CHI

Magic at CHI 2015 (or how to hide your mobile device addiction)

Many people are addicted to their mobile devices and the constant flow of information. In social settings, such as work meetings, people know it's wrong and try to hide their device checking in many ways, including:

  • going to the bathroom
  • faking migraine headaches
  • hiding the device under a table or their clothing

Autodesk Research Deceptive Devices

The User Interface group at Autodesk Research conducted a survey of more than 200 people and 94% reported getting caught using a mobile device. Helping people to sneak a peak more easily seemed like a good challenge and the team looked towards magicians to see if they could learn things that could be applied to software and device design.

The team came up with some pretty cool gadgets including:

  • spyglasses
  • secret recorders that could play back the last few seconds of a meeting through a small earpiece to cover up that you weren't paying attention
  • a sensor for knowing when people are behind you
  • information embedded in audio tones that could be perceived as meeting reminders, email notifications or a ringing phone

The Phoney Phone

The Phoney Phone is an app that makes ones' phone look likes it's sleeping while letting the user see the results of their tapping on an alternate screen that could be hidden in the bottom of a coffee cup. To an observer, they may just look like they are fidgeting or contemplating the last sip of a drink.

Autodesk Research Phoney Phone

The Magput

The Magput hides sensors in a pencil and a notebook. What may appear to be random tapping or doodling could actually be be some serious work.

Autodesk Research Magput

You can see these gadgets in action and test how easy they are to tell when someone is using them in the following short video clip.

What does a Designer of Deceptive Devices Need to Know?

When designing for subtle interactions, designers should consider many of the same things magicians do:

  • User Customization: allow the user to customize their device. If they use a device that does not fit their environment or personality it could give them away
  • Modularity: allow the user to work with the system in pieces. Could a component of the system change location so that the user is not seen doing repetitive tasks?
  • Simulation and Dissimulation: Take advantage of existing devices that people obviously use. We know how most people type on a phone so if you can hide the interaction it, or make it appear inactive to observers, they will be less likely to suspect activity.
  • Separating Cause and Effect: Magicians introduce delays to misdirect the audience. This is counter-intuitive to traditional UI design so it requires special consideration.
  • User Training: Magicians practice and so should your users - so make it easy for them.

To take this magic further, Tovi covering for Fraser who was getting married at the time (congrats, Fraser!), added a magician to the presentation of this research at CHI 2015. The show is below.

Additional Uses for Subtle Interactions

Beyond helping people to sneak a peak at their devices, these techniques could be used to:

  • enhance presentations by giving presenters extra techniques to share their information in engaging ways
  • help with wearable device design and interactions where users cannot use a device in a traditional manner

For more details on the research and how some of these devices were made and controlled, please refer to the publication entitled Supporting Subtlety with Deceptive Devices and Illusory Interactions.


Data Visualization is Beautiful as a Wall Decoration

Citeology is an interactive tool for visualizing relationships across research papers created by Justin Matejka, Tovi Grossman and George Fitzmaurice of the UI Group. Selecting any one of the 11,000 plus publications from CHI and UIST will show you its geneology; its parents (papers that it cites) and its children (papers that site it).

Beyond being helpful to the user interface community these graphs are beautiful. We have a wall size version of one graph in the Toronto Autodesk office.

Autodesk Research Toronto Citeology

The layout of the information is simple and effective. Across the horizontal axis is a listing of all the papers by year. As time progresses more papers have been published, much like our growing human population. Parent, or past papers are connected by blue lines while children, or future papers, are connected by red lines.

Autodesk Research Citeology

The lines drawn between papers are semi-transparent add build up to show multiple connections.

Autodesk Research Citeology

Similar to a word cloud, all the titles are displayed with the connected papers being shown in darker colors to stand out.

Autodesk Research Citeology

The complete tool shows some additional information and controls for refining your search results including:

  • shortest path between papers
  • number of children and parents to show
  • details about the active paper

Autodesk Research Citeology UI

Citeology uses research papers and it's interesting to think about what other kinds of relationships a tool like this could help to visualize:

  • Building on geneology, things like family trees, band memberships, and sports teams are likely candidates
  • Historical figures and events along with their triggers
  • Connections and dependencies between things in the Internet of Things

Autodesk Research Citeology

What would you use it for? Try Citeology and let us know what you think!

