CPSC 581/599.81
Interaction Design

Saul Greenberg (instructor)

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Exercise 3 Main Page

 

Group Slide Show
a visual summary

 

Project

Group Slide Show is actually a demonstration program (or more specifically, a client to a shared dictionary server) displaying the capabilities of the group slider widget. The widget is used here to view a series of slides - moving the thumb along the slider to the right or left will pass through the slide set in forward or reverse respectively. Several instances of the slide show program can be run together and connected via a shared library. The slider then displays not only your thumb, but also the thumbs of users on the other slide show clients. This opens up the possibility of latching onto another user's thumb and letting him lead the slide show.

 

Browsing Sans Connection

When the Group Slide Show program is first started, we are presented with a slide panel, a slider with a single thumb, and a "View Together" pane. By moving the thumb around, we can flip through the photos in the slide show.

 

 

 

 

A second instance of the slide show can be loaded and viewed independently from the first. For the purposes of demoing this program, we could simply run this second instance on the same machine. In the real world, however, picture a colleague firing up the slide show on his laptop while sitting under some palm trees on a white sandy beach in some far-off tropical locale.

 

It's a Colorful World

The default thumb color is red. However, we can easily change the color by clicking the "Thumb Color..." button and choosing a new color from the palette (seen to the right). In this case, suppose our colleague in the tropics choses the color green. What is the point, you ask? We are about to schedule a collaborative slide show meeting, and we don't want to confuse our thumbs because they are the same color...

 

Network Magic

With the two clients up and running, let's establish our connection. We'll assume that the shared dictionary server has been started, and is running a server process named "ShDict". In the "Meeting Room" and "Meeting Location" text fields of either client, we enter this server process name and its IP address (just call it localhost if you are running the clients on the same machine). To connect the first client to the shared dictionary, click the "Join Group" button and wait several seconds till the button changes text to "Leave Group". Do the same for the second client, or instruct your colleague in tropical paradise to follow suit (and hope his laptop has wireless networking!) The slider in either client will now display the other's thumb in addition to your own thumb, complete with color coding.

 

To Browse Together or Not To Browse Together, that is the HCI Question...

Although you can see each other's thumbs, you can still browse independently of each other, and at times this may be desirable. You maintain awareness of your colleague's activities by monitoring the movements of his thumb. Of course, you may also want to view slides together, and for this occasion, you can latch onto your colleague's green thumb by clicking on the square tile hanging below it. Once latched on, your red thumb will always follow your colleague's thumb position - and hence you will be viewing the same slides collaboratively. The following animation will illustrate this point (the left pane is your client and the right pane is your colleague's client):

 

 

It is possible for your colleague to latch onto your thumb as well, by clicking on the tile below your red thumb in his client window. Now both of you would be latched to each other, so your movements would follow his movements and vice versa.

A Multi-User Slide Show Fest

The Slide Show program, and for that matter, the group slider widget, can theoretically support as many clients as the server will allow. Latching onto other people's thumbs works just as before, although now multiple users can all latch onto a single thumb (in the case of a slide show being led by a single narrator) or they can form several independent groups by latching onto different thumbs.

 

 

CPSC 581/599.81
Interaction Design

Saul Greenberg (instructor)

Back to Student Work Repository

Exercise 3 Main Page

Submitted on March 23, 2001