Interaction Design for Mixed-Focus Collaboration in Cross-Device Environments
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The proliferation of interactive technologies has resulted in a multitude of form factors for computer devices, such as tablets and phones, and large tabletop and wall displays. Investigating how these devices may be used together as Cross-Device Environments (XDEs) to facilitate collaboration is an active area of research in Human Computer Interaction (HCI) and Computer-Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW). The research community has explored the role of personal and shared devices in supporting group work and has introduced a number of cross-device interaction techniques to enable interaction among devices in an XDE. However, there is little understanding of how the interface design of those techniques may change the way people conduct collaboration, which, in turn, could influence the outcome of the activity. This thesis studies the impact of cross-device interaction techniques on collaborative processes. In particular, I investigated how interface design of cross-device interaction techniques may impact communication and coordination during group work. First, I studied the impact of two specific cross-device interaction techniques on collaboration in an XDE comprised of tablets and a tabletop. The findings confirmed that the choice of interaction techniques mattered when it came to facilitating both independent and joint work periods during group work. The study contributes knowledge towards problematizing the impact of cross-device interaction techniques on collaboration in HCI research. This early work gave rise to deeper questions regarding coordination in cross-device transfer and leveraging that to support the flexibility of work periods in collaborative activities. Consequently, I explored a range of interface design choices that varied the degree of synchronicity in coordinating data transfer across two devices. Additionally, I studied the impact of those interface designs on collaborative processes. My findings resulted in design considerations as well as adapting a synchronicity framework to articulate the impact of cross-device transfer techniques on collaboration. While performing the two research projects, I identified a need for a tool to articulate the impact of specific user interface elements on collaboration. Through a series of case studies, I developed a visual framework that researchers can use as a formative and summative method to understand if a given interaction technique hinders or supports collaboration in the specific task context. I discuss the contributions of my work to the field of HCI, design implications beyond the environments studied, and future research directions to build on and extend my findings.
Cite this version of the work
Leila Homaeian (2022). Interaction Design for Mixed-Focus Collaboration in Cross-Device Environments. UWSpace. http://hdl.handle.net/10012/18159