Technical Reports

The ICICS/CS Reading Room

UBC CS TR-2006-05 Summary

“What I Want, Where I Want:” Reference Material Use in Tabletop Work, March 19, 2006 A. Tang and S. Fels, 4 pages

Usable digital tabletop design hinges on a deep understanding of people’s natural work practices over traditional tables. We present an ethnographic study of engineering project teams that highlights the use of reference material—artifacts not the primary product or focus of work activity, but referred to or inspected while the work activity is carried out—in tabletop work. We show how the variety of reference material forms and their role in tabletop work suggest that digital tabletop systems must recognize external artifacts and should allow reconfiguration of external work surfaces and information.

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