Modeling a Tangible User Interface for Navigation in an Information Space
Authors: Chun-Wen Chen, Kevin C. Tseng, Shaofu Chang
Abstract: The content elements and the connections between elements form an information space that is conceptually similar to a physical space. Navigation is a common problem in information space and in physical space. Using an appropriate metaphor is a key factor in transforming abstract information space into a tangible space that users can accept. This research proposes an interface design approach to navigate an information space, such as the contents of a website or a museum, with a tangible user interface (TUI). The goal of the TUI is to connect the digital and physical space with a visible and tangible form. Tangible objects are used as metaphors to manipulate the information space. Information finding tasks are given to the participants to test user performance and errors, and subjective satisfaction is evaluated with questionnaires. The effects of metaphors and the TUI/graphics user interface (GUI) are to be investigated. The results show that metaphors help users find information with better performance and lower error rates. Users also perceive more usability from interfaces with metaphors and think they can work better. The proposed TUI system can get similar errors and subjective usability as a GUI system, which users are more familiar with.
Keywords: Tangible User Interface, Information Space, Navigation
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