Design and Implementation of Post-WIMP Distributed User Interfaces with ZOIL
2012, Jetter, Hans-Christian, Zöllner, Michael, Gerken, Jens, Reiterer, Harald
"Interactive spaces" are physical environments or rooms for collaborative work that are augmented with ubiquitous computing technology. Their purpose is to enable a computer-supported collaboration between multiple users that is based on a seamless use of different devices for natural "post-WIMP" interaction (e.g., multitouch walls, interactive tabletops, tablet PCs, or digital pen and paper). However, to this day, there are no well-established guidelines or toolkits for designing and implementing such distributed user interfaces (DUIs). Therefore, this article introduces the Zoomable Object-Oriented Information Landscape (ZOIL), a novel design approach and software framework for post-WIMP DUIs in interactive spaces.
In the following, the ZOIL design principles are first introduced and illustrated. They provide recommendations and examples of DUI interaction design for interactive spaces. Then the different software patterns and architectures that have been employed for implementing the open-source ZOIL software framework are described. This framework facilitates the implementation of ZOIL's design principles in practice. Lessons learned from ZOIL's implementation are shared, and the implementation is discussed and compared with related work and approaches. The results of an evaluation of ZOIL with designers and developers conclude the article.
Zoom Interaction Design for Pen-Operated Portable Devices
2008, Büring, Thorsten, Gerken, Jens, Reiterer, Harald
Maps are currently the most common application domain for ZUIs. Standard techniques for controlling such interfaces on pen-operated devices usually rely on sequential interaction, i.e. the users can either zoom or pan. A more advanced technique is speed-dependent automatic zooming (SDAZ), which combines rate-based panning and zooming into a single operation and thus enables concurrent interaction. Yet another navigation strategy is to allow for concurrent, but separate, zooming and panning. However, due to the limitations of stylus input, this feature requires the pen-operated device to be enhanced with additional input dimensions. We propose one unimanual approach based on pen pressure, and one bimanual approach in which users pan the view with the pen while manipulating the scale by tilting the device. In total, we developed four interfaces (standard, SDAZ, pressure, and tilting) and compared them in a usability study with 32 participants. The results show that SDAZ performed well for both simple speed tasks and more complex navigation scenarios, but that the coupled interaction led to much user frustration. In a preference vote, the participants strongly rejected the interface and stated that they found it difficult and irksome to control. This result enhances previous research, which in most cases found a high user preference for SDAZ, but focused solely on simple speed tasks. In contrast, the pressure and tilt interfaces were much appreciated, which, considering the novelty of these approaches, is highly encouraging. However, in solving the test tasks the participants took hardly any advantage of parallel interaction. For a map view of 600x600 pixels, this resulted in task-completion times comparable to those for the standard interface. For a smaller 300x300 pixels view, the standard interface was actually significantly faster than the two novel techniques. This ratio is also reflected in the preference votes. While for the larger 600x600 pixels view the tilt interface was the most popular, the standard interface was rated highest for the 300x300 pixels view. Hence, on a smaller display, precise interaction may have an increased impact on the interface usability. Overall, we believe that the alternative interaction techniques show great potential for further development. In particular, a redesign should encourage parallel interaction more strongly and also provide improved support for precise navigation.
Tactile feedback enhanced hand gesture interaction at large, high-resolution displays
2009, Foehrenbach, Stephanie, König, Werner A., Gerken, Jens, Reiterer, Harald
Human beings perceive their surroundings based on sensory information from diverse channels, However, for human-computer interaction we mostly restnct the user on visual perception. In this paper, we contribute to the investigation of tactile feedback as an additional perception modality, Therefore, we will first discuss existing user studies and provide a classification scheme for tactile feedback techniques, We will then present and discuss a comparative evaluation study based on the ISO 9241-9 IErgonomic requirements for office work with visual display terminals (VDTs) - Part 9: requirements for non-keyboard input devices, 20001, The 20 participants performed horizontal and vertical one-directional tapping tasks with hand gesture input with and without tactile feedback in front of a large, high-resolution display. In contrast to previous research. we cannot confirm a benefit of tactile feedback on user performance. Our results show no significant effect in terms of throughput (effective index of performance (IPe)) and even a significant higher error rate for horizontal target alignment when using tactile feedback. Based on these results. we suggest that tactile feedback can interfere with other senses in a negative way. resulting in the obselved higher error rate for horizontal targets. Therefore, more systematic research is needed to clarify the innuencing factors on the usefulness of tactile feedback. Besides these results, we found a significant difference in favor of the horizontal target alignment compared with the vertical one in terms of the effective index of performance (lPe), confirming the work by Dennerlein et al.
User Interaction with Scatterplots on Small Screens : a Comparative Evaluation of Geometric-Semantic Zoom and Fisheye Distortion
2006, Büring, Thorsten, Gerken, Jens, Reiterer, Harald
Existing information-visualization techniques that target small screens are usually limited to exploring a few hundred items. In this article we present a scatterplot tool for Personal Digital Assistants that allows the handling of many thousands of items. The application s scalability is achieved by incorporating two alternative interaction techniques: a geometric-semantic zoom that provides smooth transition between overview and detail, and a fisheye distortion that displays the focus and context regions of the scatterplot in a single view. A user study with 24 participants was conducted to compare the usability and efficiency of both techniques when searching a book database containing 7500 items. The study was run on a pendriven Wacom board simulating a PDA interface. While the results showed no significant difference in task-completion times, a clear majority of 20 users preferred the fisheye view to the zoom interaction. In addition, other dependent variables such as user satisfaction and subjective rating of orientation and navigation support revealed a preference for the fisheye distortion. These findings partly contradict related research and indicate that, when using a small screen, users place higher value on the ability to preserve navigational context than they do on the ease of use of a simplistic, metaphor-based interaction style.
Lessons learned from the design and evaluation of visual information-seeking systems
2009, Gerken, Jens, Heilig, Mathias, Jetter, Hans-Christian, Rexhausen, Sebastian, Demarmels, Mischa, König, Werner A., Reiterer, Harald
Designing information-seeking systems has become an increasingly complex task as today s information spaces are rapidly growing in quantity, heterogeneity, and dimensionality. The challenge is to provide user interfaces that have a satisfying usability and user experience even for novice users. Although information visualization and interaction design offer solutions, many informationseeking systems such as online catalogs for libraries or web search engines continue to use outdated user-interface concepts developed decades ago. In this paper, we will present four principles that we identified as crucial for the successful design of a modern visual information-seeking system.These are (1) to support variousways of formulating an information need, (2) to integrate analytical and browsing-oriented ways of exploration, (3) to provide views on different dimensions of the information space, and (4) to make search a pleasurable experience. These design principles are based on our experience over a long period in the user-centered design and evaluation of visual information-seeking systems. Accordingly, we will showcase individual designs from our own work of the past 10 years to illustrate each principle and hence narrow the gap between the scientific discussion and the designing practitioner that has often hindered research ideas from becoming reality. However, most of the times search is only one part of a higher level user activity (e.g. writing a paper). Thus future research should focus on the challenges when regarding search in such a broader context. We will use the final two chapters to point out some of these challenges and outline our vision of an integrated and consistent digital work environment named Zoomable Object-oriented Information Landscape.