Publication: Evaluating Teamwork Support in Tabletop Groupware Applications Using Collaboration Usability Analysis

Tabletop groupware systems have natural advantages for collaboration, but they present a challenge for application designers because shared work and interaction progress in different ways than in desktop systems. As a result, tabletop systems still have problems with usability. We have developed a usability evaluation technique, T-CUA, that focuses attention on teamwork issues and that can help designers determine whether prototypes provide adequate support for the basic actions and interactions that are fundamental to table-based collaboration. We compared T-CUA with expert review in a user study where 12 evaluators assessed an early tabletop prototype using one of the two evaluation methods. The group using T-CUA found more teamwork problems and found problems in more areas than those using expert review; in addition, participants found T-CUA to be effective and easy to use. The success of T-CUA shows the benefits of using a set of activity primitives as the basis for discount usability techniques.

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Participants

David Pinelle
College of Medicine, University of Saskatchewan
Carl Gutwin
University of Saskatchewan

Projects

Evaluating Groupware Usability
Many organizations, particularly in the design and manufacturing sectors, are becoming increasingly distributed.
Interaction Techniques for Digital Tables
Digital tables allow people to interact with computer workspaces that are projected onto tabletops.

Citation

Pinelle, D., Gutwin, C. 2008. Evaluating Teamwork Support in Tabletop Groupware Applications Using Collaboration Usability Analysis. In Personal and Ubiquitous Computing, 237-254. DOI=10.1007/s00779-007-0145-4.

BibTeX

@article {CUA-tabletop,
author= {David Pinelle and Carl Gutwin},
title= {Evaluating Teamwork Support in Tabletop Groupware Applications Using Collaboration Usability Analysis},
booktitle= {Personal and Ubiquitous Computing},
year= {2008},
pages= {237-254}
}