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Many digital tabletop systems have a graphical user interface (GUI) that features context (or pop-up) menus. While linear and pie menus are commonly used for direct pen and touch interaction, their appearance can be problematic on a digital tabletop display, where physical objects might occlude menu items. We propose a user-drawn path menu, that appears along a custom path to avoid such occlusions. This paper introduces four different metaphors for user-drawn context menus: the Fan Out Menu, the Card Deck Menu, the Pearl String Menu, and the Trail Menu. It also presents the results we acquired from a user study, where participants were able to work faster when using our user-drawn menus, on cluttered tabletop setups.
Date of Conference: 10-12 Oct. 2007