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A graphical user interface for multiparty videoconferencing

: Steuernagel, Michael
: Noll, Stefan; Stocklöw, Carsten

Hagen, 2007, 90 S.
Hagen, Fernuniv., Master Thesis, 2007
Master Thesis
Fraunhofer IGD ()
video conferencing; Graphical User Interface (GUI); Network-based Video Application; collaboration; teleconferencing

Throughout history, people have always felt the wish to meet, to talk and to interact. For getting in contact with a distant person, the telephone was the preferred medium for a long time. But hearing the word one person speaks makes up only a part of the message. Body language is an integral part of how humans communicate. As worldwide networking increases and more and more personal computers are equipped with multimedia capabilities, desktop videoconferencing systems have become more and more popular. In many cases these programs support the connection and interaction of only two participants. This report describes how the graphical user interface of an existing point-to-point videoconferencing application has been extended in order to support multiparty conferences. Designing a graphical user interface for point-to-point videoconferences is already a challenging task. In a multiparty scenario the problems of a two-party conference are sometimes exacerbated and sometimes new, specific problems appear. Multiparty conferences can take place in many different scenarios like moderated or non-moderated meetings, lectures, exams or presentations. Some of these scenarios allow the participants to start side conversations. Providing a sense for the group or establishing eye contact gets more difficult in a conference with more than two attendees. Furthermore we have to deal with the so-called visibility problem, i.e., probably not all of the participants can be displayed at the same time due to the limited screen size. Additionally, a developer of graphical user interfaces has to keep the usability aspects in mind.