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Computer-supported cooperative work often requires the development of cooperative systems that allow users to interact with multiple, possibly distributed, applications. As a result, requirements for user interfaces have broadened to consider the implications of distributed systems. A major area in CSCW is the development of software architectures to support the construction of multiuser interfaces for cooperative systems.

Developing user interfaces should be an iterative process, allowing for interface prototypes to be refined. This is particularly true for cooperative systems, where the user interface must support multiple users engaged in different tasks, often adopting individual methods of working. Computer-based tools are needed to assist with the development of prototype interfaces.

This article presents a multiuser interface architecture that addresses the problems of supporting distributed user interfaces and the rapid prototyping of alternative interface designs. The hybrid architecture is based on autonomous user display agents. The authors describe the requirements for the architecture, the model it is based on, and its realization in a multiuser-interface prototyping environment.



Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-46
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE Computer
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 1994

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