Understanding and Designing for Physically Large Displays


May 10, 2004


Desney Tan


Carnegie Mellon University


Physically large displays are becoming prevalent in the workplace. Although many researchers have articulated qualitative benefits of large displays, little has been done to quantify and exploit these benefits. In the first part of my talk, I will show that information elicits fundamentally different cognitive reactions when presented on a large wall-sized display as compared to a smaller display, even when viewed at identical visual angles. I will describe a series of experiments that show how physically large displays immerse users within virtual environments and increase performance on certain kinds of spatial tasks. In the second part of my talk, I will present WinCuts, an interaction technique designed to support collaboration on large displays. This technique allows users to easily create live replicas of arbitrary window regions. Each of these replicas, which we call a WinCut, may be used locally or displayed on a remote machine. I will discuss how this technique is useful in a wide range of scenarios including both single and multiple devices.


Desney Tan

Desney Tan is a PhD candidate in the Computer Science Department at Carnegie Mellon University. His research interests in Human-Computer Interaction focus on creating systems and interfaces that increase user productivity. Specifically, he is interested in understanding and designing systems that exploit two emerging technology trends: (1) large displays distributed throughout the workplace; and (2) the shift from individual desktop computers to richer computing environments consisting of multiple devices, including laptops, tablet PCs, personal digital assistants, and cell phones. Desney was awarded the National Science and Technology Board Fellowship in 2001, an Agency for Science, Technology, and Research Fellowship in 2002, and a Microsoft Research Graduate Fellowship in 2003. For more information, see http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~desney