BlueBoards in Use: Large Public Displays for Collaboration

Dan Russell, IBM Almaden Research,

Seminar on People, Computers, and Design
Stanford University September 28, 2001

Large displays have several natural affordances that should make it simple to support collaborative work. They are large enough to hold multiple work areas, they are easy to see and can be manipulated directly via touch. The BlueBoard is a large plasma display with touch sensing and a badge reader to identify individuals using the board. The onboard software acts as a thin client giving access to each participants web-based content (e.g., home pages, project pages). The client also has a set of tools and mechanisms that support rapid exchange of content between those present.

The overall design of the BlueBoard is one that is easily learnable (under 5 minutes), very simple to use, and permits novel uses for collaboration. Our initial field study revealed a number of social issues about the use of a large display surface, yet indicates that a shared public display space really has distinct properties that lend themselves to sharing content. Extreme learnability & overall simplicity of design makes BlueBoard a tool for collaboration that supports intermittent, but effective use for side-by-side collaboration between colleagues.

In this talk I'll demonstrate the BlueBoard, showing its collaboration mechanisms and some early results from a field trial.

Daniel M. Russell is the head of the User Sciences and Experience Research (USER) lab at IBM's Almaden Research Center (San José, CA). Prior to his engagement at IBM, Dan managed the User Experience Research group at Xerox Palo Alto Research Center. Until September of 1997, Dan was the Director of the Knowledge Management Technologies laboratory within Apple's Advanced Technology Group (ATG). Before KMT, he managed Apple's User Experience Research group. Prior to joining Apple in 1993, Dan was a Member of the Research Staff at Xerox PARC in the User Interface Research group studying uses of information visualization techniques. Dan also teaches widely on topics of hypermedia, artificial intelligence and user interface design, with experience in both the graduate programs of Stanford and Santa Clara Universities, as well as many conference tutorials, keynotes and presentations. Dr. Russell received his B.S. in Information and Computer Science from U.C. Irvine, and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Computer Science from the University of Rochester, New York.

View this talk on line at CS547 on Stanford OnLine

Titles and abstracts for all years are available by year and by speaker.

For more information about HCI at Stanford see

Overview Degrees Courses Research Faculty FAQ