Friday, September 04, 2009

Meet: Abs & pics -- ACM CHI 2009

Hey all,

We went fairly quiet over the summer, but that doesn't mean we weren't meeting. We continued our discussion of the spring's ACM CHI conference. We thought these papers were interesting:
  • PenLight: combining a mobile projector and a digital pen for dynamic visual overlay, Song, Grossman, Fitzmaurice, Guimbretiere, Khan, Attar and Kurtenbach. A paper about pens that contain both camera and projector, enabling the projection of additional layers of content onto architectual drawings, in an augmented reality fashion that is properly registered with the drawing content.
  • The performance of touch screen soft buttons, Lee and Zhang. Examined the use of buttons on small UIs, such as phones. They found, surprisingly, that hard buttons were no better than soft, and capacitive (touch) buttons no better than resistive (pressure). Perhaps the hard/soft surprise might be explained by the distance between display and input with hard buttons, and the display/keyboard unification with soft? As to the capacitive/resistive surprise, certainly capacitive would win with gestures, and maybe also with more prolonged use. Finally we note that all the tasks here used numeric keys only, which allowed the use of larger keys. Would the results hold for typing text with smaller keys?
  • NewsCube: delivering multiple aspects of news to mitigate media bias, Park, Kang, Chung and Song. A news browser for depicting all the sides of a newsstory ("aspects"). It uses keyword clustering to identify aspects, and in an informal evaluation, helped users identify aspects.
  • Comparing usage of a large high-resolution display to single or dual desktop displays for daily work,Bi and Balakrishnan. This paper studied the use of a large (16' x 6', 6k x 2k pixels) display for several days of daily use. It found that users preferred large displays to small, that they made heavy use of the central display area with a focal/peripheral work pattern, and that interface operations mirror this. They suggest that applications and interfaces be designed to support this work pattern by having focal and peripheral modes, and operations that simplify switching between the modes.
There were other papers that also sounded interesting, but we didn't have time to examine them together.

Best,

Ben

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