The Open UniversitySkip to content

Designing for Shareable Interfaces in the Wild

Morris, Richard Stuart (2014). Designing for Shareable Interfaces in the Wild. PhD thesis. The Open University.

Full text available as:
PDF (Version of Record) - Requires a PDF viewer such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader
Download (34MB) | Preview
Google Scholar: Look up in Google Scholar


Despite excitement about the potential of interactive tabletops to support collaborative work, there have been few empirical demonstrations of their effectiveness (Marshall et al., 2011). In particular, while lab-based studies have explored the effects of individual design features, there has been a dearth of studies evaluating the success of systems in the wild. For this technology to be of value, designers and systems builders require a better understanding of how to develop and evaluate tabletop applications to be deployed in real world settings.

This dissertation reports on two systems designed through a process that incorporated ethnography-style observations, iterative design and in the wild evaluation. The first study focused on collaborative learning in a medical setting. To address the fact that visitors to a hospital emergency ward were leaving with an incomplete understanding of their diagnosis and treatment, a system was prototyped in a working Emergency Room (ER) with doctors and patients. The system was found to be helpful but adoption issues hampered its impact. The second study focused on a planning application for visitors to a tourist information centre. Issues and opportunities for a successful, contextually-fitted system were addressed and it was found to be effective in supporting group planning activities by novice users, in particular, facilitating users’ first experiences, providing effective signage and offering assistance to guide the user through the application.

This dissertation contributes to understanding of multi-user systems through literature review of tabletop systems, collaborative tasks, design frameworks and evaluation of prototypes. Some support was found for the claim that tabletops are a useful technology for collaboration, and several issues were discussed. Contributions to understanding in this field are delivered through design guidelines, heuristics, frameworks, and recommendations, in addition to the two case studies to help guide future tabletop system creators.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Copyright Holders: 2014 Richard Morris
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) > Computing and Communications
Research Group: Centre for Research in Computing (CRC)
Item ID: 41362
Depositing User: Ricky Morris
Date Deposited: 24 Dec 2014 11:32
Last Modified: 11 Jun 2020 23:12
Share this page:

Download history for this item

These details should be considered as only a guide to the number of downloads performed manually. Algorithmic methods have been applied in an attempt to remove automated downloads from the displayed statistics but no guarantee can be made as to the accuracy of the figures.

Actions (login may be required)

Policies | Disclaimer

© The Open University   contact the OU