Hare, J., Gill, S., Loudon, G., Ramduny-Ellis, D. and Dix, A. (2009) Physical Fidelity: Exploring the Importance of Physicality on Physical-Digital Conceptual Prototyping. To appear in Proceedings of INTERACT 2009 (in press)

Physical Fidelity: Exploring the Importance of Physicality on Physical-Digital Conceptual Prototyping

The physicality of digital-physical devices is an essential part of our interaction and understanding of information appliances. This paper draws on the findings of an empirical study investigating the effect of physical fidelity on a series of user trials. Three prototypes of a single design intent were built, the standard of their construction dictated by the time imposed on the designer. In choosing this constraint, the authors present the argument that the most important driver in decisions that dictate fidelity levels is the available and/or necessary time required for making a prototype that generates information of the right quality. This paper presents the empirical and qualitative results of the trials, which suggest that there is little effect of fidelity on user performance, but the user’s ability to give constructive feedback on the design was influenced by the nature of the prototypes.

Keywords: Physicality, prototyping, fidelity, information appliance, product design, tangible interface, low fidelity prototyping.

Ramduny-Ellis, D., Hare, J., Dix, A., Evans, M., and Gill, S. (2009) Physicality in Design: an exploration. Accepted for The Design Journal.

Ramduny-Ellis, D., Dix, A., Hare, J. and Gill, S. and. (2009) Physicality 2009 – towards a less-GUI interface Third International Workshop on Physicality. To appear in Proceedings of BCS HCI 2009, Cambridge, UK.

Ramduny-Ellis, D., Dix, A., Gill, S. and Hare, J. (2009) Physicality and Interaction (Editorial). Interacting with Computers. Volume 21, Issues 1-2, January 2009, pp. 64-65.

Devina Ramduny-Ellis, Alan Dix, Steve Gill and Joanna Hare (editors) (2009). Special Issue on Physicality and Interaction. Interacting with Computers. Volume 21, Issues 1-2, January 2009, pp. 64-124.
Science Direct

Physicality and Interaction (Editorial)

(some extracts below)

This special issue of Interacting with Computers arose out of series of workshops on the issue of Physicality. These attracted a wide range of participants: artists and architects, designers and dancers, programmers and philosophers; all in different ways seeking to understand and exploit the physical nature of the world, things within the world and the human body itself. They also reflected intersections with other topical areas including ubiquitous computing and tangible interaction.

The papers in this special issue also demonstrate the wide range of domains where issues of physicality are important. Antle, Corness and Droumeva in What the Body Knows: Exploring the Benefits of Embodied Metaphor in Hybrid Physical Digital Environments look at the use of physical metaphors to drive the design of tools for creating music. Khoo, Merritt and Cheok in Designing Physical and Social Intergenerational Family Entertainment focus on physical games that can bridge the generational divide. In Treadaway’s Translating Experience the domain is textile design and the way the choice of physical or digital methods during design affects the aesthetic of the outcome. Hornecker and Dunser in Of Pages and Paddles-Children’s Interactions with Physical?Digital Tools are exploring the use of augmented reality in interactive narrative.

Finally, programming is the focus of both Sharp, Robinson and Petre’s paper The Role of Physical Artefacts in Agile Software Development: Two Complementary Perspectives and Jonsson, Tholander and Fernaeus’ paper Setting the Stage – Embodied and Spatial Dimensions in Emerging Programming Practices; the former focusing on the use of physical objects, notably a ‘wall’ of story cards, and the latter more the nature of bodily position and performance both during design meetings and in the systems produced.

Dix, A., Ghazali, M., Gill, S., Hare, J. and Ramduny-Ellis, D. (2009): Physigrams: Modelling Devices for Natural Interaction, in Formal Aspects of Computing journal, Springer
full paper doi: 10.1007/s00165-008-0099-y from SpringerLink online

Physigrams: Modelling Devices for Natural Interaction

This paper explores the formal specification of the physical behaviour of devices ‘unplugged’; from their digital effects. By doing this we seek to better understand the nature of physical interaction and the way this can be exploited to improve the design of hybrid devices with both physical and digital features. We use modified state transition networks of the physical behaviour, which we call physigrams, and link these to parallel diagrams of the digital state. These are used to describe a number of features of physical interaction exposed by previous work and relevant properties expressed using a formal semantics of the diagrams. As well as being an analytic tool, the physigrams have been used in a case study where product designers used and adapted them as part of the design process.

Keywords: physicality, interaction modelling, affordance, natural interaction, physical devices, product design, physigrams