ZOIL, available via zoil.codeplex.com.
We also thank the German Research
Foundation DFG for funding this research
project (Grant No. RE 1843/3-1).
researchers and practitioners working in the field of interaction design
already have access to the kind of
technology we employ in our systems and certainly can make more
use of it for improving their own
However, one of the crucial lessons we learned is that these tools
must be designed very carefully,
since too much digital functionality
may conflict with established work
practices and workflows. When
we eventually put our systems to
the test and compare them with
physical practice, we realize that
we always have to make compromises—trade-offs between what we
aimed to preserve of the material
and spatial characteristics and what
we had to give up in the favor of
using technology to augment these
activities with digital power. We
therefore argue that these decisions
have to be designed in a structured
and thoughtful way.
During the design of our sys-
tems, we followed a reality-based
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approach, which allowed for an
in-depth understanding of the relations between physical practices
and digital technology [ 7]. Our
methodology is based on intensive
situated observations and qualitative analyses of real-world practice.
These investigations allow for identifying potential benefits and drawbacks of the social, physical, bodily,
and environmental aspects, such
as material artifacts and spatial
work surfaces. Based on explicit
trade-off decisions, we further map
these characteristics iteratively
onto our design space. By following
this controlled approach, we have
shaped a methodology for addressing these trade-off decisions in a
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Florian Geyer is a Ph.D. student in
the Human-Computer Interaction
Group at the University of
Konstanz, Germany. In his
research he explores novel
approaches for supporting collab-
orative design activities and creativity methods with
computation-augmented design studio settings.
His work was recently awarded with an Honorable
Mention for Best Contribution to Creative
Communication (ACM Creativity & Cognition Award
We thank our collaborators Ulrike
Pfeil, Jochen Budzinski, Anita Höchtl,
Hans-Christian Jetter, and Michael
Zöllner for their remarkable support. All described prototypes were
implemented using our framework
Harald Reiterer is a professor in
the Department of Computer and
Information Science at the
University of Konstanz, Germany
and head of the Human-
Computer Interaction lab. He
established the lab in 1997 with
an initial focus on visual information seeking sys-
tems. In the last few years his research has shifted
toward more holistic interaction paradigms for the
March + April 2012
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