Chayan Kumar Deb |

Collaborative Task Assignment on Tabletop Computer

Guide Dr Jignesh Khakhar
Sponsor Self Sponsered
Keywords Microsoft Surface 2.0, multi-touch;screen-level schematics;task assignment

This project studied tabletop computers as an emerging area in Natural User Interfaces (NUI), in an attempt to understand and build on its distinctive properties such as its horizontal form factor and multi-touch abilities. It also aims to understand the advantages of face-to-face collaboration over computer-mediated collaboration.

The preliminary investigation included enquiring into and defining of a few important terms such as “natural user interfaces”, “direct manipulation”, “tangible user interfaces”, and “computer-supported cooperative work”. A series of precedent studies encompassing well established products to experimental projects were done.

To gain richer insights into task assignment, activity, and user behaviour undertaking it, a few interviews were conducted. The research led to a mind-map and a re-evaluation of the project brief. Functional wireframes with screen-level schematics representing the skeletal framework for each page were created. The wireframes were realised into a high fidelity functional prototype on Microsoft Surface 2.0.

The project concluded as a prototype of the task assignment application on a tabletop computer for project managers to discuss and allocate tasks. The application can be designed to act as a platform for team members to view unassigned tasks and gauge the project development. The table is being imagined as a place where apart from task assignment meetings, casual discussions can also take place. Although the initial brief was open-ended, the project was conducted in a top -down manner that is, starting wide and then working down to a specific area and the brought to a satisfactory conclusion.
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