Photopiles: Flexibly organizing photographs collaboratively on a computer


When people work together sorting photos on a physical table, the style is fluid and informal -- very different from the structured file system hierarchies and grids that appear in typical computer programs. We set out to explore interfaces and interactions that are better suited to this less formal task style, beginning with studies of how a "pile" metaphor can be deployed in service of a digital photo-organizing tool on a computer table. Our goal is to provide more casual, flexible systems for everyday users. We have conducted several qualitative and quantitative investigations of tabletop use both with and without technology.