Proceedings: GI + CHI 1987

A multiple, virtual-workspace interface to support user task switching

Stuart Card, Austin Henderson

Proceedings of the SIGCHI/GI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems and Graphics Interface: Toronto, Ontario, Canada, 5 - 9 April 1987, 53-59

DOI 10.1145/29933.30860

  • BibTex

    @inproceedings{Card:1987:10.1145/29933.30860,
    author = {Card, Stuart and Henderson, Austin},
    title = {A multiple, virtual-workspace interface to support user task switching},
    booktitle = {Proceedings of the SIGCHI/GI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems and Graphics Interface},
    series = {GI + CHI 1987},
    year = {1987},
    issn = {0713-5425},
    isbn = {0-89791-213-6},
    location = {Toronto, Ontario, Canada},
    pages = {53--59},
    numpages = {7},
    doi = {10.1145/29933.30860},
    acmdoi = {10.1145/29933.30860},
    publisher = {Association for Computing Machinery},
    address = {New York, NY, USA},
    }

Abstract

An interface is presented that is designed to help users switch among tasks on which they are concurrently working. Nine desirable properties for such an interface are derived. It is argued that a key constraint to building interfaces that support task switching is that low user-overhead switching among tasks requires a large amount of display space, whereas actual display space is limited. A virtual workspace design is presented that greatly speeds the inevitable task-switching induced window faulting. The resulting interface is presented as a study in theory-based human-interface design. It is shown how in this case theory is important in inspiring a design, but design entailments outside the theory raise new issues that must be faced to make the design viable. These design experiences, in turn, help inspire new theory.