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Usability and Affordances: Examinations of Object-Naming and Object-Task Performance in Haptic Interfaces

Authors: Mia Sorensen


The introduction of haptic elements in a graphic user interfaces are becoming more widespread. Since haptics are being introduced rapidly into computational tools, investigating how these models affect Human-Computer Interaction would help define how to integrate and model new modes of interaction. The interest of this paper is to discuss and investigate the issues surrounding Haptic and Graphic User Interface designs (GUI) as separate systems, as well as understand how these work in tandem. The development of these systems is explored from a psychological perspective, based on how usability is addressed through learning and affordances, defined by J.J. Gibson. Haptic design can be a powerful tool, aiding in intuitive learning. The problems discussed within the text is how can haptic interfaces be integrated within a GUI without the sense of frivolity. Juxtaposing haptics and Graphic user interfaces has issues of motivation; GUI tends to have a performatory process, while Haptic Interfaces use affordances to learn tool use. In a deeper view, it is noted that two modes of perception, foveal and ambient, dictate perception. These two modes were once thought to work in tandem, however it has been discovered that these processes work independently from each other. Foveal modes interpret orientation is space which provide for posture, locomotion, and motor skills with variations of the sensory information, which instructs perceptions of object-task performance. It is contended, here, that object-task performance is a key element in the use of Haptic Interfaces because exploratory learning uses affordances in order to use an object, without meditating an experience cognitively. It is a direct experience that, through iteration, can lead to skill-sets. It is also indicated that object-task performance will not work as efficiently without the use of exploratory or kinesthetic learning practices. Therefore, object-task performance is not as congruently explored in GUI than it is practiced in Haptic interfaces.

Keywords: Affordances, Graphic User Interface, HapticInterfaces, Tool-Use, Object-Naming, Object-Task Performance

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