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Assembling History: Achieving Coherent Experiences with Diverse Technologies


This paper describes an activity designed for a site of special interest in which clues to its history are gathered as visitors explore the site before interacting with two displays which reveal details of key past events. We investigate a design approach in which electronically tagged paper is used both to weave the visit together and configure the interactive displays so as to provide variable access to a common information space. An analysis of visitors’ interactions throughout a week’s public exhibition shows how features of our approach can support people in making connections between displays, locations, and historical events. In addition to situating our work in relationship with CSCW’s emerging concern for technologies and collaboration in museums and allied public settings, we examine general questions of how to design activities to establish coherence of experience across diverse interfaces. This is a timely issue as interactive technologies proliferate and take on ever more variable physical forms.


Fraser, Mike; Stanton, Danaë; Ng, Kher Hui; Benford, Steve; O’Malley, Claire; Bowers, John; Taxén, Gustav; Ferris, Kieran; Hindmarsh, Jon (2003): Assembling History: Achieving Coherent Experiences with Diverse Technologies. ECSCW 2003: Proceedings of the Eighth European Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work. DOI: 10.1007/978-94-010-0068-0_10. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, The Netherlands. ISBN: 978-94-010-0068-0. pp. 179-198. Full Papers. Helsinki, Finland. 14–18 September 2003