Usability analysis of tabletop systems-design properties and possibilities

Søren Knudsen


The traditional graphical user interface employing windows, icons, menus and pointers show weaknesses in face to face collaboration, and has done so during its lifetime. The hype of multi-touch technology marks a new and promising path for treading new lands in computer use. Tangible computing is another less hyped futuristic interaction method on the verge to mass media coverage. Discovering the differences and similarities of these two methods of interaction in face to face collaboration applications is not one possible, but needed, in order to understand, not just what to design, but how to design it. In the works, collaboration performance of the two interaction methods is held up in the light, fir everybody to perceive and evaluate the differences. It is shown, that the two interaction methods are rather collaborators than contestants – they augment each other well, showing strengths, where the other show weaknesses. It is described how a tabletop system, which supports both methods of interaction is designed, built and used for subsequent evaluations. The possibilities of a system, utilizing these interaction methods, in design of signal processing systems in a research group, is proposed, analyzed, and evaluated — although never fully implemented The major conclusion stemming from this work is, that that combination of multi-touch interaction and tangible computing should be experienced, in order to fully understand their possibilities. The single-most important problem facing this conclusion is, that these interaction systems don’t exist commercially yet.

Cite as
  1. Knudsen, Søren "Usability analysis of tabletop systems-design properties and possibilities." (2008)
  title = {Usability analysis of tabletop systems-design properties and possibilities},
  author = {Knudsen, S{\o}ren},
  year = {2008},
  school = {Technical University of Denmark, DTU, DK-2800 Kgs. Lyngby, Denmark}