USING DISTORTION-ORIENTED DISPLAYS TO SUPPORT WORKSPACE AWARENESS
Desktop conferencing systems are now moving away from strict view-sharing and towards relaxed "what-you-see-is-what-I-see" (relaxed-WYSIWIS) interfaces, where distributed participants in a real time session can view different parts of a shared visual workspace. As with strict view-sharing, people using relaxed-WYSIWIS require a sense of \fIworkspace awareness\fR-the up-to-the-minute knowledge about another person's interactions with the shared workspace. The problem is deciding how to provide a user with an appropriate level of awareness of what other participants are doing when they are working in different areas of the workspace. In this paper, we propose \fIdistortion oriented displays\fR as a novel way of providing this awareness. These displays, which employ magnification lenses and fisheye view techniques, show global context and local detail within a single window, providing both peripheral and detailed awareness of other participants' actions. Three prototype inventions are presented as examples of groupware distortion-oriented displays: the fisheye text viewer, the offset lens, and the Ihead-up lens.