Publication: Crossover: Tabletop Reaching Behaviour

Interactive tables are becoming increasingly common, but we still have little knowledge of fundamental group interactions over tables. We ran a paper-based study that demonstrates groups' no-crossing social norm: people consider it impolite to cross over or under another person's physical arm. To better understand differences in physical and digital worlds, we replicated the paper-based study on an interactive table. We found the no-crossing norm exists when using touch pens (with physical arms), but not with arm embodiments controlled by mice. We also found people violate the social norm with a realistic looking arm embodiment (a picture of their actual arm), but that introducing a social or performance cost can induce people to follow the social norm. Consequences for the design of interactive tables are discussed.


Andre Doucette
Coconut Software
Carl Gutwin
University of Saskatchewan
Regan Mandryk
University of Saskatchewan
Miguel Nacenta
University of St Andrews, University of Saskatchewan, University of Calgary
Sunny Sharma


Doucette, A., Gutwin, C., Mandryk, R.L., Nacenta, M.A., Sharma, S. 2012. Crossover: Tabletop Reaching Behaviour. In GRAND 2012, Montreal, PQ.


@inproceedings {
author= {Andre Doucette and Carl Gutwin and Regan Mandryk and Miguel Nacenta and Sunny Sharma},
title= {Crossover: Tabletop Reaching Behaviour},
booktitle= {GRAND 2012},
year= {2012},
address= {Montreal, PQ}