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The Study of Surface Computer Supported Cooperative Work and Its Design, Efficiency, and Challenges


Interactive Learning Environments Volume 20, Number 2, ISSN 1049-4820


In this study, a Surface Computer Supported Cooperative Work paradigm is proposed. Recently, multitouch technology has become widely available for human-computer interaction. We found it has great potential to facilitate more awareness of human-to-human interaction than personal computers (PCs) in colocated collaborative work. However, other studies and modern operating systems have rarely been concerned with colocated interactions in their user interface (UI) design. Therefore, one UI framework, which we have named Surface Application Framework (SAF), is proposed to support multitouch and multiuser applications on tabletop computers. To explore the effects of wide area SAFs on colocated collaboration, one application, capable of making English sentences, was developed based on an SAF. This application was used to conduct a user-centric study to investigate differences between surface computers and PCs. The results show that a surface computer performs better than a PC in creating awareness during collaborative work, but it requires more time due to its poor performance with drag-and-drop operations. Finally, this study summarizes a three-dimensional design approach to consider various trade-offs between awareness and manipulative performances. Additionally, some mechanisms are suggested to be employed to overcome the weakness of drag-and-drop operations with multitouch interfaces in a future study. (Contains 6 figures and 6 tables.)


Hwang, W.Y. & Su, J.H. (2012). The Study of Surface Computer Supported Cooperative Work and Its Design, Efficiency, and Challenges. Interactive Learning Environments, 20(2), 177-198. Retrieved January 19, 2021 from .

This record was imported from ERIC on April 19, 2013. [Original Record]

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