Establishing Awareness through Pointing Gestures during Collaborative Decision-Making in a Wall-Display Environment


Maquil V., Anastasiou D., Afkari H., Coppens A., Hermen J., Schwartz L.


Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Proceedings, art. no. 104, 2023


Sharing a physical environment, such as that of a wall-display, facilitates gaining awareness of others' actions and intentions, thereby bringing benefits for collaboration. Previous studies have provided first insights on awareness in the context of tabletops or smaller vertical displays. This paper seeks to advance the current understanding on how users share awareness information in wall-display environments and focusses on mid-air pointing gestures as a foundational part of communication. We present a scenario dealing with the organization of medical supply chains in crisis situations, and report on the results of a user study with 24 users, split into 6 groups of 4, performing several tasks. We investigate pointing gestures and identify three subtypes used as awareness cues during face-to-face collaboration: narrative pointing, loose pointing, and sharp pointing. Our observations show that reliance on gesture subtypes varies across participants and groups, and that sometimes vague pointing is sufficient to support verbal negotiations.



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