Designing to Support Workspace Awareness in Remote Collaboration using 2D Interactive Surfaces
Doctoral thesis, 2019
Increasing distributions of the global workforce are leading to collaborative workamong remote coworkers. The emergence of such remote collaborations is essentiallysupported by technology advancements of screen-based devices ranging from tabletor laptop to large displays. However, these devices, especially personal and mobilecomputers, still suffer from certain limitations caused by their form factors, that hinder supporting workspace awareness through non-verbal communication suchas bodily gestures or gaze. This thesis thus aims to design novel interfaces andinteraction techniques to improve remote coworkers’ workspace awareness throughsuch non-verbal cues using 2D interactive surfaces.The thesis starts off by exploring how visual cues support workspace awareness infacilitated brainstorming of hybrid teams of co-located and remote coworkers. Basedon insights from this exploration, the thesis introduces three interfaces for mobiledevices that help users maintain and convey their workspace awareness with their coworkers. The first interface is a virtual environment that allows a remote person to effectively maintain his/her awareness of his/her co-located collaborators’ activities while interacting with the shared workspace. To help a person better express his/her hand gestures in remote collaboration using a mobile device, the second interfacepresents a lightweight add-on for capturing hand images on and above the device’sscreen; and overlaying them on collaborators’ device to improve their workspace awareness. The third interface strategically leverages the entire screen space of aconventional laptop to better convey a remote person’s gaze to his/her co-locatedcollaborators. Building on the top of these three interfaces, the thesis envisions an interface that supports a person using a mobile device to effectively collaborate with remote coworkers working with a large display.Together, these interfaces demonstrate the possibilities to innovate on commodity devices to offer richer non-verbal communication and better support workspace awareness in remote collaboration.
2D interactive surfaces