The Design and Analysis of Large Display Groupware
Huang, Elaine M.
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Despite the proliferation of large-scale displays in the workplace, creating groupware applications that take advantage of their potential for collaboration and communication remains a challenge. Interactions with large displays yield user experiences that are quite different from interaction with conventional desktop groupware. Thus, unique hurdles exist for designing and deploying large display groupware applications (LDGAs) that are useful and adopted into actual work practice In this dissertation we uncover and address some of the primary challenges for large display groupware applications though the design, development, deployment and evaluation of LDGA systems, as well as through the analysis of existing deployed LDGA systems. We present novel LDGA designs that address the issues of information awareness and informal communication through the use of large shared displays in workplaces and describe the findings from evaluations of their deployments. We then discuss a broad study of several existing LDGAs that we conducted and a framework of adoption challenges that we subsequently derived. We describe the application of this framework to the design a large display groupware application for supporting lightweight communication among workgroup members. We also present a field study of the use of LDGAs within the context of multi-display environments, looking specifically at the display technologies used by NASA scientists and engineers for the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) missions. This work uncovers how the display environment provides flexible support for science tasks as collaboration styles and mission goals evolve. We offer suggestions for how LDGAs should be designed and evaluated in light of our findings regarding the roles of LDGAs within an ecology of displays. Finally, we use the results of this evaluation as input for further refining our framework for LDGA adoption challenges.