk of failing to match the development strategy to the project was identified as a major cause of problems during the development process, and a new risk—the ‘fun factor’—was a key element threatening the success of the final game release.