Interfaces In Public Spaces

Designing for Bystanders

Polar Defense: Large Public Display Gaming
This paper presents the design and deployment of Polar Defence, an interactive game for a large public display. We designed this display based on a model of “users” and their interactions with large public displays in public spaces, which we derived from prior work. We conducted a four-day user study of this system in a public space to evaluate the game and its impact on the surrounding environment. Our analysis showed that the installation successfully encouraged participation among strangers, and that its design and deployment addressed many of the challenges described by prior research literature. Finally, we reflect on this deployment to provide design guidance to other researchers building large interactive public displays for public spaces.

Finke, M., Tang, A., Leung, R. & Blackstock, M. (2008). Lessons Learned: Game Design for Large Public Displays. In Proceedings of the 3rd international Conference on Digital Interactive Media in Entertainment and Arts (DIMEA 2008). (September 10-12, Athens, Greece). ACM Press. pp: 26-33. (conference - Acceptance: 59/77 - 77%)

In this paper, we reflect on the design and deployment process of MAGICBoard, a public display deployed in a university setting that solicits the electronic votes and opinions of bystanders on trivial but amusing topics. We focus on the consequences of our design choices with respect to encouraging bystanders to interact with the public display. Bystanders are individuals around the large display who may never fully engage with the application itself, but are potential contributors to the system. Drawing on our recent experiences with MAGICBoard, we present a classification of bystanders, and then discuss three design themes relevant to the design of systems for bystander use: graduated proximal engagement, lowering barriers for interaction and supporting covert engagement.

Tang, A., Finke, M., Blackstock, M., Leung, R., Deutscher, M., and Lea, R. (2008). Designing for Bystanders: Reflections on Building a Public Digital Forum. In Proceedings of the SIGCHI conference on Human factors in computing systems (CHI 2008). (April 5-10, Florence, Italy). ACM Press. pp: 879-882. (conference - Acceptance: 61/340 - 18%)

Tang, A., Finke, M., Blackstock, M., Leung, R., Deutscher, M., Tain, G., and Giesbrecht, C. (2008). Designing for Bystanders: Reflections on Building a Public Digital Forum1. ACM CHI 2008 Workshop on Designing and Evaluating Mobile Phone-based Interaction with Public Displays. Organized by Sas, C., and Dix, A. (workshop)

Location-Based Gaming


The Fugitive

The Fugitive is a physical, location-based game that uses WiFi to track the location of the players. A team of three chase Bob around UBC campus — but there is a twist: Bob isn't real! Bob only appears on the TabletPC. The TabletPCs can track the team's location, and help them find Bob, but the team has to track him down and trap him.

Jeffrey, P., Blackstock, M., Finke, M., Tang, A., Lea R., Deutscher, M., Miyaoku, K. (2007). Chasing the Fugitive on Campus: Designing a Location-based Game for Collaborative Play. Loading…, Vol 1, No. 1. (journal)

Jeffrey P., Blackstock, M., Deutscher, M., Lea, R., Miyaoku, K., and Tang, A. (2006). Chasing The Fugitive on Campus: Designing a Location-Based Game for Collaborative Play. Canadian Game Studies Association 2006 Symposium. (abstract, symposium)

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