These examples draw on various physigram publications, and are chosen to represent simple and more complex controls. They are roughly in increasing order of complexity, with each example typically showing one or more new features of physigrams. The key to notation page gives a complete list of physigram notation features.
- Simple toggle up-down light switch – This is the simplest physigram, just two states for the switch. It also demonstrates an exposed state, one-to-one mapping between the switch states and the underlying logical state (light bulb).
- Push on/off button – This example demonstrates bounce-back, the way that when you press the button, because it is sprung it returns to its original position. Usually the act of having pressed it creates some sort of logical effect, and this example shows how the two can be linked using named events.
- Switch with give – This is exactly the same switch as in example 1, shown in more detail. It demonstrates the way you can represent the same control at different levels of detail for different purposes. It also introduces the idea of ‘give‘ and a physigram shorthand for it.
- Volume dial – This is the volume dial on a home HiFi speaker. It is an example where there is a one-to-one mapping between logical and physical states, but the dial has to be decorated to make this a visually exposed state.
- Music controller – This has a twist knob, which can be twisted or pulled, exhibiting a more complex example of bounce-back transitions. The device has a natural inverse in that twists in opposite directions do opposite things. In addition, the link between the knob and its logical state (volume and track selection) is time dependent, thus showing a different, but common form of linkage.
- Electric kettle – This is another on/off switch, and the plain physigram is just like the light switch push down/ pull up. The interest here is that when the kettle boils it also can turn the switch off – system–initiated physical transition. Furthermore it does so the same way as you do yourself – compliant interaction.
- Washing machine – The wash cycle control knob on (older) washing machines offers a rich form of compliant interaction, where both the washing machine itself and the user can move the knob to advance the program. This often led to expert behaviours, sadly impossible in most purely digital control panels.
- Media controller – Unlike most of the examples, which analyse existing devices, this is about the way product designers use physigrams during the prototyping phase of a new device. It also introduces some new ad hoc features, showing the way physigrams can be used as an extensible notation.
- Wind turbine controls – This is an extended case study of Tilley, the community wind turbine on Tiree. There are no new features in this example, which instead demonstrates how the various aspects of the physigram notation can be used to describe a complex control panel.