Sketching as a support mechanism for the design and development of shape-changing interfaces

Sturdee, Miriam Amber and Alexander, Jason and Coulton, Paul (2018) Sketching as a support mechanism for the design and development of shape-changing interfaces. PhD thesis, Lancaster University.

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Shape-changing interfaces are a novel computational technology which incorporate physical, tangible, and dynamic surfaces to create a true 3-Dimensional experience. As is often the case with other novel hardware, the current research focus is on iterative hardware design, with devices taking many years to reach potential markets. Whilst the drive to develop novel hardware is vital, this usually occurs without consultation of end-users. Due to the prototypical nature of shape-change, there is no specific current practice of User-Centred Design (UCD). If this is not addressed, the resulting field may consist of undirected, research-focused hardware with little real world value to users. Therefore, the goal of this thesis is to develop an approach to inform the direction of shape-change research, which uses simple, accessible tools and techniques to connect researcher and user. I propose the development of an anticipatory, pre-UCD methodology to frame the field. Sketching is an established methodology. It is also accessible, universal, and provides us with a low-fidelity tool-kit. I therefore propose an exploration of how sketching can support the design and development of shape-changing interfaces. The challenge is approached over five stages: 1) Analysing and categorising shape-changing prototypes to provide the first comprehensive overview of the field; 2) Conducting a systematic review of sketching and HCI research to validate merging sketching, and its associated UCD techniques with highly technological computing research; 3) Using these techniques to explore if non-expert, potential end-users can ideate applications for shape change; 4) Investigating how researchers can utilise subjective sketching for shape-change; 5) Building on ideation and subjective sketching to gather detailed, sketched data from non-expert users with which to generate requirements and models for shape-change. To conclude, I discuss the dialogue between researcher and user, and show how sketching can bring these groups together to inform and elucidate research in this area.

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Thesis (PhD)
?? sketching; hci; shape-changing interfaces; ??
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20 Mar 2018 12:54
Last Modified:
24 Feb 2024 00:22