 


Autodesk Research at CHI 2015

The CHI conference showcases the very best advances in computer science, cognitive psychology, design, social science, human factors, artificial intelligence, graphics, visualization, multi-media design and more is approaching with Autodesk participating both as a proud sponsor and presenter. The theme for CHI 2015 is "Crossings": crossing borders, crossing boundaries, crossing disciplines, crossing people and technology, crossing past and future, crossing physical and digital, crossing art and science, … crossing you and me.

This year Autodesk Research has three papers receiving Honorable Mentions (the top 5% of all submissions):

Supporting Subtlety with Deceptive Devices and Illusory Interactions

Fraser AndersonTovi Grossman, Daniel Wigdor (Department of Computer Science, University of Toronto) and George Fitzmaurice look at ways to conceal your usage of mobile devices and stay connected without offending your co-workers.

DeceptiveDevices

Room: 402, Date: Tuesday, April 21, 2015, Time: 14:30 - 15:50

Tactum: A Skin-Centric Approach to Digital Design and Fabrication

Madeline Gannon (Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh), Tovi Grossman and George Fitzmaurice look at skin based input through augmented reality for new design possibilities.

TACTUM – Tactile Augmented Reality (Teaser) from Madeline Gannon on Vimeo.

Room: 401, Date: Tuesday, April 21, 2015, Time: 16:30 - 17:50

Dynamic Opacity Optimization for Scatter Plots

Justin Matejka, Fraser Anderson, and George Fitzmaurice explore opacity-scaling for scatter plots to make them more useful and readable. 

ScatterPlots

Room: E6, Date: Wednesday, April 22, 2015, Time: 11:30 - 12:50

In addition to these exciting subjects, the team will also present:

Your Paper is Dead! Bringing Life to Research Articles with Animated Figures

Tovi Grossman, Fanny Chevalier (Inria, France) and Rubaiat Habib Kazi discuss how scientific knowledge can benefit from moving images in publications. 

Room: 308, Date: Monday, April 20, 2015, Time: 16:30 - 17:50

Panel: Transfer of HCI Research Innovations

There has been a longstanding concern within HCI that even though we are accumulating great innovations in the field, we rarely see these innovations develop into products. Our panel brings together HCI researchers from academia and industry who have been directly involved in technology transfer of one or more HCI innovations. They will share their experiences around what it takes to transition an HCI innovation from the lab to the market, including issues around time commitment, funding, resources, and business expertise. More importantly, our panelists will discuss and debate the tensions that we (researchers) face in choosing design and evaluation methods that help us make an HCI research contribution versus what actually matters when we go to market.

Panelists:
  • Parmit K Chilana, Management Sciences, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Canada
  • Mary P Czerwinski, Microsoft Research, Redmond, United States
  • Tovi Grossman, Autodesk Research, Toronto, Canada
  • Chris Harrison, Human-Computer Interaction Institute, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, United States
  • Ranjitha Kumar, Computer Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Champaign, United States
  • Patrick Baudisch, Hasso Plattner Institute, Potsdam, Germany
  • Shumin Zhai, Research @ Google, Mountain View, United States
 

Room: 307, Date: Monday, April 20, 2015, Time: 11:30 - 12:50

It looks like an exciting conference - If you're at CHI, please say hello to the team!


PDF Documents are Better with Animation

We've had books with pictures in them for hundreds of years. With modern computing powers we can move from static pictures in our PDF documents to dynamic animations and tell a more compelling and understandable story like in this Project Draco example (you may need to download it to see the animation in action and use Adobe Reader X or newer).

As we can see in the video above, there are things to consider when authoring a document with animated figures:

  • readers should not be burdened with complex UI controls
  • readers should not be distracted by the animation when reading text. 

