Conclusions

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This chapter reports on empirical research investigating the contextual requirements

concerning distributed event support for attending spectators. Thus the

research question raised was:

What are the contextual requirements for the design of spectator

information support at distributed events?

The studies indicate that information support is a supplement to the event

experience and of secondary interest for spectators in situ, as opposed to

those not located at the event. Spectators are likely to move between different

kinds of situations and modalities of mobility. In addition, there is a diversity

regarding in what activities spectators engage in. The following pointers are

contextual requirements and identified situations that need to be considered for

the design of support for the spectators:

• Supplement to the event

• Users are often involved in other activities besides listening to

information broadcasts; they seldom exclusively direct their attention

to it.

• General event information becomes of secondary interest, while

more detailed, specific information is a supplement that enhances the

event experience.

• Spectator mobility

• Spectators’ location varies extensively throughout the course of

events, as opposed to spectators in a conventional arena setting.

• Existing sources of information are situated at fixed locations.

Spectators continuously move around at the event, which results in

insufficient information support while being mobile.

• Situated content

• Spectators’ attention varies, it changes over time depending on the

situation at hand. It mainly alternates between social interactions

with fellow spectators and observing what is happening in the event.

• The need for specific event information varies on an individual level

based on interest and when and where you are situated.

Results suggest that seamless access to event information has the potential of

facilitating support throughout the event without spectators being forced to

recreate the conditions to make use of available information. Based on our

results, we have presented implications for design concerning future design

efforts. Context-aware capabilities can bring spectator support closer to

situated information access and content. Still, users must be allowed to have

influence on the system behavior in terms of how certain information should be

linked to the current use context. These features should not act blindly in an

automated fashion.

Distributed events are a rather novel target for field studies. It is yet a very

dynamic environment, both from the perspective of the events and the context

of the spectators. We suggest that this domain have the potential of contributing

to research into design for mobile IT support from a research, method and

technology point-of-view, with implications for both academia and the industry.

Future Work

The next step of this research is to further investigate the design of support for

spectators at sporting events. For instance, we are interested in conducting

empirical research on arena events, as opposed to distributed events, as well

as evaluating the effects of technology in use. Moreover, to study technology

in use yields research potential to explore how this affects and influence

spectators’ use of space, i.e., activity within the spatial layout, and opportunity

for interaction, as well as the study of technology-supported situated enactment.