Exploring the Effects of Group Size and Table Size on Interactions with Tabletop Shared-Display Groupware

Kathy Ryall, Clifton Forlines, Chia Shen, Meredith Ringel Morris
CSCW: ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work: Workshop on Shared Environments to Support Face-to-Face Collaboration, 2004
Interactive tabletops have been previously proposed and studied in the domain of co-located group applications. However, little fundamental research has been done to explore the issue of size. In this paper we identify a number of size considerations for tabletop design, and present an experiment to explore some of these issues, in particular the effects of group size and table size on the speed at which the task was performed, the distribution of work among group members, issues of shared resources, and user preference for table size. Our findings shed light on (1) how work strategies are affected by group size, (2) how social interaction varies with respect to table size, and (3) how the speed of task performance is influenced by group size but not by table size. In addition, our experiments revealed that for larger groups, designers might need to add additional vertical displays for shared information. This finding opens the door for extending singledisplay groupware to shared-display groupware settings that involve multiple, shared displays.