Activity Explorer

IBM, 2004-2006

Activity Explorer is an ad-hoc collaboration service that lets users mix collaboration styles such as chat, file sharing, and task management into a single interface.

  • Product concept
  • Product requirements
  • Interaction wireframes
  • Interactive prototypes
  • Design specifications

Activity Explorer began as a research project led by Werner Geyer and Li-te Cheng in IBM's Cambridge research lab. Activity Explorer is a peer-to-peer collaboration client that lets users collaborate with many different tools in an ad-hoc manner. All the work artifacts are automatically gathered together around an "activity" which can be shared with or kept private.

I worked with the research group to move the initial research prototype into the IBM Workplace client. After the Activity Explorer desktop client was released as part of IBM Workplace version 2.5, I began to investigate how Activity Explorer could be transformed from a client-based application to a web service that users could use primarily through a browser. I redesigned the service as a pared-down web app and created a prototype interface showing how a web app could replace and provide a superior user experience. This project became one of the core pillars that IBM Connections was based on, and changed how IBM approached building web applications.

I contributed to this IBM Systems Journal article describing the path that this project took from research, to product, to finally creating a new collaboration suite.

An overview of using activities.
Activity Explorer
Activity-centric computing's conceptual model.
Activity Explorer
The first web-based front end for activities.
Activity Explorer
Activity Explorer in the IBM Workplace client.