Proactive displays: Supporting awareness in fluid social environments

David W. McDonald, Joseph F. McCarthy, Suzanne Soroczak, David H. Nguyen, Al M. Rashid

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


Academic conferences provide a social space for people to present their work and interact with one another. However, opportunities for interaction are unevenly distributed among the attendees. We seek to extend the opportunities for interaction among attendees by using technology to enable them to reveal information about their background and interests in different settings. We evaluate a suite of applications that augment three physical social spaces at an academic conference. The applications were designed to augment formal conference paper sessions and informal breaks. A mixture of qualitative observation and survey response data are used to frame the impacts from both individual and group perspectives. Respondents reported on their interactions and serendipitous findings of shared interests with other attendees. However, some respondents also identify distracting aspects of the augmentation. Our discussion relates these results to existing theory of group behavior in public places and how these social space augmentations relate to awareness as well as the problem of shared interaction models.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number16
JournalACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Augmented social spaces
  • Awareness
  • Evaluation
  • Proactive display


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