Tuesday, December 16, 2008

pp. 3-7, Types of Gestures, Post #2

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Main Interface Paradigms
i. Direct Manipulation
ii. Indirect Manipulation

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As multitouch applications grow more complex, these two ideas will continue to blend together. The reality is that Direct Manipulation, though an incredibly cool idea, is only appropriate in very limited circumstances. For complex multi-touch UIs to work, they will have to get past this bit of ideology and find new ways to keep content and controllers as tightly coupled as possible.

For instance, direct contact with control points in an like this character animation program might be designed so that the overall motion of the character could be understood, even if some pixels were occluded by hands:



In a scenario like the video scrubber below, the user might want to touch or circle the pixels to be tracked and then to scrub off screen. This way, viewer can see any changes to the image.



While direct manipulation is innately more intuitive than indirect manipulation, carefully animation the way content and controllers animate into existence can do a lot to prime users about how to use them.




pp. 6-7, Embodied Interactions

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I was recently in Japan with my girlfriend.

While the bathroom, I pushed a button on the wall thought meant to run the faucet. My little experiment resulted in my girlfriend’s head bouncing off the ceiling when the washlet (a sort of robotic bidet) decided to let loose with a volley of cold water.

The point is that embodied interactions only work if users understand the cues that tell them what the product does and how to use it. This is a perfect example of when the content (the sprayer) and the controller (the button) should have been more tightly coupled.

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