The Mysterious Whiteboard

Abstract : This paper raises the question of why electronic whiteboards are not ubiquitous. The paper provides a design-oriented analysis of traditional as well as electronic whiteboards in the context of collaborative and individual activities. We offer a novel perspective on whiteboards for collaborative activity based on a survey of the electronic whiteboard literature, a series of interviews with users of traditional whiteboards, and concepts rooted in Activity Theory. We identify a number of characteristics of the non-electronic whiteboard that are important to understand and preserve in the design of electronic whiteboard systems. Most importantly, we argue that the strength of non-electronic whiteboards is a combination of their simplicity and stability as well as a discontinuity between material on and outside of the whiteboard. We argue that the non-electronic whiteboard has uses and properties, which will require an electronic substitute to differ fundamentally in design compared to our traditional personal computing devices as well as most designs seen today. We present a set of themes for design of future electronic whiteboard systems that emphasize limitations as a main design principle. We conclude with three principles for design: The idea of installation rather than application; the principle of supplementing rather than replacing; and finally the principle of embracing and enhancing discontinuities.
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Clemens Klokmose, Olav Bertelsen. The Mysterious Whiteboard. 14th International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction (INTERACT), Sep 2013, Cape Town, South Africa. pp.37-54, ⟨10.1007/978-3-642-40480-1_3⟩. ⟨hal-01501773⟩

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