Proceedings: GI 2007

The effects of interaction technique on coordination in tabletop groupware

Miguel Nacenta, David Pinelle, Dane Stuckel, Carl Gutwin

Proceedings of Graphics Interface 2007: Montréal, Québec, Canada, 28 - 30 May 2007, 191-198

DOI 10.1145/1268517.1268550

  • BibTex

    author = {Nacenta, Miguel and Pinelle, David and Stuckel, Dane and Gutwin, Carl},
    title = {The effects of interaction technique on coordination in tabletop groupware},
    booktitle = {Proceedings of Graphics Interface 2007},
    series = {GI 2007},
    year = {2007},
    issn = {0713-5424},
    isbn = {978-1-56881-337-0},
    location = {Montr{\'e}al, Qu{\'e}bec, Canada},
    pages = {191--198},
    numpages = {8},
    doi = {10.1145/1268517.1268550},
    acmdoi = {10.1145/1268517.1268550},
    publisher = {Canadian Human-Computer Communications Society},
    address = {University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada},


The interaction techniques that are used in tabletop groupware systems (such as pick-and-drop or pantograph) can affect the way that people collaborate. However, little is known about these effects, making it difficult for designers to choose appropriate techniques when building tabletop groupware. We carried out an exploratory study to determine how several different types of interaction techniques (pantograph, telepointers, radar views, drag-and-drop, and laser beam) affected coordination and awareness in two tabletop tasks (a game and a storyboarding activity). We found that the choice of interaction technique significantly affected coordination measures, performance measures, and preference - but that the effects were different for the two different tasks. Our study shows that the choice of tabletop interaction technique does indeed matter, and provides insight into how tabletop systems can better support group work.