Action as language in a shared visual space

Darren Gergle*, Robert E. Kraut, Susan R. Fussell

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

83 Scopus citations


A shared visual workspace allows multiple people to see similar views of objects and environments. Prior empirical literature demonstrates that visual information helps collaborators understand the current state of their task and enables them to communicate and ground their conversations efficiently. We present an empirical study that demonstrates how action replaces explicit verbal instruction in a shared visual workspace. Pairs performed a referential communication task with and without a shared visual space. A detailed sequential analysis of the communicative content reveals that pairs with a shared workspace were less likely to explicitly verify their actions with speech. Rather, they relied on visual information to provide the necessary communicative and coordinative cues.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationComputer Supported Cooperative Work - Conference Proceedings, CSCW 2004
Number of pages10
StatePublished - Dec 1 2004
EventComputer Supported Cooperative Work - Conference Proceedings, CSCW 2004 - Chicago, IL, United States
Duration: Nov 6 2004Nov 10 2004


OtherComputer Supported Cooperative Work - Conference Proceedings, CSCW 2004
CountryUnited States
CityChicago, IL


  • Communication
  • Empirical studies
  • Language
  • Sequential analysis
  • Shared visual space

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Networks and Communications

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