LiveBoard Meeting Support and the Whiteboard User Interface Metaphor

Tom Moran, Xerox Parc

Seminar on People, Computers, and Design
Stanford University December 9, 1992


Our goal is to support the intellectual activity of small working meetings, both localized and distributed, both to enhance the activity and to capture it for communication and integration into larger working contexts. One of the technological levers we are exploring for this is the Xerox LiveBoard, which is a "computerized whiteboard for document conferencing," and in particular a software application called Tivoli. Tivoli allows users to treat the LiveBoard as a simple multi-page whiteboard that they can scribble on with electronic pens. Pen-based interaction in this context opens up new user interface techniques, such as gesturing and wiping. Being electronic, simultaneous whiteboard activity can be shared dynamically with connected Tivolis. The LiveBoard and Tivoli are part of a vision of ubiquitous computing in which computation "disappears into the woodwork" and thus integrates into normal work activities and practices. I'll show the LiveBoard and demonstrate Tivoli with a few video clips. Finally, I'd like to reflect on the significance of the whiteboard metaphor as a basis for rethinking the standard graphic user interface paradigm and more generally as a part of an attempt to deformalize human-computer interaction.


Tom Moran is a Principal Scientist at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center. He is currently acting manager for the Collaborative Systems Area. Before that he was the first director of the Xerox EuroPARC lab in Cambridge, England, and before that manager of the User-Systems Research Area at PARC. He is the author (with Stu Card and Allen Newell) of the book "The Psychology of Human-Computer Interaction" (1983) and is currently co-editing (with Jack Carroll) a book on Design Rationale. He is the Editor of the journal Human-Computer Interaction.


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