Milestone 2

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The goals for this week are to:

  • Learn about needfinding
  • Determine the needs of workers and requesters (from panels and from readings)

Learn about Needfinding

We covered the basics of needfinding in this week's meeting. You may also be interested in viewing Scott Klemmer's HCI lectures on needfinding: [1] [2] [3]

Attend a Panel to Hear from Workers and Requesters

There will be two panels on Hangouts on Air where we will have experienced workers and requesters discussing their experiences on crowdsourcing platforms (MTurk, oDesk, etc). You should to attend one to better understand the needs of workers and requesters:

  • Slot 1: 8:30 am PST (Pacific Time) / 10 pm IST (Indian Time) on Monday March 9th
  • Slot 2: 6 pm PST (Pacific Time) / 9 pm EST (Eastern Time) on Monday March 9th


What were the most salient insights you got from attending the panel?


Please Do needfinding with microtask workers and with requesters. The easy route would be to attend one of several Hangouts on Air led by workers and requesters. If you want to, go ahead and try to talk to people yourselves. If you want to do that, we recommend paying them. If you’re in India, for example, do you know any relatives who used to be on the platform before Amazon shut it down for Indians?

If you absolutely can’t make it, watch the videos.

Milestone: watch Klemmer’s coursera lecture on needfinding — the videos are on YouTube! (15min)

Invite: GigWalk/FancyHands/Wikipedia

Read: Being A Turker, Turkopticon, Panos Blogs, What is a Need

Submission: Needs for workers. Needs for requesters. —> group meeting: create slides that synthesize the main needs on each side


Watch Kelmmer's needfinding slides

Turker Panels

Attend one of the two panels:


Write a short response about what was the most salient insights you got from it.

For each of the papersWhat needs do the workers have? What were the

What are the needs for turkers that these papers discuss? What are the needs for requesters that are implicit in these papers?

Participate in the forums.

Synthesize needs

for workers and requesters, what are the things that workers need? what are the things that requesters need?

example of worker need: workers need to be respected example of requester need: requesters need to trust the results they get from workers

a set of bullet points for each of workers and requesters

Readings: Worker Needs

Please skim over the following papers. They're copyrighted, so please don't redistribute. You need to be signed in to view them.


Irani L C, Silberman M. Turkopticon: Interrupting worker invisibility in amazon mechanical turk. Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. ACM, 2013: 611-620.

If you are able to access Mechanical Turk, you can go try Turkopticon yourself by installing the Chrome Extension (however, this part is optional).

Being a Turker

Martin D, Hanrahan B V, O'Neill J, et al. Being a turker. Proceedings of the 17th ACM conference on Computer supported cooperative work & social computing. ACM, 2014: 224-235.


For the "Turkopticon", "Being a Turker", and , please answer the following:

What worker needs are discussed or implied in the reading? What requester needs are discussed or implied in the reading?

Optional but Recommended Materials

The below materials are optional but recommended.

If you are able to access Mechanical Turk, you can explore turkopticon! this is optional but encouraged

The People Inside Your Machine - an NPR series on Turkers



Narula P, Gutheim P, Rolnitzky D, et al. MobileWorks: A Mobile Crowdsourcing Platform for Workers at the Bottom of the Pyramid. Human Computation, 2011, 11: 11.


Gupta A, Thies W, Cutrell E, et al. mClerk: enabling mobile crowdsourcing in developing regions. Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. ACM, 2012: 1843-1852.

Flash Teams

Retelny D, Robaszkiewicz S, To A, et al. Expert crowdsourcing with flash teams. Proceedings of the 27th annual ACM symposium on User interface software and technology. ACM, 2014: 75-85.

Other Recommended Readings

These readings are optional (you don't need to write up on them), but recommended:

My MTurk (half) Workday


For each system, please write down:

  • What do you like about the system / what are its strengths?
  • What do you think can be improved about the system?

Submit on Crowdgrader

Crowdgrader submit link and instructions go here

Fill out this week's survey

Please help us improve our how did you like by filling out this survey.