A specification paradigm for the design and implementation of Tangible user interfaces.
Jacob, Robert J. K.
- Tangible interaction shows promise to significantly enhance computer-mediated support for activities such as learning, problem solving, and design. However, tangible user interfaces are currently considered challenging to design and build. Designers and developers of these interfaces encounter several conceptual, methodological, and technical difficulties. Among others, these challenges include: ... read morethe lack of appropriate interaction abstractions, the shortcomings of current user interface software tools to address continuous and parallel interactions, as well as the excessive effort required to integrate novel input and output technologies. To address these challenges, we propose a specification paradigm for designing and implementing Tangible User Interfaces (TUIs), that enables TUI developers to specify the structure and behavior of a tangible user interface using high-level constructs which abstract away implementation details. An important benefit of this approach, which is based on User Interface Description Language (UIDL) research, is that these specifications could be automatically or semi-automatically converted into concrete TUI implementations. In addition, such specifications could serve as a common ground for investigating both design and implementation concerns by TUI developers from different disciplines. Thus, the primary contribution of this article is a high-level UIDL that provides developers from different disciplines means for effectively specifying, discussing, and programming a broad range of tangible user interfaces. There are three distinct elements to this contribution: a visual specification technique that is based on Statecharts and Petri nets, an XML-compliant language that extends this visual specification technique, as well as a proof-of-concept prototype of a Tangible User Interface Management System (TUIMS) that semi-automatically translates high-level specifications into a program controlling specific target technologies.read less
- Shaer, Orit and Robert J.K. Jacob. "A specification paradigm for the design and implementation of Tangible user interfaces." ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction 16 no. 9 (November 2009): 1-39. doi: 10.1145/1614390.1614395.