UI Design | Gestural Interactions

For this project, I designed one lo-fi prototype in paper and one hi-fi prototype created in Flinto. The prototypes was made to illustrate different types of percieved affordances and hinting as to what gesture and if pressure touch is needed to interact with an object. The aim for the prototypes was to investigate how users interpret the different gesture hints and how they felt when force tapping a touch screen.

Results showed that when a hint is shown at a static object, as to how you are supposed to interact with it, people first tried gestures they are familiar with. Such as tapping or swiping. Then proceeding to force touch or force press it. And since force pressing is not a consistent choice of interaction and is not available in every app this is a behavior that has to be learned. This can be taught with consistent feedback when using the gesture and consistent hinting as to where you can use pressure.

Pictures of the lo-fi and hi-fi prototype are shown below.

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master thesis year 1

the problem

the solution

For my first year master thesis I wanted to investigate gestural interactions with smartphones further, and specifically with 3D touch actions or force touch actions. This, because I found 3D touch on Iphones a technology that was often forgotten, which I found had much more potential. It's a technology that senses how deeply the users presses the screen. With 3D touch, iPhone users can access apps and complete tasks quicker, and draw using pressure sensitivity. However, support for this technology is only available on Apple iPhones and are limited to certain apps and Apple’s own built-in functions. The support limitation along with the trend of flattening mobile user interfaces contributes to the difficulty to show and to discover the 3D touch actions. Thus, my thesis work explored ways to make possible 3D touch interactions more visible.

the process

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Lo-fi prototype investigating touch gesture interpretation and interpretation of colors and shapes. 

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Hi-Fi prototype using pressure touch.

My thesis project touched on topics such as multi-touch and gestural interfaces, force gestures, affordances, feedforward and hinting. Using an interaction design process involving methods such as surveys, observations, lo-fi and hi-fi prototyping and usability testing, I investigated the area further.