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  1. Sketching Interfaces for Specification

  2. Readings James A. Landay, Brad A. Myers, “Sketching Interfaces: Toward More Human Interface Design”, IEEE Computer, v34, n3, pp. 56-64, 2001. Bailey, B.P., J.A. Konstan, and J.V. Carlis, "DEMAIS: designing multimedia applications with interactive storyboards", Proceedings of the International Conference on Multimedia, 2001, Ottawa, pp. 241-250.

  3. Supporting Early Design • Key tasks being supported • Design space exploration • Medium for expression and “visual thinking” • Increase concreteness • Providing inspiration and points of departure • Understanding the implications of design choices • Communications • Vehicle for talking about design options with others

  4. Sketching is Good • Almost everyone starts in early stage with very rough pencil and paper sketches • Rough ideas quickly • Uncertainty • Uncertainty and ambiguity is important to have at this stage (important to creativity) • Can’t have the details before you have done the design • Fluidity is critical • Investment must be very low • Changes must be very easy • Must stay “light on your feet” and not get solidified into small range of alternatives too early

  5. Need ability to test / operate as early as possible • But also need to be able to evaluate the real meaning / consequence of things • Must make them “operable” or executable at some level to get a real understanding • Big win • Herein lies the hard problem: Ambiguity and uncertainty are very antithetical to being able to “execute” something

  6. Getting past the divide • Being able to “execute” something which is ambiguous and only partially defined • Need to infer intent • Need sensible interpretation of all partial specifications • Hard: probably need to limit domain • Also need graceful path from early/ambiguous to later/precise (“real”) • Would rather not be forced to “throw it away” after a certain point

  7. SILK • Sketch • On digitizing tablet rather than paper • Interactive rather than static setting • Turn sketches into something that has enough structure and meaning that rich computational things can be done with it • Try to get fluidity benefits of pen but add a lot more • Storyboard • Used as central mechanism for specifying behavior • Limited, but well targeted (and already familiar to many) • Transition to real widgets • Gives (some) “upward path” for results

  8. SILK modes • Sketch • Annotate • Decorate • Run • Also use of pen mode • Special button on pen for command gestures • Modes help a lot with recognition

  9. SILK interfaces • Sketches • Window for sketching (specifying and placing) interactive components (widgets) • Screen at a time or dialog box at a time • Sort of assuming static layout and somewhat moded style for result • Storyboard • Window which contains collected copies of sketched screens • Place to specify behavior

  10. Sketching widgets • Attempt to recognize meaningful objects • Key to executability • Make recognized sketches into operating widgets • Still appear as sketches • Later transform into “real” widgets

  11. Widget set • Seven widgets in fixed set • Menu bar • Scrolling window • Palette • Button • Radio button • Check box • Text Field • Plus rows and columns (“panels”) Fixed set shows up as a significant limitation in user tests But supporting an arbitrary set introduces big programming issues

  12. Widgets recognized from primitive components • Four primitive gestures recognized • Rectangle • Squiggly Line • Straight Line • Ellipse • All single stroke • May require slight adjustment by user • Makes life a lot easier for recognizer • No segmentation • Rubine recognizer

  13. Recognition • Rubine recognizer • Single stroke • Feature based • E.g., number of inflection points, angles, pt-pt distances, etc… • Not person independent • Trained w/ 15-20 examples • Also feedback during use (via corrections made)

  14. Recognition • Steps • Individual component recognition • Spatial relationship analysis • Widget inference • Look for higher level groupings • Feedback • Possible user correction

  15. Recognition steps • Spatial relationship analysis • Relationships recognized • Contains / is contained by • Near • Left, right, above, below • Vertical or horizontal sequence • (of the same type)

  16. Recognition Steps • Rule based widget inference <pattern> <widget selection, confidence, code> • Pattern • Look for certain configurations of components • Rectangle contains rectangle and outer has very vertical aspect ratio  scroll bar • Body • Compute confidence from details of matched parts • Provide code for operating as a widget

  17. Recognition Steps • Look for “panels” • Horizontal or vertical groupings of widgets • Proximity • Alignment • Must all be the same type • Looks to create new panels or add to existing after each widget recognition

