Rethinking 'multi-user': an in-the-wild study of how groups approach a walk-up-and-use tabletop interface.
Multi-touch tabletops have been much heralded as an innovative technology that can facilitate new ways of group working. However, there is little evidence of these materialising outside of research lab settings. We present the findings of a 5-week in-the-wild study examining how a shared planning application - designed to run on a walk-up-and-use tabletop - was used when placed in a tourist information centre. We describe how groups approached, congregated and interacted with it and the social interactions that took place - noting how they were quite different from research findings describing the ways groups work around a tabletop in lab settings. We discuss the implications of such situated group work for designing collaborative tabletop applications for use in public settings.