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Figure 2. Using a laptop on the corner of a beverage trolley [ 4].
the present-day multidevice
environment implies having
additional tasks of transferring operation and data across
devices and places. For this,
users must be conscious of the
various technological “seams”
working counter to their goals,
such as discontinuities in connectivity or electricity.
The workers exhibited intricate knowledge of the supportive and constraining factors
particularly in local and frequently visited places. For other
kinds of trips they had to choose
strategies that addressed uncertainty over possible seams.
Some workers used server
backups that they knew they
could access in a place with
a wireless connection. When
anticipation was not possible or
desired due to cognitive cost,
users disciplined themselves to
take backups of important files
on their smartphone, for example, when going on a longer trip.
If, for some reason, the laptop
was not available, a product presentation would then be available from the smartphone. Such
“just in case” backup devices
were taken along also on shorter
trips within the office, where
there was a possibility of
encountering an important colleague.
The workers also employed
a variety of strategies to share
documents between their
devices. Each device provides
different affordances to access
information, and users were
sensitive to those. Some users
did “data mirroring,” copying
files to the smartphone for read
only. Two-way synchronization, updating file versions on
each device after each update,
was the most laborsome strategy as it required its adopter
to discipline herself to do it,
for example, in the mornings.
When upcoming situations were
predictable, a worker could get
by with opportunistic synchronization of a single device.