Understanding and mitigating display and presence disparity in mixed presence groupware
Anthony Tang, Michael Boyle, and Saul Greenberg. (2005). Understanding and mitigating display and presence disparity in mixed presence groupware. Journal of research and practice in information technology 37, 2: 193–210. Notes: Invited article.
Mixed Presence Groupware (MPG) supports both co-located and distributed participants working over a shared visual workspace. It does so by connecting multiple single-display groupware workspaces together through a shared data structure. Our implementation and observations of MPG systems exposes two problems: the first is display disparity, where connecting heterogeneous displays introduces issues in how people are seated around the workspace and how workspace artifacts are oriented; the second problem is presence disparity, where the perceived presence of collaborators is markedly different depending on whether they are co-located or remote. Presence disparity is likely caused by inadequate consequential communication between remote participants, which in turn disrupts group collaborative and communication dynamics. To mitigate display and presence disparity problems, we determine virtual seating positions and replace conventional telepointers with digital arm shadows that extend from a person’s side of the table to their pointer location.