Project Overviews





    The T-SQAIRE Project

    Table Space for Queries and Architectural Image Retrieval

    The T-SQUAIR project explores how the affordances of digital desk computing environments (size, horizontality, luminousity, and pen input) can improve information access during design tasks. We are interested in how this environment can help with information visualization and in studying ways of integrating paper and digital document collections. We have completed user studies using various image-based organization tasks on the digital desk, a digital tablet, and a desktop PC.

    Our studies found that the desk was strongly dispreferred for image sorting and only partially preferred for sketching. The desk did only as well as the tablet in qualitative evaluation of the sketching tasks and much worse than either the tablet or the monitor in image sorting. Quantitative results show more sorting mistakes on the desk than other environment and significantly longer times to complete the image sorting task on the desk.

    Although the desk's display produces a lower image resolution than the other devices, the participants did not indicate that this was problematic. The primary liability of the projected display was the parallax problem resulting from an increased distance from the displayed image to the interaction surface. This has interesting implications for technology development because it suggests that slimming the display surface to improve pen-alignment should take precedence over increasing the resolution.

    The studies also found that pen performance is critical for architects' satisfaction with a computer-based sketching environment, and the poor pen alignment on the desk is a significant obstacle to its acceptance by architects.


    Elliott, A., and Hearst, M., A Comparison of the Affordances of a Digital Desk and Tablet for Architectural Image Use Tasks, in the International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, 56 (2), February 2002, 173-197.   pdf  ps

    Elliot, A., and Hearst, M., How Large Should a Digital Desk Be? Qualitative Results of a Comparative Study, in Proceedings of ACM CHI 00 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, Conference Companion, Late-Breaking Papers, April, 2000. PDF


    Overview of UI's for Information Access in architecture.