Proceedings: GI 1996

Awareness through fisheye views in relaxed-WYSIWIS groupware

Saul Greenberg, Carl Gutwin, Andy Cockburn

Proceedings of Graphics Interface '96: Toronto, Ontario, Canada, 22 - 24 May 1996, 28-38

DOI 10.20380/GI1996.04

  • BibTeX

     title = {Awareness through fisheye views in relaxed-WYSIWIS groupware},
     author = {Saul Greenberg and Carl Gutwin and Andy Cockburn},
     booktitle = {Proceedings of the Graphics Interface 1996 Conference, May 22-24, 1996, Toronto, Ontario, Canada},
     year = {1996},
     month = {May},
     isbn = {0-9695338-5-3},
     publisher = {Canadian Human-Computer Communications Society},
     url = {},
     pages = {28--38}


Desktop conferencing systems are now shifting from strict view-sharing towards relaxed what-you-see-is-what-I-see" interfaces, where distributed participants in a real time session can view different parts of a shared visual workspace. As with strict view-sharing, people using relaxed-WYSIWIS require a sense of workspace awareness-the up-to-the-minute knowledge about another person's interactions with the shared workspace. The problem is deciding how to provide a user with an appropriate level of awareness of what other participants are doing when they are working in different areas of the workspace. In this paper, we summarize requirements for workspace awareness, identify limitations of existing groupware solutions, and propose as a replacement fisheye views that show both global context and local detail within a single window. Within groupware, these displays provide: a) peripheral awareness of other participants by showing their position and actions in the global context; b) detailed awareness of interactions by assigning multiple focal points for each participant, and by magnifying the areas where they are working. Two groupware prototypes illustrate these concepts: a fisheye graph browser, and a fisheye text viewer."