Designing Single Display Groupware

Worth: 20%


You have been hired to create a demonstration of a single-display groupware (SDG) system that allows 2 to 4 people to interact over a single display using multiple mice and (optionally) multiple keyboards. Your demonstration illustrates at least one user control or object that gracefully reacts to multiple people using it simultaneously, which in turn is embedded in an application that exploits this user control or object.

You have complete freedom of your design, as long as you can show that the SDG user control/object and its containing application is useful for its intended audience, and that its design is somewhat impressive.  Several options of what you can do include:

  • create an SDG-equivalent to an existing user control/object and embed it in a productivity-type application
  • create a family of SDG-equivalents to an existing user control/object to show design diversity
  • create an SDG user control/object that would be a component of a game
  • start from scratch by thinking about how people work together and how it can be supported, and create a novel SDG user control/object  that encapsulates your idea
  • create a bimanual SDG user control/object


Lateral thinking: seeking to solve problems by unorthodox or apparently illogical methods. It is about moving sideways when working on a problem. It encourages people to apply different perceptions, different concepts and different points of entry to problem-solving. 
Exercise Objectives Pedagogical Objectives
Using your knowledge of single display groupware, you will design an SDG user control embedded in an application Apply your theoretical knowledge of Single Display Groupware and lateral thinking to generate design ideas.
You will generate sketched designs in your sketchbook of possible user control and their surrounding applications. Acquire first-time experiences brainstorming ideas and variations via sketches in a sketchbook
You will implement and package your design on the class web site so others can try it. Learn how to implement, package, install and document C# applications, user controls and class objects
You will create a portfolio summary of this design for the web and as a poster Acquire first-time experiences creating a portfolio summary
You will discuss and comment on other people's design Engage in design critiques

What you will be given

  1. SDG Tookit software, examples and documentation are available from -
    Click SDG Toolkit in the sidebar.
  2. An extra USB mouse will be given to each person. Spare keyboards will be offered on an as needed basis, as well as extra mice (but these are in limited supply).
  3. Various required and optional readings on SDG are listed below and on the Readings page
  4. These web sites may provide inspirations about project ideas:


Your exercise will be very loosely based on the following breakdown. However, great successes or failures in one exercise criteria will likely affect your total grade. Note that a successful implementation is required: if you cannot demonstrate your system, you will automatically receive a zero.

Suggested process

last updated Winter 2006 by Saul Greenberg