Literature about design suggests that a variety of alternatives leads to a higher quality final design. When software designers, either individually or together, are designing in front of the whiteboard, they rarely explore different solution alternatives. How can we help designers to explore more design alternatives for software problems? To achieve this, we are working on a process to facilitate designers to collaborate and produce high quality software designs while considering more solution alternatives.
Scientists are always working to determine which articles are interesting to them, timely, and relevant to their research. If working in an unfamiliar research area, searching for papers becomes even more difficult. By allowing users to vote on the prominence of links, social news sites like Slashdot, Digg, and reddit.com have addressed the issue of surfacing new and interesting content from across the internet. Moreover, they provide opportunities to provide context and comment on the content.
When a live site is down or time is of the essence, software teams mobilize to fix bugs as fast as possible. How might such important bugs be fixed more quickly? One answer is through crowdsourcing, where ad-hoc participants are each given small, self-contained microtasks that are then aggregated into an overall solution. To explore this idea, we are currently designing new techniques and tools for crowd debugging.
Microtask crowdsourcing systems such as FoldIt and ESP partition work into short, self-contained microtasks, reducing barriers to contribute, increasing parallelism, and reducing the time to complete work. Could this model be applied to software development? To explore this question, we are designing a development process and cloud-based IDE for crowd development.
Anti-social behavior such as flaming and griefing is pervasive and problematic in many online venues. This behavior breaks established norms and unsettles the well-being and development of online communities. In a popular online game, Riot Games's League of Legends, the game company received tens of thousands of complaints about others every day. To regulate what they call "toxic" behavior, Riot devised the "Tribunal" system as a way of letting the community to police itself. The Tribunal is a crowdsoucing system that empowers players to identify and judge misbehavior.