Individual Audio Channels with Single Display Groupware: Effects on Communication and Task Strategy

Meredith Ringel Morris, Dan Morris, Terry Winograd
CSCW: ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work: Workshop on Shared Environments to Support Face-to-Face Collaboration, 2004
We introduce a system that allows four users to each receive sound from a private audio channel while using a shared tabletop display. In order to explore how private audio channels affect a collaborative work environment, we conducted a user study with this system. The results reveal differences in work strategies when groups are presented with individual versus public audio, and suggest that the use of private audio does not impede group communication and may positively impact group dynamics. We discuss the findings, as well as their implications for the design of future audio-based “single display privacyware” systems.