Publication: Costs, Clocks, and Habits: Design Issues for Elegant Peripheral Awareness Displays

A number of peripheral awareness displays have been invented for the computer desktop (e.g. IM clients, Tickertape [2], Sideshow [1]). These displays often provide valuable information, but they still have something of an uneasy relationship with the desktop. Users are often reluctant to give up screen space that they perceive as too valuable for mere awareness (e.g. [1]), and as a result, the awareness information is often difficult to retrieve. In this short paper, I consider the idea of information costs in the design of peripheral awareness displays. Information cost appears to be a fairly straightforward design factor, but the example of a simple wall clock shows that its relationship to peripheral awareness is subtle. Using the example of the clock, I consider how other factors interact with information costs to produce both elegance and peripherality.

Downloads

PDF

Participants

Carl Gutwin
University of Saskatchewan

Citation

Gutwin, C. 2003. Costs, Clocks, and Habits: Design Issues for Elegant Peripheral Awareness Displays. In Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems.

BibTeX

@inproceedings {clocks,
author= {Carl Gutwin},
title= {Costs, Clocks, and Habits: Design Issues for Elegant Peripheral Awareness Displays},
booktitle= {Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems},
year= {2003}
}