Of course there are other things to consider when creating animated figures:

  • Duration: just like with a static figure, keep the animated figure short and concise
  • File Size: keeping the animations short will reduce file size
  • Number of Animated Figures: use them sparingly but where important to communicate
  • Audio: sound can be included but can be very distracting so use only if necessary

In a work of entertainment, like a comic book, publishers may be more free with including animations. When publishing an academic paper or instructional document, beyond showing an animation, here are some of the best places to use an animated figure:

  • Demonstrating How an Interaction Technique Works
  • Illustrating Cause and Effect
  • Contrasting Visual Differences 
  • Visualizing How an Algorithm Works

You can read more about this research and follow our instructions if you want to try it out. Happy publishing! 

 


Kitty Wins a Best Talk Award at UIST 2014

Great news! Autodesk Research was awarded a Best Talk Award at the 2014 User Interface Software and Technology Syposium (UIST) for Kitty, a tool that makes it possible to draw interactive experiences.

The team was very happy to present their research throughout the week, as you can in the photos below:

Baseball Video Lens Demonstration

PipeDream Demonstration

Kitty Demonstration

Here's Rubaiat accepting the award

Congratulations to the Kitty Team!

Afterwards, the team celebrates with an awesome display of their fire dancing skills (as a researcher it is important to have many varied interests and abilities)

Some members of the team enjoy simpler pursuits 

Beyond the awards and activities, there was food. Team members who didn't get to attend UIST were sad to miss the fancy breakfasts this year.

At least one UIST attendee found a new use for Oculus - making food better :-)

 


Four Cool Talks from Autodesk Research at UIST 2014

The ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology (UIST) is just around the corner. This year Autodesk Research is a platinum sponsor and has four cool papers to present covering a diverse range of topics from 3D printing interactive objects to a new text entry method for smart watches to big data analytics with baseball and a new paradigm for drawing interactive content.

UistBannerCropped

A Series of Tubes: Adding Interactivity to 3D Prints Using Internal Pipes 
Valkyrie Savage, Ryan Schmidt, Tovi Grossman, George Fitzmaurice, Bjoern Hartmann
10:30am Monday, October 6
 
Autodesk Research Pipedream
PipeDream can help makers create interactive 3D prints.
 
Kitty: Sketching Dynamic and Interactive Illustrations 
Rubaiat Habib Kazi, Fanny Chevalier, Tovi Grossman, George Fitzmaurice
12:30pm Tuesday, October 7
Comicstrip[1]
 
Kitty builds on the Kinetic Texturing work seen previously in Draco and allows the author to make it interactive.
 
Swipeboard: A Text Entry Technique for Ultra-Small Interfaces That Supports Novice to Expert Transitions 
Xiang 'Anthony' Chen, Tovi Grossman, George Fitzmaurice
11:00 Wednesday, October 8
 
Swipeboard00
Swipeboard takes inspiration from Morse code to present a new and fast method of gestural input for smart watches.
 
Video Lens: Rapid Playback and Exploration of Large Video Collections and Associated Metadata 
Justin Matejka, Tovi Grossman, George Fitzmaurice
11:00am Wednesday, October 8

Autodesk Research Baseball Video Lens

Video Lens is a great tool for exploring massive amounts of data and is built around baseball videos to show a practical application. 
 
Demos of all of these will be available on Monday night so stop by and say hello to the team!

 


One Awesome Tool for User Experience Designers and Researchers

Here's a great tool for those of you exploring the User Experience - the Paper Forager!

Autodesk Research Paper Forager for User Experience Design

There is lots of good material nowadays for exploring user experience. Perhaps so much that it makes it hard to get started or find what you need. And that's where the Paper Forager steps in to help! For those with acess to the ACM Digital Library, the Paper Forager let's you explore more than 5000 research papers from ACM CHI and UIST

The Paper Forager is easy to use and provides things like:

  • searching
  • filtering by date
  • most popular authors
  • thumbnail views
  • paper overviews

All without having to download the paper and open it in a viewer. This can really speed up your research.

PaperForagerUI

To make things even faster, when browsing papers, the Paper Forager preloads adjacent papers ro quickly move forwards and backwards through your search results.

Please enjoy this video overview of the Paper Forager, complete with a toe-tapping, finger-snapping beat. If you're at UIST 2014, you can talk to members from the Autodesk Research team and complement them on their musical tastes :)