  18. Recognition Steps • Feedback • Recognized widgets turn purple(Not clear what feedback for groupings was) Usability problem uncovered in evaluation: Can’t tell which widget was recognized (without looking at control panel), but if you don’t get it right, correct panels don’t work

  19. Recognition Steps • Biggest usability problem will turn out to be recognition errors • User correction • Command gesture for “next best guess” • Users can also give “hints” via selections • Explicit change in control panel • If no widget found control panel has “New guess” button to tell system to “look harder”

  20. Delete Group Ungroup Next Guess Insert Text Also have recognition of command gestures • Recall: special “command” button on pen • Very common approach • All structured as a single stroke

  21. Specifying behavior via storyboards • Can place individual screens (collections of ink, widgets, etc.) into storyboard view • Copy/paste then edit • All behavior specified as navigation in story board • Specified by drawing a line (in storyboard editor) from either widget or background to a new scene. • In run-mode click on that object means “goto …”

  22. Storyboards

  23. Annotation and decoration • Decoration mode • Basically turns off the recognizer • All strokes just in as unrecognized ink • Annotation mode • Attaches ink and text to whole screen or individual widgets • Annotations can be turned on and off

  24. Run mode • Interface (with same sketched appearance) runs • Scroll bars slide, etc. • Buttons, etc. cause movements in storyboard • May not look that way to the user (e.g., single change between boards) • Also supplies some debug help • Storyboard highlights current and object which caused last last transition

  25. Transition to “real” interfaces • Can ask for sketched widgets to be turned into “real” widgets • VB or Garnet • Still need to add: • Precise alignments • Color • Text labels • Actual icons images, etc • Real action code!

  26. Experience & usability • Overall seems very positive • Biggest issue: recognition errors Recognition rates: Edit gestures: 89% Primitives: 93% Widgets: 69%  not going to work End analysis: • Recognition probably worse than a more explicit strategy

  27. Experience & usability • Second big issue: fixed widget set • Can do some things, but support falls way off for “non-standard” interactions • A lot of effort to work around with inadequate tools • Hard problem because taking on large part of “the programming problem” may hurt simpler and more common aspect • Interesting research issues here

  28. Demais System • New (but related) domain: Multimedia presentations • Time based media (video and audio) • Timing and synchronization behavior now the tricky part • Understanding design choices requires understanding how the detailed timing and sync will play out • Contribution is in specification of behavior • A more complex programming task (but still limited)

  29. Demais interface components • Again, storyboard based • Single screen (layout) editor • Narration editor • Deals with audio narration • Storyboard editor • Also “multi-view” editor • Collections of screens, storyboards, etc. that are useful to pull up and manipulate together • Sort of a “scrapbook” manager

  30. Entities system deals with in a layout screen • Plain text objects • Interpreted and uninterpreted • (Can do synch spec in scripting language) • Ink strokes • uninterpreted • Recognized objects • Behavioral ink strokes • Visual language icons • Annotations

  31. Recognition • Very simple for sketched object recognition • Only recognizes two things (Rubine algorithm again) • Rectangle • Indicates “content item” (still or video) • Tap to get file browser to load actual or simulated content • Behavior stroke • Single line from something to something • Otherwise treat as uninterpreted ink • Text recognition • Tries to parse as script text • If fails, uninterpreted

  32. Narration editor Can insert “synchronization markers” in text • Points to synchronize other stuff against • System does text-to-speech • Also supports recorded speech but not clear how sync points are specified • Probably like video (position of slider when behavior attached), but not explicitly stated

  33. Narration editor • To synchronize, • e.g., image appearance with a point in the narration sketch a (behavior) stroke from the sync point to another storyboard element

  34. Visual language for behaviors • Behavior strokes are between objects • Creates implicit parameter and subject from source and destination of the stroke • Strokes annotated to specify their actual behavior • Triggering event (from source) • Action to perform (at destination)

  35. Behavior iconsEvents • “T”s replaced by numbers • For sync: use current time of object • For elapsed: user prompted

  36. Action icons

  37. System picks default event & actions based on context

  38. Can replace defaults • Edit by tap-and-drop from palette • Better than drag-and-drop with pen • Can also use text annotations in scripting language for specifying behaviors • English like (details not discussed here) • Infers referents (“this”) • Doesn’t seem to fit well