When tablets meet tabletops: The effect of tabletop size

Johannes Zagermann, Ulrike Pfeil, Roman Rädle, Hans Christian Jetter, Clemens Klokmose, Harald Reiterer

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingsConference contributionpeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


Cross-device collaboration with tablets is an increasingly popular topic in HCI. Previous work has shown that tabletonly collaboration can be improved by an additional shared workspace on an interactive tabletop. However, large tabletops are costly and need space, raising the question to what extent the physical size of shared horizontal surfaces really pays off. In order to analyse the suitability of smaller-thantabletop devices (e.g. tablets) as a low-cost alternative, we studied the effect of the size of a shared horizontal interactive workspace on users' attention, awareness, and efficiency during cross-device collaboration. In our study, 15 groups of two users executed a sensemaking task with two personal tablets (9.7") and a horizontal shared display of varying sizes (10.6", 27", and 55"). Our findings show that different sizes lead to differences in participants' interaction with the tabletop and in the groups' communication styles. To our own surprise we found that larger tabletops do not necessarily improve collaboration or sensemaking results, because they can divert users' attention away from their collaborators and towards the shared display.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCHI 2016 - Proceedings, 34th Annual CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781450333627
Publication statusPublished - 7 May 2016
Event34th Annual Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2016 - San Jose, United States
Duration: 7 May 201612 May 2016

Publication series

NameConference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Proceedings


Conference34th Annual Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2016
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Jose


  • Cross-device interaction
  • Display size
  • Group work
  • Tabletops
  • Tablets


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