Ideas for Basic Visual Feedback in Open Input Framework

Registered by Duncan McGreggor on 2010-09-30

The idea of providing users with instant feedback on touchpoints for screens has come up multiple times on IRC, mail lists, and bug reports. This is something that we will be able to support better with improved GL work in Unity. The example that came up in the mail list was the following:

From Mark:
"...a key pattern is to provide the fastest-possible feedback on how the system is interpreting your gesture, and allow people to correct that before significant transitions occur."

From Duncan:
"Yeah, this would also make working with touch surfaces that didn't map directly to the screen (e.g., touchpads) *much* easier to work with as MT devices. Neil, what do you think about GL accents for touch points? ... Ideally, it'd be a visual metaphor that played well in the context... since touch screens aren't ponds/puddles/pools, ripples may not be such a good choice... if we ignore the physical metaphor, and instead go with a magical one (e.g., I'm reaching into another dimension, my computer, to perform magic with
my gestural incantations)... a whole new array of possibilities present themselves to us:
 * electrical sparks
 * moving mini-lightening
 * dynamic halos/orbs"

This sort of feedback is focused on letting users know where in their "computer world" they are touching.

Another type of feedback is more subtle, but perhaps far more important. Henrik brought this up on IRC:

Given a "world" metaphor with a touchscreen and objects "in" our computer that we are interacting with via touches, we need to present users with feedback that supports this. For instance, if I touch a folder in this "world," I should to know that I the touch was a success, that I didn't miss. Same for touching tabs, windows, window bars, buttons. Thinking of touch UIs with the world metaphor can help us uncover ways in which we might be taking touch and UIs for granted. It might provide insight into what sorts of things we need to pay attention to, that will assist with a more intuitive, human-friendly experience.

Tags: hci-n, hci, touch, multi-touch, multitouch, window-manager, unity, gl, graphics, display, design

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Please see the following link for some other thoughts and ideas:

Idea #26418: Finger Gesture Awareness: Touchpad Gestures Need Visible Feedback


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